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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2012 at 12:24am
Originally posted by rshaffer rshaffer wrote:

VV: according to middletowncityschools.com, Mr. Ison's position is listed as Sr. Director of INSTRUCTIONAL Leadership. His duties include discipline, suspensions/expulsions, Special Education (IEPs), attendance, and "bullying." This department is different from the Department of Learning (which is curriculum-based). All of the school districts comparable in size to Middletown that I am aware of have a designated Assistant---or Associate---Superintendent in this position, and not a "Director." Respectfully, Rick Shaffer


Thank you for the info. Mr. Shaffer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rshaffer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 15 2012 at 1:33am
You're welcome, Vet.   
Rick
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jsmith2011 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 16 2012 at 2:11pm
The point about Mr. Ison's position I think is mainly that the position was created in the past few years. At one time, there was one administrator who performed the duties or both Mr. Ison and Ms. Carter.

I did notice today that Middletown City Schools has an announcement on their website for ANOTHER ADMINISTRATOR POSITION.....Dean of Students?!?

What the hell?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 16 2012 at 3:14pm
Originally posted by jsmith2011 jsmith2011 wrote:

The point about Mr. Ison's position I think is mainly that the position was created in the past few years. At one time, there was one administrator who performed the duties or both Mr. Ison and Ms. Carter.

I did notice today that Middletown City Schools has an announcement on their website for ANOTHER ADMINISTRATOR POSITION.....Dean of Students?!?

What the hell?


And, if this new position is actually going to be created, this is what I'm trying to convey, ie, how many positions appear to be in the same realm of expertise and how many layers of duplicate job responsibilities do they need? jsmith states "at one time, there was ONE administrator who performed the duties of both Mr. Ison and Ms. Carter.......why two now? Has the job grown to such a degree of difficulty that it now takes two highly paid admin. to cover what one used to cover? Was the one admin. doing both jobs that efficiently? Are there now more requirements from the state that one can no longer handle it all? Why the increase in highly paid personnel now and what is the justification for positions like "Dean of Students"? Seems as if they are just adding to an already top heavy admin. staff. Are these positions so intense and specific that they need all the staffing?

Ms. Andrew, could you explain all these positions to the taxpayer funding them?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcia Andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 16 2012 at 4:02pm
As I have explained several times before on this forum, Mr. Ison was not hired into a new position, the position was renamed when he was hired.  Two years ago, there were 8 Director positions in central administration. Last year, two Directors were eliminated (Community Relations and Technology) and their duties reassigned to existing staff. The Director of Pupil Services (Mrs. Combs) retired.  Mr. Ison was hired in her place, but with the restructuring the responsibilities had shifted to emphasize instructional leadership--he is responsible (among many other things) for training the principals to be instructional leaders for their buildings, not just managers. Raising expectations. Dr. Carter continues to be in charge of Curriculum, among other things. JSmith is just wrong when she/he says that one person was performing both of these duties.
 
In this year's budget cycle, we have determined that eliminating the Technology director was a mistake.  Especially with the move to the Common Core standards, we need someone in to lead in the area of instructional technology -- how to use technology in the classroom to teach 21st century skills that students will need to compete in the global economy. So that position is being added back.  Dean of Students is to provide assistance to the Principal at the 6th grade center, who currently has no assistant principal. We have found the students needs are too great. My understanding is that Dean of Students is at a lower pay level than an assistant principal would be.  A primary role of Dean of Students would be discipline. I would think with all the griping on this board of the supposed lack of discipline in the schools, people could appreciate the need for someone to handle discipline so that the teachers and principal can focus on teaching and learning.
 
Vet, yes, we need the staff we have.  The requirements from the state and fed are constantly increasing and changing; seemingly never do they eliminate mandates.
 
And, in response to an earlier post, Debbie Sanders has not been hired in this district (although I don't see why it would be wrong if we did. She did not retire when she moved from Middletown to Monroe; she took advantage of an opportunity for a promotion. We don't blackball people who leave the district to gain additional experience).  We are hiring a principal from Monroe, Jennifer Dennis, to replace the retiring principal at Central Academy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 16 2012 at 4:20pm
I'm not sure I would term the concern about the ongoing discipline problems to be "griping".  Considering the rampant negative impressions in that regard and the concerns expressed by teachers both publicly (on this forum) and privately, I think the discipline/behavior crisis is the 800 pound elephant in the room.  Many of us were hoping the replacing of Price would result in bold change on this issue.  That has not happened. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 16 2012 at 6:10pm
Again, Ms. Andrew, thank you for the information from within that you provide. I'll be honest with you, I find it extremely confusing with all of the changes, both in structure within the Director's positions and with the title changes......who is retiring, who is replacing the retired person, who is accepting a new role, who is in charge of what, Directors of Curriculum, Students, Discipline, Leadership, Attendance, Technology....wow.......all very confusing as described. Just trying to see where our tax money is going and what it is going for as to salaries,etc. You might have gotten the indication by now that I'm not a big fan of money waste at any level nor positions created that are not necessary, be it local, state or federal. See too much of it here at Wright-Patt with the overload/duplicate layers of government people who walk around, seemingly doing little to nothing to benefit the taxpayer footing the bill. This is the epitome of waste here on base but being in the lower echelon of the food chain here, we all keep our mouths shut and swallow our anger a bit. They won't fire any government people if there is no need for their current job. They just create a new job that is not needed to retain them. Ridiculous situation IMO.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jsmith2011 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 17 2012 at 9:17am
All of the changes are confusing because they want it to be that way. They change the names of the positions and add positions and then say the position existed but the name was changed. The bottom line is that there are MANY MORE administrative positions in this school district than there were in the past and if anyone questions the school board the person who questions is incorrect and the positions are needed.

Bottom Line in Butler County:

Middletown City Schools - Highest Paid Average Salary for Administrators
Middletown City Schools - Highest Administrator Cost Per Pupil
Middletown City Schools - Bottom Half with the number of pupils per Administrator
Middletown City Schools - Adding 2 more administrator positions for 2012-2013 school year.

They are adding more administrators but I just heard all the nurses received their pink slips last Friday in the school district. To cut costs, instead of having RN's take care of the staff and students, the school district with hire LPN's because it will be cheaper. They can keep adding administrators but they keep cutting the support staff. Not to mention that some of the nurses have been with this school district 20 some years. Sad
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcia Andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 17 2012 at 9:38am
Bill, have you or anyone in your immediate family been in a Middletown City Schools classroom this year? The statement that nothing has been done about discipline in the district is just flat wrong.  Several years ago, the union insisted on having a joint committee established to discuss and address the issues, both actual and perceived.  So, we went through a process.  After 2 years of research both as to existing conditions and various solutions, best practices in other districts, etc, the committee decided to implement Positive Behavioral Supports approach to behavior and discipline. Some school buildings started versions of this last year and the year before; this is the first year that it is being implemented district-wide.  Basically, it involves recognizing that kids need to be taught appropriate behaviors just as they need to be taught how to read, and they need consistent response and correction.  All the staff of each school participates in setting common expectations and consistent adult responses when students meet or fail to meet those expectations.  This may not sound like rocket science, but it is a significant change in approach, and it takes time to get everyone on the same page for that consistency.  But, it is working. Disciplinary incidents are down and morale is way up.  The catch-phrase is Middie PRIDE (Performance, Respect, Integrity, Determination, Effort).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcia Andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 17 2012 at 9:50am
JSmith,
 
The number of administrators and the types of positions at Middletown City Schools is in line with other school districts. We know this from talking to and observing other districts.  We are looking into why the figures posted in the paper show Middletown with such high administrative costs; it is not consistent with what we know. It may be an issue of how positions are coded in the state reporting system.
 
As to the school nurses, we currently staff with licensed school nurses, the most expensive option.  At that rate, we only have 6.8 FTE nurses. But we have 10 school buildings. So there are not nurses in each building at all times. When there is no nurse, the school secretary, who has essentially no medical training, deals with any health issue that arises.  Under the proposed plan, we could have 10 LPNs, plus an RN, for a lower total cost. And be able to have a licensed health professional in each building at all times, while saving taxpayer money.  I personally do not feel it is the job of the schools to provide basic health care to students (and we certainly do not receive funding for that purpose). The role of the school nurse should be to respond to emergencies and illnesses, and administer medications. If the emergency or illness is serious, parent and/or 911 would be called.
 
We have surveyed other school districts, and the trend is away from licensed school nurses to LPNs. Many districts are already there.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jsmith2011 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 17 2012 at 10:05am
Vet, you were correct when you said in an earlier post that not enough people in this town realize what goes on. There is no good way to get the word out. Getting on this forum stating facts and asking questions that are shot down by Ms. Andrews, on a daily basis, is a waste of time.

You ask her to respond to the statements people make and then you thank her for the information that she provides which basically states that whoever is making the negative comments or questioning the school board about any decisions they have made, are incorrect. There is NEVER going to be a time when she says, "You are correct, we were wrong". NEVER...

If someone from City Council were on here responding, they would do the same. Why would any of them admit they were wrong, even if they knew deep down inside that they are?

Why should we question them hiring their friends? Why should we question their judgement when it comes to wasting our money?

They are elected officials but feel they can say and do whatever they please because really, who in Middletown is going to tell them they can't?

Seriously, what's the point? This town is too small for any one person, who actually knows what goes on, to stand up at a board meeting or a council meeting and tell the taxpaying public the facts. I'm not saying I'm that person, because I certainly am not, although I am very familiar with the school district and KNOW there is a lot of waste, so does everyone else who works there but hell, no one is going to say what they know, why jeopardize their high paying jobs they will have for 30 years, they just turn their heads to it all, close the classroom door and go about collecting their paychecks and bitch to each other.

tracyl knows but she/he hasn't been back on here since because she/he brought up questions that only someone who works for the school district could ask and then realized that someone may find out who they are. I don't know this for a fact but I think it's a pretty good guess.

Both the school district and city council depend on the fact that a large percentage of people could care less. They use their smoke and mirrors to get by and it works.

I'm done here....done wasting my time. I started posting on this forum hoping that maybe the people on here would open other's eyes to what goes on and there would be change but it's never going to happen.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcia Andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 17 2012 at 12:33pm
If, in fact, tracyl works for the Middletown School District, then that is a good example of why one should not believe that just because someone works for the schools, they have accurate information about the whole district.  I already explained how her rumor about the new Central principal was wrong. Her posts also contained many other statements that were plain incorrect, or half truths.
 
Yes, Race to the Top and Title I money are mainly used for administrators and other support staff. These are federal grant funds that may NOT be used to pay the salaries of classroom teachers.  The grants state how the funds can be used. Primarily their focus is on professional development, to train teachers to improve the quality of instruction, and to collect and analyze data and train teachers on how to use the data from testing to tailor their lesson plans. So yes, it does help students.
 
Kathy Jonas has never been paid a stipend to be "library coordinator." She receives supplemental pay to compensate her for working during the summer. Something many people do not understand when they complain about high salaries of adminstrators, is that central office administrators work 12 months a year, compared to 9.5 months per year for a teacher.  Principals are paid for about 10.5 months, as they stay for several weeks at the end of the school year and return several weeks early. For some reason, Jonas' position is not a full year position, hence the supplemental pay to work the weeks she was supposed to be off in the summer.
 
JSmith, I believe that everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, when I see incorrect facts (as opposed to opinion), I try to correct them, because they turn into rumors that are bad for our schools and our city.  And I try to explain the reasons for decisions that seem stupid or crazy to others, but make sense if you know the full situation.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 17 2012 at 3:52pm
jsmith....I ask questions about the schools because I work in the private sector and am not familiar with the inner workings. I ask Ms. Andrew because she seems to be the only person (Mr. Fiora also), who has interacted with the general public. Mr. Laubach and Ms. Scott-Jones and, when a councilman, Mr. Marconi, responded occasionally. Now, Ms. Andrew seems to be the only one to respond. I respect that even though I don't always agree with her concerning the schools. I thank her for her ressponses. She doesn't have to do that.

I read your comments, as well as hers, and assess the differences. I agree with you on your comments about some city leaders disregarding what the general public has to say to them. The only way to get their attention would be to go in numbers to the school board and council meetings. Won't happen. Too much apathy. No one really cares in this town. There are people who care on this forum, but for whatever reason, we can't get this forum to meet, organize and develop a program to resist what we dislike. It has been a problem for many years IMO.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acclaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 17 2012 at 4:41pm
jsmith, I respectfully disagree with your assessment as to readers whom have a stake in their taxes and the performance of the school system. The posting which shed light on waste, job creation for Friends of Friends, in industry, we call it Friend of Ray, in honor of an executive at a Fortune 10 company whom was renown of doing this in the private sector, hiring the blue blood consulting firms, his first name was Ray, which has become a de facto term in the industry. So, your meaning and intent is well understood and comprehended. Hello Friend of Ray, here's your job and contract. Just like Judy Gielleland does at the city, welcome Friend of Ray---Pratt, Robinette, too many to keep track of.

I encourage you to keep up sharing this info.

As I cannot speak for Ms. Andrew, I will state as she has referenced "half truths", I in response, will say, there to be "half responses." In other words, in my recall of many questions which come forth, only about 50% of those are responded to by Ms. Andrew and others. So...there are half truths and there are half responses.

For instance, I have read, which I can't confirm nor deny, discipline was such a problem under Price, it led to his termination. I have read countless times, this same problem has been unchanged under Rasmussen. There has been no statistical info shared by either Ms. Andrew nor Mr. Fiora, regarding that topic, which I read most commonly.

There have also been commentary regarding excessive auto allowances above $500.00 monthly for those not actually using an auto for intended purposes, but simply to get them to work. That topic has not been addressed. As for the addition of people, and titles, I read a vague notion associated with "state law" when everything at the State implies Columbus is cutting its budget, not adding to it. We need a CIO of technology for the new century? That's almost laughable. Is the system going to hire an IBM IT Partner to fill this role, or someone who knows how to send an email? I believe the latter.

The half responses are more plentiful in my opinion, than any notion of half truths on this forum. As stated, I cannot make Ms. Andrew respond to all questions, just those she chooses, with a slight spin skewed in the direction of favoring the administration, and an awful lot of half responses not addressed.

I for one would also find any Board member having more credibility when making assertions regarding "half truths" when not one Board member in the 20 + years I have been in Middletown, ever criticized the city in direction, policy, nor strategy. We hear a lot of lower demographic "speak", but no mention of Section 8 declaration. For those that don't know it, when the city gets non profits into Middletown, like Cincinnati State, the residential taxpayer is left with paying the difference. Sr Citizens groups, hospitals, community colleges, don't pay property tax. You do resident.

Time for the Board to bring the city into the mix of complaints, than the residential taxpayer getting stuck with the tab.

Vet, totally wrong on apathy. Initiative right now underway and in action, modeled after the West Chester No effort, to kill waste in the school system by tax levies.            
'An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.' - Winston Churchill
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris Fiora Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 19 2012 at 1:12pm
I'm sorry that I haven't been more active on this forum, but I've been traveling and working on my business.  Plus Ms. Andrew has been doing a good job responding and there was no sense in both of us responding to the same question.  I'll be happy to start responding when I think that I can add something to the conversation or if I can correct any false statements.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tracyl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 01 2012 at 7:12am
Ms. Andrews why are you lying about the supposed LPN's coming to the schools? The contract you voted for last night does not state that does it? We could end up with people like Lisa Lowery's sister, who has zero training other than "went to nursing school" yet has a job RIGHT now in the district in a nurse's office. Speaking of Lowery, is she out of sorority sisters yet that she can hire? How much has one of them, Joyce Stokes, cost this district in greviences?

While I appreciate you putting to rest a few of the rumors that are out there, I couldn't help but notice that you ignored a few of my questions. I now have a new one. Why is the district hiring a new admin to oversee the academic coaches? Isn't that why you have Kathy Jonas and Kathy Jones? Not sure why we need the both of them, as they no longer do professional developments and Kathy Jonas has been phased out of the ordering process as she can't get it right. She is also no longer part of the pacing guide and common assessment revision process. What exactly are we paying her for? Is she paid from the Title 1 funds I asked about (and never got an answer)? Exactly who benefits from Title 1 funds because it sure isn't the students?? What about the reading program the taxpayers bought? Why is that not supported? What about principals getting dinged on their evaluations if they suspend? Why did you not address this? Don't come on here if you aren't going to be honest because there are too many of us that are dealing with the effects of your bad decisions and cronism. You have a true mess brewing on your hands here. You and the others are dependent upon the very people you despise (apparent in your letter to Mr. Williams and your conduct during negotiations) to bring this district to where it needs to be. Now you are talking special education cuts as well. You are setting us up for failure and what it worse, you know it. If I were Rasmussen, I would be working on my resume too (that's the latest news we have heard).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris Fiora Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 01 2012 at 10:17am
tracyl,
Actually the contract states the following:
 

HCESC will provide Middletown City Schools with the following for the 2012--‐2013 school year:

􀁸

One (1) School Health Leader to coordinate the district health services program

o

The School Health Leader will be a licensed Registered Nurse.

􀁸

Ten (10) School Health Associates to provide school health services

o

School Health Associates will hold, at minimum, a license as a Licensed Practical

Nurse.
 
This is copied directly from the contract that the board approved last night.  You can see the entire contract on Board Docs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcia Andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 01 2012 at 2:26pm
Tracyl,
As Mr. Fiora posted, the nursing contract does provide for an LPN (at a minimum) in each building.
 
I have no idea what you are referring to about Lisa Lowery's sister or sorority sister. I have no reason to doubt her professionalism. And she does not hire principals--that type of decision is made by the superintendent.
 
The district is not "bringing in a new administrator to oversee the academic coaches." The academic coaches work closely with the building principals and are supervised and trained by the department of learning, including the curriculum coordinators Kathy Jonas and Kathy Jones. So, although the professional development is no longer conducted centrally by the curriculum coordinators, there is still a lot of work to tailor the support and instruction to the needs of each teacher, while maintaining consistency district-wide and ensuring alignment with the state standards. There will be quite a bit of work required over the next two years to convert to the new Common Core State Standards. The curriculum coordinators are paid for fully with Title II-A grant funds.  While you appear not to place any value on professional development, the people who control grant money do. The intent of professional development is to support the teachers as they raise the level of their instruction and raise their expectations of students. Our feedback shows that teachers have been very happy with the new model providing professional development through academic coaches.
 
I do not know what "reading program that taxpayers bought" you are referring to.  If you mean the Reading First program, that was a grant for a limited number of years that has expired. The district's focus on reading all those years has paid off in higher reading scores across the board.
 
"why are the principals dinged on their evaluations if they suspend"--yes and no.  The board set 3 broad goals for the superintendent, which apply as appropriate down the line. They are (1) increase academic achievement as measured by the state tests; (2) improve climate in the buildings; and (3) do it in a fiscally responsible manner, avoiding the need for additional tax revenue for as long as possible without harmful impact on student programs. The superintendent is holding the principals accountable for academic achievement in their buildings, and for improving the climate in their buildings.  Climate includes both students (behavior, discipline, attendance, participation in extracurriculars, etc) and staff (morale, attendance). Definitely one of the metrics is to reduce the number of suspensions. But if a principal does that by just refusing to discipline badly behaved students and sending them back to class, staff morale will go down, and that is another one of the metrics the principal is accountable on. The district implemented this year Positive Behavioral Supports, an approach to student discipline that emphasizes teaching and re-teaching the behavior expected. If implemented properly (which requires the cooperation and participation of all staff in the building), suspensions will go down, staff morale will go up, and academic achievement will rise.
 
I do not despise any of the staff in the district, and always try to be respectful. I do not believe I was disrespectful in my response to Mr. Williams' email, but if it was perceived that way, I apologize.
 
Your final spurious allegation is to some unstated conduct of mine during negotiations. I was not part of the district negotiating team.
 
"now you are talking about special ed cuts" -- yes and no. The district's special ed services were audited by the Ohio Dept of  Education this year. The audit confirmed that alot of what we do we do well. But it also highlighted areas where we are both inefficient, and ineffective.  In other words, we are spending more money than necessary, and we are not seeing good results from that money.  So, yes, we are looking at refining some of what we do in special ed.  We expect to save some money in that process. But we also expect to see better academic performance.
 
tracyl, from your posts you appear to be an employee of MCSD.  I hope you will not take this the wrong way, but I would respectfully suggest that when you hear something that concerns you, ask your principal, or the person in charge of the program, or even the superintendent, for more information, before you jump to conclusions and spread misinformation in the community. If you ask respectfully, in the spirit of one professional to another who both want to see the district succeed, you will receive answers. I would hope that you could see that spreading misinformation and badmouthing your employer will only hurt the district in the long run, and if you hurt the credibility of the district, you will impact the ability of the district to raise tax funds that pay your salary.  We are all in this together.
 
Marcia Andrew
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Neil Barille Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 02 2012 at 10:35am
Ms. Andrew, with the recent news about Monroe and state control, there has been some talk about the state requiring them to merge with MCSD.  Can you comment on this and what would this mean?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2012 at 6:57am
Today's Journal......

School districts look to share services
Middletown and Monroe to team up in effort to save on maintenance

The Middletown and Monroe school districts are looking into a joint venture on maintenance services that would help each district save money WITHOUT ELIMINATING JOBS.

MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA PACKAGING THE SERVICES TO INCLUDE THE TWO SCHOOL DISTRICTS. NICE DISCOUNT PERHAPS?

QUESTION: WHY DO THE SCHOOLS THINK THEY MUST MAINTAIN THESE CUSTODIAL JOBS? PERHAPS THE SERVICES COULD USE THEIR OWN PEOPLE AND THE DISTRICTS WOULDN'T HAVE TO ABSORB THE WAGES, BENNIE AND RETIREMENT COSTS OF THE CUSTODIANS. THEY DOWNSIZED SOME TEACHERS AND SOME ADMIN. POSITIONS DIDN'T THEY? SEEMS THE SCHOOLS (AND THE GOVERNMENT- HAVE SEEN IT HERE AT WRIGHT-PATT) HAVE A POLICY AT TIMES, THAT PAINS THEM TO DOWNSIZE THEIR PEOPLE, WHETHER THEY ARE NEEDED OR NOT. PRIVATE INDUSTRY DOWNSIZES ON A REGULAR BASIS, SAVING ON RETIREMENT AND WAGE COSTS. THEY CAN PAY A NEW HIRE A LOWER WAGE AND ARE NOT PUTTING BUCKS IN THEIR RETIREMENT LIKE AN OLDER EMPLOYEE IS RECEIVING. THREE TIMES FOR ME SINCE 1994. YOU'RE JUST A NUMBER. YOU SURVIVE AND MOVE ON.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcia Andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2012 at 9:40am
Mr. Barille, to my knowledge 2 districts cannot be forced to consolidate, unless both agree. If the state takes control of Monroe, they can force Monroe to agree, but they cannot force Middletown to agree. No one has approached us about this. We would have to evaluate all aspects to determine if it would be beneficial overall for Middletown. Could facilities and services be integrated in a way that would save money, or would we essentially have to operate 2 districts? Could people and culture be integrated? Given the history, that might be very hard.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcia Andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2012 at 9:46am
Vet, looking at industry standards, we may have not enough custodians but more maintenance and utility workers than we need. We may be able to restructure the way services are delivered, so that we have more custodians, but who also perform maintenance services. Besides the humane point of treating our staff fairly, there is a benefit to the district of keeping long-term staff who know and care for our students. Especially the day-time staff who are in our buildings when the kids are, many of them build relationships with the students over time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2012 at 11:10am
Ms. Andrew: "We may be able to restructure the way services are delivered, so that we have more custodians, but who also perform maintenance services"

SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD IDEA TO ME.

Ms. Andrew: "Besides the humane point of treating our staff fairly, there is a benefit to the district of keeping long-term staff who know and care for our students"

AHH, THE HUMAN ELEMENT IN THE WORK ENVIRONMENT. DON'T ALWAYS HAVE THAT IN CORPORATE AMERICA. A "CORPORATE WORLD" COMPANY LIKE P&G (OR INTERNATIONAL PAPER) DOESN'T CARE TO THAT DEGREE ABOUT THE EMPLOYEE......JUST THE BOTTOM LINE. PEOPLE WHO HAVE, OR ARE WORKING FOR THEM, PROBABLY, AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER, HAVE FELT THIS WAY. "KEEPING LONG TERM STAFF" IS A DETRIMENT FOR CORPORATE AMERICA. THEY WANT YOU OUT AND RETIRED. PAYING YOU THE BIG BUCKS AND RETIREMENT ACCUMULATED OVER MANY YEARS (AND A MONEY DRAIN TO THEM), WHEN THEY COULD HIRE A YOUNG PERSON, MOLD THEM IN THEIR WAY (ALSO CALLED "PROCTORIZING THEM") AND SPEND MUCH LESS MONEY ON WAGES AND RETIREMENT.

Ms. Andrew: "Especially the day-time staff who are in our buildings when the kids are, many of them build relationships with the students over time".

HOW IMPORTANT IS BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP WITH A STUDENT? THE STUDENT IS GOING TO BE THERE FOR A BRIEF PERIOD OF TIME BEFORE MOVING ON. IS IT MORE IMPORTANT TO TEACH AND PREPARE THEM FOR THE WORKING WORLD, OR TO BE THEIR FRIEND? NOT TO BE CALLOUS HERE, BUT IT SEEMS THAT THE "FEELINGS/BEING A BUDDY" PORTION OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IS TRUMPING THE MEAT AND POTATOES PART OF IT. YOU'LL HAVE TO EXCUSE ME FOR BEING OLD SCHOOL WHEN THE EDUCATORS EFFECTIVELY TAUGHT, EXPECTATIONS WHERE MADE CLEAR, DISCIPLINE WAS IN PLACE, AND RESULTS ATTAINED IN A STRUCTURED ENVIRONMENT WHERE EDUCATORS DID NOT BUILD RELATIONSHIPS AS THEY DO NOW, BUT RATHER "KEPT A DISTANCE" BETWEEN STUDENT AND TEACHER. IT WORKED BACK THEN. NOT SO SURE THE NEW WAYS ARE AS EFFECTIVE. JMO

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcia Andrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2012 at 1:21pm
Vet, I hear what you are saying about "old school" ways. Those ways did appear to work then, for most students. But, times have changed and students have changed. Research on "best practices," what works in underperforming, socioeconomically challenged school districts, shows that schools need to connect with students, to build relationships with the students, before we can ever hope to teach them. Sadly, a fair number of students have no positive relationships with adults outside of school. They won't respect authority and follow expected rules of behavior when they have no history of trusting adults. And, "building a relationship" does not mean being their buddy, necessarily, but showing that the adult cares about that kid as an individual, and, because they care, has high expectations for how they will behave and perform academically.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2012 at 3:47pm
Originally posted by Marcia Andrew Marcia Andrew wrote:

Vet, I hear what you are saying about "old school" ways. Those ways did appear to work then, for most students. But, times have changed and students have changed. Research on "best practices," what works in underperforming, socioeconomically challenged school districts, shows that schools need to connect with students, to build relationships with the students, before we can ever hope to teach them. Sadly, a fair number of students have no positive relationships with adults outside of school. They won't respect authority and follow expected rules of behavior when they have no history of trusting adults. And, "building a relationship" does not mean being their buddy, necessarily, but showing that the adult cares about that kid as an individual, and, because they care, has high expectations for how they will behave and perform academically.


Ms. Andrew, consider this as an alternative relating to our discussion.

In military basic training (doesn't matter the branch of service), there is an accumulation of many different types of people representing as diverse a background as any found in your school system. From farm boy to inner city gang member to California "surfer dude". Their activity and life-changing situation (converting them from "do as I please" civilian attitude, to a "you'll do as your told, when you're told world) is handled through being manipulated by the drill instructor's techniques and by listening to and doing exactly as trained. Otherwise, you will live in a world of hurt (other word used here). It is a classic rewards/penalties behavior system. This system has been around for decades and is time-proven for effectiveness in converting large numbers toward a single behavior pattern. There is no coddling, no mercy and no "being a friend" between the troops and the drill instructor. Yet, at the end of the basic training period, the once out of control behavior has been eliminated. The once shy, non-aggressive, easily bullied person is taught a lesson in self-esteem and given a more aggressive attitude and, in general, each person has grown up a little for the effort made to motivate them. Again, all done with discipline, aggressive life-altering environments and hardly a friendly relationship between student and teacher. Just pointing out, positive results can be accomplished by taking the hard-nosed approach rather that being "kinder/gentler" or a friend to the students. IMO, sometimes we coddle to younger generation too much and it only results in generating weaker personalities to cope with the real world. JMO
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