Tag Archives: Assistant Principal

Alton Central School (ACS), N. H. To Try ‘Courage To Care’ Program, Developed By UNH, In An Effort To Curb Entrenched, Insidious Bullying.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
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Bullying at Alton Central School (ACS) Raises Its Vicious,
Ugly Head Again
 — Dec. 6, 2013.


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The Alton Central School (ACS) Facebook notification that Deanna picked up yesterday.

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The YouTube video. Click to access …

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Alton Central’s Mikel Lachapelle … start at 0:28 seconds into the YouTube video. Click to access.


Listen carefully to what the Assistant Principal has to say and I tip my hat to him for saying what he did.

Yes, whatever ACS thought it was doing in the past obviously was NOT WORKING.

Thank YOU Mr. Lachapelle for recognizing and publicly acknowledging that.

That is definitely a first step in the right direction.

As I have bemoaned in the past the ACS School Board, in particular, have been doing its best to pretend that bullying is not an issue
— and it is possible that at least one member may have a vested reason for doing so.

So far I have been fairly impressed with Lachapelle. That he is a graduate of the Wheaton College (MA) might have something to do with that.

I will, of course, be keeping an eye on how this pans out.

Merry Christmas.

Bullying At Alton Central School (ACS), N. H. Raises Its Vicious, Ugly Head Again. It Is Endemic To This School.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


ACSBullyingbanner


Related posts:
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Yet again it has hit close to home.

I will not divulge too much right now …

Yet again this is not restricted to peer-to-peer bullying between kids.

But meticulous records are being kept and there is much happening yet again.

After months of apathy, as I had already mentioned, there has been a sudden spurt of interest
at the ACS School Board and bullying.

Here are the latest stats.

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.

I think there is a culture of bullying at ACS.

Alton Central School (ACS) ‘Back To School Night’ On August 26: I Was Pretty Impressed. Some Dedicated Staff.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
++++ Search on ‘ACS’ or ‘Central’ for all the other posts >>>>


This along with both verbal and written offers saying that he will happily work with kids needing additional help on Saturday or Sunday mornings is pretty impressive. Pretty amazing. Kudos.

This along with both verbal and written offers saying that he will happily work with kids needing additional help on Saturday or Sunday mornings is pretty impressive. Pretty amazing. Kudos.


With possibly one small exception, and ‘small‘ here is THE keyword, I really haven’t had any issues with the teaching staff at Alton Central. In general I find them to be a great bunch and we have been lucky to have had some very exceptional teachers for both Devanee and Teischan.

Yesterday’s ‘Back to School Night’ just confirmed my long held (since 2007 when Devanee started attending ACS) beliefs that we have some wonderful teachers at ACS. I feel bad about the ‘politics’, much of it having to do with The Board, that must drive them to distraction. Yes, it would be nice if they had a better, newer school BUT I was kind of surprised to see how well the Middle School was equipped and how BIG Teischan’s 2nd Grade classroom was. I went to school in a 3rd world, dirt poor country. There were 60 kids per class and our classrooms were 1/4 of the size of Teischan’s room for 19 or 20 kids. We managed and I did get one heck of an education!

Teischan has a teacher that was Devanee’s teacher 6 years ago. So we know her, we like her and she knows us. So that was good. We are happy.

Devanee is back at ACS after a 18 month hiatus after we took her out in February 2012 because of bullying. I am still not 100% happy that she is back at ACS. I worry. But trying to homeschool her was very stressful for Deanna though Devanee did do quite well with homeschooling.

All of the Middle School and the teachers there were new to me. I really had had no exposure to them. We spoke to 4 of them and I was very favorably impressed and grateful. Some very committed, dedicated and talented folks here. That is good. I heard Mr. LaFreniere tell another parent, while we were in line, that he would come in on a Saturday morning if a kid needed additional help. My ears pricked up. That is dedication beyond the call of duty. Then this morning Deanna woke me up, just after a 8 (and as such 20 – 30 minutes ahead of my normal wakey-wakey time) saying ‘Have you seen this … Mr. LaFreniere has given out his cell phone number?’. Neat. This is all good. I am glad. Mr. Brown the Social Studies teacher actually knew some place names from Sri Lanka. I was delighted. [Not many folks in NH know where Sri Lanka is, let alone know of any place names.] This is all good.

Deanna and I, individually and together, spoke with Mikel LaChapell, the Assistant Principal. This is the first time I have really had a chat with him. We had a good discussion about bullying and school safety. he now knows where we are coming from. If Devanee experiences any bullying this time around we will not pussyfoot around. I think everybody kind of knows that. 

So, that is where we are at. We were impressed. We were happy. Lets hope we can have an uneventful year at school — though I already know, because of a phone call we got from a prominent Alton businessman this morning, that the fireworks at the Board Meeting will continue. What fun. But, thankfully, none of the issues should impinge on the teachers — other than the ‘Common Core’ tussle, but the school is at ‘Rotate’ for the 2013-2014 school year. So that cannot be changed. [‘Rotate’ is the aeronautical term used by pilots during takeoff. At ‘rotate’ you are committed to the takeoff. You can’t change your mind. You have to get the wheels off the ground even if you are going to be crashing!]

Alton Central School (ACS), N.H.: Proposed Behavior System For ACS — The Presentation.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> School board meeting, July 22, 2013 — July 22, 2013.
>> ‘Slipping through the cracks’ … — July 22, 2013.
>> Slip waiting to happen at ACS — July 17, 2013.
>> Administration again compromises credibility — July 9, 2013.
>> School bus fiasco … — July 8, 2013.
>> Credibility of ACS Administration questioned — June 24, 2013.

++++ Do a SEARCH on ‘Alton Central’ from
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ACSbehavior2
Click on images to download the 9 page presentation
as a (safe) Adobe Acrobat PDF file.


Presentation given by Mikel LaChapelle, ACS, Assistant Principal at last night’s ACS School Board meeting.

It is said to be modeled on this SWIS program, though we have yet to get the software. So ACS staff will start by using paper forms. [Yes, I asked about it. Check the video when it becomes available].

SwisII

SwisI

Alton N. H.: Library, To Their Credit, Addressing Bullying While School Administration & Board Drag Their Heels.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge



Related posts:
>> ACS … bullying does not appear to be isolated —
>>June 23, 2013.
>> ACS bullying ‘issue’, independent investigation …
>>June 22, 2013.

>> NO student driven assemblies in 2012 – 2013 — June 11, 2013.
>> Much has happened behind the scenes — May 31, 2013.
>> ACS Board dragging heels re. bullying issue … — May 21, 2013.
>> ACS 8th Grader Claims That Bullying Is Alive And Well At ACS
>> — Apr. 5, 2013.


We were at the Alton Library yesterday and were delighted to see this prominent display of books in the children’s room.
Bravo.
Good to see the Library taking a lead in this very important issue.

Alton Central School (ACS), N. H.: Bullying Does Not Seem To Be Isolated. Another Mother Writes …

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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Related posts:
>> ACS bullying ‘issue’, independent investigation …
>>June 22, 2013.

>> NO student driven assemblies in 2012 – 2013 — June 11, 2013.
>> Much has happened behind the scenes — May 31, 2013.
>> ACS Board dragging heels re. bullying issue … — May 21, 2013.
>> ACS 8th Grader Claims That Bullying Is Alive And Well At ACS
>> — Apr. 5, 2013.


Deanna got this via Facebook yesterday
when she reposted my ACS bullying update post.

I have, of course, removed all names from this correspondence.


I wish the school would do something about the bullying! It’s terrible! Not only was xxxxx bullied by a boy with him threatening to smear PB in her face even though he knew she was allergic to it, he then decided on retribution when he was talked to, which entailed him going around the school telling kids terrible things about xxxxx. I called the AP and left a message … which after three days he never returned! Now, here it is … school is out and he got away with it! UGH! Frustrating to say the least!

Key:
PB = peanut butter
AP = Assistant Principal, Mikel LaChapell


I just find this amazing at multiple level.

There seems to be an arrogant air of indifference when it comes to bullying. I don’t know the AP. I miss Steve Ross. Though we once had major ‘differences’ you could always rely on Steve.

I wish the parents were more vocal on this issue. This has got to stop. This bullying is really harming our kids.

Well more grist to the mill.

Ice Cream On Friday At Alton Central School (ACS), NH.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Prior Alton Central School (ACS) related post:
Why They Changed The 1st Grade Seating In Alton Central School (ACS), NHSept. 10, 2012.

Let me first state my concern, as I see it, and then work backwards from there.

From what I can see (and get told) there are kids at ACS who for whatever reason do not have access to the 50 cents required to get these Friday afternoon ice creams thus creating what I consider to be an unnecessary and uncalled for ‘have and have nots‘ scenario — furthermore doing this in the last session of the school week so that the ‘have nots’ have the whole weekend to cogitate about it.

Ice creams for nearly all kids is a very visceral, emotive thing especially if they are not getting it while others around them are. To them it is a punishment, a major deprivation.

What I am hoping to do is to find a mechanism whereby we do not create this ‘have and have nots’ situation each Friday.

Yes, I know, very well to my cost, that life is not fair and equitable, and to Deanna’s constant chagrin I tell the kids about this on a regular basis because in my opinion they might as well come to terms with this as soon as possible. But, this does not mean that I want all kids to learn, at an early age, that life is not fair and for them to learn that bitter lesson through not being able to buy ice cream.

So how did this issue come to ahead. I gave Teischan a dollar bill last week (after I talked her doctor into making her have a blood test for allergies) to buy ice cream. Deanna had told her on Friday morning to use the dollar bill, get the 50 cents change and save that for next week. One of her kids in her class, that we do know (and know her parents quite well), according to Teischan badgered and pestered her to have the 50 cents so that she could also get an ice cream. I am delighted that Teischan gave her the 50 cents. That is my daughter. [That is upset her, we put down to her being 6.]

My issue is WHAT would have happened if Teischan did not have 50 cents to give to this 6 year old child?

I see a couple of ways we can try to fix this.

What I do not know is whether this ice cream is covered by the subsidized/free school lunch program. I also know that we do have a program to collect money for those kids that do get ‘subsidized/free’ school lunches to tide them over the weekends when they don’t get a school meal. Basically we need some kind of program to make sure that all kids at ACS that want ice cream and are permitted to have ice cream, it sans health issues, can have the ice cream WITHOUT the 50 cents being an issue.

I know the PTSA raises all sorts of money for various activities. Didn’t they spend $3,000 on some new equipment for the play ground?

Option 1: The PTSA should find a way to eliminate the 50 cent issue. Yes, I understand the issues and the logistics but they are not insurmountable.

Option 2: SCRAP the ice cream on Friday program. While I appreciate that it is a nice way to wrap up the week, the program we have does not reward all. For health reasons alone ice cream may not be the ideal treat. I am not sure that having ice cream on Friday in any way improves the academic standards at ACS. If the staff at ACS genuinely believe that the kids have to be given something sweet on Friday lets shoot for yogurt or fruits or both. Maybe cheaper. I bet if you substituted some other means of fun, live entertainment or a PIXAR 4 minute video, the kids may not miss the ice cream.

Yes, IF I had the money I would pay for the kids to have ice cream on Friday. I am sure if the Principal feels that oral gratification is the best reward for the kids at ACS we can find some sort of sponsorship deal in Town.

All I am asking is that, as with the seating in Grade 1, that we look at this issue.

Why They Changed The 1st Grade Seating In Alton Central School (ACS), NH.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
Unusual Seating Arrangement For 1st Grade Kids At Alton Central School (ACS), NHAugust 29, 2012.
They Changed The Seating In Alton Central School (ACS), NH, 1st Grade Kids At. Yippie! — Sept. 7, 2012.

 

When Teischan got back from school on Friday I asked her why the teacher had changed the seating arrangement.

Her words: “The kids were fighting … but I wasn’t one of them“. (Yep, she is our ‘angel’ — at school, making up for it, manifold and with vengence, at home.)

Just totally cracked me up. Fancy that. Wow.

As you can see if you look at my last post I was savvy enough not to take credit for this change, though two people told me that it must have been the result of my original post.

I was thinking about this. I need to check with a psychologist, maybe my daughter who will have a Master’s in Forensic Psychology in a few months. There must be a deep down, visceral territorial instinct that we all have that makes us at a minimum ‘restless’ when we are deprived of private space over long periods of time.

So, I have two questions.

1/ As far as I know all teachers, these days, have to have a teaching degree. Don’t they teach them anything about child psychology and even more importantly the basic ‘ABCs’ of classroom setup?

2/ As far as I know and can see, ACS has lot of administrative staff starting with the Superintendent. Didn’t any of them, especially the Principal and Assistant Principal, do a walk through of all the classrooms and have a chat with the teachers about the layout. OK, it is possible that they didn’t appreciate that having 6-year olds, face-to-face, with their noses 44″ apart probably might lead to conflict and disorder. I guess you live and learn.

I am just glad that this got done well before the flu season.

I Am Genuinely Sorry To See Steven Ross, Assistant Principal, Leave Alton Central School (ACS)

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


I have known Steve Ross since 2007 when my then 7-year old daughter started attending Alton Central School (ACS).

Since Steve was in charge of discipline, I soon got to know him; my daughter far from an angel. Steve Ross was always fair, understanding and even fun. Yes, we crossed swords once, but we were both cool. We continued to ‘josh’ with each other when we met in the parking lot or at a school event. He would tell me about his son who used to visit China on a regular basis.

I would like to have seen Steve as the new Principal. He told me that he would not apply because he was extremely happy with his current job. That is why I was shocked to read yesterday, in the BaySider newspaper, that he was leaving.

I sent him an e-mail this morning and basically echoed the sentiments I am posting here. He was a good ol’ fruit, and despite some differences we have had, I will genuinely miss him. I felt a sense of safety with Steve being there; you could always tell that deep down, despite what he might try to portray, he cared — he was a caring father.

Not sure what is happening. Though he thanked me for my kind words he would not tell me why he was leaving. I am hoping that it has nothing to do with the new Principal.

I also see we are getting a new Superintendent. I don’t know him, but I hope he at least knows that Pluto is no longer a planet. [See this post for background.] I have read that he is a big athletics coach. I just hope he is not just a jock. I wish him all the best. He doesn’t have a very high bar to clear. I just hope he really cares about the kids, their education and well being, rather then being a self-serving politician, who specializes in euphemisms to brush off the real issues facing ACS. In reality we don’t need two full time administrators to do that.