Monday, August 27, 2012

Ridiculous School Supply "Requests"

    
I'm disgusted, dismayed, outraged and amazed after scanning through the copious school supply lists posted by Greece Central School District elementary schools! Taken together, I think these lists show a teacher's union that is both out-to-lunch, as well as out-of-control! The examples are plentiful. The ones I list/post are merely a small taste of what parents in this district have to endure so their kids don't miss out on "bonus points, extra credit, check marks" etc. etc. etc. (not to mention injured backs) while hauling loads of office & janitorial supplies, picnic goods and clothing to school. I wonder if SOME of these items should EVER be carried on a school bus!? One school in particular, Brookside, seems to be in desperate need a of a reality check!
  • Three 24 count boxes of #2 pencils ~ parents to sharpen at home ~ for kindergarten! That's 72 pencils for a 5 year old to keep track of during a school year that's approx. 185 days short! Some grade 3-5 schools request 4 boxes for students! Are they eating them?
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste ~ Seriously!?
  • Flushable toilet wipes ~ Exactly WHO is going to be using these ... and where?
  • Napkins, paper plates, paper cups, paper towels ~ Are the kids going to school, or on a year-long picnic?
  • Lysol wipes, Clorox wipes, disinfectant wipes, baby wipes, Wet Wipes ~ Do the ADULTS IN CHARGE know that many of these items have MATERIAL DATA SAFETY SHEETS, which means it's probably NOT a good idea to put them in the hands of 4-10 year olds!?
  • Hand sanitizer ~ It amazes me that a 5 yr. old can't be trusted with a cough drop due to the "drug-free" policy but it's fine to give them something that could blind or poison them!
  • Dish soap & sponges ~ I know Babs wants Greece kids to be "college & career ready" but are they training our tykes to become cafeteria workers?
  • Bulk packages of snacks ~ There's nothing like the carbs/calories in pretzels, goldfish, etc. to supplement a GCSD lunch of "Supreme Nachos" or "Stuffed Cheese Crunchers!" (Those are taken directly from the K-5 Sept. lunch menu posted online ;)
  • A complete change of clothes, including underwear & socks, gym shoes, art smocks ... ~ Sounds like a camping trip, maybe? But then some schools specifically state that book bags should NOT have wheels! I guess it will help develop those "large" muscle groups, if it doesn't injure their spine hauling it around!
  • Aleene's Original Tacky Glue ~ DYSFUNCTIONAL request!! Parents shouldn't have to go to specific stores (craft stores) to buy specifically named/branded products. Speaking of "tacky" ...
  • $5 "Cash Only Donation" for Pre-K students, $15 "Cash Only Donation" for K-5 students at Holmes Rd. School ~ I admit I'm a bit torn over this request. On the one hand, it's SO MUCH EASIER forking over some cash and not having to hunt around a 5-county area locating an orange 3-ring binder to satisfy some crazed teacher with OCD. On the other hand, it makes me wonder several things: 1 - IS THIS LEGAL? Would NYSED approve? I mean we are supposed to be providing a "FREE public education"!; 2 - Will my 5 yr. old be safe carrying $15 cash to school on the bus when we know nobody will save him from the bullies?; 3 - What if my child loses the money?; 4 - Can I deduct this "donation" from my taxes?; 5 - Will teacher provide me with an itemized receipt so I know what she bought for MY child?;  6 -  Does this mean my child will have EVERYTHING they need to complete work at school this year without having to share, or worry about running out?;  7 - Since it's a "donation" ~ which implies I can CHOOSE TO GIVE, OR NOT ~ can I just ignore the request without repercussion to my kid?; 8 - And Finally ... If Holmes Rd can supply Pre-K to grade 2 students with everything they need for $15/child or less, please share HOW THEY DO IT with Greece parents ... and schools like Brookside!
AT THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR, SOMEONE SHOULD DO AN UNANNOUNCED RANDOM INSPECTION OF TEACHER SUPPLY CLOSETS TO SEE HOW MANY LEFTOVERS REMAIN!

After a quick glance, middle school supply lists appeared to be much less demanding, despite the cost of providing calculators, jump drives and related gear. Maybe those teachers know parents have had enough of this nonsense by the time their kids reach 6th grade.
    
 

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just went thru a copy of the GTA contract. I found nothing in it to suggest that the teachers have the right to require students to bring any of these articles to their respective class rooms.
However, it has been DISTRICT policy that has been taking place since the beginning of the Walts era that some sundry items be provided by parents at the start of the school year.
This policy was put into place so that Walts could cut building appropriations by 5 pct each year so that he could add administrators and insulators to deal with problems he did not think he should have to involve himself.
To make up the obvious lack of funds, he conned the local Chamber of Commerce into the formation of the Greece Central Foundation made up of local business people whose job it was to solicit funds to provide to the district classroom items not contained in yearly building by building allotments.
Upon request, the Foundation , would supply needed supplies by way of donation to the district. The head of this not for profit foundation, a prominant local businessman, was a &60,000 / yr employee of the district, had an office on the third floor, and his sole responsibility was raising money for Walts' " Slush Fund".
That position and individule was eliminated in '06 by Dr Kehoe along with 40 more in needed positions much to the chagrin of the C of C and the foundation . This led to the Floundering of the foundation and it's effectiveness as a supplemental source of revenue for the district .
It is true that some teachers needing these supplies, will on occasion specify particular types of these items that they consider necessary to instruct their students.
FYI Iam not a teacher , but I feel it is patently unfair to blame the teachers or their union for what amounts to nothing more than additional taxation by the District on the parents of our students who in most instances shell out in excess of$ 200 per student / yr.

SCATS said...

To 3:08PM ~~ You are not well-informed, but then most union supporters are not! I can assure you that teacher "requests" for things like paper towels & tissues PRE-DATE Walts' hiring by many years! Specifying brands has also been an ongoing issue. I notice you completely FAILED to deal with any possible safety issues related to putting some of these items in the hands of very young children ON A SCHOOL BUS! You also failed to address the practice (well known in Greece Central ... it's called "blackmail") of children receiving credit/grades for bringing in all wish list items.

Your do realize how transparent you've made yourself, right??

Anonymous said...

SCATS, you do realize how transparent you've made yourself, right?

For your own good, please take your blood pressure medication.

SCATS said...

To 4:48PM ~~ Once again, you've got it all wrong. I take NO meds :)

Anonymous said...

I am a retired GCSD teacher. I would tell you that myself and fellow teachers would also spend close to $300.00 out of our own pocket to provide necessary teaching tools for our students that were not provided by the administration. And no, we were not reimbursed. If you claim to know everything about past practices, you surely have to know this to be true. If not, consider this a learning a learning experience for you and perhaps others who look in on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Easy solution - MOVE

SCATS said...

To 7:25PM ~~ It is my belief that the silence over the years by teachers such as yourself has led us to where we are now. It is WRONG, despite "past practices" ... and using the dysfunction that teachers have quietly tolerated as the excuse for blackmailing parents into spending more every year is equally wrong. To be honest, I'm shocked by the COPIOUS AMOUNTS some of the individual teachers requested! Expecting students to bring in office supplies AND janitorial supplies AND paper products and even dry erase markers is ridiculous! In fact, if EVERY child showed up with what was on some lists, there would be NO ROOM for the children in those classrooms. I'm still waiting to hear why some students need to bring toothbrushes, toothpaste, flushable toilet wipes.

To 7:26PM ~~ No thanks. I've dug my heels in & decided to stick around to try to get some of these problems fixed :) But please, feel free to move yourself, if you don't like my attempts at change ;)

Anonymous said...

Aw that's nothing on that list.

Shoot not that long back our little girl Sunfire brought a letter home from the kindergarten & First Grade teachers asking for supplies.

They figured since I drive for the construction company I can give em scaffold and form jacks to set up in their rooms just in case the wall collapses. They even offered to promote Sunfire to First Grade if I provided the material.

Anonymous said...

Scats you are welcome to stick around for along as you wish. But do really believe that by way of this blog site, you have the power to get things fixed.? I don't think so. I know you think some administrators, Hieden, look in but I don't think they give this site much in the way of credibility. True, but they would remiss if they didn't check in on your conversations. I know I know you are going to fire back with your usual list of changes that you believed happened because of this small talking site. Spare us please, We've all seen that self serving list before.Most of them if not all were going to happen any way regardless of your position as one volunteer taxpayer using this site as a tonic to flatter your ever growing ego that appeals mostly to same thinking Individules.
Meaningful change will only come in the form of all stakeholders taking action, get involved, run for the school board and demand the changes necessary to put the train back on its tracks. Hidding behind the wall of anonymity is not going to get it done.

Anonymous said...

Besides the ridiculous supply lists - let's talk about the fact that GCSD just sent out a robo call suggesting bus passes will be sent out Tuesday 9/4 - 2 days before school starts!!! Doesn't leave much time from problem-solving not to mention for parents who need to know bus times in order to decide wether before or after school care is needed. Yet parents are asked to tell transportation of their daycare plans for the fall in APRIL!!!

SCATS said...

To 2:13PM ~~ I have MANY TIMES WITNESSED changes made as soon as things were reported on this BLOG. In fact, this BLOG often gets the story out first ;) Take today for example. SCATS was the FIRST to make the connection to the "Wife Swap" reality TV star. Other media followed with coverage of that tonight. In fact, I think this BLOG is hated for 2 reasons: 1 - the BLOG serves as a historical reference source with everything archived and 2 - what's reported here & via FB by SCATS is getting followed up more frequently by other media. More scrutiny and a written record of it all makes the closed, clubby & corrupt nervous.

To 5:08PM ~~ It will be interesting to see if this gets addressed at tonight's BOE meeting.

Anonymous said...

Things should go back to the basics! The kids can blow their nose on their sleeves. If it doesn't come from the parents and doesn't come from the district- well then, who is supposed to supply these items. Oh yeah- these overpaid, underworked teachers. Did it occur to anyone that primary teachers ask for a change of clothes because sometimes there are accidents. Does anyone really think that teachers are asking for a surplus of glue sticks or anything else to ebay them and make a profit? This whole suppy talk is ridiculous! The child is getting education, socialization and much more and it you spend $50 on supplies I would think that would be adequate.

SCATS said...

To 12:13AM ~~ There's a HUGE gap between asking parents to send in a box of pencil and asking them to send in several boxes, PLUS loads of other office supplies, PLUS cleaning supplies, PLUS paper goods for a picnic (napkins, plates, cups, bulk pkgs. of snacks, etc.). I'm SURE a number of the lists I saw posted are well in excess of $50. Besides, I'm still waiting to hear WHY a 5 yr. old needs 72 sharpened pencils on the first day of school??

Anonymous said...

Before you get too full of YOUSELF on the supply situation, I believe the district was reacting to an overwelming number of phone calls from parents who where upset over the list of items. many members of my church group with kids in school told us they also called. Some of them told us they told who ever they talked to that they had no intention of doing it. They were told it was their decision to make if that was their position.

SCATS said...

To 1:04PM ~~ Before you fall off your horse, let me help you down (PUSH!) :)

School supply headaches have been the subject of ongoing discussions on both the BLOG & my Facebook page ... almost since school let out in June!

Time after time, meeting after meeting, many of the things that get brought out on this BLOG get addressed, almost like magic. Maybe DO reads my mind lol

Anonymous said...

Do you guys ever consider whose class supply list you are viewing? Change of clothes toothpaste, and toothbrush are most likely for a Special Education class.

SCATS said...

To 10:03PM ~~ The change of clothes appeared on several lists, not just one. Why would a special ed student have to brush his teeth at school when others don't?