Friday, February 19, 2010

SO ANGRY I COULD SPIT!

The snake is meant as a WARNING....I AM F-ING PISSED OFF AND I NEED TO VENT!

Last Tuesday, February 16, a parent happened to find out that a school board meeting was going to happen on Wednesday to discuss getting rid of year-round school. None of us (community, parents, administrators or teachers) that are in year-round education were even informed. How fair is that?!? Right away we are on the defensive and wondering what they are trying to pull on us.

The governing body at our school, IC (Instructional Council), got together, VERY QUICKLY AND AT THE LAST MINUTE, and put together the following letter, which they then read to the board on Wednesday. They were each given only 2 minutes to speak, so it took 4 of them to read the entire letter. One school board member even had the balls to say, "If your school is so concerned about this, why aren't more people here?" We were very professional and the response was that we didn't want to overwhelm them and that we wanted to present the facts. (UNCENSORED VERSION: BECAUSE YOU A--HOLES TRIED TO HIDE IT AND DIDN'T F---ING TELL US! D---WAD!) The last page of figures came from the districts own budget office and half the board didn't even have this information. It's amazing what little the guys in charge know about what the people they are over actually have to work with. Read below.....(Sorry it's so small, but the pictures won't load if it's too big. Click on them and they should get bigger.)

We were told that the vote we took 2 years ago would leave us as year round for 5 years.

Research was then cited:

* year round education have the biggest impact on low income and at risk students (we have 81% second language learners and 100% free lunch).
* President Obama's administration is calling for extended school year and extended day
* Florida's Marion County saved $12 million by switching to year round school.
* California's Oxnard School District saved $20 million by switching.
* California Department of Education found that academic achievement scores improved at year round schools and the loss of retention over the long summer is minimized.

Year round schools can have remediation during the intersessions that occur throughout the year instead of waiting until the school year is over to have summer school.

Not to mention less teacher and student burn out....that that's beside the point because all they care about is the money...sorry I brought it up.....MOVING ON.....


Concerns:

* We are the largest year round school, with 900 students. The next closest is around 700 and all the others are 500 or less.
* Our school facilities CANNOT accommodate all 900 student at once (even though we just finished adding a wing of 8 more classrooms).
* Six portable buildings were removed this past fall, leaving us with six less classrooms.
* Student safety with traffic is an ongoing concern.
* Our cafeteria was built for 210 students at a time. We start serving lunch at 10:10 a.m. and finish at 12:30 p.m. An additional 240 students on campus would make it impossible to feed all our students by the end of the day at 2:00 p.m.
* The health office says that her data indicates that with all 900 students on campus, the injuries increase from 44 students to 88 students and injuries, due to violence, increase from 3 to 17 incidents.
* This year we have 4 large buses and one Special Education bus (which just barely fit in the pick up area). We would need an additional 4 buses to accommodate the additional students.

This last page is the "cost of switching page," which the board was clueless on.

The final numbers at the bottom show that it will cost over twice as much to switch us, as it will to keep us year round. Yah, great cost cutting measures. WHO'S BRAIN CHILD WAS THIS!

The other WAMMY, not mentioned in the letter, is that if we do switch from year round to a traditional schedule, we can't "double-dip" (because the contracts would overlap) so the staff, that chooses to stay, would not get paid in July AT ALL and we would have to pay for our benefits (insurance etc.) out of our own pockets. Now that's a great way to get employee loyalty, BUTTHEADS. Are any of them going to take pay cuts? Are they going to call the morgage company for me and explain why I can't pay in July? Of course not! But I'm just expected to SUCK IT UP and continue on...DON'T MAKE WAVES....BE FLEXIBLE.....A TEAM PLAYER....well, if you're not happy you could just find another job, right!? F--- YOU!

So, after reading the letter, ONE board member (thank you very much) questioned why they didn't have this information and asked us to come back on Tuesday, February 23, to speak again. This is the same night that they will vote and make their final decision. So, in fact....this all may be for nothing. Personally, I think that their minds are made up and they don't have the slightest intention of even considering letting us continue as year round. It's just f---ing lip service.

But guess what, you certainly will hear us when we don't vote you in again, Mr. Board Member! So, enjoy your power now, because "working to contract" (For those not in education, that means I ONLY work in my contracted hours and I take NOTHING home.) is looking better and better. Any parents that want to know why, I'll send your way and you can explain it to them. And the community wonders why teachers are so disgruntled!?!

How many more years do I have before I can retire?

NOTE: I've calmed down some in the last 24 hours. I wanted to add that I have worked at this school for 20 of the 22 years it has been around and I love it. There are a few others that have worked there forever too...because they love it. I drive 22 miles just to teach there, when I have 5 schools within a 2-10 mile radius of my house. YEAR ROUND DOES WORK!

4 comments:

Annie said...

Your job politics suck as much as mine do! We need less people governing and more people doing. Keep it up. Be the voice those kids need!

Kris said...

I'm sorry...that's so frustrating. I hope that you guys FILL THE ROOM of teachers, parents and community members on the 23rd to make your point. Make their meeting go until MIDNIGHT just giving everyone their 2 minutes to speak about the negative impact of making this change!!! YOU GO, GIRL!!!

household6 said...

I just found your blog by jumping over from Losing the Baby Wait. I'm born and raised in ABQ. A graduate of New Futures... way back when it was across from the old St. Pius. Way back when Winrock was a an actual mall. Gosh is it still a mall.. I digress... This blog post saddened me. You're right, it sounds as if they're just giving lip service. I hope the vote goes well.

Sue said...

I know it is so hard to be thinking about going single track or traditional. Especially when it has been year round for 20 plus years. Ugh! I do know that all admin was informed about the change on or before the 4th and they were supposed to be having a staff meeting that day, next step, do a community vote and then the board meeting was to follow. What I don't know is if they informed admin to when that board meeting was. Ah communication....or lack there of....gotta love it.