Tag Archives: Principal

Alton Central (ACS) School Board Summer ‘Workshop’, Thursday, August 8, 2013: Bar Common Core Segment The Rest Was A Non-Event.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> ACS Workshop … should be hilarious — July 31, 2013.
>> ACS board not 100% behind Common Core? — June 11, 2013.

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I urge you to watch the video as soon as it is available.

I will update this post with a link to it — as soon as Deanna spots it online.


The Workshop from 1: 30 to 3:45 pm was devoid of a audience bar us and a substitute teacher taking notes for the local rag. That was IT!

The Workshop from 1: 30 to 3:45 pm was devoid of a audience bar us and a substitute teacher taking notes for the local rag. That was IT! One of the Board Members was also missing — for the 2nd meeting in a row. Must be taking the Summer off.


I got up and spoke at least 5 times -- I think. Got one major breakthrough. Motion passed, unanimously, that in future MOST public documents discussed by the Board will be displayed, via a 'magic lantern', on the big screen so we can all see what the heck they are talking about.

I got up and spoke at least 5 times — I think. Got one major breakthrough. Motion passed, unanimously, that in future MOST public documents discussed by the Board will be displayed, via a ‘magic lantern’, on the big screen so we can all see what the heck they are talking about. This picture was taken around 3:50 when the CROWDS poured in for the Common Core segment. Didn’t see many Alton parents. A lot of old folks — even older than ME!


It really was a Workshop in two parts: 3 hours of tedium and paper shuffling from 1 to 4 and then 1:20 minutes of rather amusing (if not for the fact that it was so sad) live entertainment along the lines of ‘no, I don’t believe you‘ rhetoric on Common Core.

When we got there just at 1pm my friends Raymond Howard and Steve Miller were there. I was glad. I actually went and sat with them leaving Deanna to sit in the front row. By 1:30 Ray and Steve had both left, albeit after Ray had given one of his pithy and always to the point remarks, in public input, that he always gets the feeling that the Board just loves to spend our money. Ray and Steve had work to do. I feared this with the timing of this Workshop.

So from 1:30 till 3:45 when busloads of ol’ folks turned up to contribute to the Common Core entertainment Deanna and I were the only bona fide PUBLIC at the meeting.

This is beyond the pale. It is diabolic.

Though nothing of IMPORT transpired the agenda for this Workshop included ‘Building Discussion’ and ‘Strategic Plan’, in addition to ‘Common Core’.

So in February – March we had all those fireworks about ACS building renovation and the $18 M bond, now come August no other parents can spare 2 hours to attend this Workshop?

I got up and had my say about this. I claimed that this Board in general, though there are two notable exceptions, make the public feel unwelcome and redundant. Their habit of glibly discussing documents that the public does not get to see is a classical example of this. Yesterday they spend 50 minutes talking about two documents and we (i.e., Deanna and I) had no idea what they were talking about. Bloody waste of our time — but that is how this Board views us. Mere taxpaying chattel — because we are not as rich and famous as they are!

Well, at least, with the help of Carlos Martinez and Steve Miller, I did get a motion passed — unanimously. In future we, the public, will get to see, on the big screen, via a ‘magic lantern’, the documents being discussed by this august board — though, of course, they retained the right, to arbitrarily override this provision when it is not convenient to them or the Administration. Well, we will see how this transpires. Dying to see the minutes.

That there have only been 4 members at this and the last board meeting was beneficial. These 4 members kind of balance each other out. I wonder how many board meetings you can miss before your conscience tells you that you need to quit?

In reality, other than this ‘public display’ motion that I forced them to adopt, the only real action that came out of this Workshop was the formation of a 22 member Strategic Team to look at EVERYTHING pertaining to the future of ACS — including buildings and grounds.

Deanna volunteered to be one of the team members — representing the parents. [To be fair, I was also asked, but I declined because I have never been a committee person. I am broadband.]

Steve Miller will also be on the team representing the Board. That is wonderful. I am glad. So in some ways I know that I am well represented on this Strategic Team: Deanna and Steve. What more can I wish for.

The Common Core was something else — as I knew it would be.

The Administration, to their shame, punted the ball. Neither the Principal nor the Superintendent, William Lander, Esq., had the gumption to stand up and defend what they claim that they believe in.

Instead they got a young lady, quite impressive, from the Dept. of Education, in Concord, to be their proxy. She was politic and didn’t know as much as she should have. She was outsmarted and out-researched by the Common Core detractors.

I know folks will scream at ME but I really have no skin in the game when it comes to Common Core.

Though I have a Master’s and have taught (adults) extensively, I am not a great believer in formal education! So to me Common Core, Apple Core, Metal Core are all the same. Yes, it is also true that I will make sure that my kids know the basics of what they need to know — by hook or by crooks. Once you know the basics, the rest is up to the individual. At least that is how it worked for me.

What cracks me up about Common Core is that our current principal Sydney Leggett has been talking about CC ad nauseum ever since she became Principal. She has told me, on the record, that ACS is committed to CC for 2013 – 2014,

I tried to get a vote — and vote of confidence — on CC yesterday. Check the tape. Sandy Wyatt, the Chair, who I have learnt to respect immensely, and have found is far more savvy than she lets on, very glibly brushed my request aside. By I will try again at the next board meeting which I think is this coming Monday. I want a vote by this Board — for the record.

I think, if Mrs. Wyatt allows me, that the vote will indicate that THIS board is not in support of CC! We know that Carlos Martinez will vote against it. He has to. He has no choice. I know that Steve (my friend) does support CC and did, BRAVELY, go on the record the last time we spoke about it. As ever kudos to Steve. So they cancel out each other. Let me take a stab at this. I think the vote will be 4 – 1 AGAINST CC! So where does that leave Mrs. Leggett?

I did hear something interesting yesterday. Though I had also heard a statement to the contrary at an earlier meeting, there was a muttering that Mrs. Leggett may never have got a VOTE from the Board to proceed with CC. Oh dear!

IF I had a say, I will stand with Mrs. Leggett. We need SOME standards and CC is a standard. That I am a UNESCO-brat may or may not have anything to do with it. But since I am a foreigner I don’t count anyway.

But, let me please urge all ACS parents to WATCH THE TAPE.

make up your own mind. Come to the meetings. They sure beat TV.

Alton Central (ACS) School Board Summer ‘Workshop’ — Thursday, August 8, 2013, 1 pm – 5 pm. It Should Be Hilarious.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
++++ Do a SEARCH on ‘Common Core’ or ‘Alton Central’ from
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entertainmentmaskAt this ‘workshop’, originally billed, erroneously, by the Superintendent, William Lander, as ‘the retreat’, will address, in public, ‘Common Core‘ and the new charter for the ‘Buildings & Grounds Committee‘.

There is also a session on the future vision of the board, but I think there is nothing that cannot be easily and inexpensively fixed there with some pairs of Dollar Store reading glasses.

The scheduled 1 hour segment for discussing ‘Common Core’ should prove to be the BEST public forum entertainment that has been available in Alton all Summer. Forget the July 3rd fireworks. The fireworks during this session should be spectacular. Jane Cormier, Alton’s indefatigable State Rep, Jane Cormier, per her husband, School Board member Carlos Martinez, will attend and speak on this issue. Per a request I had made in May, Carlos asked whether she could be on the agenda. That was denied. She will have to speak during ‘public input’ so to speak. This should be a very entertaining hour.

Now that the Board, made an about-turn, and decided that they are not going to move the 4th Grade modulars, we should also have some fun discussions during the ‘Buildings & Grounds’ segment.

I am assuming that the SAU, will per custom, tape all of this and put it on YouTube. My guess is that parts of this will go viral. Now if we could only monetize that through YouTube. That will pay for a $36 M school.

Alton Central (ACS) School Board Voting, July 22, 2013, To Give Superintendent, William Lander, An ‘Off-Contract’, ad hoc ‘Bonus’.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related post:
>> Intriguing ACS School Board Meeting, July 22 …  — July 23, 2013.

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Alton Central School Board meeting

Click to access YouTube video of July 22, 2013 Alton Central School Board meeting.


I talked about this in my prior post.

This was the proposal to give the Superintendent, William Lander, a means to accrue sick pay (up to 30 days) though this was not in the 3 year contract that he, amazingly, managed to finagle through this dysfunctional board.

I want you to watch exactly what happens. It starts at the 1:32 mark (1 hour 32 minutes into the video).

The issue here, as Steve Miller, repeatedly points out is very basic and simple.

The Superintendent, William Lander, extracted an unprecedented 3 year contract from this Board. This sick pay benefit was NOT in that contract. Lander still has 2 years left of his contract.

So what Steve Miller is saying makes so much sense. Lander did not negotiate this as part of his contract. Now he is coming back, through the back door, with AN ADDITION to the contract.

Now as I have said before Lander owns this Board!

That even comes up. The Board won’t ask Lander to leave the room while they discuss his benefits!

This board is dysfunctional.

Also watch and notice that at least 2 members have GREAT DIFFICULTY trying to figure out how this addendum to the contract can be incorporated once the remainder of this existing contract has run out in 2 years.

This is the problem of having amateurs controlling multi million dollar public funds.

Two of the members, from what is in the public record, appear to have issues managing their own finances. But, they monkey around with public funds.

Watch how the voting proceeds. Watch WHO seconded Terri’s, immediate, without discussion, motion to APPROVE this bonus to Lander.

This board has to be held accountable at some point.

Steve Miller cannot fight all these battles on OUR behalf on his own.

Alton Central School (ACS), N.H.: Intriguing School Board Meeting, July 22, 2013. More People Really Should Attend.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> ‘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
Sidebar search trench for other related posts >>>>>


The BIG headline is that they are back to talking about costing out an addition, and Steve Miller of all people got that ball rolling. So the ‘contingency’ plan to move the back modulars closer to the permanent buildings, which was backed by the administration was put on hold. There was a brief discussion about the costs for 4 to 6 room additions. But, one key point, as far as I was concerned, was never really discussed. I thought that if there was any addition, even if it was just one room, the entire school has to be brought up to code and that that was where all the real costs were. That did not get discussed. I was going to get p and ask about it. But, between Deanna and I we had asked upwards of 8 questions — more from Deanna, than from me, for a change. So, I decided to leave it for another day. So deja vu all over again.

Other than the two of us there were only 3 other parents present — and one of them is employed by the school. I wish more people would attend. A lot of ‘crazy’ stuff happens.

Let me give you some headlines.

1/ The Superintendent, who managed to wrangle a 3 year contract from this Board last year, tried to get another compensation hike by requesting (through his friend & associate the ‘business manager’) a recommendation that he be allowed to accrue up to 30 days of sick pay — which he could, when he leaves, cash in. Steve Miller, rightly, pointed out that this was not in the negotiated contract and that it should not now be added to it since it was a chance to the T&Cs. But, the Board Chairs, Sandy Wyatt and Terri, voted for it — though Sandy Wyatt did look a bit sheepish. Steve Miller voted against and after an agonizing wait, Carlos Martinez, joined with Steve. Krista was not present. So it was 2-2 and the motion, thankfully, was not passed. But, this proved my point. If Krista had been there the Superintendent would have got his wish. Scary.

2/ All of those that work for ACS are entitled to a $2,000 year ‘bonus’ if they opt not to get health coverage through the school (because, for example, they get coverage through their spouse). Steve Miller, again, questioned the NEED for this. The administration claims it is an incentive. They voted on Steve’s motion to drop the $2,000. Carlos did NOT vote with Steve. So Steve, as was always the case last year, lost. This time 1-3. To me there is an easy fix. Everybody should pay a token amount, say, $25 a month for their health insurance. That would do away with the need to pay a bonus.

3/ Steve Miller, again to his credit, question the principal, Sydney Legget about her claim that only 1 kid was affected by the school bus snafu. She now admitted that she heard of two other cases the next morning. Yea. I couldn’t get a clear view of the skyline from where I was seated to see if there were any pigs flying!

4/ Though I knew the answer, just to make sure it goes on the record, I got up and asked whether they could confirm that there was an independent, 3rd party investigation in progress about a serious bullying allegation at ACS. The Superintendent confirmed that there was indeed an investigation. I asked whether we would be given any details of it. NO. Remember, we are paying for this. But, it is closed-door. Trust me, nothing is going to happen. There is another meeting today, Tuesday, July 23. But, the Board will just brush it under the carpet. But, at least we now have it on record that an investigation did take place.

5/ Deanna and I both brought up bullying. You can watch it on TV.

Kids ‘Slipping Through The Cracks’ At Alton Central School (ACS), N.H. — The Cracks Should Be Fixed ASAP!

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> 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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Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.


I have still not been able to rationalize why there is so much raw emotion from parents when it comes to the Alton Central School (ACS) building (which we are now finding out is in better shape than the Board cum Administration ever admitted) but very few people seem to want to stand up and be counted when it comes to other issues, such as bullying, that adversely impact the kids.

So check out the above remarks, originally appearing on Facebook, by an ACS mother that we know. [Yes, of course, I have all the names.]

Not good.

Kids should not be falling through the cracks.

But, the current administration, as I have pointed out, appears not be accountable to any power of Earth.

Well, all I can do is to highlight these issues. If others do not care, bully for them. We are already homeschooling one …

A Serious Slip Waiting To Happen At Alton Central School (ACS), NH.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> 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
Sidebar search trench for other related posts >>>>>


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I happened to notice this when I took part in the ‘Winni Walk’ on June 17, 2013. Over the last year or so I very rarely go to the back of the school and this was the first time in over a year that I had walked by the classrooms there.

I saw the non-slip covering and was very impressed. But, being who I am, I had to check that it was securely fastened. So I gently nudged it with my shoe.

Secure my foot!

It just slid off and I had to scramble to put it back on.

I was appalled.

This is an accident waiting to happen. A kid hopping on to it, as kids are wont to do, will go flying.

I was amazed that nobody at the school had noticed it.

I went back (with Deanna’s camera) and did some checking. As you can faintly see in the 3rd picture above the non-stick was glued on with haphazardly applied dabs of glue. No continuous coating. The glue is all dried up.

Right now this is a major danger to kids.

Plus, that whole retaining wall is a joke. You could not have designed a better obstacle to trip young kids. What were they thinking?

Who designed this? Who came up with the specs? Who built in? Doesn’t anybody in the school walk around the facility, once a week, checking on safety issues?

All this fuss about air quality and other non-existent issues when we have things like this right under our feet.

Well, the school better fix this soon.

I am hoping that School Board member Steve Miller, the only person on the Board that can be relied upon to consistently speakup on behalf of the kids, and in reality “Alton’s TRUE Champion for the kids“, will see this post and contact William Lander, the Superintendent.

Deanna plans to bring it up at the next School Board meeting on July 22. Well, I have a few things I want to bring up at that meeting too:

1/ Why did the Principal, Sydney Leggett convey misinformation about the July 8, 2013 school bus incident?

2/ What is the status of the Independent, 3-rd Party Bullying Investigation and are we ever going to be told, even the bare outlines of what it was all about — and, furthermore, HOW MUCH IT COST and who authorized, in terms of the vote, that payment?

3/ Why a School Board member, who would have been party to authorizing the investigation, is now claiming he was then barred from providing pertinent input to the investigation. Aaaah! Who is wagging the tail here? Yes, I have started to realize that the Administration of late [i.e., since March] appears to have autocratic, plenipotentiary powers. Not sure how that came to be. Well, actually I have a good idea.

Alton Central School (ACS), NH: School Administration AGAIN Compromises Their Credibility!

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> School bus fiasco … — July 8, 2013.
>> Credibility of ACS Administration questioned — June 24, 2013.

++++ Do a SEARCH on ‘Alton Central’ from
Sidebar search trench for other related posts >>>>>


School Board member Mr. Steve Miller, yet again proving that he is the only one on the board that on a consistent basis stands up for the kids, brought up the issue of the School Bus shenanigans on July 8, 2013, at last night’s ACS School Board Meeting. [How come WE were the only public attending?]

Thank YOU, Mr. Miller. Your efforts on behalf of the kids, as was also the case with bullying, is much appreciated.

Mr. Bill Lander, the Superintendent, said that he hadn’t had a chance to get to the bottom of it — since I had only e-mailed him a couple of hours prior to the meeting, after I had done my post (for the record).

But, Mrs. Sydney Leggett, the Principal, was happy to jump in and provide an update. She said that ONLY 1 kid was affected. Well it is on the ‘tape’, i.e., the video recording IF they ever get around to posting it (unedited).

Check the tape. Listen to what Mrs. Sydney Leggett, the Principal, says.

Why Bill Landers and the Principal forget that they are ‘on tape’ is a continuing mystery to me — unless, of course, they don’t give a damn, because they are not accountable to anyone.

So, Mrs. Leggett says ‘one child’. Well, we are aware of ONE CHILD, because Deanna got a call from the child himself asking her what he should do!

I, was told by Mrs. Pam Forbes (and I am now beyond trying to protect too many people as I was yesterday) that a ‘number of kids were involved‘. [That certainly sounded like there was MORE than 1.]

And here is another mother and she is pretty adamant. Images below. And yes, of course, I have the original unredacted versions. These discussions take place on Facebook. 

Well you don’t have to have done Singapore Math to work out that we now have at least 2. So that is more than 1.

Credibility ….

School Board …

Mr. Lander ….

July8BusLeg1

Click to ENLARGE.


July8BusLeg2

Click to ENLARGE.

Alton Central School (ACS), NH: They Are Having Quite A Day. There Is A Common Thread …

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related post:
>> School bus fiasco, today … — July 8, 2013.
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This appeared in the Alton Central School (ACS) Facebook page this afternoon — just after I posted about the school bus fiasco.

Hhhmmmm.

No backups? It cracks me up at School Board meetings when all of those at the High Table talk about ‘the cloud‘ as if it is the panacea to all IT sins. Well all this data should have been backed up on ‘the cloud‘. That is what ‘the cloud‘ is all about.

There is a connection here.

From the ACS Facebook page from July 8, 2013. I don't have access. Deanna sent this to me.

From the ACS Facebook page from July 8, 2013. I don’t have access. Deanna sent this to me.

Alton Central School (ACS), N. H.: School Buses Fail To Pick Up A Number Of Students Attending Summer Programs This Morning.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Air quality not an issue … — June 24, 2013.
>> ACS air quality — April 3, 2013.

++++ Do a SEARCH on ‘Alton Central’ from
Sidebar search trench for other related posts >>>>>


Did not affect us since Deanna drove Devanee for her 8 am -11 am ‘Future Prospects Club‘ community activity session.

As she was driving home, close to 8 am, she gets a call. A boy, attending the same session had been waiting for a bus to pick him up since 7:20. He was now thinking of walking to school, by himself, on Rte 28!

I won’t, of course, mention names. But, suffice to say the boy did NOT walk to school.

At 11 we went to pick up Devanee. I went to see if the boy had a way of getting back home. I was met by a teacher who I know. Again, for now, I will refrain from mentioning names to avoid the blushes. She tells me (with what I rightly or wrongly perceived as ‘rather glibly‘) something along the lines: ‘yes, this being the first morning a number of kids got left behind, so we are now making sure they go back on the bus so that the driver knows‘! That did not make me feel very good. I do NOT know what the school, or this teacher, was doing at 8 am. I hope there was a head count and that prompt measures were taken to account for the kids waiting, some outside, for the bus.

This is a COINCIDENCE, but I have here, in my inbox, an e-mail from an Alton mother about this very same teacher — who I think is also classed as an administrator. She is supposed to have told this mother, a few weeks ago, that her son (who I think falls into the ‘special needs’ category due a medical condition) FELL THROUGH THE CRACKS.

Fell through the cracks!

Here we are NOT talking about any cracks in the flooring of ACS. The floors are in good shape.

We are talking about cracks in the administration.

As far as I am concerned, a few kids fell through some other cracks this morning.

Of course these things happen.

But, is it a coincidence?

What I never see at ACS is accountability. Everybody is Teflon coated. The buck never stops at anybody. It just gets tossed away with disdain.

Well, as ever, my primary goal is to document this stuff so that we have a record.

Yes, I will send this post to the Superintendent, Bill Lander, the Principal and two School Board Members.

Yes, I will, rest assured, be doing another post on the: ‘fell through the cracks‘.

‘Common Core’ Presentation By Alton Central Principal Sydney Leggett At June 10, 2013 School Board Meeting.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>
Flaw in ‘Common Core’ math books — June 15, 2013.
>>
Alton Central might not have 100% Board support for ‘Common Core’
>>June 11, 2013.

>>
NHPR on ‘Common Core’ — June 9, 2013.
>>
I request School Board do joint Common Core presentation
>>May 14, 2013.

>>
Facts about the biometric bracelet — May 12, 2013.
>>
May 11, ‘Common Core Curriculum’ meeting in Alton — May 11, 2013.
>> Lets find out about ‘Common Core Curriculum’ — May 8, 2013.


CommonCorepresentation


This was the ‘Common Core’ presentation that I had requested.

Definitely worth watching. Listen to what she has to say with an open mind.

Alton Central School (ACS), at least for 2013 – 2014, is committed to ‘Common Core‘.