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
As both an attorney and elected official, people often ask me about the process to get on the ballot to run for public office in New York State. Most people seem to think that a candidate gets endorsed at a political convention, but that is only partly true. While candidates do seek the endorsement of political parties at local or county conventions, that endorsement only means that the district leaders for that political party will support you and help you get on the ballot (which is very important).
However, unless you are running for state-wide office (senator, governor, attorney general or comptroller, who are nominated at state conventions), you must obtain signatures on "designating petitions." This is the requirement for congress, state legislature, county legislature or local city and town elections (but not villages or supreme court). We are in the final week to collect signatures on designating petitions for New York's six established parties -- Democrat, Republican, Conservative, Working Families, Independence and Green. As a matter of fact, I walked my neighborhood this past Sunday night and collected signatures.Read more
Update on the above report; Parent spoke to Health Administrator Dr. Weiss, who stated "I went to the school, to investigate and spoke to Principal Yigal Joseph and nurse Petrescu, and Yes, it was wrong that she did not check child's peek flow, nor distribute nebulizer, as well as she failed to notify parent with information of such incident(s)" Parent replied, "What's going to be done now?" Weiss replied, "We will do what ever we can so that this does not happen again." Parent supports classroom teacher in that, when child needed to see the nurse, teacher allowed child to get to the nurse for treatment. It was the nurses professional responsibility and experience in the medical field to assess and make the proper medical decision, nurse failed child and this is not the first time. Parent feels child is unsafe at school, as well as other children under the deliberate lack of accountability delegated by principal Yigal Joseph,and Petrescu, who has not apologized yet to parent for incident(s).Read more
Child 9years old was denied asthmatic treatment by school nurse at Columbus School on Friday September 23rd 2011. Child has history of asthma, medications and orders are active and current with health office, however, child came to nurse's office for treatment, and was told by nurse Petrescu, "go drink some water." Parent called school nurse to find out why child was in respiratory distress upon dismissal, and nurse admitted denial of checking peek flow, and administering inhaler or nebulizer to child. Parent took child to emergency room which resulted in , child receiving albuterol treatment, and steroid by hospital officials. This is not the first incident of the denial of asthma medication by school nurse Petrescu. City Hall investigation request made.Read more
On June 24th, 2011 The Journal News issued the following correction:
Robert Cox, who ran for a seat on the New Rochelle Board of Education, did not propose tasking an independent committee with presenting the district's annual budget to board members, as was stated in a May 13 article that ran on Page 15A. Instead, the committee would review the budget and present its analysis to the board.Read more
On WVOX Talk of the Sound Radio yesterday I took calls from listeners to discuss the recent School Board Election.Read more
Wow! What a race for school board!
I want to thank all those people who came out to vote Tuesday, especially those 1,796 voters that cast their votes for Financial Accountability, Transparency, Equity and Excellence.
We came up 172 votes short out of 8,546 votes cast or 2% of the total votes cast. We did not win but last night, surrounded by an incredible group of volunteers who came together from all parts of the City, it sure did not feel like a loss. There is always a lot of talk in New Rochelle about "celebrating diversity" but our campaign brought together as diverse a group as your are going to see: North End and South End, East End and West End, African-American, Latino and White, Young and Old, Christians and Jews of many denominations, professionals, working class, housewives, civic leaders, elected officials, veterans, municipal and school district employees and more. These are people who came together on the fly, from very different walks of life but all united by a common desire to restore Financial Accountability, Transparency, Equity and Excellence to our schools.
UPDATE: We just got the official canvas. There were 5,028 votes cast up from about 3,900 last year or a 27% increase or about 12% of registered voters up from about 9%. That was the impact of our campaign on voter turnout.
Somewhere along the way, from turning in our petitions to get on the ballot at the end of April until Election Day yesterday, this year's race for school board became about something larger than any individual candidate. In just three weeks, the race was transformed into a referendum on out-of-touch leadership in both our school district and our municipal government, people fed up with ever-increasing taxes, going up in inverse proportion to the decline in the quality and integrity of the product offered by our City and Schools and dissatisfaction with our current leadership.
Almost 1,800 people came to the polls Tuesday, many being people who normally do not vote in school board elections, to say with one voice "enough is enough, we deserve better". It is those people I intend to represent at future Board of Education meetings.
The returns by polling place say a lot about the school district specifically and the state of New Rochelle generally.
I won every South End school -- Jefferson, Columbus, Trinity and Isaac. I also won Holy Name and City Park and came in second at the Martin Luther King Center and New Rochelle High School. I was particularly gratified to come in second at MLK as I worked hard to ask for that vote and got it.
I ran 1st or 2nd at 8 of 13 polling places. The two winning candidates ran 1-2 at the other 5, all of the North End schools. The results reflect what I have been writing about here on Talk of the Sound and talking about on WVOX Talk of the Sound Radio. Residents in the West End, South End, East End and the City Center are dissatisfied with the performance of the administration of the school system - increasing expenses, higher taxes and general financial mismanagement. Their children are experiencing a fundamentally different educational experience and they do not like it. The North End districts of Webster, Barnard, Davis, Ward and ALMS are generally satisfied with the schools. I appreciate that as my children, at one time or another, have attended each of those five schools. If that's all you know, the New Rochelle schools are great but where does that leave the rest of the community? That's one divide we need to bridge in this community.
Another divide is between public school parents and those who choose to place their children in private and parochial schools. These children have the same claim on the attention and concerns of the Board of Education as any child in the public schools, both morally and legally. Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak's decision to exploit this divide in order to pass a school budget, pitting neighbor against neighbor, was a cowardly and cynical maneuver that served only to tear communities apart. It was easily among the most shameful episodes in his career as Superintendent in New Rochelle, a career littered with such episodes.
Yet another divide to bridge is between the people who benefit directly from their children being in the public schools and those who generously fund those schools despite not having school-age children. The budget process shows a complete lack of respect for those people who fund the district but especially those without children. One issue that came across loud and clear in this campaign, and was echoed even by the "anointed" establishment candidates, is that entire budget process is Kabuki Theater where Assistant Superintendent Quinn is allowed by the board to waste hundreds of man hours reading aloud every line in the budget, a document that any interested person could read at home prior to the budget meetings if only it was provided to them in advance.
What should be clear is that New Rochelle is currently ruled by a relatively small but organized group that runs the City and the School District for their own narrow interest at the expense of every other resident. The last divide to bridge is that between the perception of invincibility that the North End political machine has cultivated and the reality that an ad hoc, rag tag army of volunteers came within two percentage points of taking them down on their home turf.
To those who manned the barricades this time, my thanks. To those who will join us next time, welcome.Read more
Returns from today's school board election will be tracked by the Cox Campaign at Avalon One, 1st Floor Conference Room.
Bob CoxRead more