Fourth time the charm?

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K Roman, I believe this all started with the merger!! Pennycoff had a plan and is still pecking away on it, little by little. He was quoted once as saying he didn't care about or what happened to Greenhills. He wants everything in Forest Park. Everything has went down hill since and it's not getting any better. My neighbor, who refused to put a sign in her yard, when we were fighting desperately to save our High School, told me this would all be over in 10 years and we won't even miss it!! Wish she could see it now. By the way, she worked at the High School in Forest Park.We never got to vote for a merger, we were told by the BOE that they were closing our school. Noone listened to us at all the meetings we attended and they are not listening now!!!

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Although, according to longtimeresider, people are paying big bucks now for their kids to have half the opportunities anyway.  blink.gif Perfect examples of stabbing yourself in the back...

Yes people are paying big bucks, especially non-Catholics (like me)--to send their kids to a school with 1/2 the opportunities. What is in place is discipline, accountability, a teaching of morality, the ABC's, and a contract that parents and students sign to agree to the mission and rules of the school. Call me crazy, it's worth it to me. Yes, I wish my daughter's school had more programs, more extracurriculars, more advanced study opportunities; I will find those elsewhere. The demands and discipline required of her mean more to me than a dance class or a recycling club. The whole school recycles--no club needed. I don't feel I'm stabbing myself in the back MM-- I feel I'm making the best choice for my daughter's future. She is doing great--and she doesn't go to St. James--there are lots of choices. There are bad eggs everywhere, but you would be amazed at the number of voucher kids our school has taken in over the last 2 years from Cincinnati Public that are respectful, grateful and continue to flourish. with their parents support--priceless.

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There was tension in this district long before the merger although that really was the last nerve for GH. When we lived in Forest Park and my oldest was in Cameron Park, the district was divided. GH and ST always thought that they were a step above the ne'er-do-well FP citizens. "They" did not want their children to mix with us. At the time we were active at Messiah Lutheran and some of my closest friends were GH or ST residents. They didn't quite know what to do with me, you know a "professional" (therefore their peers) family living in FP. To them, that just wasn't right! Understandably, they liked their cozy system and their neighborhood. The result was that GH and ST NEVER bought into the combined district....long before the h.s. combined.

No, the actual merger of the high schools was not on the ballot (I'm not sure that you can do that). But, a tax levy was on the ballot which would have funded a 2 h.s. system. That was voted down. What other option did the B.O.E. at that time have?

Unless GH can somehow come up with the money to fund their own separate high school, I'm going to guess that the h.s. question is a dead one. That being the case, move on, fer cryin' out loud and look to the future.

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but you would be amazed at the number of voucher kids our school has taken in over the last 2 years from Cincinnati Public that are respectful, grateful and continue to flourish. with their parents support--priceless.

Why should that surprise you?

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Why should that surprise you?

It surprises me because my son works at CPS with virtually no parental support (sometimes no parents involved, mostly 1 parent). I guess the more appropriate term would have been it inspires me to know that there are folks out there in a really crappy district that put forth the effort to place their kids somewhere else where they might have a better chance. The surprising part is these kids come in 2-3 years behind in reading, math, etc., and with the help of the school and their parents, somehow school starts to matter.

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GH and ST always thought that they were a step above the ne'er-do-well FP citizens.  "They" did not want their children to mix with us.  At the time we were active at Messiah Lutheran and some of my closest friends were GH or ST residents.  They didn't quite know what to do with me, you know a "professional" (therefore their peers) family living in FP.  To them, that just wasn't right!

It's strange to hear those comments. I've lived in GH most of my life. It was full of "professionals," as was FP. Some of my best friends thru Middle School were from "professional" families that lived in FP. We continued our friendships thru HS and beyond. During my career, I came to know many professionals that lived, and still do, in FP. Sorry you felt so discriminated against living there--I never felt that way about any friends of mine who chose to make FP their home.

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interesting turn this topic has taken; i'll share an experience...

i moved to forest park a minute after graduating from high school in michigan, so i have NO personal experience; i am relaying a conversation i recently had with my sister after this past levy failed. she attended high school in the 9-10 grades when it was exclusively forest park and 11-12 grades after it had been integrated with greenhills. her perspective was much like gobucks...she felt very comfortable with the forest park crowd and enjoyed her high school experience for those first two years. it was after the schools were merged and greenhills entered into the picture that she was, at times, harrassed, bullied and shunned. again, this is HER perspective and she agreed to let me share it here. don't know what it has to do with the topic, though. i guess it just shows that everyone's perspective of the merger has been different. forest park, apparently, was just as happy to stand alone as greenhills was maybe? hell, you guys tell me. i wasn't there...

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Hey, I never felt discriminated against. I was always respected and never felt excluded, individually. I just remember how my GH and ST friends talked and felt about FP, except for me, of course. My family was an aberration and really "should" have lived in GH or ST (that was their opinion). It was more of a "you live in FP?"

But that's not really the point here. The point is that everyone needs to get a cooperative spirit, quit blaming the merger, and look forward.

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There was tension in this district long before the merger although that really was the last nerve for GH. When we lived in Forest Park and my oldest was in Cameron Park, the district was divided. GH and ST always thought that they were a step above the ne'er-do-well FP citizens. "They" did not want their children to mix with us. At the time we were active at Messiah Lutheran and some of my closest friends were GH or ST residents. They didn't quite know what to do with me, you know a "professional" (therefore their peers) family living in FP. To them, that just wasn't right! Understandably, they liked their cozy system and their neighborhood. The result was that GH and ST NEVER bought into the combined district....long before the h.s. combined.

No, the actual merger of the high schools was not on the ballot (I'm not sure that you can do that). But, a tax levy was on the ballot which would have funded a 2 h.s. system. That was voted down. What other option did the B.O.E. at that time have?

Unless GH can somehow come up with the money to fund their own separate high school, I'm going to guess that the h.s. question is a dead one. That being the case, move on, fer cryin' out loud and look to the future.

Things haven't changed much! We dont know what to do with you either!

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ThreeHats! My "hat" is off to you! Thank you for your insightful. intelligent, and responsible discussion about our school district. I enjoyed reading your comments and agree wholeheartedly-

I also believe that our voters do want to support our local schools and do need the reasons to support such a worthwhile cause.

What I offer to my neighbors is my experience that our schools do provide a quality education to our students. Is there room for improvement, of course, but "Do not throw the baby out with the bath water".

Also many of the programs are sponsored by outside groups- For example, the Robotics club was sponsored by a private outside group. Katrina Henderson, math teacher at WWIS, applied to this group for funding and received the grant. Of course, without the generous donation of time from both Mrs. Henderson and Mr Weaver, this program would not have been successful.

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Go Bucks, You say you never lived here but you sure seem to know a lot about Greenhills and our feelings. You say that Greenhills failed a levy that would have kept our High School open!! I"d sure would like to know where you got that information. As I remember, we were told our school was being closed and that was it!! I certainly donot remember any levy that would have saved our school, if passed. (How about you Old Timer??) If given the chance, I believe Greenhills would have done anything, even pay more dollars, to save our Community School. And you stated that the people from Greenhills and Springfield Township feel we are so much better than the residents in Forest Park. I had many friends who lived there. Don't try putting words in my mouth--I do not have those feelings. mad.gif

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Go to bed people, and quicherbichin.

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the trouble at WWHS was not due to the GH kids who thought they were superior, it was the FP kids who had been bussed to GH that now had to establish themselves in a new "turf war" at the old FPHS.

Go Bucks, if the people at Messiah Lutheran were less than accepting of you, maybe it wasn't because of your Forest Park address, maybe it was your "my husband is a doctor" elitist attitude.

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I also believe that our voters do want to support our local schools and do need the reasons to support such a worthwhile cause.

Now here is something I can agree with. I want nothing more than to be able to support this school district. I also believe the villagers of Greenhills want nothing more than to be able to support this school district. And, after several recent conversations with people from Forest Park, and Springfield Township, I realize that we are all in the same boat.

Academics has never been an issue with people I speak with. The only issue ever discussed is discipline. Some commons themes are; if your kid is in the AP classes you have nothing to worry about; if your kid is involved in band -- you're good; there is a clear division between good and "not so good" kids, although the school will not admit it; when transferring to private education there is a big difference in the amount of homework they receive; at the private school there is a sense of relief regarding disciplinary issues; you can't get people to volunteer for anything at the WWSD; people have become very indifferent; even when people get involved, they get frustrated with the situation and eventually quit all together.

As I stated before, besides one discussion, which was more of frustration on her child's part, I have never heard any parent say anything bad about the academics. They compliment the teachers, they believe the board and Ms. Nasbe work hard, but it's just not working. They still support the levy because their kids go to the school district, but they understand why others do not support it. If academics is a strength, or at least something everyone agrees on, wrap your arms around that. Re-invent the concept and market it in a new way. I still believe that looking at alternatives, such as "career academies", is something that should be reviewed. Create those "pockets of success".

A great example of what I would consider a "pocket of success" is Walnut Hills. 7-12 grade school. People come from everywhere to attend that school. One school, one successful pocket, you then move to the next pocket. As the pockets develop, you give those kids what they need based on their requirements.

The whole idea that "you have to run for the school board" is silly. The constituents should demand that a sound philosophy be set in place when making decisions for the school district. This philosophy and approach should be adopted by anyone who gets elected to the board, and the people (taxpayers) should hold them accountable to that philosophy, or foundation.

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But my whole point about "running for the school board" can best be illustrated in this way. If the common theme is that the school board is not listening to you, how do you pressure them into doing so? Do you just starve the district in order to affect change, or do you offer an alternative at the table of power? At the end of the day, like it or not, it is those five that call the shots. It is those five that hire the CEO in charge of the day to day operation.

Discipline is something that concerns me as well. Without going into details, our HS principal discussed with us a plan that is research based and has been proven to work in other schools.... and is being pushed by the state. I have a lot of faith in our principal that we can make this work. But if we go ahead and say "Well, I am not giving the schools any more money until they implement the change that I want to see", you may be cutting your nose off to spite their face. If we don't pass the levy this year (and I respect the fact that some folks are tapped out... I don't expect them to vote YES), what kind of school will you have?

Discipline also goes to the broader based community issues. Students are in school about 40 hours a week. We have a good idea of what they do on Friday nights, or the weekend, but what are they doing? Some parents incorrectly believe that is the school's job to raise their children. As I have also stated, schools are under a lot of pressure to keep kids in the school at all costs. The kids bring that baggage with them into the school. I think a community discussion on this topic is worthwhile... but who will show up?

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From this morning's Cincinnati Enquirer.

Summarizing the levy results, the Forest Hills school board said it will need to make changes.

However, the board wasn't just referring to budget and staffing cuts.

"We have to look at every opportunity to reinvent," said board member Richard Neumann. "We have to do some searching. We can't keep doing the same things over and over again."

The 6.9-mill operating levy was defeated during Tuesday's election 6,804 to 5,513, according to unofficial results.

Board members said community feedback will be essential in considering what to do next. "We need to engage the community as we go forward," said board President Julie Bissinger.

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Discipline is something that concerns me as well. Without going into details, our HS principal discussed with us a plan that is research based and has been proven to work in other schools.... and is being pushed by the state. I have a lot of faith in our principal that we can make this work. Discipline also goes to the broader based community issues. Students are in school about 40 hours a week. We have a good idea of what they do on Friday nights, or the weekend, but what are they doing? Some parents incorrectly believe that is the school's job to raise their children. As I have also stated, schools are under a lot of pressure to keep kids in the school at all costs. The kids bring that baggage with them into the school. I think a community discussion on this topic is worthwhile... but who will show up?

I will. I dont have kids in the school but I am a student at Miami majoring in Special Ed. and I also work at a HCMRDD School in Western Hills. I am all about Behavioral issues. I would love to hear about these plans!!!

Also NOS, isnt that district in a pretty well off area?

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the trouble at WWHS was not due to the GH kids who thought they were superior, it was the FP kids who had been bussed to GH that now had to establish themselves in a new "turf war" at the old FPHS.

Go Bucks, if the people at Messiah Lutheran were less than accepting of you, maybe it wasn't because of your Forest Park address, maybe it was your "my husband is a doctor" elitist attitude.

nah, I had no problems with Messiah people. I don't give a flying rat's patootie what my husband does. My only point was the attitude I found in GH and ST people that FP was beneath them. When it came to me, I never had any problems, just that they were often surprised that I chose to live in FP.

But, again, that's not the point of this thread. I just wanted to set the record clear that the Messiah people didn't give me any trouble.

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Christine -

Walnut Hills is a great example of "pockets of success" but that model cannot translate into a plan for WWSD. Yes, it is 7 - 12 which is what you have suggested for the Community Building. But, the population from which to draw the necessary students to make the programs work is significantly larger than WWSDs. A better analogy would be the career academies/speciality programs within many of the CPS high schools. They have International Baccalaureate at Withrow, Technology at (I think) Hughes, and several others. I've taken numerous students in these programs/academies on tours and have been very impressed with the quality of the students and teachers. Can't speak to the larger questions about success but, given some time, I would predict that they will be a positive addition.

By having the programs within the schools, the district saves money on core teacher utilization and it's easier to participate in extra-curriculars. That is the more typical pattern.

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The key is to get support of the taxpayers. I think the taxpayers want schools in their communities. Adding academies/specialty classes only in one community will not get the results the levies are looking for. Creating the "pockets of success" within the communities, I believe, will have an impact on the demographics. Getting support from the taxpayers, implementing an innovative structure that draws people to these communities is something to consider.

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You have to convince your leaders to give ideas a fair hearing not necessarily "implement the ideas you suggest." Maybe your ideas really stink. Maybe they don't. Philosophies of education, and the plans to implement those philosophies are a lot more complicated than just saying, "hey, that looks like a good idea. Let's try it!" Just a few of the issues to be considered:

1. local standards

2. state standards

3. federal standards

4. union contracts

5. equipment needs

6. upgrading facilities

7. transportation coordination

8. private/parochial school responsibilities

I'm a complete novice at this so I'm sure that this list is woefully inadequate...and I didn't even get to those things which are best for kids.

First, what about the core subjects? Is English IV taught at all the separate schools? Second, why not have the academies house in one school but arranged as "mini schools"? . The Board/administration needs to be genuinely open to suggestions.

This is why educators should run the schools. This is why private schools are so successful. They have educators running thier schools. Sure they get input from the business world and other professions, but in the private sector, the educators make the decisions. One of the many reasons they are so successful.

Does Proctor and Gamble bring in educators to run thier business? In think not, so why bring in non educators to run schools? Most of the people on the Boe could not handle a full day of classes, 5 days a week, 182 days a year and yet they are instrumental in hiring, firing and running the schools.

To me there is something undemocratic about letting a school system keep going back to the voters 3 or 4 times a year to try to pass a levy. I believe that once a year or once every two years should be the limit.

The voters have spoken to the school board, now lets see if they listen.

How will they improve discipline, accountability at each building, raise test scores and prepare kids for life in an ever changing world? What they are doing is not working. I have heard many good ideas on this forum, hopefully they are listening.

Which board members are up for reelection to the board? I would like to encourage educators in the system to run for election.

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Some parents incorrectly believe that is the school's job to raise their children.

That's where we differ.

I believe it's the school's responsibility to create a successful, nurturing environment for learning. In addition, the school is a place for mentorship, socialization and building relationships. Kids spend most of there waking hours at school (via academics and sports). It may not be your job to instill morals and integrity, but it certainly is your job to uphold them and make sure that what parents are teaching their children is reinforced.

This is why I like private. Our school has a strong belief that we raise each other's kids, we are responsible for one another. The parents believe this and the teachers believe this. We all watch one another, we look after one another and "yes" we all discipline one another.

Earlier this year, my son's teacher told the kids "when you are in this school, I am your mom". The point is, she truly believes this, the parents support it and "yes" it is the schools job to help raise kids. Sorry, but parents are depending on you to do the right thing when their kids are in your care. And, they're in your care alot.

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"We have to look at every opportunity to reinvent," said board member Richard Neumann. "We have to do some searching. We can't keep doing the same things over and over again."

Board members said community feedback will be essential in considering what to do next. "We need to engage the community as we go forward," said board President Julie Bissinger.

Forest Hills (maybe, finally) gets it. The most insightful information I've heard in a long time. Hats off to their board members who spoke for The Enquirer. I hope they follow thru.

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But Longtime, this board did exactly that last year. I remember one meeting in particular. Who was there?

Folks on the WW payroll. About 95% of them.

So much for that. On one hand, I hear people complain that the community is not engaged and then when they are... everyone either has softball practice or they have to rearrange the sock drawer. Nobody wants to run for the board either. Seems like the only thing that keeps coming up is this return to the days when a kid could go K-12 without leaving Greenhills.... and the board keeps saying no to that and other GH centered schemes.

I do agree with even the harshest critics of WWCSD on the discipline. Joe Clark, in the famous movie Lean on Me, began his tenure as principal of Eastside High (Patterson, NJ) by selecting the worst students, putting them on a stage and having them escorted out the back door. The state of Ohio really doesn't allow schools to pick and choose who attends, so a Joe Clark scenerio couldn't happen here. They also make it nearly impossible to remove students since suspension rates are tracked and reported. Here again, we are held to a 90% graduation rate benchmark by the state. WWHS is a public high school. Student attendance is more a right than it is a privilege. Parents know this. The kids know this. As great a scene as that was, it can't happen in Ohio.

20 years ago, did anyone think that MTV would have an entire show called "JUVIES" or that crime among the 18 or under crowd would skyrocket to levels that are causing real societal problems? I can name a number of former students doing time in state prison right now (I taught in another district before coming to WW). It makes me feel bad to think that their trip to "the joint" could have been avoided if we were allowed to give them a proverbial swift kick in the hind end earlier on.

Until we get major reform in school law at the State/Fed level (like everything else), there is very little WW can do about some of what goes on.. other than to try our best to get ahead of any problems and stop it from happening in the first place. THAT is what our principal and some of the teachers have been working very hard on over the last year. I think it can work well and I have full confidence that we will see gains on the important metrics... as well as improved academic performance.

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Posted · Report post

that's a great problem solving technique

1)Identify the problem

2)List as many reasons as possible why the problem can't be solved.

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