Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Southbridge School Committee Meeting - May 12, 2015


  1. Save our Schools --SOSMay 14, 2015 at 4:12 AM

    Although there are many points of discussion and disunion on the restructure and superintendent search there seems to be that common thread of payback for rocking Gardner out of the boat. Here are a few observations:

    1. We do need to have two separate and distinct schools at the new building. And, Dr. Page's Jr. High School / High School Model makes much sense. Using the reasoning that most school systems in Mass are set up in the middle school model doesn't pass the smell test. We can all remember hearing our mothers telling us, "just because someone else is jumping off a bridge doesn't mean you have to." Southbridge Public Schools are not like other schools in Mass. We need a solution that will work for us.

    2. The current interim superintendent let it slip that she is working on her dissertation for her PhD. She probably needs the job so that she can finish her research and then move on. We need and deserve a superintendent that will put all of their efforts into Southbridge Public Schools.

    And, Finally:

    3. With all that restructuring going on was there any mention of reducing the size of the central office....?

    These are the three most relevant issues facing Southbridge Public Schools, especially with the DOE and NEASC breathing down our necks.

    1. Changing your deemed observations to the most relevant issues facing Southbridge Public schools completely liquidates your argument.

      IMHO, The most relevant issues facing Southbridge schools all involve not putting Kids First. None of the issues are new or even unique to Southbridge. They are only unique in the manner of which Southbridge addresses them or doesn't address them at all.

      1. Why can't Johnny read?

      2. Why can't Juanisha retain yesterdays taught and practiced lessons?

      3. Why does Johnny and Juanisha come to school each day all upset looking for comfort and compassion needs before participating in getting an education needs?

      Dysfunctional home life and defective parenting has at least five years of detrimental effect long before the administration structure and policies affect our students. Sending your kid to school without even recognizing the first letter of the students name never mind the child's first name is far too common in this town. This type of parenting continues throughout the grades by doing the child's homework for them and making excuses for the child instead of helping them or holding them accountable for their actions at home and at school. Making the child visit the other parent in jail instead of doing homework or preparing for a test is also a more common event that people don't realize or consider. There are so many home life issues our students face each day that interfere with their education more so then the management issues of their education. In too many cases in Southbridge it's the families who are not putting their kids first before sending them to school or even all along the way during their school years.

      If people are so interested in fixing the Southbridge Education System then form a group who provides parenting basics, volunteer at the library's literacy center, do anything to contribute to the solutions that help kids instead of pointing the figure at others and doesn't really solve anything for the kids. Lets see if we agree on the problems before saying we have all the answers.

      I'd like to hear what others think the three most relevant issues facing Southbridge Public Schools actually are. You know like what would of been the results of a survey and allowing transparency and public input. Had the previous poster stopped at observations and not gone to most relevant issues I would be in agreement with them. I'm sure that some will even disagree with me so lets build on this important question.

      Southbridge lets hear it because this survey might be the only one you get. Here is the open ended question for all to consider.

      What are the most relevant issues facing the Southbridge Public Schools?

      ( you can limit to three or provide a top ten, etc.)

  2. Save our Schools --SOSMay 14, 2015 at 7:12 PM

    To Survey Says:

    My points were focused on the system that is broken and is not serving the individual students you speak of. I heartily concur that the system is letting a generation of Southbridge students hang out in the wind. So, I think we are on the same page but with different starting points. My approach is top down. And the Top of the pyrimid is to large for the base to support. I did some rough math using the budget proposal that is on the District's Web Site.

    Administration $6,494,532 25.85%
    Tuition $1,919,346 7.64%
    Bills $647,793 2.58%
    Network $387,464 1.54%
    Maintenance $1,955,486 7.78%
    Student Centered $13,718,866 54.61%
    Total $25,123,487

    Any money that is not going to the Student Centered (Teachers, Tudors, Textbooks, and supplies used by students) needs to be justified.

    I will leave it there for now....

  3. Save our Schools --SOSMay 15, 2015 at 4:21 AM

    I am going to use an example to magnify why it is important to concentrate on systemic change instead of just going to the library and helping a few kids learn to read because not all kids go to the library and not all well meaning adults have the skills it takes to work with needy kids. If all adults had the skills necessary to help kids then we would not be in the pickle that we are in. But to my example:

    Let us take the case of world hunger. I think that everyone would agree that it is a problem that is significant and needs to be worked on. What you suggest is akin to having a well meaning individual help alleviate world hunger by planting a garden and taking the produce to food share. While that is a great and noble thing to do, the act itself does nothing to ameliorate world hunger. What is needed are systemic changes to the food distribution system, agricultural systems, and political systems. That is the only way to impact world hunger.

    It goes back to the adage that if you give a man a fish he eats for a day; but if you teach a man to fish then he eats for a lifetime. School districts are the systems that we depend on to teach Johnny to read, write and do their sums but we often forget that they are also the systems we depend on to impart the necessary skills of being a human being and a citizen.

  4. OK, so far we have the following concerns :
    Administration leadership
    Why I'm right and you are wrong rhetoric

    Anybody else want to weigh in on the most relevant issues facing the Southbridge Public Schools?
    Anyone for APATHY ???
    By the SC putting off their survey and not answering here you are only making their decision not to do a survey appear to be correct so, please lets hear the issues.

  5. Apathy is a large problem, not only concerning the Southbridge Public Schools by in the town generally. The cause is that the people's voices aren't being heard. Both the council and the school committee do what THEY want and mistake it for the will of the people. Elections tend to be either a popularity contest like school elections or vendetta campaigns. And, when a citizen does speak up they are either bombasted down or ridiculed.


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