Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Personnel info/ principal changes

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"new topic>-- personnel info/principal changes!-- how do we get personnel information now that the "hot line" is no more? Specifically-- principals changes used to happen in the early PG, then the hot line. How do we get to whatever went on tonight at the board meeting, because it sounded terribly interesting ;)
P.S. Thank to all of the participants in this forum-- I think you DID it-- getting the grad requirements at least tabled ! "

Proposed change for graduation requirement

On another post Anonymous said:

"New post please:

Take Action! I just sent an email to all board members at asking them to vote NO tonight for the proposed change in the graduation requirement policy.

I'm concerned about the reduction in PE credits. I listened closely to administration's plan and read the comments on this blog--it doesn't make sense.

My biggest concern though is that this policy change was presented on April 2nd, giving less than a month for board members to do their due diligence to make a good decision.

Furthermore, I understand that principals are already scheduling and displacement notices have already been issued. The board didn't vote yet!

The public hasn't had enough time to respond either. Please ask your board members to vote NO."

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Additional teacher cuts

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"**new post**

Teacher Cuts Sent Out Again

Major teacher cuts are happening again. While there is an a opportunity to put in for a transfer, many teachers find there isn't a single job posted on the transfer list they can apply for. This means more bumping around and students who have formed bonds with their teachers will find that bond harshly broken when the teachers disappear next year.

This also means that more teachers will be teaching over a full load, with more preps and much bigger classroom numbers. It's that's much harder to be an effective teacher when the focus for planning is spread in too many directions.

Teachers are given 45 minutes per day to plan for as many as five different classes, complete paperwork, make phone calls or write emails to parents, document those contacts, grade papers, make copies, and...what am I forgetting? Oh, right. Pee. There are other things that need attending to, but hopefully not every day, like dealing with students I having a personal crisis, talk to social workers about student mental health and home life issues, and provide tutoring. However, teachers can handle those things instead of eating lunch, so no big deal.

In order to try to keep up with this work, teachers put in countless hours in the evening and on weekends. Many stay after school until 5 or 6 to run clubs and play catch up. And while the board is expecting teachers to document every minute of the up to 16 hours that must be made up for snow days, it was never considered the number of hours put in, unpaid, all year that they had already provided. Unfortunately, none of that make up time is going towards instructing our students, because the students aren't making up those hours.

What does this all mean? Parents, demand better circumstances for your teachers! Demand better care for your teachers! Demand better support for your teachers! Because those things will benefit your students. Become educated about the cuts. Become educated about the job of a teacher. Demand to be able to shadow a teacher, though you'll have to get clearances first. Write letters to the editor. Have your students write letters to the editor. Grab the biggest whistle you can find, stand in front of bellefield with your students and blow it hard!

Parents, we need you!"

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Student bill of rights

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"A little help please. Can anyone expand on any portion of the students' bill of rights? The A+ site provides articles on teen bloc and the rights, for example,

What does positive discipline look like? Who determines the limits of free expression? If you go to the meeting scheduled on the 29th will your presence indicate that you support the rights when in fact you don't understand them enough to do so?"

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 2014 Agenda Review

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"This month's agenda review materials is online now. SESI's Clayton contract is back on the agenda. The cost is 2.8 million for 1 year @ $11,200 each for 250 students. Wow! Couldn't the Student Achievement Center do the job for less?"

Monday, April 14, 2014

Awards to PRC teams

From the PG:

"...educators at Allderdice, Brashear and Carrick high schools received a total of $169,660 in bonuses -- 70 percent from federal funds and 30 percent from the district -- as a result of success in the Promise Readiness Corps, in which teachers work with the same students in grades 9 and 10."

Friday, April 4, 2014

Minadeo minutes

On another post Anonymous posted minutes from a Minadeo parent/school meeting, a candid look at the process of addressing some challenging issues.  It is at least clear that these are not just EFA meetings.

Anonymous wrote:

"Minedeo Part one.
At the beginning of the meeting, the panel consisted of Mrs. Wagner and Ms.
Hollis. The discussion opened with a comment from a parent whose children
are in the 5th and the violence in the school seems to be escalating. Mrs. Wagner responded
that she and Ms. Hollis are looking at the data from the referral process. They
are looking at which grade levels are involved, what area of the school does
the behavior occur in, what are the major behaviors, which days of the week
do behaviors occur most, which students have an increased number of
referrals, and what the triggers are for problem behaviors particularly for the
students that are most often receiving office referrals. Fights are often
occurring during transition times. Mrs. Wagner said they are working to make
the transitions a more tightly controlled process. There have been fewer fights
during lunch. Most fights are occurring towards the end of the day during the
Response To Intervention (RTI) transitions. There are groups of students who
are moving to other classrooms for RTI that are largely unsupervised. Mrs.
Wagner stated that they are using a variety of things such as in-school
suspension, the time out room and out-of-school suspension to address
behaviors. They are using the School Assistance Process (SAP) to evaluate
behaviors and get families involved. Ms. Hollis said that one of her goals is to
increase community outreach programs and to get more parents involved.
She stated that working with parents is key. They need to be involved with

A parent shared a personal story and stated that parents have to be involved
in the process. The teachers and the school cannot easily undo what is being
taught in the home.

A parent asked what is being done to engage families of children who have
behavior issues. Mrs. Wagner stated that it is not mandatory for parents to
work with the school, to seek therapy or medication for their children and that
the school continues to reach out when parents are not initially engaged.

It was noted that the approach to kids is important. Yelling and screaming is
not as effective. Concern was expressed for how adults in the building treat
the students.

Ms. Hollis noted that it is important to look at the root cause of the behavior
and to teach children to know what is socially acceptable. "

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pittsburgh teachers and officials explore community schools

From the PG:

"Community schools -- called community learning schools in Cincinnati -- use the public schools as a hub for a variety of services for students, families and the community."