Tuesday, August 12, 2014

No Surrender, Yes Retreat

 Amherst Pelham Regional High School

Silly me, I always thought that when you went "on a retreat" it encompassed more than a couple hours.  Seems the only difference between this "retreat" and a normal run-of-the-mill "meeting" is this one shuts out public comment.

After the last Jerry-Springer-like meeting of the Regional School Committee (well at least the last "official" meeting), I can see why they would like to avoid the general public.


But that is precisely the problem with our dysfunctional education committees:  losing touch with the people who put them in office, although all of them were elected in "contests" that drew less than a 50% voter turnout.

And losing sight of job #1: Providing high-quality education to all children, regardless of race, creed, color, religion ... or political affiliation. At a cost the average taxpayer can bear.

23 comments:

Adam Sweet said...

I have a colleague who opted to home school his children rather than put them through the Amherst "mill". I asked him why bother living there with all the taxes? He said it was his mother's home and he couldn't bear to sell it, but he's thinking of renting it and moving to South Hadley.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how any retreat is going to stop this drama. From all of what I have seen and read in the past 9 months in the ARPS, it seems like anything the majority does will never be good enough to prove we are not a bunch of racists. Even Rick tells us we are racist when we don't think we are. How do you ever solve problems with that mindset.

The only solution is to tune the drama out and elect some new blood on the committee. For the life of me I can not imagine why anyone would want to run though.

Maybe a good realtor could solve the problem?

Anonymous said...

So is there some notion that we won't be able to find our way to the location at Amherst College? I would think that excluding public comment NOW is an instance of incredibly bad timing.

Anonymous said...

A superintendent who invokes privacy issues whenever she can goes on a retreat....hmmmm, there's some irony there.

Retreat said...

I have decided that now is the time to put a deposit on a house in Hadley and put my house up for rental. I figure I can make more than enough renting my existing house in Amherst and still have some to pad the new mortgage as well. So it's a win, win situation I get out of the circus and Amherst gains more student housing.

Anonymous said...

The retreat is not a regular business meeting of the SC. Public comment has NEVER been part of the retreat. The retreat is a time of the SC members to discuss the workings of the committee, for new members to learn about how SC's operate and learn about their role as SC members. Larry likes to create dissension because it drives up his numbers but this is not an unusual occurrence at the retreat. The public can come listen to the discussion because of OML but there is never a public comment period at the retreat, which runs from 3-5pm.
There will be a regular business meeting of the SC starting at 5pm and presumably there will be a time for public comment at that meeting.
Anon 1040 - the drama is not caused by the SC members..it is caused by a small group of people who have an agenda to get rid of certain members of the SC as well as the superintendent..that is their only agenda...they purport to be about improving equity in the schools but their actions have done nothing to improve equity...they have instead had the opposite affect.
Anyway, if you can wait until 5pm, you can have your public comment period. There is nothing to see here.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:59 - This is not the superintendent's retreat - this is the SC's retreat.

Michael H said...

In support of the most diligent, competent and honorable school committee we've elected in many a year, I second Larry's call to keep our eyes on the prize in an effort to provide: "high-quality education to all children, regardless of race, creed, color, religion ... or political affiliation. At a cost the average taxpayer can bear."

Anonymous said...

Anon: 4:20

The taxpayer can bare part was thrown out the window long ago.

Anonymous said...

Just wait- A new ARPS central office will be needed to house all the newly created positions.

Are families using the family center? Does it need 2 to 3 employees?)
Do the schools really need a tv show (telling us about our town services) to collect backpacks and ski boots and plan parties? (position used to be paid by Amherst College- now paid by us!)

The school budget needs trimming!
The blue hairs of town meeting need to demand the frugality they know and use within their own households


Anonymous said...

Anon 1001 you don't have a clue about anything you mention in your post.

Anonymous said...

Heres info on the unused family center and the tv show we don't need:
http://www.arps.org/families/ARPS_Family_Center

Anonymous said...

The family center is used and appreciated by many families. Have you talked to any of them? I'm not sure what your problem is with the TV show. How is it harming anyone?

Anonymous said...

Remember Anon 8:14:

This is where the perpetual malcontents, the nattering nabobs of negativity, come. There isn't anything they won't try to run down. They wouldn't know how to make a positive contribution and work with others, if the opportunity walked up to them and slapped them in the face.

Anonymous said...

So your friend will home school his kids and move to south Hadley, effectively telling us that he is dissatisfied with the perpetually high performing Amherst schools but he is not willing to put his kids in south Hadley schools. I wonder what other local schools your friend is unwilling to put his kids in?

If Amherst schools are so bad, why not try another school district?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8/12, 1:53 PM

The posted agenda on the ARPS web site for today's School Committee retreat indicates that the retreat will go until 6 pm, & that "there will be no public comment period at this retreat meeting." What led you to believe that retreat meeting would include a business meeting with a public comment period? (other than the fact that some previous SC retreats have been followed later the same day by a regular SC meeting).

Anonymous said...

The retreat goes until 5 and there is a brief regular meeting at 5 .

Anonymous said...

My friend took her kids out of the South Hadley schools and is school choicing to Granby. South Hadley schools aren't so great.

Anonymous said...

Not happy with ARPS? Place your children in the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion (public) Charter School, in Hadley. The school is excellent!

Anonymous said...

Anon 8/14, 10:48 am
you wrote:
"The retreat goes until 5 and there is a brief regular meeting at 5."

I didn't see anything to this effect on the ARPS web site, & the posted agenda says otherwise.

Anonymous said...

The posted meeting notice on the Amherst town web site says today's School Committee retreat meeting is from 3-5 pm. This is different than what the agenda on the school web site says, which indicates the meeting goes until 6 pm.

Anonymous said...

so how was the retreat mtg (not The Retreat planned for N. Amherst)? Curious minds want to know.

Larry Kelley said...

Working on it as we speak.