Sunday, October 1, 2017

Shall We Talk?

I am Dr. Dierdre Glenn Paul. I am full professor at Montclair State University where I have worked for 24 years. I am a teacher educator, a published author of 4 books and multiple journal articles; and a former New York City Public School Teacher. I am result-oriented, as well. I am a divorced, single mom who raised 2 adult children alone. I am a daughter, a breast cancer survivor, a homeowner, an active member of St. Cecilia's, an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority Inc., and a tough and resourceful African American woman.
 Most importantly, I am someone who cares deeply about education and children. I understand that, regardless of race, ethnicity or the amount of money you have, there's one thing that binds all parents/caregivers. We all love our children and want to see them do better in life than we have. 

As a member of the School Board, I will be available to you to talk about any school related concern you might have or meet with any group that is focused on improving the quality of education Englewood students receive. You will be heard. And I will be responsive to your needs. In those instances where we disagree, I will be honest with you...sooner rather than later.

 We all know that quality preschool and early literacy instruction set children on the path to academic success. In fact, they are the great equalizers. Even when the conditions for academic success aren't present in children's homes, quality preschool and early literacy instruction give them the boost needed to keep up with their classmates. So I will fight to make our recently approved preschool expansion work.

I have also spoken to several parents of children with special needs. In most instances, they are unhappy about the services their children are receiving. That's the reason I will be focused on making sure this this group of the most vulnerable students receive the accommodations that are legally required and will lead to successful learning opportunities for them.

Lastly, a failing school system is costly to taxpayers. It is common knowledge that a high-quality school system draws new residents to a town or city. Conversely, a failing school system does the opposite. Until we get our schools working effectively, downtown Englewood will continue to bleed ratables and young families will continue to flock to other towns with better school systems. As a result, there will be more reductions in direct school aid.
The success or continued failure of our public schools impacts everyone and needs all of us working together. Thank you for your time. 

Englewood voters, I am asking for your confidence and your vote on November 7th, Election Day
Find my name, Dierdre Paul in Column 7 on your November 7th Election ballot. 

Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY; M.Ed., Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY; M.Ed., Lehman College, City University of New York, Bronx, NY; BA, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL

Read Alouds, Presentations, Workshops, Forums and Panel Discussions

Presenter, PARCC: An underfunded mandate. Testimony delivered before the NJ Assembly Budget and Appropriations Committee Hearing, Paterson, NJ, March 18, 2015.

Presenter, PARCC: An underfunded mandate. Testimony delivered before the NJ Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee Hearing, Paramus, NJ, March 10, 2015.

Coordinator with Pastor Jovan Davis, Lucy Walker, Alva Fogle, Sharon Bernstein on the inaugural READ OUT ENGLEWOOD Family Forum, September 12, 201

Facilitated Englewood Children’s Book Donation from Read to Know, September 2015

Participated in Planning of Englewood’s School Survival Summit, June 14, 2014

Read Aloud Presenter, with children at Bergen Family Center & Quarles Early Childhood Center

Presenter, Advancing Understandings about Managing the Achievement Dilemma. Delivered for Englewood, NJ Elementary School Teachers. Lincoln School, Englewood, NJ. March 7, 2005.

Presenter, Advancing Understandings about Managing the Achievement Dilemma. Delivered for Englewood, NJ Middle School Teachers. Janis Dismus Middle School, Englewood, NJ. March 7, 2005.

Presenter, The achievement gap: What is it and how can it be closed? Delivered to Englewood Board of Education Task Force on Affirmative Action, Englewood, NJ, January 13, 2005.

Keynote Speaker, Creating Enthusiasm for Summer Reading: A Parent/Caregivers’ Guide. First Baptist Church of Englewood, Englewood, NJ. June 2003.

Presenter, Developing a Home-School Partnership-The Parent’s Perspective. Passaic Community College. Paterson, NJ. June 2001.

Presenter, What Does the Bush Education Plan Really Mean for Black Parents? Kente Cultural Center. New London, CT. February 2001.

Presenter, Multicultural education/Anti-bias curriculum. White Plains Child Day Care Association Inc. White Plains, NY. November 1999.

Presenter, Literacy Development and Long Distance Parenting. Bergen County Jail. July 1999.

...And how are the children?

Friday, September 29, 2017

Communicate With Your Child's Teacher!

Installment 2: Start the School Year Off Right! 
Effectively Communicate with Your Child’s Teacher…
We’re now almost a full month into the school year, so this week’s installment is designed to help you effectively communicate with your child’s teachers and set a positive tone for the new academic year. Keep in mind that regular communications with the teacher benefit your child and ensure that her/his learning needs are central in the teacher’s mind.

If elected, I want to introduce new traditions and practices like this regular information sheet to enhance your child’s education through the Englewood Public School District. I would also like to host parent forums and workshops to be held twice during each school year (Thank you for this fantastic suggestion, Omar) and an annual Read Out Englewood Literacy Fair to encourage students’ literacy growth.

Most importantly, I will never forget that my primary role as a duly elected Board of Education member is to serve and assist you in providing your child with a high-quality, excellent public school education. And now onto the tips for enhancing communication with your child’s teacher.

Arrange a time to visit your child’s classroom and meet with her or his teacher, as soon as possible. The sole purpose of this meeting is to introduce yourself and clearly present your expectations regarding regular communication, academic progress and any important information that could impact your child’s educational success. 

For example:
  • How frequently would you like updates on your child’s progress in class? 
  • Is it best to call or email you, if there is a problem? 
  • When is the best time to contact you? 
  • Would you like to be notified when the child is in danger of failing a class/subject or would you like to know about the lack of progress early enough to intervene? 
  • Does your child have a 504 or IEP? 
  • Does your child have a food allergy, epilepsy or another medical condition that requires the teacher to follow a certain protocol?
Send notes, emails and call, if you’re unable to meet with your child’s teacher and explain the reason a visit is inconvenient at this time. But, make certain that your child’s teacher knows that you are a concerned parent/caregiver who will be actively involved in your child’s education. Also, suggest times to meet that work for you and see whether the teacher can accommodate your schedule. 

Volunteer in your child’s classroom or at the school, when available. If the teacher sees you on a regular basis and knows that you have a presence in the school, she/he also knows that establishing a positive relationship with you is necessary. 

Lastly, check your child’s notebook and homework routinely. Then, you can give the teacher real-time information about your child’s trouble understanding a concept or practice. 

Excerpted from Paul, D. G. (2000). Raising Black Children Who Love Reading and Writing: A Guide from Birth through Grade 6. Bergin & Garvey/Greenwood Publishing Group, 88 Post Road West, PO Box 5007, Westport, CT 06881-5007.

Paid for by Dierdre G. Paul, P.O. Box 471, Teaneck, New Jersey, 07666

Monday, September 25, 2017

Know Your Child’s Educational Rights in the Englewood Public Schools

Dr. Dierdre G. Paul

What is the difference between an IEP and a 504?
Navigating the education system can be challenging for all parents, but it is even more so for parents/caregivers of children with special needs. 

One of my campaign promises is to make the process easier for you by providing regular informational pieces, tips, and links. 

I will never forget that my primary role as a duly elected Board of Education member is to serve and assist you in providing your child with a high-quality, excellent public school education in the Englewood Public School District.

An IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) is, generally, for those students who have been evaluated by the Child Study Team and classified. 504s are usually provided for students who have not undergone the evaluation process but still struggle (academically) in school.

Parents of children with both, IEPs and 504s, must consent to their children’s educational evaluation by the school district. 

A student with an IEP can receive an independent educational evaluation by an outside expert of your choice, paid for by the district and at no cost to you, the parent. Further, the district doesn’t have to agree to pay beforehand.

If a significant change is made to either, your child’s IEP or 504, you are entitled to written notice prior to the enactment of the change.

IEPs must be evaluated each year and the student must be reevaluated every three (3) years. While it isn’t mandated that a 504 be evaluated each year, it is a commonly held expectation that they should follow the same pattern of evaluation set for IEPs. Thus, parents should expect that 504s are annually evaluated and the student is reevaluated every 3 years.

Paid for by Dierdre G. Paul, Services Provided by Rightway Project, LLC

(Freely copied from Dr. Paul's Facebook status Update.)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Politicians, Stop Throwing Our Children Under The Bus

This is what happens when politicians interfere in the workings of the Public Schools. You know who you are. Politicians and those who keep you in office, who have been meddling with no experience in education or know how since the sixties, should stand down. The downturn in the District came with you. So stop it.
It is time to let the professionals do the jobs they were hired to do. Those of us who have been watching since the late 1960s know that you have high expectations for some and NO EXPECTATIONS for others. The un-certified staff and all the rest fall on your shoulders. You Politicians created the GAP that has made a focus school of our high school. Your "Outsource" tactics have added to the crippling of the District.
Have a retreat. Give the Superintendent some viable goals and objectives for the School District, making student achievement of all students priority. Stop stacking the deck like the Trumpish Mayor has done with the Democratic Municipal Committee. Leave the Superintendent alone and let him succeed or fail. Stop being Trumpish Huttles, both of you. If he does not achieve the goals, then let him go. Your con man minion should stand down in his attempts to run the District. In the last 15 years, he and his buds have run it into the ground. You know it. We know it.
This is also what happens when School Board Members operate as an employment agency for friends and relatives. When School Board Members have been in control for nearly 15 years and run the schools, the blame rests on them and the ones who put them in place and keep them there. They and you are the ones responsible. It is all part of the dumbing down of the District. Our children can learn, but it seems that you can't.
When few have faith that ALL children can learn, strange and sometimes illegal shit goes on to make the District look good. Englewood is suffering from a serious identity crisis. (Teach the children in front of you and stop favoring the ones you import into our failing school system.) This is embarrassing in so many ways. It is also infuriating, because the real culprits are sitting pretty without a single blemish. The Board of Education is not innocent in this. They and the Politicians who pretend they take no part and are autonomous are the Custodians of failure. How many of their children are sitting in Saturday classes? Supporters of the Board leaders are not innocent in this. You know who you are and it is time to back the F off of our Public School district. Any child who has not done what is required should be retained. Any child... Any adult responsible should be dismissed. It is as simple as that ...
And how are the children?.....The headline says it........Stop throwing our children under the bus!…/…/nj_high_school_screwed_up_and_now_home

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Are Public Schools Across the US in Crisis?

House Bill 610 has been introduced.
This bill will effectively start the school voucher system to be used by children grades K-12 and starts the defunding process of public schools.

In addition the bill will eliminate the Elementary and Education Act of 1965, which is the nation's educational law and provides equal opportunity in education.

ESSA is a comprehensive program that covers programs for struggling learners,

AP classes,

ESL classes,

classes for minorities such as Native Americans,

Rural Education,

Education for the Homeless,

School Safety (Gun-Free schools),

Monitoring and Compliance and Federal Accountability Programs.

The Bill also abolishes the Nutritional Act of 2012 (No Hungry Kids Act) which provides nutritional standards in school breakfast and lunch. For our most vulnerable, this may be the ONLY nutritious food they have in a day.

The bill has no wording whatsoever protecting special needs kids, no mention of IDEA and FAPE.

Some things ESSA does for Children with Disabilities
-Ensures access to the general education curriculum.
-Ensures access to accommodations on assessments.
-Ensures concepts of Universal Design for Learning
-Includes provisions that require local education agencies to provide evidence-based
interventions in schools with consistently underperforming subgroups.
-Requires states in Title I plans to address how they will improve conditions for learning, including reducing incidents of bullying and harassment in schools, overuse of discipline practices and reduce the use of adverse behavioral interventions (such as restraints and seclusion).

Please call your representative and ask him/her to vote NO on House Bill 610 (HR 610) introduced by three Republican reps.

PLEASE copy and paste, don't just share. That limits it to friends we have in common. Thank you.