Parent and taxpayer response

JUST SAY WHEN ...TO ANYONE SAYING YOU HAVE NO SAY IN YOUR CHILDREN'S EDUCATION. We are Citizens for Public School Education. We are Board Watchers. We want a Board of Education that follows the Law, because following the Law works for everyone. The purpose of this site is to help close the controversial Achievement Gap that is the subject in many educational arenas. Teachers are invaluable when dedicated individuals and are entrusted to encourage, nurture, and teach each child to achieve to the best of his/her individual abilities. Principals, Superintendents, Business Administrators, Support Staff, School Board Members, Attorneys and everyone else in the district must be dedicated to making certain that teachers have whatever they need in order to perform at their best. Teachers must be willing to go the extra mile like millions have done before them. This blog promotes an active, accurate & objective telling of history that includes ALL cultures and their literary, cultural and historical contributions to building America. We are Board Watchers.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Public Meeting of the Englewood Bd.of Education March 3, 2011



The meeting was called to order.
The President gave his opening statement.
They did roll call.
We all pledged allegiance to the flag.
Minutes were approved.
The Bd. Secretary gave his report.
The Superintendent gave his report which ended with a charming video of a "Responsive Classroom from his previous District.
After his report¸ a group of teachers presented an extremely superficial report on a committee designed to help change the climate of our schools. It was well intentioned, but felt contrived for show. The study was called PBSIS or Positive Behavior Support in Schools.
After this presentation, we the taxpaying audience was given “Privilege of the floor” which did not even last 15 minutes.
·         PR person promises to do well by the Englewood students and parents
·         A senior citizen complained that the bd. Is always announcing changes/mistakes in pages of the agenda packet, but they never point out what the modifications are. He did not seem well received by the board members.
·         A dapperly dressed African American man presented a white woman whom he praised for something. I didn’t quite understand what great thing she had done. It seemed rather staged.
·         Curtis Caviness presented several comments. He was concerned with the fact that morale in the system (sports events especially) seems low because we don’t know who we are. (Mr. Garrison had previously asked for a more positive show of support for our teams.)
·         Donna Sumler asked that the board might perhaps move “Privilege of the Floor” closer to the beginning of the program.
·         This blogger told the board of my visit to examine the physical school buildings in the District. I commented on how massive and impressive Dr. Leroy McCloud Elementary School is. I also asked about “Superintendents Day”. I wanted to know why school would be closed on such a nondescript day since we have had so many snow days this year. Needless to say, I was not satisfied with the answer that it was a “Professional Day” for teachers. They have added 2 days onto the calendar in June to make up for the snow days. Being a former teacher, I know what goes on during “Professional Days”. What educational jargon fad is popular this week? I would prefer my grandkids be in school.
·         Donna Sumler tried to speak again on why questions from the last Public Meeting were not addressed. She was told that the floor had been closed.
We were out of time. The Superintendent’s speech, video of “Responsive Classroom” etiquette, and Climate presentation had taken up all of the time. We were basically instructed to sit quietly after this and listen to board members conduct business.  Only one item held my interest after this.  Shirley Smith, one of the board members, noticed that two groups of students were going on the same trip on two different dates. This was interesting because one group of students is from the Academies @Englewood and the other is from our Traditional Dwight Morrow High School.  She wanted to know why the trips were not combined. The response from other Board members was very interesting, because everyone knows why the trips were not combined.
During the course of the evening the public was constantly referred to the district websites as a source.  This was an insult in  many ways. Some of us check the site on a weekly basis. We can read and the navigation problems that were blamed for lack of information were unfounded. The problem is that the information is just not there, because the websites are very seldom updated.
Some of the Board Members did hang around and talk to those of us who wished to discuss certain things later. Although this interchange was informative, public discussion is more satisfactory.

The very best source to answer questions about available resources, programs and materials is the NJ Dept. of Education. Don't be shy. Familiarize yourself with the site.  It may help taxpayers feel more comfortable when holding elected officials accountable.