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Bond + Operational

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GG,

You can request under Ohio Open Law to give you the numbers for Winton Woods.  I do not have it at hand right now. 

Well, I also agree with your daughter comment.  Not only  the administrators are at entrance doors but they have a chair during certain bells at x bells (even when the halls are empty) soooooo if a student is sick, lost, or meandering through the halls... on the spot the student will be taken to the office. 

The Mad Botanist

 

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Princeton's security (last year?) was run by the great Calvin Johnson.   A retired Cincinnati SWAT team member, "Coach Cal" is the gold standard in a lot of things.  I know he is no longer the head football coach there, but I am not sure he is in charge of security there still. 

I can't say enough good things about that guy.

Of course, yes, he also spent a lot of time building up "The Woods"... serving at one time as Girls basketball coach. 

It sounds like Princeton has its act together.  

MB, I have a question.  Who do you think REALLY runs WInton Woods?  Like.. where does the buck stop?  Jessica Miranda?  Anthony Smith?  Courtney Wilson, Esq. ? or Dr. Terri Holden?  I'm curious as to your take.   Many of us have our thoughts.

 

Edited by equalizer

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I say Terri Holden.  Jessica Miranda (and the other board members) are kind of distanced from what is going on, kind of watching from afar, too afraid to directly get involved for fear of "micromanaging."  Courtney Wilson addresses what is brought to her attention, but doesn't seem to decide what to address and what not to address - it seems that decision is made for her.  Anthony Smith is the figurehead, the one everyone assumes is running things, but while he appears to be the leader in public (for example, giving the "State of the Schools" address), I think in reality he may be going along with whatever Holden advises.  I think she is the one actually making the decisions, but this is just my opinion based on my personal observations, and I have no hard facts to back this up.  What is your opinion, Equalizer?

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Hmm.  That would appear to be a valid conclusion. 

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EQ,

I have a different perception since I have the extra advantage of being in the inside.  Let me think about it and I will give you my take from the inside later.

 

The Mad Botanist

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EQ,

This is my perception only, and I know that other people will blast me out because they do not agree, but exercising my Freedom of Speech and the fact of my witnessing a lot of incidents, I will have to say that unfortunately those who should be in charge, are NOT.  So why am I digressing...when you see students getting away with certain things like lack of uniform, acting out loudly impairing other students from learning, cheating, which is called "collaborating" (because cheating is such an ugly word to be use by the administration), usage of phones in classrooms and administration responding that they cannot take the phones because of liability, and having students calling home, and a person comes from home and chews up the administration, and a teacher says something to a student, and student calls home, and mother appears in front of teacher and screams in teacher's face saying that teacher knows nothing about minorities, and teacher has to feed a family, and because teacher has no backup from administration, etc...and I responded back at the mother, Mrs......do you realize that I am a minority, I have been discriminated all my life and still am, and you are saying that my problem is that I do not understand minorities....and she turned around and left.  So, I think that a number of students run the school with the backup of their parents.  And again... not ALL students are in charge, not ALL the parents, certainly not the teachers, not the School Board Members (because they do not want to get their hands dirty), and above all NOT  ALL the taxpayers who are at the end the pay pal account.

Now it is your turn EQ.

The Mad Botanist

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Dr. Holden, IMHO, is the one figure that runs the district.  PBL is her baby and she knows more about it than anyone else does.  It's the horse WW is riding on.

MB, I agree with everything that you are saying.  You are not wrong.  

GG hit the nail on the head almost completely.

Student behavior WAS NOT that way when I was hired in 2005.   NO, it wasn't perfect, but it was much more like what you see in Princeton right now.  We can ascribe blame, but that isn't going to help anybody.

What I have learned is that student behavior is really a function of love and respect.  Perhaps it has changed a bit, but if the students only look to the principal as the "hero" and the teachers as these jerks who "don't understand them" then I don't see how you improve beyond the students that are going to achieve anyway.   I think this is what you sort of have now.  It needs to be reversed and I think Princeton gets that.   When WW adopts that policy, you are going to see huge change.

And yeah, do we have any real evidence that the dress code has improved academic performance?   Does Lakota have one?

 At WW, we had to spend A LOT of time enforcing a dress code that.. really was counter-productive.  The teacher would enforce the code (as they should) and send the student to the office... and 80% of the time the student would return with a note from the secretary or administrator saying that the dress was "okay for today".  Okay, what did we accomplish here?   BUT.. what it really did was send almost a daily message that the office ran the show.. not the teacher.  Same held true with electronics.  Students will tell you that the "office won't do a damn thing about it"... and in some ways, they are right.  Yes, I know, the teacher has the "power" to regulate this.. but in reality it was a battle that took too much time away from the academic piece.

A few years ago, they did adopt a policy where they shut the door on students that were late.  Good stuff, but it (again) forced the teacher into the position of being a jerk.  There are other ways to handle this.. and I have seen them.

PBL is only one piece of the puzzle.  The district needs to rebuild trust and love with its staff and THEN you will see it filter down to the students in a huge way.  More than PBL, this is one area where the new WWAB can really focus on. If you just jump in focusing on Math scores at the HS level, I think you are missing a lot of underlying things.   HINT:  You need to poll the teaching staff to find out what the problems continue to be.

One other thing before I leave the board for a while...

I would also suggest that WWAB almost require Dr. Holden's presence along with the WWTA president (or their designee).   The previous WWTA president attended those meetings (another group) on a regular basis. I was the designee once.

Lots of teacher bashing until I introduced myself as a current WW teacher (They didn't know the Equalizer.. he being a fairly dubious character)  Guard against that too =)  Courtney Wilson, Esq. (Current executive director of Human Resources and Legal Services)  made the comment that bad teachers were also an issue in a 2012 meeting held to discuss the district's report card.   It didn't go over real well and people still remember that comment made in a public forum.  Mrs. Wilson is an attorney.. not a former teacher or even someone with a background in HR.  Comments like that can destroy morale more than you can ever imagine.   If your staff can't talk crap on the brass.. then return the favor.

Focus on building love and trust and policies that both raise academics.  You can do both.

WW seems to be marching to the beat of its own drummer... and that's fine.. BUT.. if your results aren't what they should be.. looking at what the winners are doing might be helpful as well.  It's great being only the 2nd school in America to adopt a certain model... but that's like saying you are the only 2nd school in America to adopt a certain kind of offensive scheme in football.  Unless you win games, nobody cares.

Edited by equalizer

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Equalizer,

A personal invitation has already been extended to Dr. Holden to attend the WWAB meeting.  I would like to also extend a personal invitation to the WWTA President - who is that?

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Michelle Bretz is the current president.  I think she is an elementary or Intermediate School teacher .  She.. or her designee.. should be at any meeting like this... just my thought... that is up to them. ... but you have to start building trust Bridges somewhere right

But I will say the former WWAC did try to get the association involved but we all kind of felt that WWAC really had an agenda that was pretty anti teacher as well.  

Still I think reaching out to the teaching staff is the absolute minimum that should be done... part of the problem is that too many people talk to everybody except the teachers about what needs to be done and it hasn't gotten anybody anywhere.   If any group can be candid about the problems it should be the association right?

GG.. I really wish you well on this.  A solid and strong alliance between teachers Administration parents business owners and taxpayers is the only way that anything ever get better.

Edited by equalizer

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GG,

Has an invitation gone to the Forest Park Council, Greenhills Council, or Twp Trustees?

I have not heard that it has.  This is Sunday...and the meeting is Monday?

The Mad Botanist

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The Winton Woods Achievement Boosters meeting is Tuesday, August 30th at 6:30 at the Kemper Road Christian Church.  Mad Botanist, our executive committee (Pres, Vice-Pres, Treasurer, Secretary) is meeting in a couple hours to go over the agenda for the meeting - I will ask if they are in agreement to invite Forest Park Council, Greenhills Council, and Springfield Township Trustees.  We had originally discussed waiting until next meeting for that.  We thought the first meeting should be parents, teachers, administrators, and community members, and then reach out to government officials as a "stage two."  So I will bring it up at today's meeting and go from there.

Equalizer, just so you know, our WWAB is very pro-teacher, with teachers and former teachers on our nine-member board.  We want to be an inclusive group that seeks to bring the different factions together to work toward the common goal of boosting academic achievement at Winton Woods.

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GG,

 

What happened to the idea of presenting to the Board of Education on Monday.  As I understood that was the reason for people to hold back to addressing the School Board this Monday.  Are they no longer doing that?

I wished I would of known because I backed out addressing the School Board because of the information I was given.

 

The Mad Botanist

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Thanks GG...  I think as long as you have current teachers in your mix your group is going to achieve a lot more so I'm glad that you are keeping that in mind.... I think in the past there just have been a lot of teachers that we're afraid to say things for fear of being fired if they said the wrong things.  While I clearly understand that you are at a point where you have to put all of your cards on the table.  

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EQ,

The uniform will not be a problem.  During the last Board Meeting they voted to have Spirit wear accepted.  I just got an ear full at the pool on how they were wearing hoodies, covering their ear buds, plaids, anything...

Another parent mentioned that at the Middle School 4 letters went out for suspensions already one each of the four days that they have been in session.  This is at the Middle School and it is for fighting. 

I just relax and let the info seep in.

FYI:  The State Department of Education informed me that the results of the Spring tests were sent to the School Administration directly from the testing Company on June 28, 2016.

Mum is the word.  It is my understanding that some one requested on the Freedom of Information Act to have that information available to this person in question and the Administration has not responded, not even to acknowledge that they are in receipt of the request.

I also had a 2hr phone conversation with the area rep in Columbus which was very enlightening. 

The Mad Botanist

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MB,

Our WWAB President made a presentation to the board at the last board meeting.  Were you in attendance?

Question about the uniforms - does the spiritwear apply to all schools in the district?  I thought it only applied to the high school, because I heard a parent at the high school complaining about the timing of it.  She was upset that her son was just informed this week that he could wear spiritwear to school, after she had already spent her hard-earned money on new polo shirts for him.  She wasn't upset about the change - actually liked it - but thought it was inconsiderate of the board to make the change after the school year started and all the parents had already invested in new uniforms.  She thought the decision should have been made in time to notify parents in July at the latest, and she viewed it as evidence that the board is out of touch with the financial struggles of parents in the district.  Personally, it doesn't affect my family because we didn't buy any new polo shirts.

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GG,

This was a HS mom who was talking.  She had already invested in new clothing.  No she was NOT thrilled that the students were hiding the headphones inside the hoodie.

I guess I misunderstood the fact that no one should talk in order not to take out the importance of the moment.  I guess I did not received official notice of the presentation.  I had it in my calendar for tomorrow at the Board Meeting, and no I did not have a date given but just during the Board Meeting in August before September.  In fact I talked to a parent, and I wanted the parent to say a few things about this parent felt and that was the response I received. 

No comments from the fight at the Middle School?

The Mad Botanist

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I don't know about any fight at the middle school.  I just asked my son, who is a student there, and he was unaware of any fight.

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GG,

4 Suspensions originated from there from a fight, as I was told by a mom from there.  And this occurred the first day of school.

The Mad Botanist

Edited by Mad Botanist
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Five Year Forecast 2017-2021

Assumptions

Lines 13.XX Revenue from New Levies
This line item represents revenues which will be generated from a proposed additional levy. The Board of
Education will set the amount and timing of any additional levy proposals. However, the district will have a $4.2
million emergency levy expire in FY20 on December 31, 2019.

 

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Mirth,

I keep telling voters that.  People are not listening.

The Mad Botanist

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Mad Botanist,

From the 5 year forecast, which goes to the BOE this evening :

13.020 Property Tax - Replacement $4.15 Million Emergency Levy Approximately 9.78 mills 

 

People may not listen, but they will get a hefty tax increase over the next couple of years.

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Mirth,

We have done our share of jumping up and down.  I do know that with this add on we will have higher taxes than now and no way to pay them.  At this point in time, there is a large number of voters who are on fixed income.  Well, I hope between now and then some voters will have a revelation of some sort or another. 

As always is a pleasure to hear from you.

The Mad Botanist 

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THINK OF THE CHILDREN! THINK OF THE CHILDREN! Tired of hearing that nonsense.

Passing this levy will destroy this already distressed area (Greenhills and Forest Park). ANOTHER TAX to pay? Sheesh, there aren't many kids in Greenhills that even GO to Winton Woods schools.

Reason for that? Lack of parents drinking the nonsense juice and these same parents wanting better for their child's education. This is a simple supply and demand model that isn't working for the Winton Woods public. I don't think the Board has understood this for decades: New schools bring higher results in DEFICITS not grade point averages.

DUH! 

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Mad Botanist,

From the 5 year forecast, which goes to the BOE this evening :

13.020 Property Tax - Replacement $4.15 Million Emergency Levy Approximately 9.78 mills 

 

People may not listen, but they will get a hefty tax increase over the next couple of years.

Not if it isn't VOTED in.

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The truth is (and again I learned this from canvassing).. very few people in the district have the money to pass a bond issue... let alone the operational levy which will follow suit.   The marketing on how much it will cost you is sort of evil.  " a cup of coffee a day".. but the problem is that (combined with fire levies, property taxes..) you are giving the equivalent of Juan Valdez's daily haul each and every day. 

Again, I have outlined the very high municipal taxes that already exist in both GH and FP (small tax credit for taxes paid to other municipalities.. resulting in effectively paying municipal taxes twice)... and unlike other communities... there is precious little quality of life return on those taxes because the industrial / commercial tax base which carries a Springdale or a Fairfield are effectively non existent in a place like Forest Park.  I have even worse news.  At some point soon, the local wage tax in FP will go to 1.75%... or even higher... to just stay afloat.

So what needs to be done to convince people to pass a levy that they can't afford?  Well (and I know this from canvassing myself), you have to appeal to those for which the pain will be totally non-existent.  College students are a great target.  This is how Talawanda does it.... but Winton Woods has a county park in the middle of it... not a Division 1 University.

WW's alumni (like most places) are split.  Some live in the district, but most of its boosters clearly do not.  If you look at the upper administration, I am willing to guess that MAYBE one or possible TWO of them actually live in the district.   80% (if not more) of your teachers don't live in the district even if a few of them are alumni.  With "open enrollment", you might really impress that family living in CPS (for example), but they can't convince their neighbors to support you.  They can't even vote for the levy / bond issue.

 I have made this point myself.  The community of taxpayers needs to own these bond issue and levy campaigns.  Teachers can highlight what good will come of passing bonds and levies.. but they really should not be the people doing the legwork to convince their neighbors that this is good for the community.  Some people (GG) do a great job of pointing out the benefits of new facilities on a fine arts program.  Paula has pointed out the benefits of new construction for the PBL  model.  (And believe me.. I have toured other "New Tech Schools".. their design is downright awesome!).  The rest of the community elders are either lukewarm on the idea or downright opposed ;) .  Some influential people (Dr. Weirs) have not jumped on board with every idea WW has had over the years.. and his voice (like it or not) carries weight with people that are probably going to vote.  In fact, I found it downright odd that I was out passing out information when so many community leaders were silent on the matter.  I had a lot more respect for the council member in GH who at least was passionate about why she thought it was a horrible idea.  She took a stand.  What stand did the leaders of FP take?

When we worked on the levy campaign of 2008-2009, it took five tries to pass it.  And back then, there was a lot more love for the place there was when I left last year (It passed when WW was in the middle of the State Championship season).  

With ANY kind of unified opposition, this proposal will fail easily.  

 However, the community has to get off their collective *** and send a message one way or another.    If you want new buildings, you have to join CEPSI's efforts and go to their meetings (when they start up again).  If 90% of people at a CEPSI meeting are working for WW, then (I'm sorry).. I see it doomed again.
 

Edited by equalizer

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