Saturday, March 15, 2014

Duty to a collaborative and effective Board

Letter to the Englewood Board of Education from a parent.

Board members,

Yesterday's BOE was very disturbing,
for everyone no doubt.
For 5 years now, I speak to every single one of you to find common ground and identify which pieces I can help you solve.

We're not friends, nor coworkers, I was not elected and have not sworn to do so, I am not occupying any seat of power, nor I am rewarded with any guarantee that the countless hours invested will lead to decisions and actions on your part, and YET I DO THIS EVERY DAY.

Three new board members were elected, broadly chosen by the community: we don't care that you don't like each other, you don't get to decide whether or not you will work together: YOU HAVE TAKEN THE OATH TO DO SO. 
The majority has now even chosen to do so until December so DO IT.

Whoever cannot work with newly elected Board
Members need to step down, and we can start over with elections! These faction wars will only gain you a Board vote of no confidence. How hard is it to all look in the same direction instead of facing off? Please serve ALL our students with honor and character.

The new Board Members were absolutely honest in their communications. They campaigned with full disclosure of their skills, experience, affiliations and were ELECTED. 

As residents, fellow Board Members only have 1 voice: YOU DON'T GET TO UNDO the elections – and your loyalty is CERTAINLY to the ALL the students, and certainly NOT to SEEK or our local (has been) politicians!

Particularly considering the state of our district, it was completely irresponsible for Howard and SEEK to block the new members from serving to their full potential to save this FOCUS, RAC district.

Jeff, Devry and Carol have the duty to restore justice and to regain their powers so they can be effective and meaningful Board Members, because that is the duty EACH OF YOU swore to uphold.

You were all voted in based on your skills and professional experience, and each of you should lead the committee best matching your expertise, and be productive in the others to serve the whole.

Carol was elected, not only as an EDUCATOR, but as knowing the EPSD inside and out, including when and why specific programs WORKED. Carol must not only be totally involved, but she should LEAD the Academic affairs Committee!

Jeff was elected BECAUSE of his BCSS experience, so he can help ensure that our 500 SpeEd students are also taught to the standards, and we can stop getting sued and making exceptions/favors that rob the whole and drag down the district.

Devry was elected for his financial acumen, and Lord knows we need SCRUTINY.

Right now you are being deceived and manipulated by the very ones who should serve you, and you don't even know what to do about it!?! You may want to hire Jim Olobardi as a consultant to train you. Each of you owe it to voters and to the students to do all you can so all 9 members can put their experience to the service of ALL OUR students.

Please, please, please get yourselves together and keep your eye on our precious prize!

Leen Mosley

Thursday, March 13, 2014

What is Up with The Record Keeping?!

It has been over 2 years and Englewood residents are still asking School Board Members what purpose the buses below serve. Residents are wondering why we never see our children on them. There even exists a plan to spend over a million dollars to build what they called a SHED to house these buses inside. (We have a professional Bus Company right here in town. First Student. First Student buses are parked in an outdoor lot.) This 'proposed shed' has an office, a break room, 3 bathrooms, a loading bay and who knows what else. It would have been located less than the mandated 25 feet away from the brook that flows into Overpeck Creek where people fish. Sewer lines may not be located less than 50' away from the shoulder of a stream bed. One wonders what these folks are thinking. They paved over a beautiful grassy area anyway and this resident thinks they still plan to build the shed/office building.

Shirley Smith, a veteran and now retired Englewood School Board Member, who served close to 13 years, has been watching these buses sit. She wants to know why they never seem to move. We have seen only one item listed in the Board agenda to pay a bus driver. Why is payment to these bus drivers not listed regularly? No one seems to know how or even if the buses are used. Dr. Carlisle suggested that they are used to transport students to athletic events. Several residents have seen First Student buses transport the students to these same sporting events. 

Curtis Caviness is a marvel. He attends most sporting events. He also keeps everything. Below the buses, find the answer to the question that we have all been asking. Answering one question simply raises more. What are these shared services? Why are board members not privy to this information? 

The Business Administrator is in charge of purchasing and keeping record of all purchases. The Board Secretary is responsible to make sure the Board has this information readily available. In Englewood, the Business Administrator and the Board Secretary are the same person. This BA/BS is paid well with our tax dollars. The Board should have been able to answer this question long ago. What is wrong with this picture?

Instead of becoming upset with members of the community employees should make every effort to find the information. The Business Administrator/Board Secretary (our employee) should provide our Board with the answers to our questions without being forced to do so by angry taxpayers. 

The highly paid professionals must keep better records. Highly paid "professionals" should at least pretend to care what the public thinks about how proficient or effective they are at their jobs.

We, as taxpayers, parents, guardians and folks who care must begin to rate our professionals much the same as they rate our children. Are our employees far less than proficient, partially proficient, proficient or highly proficient?  Are we getting our monies worth? Whom do we blame?

Where is the resolution documenting Board Approval that was supposed to be sent to the Executive County Superintendent almost 4 years ago?

We have a sharing agreement regarding buses?
What other school districts are involved in this
sharing agreement?

                                                       How are the children?

Monday, March 10, 2014

17 Facts that Englewood VOTERS Should Remember!

  1. Englewood's School Board Elections were changed to November 4, 2014. 
  2. Voters will NOT be able to VOTE on the School Budget in November. 
  3. Voters must begin at the bottom of the ballot in order to put children first. 
  4. Voters will choose 3 NEW School Board Members. 
  5. Voters will choose a 1st Ward Councilperson. 
  6. Voters will choose a 3rd Ward Councilperson. 
  7. Voters will choose 3 Freeholders. 
  8. Voters will choose at least 1 Congressman. 
  9. Voters will choose a US Senator. 
  10. In Type I School Districts the Mayor appoints the School Board Members. 
  11. In Type I School Districts the Board of School Estimates decides the School Budget. 
  12. In Type II School Districts the School Board Members are elected by the VOTERS. 
  13. Englewood VOTERS, voted to switch from an 'appointed' Board to an 'elected' Board. 
  14. Englewood VOTERS wanted to be able to VOTE ON THE SCHOOL BUDGET. 
  15. 5 Current School Board Members VOTED to move School Board Elections to November.
  16. 5 Current School Board Members reversed the decision of the people. 
  17. 5 Current School Board Members created a Type II School District that cannot VOTE ON THE SCHOOL BUDGET. 

                                                           How are the children?

Navigating Your School System: updated September 20, 2017


  •  The board of education hires the superintendent and approves other personnel. 
  • The Board adopts by resolution all laws and regulations.
  •  The board creates and sets the policies for the district based on the laws and regulations. 
  •  The superintendent administers the policies for the board. 
  •  If you have issues that you think would require a change of district policy or you have concerns about the general governance of the district, these matters should come to the board’s attention. 
  •  You could write or e-mail the individual board members or speak about the issue at the public forum at a board meeting.

There are times when parents feel it is necessary to address an issue that affects them with the school or district.  The following will guide you to the person most able to assist you:
  1. CLASSROOM:  If you have any concerns related to your child’s classroom such as poor academic performance, behavior issues, or difficulty interacting with peers, make an appointment with the teacher to discuss the matter.  Work with the teacher, but if the issue cannot be resolved, request a meeting with the principal.
  2. SCHOOL:  If you have issues with administration of the school, such as quality of meals, condition of the facility, extra-curricular activities, receiving school information, obtaining Title I supplemental services, or getting a special education evaluation, make an appointment with the principal.
  3. DISTRICT:  If you have issues related to the operation of your school district, such as unresponsiveness to your requests by the teacher or principal, hours of instruction, starting times, school attendance boundaries, transportation routes, etc., make an appointment with the superintendent.
  4. BOARD OF EDUCATION:  The board of education hires the superintendent and approves other personnel.  The board sets the policies for the district.  The superintendent administers the policies for the board.  If you have issues that you think would require a change of district policy or you have concerns about the general governance of the district, these matters should come to the board’s attention.  You could write or e-mail the individual board members or speak about the issue at the public forum at a board meeting.