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Special Board Meeting

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I attended tonight's board meeting. I was pleased to see there was an excellent turnout.

I just want to say that no matter what happens, Mr. Maciag and Mr. Andwan are in my opinion HEROES. They have given countless hours of there time to put together what I thought was an excellent proposal.

The board had many questions and comments, and overall I felt that the tone was quite defensive and argumentitive. It didn't seem that they were being constructive, rather destructive. I didn't hear any of them give any arguments that would really negate Mr. Maciag's point. They had alot of concerns about space filling up in a grade level at a particular school and a new student potentially having to be shuffled elsewhere. A valid concern, but under Option 3, ALL OF OUR CHILDREN WOULD DEFINITELY BE SHUTTLED ELSEWHERE. So..I think we could take a risk that a few students might be inconvenienced. Mr. Maciag pointed out that fact, that under opt 3, a family that lives right near a school would be denied access to that school bc their student was in the wrong grade level, to which the board member responded that we would know this ahead of time. I did NOT know this ahead of time, or you can be assured I would NOT have purchased a home in the district. She also pointed out that she bought her home here so her children could go to community schools, and they did..but that was 17 years ago. So...those of us who are in the here and now...we just have to cope I guess (last sentence was her words, not mine).

Sorry, I'm rambling and not making any sense.

One of the best points I thought was made in the presentation was the fact that Wyoming schools put together a task force at some point (I forget exactly when it was) to investigate doing grade level schools. their task force consisted of teachers, parents, administrators, board members. The committee that was formed to handle this issue for Winton Woods consisted of 5 front office employees, NONE OF WHICH EVEN LIVE IN THE DISTRICT.

I don't think a detailed plan has been put together for all these transitions that are being proposed in Opt 1-3. I have little faith that the district can handle so many transitions. If anyone is familiar with the MESS that was Beechwoods Kindergarten enrollment this year, you will know what I mean. Parents of Kindergartners didn't know until LESS THAN A WEEK before the start of school whether their children were in am or pm kindergarten. How do you make childcare arrangements under those circumstances???

I agree with him that we need more community involvement and more time for this issue. The board has been working on this for about a year. I just heard about it in September or October! I hope that the board seriously considers Option 4, because it seems like the most logical solution and the best one for our children.

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Ohhh..I just thought of something else interesting! In an effort to show that Opt 4 doesn't allow for additional enrollments, one of the board members pointed out that we have had something like 548 (?? it was in the 500's somewhere) NEW students enroll in the district so far this school year! If this is so, then we can't close Cameron Park - in fact we might need to build an additional school - depending on how many of these are elementary students.

I wonder if the board member might have neglected to mention how many students have LEFT the district so far this year?? I would be interested in what that number might be....

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I thought the same thing - how many kids left because of graduation, moving and just plain transferring into a parochial/private school?

I was surprised by the tone of some board members too. I wonder how many years each of them have been at their day jobs? Have they moved every two years like they expect the kids in the district to do? I just remember at RB, teachers always told us it was our job daily to learn and that's why we were in school. Well, if you think of it that way, I suspect some of the board members better be prepared to give up this job come election time. Parents were very annoyed by their attitudes and were talking about not electing any of them back - at least that is what was expressed to me after the meeting.

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I was so agitated that honestly I could not sit still in my seat. It was all I could not to stand up and say something. I also thought some of the board members were disrespectful to Mr. Maciag, and to the public. Seems to me that we are their employers, are we not???

I don't think a single one of the current board members will ever get a vote from me..not to mention a LEVY. My kid is in the schools, and if she remains there she will probably have to do without art, music, bussing and sports, because I will vote no on every levy ever put before me. A levy in '08...then another in '12 so dr. Nasbe can realize her "vision" of an elementary "campus" that no one in the community WANTS (no one I know of anyway). We can't even maintain our school district, but we are going have another levy so we can build all new schools?

grrr...can you tell I'm a big agitated?

Honestly, if the board members disagreed with Mr. Maciag, they have that right...but it was the way they addressed him that disturbed me. It wasn't constructive at all.

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I also wondered if the board really thinks it's in the best interest of the children to make them move to 5 different buildings in their 12 grades ? Kudos to the two men to get option 4 heard. I just hope it didn't fall on deaf ears.

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I also wondered if the board really thinks it's in the best interest of the children to make them move to 5 different buildings in their 12 grades ? Kudos to the two men to get option 4 heard. I just hope it didn't fall on deaf ears.

were you there tonight screamin? trust me, it fell on deaf ears..it was very obvious.

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No I wasn't able to attend. My son fell asleep at 5:45 and actually just woke up full of energy.

Thats too bad. Reminds me of the time when the high schools merged and our "party" was heard but ignored.

I will say this, I am feeling more and more at home with the school we chose down Rt. 4 a few miles. I think the small amount of gas I use to drive to and fro is well worth it.

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Yes, actually I was having bad flashbacks to my Junior year at GHS when I went with my parents to all those meetings and the board members acted very similarly. that was such a difficult time around here.

The board didn't seem too concerned about all the school transitions. The presentation included tons of documentation about the negative effects, etc, but they didn't bring any of that up in their comments.

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No I wasn't able to attend. My son fell asleep at 5:45 and actually just woke up full of energy.

Thats too bad. Reminds me of the time when the high schools merged and our "party" was heard but ignored.

I will say this, I am feeling more and more at home with the school we chose down Rt. 4 a few miles. I think the small amount of gas I use to drive to and fro is well worth it.

What school??? Turns out I'm shopping for either a new school district, or a private school.

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The official thread is under neighborhood news. I'll just leave it at that.

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The official thread is under neighborhood news. I'll just leave it at that.

Ohhh..I gotcha! Had no idea where "that school" was located, so when you said down Rt. 4, I was thinking in the direction of Fairfield and wasn't sure what school that might be.

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I had one more thing I was curious about from tonight. What is the "academy on the hill"? One of the board members brought it up in his questioning of the presenter, like he was going to use it to make some kind of point, but then never made any point, and I am still scratching my head wondering what he was referring to...

I hope someone can clear this one up for me!

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I was also at the special board meeting tonight which will be broadcasted by Waycross in the next few days. Also, you can view the power point presentation given by Keith and Damian on wwpe.org.

In my opinion, the information presented and how it was presented was phenominal! I was so impressed with all the facts given and how professional Mr. Maciag was in presenting clearly to the Board. However, I was also HORRIFIED by the reactions of Pennycuff, Lee, and Emmert. At one point, the audience (which it was a full house) stood up and clapped politely (no hooting/hollaring or yelling) and the community was gaveled DOWN for community agreement of content. Emmert sternly told us to respect the Board and she was clearly disturbed by the community agreement with Mr. Maciag's speech.

I couldn't believe the predetermining questioning - not on the presentation - but on "what ifs"!!! These are the questions that administration needs to answer. I was very angry to watch their reactions and how they spoke to Mr. Maciag after he gave the most professional and respective presentation to them. These three board members did NOT give him any similar respect whatsoever. I think everyone could sense their discomfort and aggression towards this community-suggested proposal. If they could just give the community the time and explore the facts and feasability of this viable Option 4, the community would be very grateful.

Mr. Maciag presented ALL FACTUAL INFORMATION gathered and provided by administration (which they provided limited information) and the Ohio Department of Education. Everyone needs to see for themselves your Board's reactions to the community's option 4 and make your decision for yourself! It is very obvious.

I for one will NOT be voting for the levy no matter what in 2008 under ANY plan. I also plan to increase that 28% parochial school attendance level for the district with my children and I know many many of my peers feel the same way and will do the same. Just from sitting there in awe watching their behavior makes me want to get my kids out of the district NOW!

I'm glad Mr. Maciag and Mr. Andwan represented so many of us and I too thank you for that.

The Enquirer, the Hilltop Press and the Greenhills Journal were all in attendance -- read their articles and view your elected board officials in action on Waycross and I'm sure that video will be available on wwpe.org when it comes out! You will be able to decide for yourself if you would choose your kids' education to be directed by some these board members. UNBELIEVABLE behavior by these board members. That is all I can say!

Jack Lee spent five minutes trying to spit out if anyone knew what "Acadamy on the Hill" means -- WHAT IS IT? No one else knew what the heck he was talking about.

I can't wait until this video of this presentation is out in the public featuring J. Pennycuff with his "Who Done It" middle of the night mailbox expose knowledge of someone in the crowd in attendance who put out the mysterious flyer quoting "ODE Disparaties Among the Schools Academic Achievement - entitled LAKESIDE TO BE SHUT DOWN! That was pretty comical -- everyone was looking around at one another thinking "Who Done It??????"

Now, Pricilla and Tim both demonstrated a much appreciated respectful attitude.

It is ironic in a community provided meeting that there was only one Cost Reduction Committee Member present -- where were the rest? It is clear from their lack of attendance they were probably relaxing in their homes which reside OUTSIDE of the district. They are setting the direction of our communities, yet their absence from the meeting demonstrate their lack of concern.

Okay, so that is all I have to say for now! Thanks for listening! I had to vent! I am now going to explore my parochial informational websites.

I have a mugshot of the midnight mailbox bandit --

ph34r.gif

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Thanks for the info everyone. I will (and can't wait to) watch this tape. Keep us posted as to when it's on.

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I also went to the meeting tonight, and I went in with an open mind. I did not think it was possible for someone to come up with another option that even came close to the first 3. But I do commend Keith and Damian. Keith's presentation was very professional. I think he got some of the parents that were on Dr. Nasbe's bandwagon thinking maybe there is another way. I too thought that the board members were pretty short and defensive with Keith ( I know they have set aside alot of time on this issue, but that is their job.) Can anyone tell me if Dr. Nasbe was allowed to ask any questions to Keith? Seemed to me all she did was sit in her chair and daydream at the table. I'm not sure if she was permitted to join in or not. But I thought that was very strange. I would think that she would have some questions. It was as if their questions were staged or something. They were asking questions that just didn't pertain to the presentation. (that was my observation). One board member even comminted on the fact that he has 3 kids, 1 who has gone through WWSD, 1 in the high school, and 1 in the middle school. And he felt that their educational experience was wonderful and they have been led in theright direction. And how they did it attending 3 seperate schools. Well yeah, k-6, middle school and high school. That's all were asking for. I'm going to watch the meeting on cable and listen a little closer to what he said, I think I summed it up pretty close though. After sitting in on the meeting tonight and seeing the demeanor of the board, I don't think Mr. Maciag even had a chance. They just seemed to be angry that they were there. I didn't expect the anger to be so noticeable, but it was to everyone. Their attitudes were definelty different than when Dr. Nasbe came to them with her proposal. After tonight's meeting airs, I think alot of people will have second thoughts. I know 3 that were at the meeting definetly did and are now wondering just how much time was spent looking at other options. One question that really irritated me, I thought it was stupi was the one asked by the prez. She said how will you go about dispersing the students from Cameron Park to the other schools a how do you tell 1 family that their 1st grader is at this school and then go 2 doors down and tell that family that their 1st grader will be at another school. God, to think that the neighbors might not be in school together..how devastating that would be. So instead I support an option that will put a 1st,3rd, and 5th grader from the same family all at seperate schools. Did we really vote her in? I don't think any of them will stand up to Dr. Nasbe and ask for more time to review other ideas. I think they all just want to be done with this whole issue. I think it's safe to say any levy they propose in the next few years will probably not pass. Someone answer me this. Doesn't false perception mean something that is percieved one way but is actually another way? Dr. Nasbe made a point in her presentation that one of the reasons she didn't recommend option 2 is that there is so much false perception among parents that 1 school is better than the other and option 3 would stop all that. Well, if it's not true then why try to change it? And with a North and South school for grades k-2, your will still have the competition and those who say their school is better. It depends on who you ask. Just like Lakota East vs West. The competition is there also. It's about pride, you want your school to be the best. Who's the best East or West? Once again depends on who you ask. Oh my gosh, speaking of Lakota, they are presently on channel 9 news. Voicing their complaints to their board. Parents feel the bouncing of the kids from so many different schools between k-6 is just too much and they were not given enough time to come up with an option of their own. Does that sound familiar??? It's very late, I have talked enough. Feels good to let out some frustration, I apologize to all that read this post. I hope when I wake up in the morning I will have a more positive outlook on things. Hey maybe we should start a theraputic thread, this feels pretty good. Goodnight all.

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There was an interesting article in the WSJ today about one of the school systems being sued in a case being heard before the Supreme Court. The article focused on the Seattle school system and while the issues are different (the case involves admitting students to schools within the system based on their race, or at least partly based on their race) there was a quote from the assistant general counsel to the school district which I thought applicable. I'll let you react (italics are mine):

"It is disappointing that some families choose to exend their efforts to finding ways around the assignment system based on perception, instead of working with the district to improve all schools."

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Gobucks:

The ODE results clearly demonstrate disparity in academic achievement among the elementary K-6 schools. wwpe.org posted power point presentation to the Board demonstrates a wide academic desparity presently between the WW Elementary schools.

Administration has chosen to ignore the State recognition of the present desparity that exists in the elementary schools in Winton Woods. On Dec. 11th the Board, from their reaction, will purposely choose acadamic mediocrity.

The issue is administration's execution of planned educational improvement.

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Clearly I haven't heard this presentation and know only what I read here but I do have one question:

It seems to be a given that Cameron Park must close - either for district-wide savings or because it is financially unfeasible to make it handicapped accessible. Maybe it's both reasons, maybe it's others, maybe it's more. I just seem to get the feeling that the closing of Cameron Park is a given.

O.K., if that is the case, then there must be common agreement that there will be disruption in the district.

If that statement is true, then how does the district make the disruption equitable? That is, just because Cameron Park students attend a school which is untenable, should they be the only ones in the district to be disrupted?

And, if option 4 is as I understand it (that the Cameron Park students would be distributed among the remaining schools as space allows) does that situation go on indefinitely? Or, will district lines be redrawn to permanently change their schools?

I guess I'm a little confused about the idea that C.P. students should bear the burden without other students having to face some change as well.

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Lakeside - I guess I need to watch the presentation tomorrow.

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To all those fighting for your school, I commend you. You know what's best for your children, your familiy and your community. It's important to let the decision makers know your views and potential consequences. I applaud all those involved who took the time to review other alternatives and I'm glad you had the opportunity to present your information. I do hope that a K-6 structure remains, however that is very unlikely.

If options 1, 2 or 3 are chosen, I fully expect to see an increase in the number of students at the local parochial schools. I empathize with all the families having to make that decision, it's very difficult and a bitter situation to be in. Just know that there are many of us out there who have faced this and if you ever need a sympathetic ear, just let us know.

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If that statement is true, then how does the district make the disruption equitable?  That is, just because Cameron Park students attend a school which is untenable, should they be the only ones in the district to be disrupted?

What kind of statement is that? blink.gif In any change (personal, professional, corporate...) your goal is to always minimize disruption to your people and clients. You don't make disruption equitable. Are you serious?

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GoBucks,

Review the presentation. Look forward to your reply...

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Actually, Christine, I am totally serious. Granted one minimizes the disruption, but in a situation like a school district it is patently unfair for one entire group of students to sacrifice for the benefit (financial) of the whole. If they have to take the entire hit, they should be able to reap some advantage that the others don't get. In a corporation, if one entire department is eliminated, typically (assuming that the corporation is large enough) they try to place them in other jobs or give them job search support. In addition, other departments typically have to make cuts, as well. They don't just say, "o.k., you take the hit, but, for the rest of us, it's business as usual."

I plan to watch the presentation tomorrow and I might well find it appealing, although none of this applies to me. I just have a long term interest in the education of all of our children, whether they are mine or someone else's.

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This is just my two bits of information for any interested. My girls are grown now and I no longer reside in Greenhills. Both of my girls attended Greenhills schools for awhile though. I am a graduate of Greenhills High School. My class was the first class to be split after our freshman year.......very sad!

My oldest daughter went the public school route. Greenhills and then Lakota where she graduated from.

You have to understand that my girls are twelve years apart in age. With my youngest, we made the decision to go the private school route after she completed second grade at Beechwoods. From there she attended Lavalle School in Fairfield up to and including seventh grade. At that point, we had decided that she would attend Cincinnati Christian for high school. Cincinnati Christian in Fairfield, not Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, which is the school that they might have been referring to as the 'academy on the hill'.

It's a definite sacrifice to go the private school route, but your child only has one chance at being educated and I took that decision very seriously. Looking back now that she's in college, there were pro's and con's to private school. I believe however that the pro's won. There is no "ideal" school. You just have to weigh all the factors and try to remember that you only have one time to get it right.

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your child only has one chance at being educated

Exactly. And that is what parents are upset about. They feel like this is an experiment and their kids are the guinea pigs. They also feel like they kids are being used as pawns in a game by Dr. Nasbe to get her vision from the board (which she hinted at in her recommendation - a bond issue to pay for one, large centralized elementary school with grade level wings).

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