Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter in Hadley last March vs. the "handfull" of times the "pink room" was used at Old Mill Pond Elementary School in Palmer last winter.
After an anonymous complaint sent to the state from a "group of concerned grandparents" about the "prison-like" conditions imposed on 5-9 year old children, the state then demanded to see investigation results and any corrective action implemented.
That corrective action did not take long! The School Committee Chair (probably overstepping her authority) immediately told the Principal to remove the locks and doors on the three cells, errr, I mean"cubbies."
The interim Superintendent stated the public school has "disbanded" use of the rooms (which had a 15 minute maximum time limit for use) and the new principal readily agreed.
Meanwhile back in Hadley at the PVCIC, the two highest paid "public" employees, Principal Kathy Wang and Executive Director Rich Alcorn, who just happen to be married, closed ranks and defended placing a 9-year-old boy, unattended, in a small room...for seven and a half hours!
Even worse, defended their business, errr, school by blaming the victim--branding him a "bully."
In fact, the child was himself the victim of bullying in a bathroom when he pushed another child out of the way to escape. The seven-and-a-half-hour sentence, errr, "in-house suspension" was imposed the next day and without any parent notification either day, even though the mother dutifully dropped off and picked up the boy daily.
Department of Children and Families found the actions of the 3rd grade teacher and principal rose to the level of "neglect," and according to the school's own handbook they were automatically suspended...but quickly reinstated by a unanimous vote of the School Committee, errr, "Board of Trustees", probably with back pay for the week missed.
I say "probably" only because a public documents request for Executive Session minutes of that June 13 meeting was denied by the school's attorney on the grounds it was a "personnel" issue. That decision will be appealed to Public Records czar Alan Cote.
Since Charter Schools upper management--Principals and Superintendents, errr, "Executive Directors"--have nonexistent job qualifications compared to the traditional public school system, could it be the lack of educational training that directly lead to such different outcomes?
Traditional Public School Administration requirements (note 7.09, 7.10)
Charter School Administration requirements (note there are none, other than "staff".)
The Springfield Republican reports: