Sunday, July 29, 2012

Unethical Behavior?

There was an executive session of the personnel and negotiating committee on Monday, July 23rd to discuss the interim superintendent position. Sue Haynie is the chairperson. How did the Apples find out what was discussed at executive session? Is this a violation of Board Policy? Still waiting for a copy of the letter mailed to parents at Nathan Hale. Please share it here if you have it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Conflict of Interest?

I heard something that made me think, Is that true? Tell me what your opinion is... Is there a conflict of interest for a Board member to serve the public who is also a declared member of the Apples? What if said Board member is feeding information to the Apples?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Today's Superintendents

All one has to do is Google 'failed school superintendents' or 'unsuccessful school superintendents' and there are pages of evidence that suggest that the 'answer to our prayers' superintendents don't really exist. Now the Republicans are suggesting that we appoint a candidate with a business degree for superintendent. Is this really what Norwalk needs? Or is this a knee jerk reaction to the financial mess that was created? Don't we need a Leader who makes sure the CFO does his/her job, the curriculum Dept does their job and the principals are doing what they are supposed to do? Other districts have chosen MBAs and have found out it just doesn't work. Not long ago, it was trendy to hire a business to take over schools. That didn't work either. School systems don't produce products. We have children! Will the Board make a 4 th mistake in our list of failed superintendents?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Test Scores

NORWALK -- The gap between the city's Connecticut Mastery Test results and the state's is narrowing, but the Connecticut Academic Performance Test results still lag behind state averages. Seems that,except for the high school CAPT test, Norwalk is making the right moves in curriculum. Congratulations to the curriculum department and to the teachers!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ditrio Proposes Alternate Cuts

Norwalk Hour....................... 'Union leaders, parents discuss alternative budget plan for Norwalk schools' '...removal of of a section at Columbus Magnet School that Ditrio said was made but not included in the budget, and the elimination of the Central Office grants administrator among other things at the high school level. It keeps class sizes under the teachers' union contract-mandated number by adding back 11 elementary school teachers, all the elementary school library aides at reduced hours, an outreach worker, middle school library assistants and 12 combined intervention utility aides.'

Susan Marks Letter to the Community

The Norwalk Patch has the entire letter from Susan Marks. The link is listed below. Some quotes: (to be fair, please read entire article) 'Many of the initiatives begun during this time are funded by private/public partnerships. I am proud that I have been able to bring over $1,000,000 of programs and support to our district.' 'The relationships that we have forged with other public/private partnerships have provided our students with significant resources and support' 'We continue to make progress in improving our instructional programs'

Friday, July 13, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

As Expected?

Quoting The Norwalk Hour...... Superintendent Susan Marks' released her $1.4 million restoration plan Tuesday night in an e-mail to Board of Education members. The plan restores six intervention aides, three elementary teachers, three elementary school assistant principals, middle school teams, four middle school security guards, six library aides at reduced hours, the Norwalk High School shop teacher and the planetarium at half the time. Under Marks' plan each of the library aides would be allocated to two schools with reduced library services. As far as assistant principals, all elementary schools save Columbus and Wolfpit, the city's two smallest elementary schools, would split assistant principals. Jefferson, Kendall, Brookside, Marvin, Columbus and Wolfpit would each receive an intervention aide.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

More Money for Budget 2012-2013

By MATT COYNE Hour Staff Writer | NORWALK -- After tonight's Board of Estimate and Taxation meeting, the Board of Education could have at least $500,000 to work back into their budget. Schools Chief Operating Officer Elio Longo said the Board of Education has a total of at least $500,000 in unexpended funds in their fiscal year 2011-12 budget. That number could be higher, according to Longo and Board of Estimate Chairman Fred Wilms, but the Board of Education still has some accounts to settle before the real number comes out. Tonight, the Board of Estimate will vote to allow the Board of Education to keep those funds and discuss other ways in which the city can extend aid to the schools. "There's a strong willingness on the city's side, the BET and the Common Council, to offer increased or further assistance to the Board of Education," Longo said. "How the funds should be spent is up to the superintendent, (Board of Estimate) and Board of Education." The $500,000 figure, Longo said, was partially brought on by the $4 million extended to the Board of Education by the Board of Estimate so the schools could cover a fiscal year 2011-12 budget overrun in certain accounts. The final number should come at the end of August.