Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Southbridge School Committee - Public Hearing on Proposed Restructure of SMHS - May 26, 2015


  1. In response to Councilor Manna's question, McLoughlin said that it was a legal requirement that terminations and re-applications were required in a restructuring. Where in the law is that specified?

    1. That's a good question. I found this on the web ( The document contains the statement:
      "Once it is established that the abolition of the junior high administrative positions was rooted in policy and that there were reasons related to educational objectives in opting for an open selection process for the new jobs, the case for the plaintiffs collapses".
      So, it doesn't appear to be a requirement to get rid of the current staff. The SC just needs to support that decision with policy and a plan if they go that route. Someone will have to combe through the policy manual to see if Southbridge actually has a policy covering school reorganization and to determine if the SC is fairly applying that policy. If there is no policy, the SC should present to the town the educational objectives they're trying to achieve. In my opinion, the reorganization plan doesn't present objectives (if they exist) in a way that lets someone understand how the reorganization accomplishes those objectives.

      I also found this blog that talks about how Dracut went about reorganizing its public schools ( They appear to have spent more than just a few hours planning for the transition.

      At best, the SC is leaping at a solution to the latest dismal report documenting the districts problems. I urge them to look before they leap.

    2. Ken...that is a very good question - in business it is routine and a generally accepted method; it is usually done when a company is taken over/bought out/name changed/position eliminated etc - this has happened to me twice in my working career, tho I was not officially terminated - I had to 'reapply' for my position - but it is never an 11th hour procedure.

      I, too, would love to see the 'law' - or where it states the 'legal requirement' - not a good idea to bandy those terms about - unless you can back it up....

      If there is a 'legal requirement' - then we have another issue - when the 'restructuring' was done 3 years ago - not only w/the Middle School & High School - but w/the elementary schools - no one was required to reapply for their positions and the only person that was terminated was Mr Bishop - the language in his termination letter
      stated that he was 'principal of Southbridge High School' - which no longer existed; no other principals/asst principals etc were 'laid off/terminated' - or required to 'reapply' for their positions;

      Furthermore, no positions were posted including - especially the 'newly created' position of Principal of Southbridge Middle/High School - which was 'awarded to' an individual who had NO experience as a Principal, or Asst Principal - and this was done w/in days of the SC's rushed acceptance of Mr Ely's 'restructuring' plan.

    3. Rich - thank you for taking the time to do the research; so we are talking 'policy' not 'law'

      - now the question, does Southbridge have a policy - hmmmm...another good question - did the Ms Stanton /SC research that? Perhaps not, since they refer to 'law' and 'legal requirement'

      maybe they will write a policy - they like doing that - oh, it will be after the fact,no matter...

      So...does this maybe indicate that if this goes forward as planned - that the affected parties have grounds for a class action suit? Perhaps, the AD's dad - Atty Caprera can advise them.....

  2. Quinney's Retribution PlanMay 27, 2015 at 9:01 AM

    Factoid . . . the new job descriptions for assistant principals call for three years experience in that position.
    Who would make a lateral move ? Assistant principals historically move up to principals, not into an AP position in another district.
    Of course this requirement will prevent the current APs from applying. Oh, that's right, Quinney's restructuring plan was formulated with that exact idea in mind. Retribution for one of them filing charges against Quinney's CLOSE pal, Pat Gardner.

    As our property values continue to slide, our school committee will most probably execute this payback plan.

    Donovan is an assessor, she should know first hand about our property values. If she votes for this, we need to vote against if she decides to run for relection to the assessor position.


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