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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

District 15 'At-Risk' Programming: Dysfunction or Dissembling?

The Jewish Star has some very interesting reporting on SD 15 programs that may be going underutilized:
Homework centers for elementary school students and a weekend Regents academy were recently re-instituted in District 15, as part of ongoing efforts to improve student performance. Both programs are intended to shore up falling test scores in the district. But Lawrence school board members say they are frustrated by the failure of school officials to provide hard data on how many students are participating in those voluntary programs and what steps are being taken to improve attendance.
The program is open to students who are "at risk" academically, however, according to the article, there has been no effort made by the district to gauge the results of these programs - or even their attendance levels. The programs are also completely voluntary:
“We cannot force students to go,” [assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction Dr. Vicki] Karant said. “We cannot mandate that the families make their children go to these things. We can only offer them. It’s not like if you are ‘at risk’ you have to serve extra time after school. It’s not like that. We do heavy encouraging for students to partake in these programs. We are not allowed to force children into this program. We simply make it available for them.”
Some board members express that this approach may not be enough:
“What does that mean?,” [board member Michael] Hattan wondered. “Those students have been identified and we should find every way, shape and form to get them in. It’s not a question of them having choices. Those choices are reserved for students who are exceeding in their academic studies. Those who are not, we want to identify them and find ways to get them participating in programs that are going to improve their outcomes. We’ve been hearing about good starts to programs for years and we haven’t improved our outcomes.”

Sussman agreed that the administration doesn’t have the answers the school board is looking for. “We need to make sure that the ‘at risk’ children are given the help they need and the answer we want, rather than ‘they are being encouraged,’ is that they are attending en masse, and we haven’t gotten that response.”

“That is a major problem,” Hattan said. “The questions we want to ask as a board are ‘how many students attended, what process was used to reach out to the ‘at risk’ population and how did you measure its success?’ Of the, let’s say, 200 students failing English, what effort was made to get these students to participate in this program? Where is that attendance record? How many students showed up? And what was the result of this program?’”
These are all very good questions, and there don't seem to be any good answers to them. There are a few issues raised here.

First, is it standard practice to encourage, rather than require, at risk students to attend special courses that are designed to help them? What happens in other districts? Anyone have any information on that? Is it a legal issue?

Second, as a taxpaying resident of this district, I would have hoped to have seen some indication that programs financed using my tax dollars are being properly utilized. Instead, this report seems to indicate that not only are there no hard numbers regarding attendance levels for these programs, there is also no hard data regarding the program's success when it comes to the students that actually do attend. Does anyone else here find that to be a bit disheartening? Well, anyone besides Mayer Fertig, editor of the Jewish Star, who writes in an editorial:
The newest of first-year teachers knows how to take attendance. In some classrooms that responsibility is even handed off to a student monitor. So, how is that taking attendance seems to have become a stumbling block of sorts for District 15 officials responsible for improving the performance of ‘at-risk’ students?

It would seem to be an unlikely problem - apparently not knowing how many students were participating in an official school program. The exact number of students showing up to a school event in a school building would seem to be information which
would be prudent to collect for any number of reasons, including say, making sure all were accounted for following an evacuation for one reason or another.

However, when we began working on what seemed to be a straightforward story about a new student performance initiative being pondered by the school board, something else altogether began to emerge.

Hundreds of students in the Lawrence Public School district are classified as ‘failing’ or within striking distance of failure. When a Regents prep course was given at Lawrence High School over several weekends, or when homework help is offered at the middle school or an elementary school, it would seem school officials are failing to track as basic a statistic as ‘how many children showed up?’

The explanation offered by officials is that students cannot be forced to attend remedial programs. That’s fine, although we would advocate creative thinking to legally work around that restriction. But, in any event, shouldn’t school officials at least take attendance?

The more disturbing possibility, however, would tend to supercede a failure to take attendance. That is the possibility that the district has the stats the school board members would like to see - but has decided, for whatever reason, to not share. That would be far more disturbing, of course.

For the sake of civil discussion, though, let’s assume for now that this matter represents a bureaucratic glitch, and let’s see it get fixed. Soon. Or, perhaps student monitors should be appointed. They’ll get it done.
To echo Mayer Fertig: Get it done.

79 Comments:

Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

This story is every bit as hilarious as aggravating. It seems to have become official policy of the District 15 educational establishment to give off the impression that it's the inmates running the asylum.

12:35 AM  
Blogger queeniesmom said...

In answer to your question how other districts handle this - the one that I teach in (LI) at the HS level if you fail a quarter you are assigned mandatory extra help. Attendance is taken, cut slips are filled out. they are handed in to the dean, one section is mailed home and disciplinary action is taken.School policy is stated in the handbook and school code so there are no grey areas. this may be the problem in your district, if it is not stated clearly then a student can not be penalized for not attending.
at the elementary/middle school level HW help and academic intervention is offered after/before school depending on the school. Parents meet with the guidance or other school staff and agree to send their child for a set period of time. By law a district must show what interventions they have provided and given to the child before spec. ed services are considered. It is made very clear to the parents that they need to avail themselves of these services before any other service can/will be considered.

1:00 AM  
Blogger keithninety said...

The next time someone says that the current board, with the Orthodox majority, isn't doing enough for the public schools, they should pipe down. Its clear that the Board is trying to help the ps kids but are getting stonewalled.

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Stonewalled" AKA Ditzsimmons & Karant

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Community,

After reading this and other postings I have come to numerous conclusions.

1. Very few people actually care about any of OUR children. It is apparent by the demands and requests that have been made.

2.Although I find it nice these articles are written, I think it would be even nicer if the paper received the correct information.

For those who attended the board meeting (wife) it was explained to the community how we end up on these lists. Perhaps the newspapers can call Dr. Karant, and get the "truth" on how are students are really doing.
Instead of printing inflamitory articles. Did the newspaper discuss the parent who begged the board for a phone system that worked, her child being medically frail. Only to have Murray Foreman smirk and roll his eyes. Everyone else seemed to be polite and respectful, but Mr. Foreman. I guess he feels its funny, or when one of our finest students excepted early decison to a very good school editor of our paper, tells the story about a child passing out in the High School and the classroom phone did not work, Mr Foreman thouth that was comical as well. Did we miss the joke?? How pathetic, This board made the phone system and emergency, and decided to fix it after this poor woman flipped out, Your right this board is doing wonders. Better education vs our Childrens Life. I only hope the mother who spoke does fild that complain, because as an attorney, I can say, her child's Federal civil rights were violated.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the board voted to spend a half million dollars on a phone system, and now you're criticizing them for not doing enough?

Who ever heard of an emergency expenditure on a phone system?

Maybe there should be an emergency expenditure on a Rolls Royce for our esteemed superintendent?

Even if there was some remote "emergency" rationalization for updated phone technology, is there any justification for spending an unbudgeted half million dollars on it in contingency?

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If anyone's rights were violated at that meeting, it was those of the taxpayers. There has certainly never been a more obscene and absurd "emergency" expenditure in the history of this district.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Attorney, surely you know the difference between accepted and excepted. I certainly hope our finest student does.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Shmilda said...

Half a million on an emergency phone system? Aren't there more than enough cellphones in Five Towns high school classrooms?

If the District 15 board is a ticked as they should be, they ought to drop in on the remedial programs a few times and take a head count for themselves. It's not terribly difficult and it might shock the administration into stopping its stonewalling.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Spirit_of_Lawrence said...

Half million? I heard it's closer to $700k.

I wonder how many kickbacks that figure includes.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

$700,000. Wow. Conservatively estimating the cost of a cell phone at $250 (very generous estimate) and $65 a month for service, in the first year, the school board could have purchased 680 cell phones, with service, instead of a sophisticated emergency phone system.

That would sure beat whatever system they installed.

And if for some reason someone decided that 680 phones was a bit excessive, the board could have saved a bunch of money.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe cell phones do not receive reception in the building or it could be spotty

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those of you who think a phone system is not important or an excessive expense, let us look at the following;

Cell phones do not recieve signals in all the schools

A high school student passed out in class and the phone did not work,

Children in this district are medically frail, a phone system needs to be in place so that when they have a problem an ambulance can be called.

While I appreciate the need for democracy and the right to an opinion I question some of the above comments. I wonder if it was your child how you would feel if school phone did not work Your questioning the need for a phone system. Since I am not sure of the technical backround of all of you, perhaps the explanation of the cost would be helpful. The new systems upkeep will be $7000.00 as 56,000 a year. The system will also be used to intergrate our technology once it is installed. Their has to come a point people where the CHILDREN come first, their safety, education, etc. It is a public school district and the money is for the children in it. All this energy is great, why not write to Spitzer and ask for more money for this district. Asher Mansdorff recently secured a grant for $200,000 to help pay for capital improvement this and an Excel grant is going to pay for this uneccesary system as opposed to our tax dollars Feel free to research your information before you open your mouth.

Who ever heard of an emergency expenditure on a phone system?

It is called NY state law, because of contingency in order to spend any money including the grant money it must be an emergency.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I have to say is shame shame, a bunch of Adults, not wanting a school to have a phone system work. The new phone system VOIP, is what all schools who are replacing phones use. How do some of you sleep?

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Attorney, surely you know the difference between accepted and excepted

Nothing else to do but pick on somone who is actually really interested in the CHILDREN of this district. You must have something else to do with your time.

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its clear that the Board is trying to help the ps kids but are getting stonewalledm

The new board is trying, but I don't see how they are getting stonewalled, is there a conspiracy? Or how bout Murray Foreman smirking while one our finest High School Students is brave enough to stand up for what she believed in? This is a representative? Shame Shame Mr. Foreman, smirking, rolling your eyes? That was a student who is passing, you want to try not to push the family out of town. Everyone else knows how to behave. Perhaps a play skills group at #4 can help you. I heard they do a good job.

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The new systems upkeep will be $7000.00 as 56,000 a year.

Not what that means - it sounds like gibberish.

While it's clearly an effective tactic to link a student passing out to the "emergency" need for a new phone system, there are obviously plenty of alternative corrective measures that can be taken even under the guise of the "emergency expenditure". Surely it does not cost $700k to insure that the nurse will be reachable if a student needs medical attention. How about an intercom connected with the nurse's office?

Here's another idea that should excite our LTA board members: Why don't we pay all our teachers more to become certified in first aid, etc. - that way we can piss away lots of money under the guise of "emergency" and pad our teachers' salaries even more.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not what that means - it sounds like gibberish.


Why don't we pay all our teachers more to become certified in first aid, etc.

I have a better idea why not get board of education vs Allan overturned and then we will have plenty of money. How dare you question a child's motive to stand up and speak. Shame on you. You are exactly what brings a bad name to this district white trash like you.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not what that means - it sounds like gibberish.


Why don't we pay all our teachers more to become certified in first aid, etc.

I have a better idea why not get board of education vs Allan overturned and then we will have plenty of money. How dare you question a child's motive to stand up and speak. Shame on you. You are exactly what brings a bad name to this district white trash like you.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pad our teachers' salaries even more.

Excellent, I think anyone who works in a district where people feel a phone system is not important, class size should be 50, and money well spent is in their pocket, deserves a raise. What a great enviornment to work in. What no free building usage pushes you into a teacher attack, can you not come up with something more original than blaming the teachers.

4:20 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

A VoIP phone system costs $30 a month. Shame Shame the school board didn't do it's homework before geting snookered into spending almost $700,000 for something that costs under $50.

Shame! Shame! Why is it that children in the 5 towns are so medically frail? Maybe the board should feed them money, so they'd feel better.

As for no cell service in the building? Shame! Shame! How does the phone company sleep at night? Especially since they could easily pick up 680 new customers.

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it that children in the 5 towns are so medically frail?

As a mother of one of these children I would like to know as well. Perhaps since you have such a great interest in why my child is so allergic to most foods you could head the research committee.

I do not need the board throwing my kid any money thank you. If you have an interest in how to raise moeny for allergy research call Dr.Sicklick. Until then, don't for one second think that any parent will tolerate you questioning their childs medical problems. You put a kid on a bus evry day wondering if they will come home. Public Private, you have a child allergic to everything the fear you have is real. Until you have any idea what these parents go through you need to keep your mouth shut. Your ignorance is the very thing that fuels hate.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shame! Shame! Why is it that children in the 5 towns are so medically frail? Maybe the board should feed them money, so they'd feel better.

What is the matter with you. Picking on chldren? Sick children? Orthomom, could their really be people who live in this community that are like this?

5:03 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

I'm drowing in alligator tears!

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course, in the 21st century, the schools should have phones that work. I, too, have a child with severe allergies, in a private school that does not have a full time nurse no less, so nobody feels your pain more than I do. But surely you can see that your child is no safer with a $500,000 phone system, than with a $500 one. Nobody is questioning the fact that the phones need to work, we're merely suggesting that in this case, the amount of money spent is not directly proportional to the safety of the students.

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so let's gamble with childrens life and go for the bargain basement telephone system. I mean really what is the cost of a public school childs life? a few cell phones apparently.

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This expenditure has very little to do with the safety the children.

Safety is merely the guise under which certain members of the school board have successfully passed this capital improvement off as an emergency.

By doing so, they have managed to (1) spend more on this project than they would have otherwise gotten away with, (2) advance this project from next year or the following year (when capital improvements will likely occur) to this year and (3) free up capital improvement funds for other projects which cannot be characterized as "emergencies".

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to the alligator tears comment, I can only hope you never have any medical condition with one of your children, you really have no place having children if that is your view on other peoples sick children.

private school that does not have a full time nurse

I find that to be just as scary as a problamatic phone system. I agree that 500,000 is a lot of money, but they still do not have the exact amount on how much it is going to cost. The above blogs are the problem with this district No phone system has been purchased. Let us wait till different systems have been priced. It was declared an emergency to spend money on a phone system, they did not approve a system yet. So before everyone starts yelling about money spent, I think the board who voted unanimously (7-0)to review proposals should be given the chance to do what they were voted in to do, be fiscally responsible. Also, this money is not coming from taxpayer dollars but a state grant, that can only be used for certtain improvements.

One question to the allergy mother. Why is there only a partime nurse? Does the private school your child attend have a medical plan on file? Does your child carry an epi-pen on the bus?

7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Safety is merely the guise under which certain members of the school board have successfully passed this capital improvement off as an emergency.


I think you have it all wrong. For those who actually attend board meetings and don't speculate it was voted on by the whole board. They all had to approve it. And most improtantly, they have not purchased anything yet. This is such a silly argument. If everyone here is so up in arms on district spending. Come to a meeting.

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anon 7:40
"I agree that 500,000 is a lot of money, but they still do not have the exact amount on how much it is going to cost. The above blogs are the problem with this district No phone system has been purchased. Let us wait till different systems have been priced. It was declared an emergency to spend money on a phone system, they did not approve a system yet. So before everyone starts yelling about money spent, I think the board who voted unanimously (7-0)to review proposals should be given the chance to do what they were voted in to do, be fiscally responsible. Also, this money is not coming from taxpayer dollars but a state grant, that can only be used for certtain improvements.

One question to the allergy mother. Why is there only a partime nurse? Does the private school your child attend have a medical plan on file? Does your child carry an epi-pen on the bus?"

OK, if what you're saying about the phone system is true, then yours is one of the most intelligent comments I've ever read on this blog. See? We've found common ground, something we can agree on. The District schools need phones that work, but we don't need to spend excessively on unnecessary bells and whistles. A compromise can be found. Let's try to continue in this spirit.

The reason the private school only has a part time nurse is that that's all BOCES provides. There's some sort of formula they use that provides nursing hours based on the population of the school. The teachers, administrator, and office staff have instructions regarding his allergies. He does not carry an epipen on the bus, there is nobody trained to use it on the bus.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you have it all wrong. For those who actually attend board meetings and don't speculate it was voted on by the whole board. They all had to approve it. And most improtantly, they have not purchased anything yet. This is such a silly argument. If everyone here is so up in arms on district spending. Come to a meeting.

I was at the meeting, and whether or not the whole board voted for it, it is still an absurdly disproportionate response to the "safety" concern.

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there is nobody trained to use it on the bus.

If you use public busing, the bus driver can be trained. The boces figure, does that include contact reactions? What happens if your child has a delayed reaction?

8:55 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"In response to the alligator tears comment, I can only hope you never have any medical condition with one of your children, you really have no place having children if that is your view on other peoples sick children."

May I suggest somewhere to stick your self-righteous tripe? Phony!

9:18 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

By the way, we all know you're the same putz who insisted he was an USDA inspector. And lamented about my poor, poor wife and the travails of living with someone as horrible as me.

Why don't you start collecting bottle caps or stamps? Your blog commenting hobby doesn't seem to be going too well.

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Getting away from the phones for now, and back to remediation. FYI, students and families were told in the past that they were required to attend after school homework centers. However, in reality, the school had no real right to require attendance or any real way to enforce it. The problem, really, is familial apathy and a lack of educational reinforcement in the home. As an educator (and district employee) I grapple with how to help my students excel every day. Unfortunately, rarely does frequent parent contact make much of a difference in student attitude (attendance at extra-help, completion of homework, coming to class with a pen and paper, etc.) or improve poor behavior. The parents you want to speak with are the one's that usually never show up for parent-teacher conferences. I'm not saying that I'm throwing in the towel, nor will I ever do so. But I must say that one of the most frustrating parts of being a teacher today is the prevalence of student apathy and the lack of family support. (I should add, BTW, that I have plenty of wonderful students with involved, supportive parents as well. I'm focusing on the at-risk population, though, in response to your original post.) In all seriousness, if anyone out there has any ideas about how to engage the families of the at-risk students and convince them to take an active role in supervising their child's academic progress, please let me know.

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May I suggest somewhere to stick your self-righteous tripe? Phony!

What it upsets you to have people get along? Bother you people have feelings? Well perhaps we are all card carrying democratic liberals.
Contrary to your phony comment, people in this community do get along no matter how hard nasty,miserable,human beings like you try their best to stir the pot. May I recommend you staying on your own blog where people actually come to read the poision you spread. Any other comments, please feel free not to type them.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, we all know you're the same putz who insisted he was an USDA inspector

I am not a USDA inspector, perhaps you missed the I am a mom part of my blog. I really do not want a career in blogging. I am quite happy being a mother. This way I can assure my children and others in this community stay very far away from the scary people that lurk out their....

9:28 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

"May I recommend you staying on your own blog where people actually come to read the poision you spread"

Wah!

10:17 PM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

I am not a USDA inspector, perhaps you missed the I am a mom part of my blog."

Sure you're not.

I really do not want a career in blogging. I am quite happy being a mother.

Sure you are.

"This way I can assure my children and others in this community stay very far away from the scary people that lurk out their...."

Wah!

10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

qweqwdeqweq

NASA Astronaut Lisa Nowak Charged With Attempted Murder in Bizarre Love Triangle

12:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is obviously a forum for moaning and complaing. a teacher makes a good point and no one care enough to bother replying instead you'd rather keep your poinsenous bickering back and forth.

7:09 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

What's a little poisonous bickering between friends?

7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nothing as long as you take enough of the poison to silence yourself.. Drink Up!

8:42 AM  
Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

OK. bottoms up.... you stop whining, I'll stop mocking you.

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't whining in fact that was my second post on this subject. No wonder you are always "still wondering". But to show there are no hard feelings I'll buy the rounds. LeChaim

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woodmere, NY - Man Pleads Guilty in Stock Scheme
Woodmere

10:36 AM  
Blogger FiveTownEyes said...

The phone system has been paid through a grant by Senator Dean Skelos.

The school district has many medically frail children in the school. It is one of the few "inclusive schools" on Long Island that does not send most of the handicapped students out of the district (to BOCES) for their education.

The weekend classes are open to all district children - whether they go to public schools regularly or not. The SAT program that they run are on both Saturdays and Sundays. They are very popular with all the district children.

Although the school district has a lot of problems, let us be objective and realistic here.

10:46 PM  
Anonymous psmom said...

THE PHONE SYSTEM WAS NOT PAID FOR...THERE WAS NO BIDS GIVEN TO THE BOARD EVEN.

THE REPLACEMENT WAS ONLY DECLARED AN EMERGENCY. LET'S SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

BUT JUST LIKE THE BOARD DURING MANY DISCUSSION, YOU ALL GOT OFF THE INITIAL DISCUSSION TOPIC: HOMEWORK CENTERS.
MAYBE, YET ANOTHER POLICY HOULD BE REVISITED. WHY NOT GIVE US MORE DETAILS OR AT LEAST INFORMATION ABOUT THE SD MENTIONED IN THE RESOPONSE OF Queenie.

BTW: my CAP wasn't locked, I am just fed up with all the unproductive nonsesne I've read here now.

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The grant from Skelos is $200k. The phone system is estimated to cost $750k. Skelos' grant money does not have to go to the phone system, it can go to any productive use that the school board tells Skelos they need it for.

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AND THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF DISTRICT 15 NEED A PHONE SYSTEM!!!!!!!!!!!!

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently, the board members feel that way. But that's no excuse to piss away $750k.

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Discussing the article at hand, I find it disturbing that The Jewish Press is once again stiring the rumor mill. Did the article writer actually see what went on? Or is this somehing the propaganda machine has made up. Either way some clarifications, each day in the k-5, teachers perform attend, and children walk it to office, yes there are districts that do it over the phone, or intercom, are system is old, we do not have those capabilities. Children are informed they need are not making adequate progress, they are told to attend and get extra help, at the k-5 level ususally they do. It is mind boggling to know that we are on a list for not making ayp, when I myself did not know to recently, that it is no because of test scores. This being a misconception, like a lot of things in this district. The reason we are on this list is 95% of all different groups are not TAKING the test. If you have any doubts about the validity of my statement ask any board member. We are doing fine, are k-5, are great! I am concerned as to why we are testing so many children under CSE for the private sector. Most do very well on testing, when perhaps under No child left behind, they too should be tutored, I know HALB takes the 4th grade ELA's, perhaps those scores should be released to the district, so we can identify these children of need. I have heard far too many parents complaining their children scores were 2's on the basic skills test.

8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a very GENERAL piece of advice for MANY of you posters:

COME AND SEE FOR YOURSELF HOW MUCH THESE BOARD MEMBERS SUPPOSEDLY CARE ABOUT THE CHILDREN - BY ATTENDING A BOARD MEETING IN PERSON!!!
(Ans YES I mean to yell this)

Sit there and I dare you not to want to smack that smirk off of Murray Foreman's face!


To be so ignorant as to say "why do we need a working phone system in public schools?"- you should all be ashamed.

God forbid even one child is hurt and cannot get help!
How will you feel then?

Your lack of knowledge about our schools is unbelievable. If you will not take the time to get educated- then kindly keep your ignorant statements to yourself.

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The need for a "working phone system" does not justify a $750k expenditure.

Regardless, I'm a bit confused by your sentiments regarding the board. You take the position that the board doesn't care about the children because the board doesn't take an interest in the need for a new phone system. Yet, this is the same board that just unanimously approved this bizzare $750k expenditure for a new phone system.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First off, I think the important issue is the phones will be replaced. 2nd I think the sad part was the board did not want committ to the project, until some parents spoke of their concerns. From what I was told, Mr. Foreman was the only board member who was not able to control himself. I too find it inappropriate for an adult to roll his eyes and smirk at a high school senior, who had the courage to stand up and speak. I am troubled about the article written in The Jewish Press. The constant rumor mills grind away, leaving us to hear only what we read and what are friends tell us. It is extremely difficult to make heads or tails of the issues. We are a public school system, many do not understand that no matter how many times you tell a parent to be somewhere or their child is not going to pass, they still do not have to comply. So no matter how many people write in they don't understand, little can be done. It is NYS law, you cannot force a child to attend extra help. Either way, monies by law are going to the public schools. Pass the budget don't it really is not important, Spitzer is a pro public guy, and if the buildings don't get fixed and things continue this way, make no mistake he will remove all administration. He recently removed three people in Freeport. No blame on anyone individually, they need to get it together. Arguing over kids not showing up, and complaining about attendance is a dead end. Rome was not built in a day, and this will not be fixed in a day.

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's "the article written in The Jewish Press"?

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry the article written in the Jewish Star.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.thejewishstar.com/JewishStar.pdf

Bottem of page

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at the meeting and heards Karants talk. Can you imagine that only after the District was on the needs improvement list for three years running they bothered to look at the system. Every school has to meet the same criteria but we had to be sanctioned three times before Fitzsimons and company bothered to look at the system. he must be doing something right, Kopilow and Greenbaum extended his contract and gave him a raise last year. Same thing for the teachers. No one but the current board cares about the at risk kids. The public parents are the ones who should be ashamed. They are afraid to confront the administration or teachers. The only way that fiscal integrity and academic progress can continue is to continue the current board with a vote of confidence. With integrity there should be 3-5 million coming back to the taxpayers this year, without considering Number One school at all. You can bet if the "public advocates" Greenbaum and Kopilow have their way we will never see a penny. "Fix nothing and spend more" should be their slogan. No one is ever accountable. Not teachers for poor achievement or administration when they do not enforce the LTA contract or allow us to be on the state needs improvement list for three years.

10:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No one but the current board cares about the at risk kids."

Quite possibly the most absurd thing I have ever seen posted on this blog. (and that is certainly saying a lot)

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How stupid some of these posters are... why pay $700k when an internet phone costs $30 a month? . Well moron, that's because there are over 1,000 phones in the district. Before you can get phone service, you need to buy the equipment to use it and wire the phones to get them to work. The old phone system is over 15 years old and no company in their right mind would pay the growing maintenance costs to keep it up when it's cheaper to replace.

The real issue is that the administrators continue to preach the status quo. We encouraged them....we encouraged them . Blah blah blah....that's like the old Board saying "we listen to the community."

Want ways to get kids to come. Offer after school programs from 3-6pm like other districts in the area. Kids get help with homework, and can also spend time in the gym and maybe offer some enrichment classes like photography and other things. Sure it will cost a few dollars but enrollment will skyrocket. And test scores will go up as a result.

Didn't Lawrence used to have a summer camp program like this? They offered classes and charged a fee and hundreds of regular kids paid to attend. It's all in the packaging.

Try thinking out of the box a little, and maybe something will get done.

Sadly, we lack administrators with any forward-thinking skills. Most of them are counting the months till they retire and checking their retirement portfolio from their computers each day.

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Sure it will cost a few dollars "

hello, there? a budget hasn't passed in this district in 4 years!

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Want ways to get kids to come. Offer after school programs from 3-6pm like other districts in the area. Kids get help with homework, and can also spend time in the gym and maybe offer some enrichment classes like photography and other things. Sure it will cost a few dollars but enrollment will skyrocket. And test scores will go up as a result.

Didn't Lawrence used to have a summer camp program like this? They offered classes and charged a fee and hundreds of regular kids paid to attend. It's all in the packaging."

Programs like this and full time enrichment teachers and math teachers and reading recovery teachers were all cut because of austerity budgets. You can't just have programs when you are on a contigency budget.

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mandating attendance at after school help sessions...ridiculous! Who cares what the numbers are? Obviously they either have jobs or family responsibilities which prevent them from attending...or lack of interest...What ever the reason, pomous, self righteous board members whose children attend private schools are hardly the experts to be discussing the issue!!!!
You cannot mandate extra-help ! Those of you trying to find reasons for behaviors, of people you know nothing about, should instead try and listen to the trained professionals who have valid insights into the population.

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you mean the trained professionals who0 allowed us, along with Freeport to be on the states need improvement list. And for the record I am sick and tired of the under the surface anti-orthodox sentiment in bloggers like the ones above. Janet Rose and Rose Harris were both immensely popular and hard working school board members. Not once did the " guardians of the public schools" ever open their mouths and complain that these two Board members sent their children to "private religious school." I guess it is different when the "private religious school" is a Yeshiva. It is important to remember the underlying bias in bloggers such as 8:01

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frankly, I really don't care where a board member sends their kids. I understand the need for tradition. I have no problem with it. Unfortunately due to lack of information or shall I say correct information, throws this community into hatred that if it wasn't jews fighting Jews, I would look outside my window waiting for the cross. Now Oyster Bay is on that list as well. You do know it is because you need 95% of our student to TAKE the test, not pass take. The state wants us to go to every student under our enrollment including those really sick children in inpatient settings and make sure we give the test. No joke, viewed the tape of the meeting. Also, I find it interesting the Press did not point out the classes are on Satudrday and Sundays, open to ALL community memebers. Like I said poor communication.

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Want ways to get kids to come. Offer after school programs from 3-6pm like other districts in the area. Kids get help with homework, and can also spend time in the gym and maybe offer some enrichment classes like photography and other things. Sure it will cost a few dollars but enrollment will skyrocket. And test scores will go up as a result.

Didn't Lawrence used to have a summer camp program like this? They offered classes and charged a fee and hundreds of regular kids paid to attend. It's all in the packaging."

Programs like this and full time enrichment teachers and math teachers and reading recovery teachers were all cut because of austerity budgets. You can't just have programs when you are on a contigency budget.


The Board used to say those programs were self-sustaining, as was the entire Adult Ed department. Did we really pay an administrator $140k a year to maintain a program - and we were lied to?

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These programs were never self sustaining.However, whether one was lied to depends on one's tolerance for administrative double talk. For instance, if you accept(?) that the school is there, the heat is there, the administrators are there and a program just about covers the cost of the teacher, is it self sustaining? In other words, assign no percentage of insurance, benefits, cleanup,maintenace, secretarial support or breakage and the program might be close to self sustaining. You figure it out. At the same time remember that the public was told for years that the preK program was funded through a grant. It seems the grant feel about 1,000,000 short of really funding the program( if you use standard accounting technique) and the administration ignored Bd policy and placed children in the program that did not meet Bd policy. This was only uncovered this year. Transparency is not at a premium in District 15.

12:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We all talk of contingency, yet if you chart the raises of every group in the school system you will note that contingency has not affected their raises( except LFMA- 10 members- who are still without contract). Last year, after Kaufman and Hattan both stated they were against teachers raises and they were elected. Greenbaum made sure the teachers got their raises with a last minute contract. Contingency.. no effect on the teachers.

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