Sunday, July 17, 2016

Public Schools Disarray Continues

Wildwood started out a single school renovation but turned into "reconfiguration" with a 2-schools-in-one $65 million new building


UPDATE Sunday night:  As Fox News would say "breaking news".  The Regional School Committee meeting for Monday night has been cancelled.  Things are getting curiouser and curiouser.

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ORIGINAL post:

On Monday night a potentially earth shaking Regional School Committee meets for their "retreat" at ornate Valentine Hall while a couple hundred yards away the Amherst Select Board will also take up discussion of another somewhat historic school related issue, whether to place a $30+ million Debt Exclusion Override on the November 8th ballot for the construction of the $65 million Mega School.

This would be only the second time in history an Override question has gone to the voters prior to a Town Meeting vote, which requires two-thirds super-majority to pass.

Yes, I'm going to have to figure out how to clone myself in the next 24 hours.

But the simple fact these two important meetings are happening at the same time underscores the hasty, not-overly-well-thought-out situation our elected public officials find themselves in at this defining hour.

 Maria Geryk at June 14th RSC meeting, her last public appearance

According to Maria Geryk's $150K annual contract she should have received her School Committee evaluations -- which are supposed to be a "public" process -- by June 30th.    And she has to be present in the public meeting for the evaluation discussion to take place.

Thus the most recent July 13th meeting where her evaluation was on the agenda that discussion could by law not have taken place since Maria Geryk was Missing In Action that night.

 June 14th RSC meeting where Laura Kend ousted Trevor Baptiste as Chair

In fact under questioning from former Chair Trevor Baptiste rookie Regional School Committee Chair Laura Kent admitted the individual evaluations were not even available that night so even if Ms. Geryk was at the head table the Committee was ill prepared for that discussion to take place.

I asked Ms. Kent on Friday morning if Superintendent Geryk would be present Monday night and as of yet have not received a reply.

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The Amherst Select Board has the ultimate authority to place an Override question on the ballot, so it's not highly unusual for them to have that on their agenda, although it has not happened in the last half-dozen years.



However, the Select Board is doing it as a favor to the Amherst School Committee who never officially asked them to do it via a Committee vote.

And up until now even though they have had a couple updates from the Schools regarding the Mega School, the Select Board has had zero discussion about this important expensive matter.

Monday night could be a very l-o-n-g meeting.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just Say No

Anonymous said...

Larry, you sure it isn't give her an opportunity to be there?
Otherwise, if she simply didn't go, then....

Anonymous said...

Right! I would rather throw away the money we.spent then more. Has anyone done.an informational. To the.point Quick and easy for the voters ? It looks like we may need one. Along woth 65,000,000 water bottles as suggested in earlier post found in schoo committee. MAYBE we could ask Maria iF we could use the MS parking lot fo the demO ? SEriously though maybe the common or Kendrick park? We have probably check with town. Need a permit for everything here. As pointed out was is 45 % appx 29000000.?? Or 39,000,000. Not sure.which but way iit's a ton of water bottless. we need something by the vote.. Something eyecatching and ugly !

Anonymous said...

Let's leave the display up so we can see visually the costs of all four projects as they come up for a vote.

Anonymous said...

Is Geryk on her way out? What's going on? This seems like chaos. And the Wildwood project marches on without the support of most of the teachers and parents….why? Is the Select Board hoping that all the university students who will vote for president and on the marijuana ballot question will say yes to an override that they won't have to pay for? What's up with all of this?

Anonymous said...

This is such a sham. Why can't people see it? Take your heads out of your sandholes and open your nostrils to the smell of corruptness boiling over. Mike Morris, and the whole lot of them, need to be on their way out-along with their headless leader, Maria Geryk. They've been caught--they are running our schools like a high bred business not taking into consideration the detrimental impact their decisions are having on our youth, parents, and teachers/staff. Their pockets are bulging--weighed down with salary dollars some of will never earn in a lifetime! It's a crime being watched in action--and some of the players are dumb enough(chosen wisely by Maria's gang) to not even realize they are accomplices.

kevin said...

Duplex, Larry, it is a "Duplex School". How about the "Mega" Fire Station and the "Mega" DPW Depot. They are just as "mega" as the school. If you truly believe calling the school "mega" will give Amherst a chance to compete with other towns that already have new schools (and libraries), then have at it. But if it is just 'click bait', then please look deep into your journalistic integrity. Because the people who will pay for the "mega" school, over the next thirty to fifty years are not even born yet. The cost to "present" residents, like you and others in our age group, is much less than the "future" residents, who will pay the most. It is not fair to burden our grandchildren with less than they need to succeed. Not fair! Wildwood has been paid off for twenty years, you got a free ride. We should have been setting that money aside in a special savings account, but no, Town Meeting votes it down. You made your bed, now sleep in it.

Larry Kelley said...

I call it Mega School because it started out as a simple project impacting only Wildwood, hence the name "Widlwood Building Project," but has grown to also majorly impact Fort River and Crocker Farm.

Anonymous said...

GEEZUM Crow-don't get "Conned" again by the school/union nutz-Kip Fonsh-who illegally was BOTH a teacher- a school commitee member- Leverett-and head of the regional-and school teachers union boss-a blatant violation of the law-conflict of interest breach-informed us that this "Maria Geryk" was "Some kind of wonderful" a few back-look what we have to show for it now ? This is why "School union nutz" doesn't equivocate with "Democracy in action" Go Figure-just say'n..Ya THINK ?? ( Wish Amherst academia did-spare us !!! )

Anonymous said...

I'm glad they brought Fort River in. If they hadn't the Wildwood Families would have a new school with actual walls, the Crocker Farm families would have a school with actual walls and the Fort River kids would still be going to a mold infested dysfunctional school without walls. As a Fort River family my kids would suffer while the Wildwood kids would have a great new school! BTW SANS chair Laura Quilter is a Wildwood parent. Of course she only wants Wildwood replaced and the hell with the poor Fort River kids.
The concept of two co-located schools to replace both the Un-walled ES buildings is the right choice. I support the administration and the SC in this choice. And a lot of other parents do too as well as all three ES principals.

Dr. Ed said...

WHY two co-located schools?

It is an asinine worst-of-all-worlds situation. Redundant duplication costs money, you will have two building principals fighting over whose fault something is, sending concerned parents to see the other one. Two different teaching staffs, two different office staffs, two different maintenance staffs -- you totally lose your economy of scale while concurrently losing the benefits of two smaller buildings, including impact on the neighborhood.

Asinine...

Nina Koch said...

Oh come on, Larry, that is a pretty weak response about the Mega School. You know full well the implication of that term, namely that it's one large school rather than two separate schools. And I am sure if the term gets repeated often enough, it will become the truth in many people's minds.

You did the same thing with the portable classrooms at Mark's Meadow. You said over and over that the portables were never used as a regular classroom. This phrase got truncated in people's minds and they now believe that the portables were never used at all. That's not true. The portables were used for Title 1 and other pull-out programs. Mark's Meadow had only one class per grade and it made sense to leave the regular classes inside the original building. The extra space was needed for auxiliary uses. I don't think it matters what the portables were used for; the important thing is that they were used. But you succeeded in changing that truth.

It's your blog-- you can have whatever bias you want. I think you should just stop pretending not to have that bias.

Larry Kelley said...

As should you.

Anonymous said...

Oh man....I agree with eddie....and it hurts so much!

Anonymous said...

Ed, since you don't even live here no wonder you are totally out of the loop. Hello!!! It's because the state will only give money for one school not two.

Not that it's any of your business. How's life in Maine?

Anonymous said...

anon@12:34: perhaps you haven't paid attention but there was another option that had the support of the majority of parents and teachers. That option had both WW and FR (probably rename FR) at the WW site but keeping the k-6 model of education. I am going to probably vote NO (both as a Amherst voter and TM member) to fund the reconfiguration from our current model to preK-1 and 2-6. Essentially a vote of no confidence in the leadership and vision of SI. If it fails, it likely can go back for revision to the model preferred by parents and teachers. I don't agree with her very narrow definition of equity (ie everything is exactly the same for all kids, essentially one large classroom/grade with teachers rotating thru might best fit her definition of equity).

dr.ed said...

Give me what I want and I'll go away.

Notwithstanding that, the state will only pay for one school which is why Amherst has to pay for the other one....



Anonymous said...

I think you are wrong. If it fails we get nothing. It's also important to note that RIGHT NOW some kids have neighborhood schools but there are many who don't go to school at their "neighborhood" school. I hope people will take the time to get ALL the facts.

Anonymous said...

Ed, I'll give it to you....please go away!

Anonymous said...

anon@5:41, just because not all kids currently are within walking distance of their school, doesn't mean that there are not other advantages to the k-6 model.

Anonymous said...

Nina Koch--It is people like you who call the children who are not segregated into special needs classes 'regular.' Are all other children irregular? Are they abnormal? Mark's Meadow 'portable' classes were such a disgracing form of segregation that the Amherst Schools still participate even in 2016--that any human with eyes would be able to see. Another outrageous example is SEC. Among the children, targeted often in preschool,--are a disproportionate number of children of color. Institutional racism in action. 5:41--Give us ALL the facts. This administration is out of control--somebody,somewhere has to stop the madness.

Anonymous said...

Ed, what you want is dignity. No one can give you that, and you will never have it. Have fun at your pretend job.

Anonymous said...

If you have such a hardon for Ed why don't you stop posting as anonymous already. Every freaking time!!! So what if Ed lives in Maine??? Get over yourself God you bore me.

Laura Quilter said...

Hi Anon at 12:34 pm --

(1) I'm not the "chair" of "SASS"; we're a loose grouping of parents each of whom works on their own.

(2) There were and are options to deal with Fort River without doing the $65 million 750-student school. I would support any number of those options.

(3) This level of personal attack doesn't speak well of you or your advocacy.

Laura Quilter
(the "non-chair")

Anonymous said...

The voters seem to desperately need visual representations of what these very large numbers really mean. Millions and millions of dollars of proposed new projects. Do they really understand how large a million is? Go back to fourth grade number sense! I think many "spenders" need a really good math lesson.

Laura Quilter said...

Anon at 5:41 pm -- Actually, if the project fails at Town Meeting or at the Town debt override vote, there is a well-rehearsed process. There's a short time for Amherst to get back to MSBA to explain why the vote failed and what they propose for the next steps. Most systems with failed votes asked for and got extensions to go back to the voters with the same plan, or a different plan.

So cheer up, voters. If you don't like this plan, you can vote it down, and the skies will not fall.

Anonymous said...

I can assure you there is more then one person with a "hard-on" for ed because I am one of them...and you are an anon too and a bored person would have moved on unless you are ed ! At least hide behind squeaky squeak.

Anonymous said...

I was at the meeting.. I think its a huge mistake.. To have the vote on this ballot when there will be no education or info on it because its a late add. To saVe 20000.. With the kind of money they are borrowing 20000 is pennies.. I feel the tax payers haVe a right to know how this will effect their taxes.. Look at leverett and pelham. The new schools killed us on taxes.. Has anyone thought about how having all the kids of amherst know each other when they reach the HS will impact the students from Shutesbury, Pelham & Leverett as they try to assimilate into Already formed social groups ? I don't know what is going on with Geryk but Morris was there tonightvwith a sick family at home.. Maybe she's back into her march -June meltdown. It is stressful to be the one in charge.. Especially duringbtimes of controversy..
Rebecca

Anonymous said...

I think remodeling our current school will cost less than the 35,000,000 They are taking about borrowing..

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Ed wants Maria and her court to go away.. It's coming Ed. the lawsuit will prove to all the people of the happy Maria kingdom just how wicked the queen really is.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

I see it.. I had faith .. It was ripped away mulitple times..

Dr. Ed said...

The flip side of Rebeccas point is that the children from Pelham & Shutesbury likely will remain an insular clique in middle/high school. Mostly White and upper-middle class due to the nature of the housing markets -- this will create issues -- if the P/S children don't Choice or Charter out at 7th grade.

It also is often essential to move K-6 children to a different school -- lots of reasons involving aspects of divorce, infidelity, child custody & other things adults do to children.

My field is Grades 7-18, but everything I've heard is that what Amherst now has -- three geographically separate elementary schools -- is best. Geographically separate, co-locating two and pretending they are separate is as asinine as putting an engine on both ends of a train and thinking you have two trains...

And then who thinks this MegaSkool won't go over budget. Pelham's school did, as did the UMPD station & Steam Plant.

Dr. Ed said...

Never forget that Maria is a product of UMass -- it's the people who created her whom I most want exposed for what they really are.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, might be worthwhile to request an accounting of both Geryk's & Morris' paycheck amounts, YTD.

Read that part of Geyrk's contract about disability -- if she can't work, she doesn't get paid but does get insurance paid or something. And the general protocol in govt is that if you are doing your boss's job on a temporary/acting basis, you get bumped up to your boss's pay while doing it.

So if Maria were to be out of work "March to June" for any documented medical reasons (e.g. motorcycle crash) she wouldn't be paid per her contract but Morris would be paid more. Anything psych-related would be considered the same as long as (a)it was properly documented,(b)the documentation justified her absence, and (c)she gave the School Committee a copy of it. (I'm not sure if an employer is required to accept an employee's psych paperwork or if they can require an examination by the employer's Voodoo Scientists.)

And where a teacher would have to give the paperwork to HR, Maria has to someone she doesn't supervise, i.e. the SC. And Laura Kent would either already know all of this or be able to ask one of her professors to explain it to her -- she's majoring in Public Health.

Now for all I know, Maria spent a couple months on a beach in Bermuda -- I present this as an interesting hypothetical.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Ed posts very little these days ! Compared to negote.. I like to THINK itvis because he knows Aisha is well represented now and he knows the truth will emerge regarding Maria fo the world to see.

Anonymous said...

You cannot remodel two schools for 35 million.

Dr. Ed said...

Yes SBTAIP, that and that this is my spare-time hobby.

Another thought about "Linowiski-Lite" (Geryk): if she (hypothetically) could document a workplace-caused mental illness, she coul d retire and immediately receive 72% of her salary -- for life. Exempt from both State & Federal tax, as well as the 9% retirement deduction, her NET likely would be more than now.

Anonymous said...

'Never forget that Maria is a product of UMass -- it's the people who created her whom I most want exposed for what they really are.'
Ed expose them then get a job with all your big blabbering talk you have told us nothing but you don't like them. you seem to know everything but how to work

Dr. Ed said...

Ed expose them then get a job

In addition to the three that I'm already juggling?

May I ask WHY?

For that matter, may I inquire what right you have to tell me how I should live my life or spend my free time?

with all your big blabbering talk you have told us nothing but you don't like them.

Get real: YOU are one of "them", and I'm damn sure you know why I don't like you/them. It'll come out in my book, for which I intend to receive financial gain, and hence don't intend to "scoop myself" here.

Instead, I am warning people about them/you so that I can say that I did warn them but that they didn't listen.

Anonymous said...

Three jobs ed? Tweedle dee and tweedle dumb and what is the third job?

Anonymous said...

Nobody believes you work ed!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but if Maria has a workplace stress-related mental illness it's one that she created herself by not having transparency and making incompetent decisions over the last few years. Please don't make me list them all.

Anonymous said...

Well good for Ed if he has enough money so he doesn't need to work then I'm jealous ! It's only our business if he lives off of us(taxpayers) because he choses to instead of finding work. Otherwise it's nobody's business

Anonymous said...

What's the traffic plan for strong Street? Half of the parents in our community pick up and drop off their kids. I see that is a huge nightmare fort river is already a nightmare at pickup time.Take all those parents and all those buses... I'm kind of curious if we're going to make a traffic plan that goes down through the middle school next to the tennis courts? how we're going to make this work?
Rebecca

Anonymous said...

More empty speculation on Kelly's blog. Maybe Maria has work related mental illness? Yeah and maybe Melanie trump can actually write a sentence in English. We know for sure she can copy/paste. Maybe Larry Kelly did actually work at one point in his life and maybe he and fat Ed are not actually secret lovers. Yea maybe but I doubt it.

Laura Quilter said...

So, Anon @ 9:49am is not just another irrational troll, but also homophobic.

I really wish that our School Administration had shown more leadership in terms of bringing the community together around this issue. Instead they have been fostering divisive "us versus them" framing from the beginning of this project, with the false "don't leave Fort River behind" line of argument. (False because there were numerous solutions that could have addressed problems across both schools.) Apparently these days it's conventional to frame political disputes in this personal take-no-prisoners fashion, but it leads nowhere good, locally, nationally, or historically.

Neighbors on all sides of this issue, please call out personal attacks and do not let them stand, no matter what side you're on. We can and should all be human to one another.

* Note: I personally regret that I didn't sooner call out personal attacks on Maria Geryk; I did finally in one of these threads a few weeks ago, but I should have sooner. It is well within our rights, even responsibility, to question decisions, judgments, and leadership; call for her resignation or call to support her. But the one or two people on this list who persistently make comments they can't support about Geryk's mental health should stop. It is wrong to treat another person that way; it's also harmful to the quality of discussion that we NEED to have about these decisions.

Anonymous said...

The decision Maria Geryk and her team Mike Morris, Kathy Mazur, Faye Brady, Marta Guevara, Monica Hall played her dysfunctional role, have made and stood by to ban Aisha from the very building they were holding her daughter in is sick! Absolutely sick--and reflective of a disturbed, racist, administration. They are underhanded, abusive, manipulative, mean spirited, classist, racist, and those are the nicest ways I can put it. They need to go--all of them! Now! The select-board of Amherst and Pelham are full of white privileged hypocrites. The police departments are swarming with them too. Terrible. I wish I didn't live anywhere near this sickness--and deeply disturbed people--but since I do I am trusting the school committee and others will do their jobs and get rid of these people so this town can be run civilly and openly. Any formation of a people who harm children in any way, needs to find different work--It is unbelievable that others, through their hard earn money they are forced to turn over to 'goverment' entities, aka taxes, continue to pay these people--Wake the f*** up people--The salaries of administrators in our schools is going toward people who abuse mothers and children! It's true--and you just keep paying for it.

I'm STILL defining you said...

"At least hide behind squeaky squeak."



Oh stop it.



-Squeaky Squeaks

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Laura I'm not saying Maria has a mental illness. I apologize if anyone thought that.. I'm am saying if her job has caused her stress she should look in the mirror. I strongly believe you get what you give in this life. Her actions and treatment of the people of this community, Aisha, me, oarents, my xhildren, Raheli,teachers, principals, SC members etc... I'm not going to feel bad for her. Any reference I may make to her health is and has,always,been 100% sarcastic. I believe she is hiding because she doesn't want to deal with any of consequences of her decisions. She would like to avoid any questions or accountability to this community period which is why I would like to see her go.. but at the same time I would like to see her stay eat humble pie and fix the mess she created !