Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Parent's Plea For Advice ...


Anonymous said...

this might be a loaded question, but I am actually looking for some advice.
I have a soon to be 6th grader and they sent a letter asking which school we would select, if available.

Is there any difference?
I can't relocate and private school is not an option.
Really looking for some help from the community.    10/26/2012 9:08 PM


SCATS ~~ My choice would be Odyssey if only because I think that school's principal keeps somewhat more order in the building which results in less uproar, fewer fights, etc. By all means AVOID OLYMPIA!

Other input is welcomed, but PLEASE keep it helpful, folks.
 

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't quite understand this. A 'soon to be 6th grader'? So this letter arrived in the summer? Why is he/she just trying to decide which school now, almost 2 months into the school year? And I know there is a list on the GCSD website that tells you which school your child will attend depending on address. something doesnt add up here.

Anonymous said...

the advise from Scats is probably your best option as it stands now. However, the present principal at that school has indicted to some that she is considering retirement at the end of this year. If that happens, your choices are a toss up in so many words
Unfortunately, your best option would be to relocate if possible to a higher performing district. Even home schooling would be a better option than attending any sixth grade in Greece..I wish I could comfort you but realities are what they are. I wish you well.

SCATS said...

To 1:25PM ~~ I'm sure they are talking about for next school year. I was looking for that list you mentioned & can't find it. A link please? Thank you!

To 2:55PM ~~ Even if Odyssey's principal leaves, there's SOME hope that the fact that District Offices remain upstairs that the lower levels MIGHT retain some measure of civility over the other schools. Olympia is too much like sending your kid to the city to even be considered, imho. I agree about either moving out or opting for some other alternative. Sadly, GCSD is in a turmoil that is unlikely to be resolved any time soon ... if ever.

Anonymous said...

http://www.greece.k12.ny.us/district.cfm?subpage=34648

Anonymous said...

That never happened when Apollo was located on I and 2 they simply locked the doors to keep the inmates from reaching the third floor. I know, I was there.Total chaos was the order of the day.What gives you reason to believe that things will be any different next year when today's 6th graders become 7th graders and a new crop of dandies from the new attendance zone arrive as 6th graders And so on and on it goes, year after year until today's crop of scholars become seniors hopefully minus the drop out trouble makers. This school along with rest in Greece will be a shadows of what used to be. It's inevitable.

Anonymous said...

To 1:25 It is for next year. We got the letter too.

SCATS said...

To 3:52PM ~~ Thank you.

To 5:48PM ~~ The principal back then appeared to think it was amusing to watch adolescents behave like stampeding wildebeast. This one finds humor in other things, like disregarding BOE policy.

Anonymous said...

Gotta say, I've been happy with Athena (middle/high). Sure, lots goes on there that you don't want your child involved in, but the place is large enough that your children can stay safe and get a good education by choosing all of the accelerated curriculum offerings.

Big schools have enough students who want to learn that they can form a class within the larger class who take the same courses, support each other, and succeed together.

Anonymous said...

The Odyssey principal (aka The Great Wizard Of Oz) knows that the curtain around her and her "special approach to education" is raising quickly. She will be out of here within a year. Being unable to produce the (expected) Odyssey results with a new population proves what everyone knew about Odyssey all along. She should be ashamed that she is, in part, to blame for the fact that sixth graders are walking into the zoo next year. It was her and her disciples (along with a spineless BOE) that kept this school of choice crap going for as long as it has.

SCATS said...

To 7:20AM ~~ While I understand what you mean, if I had the CHOICE to avoid that altogether, I certainly would. Wouldn't you?

To 7:22AM ~~ Yup, agreed!

Anonymous said...

7;22 no reason all schools could not be like schools of choice if we got rid of the 5 to 10% who cause problems and don't care about learning and put them in a special school. It would take leadership.

SCATS said...

To 10:19AM ~~ Actually, the number is somewhat larger and it would take RIDDING GCSD OF THOSE WHO ARE STEALING SERVICES. Too many are coming here from other places and don't care the trouble their kids cause.

Anonymous said...

10:19, attend a school function or PTA meeting at Pinebrook sometime, and then attend one a Longridge. Longridge is not made up entirely of the 5-10% you referenced, so why such a difference in family involvement? The only reason that schools of choice were ever more successful than neighborhood schools was: a) families needed to be involved/informed enough to put their kids on a list and b) they had the ability to hand select their students via a secret "lottery". Mean while families who were unable to get their kids into these better schools were left in neighborhood school surrounded by an increased percentage of idiots.

Anonymous said...

Odyssey has plenty of problems this year. The former Apollo students are threatening the new students on a daily basis. Parents have complained however the principal brushes them off. The way she ran the former Odyssey no longer can apply to this new population she has. My son although only in 8th grade tells me it is nothing like it used to be. The lunch room is out of control. I am a little confused over what I have encountered when picking him up early one day for an appointment. Students were walking off of school property free as can be. It was much too early for Seniors leaving for early dismissal. When I returned to drop him back off , yes it was a very quick appointment around the corner and saw the same group of four students walking back to school with Tim horton cups in tow. I signed him back in and was happy to hear a security guard inquire as to what they were doing . I was shocked to hear them say that they needed a pick me up break and they were allowed to and just kept on walking. The gentleman in the booth must have saw the look of confusion on my face and just shrugged his shoulders and said different rules here I guess. I asked later on at home what was up with this and was told kids are allowed to leave school and come back. I am not claiming to be well versed in other high school rules but I find it hard to believe that this behavior is allowed at Olympia or Athena. Am I so far out of touch with the times that students are allowed to come and go if they feel like it. So who is held responsible if my child decides he needs a break and leaves for a bit and he does something bad while on his stroll, am I as a parent ? Or is the school since when I send my child to school in the morning I expect that the school is responsible as to his where abouts. I am a little concerned about different rules at each school. It send a very confusing message to the students. Why are so many things allowed at one but not tolerated without consequences at others? I am seriously considering a private school next year.

SCATS said...

To 6:33PM ~~ Aha! So it's NOT my imagination that there's a lot of kids wandering around the Mt. Read/Maiden Ln. area during the middle of the school day. I've seen some in Wegmans and wondered why ...

If you go the private school route, you might be surprised by the number of former GCSD students/parents you cross paths with there. People ARE LEAVING GCSD by the droves, even DURING the school year now. You'll be in good company.

Anonymous said...

Actually, SCATS, we had the choice (4 kids, all Athena, never tried to get them into Odyssey). We looked at the high-end offerings at Athena (AP) and the high end offerings at Odyssey (IB) and chose what we felt was the tougher curriculum. So far, we've been satisfied with the results (all kids successfully placed in most-selective colleges, and more-or-less prepared for the level of competition).

My advice, as of a few years ago when we looked into this: if your child is not going to exceed the level of his/her surroundings, then choose Odyssey, to get the benefit of a higher standard of mediocrity (i.e. a higher level of "typical"). But if your child is going to go as far as the opportunities allow, then go for Athena, because there is more room at the top (more AP-level offerings and students).

Anonymous said...

I am surprized you did not know that the kids run the schools now.

Anonymous said...

the comment saying "avoid Olympia" is actually an ignorant comment. Olympia has the highest Regents scores in the Greece Central School District. Arcadia had more fights in the 2011-2012 school year than Olympia did in the 2011-2012 school year. Also, Athena has the biggest drug problem out of all 4 Greece middle/high schools. Many kids went to their fall pep rally intoxicated-is that the environment you want your chile to be in? Olympia or Odessey are your best choices.

SCATS said...

To 5:44AM ~~ I'm not sure if you REALLY "had the choice" since that was very much up to whether or not OA had the space, right? As far as AP offerings go, a student can only handle a certain number of classes at a time. I know some students have come out of OA with around 25 or so credits for college on the books. AP isn't and shouldn't be the only consideration. These days, student safety should be at the top of the list too ... imho.

To 9:36AM ~~ My comment isn't "ignorant" because it's based upon MANY YEARS of knowledge about what transpires in that building, not just one ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi SCATS!

Of course we had a choice... we chose not to even try for Odyssey, as we felt it had less to offer at the high end. That was our reasoning, we're happy with the results, and we recommend the same reasoning to others.

Go with Athena if you're going farther than the crowd, but go to Odyssey if you're just going along with the crowd that surrounds you.

Athena is safe, no worries, unless your kid seeks out trouble. But kids who are there to learn are also safe there.

SCATS said...

To 8:26AM ~~ I'm just not getting what you think Athena offers "at the high end" unless you have/had kids in Show Choir under Ranaletta's watch. More AP isn't better. It's just more. Odyssey has IB, which the other schools don't. So in my mind, maybe it comes down to AP vs IB.

Anonymous said...

AP is much more widely accepted for credits by colleges. I too had to make the choice for my kids - AP vs IB. I chose AP, it is more flexible, has more options of classes and you don't have to take all the classes to get a special diploma. Less than 20 students graduate from Odyssey with an IB diploma each year. A few have some scattered IB courses but as a few of my recently graduated daughters friends found out, they were not accepted at their college of choice.
As for the "open campus" at Odyssey just letting kids leave is a BAD idea. If they are actually doing this it should be stopped. Those kids get into trouble or get hurt, the district will pay, just check out a little ed. law if you don't believe me.

Anonymous said...

I graduated from OA, went through the IB program and took all of the AP courses available. I ended up going into my freshman year of college with 21 credits. I had lots of friends who went to Athena and there's nothing wrong with the school. I'm just confused about the one poster who consistently refers to Athena as the "high-end" school. It always seemed, to me at least, that all 4 schools had their fair share of high achievers and bottom feeders.