Tag Archives: school bus

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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by
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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by
Anura Guruge


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

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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‘.

Alton Central School 8th Grade Student Council President, In Letter, Claims That Bullying Is Alive And Well At ACS.

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Anura Guruge


Devanee our daughter was subject to considerable bullying at ACS.

In 2011 it got so bad that I requested a formal investigation per HB 1523.

I redacted a part that is not that relevant to this discussion to avoid folks getting distracted. Click to ENLARGE.

I redacted a part that is not that relevant to this discussion to avoid folks getting distracted. Click to ENLARGE.

It ended up with an ‘independent’ evaluator from Gilford mediating. Then a year later Devanee, accidentally or otherwise, got slapped in the face in the school bus coming home. That is when we decided to homeschool her.

Deanna and I both experienced bullying when young. We are determined that other kids should not go through this same experience.



Yesterday morning I got an e-mail, with an attached letter, from another ACS parent. It was about bullying and had been written by her daughter, 8th Grade Student Council President, to the ACS School Board.

I know the daughter, and for that matter the whole family. Both her brothers were on my 2011 – 2012 Destination Imagination (DI) team, and the mother (who sent me the e-mail) was my Assistant Coach. The author of the letter often attended our DI sessions. Since then I have got to know the whole family. These kids, by any measure, are exceptional. Yes, they did go to private school before coming to ACS. But that is neither here nor there. All I know is that I have great faith in these kids and their parents.

Since the letter has been sent to the School Board I am going to bide my time and in general bite my tongue (though I have made a call to a ‘anti-bullying’ campaigner to give him a ‘heads up’).

There is one KEY thing in this letter that bothers me, and it bothers me so much that I have to address it.

This young lady is NOT trying to cause trouble or get anybody into trouble. To the contrary. She does not want to name names.

She wants to try and SOLVE the problem through student awareness, participation and goodwill.

To me that sounds beyond wonderful. BRAVO.

So, what is she asking?

She would like the school to have Group Seminars and Discussions where the students can discuss bullying.

That is IT. Ok, I could, as ever, be wrong. But, this seems like a great idea to me.

And then comes the bit that has me confounded, and I am going to show an extract of the letter to avoid any misunderstanding:

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.

Mr. Lander can WE see these studies that YOU quote?

This is what confuses me. I have done some reading on anti-bullying programs. Everything that I have read indicates that group initiatives, students working with their peers, is the best way to stamp out bullying.



This is from the Federal 'stop bullying.gov' website. Click to access.

This is from the Federal ‘stop bullying.gov’ website. Click to access.


Per Minnesota Public Radio schools in MN appear to encourage this type of assemblies. Click to access.

Per Minnesota Public Radio schools in MN appear to encourage this type of assemblies. Click to access.


So this was ANOTHER 8th grader. Click to access.

So this was ANOTHER 8th grader. Click to access.


Another ... just click.

Another … just click.


An anti-bullying organization has this to say. Click.

An anti-bullying organization has this to say. Click.


You can do your own Googling.

Here is the NH State page on bullying.





Hurricane Sandy: Alton Central School (ACS) Closing & Lack Of Phone Notification


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Related post:
>> Hurricane Sandy: We Dodged, To My Relief, Round 1 On Monday. Round 2 Tomorrow & Thursday — Oct. 30, 2012.


Alton Central School (ACS) closed for the day on Monday, October 29, ahead of Sandy.

Given that the safety of the kids is the #1, #2 & #3 priority of all concerned, I have NO problem with that. That was fine, though the heavy rain and winds didn’t kick in till about 4pm Monday.

I assume that the decision was made by the new Superintendent. IF SO, I hope he is as diligent about school closing and delayed start when we have SNOW.

We live off Prospect Mountain Road, and the school bus that serves us has to go down Water Street and up Muchado.

I have seen the school bus go down Water St. SIDEWAYS, more than once — with no traction and obviously no control, despite the automated chains! Yes, the bus has got stuck in snow on Muchado.

But, at least in the past, there was a cavalier attitude about ‘snow days’ — the excuse being that they would have to make it up in June. So, we also then get the ‘delayed start’ and ‘early release’ game play — because those don’t count as ‘snow days’. My point is simple, IF they closed yesterday, can we also CLOSE when we have snow so that I don’t have to watch the school bus go down Water Street SIDEWAYS? Though I am a fairly hardy person, and nothing much phases me, seeing a school bus sliding down a hill is not a pleasant sight. Yes, we did call up and complain.


We did not receive any telephone notification on Sunday that ACS was to be closed Monday.

Last school year, we would get 3 phone calls (house line, my cell, Deanna’s cell) every time somebody sneezed at ACS — with the phone calls always timed to perfect for 7pm.

On Sunday there were no calls.

Deanna just happened to check her e-mail late Sunday night. Usually I too get an e-mail, but I must be black-listed, or at least brown-listed, because I write posts such as these. C’est la vie.

Monday night Deanna called the school to see if there was a message about Tuesday. NADA.

Kind of strange all together. Yes, Deanna called and talked to somebody about it today.