Thursday, January 15, 2015

Southbridge School Committee Meeting - January 13, 2015


  1. Another attempt at secrecyJanuary 15, 2015 at 6:08 AM

    What was the point of moving the action to appoint Stanton until after the Executive Session? Was it in the hope that those who didn't want to sit through two hours of dead air would give up and tune out not realizing that the committee once again failed to appoint a search committee? This committee's efforts to keep their actions away from public view are truly amazing.

  2. How much worse can it get than when the sc chair has to publicly announce that DESE has no plans to put Southbridge into receivership and that there is no truth to the rumor that all staff will be fired or laid off?

  3. Just watched the meeting. 40 minutes of Obudsman presentation that clearly indicate a GIANT waste of $237,000 of taxpayer/educational money. This committee has until March 30 to get out of this contract for next year - I sincerely hope they don't miss this date. They need to read that current contract's fine print and be certain that Southbridge gets out cleanly. No more lawyers fees because of inept committee leadership.

  4. I took a few minutes to browse the district website this morning and it's horrible. Little to no information is available and what little information is there is pretty old. I remember spending about $1M years ago to upgrade the districts "technology" but it really looks like that money was wasted. We wanted to bring the schools into the 21st century but it looks like that investment was swallowed by consultants and gimmicks. There is one shining example of what technology can do for our schools. Mr. Marderosian's class page is packed with up to date information for his students. THIS is what we were all hoping that $1M investment would result in. If possible, this man should be given the time to explain to the rest of the district how to build and maintain a website that's useful to students and families. Congratulations to him. Take a look for yourselves at what the future could look like:

  5. eyes down taking notes on show of hands adjournment vote just the way this chair rolls.
    If she ain't making it she justs fakes it.
    Like we should believe her that Dese isn't taking a hard look at Southbridge, RIGHT!

  6. Hurray for Mrs. AbateJanuary 15, 2015 at 1:04 PM

    Congratulations to Mrs. Abate for her victory and sizable payment, resulting from one more wwrongful termination suit against the school. Bay Path picked up a great teacher that the evil empire tried to break. She was one of the top math teachers that my child ever had. More wasted $$$ and lost top-notch educators.

    1. Thank you to "Hurray" for the compliment. But to clarrify, let's talk about what is "sizable" and what is a "victory". I was terminated by Buzz and Gardner in retribution for not falling in line with what they wanted me to conform to/go away and be quiet about (in events that occured in 2012/2013). They tried to disguise it as something else but...the truth prevailed eventually. I cannot comment on more than that at this moment due to other pending lititgation. However, what I can say is that my arbitration with the district was officially "capitulated". This means that the district offered me my job back but instead we have settled on a different arrangement since I have moved on. From a monetary standpoint, this agreement only allows me to my salary for that year (less any unemployment, less any other wages from any other means). In this case the district should have had a budgetary $$ win, unfortunately at the student expense. I went out and found other employment very quickly. Southbridge only contracturaly owed me the difference between what my salary was and what I earned from my new employment sources. Meanwhile, the students suffered and Southbridge should have pocketed/stored that saved money away. For a long time after my detatchment from the district, they stuck the students with either other staff members (in lieu of their prep periods), or short-term subs at a much lower rate than I earn. This would yield a substantial savings over a teacher with my experience and multiple degrees held. Sorry to burst anyone's bubble, but the check I received for $6,014.62 did not make me rich. It only partially undug me from the hole that I was put in by this insanity while unfairly unemployed and working in part-time employment during 2013/2014. So while I appreciate the compliment by a previous parent, I promise you the money I received last friday did not benefit anyone and certainly did not make things right for the students of Southbridge or myself.

    2. And I believe that the State (via the Town) must be reimbursed for the unemployment benefits that were paid out for any employees that were wrongfully terminated. Ms Abate is not the first - nor will she be the last. I believe there are several cases pending.
      I would like to echo that the loss of Ms Abate cost our students much more than money - but the life lesson of sticking to your guns when an injustice has been done - is priceless.
      Good Luck Pam - @ Bay Path - and in your other 'pending' litigation.

  7. Help Wanted - Chemistry Teacher (Bring your own books)January 15, 2015 at 4:56 PM

    OK, we've been searching for high school chemistry books since they were "misplaced" when the school moved over three school years ago.
    SchoolSpring has a posting for a chemistry teacher today, as well as another position.
    When did high school chemistry become so unimportant? Who do our educational wizards expect to find this time of the year to fill this spot?

  8. It is funny minor accident in Southbridge rates some column inches in the T&G and not the crash of a once proud and great school system....

  9. Nice "Reminder"January 16, 2015 at 8:16 AM

    Nice letter that went out to the staff at SMHS this week reminding us of the "proper" channels to pursue with complaints. I guess the Principal got her marching orders from the School Committee chairwoman after the Gardner affair. Just making sure that no one else goes to anybody but her with complaints in the future (sorry Dr. Page). Got to make sure nothing leaks to the public.
    And what's this business about restraining orders?

    1. The actual wording in the middle/high school principal's memo:
      "Please read this note carefully,
      No SMHS staff, including administration, should engage school committee members regarding any school-related issue. All exchanges with school committee members must be filtered through me, and then through the superintendent's office. The only exception would be a teacher to parent conversation that involves the child of a committee member and his/her progress, etc. This policy applies to all staff at all levels. If a school committee member contacts you about matters not related to his/her child, please let me know. If you have any questions, please see me."

      So the committee doesn't want to hear from anyone during "Public Input" at their meetings, they don't want anyone to speak out on this or any other blog, and now the don't want to be bothered by employees either. They want to hold committee meetings-of-the-whole at the old high school, away from the TV cameras. They refuse to release taxpayer-funded investigative reports.

      We have had men and women fighting for centuries to protect our constitutional rights and freedoms, including the 1st Amendment. When will this committee stop trampling on the rights of the citizens?

    2. voter in SouthbridgeJanuary 16, 2015 at 1:28 PM

      If a teacher is a voter and tax payer in Southbridge, can the School Committee refuse to talk to them? Is that even legal? Can the principals and (acting)Superintendent stop them from talking to anyone?

    3. OMG!! This is pathetic - you can't make this stuff up.
      I suspect that Dr Page was contacted initially because there was a trust factor there that the issue would, in fact, be looked into and not swept under the rug. Furthermore, Dr Page DID take it to Ms McLaughlin.
      This 'edict' disguised as a memo is a PRIME example of bullying - and we all know the Chairwoman is an EXPERT on bullying!
      ANYONE - student, teacher, administrator, parent- who is being bullied or threatened should be ENCOURAGED to bring it to the attention of a member of the SC that they may feel comfortable speaking with; ANYONE - including concerned citizens should do the same; the same is true for the Town Council.
      Yes, there is protocol - and a chain of command - when being harassed/bullied by a fellow employee, parent, student - you take it to the next level - ie - your boss - students/staff to the principal - principal to the superintendant - BUT when it is the
      boss that is committing the harassment/bullying (or whatever) - then you must take it to THEIR boss - which in this case - involved the SC - some members of which have repeatedly demonstrated that they support bullying tactics.
      I am outraged at this blatant abuse of power, and continued disregard for freedom of speech. What an example of disrespect this sets for our youth.

  10. Save our Schools --SOSJanuary 17, 2015 at 10:21 AM

    Well, I guess they can't get along without those high priced administrators. School Spring has an ad for another Assistant Superintendent. I wonder whose friend this is? Especially since rumor has it that the district is in financial turmoil and that mid-year layoffs are around the corner....


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