Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Babs' Extreme Greece School Makeover Plan


  
CONSOLIDATE/CLOSE ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Move West Ridge School (K-5) to Parkland. Create an attendance zone around the relocated West Ridge School to include Affinity Orchard Place. Expand student enrollment.

• Create a K-5 school at Brookside to include Parkland students who are not in the new West Ridge attendance boundary. The new Parkland/Brookside School would have enough space to accommodate enrollment fluctuations in future years. “Grandfather” those students already in attendance.

• Move Kirk Road students (3-5) to Paddy Hill (K-2) to create a new Paddy Hill K-5 school. Current student enrollment would enable all current students to attend Paddy Hill. If grade level enrollment shifts occur, adjust boundary assignments.

• Create an attendance zone around Pine Brook. In addition, implement a weighted lottery model to continue to work on meeting the Board goal for demographic balance in Schools of Choice.

• Eliminate elementary signature schools and elementary open enrollment in September 2012 for new students. “Grandfather” those students already in attendance.
 
SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION/CLOSINGS SECONDARY
  • Move Odyssey Academy 6-12 to Apollo. Create an attendance zone to include the former Apollo attendance zone primarily east of Mt. Read Boulevard and southwest of Stone Road. Implement a two-year transition plan to fully include all feeder pattern 6th graders until September 2014. Enrollment fluctuations, or a need to redistrict for achievement or space in the future, can be accomplished by assigning some students after grade 5 to Athena or Arcadia Middle Schools.
  • Allow students from Olympia, Arcadia, and Athena entering grade 11 to attend the IB program at Odyssey by application. It is more cost effective to transport students than replicate the program in other schools.
  • Implement a two-year transition plan at Olympia, creating a 6-12 school at Olympia (grades 7-12 in 2012-13, grades 7-12 in 2013-14, grades 6-12 in 2014-15). Olympia grade 7 and 8 will implement recommendations of New York State Education Department Joint Intervention Team expected March 2012.
REDUCE EXPENSES

  • Reduce busing from four runs to three runs by combining K-5 transportation and grouping bus runs by neighborhood.
  • Sell Barnard and Kirk Road. Lease West Ridge and/or use the facility for alternative purposes. West Ridge is connected to the Family Support Center leased until February 23, 2020. Follow the procedures advised by legal counsel regarding how to proceed with the Hoover Drive facility.
  • Support a process to study schedule options for all secondary schools for implementation in 2013-14. Specifically, study the advantages and disadvantages of current block schedules as related to both staff utilization, efficiency and achievement.
ENSURE SMOOTH TRANSITION PLAN & FOCUS ON IMPROVING ACHIEVEMENT THROUGH EXPANSION & REPLICATION OF EFFECTIVE PRACTICE

  • Simplify the school choice selection process. Eliminate the current time consuming and resource intensive lottery system. Beginning February 2012, new school choice applications in K and 6 will have waiting lists expire each year in June. Implement a tiered model that ensures student populations at Schools of Choice reflect district demographics and that the lottery is simplified for parents.
  • Continue to work toward ensuring that the student populations at Schools of Choice reflect district demographics as directed in 2011-12 Board goals and in accordance with December 2011 joint guidance document from the U.S. Department of Justice/Department of Education.
  • Focus instructional resources on expanding effective practices, implementing Joint Intervention Team recommendations, and implementing AVID program at Olympia to improve student and teaching performance and close achievement gaps.
  •  Appoint a formal Transition Team to develop a detailed public timeline between February 1, 2012 and May 1, 2012 to communicate a smooth transition and opening for children, families and employees in September 2012.
TOTAL EXPECTED YEAR 1 SAVINGS = $2.2 million
(not including building sales)
     

89 comments:

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I have never been happier that I moved my kids from the Greece school district, than I am tonight. What is going on in that district is an absolute pig f***. Not trying to sound better than anyone else, just happy to have moved on from the dysfunction.

Could someone explain exactly "what" changed about Odyssey, other that it's location? Pinebrook will have an attendance zone, but will not become a neighborhood school? Yet special demographics will be phased in? WTF is going on in your Town?!

Sorry, but in my opinion you guys took about 5 giant steps backward tonight in regard to fixing whats wrong with Greece. Sadley, I can kind of picture your Supt. going home feeling like she accomplished something this evening.

SCATS said...

To 10:56PM ~~ I'm not sure I understand the changes or the implications of the proposals yet. There's a lot to digest. Most notable is the moving up of the timeline. Since Odyssey parents interviewed on the news were "happy" with her plan, one can assume it means little change for current OA students. I mean, they are "special" ... ya know? ;)

Twins+2momma said...

So, west ridge will still be a soc but with inclusion of demographics next to the pl campus? So what happens to the pl kids and the kindergarteners of 2012-13 current pl? Will they be at wr or at BS? Little confused.

Anonymous said...

From what I understood, OA will get an attendance zone in what is currently the Apollo attendance zone. Some of the current Apollo students will stay giving OA non-choice Apollo students in grades 6-9 for 12-13 and this will then roll up a grade each year. This will increase the number of FREE (as they already have some reduced) lunch students that OA has over the next few years to bring them in line with the demographics of the district.

This plan allows them to close Apollo, which was under the most state scrutiny because of the JIT review. It also allows them to keep OA, but expand it and fill the extra spots with low income students to bring it in line with district demographics. It also still gives the district some wiggle room to not have to redraw attendance zone every couple of years at secondary.

I believe a similar plan is in place for moving WR to the Parkland campus and including Affinity in its attendance zone.

SCATS said...

District Office made good on their promise to post the ideas. They will be posted in a new BLOG, coming very soon ;)

Anonymous said...

Why not have affinity part of Pinebrook attendance area? I get that with WR being at PL they can walk to school and be able to attend school functions but why does Pinebrook always come out unscathed? This would help with their free lunch numbers . And one question is will all WR students plus students from Affinity be able to fit at Parkland?

Anonymous said...

I believe creating all these changes so quickly will affect student state test scores. I think we will see the scores drop. Especially for the elementary students. Ask a psychologist.

Anonymous said...

Good start: study time now. But it does look like a lot of thought went into this!

I want to know more about the student achievement efforts.
Results monitoring/reporting not just more plans.

Anonymous said...

I think this plan will help the district! I am against lottery schools in general but if we are going to have them we must ensure they are balanced. Phasing in the demographic shift is the only way to do it.
I encourage the BOE to make these changes. We have a 7 million dollar budget gap. PULL THE BANDAID ALREADY>>>It is now my personal mission to make sure the district does indeed make sure the demographics of incoming classes match the district wide number!

Anonymous said...

This guy posting on the D&C webpage is claiming OA is being closed! He is encouraging parents and students to protest at next weeks meeting. I guess there is something magical about the building OA is in that they can't give it up.
If OA parents oppose this change they are truly disgusting! No poor kids, no black kids, no disabled kids- NICE
OA is not owned by the staff, faculty or families that attend there. It is a part of the Greece District. THIS IS A GOOD CHANGE! Prove how good the program at OA is by including a more diverse group of kids/families!

Anonymous said...

Not really understanding the "attendance zones". Does that mean the schools that previously had less free and reduced lunch students will have more to reflect the district demographics or is it just fancy wording??

Anonymous said...

I think everyone should be a little happy with this plan.

Immediate closure of three school buildings.
Ending signature schools and open enrollment.
Reduction in bussing/transportation costs.
Retructure to bring SOC in line with district demographics.
A single, enlarged OA to hopefully expand past successes.
An opportunity for the entire district to apply for IB.

It seems to me that this proposal provides nearly everything that Scats has been asking for, with the exception of a complete ending of SOC. I am sure the creation of an open "lottery" and the demographic changes will help alleviate any concerns.

SCATS said...

To 3:33AM ~~ PB stays unscathed because the principal's daddy is on the BOE ;) PL students who live in the Brookside boundary (to be created) will attend BS instead.

To 3:40AM ~~ Sounds like an excuse teachers will use to cover their backsides. Kids are resilient! We've been making them change buildings at grade 3 for decades!

To 5:59AM ~~ AMEN! Pull the Band-Aid!! But wait! Why leave West Ridge open AFTER moving students out!? That doesn't save as much $$ as they could! It seems odd to me that GCSD will disrupt that building full of kids & then leave it open. Another Bass-Ackwards plan.

SCATS said...

To 6:23AM ~~ That guy is a Sue Meier stooge, except he just learned how to spell her name! She can't do her own bidding any more after Babs caught onto her "secret" PTA meetings to organize the troops, so now she's using this guy who is/was married to an OA teacher to do the job for her.

To 6:57AM ~~Babs warned that there would be a need for comfort with ambiguity. I'm not quite getting those zones yet either. A map would really help!

To 9:15AM ~~ Signature schools are ending BUT open enrollment is NOT! Secondary option will remain to provide flexibility, according to Babs. Also, it doesn't sound like Pine Brook will be in line demographics any time soon. I'm still not quite understanding how the new Apollo will look ... and other such questions ... so I'd say it's a bit early to say this is what SCATS has been wanting ;)

Anonymous said...

The students that live in the affinity subsidized apartments will get to attend the parkland building no matter what. So Westridge will still be a school of choice except it will not be at the westridge building but the parkland building. There will be lots of free lunch kids in westridge or whatever they will call it now. And there will be lots of people moving in and out of the classrooms; transiency is in the statistics for risk. And it will be so much easier for the kids to really be living in the city but saying they are living with auntie at the affinity. That should help extend the non-residents from just the 9-12 grades to the whole k-12.
And the westridge buiding is old and should be closed and sold. Oh wait we really don't own it until the year 2020. Thanks John.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Sue Mier on the committee that recommended moving OA to Apollo? If this guy on the D&C page is her stooge, he is doing her a disservice. It is creepy and weird that someone who does not live in the district would be organizing parents/students to protest.

If the BOE fails to close schools and consolidate ALL the kids, including SOC kids will suffer. As it is there are going to be a lot of cut backs-remember 7million dollar gap! This only saves 2.2 mil. Maybe they can get another 0.5 mil from the teachers union and that is a big MAYBE and still leaves us 4million short.

Anonymous said...

Open Enrollment has been used to describe the ability of any elementary school student to attend any elementary school, on a space available basis.
This program will end, according to the super's recommendations.
Secondary Option will remain.

A weighted lottery system to bring PineBrook in line with district demographics will take some time. But the process is what's important.

I thought the super's explanation for keeping secondary option was great. It will allow students at the secondary level some measure of choice and give them the ability to apply for the IB program.

West Ridge stays open. I'm sure that is upsetting to some.
But, maybe they figured the need for SOC is still valid. Enrollment swings can happen and they allow an outlet without having to redraw boundary lines.

SCATS said...

To 10:18AM ~~ I think the "new" school will still be called Parkland ;)

To 10:28AM ~~ I believe she was on that committee. However, their proposal was quite different from this one. I agree that guy is creepy, but I still think he is her stooge.

Regarding the $4.8 million budget gap, the supt's words at the end of her presentation are the clue to what's coming next. She said GCSD must "focus to ensure students are college & career ready." She emphasized that "resources MUST be directed at students & classrooms."

I believe that sports & extra-curriculars are going to be scaled back next, as they should be. I hope Babs has Plan B ready to go for her next stop when the BOE finds they can't back her.

Anonymous said...

Ending Open Enrollment? If I'm not mistaken, open enrollment came about as a result of schools of choice. I almost remember there was a lawsuit, or threat of one back then that created open enrollment to pacify those not selected for schools of choice. Am I wrong? Are we now opening ourselves up to possible legal action, again? WHY ARE NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOLS FOR ALL STUDENTS A BAD THING?

SCATS said...

To 10:48AM ~~ It's only ending at the elementary level, at best. It remains at secondary.

I'm still not clear on how all of these boundaries, lotteries, etc. are going to pan out to bring Pine Brook equity in demographics ... or how many decades it will take to accomplish.

You are correct about the threat of a lawsuit. It came after Odyssey opened in 1993 when parents who wanted their kids to attend a different school (say Athena instead of Olympia) threatened suit, because they were supposed to provide transportation when Odyssey kids were handed it outright.

Neighborhood K-5 schools are the way to go.

Anonymous said...

Dear Babs, Wow this is all so much easier than creating concrete boundary lines that simply define where kids will go to school. Thanks so much for coming to Greece! Keep up the good work!

As another poster stated, this is a pig f***. It's exactly what you get when you try to do the right thing financially without bothering the special interest groups in town. The result is everyone ends up angry and a full financial savings isn’t realized. Oh yea, and some graders get taken from their home school and fed to the wolves at Olympia. I guarantee that if any BOE member had a child potentially being thrown into Olympia at 10 or 11 years old this idea would have been buried long ago. These people all disgust me! Odyssey parents should feel completley ashamed for what they have helped create here.

Anonymous said...

Why the general hate for Odyssey?
They do have "free lunch" kids, disabled kids and black children.
They are a diverse population, take the time to see this for yourselves. Some of my children attend Odyssey and some Olympia (there were no wolves) my son graduated from Olympia last year. They have great AP classes and amazing music teachers. Each of the schools have benefits that others do not have.

SCATS said...

To 4:14PM ~~ If Odyssey were as diverse as you say, it would show in the numbers ... but it does NOT! It has NOT! It's been permitted to remain as a sanctuary for the few who seek to escape the problems that a school like Olympia suffers from. Those ills include discipline problems, fights, gangs, drop outs, poverty, inability to achieve, inability to graduate ... etc.

Anonymous said...

If Pinebrook was a neighborhood school it would be WAY less diverse then it is now. If they went back to neighborhood schools what would be your reason for hating PB then??

SCATS said...

To 4:48PM ~~ Where is the evidence of "hate?" That's a word that 4:14PM used, and now you are, too. It's something I didn't address.

Anonymous said...

Pardon me 4:14, but a school who has 16% of it’s kids qualifying for free or reduced meals, and is 90% white doesn’t exactly ring of being diverse when compared to Olympia, that sits at 45% qualifying for free or reduced school meals, along with a population that is only 75% white. You paint a pretty picture 4:14, sorry if the truth smears it.

If you told me my 6th grade kid was about to be moved out of her neighborhood school at Apollo to make room for these pre Madonna’s coming from Odyssey, so that they can keep their exclusive population together I would blow up. The same holds true for those kids being kicked aside at Parkland, who were attending their neighborhood school.

Our district was a joke this time yesterday. Today it's even worse. A year from now the same arguemnts will still exist.

Anonymous said...

There would be NOTHING to hate if PB or OA or WR were neighborhood schools, that's the point.

No secret lottery, no favors being called on, no sceptisism about how this family got their kids in, no 5 buses coming down my street taking 5 different 8 year olds to 5 different school, no Bill THE BLOB bragging that his kid skipped 41 others on a wait list to get in, nothing to hate at all.

Clear boundries, you know like pretty much every other district in the Country does it. That's how you save money and keep neighborhoods together.

Anonymous said...

Does the district really thing parents are going to choose to send their kids to Westridge now? Westridge is going to eventually have the same population that parkland- brookside has now. Let's see if the districts " best kept secret" can pull off great things with a drastically different student population.

SCATS said...

To 5:14PM ~~ There will be NO WEst Ridge starting in September. The building will remain empty as a school. Those students will become PARKLAND students.

I think there's a certain sweet irony in watching as West Ridge students get sent to school with the exact same kids their parents sought to escape contact with 20 years ago ;)

Anonymous said...

Because parents and students who made a decision 20 years ago are the same who make the decision today?
I was under the impression that elementary school was only 6 years.....

SCATS said...

To 5:58PM ~~ The point is that the faces may have changed but the reasons are the same. The same thing is true with Odyssey. It's even been discussed at BOE meetings that the masses at Odyssey are those who seek to avoid Apollo/Olympia. The masses who sought out West Ridge sought to avoid a school with no walls & a school next to subsidized housing. Kirk Rd. will be history along with West Ridge an idea that's been too long in coming.

Anonymous said...

I am enjoying all the naysayers who are so upset because they only got 75% of what they were looking for.

Schools of choice will continue to exist. Let's get over it.

There will be a new open process for application an selection.
There will immediately be a correction to student demographics at WR and OA.
There will be a phased in correction to student demographics at PineBrook.
Elementary Open Enrollment ends.
Savings realized from improved transportation scheduling.
Closure of three schools and potential sale of two facilities.

Those are the facts of the recommendations. Seems silly to see them as anything other than a victory for your cause.

SCATS said...

To 6:07PM ~~ Please clue me in about which group got 75% of what they wanted? I'm hearing all kinds of distress from all corners of Greece.

Yes, SOC's will continue ... but no one is sure WHO will want to "choose" them in the future ;)

I'm unconvinced about the corrected demographics at Pine Brook ever seeing the light of day.

In reality only TWO buildings are "closing." We're still going to be paying for utilities, insurance, security, etc. at West Ridge until 2020!

You overlooked the fact that there will be more K-5 schools as an end result.

Babs' plan is a classical case of asking a committee to design a horse & getting a camel, instead.

Anonymous said...

You forgot Barnard. It's three buildings closing.

Anonymous said...

When I hear that immediate demographic changes will take place for OA, I can't help but think that means white kids or kids of suitable home incomes will be booted from Apollo to Olympia for no other reason. All this dysfunction to avoid going back to neighborhood schools. This is crazy. Oh, and by the way we've still never heard how any of this nonsense helps in regard to educating our entire district.

Anonymous said...

I thought you liked k-5 schools.

Closing a school has an impact, even if the building is retained. Lower admin costs, fewer teachers, fewer in building staff.

Let's get real. This is change. This is big change and will have an impact.

What is there that you do not, at least partially get from this.

SCATS said...

To 6:36PM ~~ Barnard has been closed ;) Even though they are storing records there.

To 7:12PM ~~ When you close 2 schools, then create 2 new schools within schools, it doesn't have the same financial impact. Why move kids out of West Ridge & then keep it open? That makes NO sense at all! We're not going to get the full benefit of "closing" this building for another 8 (EIGHT) years!! This plan shuffles around too many folks. They should just close WR & OA and send those kids back to their home schools, period. It's not like those schools don't have the space to absorb them.

Anonymous said...

Really? So they're not paying for any utilities at Barnard? It's boarded up, empty, cold and lightless?

SCATS said...

To 8:47PM ~~ It has appeared to be cold, lightless & without life (empty parking lot) when I've driven by since last spring.

Anonymous said...

Cold and lightless? Sounds light District Office to me.

Anonymous said...

SCATS 10:03PM:
"Closed" Ha! That is what they want you to believe. Drive by any weeknight after 3.

SCATS said...

To 12:41PM ~~ I will make a point to do so in the near future. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

If they close Barnard, where will the district employees and their family's exercise on our dime? Please don't tell me they'll have to pay for memberships elsewhere like the rest of us!

Anonymous said...

2000/01 District 17.2% OA 5.3
2004/05 District 24.8% OA 12.2
2009/10 District 38% OA 16%

Even if low income families apply to OA at a proportional rate to middle class families, with half of the opened slots going to siblings it will statistically take a long time to balance the demographics.
The current system is weighted against low income families.

The reason many view OA as classist is not because of the teachers or staff but because many of us have been told by parents that they would not send their OA kid to "THAT" school with "THOSE" kids. How else would we interpret that, especially knowing the stats above.
If Dr Meier truly did propose a remedy to the BOE years ago and they ignored her- well shame on them. But lets fix this NOW. The current sysem is the social engineering not what is being proposed...

Anonymous said...

Bottom line: Greece was a much nicer and more desirable suburb before the "Affinity Lanes" came to town. Sorry, but it is the truth. Good luck with that one.

Anonymous said...

Apollo 2000/01 23% Olympia 16.3

Apollo 2004/05 54.3% Olympia 27.4

Apollo 2009/10 57% Olympia 45 %

The lottery system should have been addressed a long time ago!

Anonymous said...

Barnard is absolutely still being used for various meetings thru out the week including a fitness room that is open at night for a few hours......Oh so you know Sue Meyers made the comment yesterday that everyone including the custodial staff and food service will be going to Apollo, sorry Sue, maybe in your world that might happen but in reality some staff from ody. will lose their jobs or end up else where.

SCATS said...

To 3:49PM ~~ I'd suggest they move it to GTA offices. Maybe they plan to put it at West Ridge, giving them an excuse to heat the building too.

To 4:01PM ~~ You are correct about the classist attitude. It reminds me of the attitude towards Bryant & Stratton shown by some neighbors off of Long Pond Rd. ~ "We don't want to see them, hear them or smell them."

To 4:25PM ~~ How long ago was that? You do realize that Greece has several other subsidized housing complexes, right?

To 6:48PM ~~ Who did she say that to? It wouldn't surprise me at all. She is starting to remind me of Steve Walts.

Anonymous said...

She has said that for OA to remain IB certified the staff in its entirety has to move or they loose the certification.

Anonymous said...

These housing projects have killed Greece. Minorities are more important than the people that live here and pay taxes.

Anonymous said...

In all these discussions about how to "fix" the Greece schools, noone has the guts to stand up and say what's true: there's no fixing.

The only real solution is to just shut them all down. It's high time to kill the socialist "public" education scam and just let private businesses take care of it.

And, I'm not talking about some half-assed "voucher" system either. Stop the property tax too. If you can't afford to educate your own children, don't have them.

Anonymous said...

Every toen must have low income housing available.

Anonymous said...

@8:18
We should drive all of them right out of our town.

Anonymous said...

I see it's looney bin time. Public education made America great and is a basic right people all over th world fight for. Let's just blame all those envious poor people for problems while we loot our public resources Criticism yes idiocy no,

Anonymous said...

Lets just build more prisons now... its a job creator! Supporting a prisoner for a year compared to a k-12 student... hummm which is more do ya think????

SCATS said...

To 7:43PM ~~ Thank you. That sounds like she's yelling "Fire!" in a packed movie theater ... again. Once a school gets IB, are employees EVER permitted to leave without the school losing their IB status? Not for nothing, but OA has been a place where employees are in & out the revolving door ... often!

To 8:40PM ~~ I see the truth in what you are saying. However, I know it's not happening any time soon, so getting improvements NOW for the masses is imperative.

To 6:32AM ~~ It may have "made America great" but just as SOCs have outlived the purpose for which they were designed, so too have unionized teacher associations. They are destroying the entire system.

To 6:52AM ~~ Not long ago, I saw a stat that claimed 1 yr. in a state prison cost over $50,000 per prisoner. I don't recall if that was an average for the US, or for NY state.

Anonymous said...

Other townships have subsidized housing but do not have school choice for the privileged to run from it! Helicopter parents (the many of them today) have no faith in their children making good choices and therefore GCSD has enabled these parents to hover over their children and avoid going to school with the underprivileged children here! These are the same parents that toot their horns about the charity work they encourage their children to become involved in, yet feel the need to protect them from the charity cases that are right upon their doorsteps here. If you raise your children right and are an involved parent in their life, they will make the right choices. No matter where they go to school, they will be faced with decisions to make! Just because little Johnny is privileged doesn't mean he truly comes from a good home with love and support....it just means he lives in a bigger house with more expensive furniture! This township needs to realize that they created quite a mess by dividing its residents and embracing prejudice and segregation over diversity and community by failing to honor the simple basics of providing a public education to all when they geared away from neighborhood schools. Geesh, how does penfield or Henrietta handle the education of all students with subsidized housing in the community? They are not in the news every month like we are because they run a normal school district!

Anonymous said...

Even if they manage to get the SOCs in line with the 38% free/reduced lunch demographic, what's the point really? Next it will be complaints that LR kids are more underprivileged than the ones at PH, the ones at HR are more economically disadvantaged than at AL. If there is a hushed secret conspiracy in the way kids make it in to the SOCs, it's wrong. I just don't get the push for economic equity between the schools. As horrible as that sounds, that's life. We as a society discriminate all the time. Should you get the advantage of cheaper prices and pay what I pay at Wegmans if I take the time to fill out a Shoppers Club card and clip coupons and you don't bother doing either? What if I am fiscally responsible, pay my bills on time, hold a steady job, and you do none of those things? When we both apply for a car loan, should you get as low of a rate as I do? After all, it looks like evening the economic playing field between the economically disadvantaged and the more privileged seems to be the biggest priority.

Anonymous said...

"WHITE FLIGHT" within a District... it would be an interesting research study if it were not so sad! It is a little more complicated than simple race but you get my point I hope

SCATS said...

To 1:23PM ~~ Was your application to get a Shopper's Club card 6 pages long? Was it also "very confusing" to fill out? I don't know when it came to this, but we were told by those who work in DO at Tuesday night's BOE meeting that is the case these days with current SOC applications!

To 1:42PM ~~ It's not all that complicated. Even the BOE has said they are aware that MOST Odyssey students come from the Olympia feeder pattern ;) It's been that way for many years.

Anonymous said...

Actually, my Shoppers Club application WAS longer and more time intensive to fill out than a SOC application. Thanks for helping me clarify that point. :-)

SCATS said...

To 3:14PM ~~ Sorry, but I do not believe you! Like I said, DO staff admitted the application was lengthy, SIX PAGES long, and "very confusing" to complete at Tuesday night's BOE meeting.

If Shopper's Club were like that, all of the folks from the Britton Rd. store never would have succeeded in getting their cards. Anyone who shops at Wegmans Mt. Read knows that they did ;)

Anonymous said...

I see nothing wrong with concentrating the problems/challenges and allocating the needed resources to that environment. Set up all K-5 schools and hold the staff accountable for student progress.
No two year grace periods.

After this reorganization most will be demanding neighborhood schools and the proposed plan will self destruct. I like it!
It is doing the right thing the wrong way but so what!

SCATS said...

To 3:57PM ~~ Re: "so what?"

I would like to NOT have my taxes go up faster than absolutely necessary, for one thing. God knows it's not like they'd ever lower them, even if they found a huge surplus of $$!

Anonymous said...

Scats,
You support DO staff when they say the SOC application is too confusing. The rest of the time you run them down for being idiots. (I am paraphrasing).
Pick a side. Either they are competent managers who know what they are talking about, or they are not. You can't have it both ways.

As for the confusing, 6-page application.
Have you seen it? My 3rd grade daughter could figure it out.

SCATS said...

To 4:26PM ~~ The last time I saw an SOC application it certainly was NOT 6 pages long! Why would it need to be? Even the application for reduced/free lunches isn't that long! This has nothing to do with supporting DO staff. In fact, I'm using their own words against them ;)

By the way, I just looked up an application for Shoppers Club on the Wegmans website and it most certainly is NOT in anyway complicated to fill out ;) It's mostly just name, address, ph. number & birthdate.

Anonymous said...

Again, you are making my point for me even though you seem to want to believe you are arguing with me. The SOC application when I filled it out was a half page, despite what you are saying DO said. I don't know what they said Tuesday since I wasn't there, but is there a transcript you can point us to? There must be, right, because you only post things that can be proven. Or perhaps you misunderstood what they said? Or they misunderstood a question or misspoke? Regardless, if you want to be able to cash or write a check at Wegmans, you *do* have to provide banking information, not just a name and such, on a Shoppers Club application. Definitely longer and more time consuming.

It may come as a shock to you that I already shop at the Mt. Read Weggies. I am also neither low-income nor minority, yet when my kids didn't get into a SOC I put them in their Title I neighborhood school and don't have any hard feelings about the lottery process. You win some, you lose some. Such is life.

SCATS said...

To 5:52PM ~~ Shopper's Club only requires account info. if you want check services. As per Wegmans.com:
"How do I sign up for check services?" Answer: You may sign up for checking services (personal, e-checking or payroll/government check cashing) by visiting the service desk at your local store with your state issued ID and Shoppers Club card. As well as a personal check for personal check cashing or a payroll/gov check for payroll check cashing."

These days with electronic banking, few folks pay by check. Most use debit or credit card and there's no need to do anything to get that privilege.You don't need a Shopper's Club account to pay by those means, I know, because I've done it, often.

So then, the half page application for Shopper's Club which can be done online doesn't ask for account info, since you have to go to the service desk to get checking services added anyway ;)

No, I am not mistaken by what was said about a 6 page "very confusing" application Tuesday night. I take notes and the statement was made and then referred to later by another person. Perhaps there are different applications for Odyssey and/or IB than for the other SOCs. That's possible.

Anonymous said...

5:52, I wonder you'd still feel like you 'win some, lose some' if your child was booted from their neighborhood school to allow for the lottery kids to come in, as will be the case for those sent off to Olympia. In that case it would be 'lose some, and then lose even more'. You gotta love the selfishness of our lottery families.

Anonymous said...

Stop calling it a lottery..It is not...half of the openings in any given year go to siblings!!!

Academics improve if a building can be kept under 40% poverty rate- even if nothing else changes-same teachers, same adminstrators-It does matter to ALL the kids in a building! The 40% low income kids do better and their non poverty peers do better. Give the teachers a fighting chance to help kids. Research has shown this over and over again.

SCATS said...

By the way 5:52PM feel free to get off your arse and FOIL the BOE clerk for a DVD of Tuesday's meeting if you want "proof." I double dog dare ya ;)

Anonymous said...

I don't think I could even sell my house if someone viewed it at 2:00 in the afternoon!

Anonymous said...

Here is a link for you to see some of the studies done in how poverty, not race, affects academics.

http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/109074/chapters/How-Poverty-Affects-Behavior-and-Academic-Performance.aspx

Part of the problem is all schools have the exact same amount of allotted resources to help these children. When there is a major difference in poverty levels amongst schools in a district that has equal resources available in each building, it hinders the educational needs of all students. Lack of much needed resources at a building with a high poverty rate means valuable resources taken away from achieving students. Whereas, down the road at a school with a low poverty rate, the same exact amount of resources is available and the few underprivileged become achievers and the achievers have the remaining resources allotted to them. The scales are unbalanced here with resources! There is a greater need in the higher poverty rate but they are still trying to function on the same resources as the lesser poverty rate.

Neighborhood schools may not fix that because it would still be more concentrated in some areas, but maybe a shift of resources is necessary too!

Anonymous said...

The SOC application is one page long! Simple to fill out. I have filled it out 3 times for three kids. We are "reduced" lunch eligible. (Personally I am appalled at the need to balance demographics based on income, it should be neighborhood schools based on where you live no SOC then there is no issue of discrimination) I have one that got in to ATMS as secondary option and 2 that have not gotten into OA. The highest we have ever been on the wait list is 106. It is not that low income people do not fill out the applications its that TOO MANY WANT THE OA schools and there is not enough room to accommodate everyone. BTW my children are all excellent students and have done very well where they are however I can help but think that with so few behavior issues at OA the kids that get in do have by default a better environment for learning.

SCATS said...

To 9:05PM ~~ Was that for elementary or for middle school? Apparently, District Office employs liars that are tolerated by both the new Supt. & the BOE ;)

Anonymous said...

OP at 9:05pm There is an application that was for signature schools and PB and WR it was one application. YOu put a check mark in the schools that you would like. You may get picked for 2 and then have to decline the one you don't want. It was not difficult! There was also an application for secondary option that included OA and all other MS. Again you check a box and hope you win the lottery.

The wording of SOC is plain wrong you don't get to choose, you may wish but the reality is the system picks, the choice is not with in the power of parents EVEN IF YOU FILL OUT THE APPLICATIONS.

To the poster that implied that some are more worthy for OA based on your analogy of bank rates is shameful. To compare what children of poverty deserve based on how worthy they are is sad and pathetic. These are children that did not ask to be born, that are worthy simply because they are children EVERY child is WORHTY OF THE SAME OPPORTUNITIES, and if Greece has a better education system that works ( and I am skeptical that is the case) then NOT ONE STUDENT should be denied. ( as a note I do feel that there does come a time when some children can not function in the public schools and like in Greece there needs to be an alternative education program!)

Anonymous said...

I am starting to think the real problem is our community-- we just can not seem to come together to support anything...we are all arguing about who is being "wronged" instead of coming together to try to fix things and make them "right" for ALL of our children. The finger pointing, the blaming, the complaining, the "what is in it for me" attitudes...honestly, after reading all these blogs I am now aware more than ever why everything in our town is dysfunctional: it is the attitudes of many people who live here. My fourth grade students are more mature than some of the ranters on this blog. They at least work together, have empathy for others, and at times, try to SOLVE their problmes together. This community could learn a lot from them. Oh, and I work in one of the highest free and reduced lunch percentage schools in the district.

Anonymous said...

What all of you are failing to forget is the numbers game for NCLB. We have schools in Greece "on the list". Apollo has been on the list for 4 years now. Unless you want the state to takeover schools (do a little research on this, it isn't good) because we have one or two kids not meeting standards. I am not kidding here, Athena is on the list due to less than 5 students not meeting standards. The areas greece schools are on the list are for are minority, special ed and low income kids. These 3 groups require more resources to help them become successful. If you spread them out over more schools, your numbers in each school drop. This means better use of resources. If you are lucky and good at the numbers game, you can spread them out enough so you fall below the state minimum number for reporting. Meaning, that subgroup doesn't count against you if they do not perform. This mess is NCLB created and motivated. Should all kids have access to the same public education, YES and to do it, we can't go back to neighborhood schools. the demographics would have certain schools on the list every year - like Apollo. Greece is simply doing what other schools across the state have been doing quietly, even the numbers, spread out your resources and try to beat the numbers game for NCLB. In the end, it will save tax dollars (teachers and admin can stop spinning their wheels over how to get 2 kids to pass the ELA exam that never come to school) and provide resources to the kids that need them.

SCATS said...

To 11:38AM ~~ If it's as you say, then things will get worse after closing several schools, right? Then we will have fewer places to spread the kids out.

What frustrates me is that in Greece Central, school employees never seem to be to blame for anything that goes wrong in the classroom. Over the years, poor student achievement has been blamed on administration (Walts, Keller-Cogan, Achramovitch, Mitchell, etc.), NY State, NCLB, lousy parents who don't care, kids who get free/reduced cost lunches, taxpayers who vote no on budgets ... but it is never ever in any way tied to the teachers.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 7:39, it's time to stop to advocate for a select few and start doing what's right for the district as a whole (all the kids). I am no longer supporting schools of choice either.

Anonymous said...

Well, SCATS, there you go...finger pointing and blaming AGAIN...since you run this blog, which may be a step in the right direction if you use it for good--trying to solve problems by working TOGETHER with parents, teachers, community members, students, etc...--rather than evil--pitting people against each other.

SCATS said...

To 6:07PM ~~ ABSOLUTELY!! And I will continue to point out the exact SAME thing until I hear that just MAYBE teachers are in some way tied to poor student performance in Greece.

If you get a bad steak at Outback Steakhouse, do you send it back to the cook in the kitchen, or do you tell the rest of the customers dining in that the cow slaughtered in Texas ruined your meal?

Charlie Hubbard said...

To 6:07
You can bob and weave and try to put a different shade of lipstick on that pig and of course blame others - it always comes down to one word C-O-N-T-R-A-C-T-S

Worthless give-away do-nothing contracts.
For the 47th time the Audit by the state Comtroller 2008 addressed this suggesting when a new contract is approved by the board the 'benefit to the district' should be identified - it has yet to happen.

Accountability does NOT exist.

No relationship between 'cost' and 'quality'.

Of course just as big a problem are people like yourself who will not admit 'where the problems are' - just point fingers at those who 'will' talk about the problems.

chubbard005@rochester.rr.com

Anonymous said...

SCATS plays devil's advocate to get us thinking about different perspectives, if you do not like what the blog says, then why visit at all? Ahhhh, it must be the curiosity (anonymously)... and SCATS blog is a bit adfictive, like Angry Birds! Of course, if our district and township wasn't so backwards and scandalous, there would be no need for SCATS to have a blog! ;)

SCATS said...

To 9:54PM ~~ Thanks for the "kind" words! lol

I'd love NOTHING MORE than to have no reason or topic to BLOG about. If the BOE and Town Board ever became truly functional, my job would be done ;)

Anonymous said...

I understand the classroom issue at Odyssey, but i remember last year Apollo had a scare when a stair well ceiling fell..hmm. Greece central can you say students are safe? Or Keeping Apollo open just because your big shots on the Third floor making too much money? Closing schools have not addressed employees fear's. Being a sub cleaner for over a year and a half and work 8 hours a day 40 hours a week and sub cleaner hired after me got hired most had relations to to Chris Luther,etc. What about are jobs! My guess being let go or stuck being as sub cleaners making a mere $7.95 a hour. Answers would help.

SCATS said...

To 2:04PM ~~ Wasn't the falling asbestos/ceiling due to other construction that was going on at the time?

Anonymous said...

TO:SCATS said... Wasn't the falling asbestos/ceiling due to other construction that was going on at the time?

1/16/2012 2:43 PM
I believe so but most of Greece schools have it but it is safe if it's left alone. Not sure Why or what made the Ceiling to fall but it did put students and employees at risk. It was The B shift Custodian who taped up the doors to keep the dust contained. Can they say this wont happen again at Apollo..after all that school needs a lot of work.

But back to my main Post and concern..ARE JOBS! Are we slaves to September then get the Axe. If Money is such a issue, There are two many people making To much money and take a look at some B AND G peopleride around all day!

Anonymous said...

Geez, the scariest thing I thought that took place at Apollo was the kid w/ the knife threatening other students last year or the year before. That or the daily fist fights. Yep, I think the Odyssey kids will do just fine over there!