Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Last week I went on a tirade....... Since that time, it has become CRYSTAL CLEAR that what we, as parents and teachers, want, feel and know, MEANS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! One board member even said, "These schools are under the assumption that they have a say in these decisions. We need to clarify that they do not." It's a good thing this board member says that this is his last year, because he just sealed his fate.

There was an article published on February 20, School Won't Hold All Pupils, Teachers Say.

APS Associate Superintendent Raquel Reedy said Binford's school is large enough for its neighborhood children. Incoming transfers will not be allowed, so the school will have enough space, she said. APS records show that 679 of the 887 students list an address in the school's attendance areas, and the building's capacity is 847. Reedy said the school can better schedule its lunches, such as cycling in each grade every 15 minutes, to maximize use of the cafeteria, which has a capacity of 210 people.
First of all, we have 900 students on our roll and only 17 are out of district transfers. Why do they think we have so many more? At least 1/2 of those are teacher's kids, so if they don't allow those transfers, then the (great) teachers will leave also.

Second, Ms. Reedy has never been here to see the chaos at lunch time. If she had she would know that we do cycle in our kids every 15 minutes or at least try to. We start at 10:10 (legally you can't serve lunch before 10:00 a.m.) and the last group doesn't go in until 12:00. The only reason we are done at 12:00 is because at any given time 150-200 children are on vacation. Next, year it's looking like finishing closer to 1:00 or 1:30 (We go home at 2:00.). Cycling children through every 15 minutes actually means they get less then 15 minutes to eat. Also, if any teacher is early or late by the least little time, then the line gets severely backed up.

Over the weekend our IC (Instructional Council) put together a letter for the parents and then on Monday a parent meeting was held. We had one meeting at 2:40, which was attended by two assistant superintendents and another meeting at 6 p.m., which a board member attended. We explained to the parents all that had gone on over the past week. Parents and teachers voiced their concerns and they were given plenty of "lip service," but the parents soon realized what we were up against; a mountain of bureaucratic bull-@#$%!

One teacher asked about the loss of pay during the summer, if we are made to switch. His answer, "We'll work with you on that." The teacher then said, "We're all tired of being told this. We need answers. I'm a single woman, living on my own. Are you going to pay my mortgage?" We still haven't got an answer on this!

Those in positions of power are so far removed from reality that they make decisions without truly understanding the impact it will have on those they are over, who have to implement what they mandate.

Have you ever seen the CBS show UNDERCOVER BOSS? The CEO of a company (Hooters, 7-11, Waste Management) goes undercover in his own company, so he can see how things REALLY run and what he can do to improve things and how the decisions he has made affect people.

This is what the school board and superintendents need to do. Can you imagine all they would learn? BOTH GOOD AND BAD!

The board meeting, that I talked about last week, was last night. Over 30 staff members and parents attended and NOT a single one was allowed to speak. It was very unorganized and it was apparent that they had no idea what they were doing. Some members had to ask, repeatedly, what exactly they were voting on. One board member would ask a question and it would never be answered. They still insisted that they would save money by having us all be on the same schedule and that THERE WOULDN'T BE ANY OVERCROWDING! They are already planning on adding on to our cafeteria (Yah, I'll be 107 years old by the time that project is done.). They didn't speak at all to the research that says that year round schools have the biggest positive effect on low income and at risk students.

Two of the superintendents were put in charge of deciding on the calendar for next year and they are still "looking into" the pay issue.

Do all schools need to be cut from the same cloth for them to be successful? Not all programs work for all kids, but if a program is working, why are you cutting it?

So, we know we won't be year round, but we have no answers as to how that will affect us financially and how that will affect our overcrowding. We don't know when our school year will start and we don't know what hours we will be working either.

So, I know I am going to Vegas in July, but beyond that I can't make any plans for next year because my life is just....

........UP IN THE AIR!

I just hope that one of these doesn't come along while they are slowly making all these decisions for us!


Connie said...

All I can say is DO NOT GO QUIETLY! Write to the newspaper Op/Ed, send letters home with the kids, and make sure everyone knows your position and the data that you have to support it.

Kris said...

Oh, I'm so sorry!!! Hopefully, reason will reign (one can pray it does!) and there is enough media attention that they back off. But, I'm with you...I love the new show and I think it is creating a demand from the general public to ensure those leading know what the $&#^ they are doing!