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BOARD GAMES: My Search For Transparency And Accountability At The New Rochelle Board Of Education

October 08, 2012 - 21:39
1 comments

Report of the October 2, 2012 BOE Meeting

POSITIVE BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION AND SUPPORT (PBIS)

Jodi Hoffman gave a very comprehensive presentation on PBIS. It’s a program that helps schools teach behavioral expectations as part of the core curriculum. The idea behind PBIS is that if proper behavior becomes part of school’s culture, then academic performance and safety will improve.

Ms. Hoffman suggested the program can be used to organize other programs already being implemented such as Olweus and Character Education. It relies on data capture and reporting so administrators can focus their resources on the times and places where incidents most frequently take place.

The presentation can be found on the link to the October 2nd meeting here: http://www.nred.org/calendars/District-Calendar/month. I encourage everyone to take a look at this program as it could be a terrific addition to our school curriculum if we are able to implement it effectively.

Jeffrey Hastie asked Ms. Hoffman how parents fit into the picture. She responded that parents are meant to be involved and they are invited to join the PBIS teams.

BOARD GAMES: My search for transparency and accountability at the New Rochelle Board of Education

September 27, 2012 - 02:10
4 comments

This article is the first in an ongoing series that will follow the activities of the New Rochelle Board of Education. I will try to provide an honest and fair report of the issues that affect all of us in the community and our children.

YOUR RIGHTS AND THE DIGNITY ACT

Did you know that New York State enacted a new law called the “Dignity for All Students Act”? It became effective this past summer and our schools are required to comply with it. In short, the law mandates a ZERO TOLERANCE FOR BULLYING.

If you are a parent in the school system you should brush up on this law and know your rights! Contact me through Talk of the Sound and I will get you a copy of it.

Our New Rochelle School District Code of Conduct must be amended to include the new law. In fact, New York State suggested that School Boards start working on this early so they would be able to change their Codes before the law took effect on July 1, 2012. Our Board of Education reviewed our Code in August, AFTER the law had taken effect.

The Million Dollar Larchmont Giveaway Sweepstakes

July 15, 2012 - 22:33
6 comments

I have heard several people suggest that the Larchmont tax exemption request is no big deal because it amounts to “only” $38,000 each year. To them I ask, do you want to give $38,000 every year to Larchmont? How about Rye, or Scarsdale, or Pelham? And if so, why?

It is a trick to compare the $38,000 against a budget of $230 million in order to “prove” that is such a small number as to not matter at all. But it matters enormously.

Every year many New Rochelle residents go to City Hall to contest their property taxes, arguing that their homes are overvalued. And in many cases, their assessments are lowered and they owe New Rochelle less in taxes. But that does not mean that New Rochelle receives less tax revenue. It means the tax burden is then reapportioned among the other residents.

Albanese Project Runs the Risk of Overcrowding New Rochelle Schools

March 01, 2012 - 02:21
3 comments

Overcrowded school

At the February 14th New Rochelle City Council meeting there was a lengthy discussion about the Main Street Core project which proposes to add 500 residential units to our downtown while also dramatically upgrading the parking facilities in the area.

It’s a complicated deal due to the conflict between the City’s desires (better parking, affordable housing and tax revenue) and the developer's need to earn a reasonable return on investment. Our Commissioner of Development, Michael Freimuth, is working hard to structure a deal that works for all the parties involved. As part of his efforts, he sat down with the School Administration's finance team to find out how much tax revenue would be required to support a possible inflow of new students from this project.

Mr. Freimuth is to be commended for this, showing once again that he will try his best to get to the right answer on development issues, rather than the politically expedient answer.

Port Chester Leap Frogs New Rochelle (Again) with New Whole Foods

February 19, 2012 - 00:46
11 comments

Logo Retail copy
The old adage in real estate is location, location, location. Well, for the purposes of future development in New Rochelle, it should be parking, parking, parking.

The parking situation in downtown New Rochelle is woeful. Since 1995 we have lost about half of our on street parking inventory and consolidated into the New Roc lot which is difficult to access and not centrally located. Recently my wife and I went out to eat at Alvin & Friends. It was fantastic but we had to park at the HSBC lot next door and risk having our car towed. A few weeks later we went to Bar Taco in Port Chester and had no trouble at all parking in their enormous and free parking lot that parallels the main strip downtown.

An Open Letter to Residents of District 5

November 03, 2011 - 09:55

Dear Neighbors,

Election Day is next Tuesday, November 8th, and I have been working on the campaign to elect Ilyse Spertus to represent District 5 on City Council. I would like to let you know why I’ve suddenly gotten involved in local politics.

For some time now I have been frustrated with the pace of development in New Rochelle. White Plains has sprinted ahead of us and now even Port Chester (Port Chester!!!) is thriving with new commercial and retail development. Fairway opened in Pelham and Whole Foods is opening in Yonkers.

Relatedly, last May I tried to get a reform candidate onto the School Board when I found the school budget to be grossly mismanaged. Some of you know that I found $20 million hidden in reserve accounts, unspent and growing, while the administration was cutting services and claiming poverty. Many members of the Board of Education (or perhaps all of them) did not know about these funds. The next few school budgets will be even tighter than the last one and we need significant financial help to maintain the current level of service.

Vote for Ilyse Spertus and Noam Bramson

September 28, 2011 - 19:29
4 comments

A vote for Ilyse Spertus in November is a vote for rebirth in New Rochelle and a way to help our talented Mayor achieve his vision for our city.

I am the Treasurer for the campaign to elect Ilyse Spertus to District 5 City Council. Ilyse is running on the Republican and Independent lines, so you might think that I am affiliated with one of those parties. I am not. In fact, I am not affiliated with any political party. When it comes to politics, I support individuals based on their abilities, their effectiveness, and their intentions. And in this election, I will be voting for Ilyse Spertus for District 5 City Council and Noam Bramson for Mayor.

Mayor Bramson has some excellent qualities that make him well suited to be our mayor. He is smart, personable, articulate, and very knowledgeable about how government works. But if you’ve walked around our city lately, it’s clear that his terrific skill set has not been enough to improve our quality of life. Mayor Bramson needs some help as all executives do.

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BOARD GAMES: My Search For Transparency And Accountability At The New Rochelle Board Of Education

Report of the October 2, 2012 BOE Meeting

POSITIVE BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION AND SUPPORT (PBIS)

Jodi Hoffman gave a very comprehensive presentation on PBIS. It’s a program that helps schools teach behavioral expectations as part of the core curriculum. The idea behind PBIS is that if proper behavior becomes part of school’s culture, then academic performance and safety will improve.

Ms. Hoffman suggested the program can be used to organize other programs already being implemented such as Olweus and Character Education. It relies on data capture and reporting so administrators can focus their resources on the times and places where incidents most frequently take place.

The presentation can be found on the link to the October 2nd meeting here: http://www.nred.org/calendars/District-Calendar/month. I encourage everyone to take a look at this program as it could be a terrific addition to our school curriculum if we are able to implement it effectively.

Jeffrey Hastie asked Ms. Hoffman how parents fit into the picture. She responded that parents are meant to be involved and they are invited to join the PBIS teams.

Read more

BOARD GAMES: My search for transparency and accountability at the New Rochelle Board of Education

This article is the first in an ongoing series that will follow the activities of the New Rochelle Board of Education. I will try to provide an honest and fair report of the issues that affect all of us in the community and our children.

YOUR RIGHTS AND THE DIGNITY ACT

Did you know that New York State enacted a new law called the “Dignity for All Students Act”? It became effective this past summer and our schools are required to comply with it. In short, the law mandates a ZERO TOLERANCE FOR BULLYING.

If you are a parent in the school system you should brush up on this law and know your rights! Contact me through Talk of the Sound and I will get you a copy of it.

Our New Rochelle School District Code of Conduct must be amended to include the new law. In fact, New York State suggested that School Boards start working on this early so they would be able to change their Codes before the law took effect on July 1, 2012. Our Board of Education reviewed our Code in August, AFTER the law had taken effect.

Read more

The Million Dollar Larchmont Giveaway Sweepstakes

I have heard several people suggest that the Larchmont tax exemption request is no big deal because it amounts to “only” $38,000 each year. To them I ask, do you want to give $38,000 every year to Larchmont? How about Rye, or Scarsdale, or Pelham? And if so, why?

It is a trick to compare the $38,000 against a budget of $230 million in order to “prove” that is such a small number as to not matter at all. But it matters enormously.

Every year many New Rochelle residents go to City Hall to contest their property taxes, arguing that their homes are overvalued. And in many cases, their assessments are lowered and they owe New Rochelle less in taxes. But that does not mean that New Rochelle receives less tax revenue. It means the tax burden is then reapportioned among the other residents.

Read more

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