Thursday, December 19, 2013

Fallen Limb Cancels School Committee Meeting


A BUZZ SAW?
A downed tree limb on Prospect Street near Hartwell Street landed on power lines and caught fire causing a power outage that affected a significant portion of downtown Southbridge.

As a consequence the Town Hall was closed leading to a cancellation of the previously rescheduled meeting of the Southbridge School Committee.

In addition to the regular agenda items, the meeting was scheduled to convene a half hour early to include a reception for middle and high school MCAS honorees as well as John and Abigail Adams Scholarship awardees. 

Current indications are that the meeting will not be rescheduled. Rather its elements will be consolidated with the meeting planned for January 14, 2014.

The events followed a week of increasing controversy including the rumored termination of Eastford Road School Principal Diane Shaw and unconfirmed reports of a decision by West Street School Principal Dana Labb to accept another position outside the district. These woes were coupled with reports of serious morale problems among staff and faculty at the Middle/High School.

Unfortunately, with the cancellation of tonight’s meeting, any official comment is not expected until after the New Year.

20 comments:

  1. Elementary schools used to be the best part of Southbridge Education.
    Now we have a principal scare with one gone, one leaving for the truly greener pastures of Acton-Boxborough next year, and one ready to retire anytime now. We also have a Turners Falls reject who has brought over a long term coworker from Turner Falls during the school year. I want to be disappointed with Mr Labb but from what I see of those running the place further into the ground I am happy for him and his new opportunity. Of course this doesn't solve our problems but they can't be solved with a three day a week supt and his choice of 2nd in command - of ipad gamemanship. This feels like the movie series back to the future cept the mad scientist hasn't figured out competent management to lead our school district management out of the dysfunction junction we have been trapped in.

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  2. Can you hear that huge sucking sound . . . $$$$$$$$ leaving the district. This guy and the Bobble Heads make people wish for the good old days of Ely, Bishop, and Fab Four. (except for Ely, Bishop and Fab Four were faithful servants of the community,)

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    1. Not sure I see organized failure as any better than disorganized failure.

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  3. I think it's time for McLaughlin and Donovan to admit their gross failures. But their arrogance will not allow them to.

    I'm sure Ely, Bishop and the fan Four are as disgusted with the Newbies as every parent, student, staff and townspeople should be.

    Arrogance and incompetence = McLaughlin and Donovan.

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    1. I'll blame them if and when they evaluate the supt they give him glowing ratings.
      Its the top that is rotten and they can only evaluate him. They can't run the district. Yes they are inexperienced and no they don't earn our confidence but it's Buzz and his central office Turners Fall personnel who deserve ALL the blame. Turn up the heat on those getting paid the big bucks to do the work and aren't! He is a very respected supt elsewhere but hasn't EARNED his stripes here yet if ever.

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  4. Well here we go - Buzz and the girls waste more money, completely ignore a selection process, spend more money needlessly.

    How? As of January 1 the Southbridge school District has a new "Assistant Superintendent of Schools." Buzz's "special friend" Patricia Gardner assumes this new, needless, position. Central office gets more needless personnel while the students slide further into the sinkhole of the Southbridge Public Schools.

    Way to go McLaughlin and Donovan, you two are the most incompetent school committee members ever. Congdon and Quiney are following right after you.

    Time for the State and feds to investigate how their dollars are being wasted.

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  5. Question: Why aren't they having their meetings at the new school? Isn't that part of the reason why we built the television studio over there?

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    1. The 2nd in command is a dismal failure! The new Director of Operations is also from Springfield. Was this position posted? What a waste of taxpayer $

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  6. Rumors are floating that more people will be shown the door or leave it willingly because of mismanagement. Don't be surprised that by the end of the year we see new principals in all the schools, many veteran teachers searching for new employment or just giving up and retiring, and countless parents electing for school choice. . . . . Way to go Buzz and the Bobble Heads.

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    1. In terms of dicipline the weak link at the middle/high school is Mrs. Potter, another bad choice of the 2nd incommand.

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    2. If rumors toll true there is no discipline on the middle school side whatsoever. And the one VP who has a handle on it on HS side is under attack from Buzz and his crony administrative team who are looking for more positions for their friends.

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    3. Teachers by law must take anti-bully seminars. I think the 2nd incommand should be require to attend this type of seminar because she is the biggest bully of them all ! Alex

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    4. I agree with anonymous that Mrs. Potter was a bad choice but I found out first hand she can't be trusted !!

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    5. They just want people who will agree with them or not say anything in fear for their jobs. It doesn't matter that money and students are leaving the district. It doesn't matter that they ruin peoples careers and lives. It doesn't matter that they are running a struggling system into the ground because they will all leave here with their tickets punched and pockets full of money.

      If I were a current parent or teacher I would not pass go, wouldn't care about the money, and would find a new school for my student or a new teaching job.

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  7. We are not a normal middle/high school because if we were we would be normal but we are not normal as you can see. Alex

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    1. Alex, Are you normal ???

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  8. Until the voters get rid of McLaughlin and Donovan the students and staff don't have a chance. They think they have all the answers, but they don't even know the questions.

    It's tough to admit failure, but the girls must - it's staring us all right in the face.
    1. All three elementary principals done
    2. ELL Coordinator taking her three-month paid exit money while no one does the job
    3. Director of Operations resigns after DUI debacle. How many months are we paying him to go away?
    4. Middle/School principal not getting it done. Discipline out of control. Staff leaving weekly for greener pastures; or in some cases without another job, they just want their sanity.
    5. Extravagant pay increases for staff (the staff that gave us such deplorable MCAS scores). As Buzz put it, "We were able to give such nice raises because we have a "surplus." Are you kidding me? How about returning this "surplus" to the taxpayers?
    6. Legal fees to set records
    7. Increasing number of students leaving for school choice. Take a visit to the Edwards Public Library around 2:30-3:00 PM and watch the full-size school bus unload from Quaboag Regional with all Southbridge students ($$$$$$ to another town)

    I could go on, but why waste my time? McLaughlin and Donovan, and now Congdon and Quinney, have no interest in truth. They think the school district is a PTA tea. Break out the cucumber sandwiches.

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    1. Why was NB, GL, and FK spotted in Southwick,Mass on Monday Dec. 30th, an early New Years Party?? Whats the the Buzz with this?? Alex

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  9. I feel the need to address number 5 in the above post. If you will recall, our teachers have been working without a current contract for almost 2 years!! As a union, they agreed to postpone negotiations until the school department could get their financial house in order. Also, Southbridge is one of the lowest paying school districts in the state! Why would anyone even WANT to come and work here? A raise was due to our teachers and they deserve to paid like professionals! Maybe if we had a better base salary we would attract the best talent to the district?

    We have some FANTASTIC teachers that work in our school system! These teachers have remained steadfast in the face of public ridicule. They work very hard to teach our children! It seems to me that we should be supporting them rather than tearing them down. I choose to send my children to Southbridge Public Schools! I believe in the education they are receiving and I believe in their teachers. Am I delusional? No! I am INVOLVED! I KNOW my children's teachers and I trust in their abilities. Maybe if more parents were involved in the lives of their children, we would have fewer issues.

    As for the deplorable MCAS scores:

    1) The data released to the public compared two totally separate groups of students. I want to know if our students improved from one year to the next! For example: I would rather see my child's 3rd grade score compared to her 4th grade score. I do not want to see her 3rd grade score compared to a 3rd grade student from the next year. That is comparing apples to oranges. Did my daughter improve? Did her class as a whole improve? Because the kids in HER class are very different from the ones a year younger. So I believe the scores are quite misleading.

    2) Do we need improvement in MCAS scores? What does it really measure anyway? It measure the ability to regurgitate information on a standardized test designed for white, middle class children. Hmmm....seems to me we only have a SMALL population of white, middle class children in this town. The rest of our children come from different backgrounds, cultures, languages and economic situations. If my daughter moved to France and was asked to take a French standardized test designed for the average French child, she would FAIL!! And that is essentially what the MCAS is doing. It is not testing intelligence or knowledge. It is measuring the test taking skills of children and the ability of teachers to jam those skills into their heads. Seems to me that is not a healthy way to learn and it is no wonder most kids are miserable in school. Do I have the answer to this dilemma? No...not a clue. Other than to vote out the idiots in Washington that instituted high stakes testing and are stubborn in their belief that every child is destined for college and that all children should fit into the same mold.

    I am done my rant and will sign off with one last comment: Our teachers in this town are professionals that work hard trying to teach our children. They deserve to be respected and paid a decent salary.

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    1. I was very disappointed to find out that my children went without breakfast today. Yes I know school was delayed by 2 hrs.but how does that stop hunger. The person running that kitchen should know better. Not even a MUFFIN !! I'm sure the kitchen ladies ate.

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