Saturday, August 27, 2016

A BOLD Evening Indeed

President Obama, Katherine Appy, Laura Kent

Well at least Amherst School Committee Chair Katherine Appy will be able to write off the wine as a campaign contribution (cheese as well).  And considering the current chaos the public schools find themselves in, it's gonna take a LOT of wine to sell this $67 million dollar Mega School.

As a private individual Ms. Appy has every right to advocate for the November 8th Override question, but if a quorum of School Committee members (only two more) or three Select Board members attend the party, then it is a violation of Open Meeting Law since it has not been publicly posted.  And no, this article does not count.

And you also have to wonder if tax dollars are being expended to bring in lead architect Jim LaPosta to "give us updates and answer questions." 

 Click to enlarge/read


UPDATE:  As mentioned by Ms. Appy in comments this is a private gathering for like minded individuals, which rules out the vast majority of my readers.  Especially the beer guzzling or wine-from-a-box crowd.

112 comments:

Dr, Ed said...

She has no shame. Utterly amazing.

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, at the very least she should also serve beer.

kevin said...

Whine and cheese, sounds like Amherst. Poor baby! Got to build a new school, like we're something special. Let's see if we screw up this one, too. Would you like some cheese with your whine?

Anonymous said...


I think the Appy's are being very generous with this open invitation. This could be a much needed healing event for this community.

I know from experience that some in this crowd drink a lot. Not sure how much Vino they have on hand, but it might be nice for attendees to BOYB as a back up.

Anonymous said...

This is a private gathering in my home for people that I have invited, and is not an event open to the general public.
Katherine Appy

Anonymous said...

Ed, you don't live here, but you are always first to stick your nose in.

Anonymous said...

Well , fashionistas - how long will it take for this " mega - school fad concept to flame out of vogue - and join the ashbin of history ??? Every generation - hates the one before - give it a decade - our bad !!!!&???!!!

Anonymous said...

I bet all those grannies you will throw to the cold hard streets of a " home " with uber gauche tax foreclosure so - really feel " at home " with all that - right about now ... um. hmmmm ?!$$$$&@

Dr. Ed said...

:This is a private gathering in my home for people that I have invited, and is not an event open to the general public.
Katherine Appy"


I know that -- it's also the most flagrant violation of the state ethics laws that I've ever heard of!!!!

Remember that the basic principle of the ethics law is that no public official (including 'volunteer" officials) obtain any "private benefit" not available to the general public.

Katherine Appy can have a "private gathering", as can Vince O'Connor -- both are free to invite whomever they wish.

What Appy can NOT do is use her contacts & influence as a public official to do something that Vince can not do-- in private.

"We will be joined by the lead architect of the project, Jim LaPosta, to give us updates and answer questions."

This is what I mean by "she has no shame." Does anyone honestly believe the architect would be making a presentation in her home were she not the chair of the SC (with oversight authority)? And who's paying for his time & travel -- is this coming out of town funds?

As bad as this is, it would be one thing if she was trying to claim that this was a public event -- but she's explicitly stated that it isn't.

Her contempt of the law is beyond belief.

Dr. Ed said...

"Well , fashionistas - how long will it take for this " mega - school fad concept to flame out of vogue - and join the ashbin of history ??? Every generation - hates the one before - give it a decade - our bad !!!!&???!!!"

It already is falling out of favor -- Common Core evolved out of Bill Gates' circa-'90's initiatives with small schools. All of this "team" stuff is a push toward small schools.

But the bigger issue is how it is to be "two schools" -- all of the mistakes of the UM SW towers, that were three 6 story dorms under the same roof. And more -- there is no way to shift classrooms from one "school" to the other as needed.

Dr. Ed said...

0ne other thing -- doesn't LaPosta get more money if the MegaSkool is built?

If so, his colluding with Appy is problematic in yet another dimension.

It would be one thing if he had a PUBLIC meeting with taxpayers to "give updates and answer questions" - it is something else for him to do it for his benefactor's guests.

Anonymous said...

This is neither the time for a tax override nor a new mega-school. This latest school committee fiasco, with the $309,00.00, unwisely spent, of taxpayer's dollars should have taught something to the Amherst voters. Money that doesn't touch the children but is in the school budget?

Have the voters really not learned that this proposed school is too much money to be spent on something that has so hastily been determined, by a few people who don't seem to know or understand what they are doing, or how to spend your hard-earned dollars?

Now, they want an override to cover many, many millions more for this "white elephant" mega-school! Really, one must be kidding! Amherst is a center of education?

WAKE UP!

Anonymous said...

Anon 1202, get your head out of you A-s this is going to cost the people of Amherst thousands and it would heal anything. Not to mention the $309,000 the other idiots payed the SI. Get a life.

Anonymous said...

I'm going what was that address? Don't worry I'll bring a jug.

Anonymous said...

MEGA-SCHOOL....BRING IT ON!

Anonymous said...

Ms Appy are the homeless and hard liquor allowed? CAN WE SLEEP IT OFF ON YOUR FRONT LAWN?

Anonymous said...

Shame is so out of fashion! Obviously.

Anonymous said...

Ms Appy we are talking about a tax payer funded project here. Let us remind you, we the tax payer will be funding this Mega Mistake. So why are we not being invited?

Anonymous said...

I guess I know now who is behind BOLD. I suspect that the community's NO vote in November on this override is also one of Ms Geryk's reasons for leaving (beforehand).

Anonymous said...

Katherine, please don't have any School Committee members or Select Board at your party. It's just throwing gasoline on a fire when we all need things to cool down.

Anonymous said...

Time for a reset. I think the committee needs to step back and focus on working together(hopefully), revamping the SI eval system, and of course finding a new SI.

Anonymous said...

The SI evaluation system is set by DESE. If people follow the rules it works quite well. Nothing wrong with the system. Folks deciding that they don't have to follow the rules are the problem.

Anonymous said...

I agree..who the hell is Vira to skirt the rules? "Bring it on"!

Anonymous said...

Wow Larry, I normally really appreciate getting the intel you provide, but I just do not agree with releasing this private invitation. I really hope no unlovely real-time harassment and inappropriateness ensues. Judging from the vast quantities of hate and bile filled contributions on this blog, I am concerned.

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah I'm sure you are.

Just not concerned enough to sign your name.

Anonymous said...

How low can he go?

Rich Morse

Larry Kelley said...

Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...

Larry, It would be downright irresponsible to put my name to anything that could possible affect myself or my kids in school on a blog so vicious and viral; a place that could without remorse or any sense of control destroy any player. While I feel confident in my words I feel justifiably afraid anything I say could be detrimental to my family, so why would I put us through that?

IF there were a site where EVERYONE would be required to reveal themselves, then GAME ON.

Bonhomie Squeaks said...

May I be invited to the gathering?



-Squeaky Squeaks



p.s. I could collect coats and so forth. "Oh, that's just Squeaky".

Dr. Ed said...

"Wow Larry, I normally really appreciate getting the intel you provide, but I just do not agree with releasing this private invitation. I really hope no unlovely real-time harassment and inappropriateness ensues."

Me too -- I'm hoping it is limited to a vocal picket line protesting the event and a FAA-licensed drone taking pictures of all the attendees. Slicing tires, torching cars and beating up people -- not cool. Understandable, but not cool -- although I'm starting to wonder if resorting to such reprehensible tactics may be necessary.

The middle shall cease to hold. I'm not sure the schmucks like Appy quite understand that....

Dr. Ed said...

Hey Larry, will Chief Livingstone ignore the Facebook postings that the unsergrads make about parties which they will be hosting? Should he?

(My understanding is that Facebook is a major source of APD intel.)

Then who the hell does Katherine Appy think she is?

Anonymous said...

It is common for people to mistake anonymity for a bad thing. Everyone is currently afforded the opportunity to speak their voice here on the internet anonymously and have their opinion heard in a limited way. It is a privilege and a responsibility for a public servant or figure to have their voice heard differently no matter what the venue. To remove the opportunity of anonymity serves not only to reduce the responsibility that comes with holding a public office, but also to quell the speech of everyone. Don’t let anyone goad you into providing your identity on the internet. Likewise, I would encourage everyone to embrace the value in being anonymous while expressing your opinion.

-p

Anonymous said...

Will a group of BOLD folks getting together to affirm they have the right plan for the schools help forward the vote?
As a town home owner without children in the schools it has been repeatedly said that I shouldn't have any input...
On the ballot in November- will there be a box to mark Not Applicable?


Anonymous said...


Katherine Appy is welcome to have as many wine and cheese parties as she wants, but this event highlights an unholy alliance between the Appy's in-town business friends, members of the Amherst school committee and a high-powered architectural firm (that specializes in building casinos, see below).

For all appearances Katherine Appy represents the pro-business, pro-development and construction gang in Amherst. Some say she and her SC allies are simply a sock puppets for this group. I'm not sure, but she does seem to represent their agenda and interests.

Jim Laposta ( JCJ Architecture ) is a high end architect who stands to make tens of millions of (taxpayer) dollars from this new school project. He and his firm have been very active in advocating and driving this process forward in Amherst.

Has the Amherst School Committee and the Building Committee been co-opted by this 'consultant', who stands to make a large financial wind-fall from the outcome?

( For more info check out Jim Laposta' / JCJ Architecture's website of high end casinos and schools:
http://www.jcj.com/entertainment/ )

According to his website his firm has built the following casinos:
“...Resorts World Casino New York City, Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino, Downstream Casino Resort, Santa Ana Star Casino, Montreign Resort Casino, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel, Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel, Saratoga Casino & Raceway, Saratoga Casino Black Hawk, Desert Diamond Casino & Entertainment, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Fire Rock Navajo Casino, Mystique Casino, Oxford Casino, First Council Casino Hotel...”

Do not forget this is a $65 to $70 million dollar project. Architectural and construction firms stand to make millions from it. Money makes people do stupid things sometimes.

As this strictly private wine and cheese event highlights, there's an oddly close and 'cozy' relationship between the architect/consultant Jim Laposta, the Appys, and members of the school and building committees.

With millions of dollars at stake has the process and oversight for this school building project co-opted and corrupted?


( Thanks Larry for giving the town this comment forum, it serves an important outlet for information )

Anonymous said...

August 28, 2016 at 12:00 AM said:
“Slicing tires, torching cars and beating up people -- not cool. Understandable, but not cool -- although I'm starting to wonder if resorting to such reprehensible tactics may be necessary.”

What are you nuts? I don't know who you represent but yes, it's morally reprehensible to advocate ( however obliquely ) to such a course of action. I don't know of a single real-world, non-virtual person in Amherst on either side of this issue calling for violence. Can you name one?

I call this is trolling / flame bait shenanigans.

Rebecca Casa said...

It is your taxes so yes you haae all the rights in tbe world to vote.

Anonymous said...

The Amherst SC (ecpecially Miss Appy) should have thought about how The direct Geryk buyout wpuld effect the WW Project vote. It is like a disease around here spend, spend, spend. Middle and lower class home owners are tired of working 60 hours a week to keep up woth the spoiled segment of our community whoblike to buy everything and fund every request. For the person who said they have,been told they shouldnt vote cuz it was none of their business... What if people were saying if weren't born and raised here you couldn't vote. No implants allowed. Acrually curious how many born and raised friends Appy has. My guess not too many..

Anonymous said...

She bettsr hurry or she will be going with no money.

Rebecca Casa said...

How did Maria know which SC members evaluated her poorly prior to the evals being public?? How did she know what they said exactly? and how they violated her contract? I suspect someone one of the chairs ( the only ones,with access) violated the rules and shared the evals with her Rick can u explain the rules around this ?

Rebecca Casa said...

She also said make her work. Let's not guve her ine penny.

Anonymous said...

8:32
Ummm, I think that JCJ's casino work is done out their Hartford office (Foxwood was an early client), and their school work is done out of their Boston office, but what's your point?
I actually don't know what the fee is for a $60 million school project., but pretend it's 6% =$3.6 million
I assume they have been paid close to a $1 million I for all the work done already. So, sure, they would love to get another $2.6 million, but very little of that --if any-- is"profit". Most of it goes to employees, consultants, and overhead.

Rebecca Casa said...

I agree I have had both positive and negative backlash from posting. At some point you have to make that personal decision and shouldn't be slammed for it.

Rebecca Casa said...

The pelham patent still gets hate mail. Im sure Ms Appy being concerned abt her email address is valid. Personally I would be more concerned with which "friend" shared thd invite with Larry and her personal address being out there. At least emails you can delete without reading. I think the Appys should get a really mean doberman.

Anonymous said...


Hi Katherine,

Are you really worried about running out of wine? For those of us with invites, should we bring something extra?

Liquors44 on route 9 is currently running a special on Bud light 30-packs. I kid you not! Check it out:

http://www.liquors44.com/Beer-Wine-Spirits-Specials/Beer/budweiser-bud-light-amp-select-55-30-pack-cans

Did you get a liquor permit? I know someone who works in the back, we could get some serious keggers cheap.

We could squirt any protesters with beer, they'd probrolly love that. What a scene, it'd be good fun! Just kidding, why waste good beer on those fools, really..

Anonymous said...


August 28, 2016 at 9:32 AM Said:
“...they would love to get another $2.6 million, but very little of that --if any-- is"profit". Most of it goes to employees, consultants, and overhead....”

Yes, I'm sure they would like to get that taxpayer money. It seems that nobody really knows how much the architect Jim LaPosta / JCJ and their wine and cheese friends will be getting from this project. It they're really getting 'only' $2.6 million then who's getting the rest of the $72 million balance?

Interesting turn of words, “..Most of it goes to … consultants, and overhead..” Consultants, and overhead, just keep repeating that until the town is in receivership ( bankrupt ).

Another problem is that there's more real dialogue, abet somewhat absurd at times, squirting protesting with beer...give me a break, on this comments page then in the past year of one-way 'presentations' I've been to. If Katherine Appy and her School Committee friends really want this to passed they need to make a better case of selling this boondoggle of a project to the taxpayers in Amherst. Exclusive 'wine and cheese' events are not going to cut it.

Anonymous said...

August 28, 2016 at 9:32 AM Said:
“...they would love to get another $2.6 million, but very little of that --if any-- is"profit". Most of it goes to employees, consultants, and overhead....”

Yes, I'm sure they would like to get that. It seems that nobody really know how much the architect Jim LaPosta / JCJ and their wine and cheese friends will be getting from this project. It they're really getting 'only' $2.6 million then who's getting the rest of the $72 million balance?

Interesting turn of words, “..Most of it goes to … consultants, and overhead..” Consultants, and overhead, just keep repeating that until the town is in receivership ( bankrupt ).

Another problem is that there's more real dialogue, abet somewhat absurd at times, squirting protesters with beer (give me a break), on this comments page then in the past year of one-way 'presentations' I've been to. If Katherine Appy and the School Committee really want this to pass they need to make a better case of selling this boondoggle of a project to the taxpayers in Amherst. Exclusive 'wine and cheese' parties are not going to cut it.

Rick Hood said...

"Rick can u explain the rules around this ?"

There are no rules that I know of. DESE does not have rules about when the Superintendent can see evaluations and the SC has no policy about that either. SC polices are here: http://www.arps.org/administration/policy_manual

For comparison, here is the process used by the Select Board for the Town Manager evaluation: https://www.amherstma.gov/documentcenter/view/26318

It is similar except:

“the soliciting of public and staff feedback for the Select Board’s consideration; “
Some years we have done a good job of that, but mostly we have not. Personally I got feedback all the time and thought it a bit strange to rely on once-a-year feedback rather than all-during-the-year feedback, but still, it's a good idea to do the annual feedback collection.

”…review and revision of the Chair’s draft summary form and memo at a Select Board meeting;”
SB does a meticulous job of this and SC really does not. But I have to say the SB is a LOT easier board to do that with than the much larger SC (Union 26 + Region). My feeling is that it's better/easier if the summary memo does not editorialize, but rather just summarizes the results of the individual evals, which I know was the case in 2014-2015. That way you don't get into arguments about whether the editorializing matches the evals.

Also, rather than one chair draft the summary memo, the 3 chairs do it (Amherst, Region + Union 26).

The summary memo and all the individual evaluations by SB members of the TM are on the town website.

Anonymous said...

Why do you think Maria knew the content of the evaluations before they were recently released, Rebecca? What are you basing that question on?
By the way Maria has received critical evaluations in the past and continued her work at the same time.
You again show you don't know what you are talking about.

Dr. Ed said...


There are no rules that I know of. DESE does not have rules about when the Superintendent can see evaluations and the SC has no policy about that either.

The General Court does, though.

Dr. Ed said...

What are you nuts? I don't know who you represent but yes, it's morally reprehensible to advocate ( however obliquely ) to such a course of action. I don't know of a single real-world, non-virtual person in Amherst on either side of this issue calling for violence.
What are you nuts? I don't know who you represent but yes, it's morally reprehensible to advocate ( however obliquely ) to such a course of action. I don't know of a single real-world, non-virtual person in Amherst on either side of this issue calling for violence.


Y E T

What Appy and her ilk fail to understand is that the middle will eventually cease to hold, that eventually there will be a "tipping point" and morality will go out the window.

And as for violence, I'd say what was done to Aisha Hiza constitutes a form of violence -- otherwise, she'd not have grounds to sue.

I'd also say that stealing $310,000.00 from the public treasury constitutes violence.

Appy fails to heed the warning of George Santana at her own peril.

Rebecca Casa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca Casa said...


It just looks suspicious. I'm not saying I know anything. I'm asking the question. why does it feel like Maria possibly saw her evaluations prior to her demand letter? when they hadn't been gone over at a meeting? Rick explained there's no policy saying that this isn't ok so then as long as there's no policy against her seeing the evaluations I have no problem with it. I have said a million times I am trying to understand the rules of these things never have I stated I knew anything for sure. I ask a lot of quwstions that many people want the answers to. Im food for thought person. I have my own opinions and thoughts and have the right to agree or disagree with people on both sides of the many issues surrounding our school system right now. Its called healthy conversation. I try not to personally attack anyone. I have been actively standing up for Laura Kent even though Lsrry and U disagree on this we aren't bashing each other about it. Rick nina Aisha Ed and I sometimes disagree sometimes I am Not about group thing. I just go with what seems right and wrong morally.

Rebecca Casa said...

The imass students if they vote will decide this, Then on to town meeting. Or am I wrong about that as well?

Anonymous said...

Dr ed is a nut. We don't know ms Hiza has grounds to sue and we don't know she will. The existence of Ed is a former of VIOLENCE. Can you imagine living with a guy who will argue for hours and distort every discussion to try to prove he wasn't wrong? I feel bad for his Mom! That's probably why she makes him live in the basement.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Ed, occasionally you make some good points that I agree with, but you often undermine your own credibility with over the top allusions to violence in this matter.

I do not believe Katherine Appy is the pinnacle of evil you make her out to be. She and her clan may be misguided and their actions highly suspect, and motives murky but yes, they're still human beings just like you and me.

I reject your us-vs-them scapegoating. I'm sure just like the rest of us humans, she's a mix of good, bad and indifferent, just like you. So why not work to bring out the good in all of us?

Yes, it's absolutely necessary to ask why she's hosting a private party for the lead vendor/consultant who will receive millions on a town project she's ostensibly overseeing as a public official. I imagine they would say what's wrong with that? Don't they have a right to have a party with whoever they want?

In their context they believe they're doing the right thing and fighting the good fight, just as you claim to be.

Two sides can civilly 'agree to disagree' and work on coming up with a way forward. I suspect that's the only way actual progress is ever made.

At times you appear to be your own worst enemy.

Rebecca Casa said...

She is.. She has a lawyer and there are two pending suits in pelham. One of those is hers. It's gonna be murky for all of us in Pelham and Amherst.

Rebecca Casa said...

One more question when is this project slated to be done? Aren't we all decidimg what's going to happen for people who haven't even decided to have kids yet? And I think the point was made at the select board by Laura that the UMass kids won't Vote. Maybe they won't, but a lot of them decide to live here and make a life here. Many of them will be affected by this. WHen the taxes go up their rents are going to go up. I do think THEY need to understand the implications of this project for them as individuals. But again those UMass students affectex are probably not even in town yet they're probably freshman in high school. I just feel bad for my grandchildren that are going to end up paying back the bonds on this project. With that being said we do need two new schools we have to do something. I still wonder if there's a cheaper way. Lawrence O'Brien has stated that the split by grade works fine for Belchertown. Those schools are right next to each other. Our schools are not right next to each other I really think a lot more people in town would support this project if we didn't just pay out 309000 to the superintendent. If we didn't have a pending lawsuit. And if we were able to keep the schools K through 6 so that parents could have an easy way to pick up their children to get them to activities. I also think if you live on the edge of Amherst towatdss Belchertown those parents are not happy with the long bus ride. There are other ways to approach this. I wosh think the parent survey that was originally taken was looked at seriously. Then maybe there wouldn't be so much opposition to this new school

Anonymous said...

It never occurred to me that she saw the evaluations before issuing her demand letter because I have no idea what's in the demand letter other than what I've heard or read about here and in the newspapers. My understanding is that at least part of the reason she is asking that her contract be bought out is because some members of the SC violated her contract. Critical evaluations do not violate her contract so even if she did know there would be a few that were critical of her that is no reason to ask to be bought out of her contract. You consistently add 2 and 2 and come up with 5. You are no different then Eddie and Larry. You are unreasonable in your hatred of Maria Geryk who never did anything but try to improve the educational opportunities for ALL kids and keep students and staff alike safe.

Rick Hood said...

@ 1:35 PM
+1 to that.
@ Rebecca
It's great you are asking questions.
The entire town has to vote yes on a debt exclusion* override for this project to happen and Town Meeting has to vote yes on taking on the debt. I believe the town-wide override vote is happening before the TM vote. Both in the fall, with the override vote November 8.
Yes, should it pass, we are deciding things for many generations. But that was the case when all the current schools were built as well.
If it passes, fall of 2019 is the move-in date.
Here is a link to info, see links are bottom for most recent info.
http://wildwood.projects.nv5.com/presentations/

* a debt exclusion override is an override (tax increase) that is not permanent, but stays in place for the length of the debt, which I believe would be 30 years. A "normal" override is permanent.

Anonymous said...

Appy fails to heed the warning of George Santana at her own peril.

“One's friends are that part of the human race with which one can be human.

Is this the the Santayana quote you're referring to?

Very apt!

Anonymous said...

The School Committee needa to come together and function as a team.CAN ANYOME AFFORD TO DROP THEM SOMEWHERE WERE THEY NEED EACH OTHERS RESOURcES TO SURVIVE? The town's people Need to know they can help run our schools. Right now voter confidence is low.

Anonymous said...

Rick I am 57o the debt exclusion is permanent!

Anonymous said...

Does Aisha comment on this blog Rebecca ? Also what does "pending" lawsuit" mean?

Rebecca Casa said...

I don't know the attorney at the school committee meeting said there was two pending lawsuits or it was in the minutes or something that I read I heard a rumor that there was a lawsuit regarding a teacher in Pelham but I don't know if that's true and Aisha has given up being on this blog as far as I know the last time we talked it was too hard for her to read what was being written. But who knows

Rebecca Casa said...

Thank you for responding I appreciate it. I live in Pelham so my big concern is if we regionalize our kids will be put in this big school with all the other kids. However that may be a good thing because I'm also worried about how the kids from shutesbury Leverett and Pelham are going to fit in if all the social groups are already form from Amherst and the kids being together from kindergarten through sixth grade

Laura Quilter said...

Just an addendum to Rick Hood:

If the debt override passes, Fall of 2019 is the move-in date for the Wildwood kids. It's not yet clear where the Wildwood K-1 kids will be during that year. Possibly in the new school, possibly split across Fort River & Crocker Farm, maybe other possibilities as well.

School year of 2019-2020 is another construction year on that site, as existing school is torn down and a second wing of the new school building is built. It's also construction at Crocker Farm, at least to some extent, while classrooms are retrofitted for kindergarten / 1st grade.

Fall of 2020 is the reconfiguration and move-in date for 2nd thru 6th graders from Fort River and Crocker Farm. All K-1 kids from Fort River, Crocker, and Wildwood go to Crocker. All 2-5th kids from all three schools go to the new school to one of two newly created wings. (They will NOT be "Fort River" and "Wildwood". They will be two newly created wings.) All sixth graders will go to their own separate "pod" in the new Wildwood building.

Anonymous said...

If the plan is to separate 6th grade, why not move 6th graders to the middle school? Wouldn't that go at least part of the way to solving crowding/under enrollment issues throughout the district? I don't get why this isn't being pursued as an option.

Anonymous said...

Rebecca,
It is NOT a big school. There will be two co-located 375 person schools. These schools will be about the same number of kids or a bit fewer than Fort River and Wildwood are now. Yes I'm sure each co-located school is bigger than Pelham's school if that is what you mean.

Anonymous said...

Under enrollment is the issue and building a new school is the answer? Will the future say this design was wrong like the previous templates? Who made education so Complicated? A good educator could teach from a rock in the middle of a Field! Oh....that's the problem?

Laura Quilter said...

It keeps being described as a "two co-located schools", but there are many aspects (like the entire sixth grade and the gym and the entrance plaza and the bus loop, to name a few) that are actually unified.

Anonymous said...

To 2:30 pm-- No, Ed is quoting George Santana. Carlos Santana's brother. Nothing to do with philosopher Santayana.

Anonymous said...

Appy is totally belligerent!

Anonymous said...

It is described as two co-located schools because that is what they are as much as you want to spin it another way.

Anonymous said...

Lol!

Laura Quilter said...

Dear Anon @ 8:23 pm,

The August 2016 Schematic Design Report says:

"The floor plan / building design is modified to address potential future use of the building as a single grade 2-6 elementary school. The MSBA notes that Grade 6 is now combined as a single pod."

Page 621 of the PDF of the compiled "Schematic Design Report", available here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By0mz4P0v3bWaG9vUk54emJud2s/view .

It seems pointless to keep pointing out the many features that make this building more like a single large school than a duplex of two schools. I'm pretty sure that parents & kids will get the point when they all come in on the same bus loop and same parent drop-off traffic loop and mill about in the same front entrance plaza. Or coordinate their separate activities in the curtain-divided gym, or, as likely as not, combine for school assemblies. (They can't both have assemblies at the same time unless they want to combine.) There is certainly something a little more than window dressing to make it "two schools" -- there's definitely two principals in the budget! (Although still just the one vice-principal in the budget projections that were drawn up when it was openly planned to be one school.)

But yes, the Administration definitely does call it a dual school. Sometimes they even call it "Fort River" and "Wildwood" (apparently forgetting that Crocker Farm kids will be there too).

Best,

Laura Quilter

Anonymous said...

How can proponents honestly say "two co-located schools" when a combined sixth grade is part of the plan? Sounds like, in effect, a separate experience for sixth, which is silly when we have a perfectly good and under enrolled middle school.

Dr. Ed said...

It is NOT a big school. There will be two co-located 375 person schools.

Yes, and 375+375=760 -- there will be 760 children under that roof. 760 children entering & exiting the building at the same time, countless buses and hundreds of "Mommiemobiles" clogging neighborhood streets as they endure the twice-aily trek.

It will be a clusterf*ck beyond belief, and in Amherst, MVAs will become known as "Appys", named after a woman who insisted that 375+375 didn't equal 760.

Anonymous said...

Some important questions and connections to consider:

Is Katherine Appy's 'Wine & Architects' evening a fund raising event for the BOLD group?

Her letter strongly implied that: “...Please join us over a glass of wine to discuss the next steps and how you can help...”

Is Ms. Appy the head of the BOLD group? And is Jim LaPosta, or JCJ Architectures, funding BOLD or contributing to it? Wouldn't that be a conflict of interest with her role as a town official on the Amherst School and Building Committees?

Why is an architectural firm driving this process anyway?

Remember $65 million is in play here, and it appears that the fix is in.

Anonymous said...

August 28, 2016 at 8:23 PM Said:
It is described as two co-located schools because that is what they are as much as you want to spin it another way.

I don't care if you call it 20 'co-located' schools, it's still a single building/enclosure with 750 students stuck inside it.

This is yet another attempt to 'urbanized' a.k.a. ghettoized public schools in Amherst. As Katherine' exclusive-party invite stated “socio-economic status or special education needs” can now be concentrated in one easy location. Oh, how wonderful for them.

Sorry to tell you, but 750 two-to-six grade kids penned up in a single enclosure is a MEGA-SCHOOL.

This will only accelerate rich and privileged parents bailing out and sending their kids to private and charter schools. This 'building project' will leave public education in Amherst in tatters, perhaps that was always the goal. Well done Katherine.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Just wow! Kids are "penned up" in school? That's how you characterize kids in public schools? I don't even know how to respond to such a post.
I went to a high school that had over 3,000 kids and I gotta say I never felt like I was penned in at school. I got a wonderful education at that public high school that helped launch me to the rest of my life.

Anonymous said...

Actually Eddie 375+375 does NOT equal 360! Lol! You are such a fool!
I really try hard not to respond to Eddie but sometimes his posts are just so irresistible and I just have to respond.
We all really need to feel sorry for the guy who clearly has problems.

Anonymous said...

The BOLD facebook page is a load of hogwash propaganda. Reading it you would think that Amherst has ghettos and that some kids are super disadvantaged over others due to the school configuration (a massive exaggeration). I know many families that have withdrawn their kids from Amherst schools (none bc of the physical state of WW and FR). It is true they are not nice bldgs but I'm not raising my taxes by a lot for a new school and configuration that I don't support (and many others agree). Sorry but Ms Geryk and her group of cheer leaders (SC members and Bldg committee) fu#$ed this one up, but good. I can't believe this wasn't on her evaluations as poor performance. Or is it on the evals from the Amherst SC, which I haven't seen released? If it isn't listed then those SC members truly have a problem...

Dr. Ed said...

No, penis breath, it is 750, and this MegaSkool will be a disaster.

Was Maria pushed out by the Team MegaSchool advocates?

Dr. Ed said...

What the MegsSkool Mafia fail to realize is that THEY will so divide the town that it will be impossible to obtain a new Supt.
0r is that their goal?

In any case, I want to see Appy go to jail for her crimes. Maybe her new hubby too.

Anonymous said...

Her new hubby??? What the hell are you talking about Ed?

Anonymous said...

Oh joy , every generation - hates the one before - will Appys gangsta clique be there for next decades debates to raze the ghettoized mega -school for a hasty return to kinder gentler local community schooling ? Appy must be on the take -Amherst bad !!!

Dr. Ed said...

"Chris & Kathleen Appy" -- on the posting.

Her defense for not renewing her Psych License was she was going through a divorce.

QED new husband.

Anonymous said...

The picture tells it all, Laura Kent in over her head and the other nitwit who is clueless.

Anonymous said...

I didn't get my invite yet to the big shindig but I am sure it's an oversight. Anybody want to carpool? We'll stop for booze on the way. I hope they serve crab puffs and other rich person elitist finger Foods! I love scallops wrapped in bacon. I'll try not to overflow the commode. If I drink too much I may have to stay overnight on the couch! Everyone here at the Boulders thanks Katherine for caring about us so Deeply! We'll all be there! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Ed, Katherine Appy has never done anything to you. She doesn't know who you are.

Anonymous said...

Katherine, Ed is not going to be silenced.

Although he is rather amused at your assorted third-person PsychOp attempts to silence him.

Katherine, if you don't want him calling you on them, stop the unethical & illegal things.

Rebecca Casa said...

Well that is not true I did have personal issues way back but then had no kids left in the system. They graduated. Now I have a child in the system and started paying attention again. I have zero hatred for anyone and zero hatred for Maria. I can say the difference in the schools between now and then is undeniable.

Anonymous said...

Please give,me an example of anytime when Dan Robb violated Maria's contract ever??

Anonymous said...

Sometimes Rebecca I can't figure out who's comment you are responding TO. Maybe you could refer to the time of the post you are answering.


Anonymous said...

Over a 24-hour period, here are the times that Ed has posted (counting this topic and also the lead thing):

8:55am August 29
1:25pm
5:07pm
5:50pm
8:07pm
10:17pm
10:36pm
12:38am August 30
2:44am
3:26am

When does he work? When does he sleep?

Anonymous said...

Debt exclusion override or permanent override ? Even 30 years is a long time that cover next generation kids whole productive lives. If the override passes, that is a horse saddle on the necks and backs of all working people of this town for the next 30 years, or forever.

If you are a parent, you are just a bit luckier than the rest. You carry your saddle to school, but you can smell the fresh paint for a year, and grumble about the constant tearing down, and construction for a few years, the logistic concerns of the new Mega school bring about, and completely forget about the continuous deterioration of the quality of the education of district school.

65 million dollars will buy the district leadership a few years of dementia from its constituents, before the saddled villagers finally wake up and bring out the pitchforks and torches.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:13, looks like you have a lot of time on your end also.

Anonymous said...

the goal is to destroy the middle class so as to make Amherst a Grenwich, CT.

Anonymous said...

So who's gonna type up the Ethics Complaint against Katherine Appy??????

Anonymous said...

I just wanna know (and everyone else in Amherst) what's the deal with releasing the minutes?! Surely, at least an explanation for the LONG delay is now warranted. WTH

Anonymous said...

I don't know when he works, but he took a nap from 1:30 to 5.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:00 Hilarious!

Anonymous said...

7:00(a) -- face reality, the minutes are NEVER going to be -- instead we are to be treated like mushrooms, kepy in the dark and fed nothing but bullshit.

And 7:00(b), et al -- all you accomplished was having him stop signing things. You didn't silence him.

Anonymous said...

Those of us who speak out against SC corruption have already downloaded a copy of the executive session minutes leaked by the Gazette. We wait with bated breath ONLY for the Geryk-Gate extortion demand documents provided to the SC then confiscated by Attorney Colomb on Ms. Kent's and Ms. Appy's behalf!

Anonymous said...

I think that Appy intentionally got rid of Geryk so as to put a more palatable face on the MegaSkool ballot question.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much the repairs to the HS gym will cost? Will they all be covered by insurance, or are we looking at the district having to find the money for the repairs? And how much extra cash does the district have these days? Presumably a lot less than it did, before the superintendent's buyout of her contract.

I am also still wondering: if there was that extra money, how come it wasn't used to restore some of the earlier cuts for this year's school budget. Was this buyout plan in the works for a while, even before the request was sent to the school committee?

Lots of questions; not so many answers these days.

Anonymous said...

I never read Dr Ed.

Anonymous said...

1: Neither the police nor anyone else walks through the buildings at least once all weekend? An awful lot of vandalism can be done in 65-70 hours, particularly if the perps know no one will be there all weekend. Particularly in the summertime...

It's not just going into the building but being seen going into the building.

2: Notwithstanding this, Jackson learned of this -- a rather major incident, something quite newsworthy -- on August 1st. I presume this was known in the Supt's office almost immediately Yet we only learn about this a month later?!?!?

3: There were what, 5 SC meetings in August, all of which started in public session. This couldn't have been mentioned at any of them?

Were the SC members even told about this?

Anonymous said...

In today's gazette article, the delay in releasing the minutes is excused as someone(s) wanting text redacted. Sorry, Ms Kent, if a vote was taken on the minutes, which it was, then they HAVE to be released in the exact form of which the vote was taken on. There are these things called 'rules'. Everyday, more suspicion and doubt on your abilities develops. Nice to see the Gazette step up.

Anonymous said...

the problem with leaked minutes is that we don't know if they are complete.

There well may be quite a bit that the Gazette didn't get.

Anonymous said...

After review, it's clear that Appy is in violation of conflict of interest law as a Municipal Employee (which she is as a School Committee member) who is clearly acting as an agent for someone with direct and personal fiduciary interest in matters coming before the Committee.

Anonymous said...

In jan appy needa to go..