Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Southbridge School Committee Meeting - September 9, 2014


  1. Kara says..."Do your job and do it right so I can take credit for it on Tuesday night."

  2. MCAS scores in 2 weeks.

  3. They have had the preliminary scores for at least a month -- plenty of time to put generate spin and prepare the grenade for the bucket of cukka...

  4. SC lawyers need to goSeptember 11, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    "Do your job and do it right so I can take credit for it on Tuesday night."

    More like do as I say and not as I do!

    That long executive session as amended just made more money for the lawyers and took more money away from educating the kids, Remember the kids SC. It supposed to be about educating the kids and not feeding your pompous egos while padding your lawyers retirement pension. God bless anyone who works (especially anyone who works longer than a year) under this horrific reign of terror and complete blunder.

  5. I am curious as to why Quinney, Donovan and Olivo the negotiation sub committee members all voted no. Seems to me that if you did the work you would vote yes. Anyone have any clue about this?

    1. Maybe after the lawyer reviewed the contract they rewrote it or something in it? Just guessing here.

    2. If it looks like a DuckSeptember 14, 2014 at 1:41 AM

      I'm with Guessing but not exclusively with just the lawyers review, another paid puppet master with one foot in the door has too much influence over the chair.
      The negotiating team member's no vote must mean it isn't their body of work but someone else's. If it looks like a duck it probably is.

  6. Jester - Hot News FlashSeptember 12, 2014 at 7:45 PM

    Rare Event Brewing:

    SEATTLE (Reuters) - Stargazers across a wide swath of the United States could get a rare view on Friday of the northern lights, a colorful cosmic display normally only visible in far northern latitudes ...

  7. Since the beginning of September has added the following openings for the Southbridge school district: an English Arts Teacher at the middle school; An educational assistant – Music/Band Chorus and a High School Science Teacher at the the High School and a Special Education Teacher at West Street School.

  8. The word is out, if you need a job to get into the teaching game go to Southbridge until you can find something better.

  9. Mire Unbelievable Storues From SMHSSeptember 13, 2014 at 9:23 PM

    Some very concerning issues are coming out of our new middle/high school. It is circulating that 30 members of the senior class have failed to meet the legally required MCAS proficiency in English, math and/or science. These students failed these initial exams during their grade 10 initial testing. So what did the school do during the entire grade 11 period for these students? Did they even offer these students the retests they were entitled to during grade 11? Cathy Hatch was the "lead counselor" last year, did she remember to order and administer the exams? Which one of the spate of principals we have seen in the last two years was in charge? Ultimately it was Supt. Nimberkow who is responsible! McLoughlin is so infatuated with him she gave him a $27,000 stay-at-home job.

    Also coming out of the school is rumor that the State has initiated an audit of the recent diplomas being awarded without full MCAS fulfillment earned. If this is true, every person who signed that/those diplomas should be fired or recalled.

    Finally, my child continues to sit in classes of 38 and 45 students. But we continue to high more central office staff. We are constantly seeking teachers and administration, just visit

    These failures and ineptness are unacceptable. They appear to have started with the addition of McLoughlin andzDonocan. Time for these two birds to follow Woodriff, and fly the coop. GET IUT!

    1. This is just a result of all the games that were played with the employees in the guidance office.
      Welcome back Ms. Dargie!!! When can I set up my first meeting with you to discuss my child?
      You were missed by many parents and most students!

    2. Southbridge concerned parentSeptember 18, 2014 at 7:46 PM

      I was pretty perplexed as to how my child was awarded a diploma, but when I questioned the guidance I was told multiple times it's up to the principal. Can my child's diploma be taken away now?

  10. Dartboard LeadershipSeptember 13, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    Well with policies like any student can enroll in an AP class because it is and I quote, "their right to fail", and passing students to the next grade who have failed two or more of their core classes (ELA, MAth, Science, Social Studies), it is no wonder people don't believe in Southbridge Public Schools.

    So what about those families who paid $150.00 per class in summer school to get their student to the next grade? Shouldn't they get a refund? I mean, if you're just going to let student's pass regardless of how they perform what is the point of summer school. Now students know that they can give minimal or no effort and still make it to the next grade. Way to have policies that really prepare our students for life after high school.

    God I wish people in this town would ask more questions and demand rational answers with some data to back it up. That is what you ask of the teacher's in the district, is it too much to ask of the administration and school committee? Oh yeah, and there has already been two fights at SMHS, with one of them being pretty brutal. When the administration's policy highlights a student's right to fail, that is what your district will get, failure.

    1. Tired of the negativitySeptember 16, 2014 at 5:11 PM

      Dartboard Leadership...I have a question for you. How did high school work when you attended? High school is not about grade level, it is about number of credits earned in a given school year.

      The student you claim the school is "passing" to the next grade is inaccurate. If they did not pass the class, they do not receive the credits. If the student then attends summer school and passes, they will then receive the credits.
      If a freshman does not pass English 9 and does not complete that course in summer school, they will have to retake that class the following year. They will not receive the credits until they have successfully passed the class. That same student may have passed every other class that year. They would be considered a froshmore? Or something along those lines.

      Do I hope that every student earns the max number of credits every year? Of course. And I also know that sometimes, stuff happens. A student will not graduate unless they have earned the minimum number of credits needed AND have taken the correct number of classes in each subject area. If you wish to know exactly what they need to take, the information is available on the website.

      I can also say that no student enjoys failing. And as their classmates move on to other classes and they are stuck taking the same classes again, they recognize their errors. Staying back is what happens in the lower grades. High school students have to be responsible for their education to some degree. They are given the tools they need to be successful. It is their choice to use those tools or not.

      My children were given a packet at the end of the school year last year. On that sheet was listed ALL of the graduation requirements necessary to graduate. This included the number of credits needed per subject area and the total credits needed to graduate. This packet also included a planning sheet for the next 4 years. I sat down with my kids and we talked about what they needed and how to achieve what they wanted out of their high school experience. We also discussed their Trade school? Military? Those decisions can impact what courses they take. I find it very interesting that so many parents rely on the school to do ALL the work. I believe that it is MY responsibility to discuss these decisions with my kids. A guidance counselor with 300 students on their caseload will not know my child as I do. Doesn't it make more sense for the parents to take a more active role?

      I also would like to find a single school in the entire country that has not had a fight. Goodness gracious, they are hormonal teenagers. Is fighting wrong? YES! And it happens everywhere. Southbridge has no more and no less than other schools. Our problem is that people prefer to spotlight them to make the school look bad. Try looking for the good things happening, any maybe your view will be a bit more positive.

  11. From what I understand, they are at it again. What, you may ask? Well they are hiring people that are not qualified to teach the subjects they are in front of the students presenting. Someone needs to question this Superintendent on how many teachers are in front of our students that either are not certified in the subjects they teach and how many unqualified people are in front of our students on waivers?

    On parents night or open house or whatever they may call it this year each parent should require the teacher to present his/her state certificate of teaching. Each teacher should prominently display their license to teach from the state just like restaurants have to display their sanitary rating and barbers have to display their license to cut hair.

  12. question for the knowledgeableSeptember 14, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    We have often heard complaints from former town councilors about the expense involved in having so many Southbridge students selecting other High Schools outside our district.
    How many students from outside our district attend Southbridge High School?

    1. answer for the inquiringSeptember 15, 2014 at 1:12 AM

      From DESE website -
      as of 6/14 5 students in ( a new record) and 223 out.
      which means that the intake of $52,692 from those five are offsetting the out flow of $1,267,468 for the 223 school choicing out. Without those five coming in (at some unknown grade level) Southbridge would be ranked in the top three outflowing districts in the state instead of just knocking on the door of the top three.
      I wonder how many of the five are from out of town teachers' kids? If so increasing teacher retention just became that much more important.

  13. With our thriving local airport; we should be able to fly every pro-choice student anywhere they wish. Caution - restrictions apply.

  14. thnx for the numbersSeptember 15, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    It sounds like if we close the High School, we can possibly save .money by sending everyone elsewhere.

    1. And rent it out to QCC....

    2. Remember when the high school was a Level 1 school in our continuously Level 4 district? When was that? Oh yea, the 2011-2012 school year.
      In June of 2012 McLoughlin and Donovan get elected and vote to eliminate the principal who led the school that year. Now, 5 principals later and in a two year span they brought the school down to a Level 3. Hard to believe you can screw things up so quickly.
      I see no hope in the future either. The same 1450 dolts that elected these two will vite them back in next June. After all, they did have the cutest campaign signs!
      You got what you voted for - cute signs, incompetence and arrogance.
      How's it working out for'all? It's obvious how it's worked out for our students.

  15. Studies show and experience provesSeptember 18, 2014 at 2:21 AM

    Trying to catch up here but I am shocked that no one else hasn't already called out the repugnancy of Brent Abrahamson comments regarding Administrators not attending a subcommittee meeting.
    Perhaps he need to rewind and give another listen to what Jill Congdon had to say about what the SC roles where .
    See the 45:50 Mark. Chain of Command - only responsibilities being Fiscal/ Policy/ Supt. oversight - only officials when at a meeting
    Mutual respect / Respectful of others, etc. WOW a new morsel of hope! Hooray!!

    But it didn't last long.

    I'm Glad B.A. is going to Lennox and sitting through an additional 8 more hours of this presentation because he clearly needs some reteaching.
    He doesn't get to critique administrators in telling them what to do or where to be as it is not anyone on the SC function to do so!
    It is only up to the Supt and the Supt. alone to provide administrators with their marching orders.
    However, What he did prove is that "studies show and experience proves" that the great big Kubaya retreat was a bunch of %^^&** (Made just for tv hogwash) and that we can really expect no different from them .Seriously B.A. get real! Administrators are not retired people with too much time on their hands as they work a long full week. You foolishly want them to also attend every subcommittee meeting too resulting in them being to tired to effectively do their jobs and burning out. Your comment was uncalled for, rude, and absolutely RIDICULOUS!!
    Just another example of Dysfunction Junction,
    episode: Directing Administration is NOT your function.
    Jill Congdon 1 Brent Abrahamson 0

  16. Tired of the negitivity:: Are you dreaming some sweet dreams? Southbridge has no more or no less fights than other schools?!! I school choiced last year to Charlton, one reason because of the daily fights that occured. Hated sending my kid off to school telling him to be careful. Last year at Charlton he witnessed one Yes I will repeat that ONE fight and he said not a punch was even thrown. It was a pushing match. Some say the grass is not always greener on the other side but I say in this situation I feel like Fraulin Maria singing The Hills Are Alive.

    1. Tired of the negativitySeptember 20, 2014 at 10:41 AM

      Best Choice: So because your child only witnessed 1 fight, that was the only one? He is omniscient? He must have an in with administration. The problem I have with your statement is that you don't really KNOW how many issues they have. The Southbridge community just LOVES to publicize the bad things! They pounce on them like cats on catnip! Charlton prefers to sweep stuff like that under the proverbial rug. They have a status to maintain don't you know. The same with Tantasqua. Did you know that Tantasqua has a daycare for their students with children? They also have a severe drug problem as well. Do we ever hear about that? No...because they make sure to keep issues like that out of the press. Do you remember that bomb scare last year? The entire high school was evacuated. One small blurb about that in the local press.

      I know what goes on in a lot of these school because I have friends that work in them. Do I like all the issues happening in Southbridge? No, I don't. However, I have chosen to have faith in the teachers my children have at SMHS. I am in contact with them all and I believe they are working diligently to educate my children as well as keep them safe.

      Neither of my children are afraid to go to school and they never have been. They make good choices about friends and I am involved in their lives. I don't think I am having "sweet dreams" as you put it. I am choosing to have my children live in the real world, with real issues that they will likely face for the rest of their lives. I am teaching them that there will always be people in this world that will make poor choices. That running away to a "greener" pasture is not the answer. By staying and joining and becoming a leader, they can change the world they live in and make it better.

      So I say to you, Best Choice, enjoy your sojourn in The Sound of Music and be prepared to run to your child's rescue for the rest of his life, as all you have taught him to do is run away. When he goes off to college and realizes that this world is full of challenges and people who think and act differently, just tell him he can come home...there is always on-line schooling.

    2. Dartboard LeadershipSeptember 20, 2014 at 7:57 PM

      Thanks for the "schooling" me in how a high school works. I wasn't really clear on how students get promoted through the ranks. I guess I should've been more specific in pointing out that elementary and middle school students were promoted regardless of their performance in the classroom (social promotion). That FACT can not be disputed and if you think it doesn't impact a students willingness to give 100% you are sadly mistaken. If that is how you want your district to work, more power to you.

      Glad to see that you are engaged in at least discussing your student's educational plan, you are truly in the minority.

      This administration's message of it's okay to fail and passing students who do fail is a big piece of why Southbridge is in this position. Do the families in this district need to be more involved? With a doubt, but who is making that extra effort to get that message out? You know, social media plays a big role in helping reach people, and if you are that desperate why not treat it like a political campaign? Go door to door and explain why we need everybody's help? Instead, they have a "Acronym Mania" and "Parent Boot Camp" night at the middle high school attended by two parents and those parents work at the school. This administration and school committee are ineffective plain and simple and it directly effects the students.

      Also, glad to see you have adopted the "every school has fights" mantra. I have worked in two schools (one middle one high) and we never had a fight. Two fights in the first three weeks of school? Almost a fight a week, but your okay with that and the fear and anxiety it causes these students. And, your not running away to a greener pasture, you are making a choice to have your student actually learn in a classroom without all of the bs Southbridge has, and that's a lot of bs. I have spoken with a lot of the families who made that decision and they used the exact phrase, "the grass is greener". You can look up most of theses statistics on the MA DOE website.

      Also, the amount of colleges offering on line classes have jump exponentially, it truly is a great option and most of the time cheaper and safer. There is actually a program at SHMS called Virtual High School that prepares the students for such experience. But I am sure you already knew that.

  17. Clint Eastwood Once Starred in a Movie Called ...September 20, 2014 at 5:04 AM

    "High Plains Drifter": A western story of a mining town called Lago. It's here where he has the entire town painted red and paints the word "HELL" on the "LAGO" sign just outside town.

    At this current rate of administrative school spending what "Color" would best describe a new welcome sign labeled a town called "SELL".


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