Thursday, August 4, 2016

The End Is Near



Maria Geryk is probably out as ARPS Superintendent

So yes, I've been sitting on this memo for a few hours and had no plans to publish it until Tuesday because I try not to negatively influence a story when acting as a reporter -- as opposed to a columnist.

But since the Gazette decided to go with it, thus endangering a source for illegally breaching the sanctity of an executive session, I guess I can, reluctantly, publish it:

 Click to enlarge/read

Terms are 1.5 years of pay (@$158K per year), but will probably also include unused sick days, personal days, etc, so the final price will be over $250,000.

Of course now the interesting thing is with this being splashed on the front page of the Gazette -- above the fold no less -- prior to the deal being done, Regional School Committee members could come under pressure from constituents who think the buyout is too high.

Or Maria Geryk could hear from friends or other professionals that the 1.5 year offer is too low; so either side could change their mind.

Wouldn't be the first time the Gazette was wrong.

261 comments:

1 – 200 of 261   Newer›   Newest»
Later, gator said...

Hey Kurt,



GTFO.



-Squeaky Squeaks


p.s. Flush.

Dr. Ed said...

This is illegal -- two reasons.

1: Any motion to spend district money must be made in open session, even if to accept the results of secret negotiations, and 2: the chair does not have the right to demand an immediate vote.

Imagine how quickly Town Meeting would go if everything had to be immediately voted on without presentation. Imagine if the town budget was secret until the meeting, and the moderator announced it and demanded an immediate yes/no vote on the whole thing.

Better, the body must immediately vote yes/no on the whole agenda collectively. It'd make a damn short meeting...

3: This email is a public document, and in sending it, Kent EXPLICITLY violated OML as defined by precedent.

4: Any SC member bullied into silence can (a) always vote "no" (EC votes aren't binding) and/or "enter a statement into the record." Kent can waive the member having to read it, but she MUST put it into the minutes, verbatim.

(This is what was done with the Pentagon Papers, a Congressman read them into the Congressional Record, which made them public as the CR is public.)

While this is not legal advice, there are advantages to doing this (and giving media copies) than just talking afterwards.

Anonymous said...

http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2016/08/amherst_school_commitees_call.html

I could have sworn the initial version said "tonight."

Trevor's quote at the end says it all.

Sucks to be you, Kurt...

Anonymous said...

I'm genuinely confused- if she is asking to break her contract, why would we pay her anything? Shouldn't she be paying us?
What leverage does she have, really?

Dr. Ed said...

If she's paid for 1.5 years more, or even one day in 2018, she gets the whole year as credit in the state retirement system.

Anonymous said...

Larry, you are so full of sh** making any reference to sanctity. You and your hate mongering crowd got what you wanted. You and your insider - dumb*ss Vira - deserve every sh***y thing life is going to give you. This blog represents everything wrong with this community, so I hope you are proud of yourself. I hope the supt takes us to the cleaners - she should not ever settle for 1.5 years but likely she will because while she needs to protect her family, she still freakin' cares about our schools and students. You are so ego-centric and have no clue about what she has done for our schools - you think you are so smart and a reliable person, when you and your commentors spew lies, half truths and hate. You make me sick! Print that you chicken sh**

Larry Kelley said...

Well, since you asked so nicely.

Funny, I just mentioned over on Facebook that I was waiting for the "toxic blog" is to blame routine.

Anonymous said...

Good to know you are already accepting responsibility for your role. By the mere fact that you put it out there, means you already know your role. You are disgusting.

Anonymous said...

I love that ed is a lawyer and seems to have determined everything over the past five years is illegal! I might vote for Vira just to get her the hell out of school politics!

Anonymous said...

First time ed has climaxed in years...maybe ever!

Anonymous said...

I would like to remind Dr. Sanderson that it's been done before.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okdpK1MdtsM



-Squeaky Squeaks



p.s. Now wouldn't ~that~ be *spectacular*!

Dr. Ed said...

DOCTOR Ed has a Doctorate in Education and actually tutors lawyers on Ed law.

Anonymous said...

I love that she is leaving .. I know this isn't over.. We will be hearing from Maria G for a long time yet to come. I am glad she isn't costing us any more. That amount is too much. Everyone should remember Ms Maria will cost us still more with the multiple lawsuits still pending out. Sorry Maria resigning is the best thing you have done for our school district. Now let's all get together and fix this WW not parent/ family friendly school idea and make it Pk-6 and leave Crocker alone. oh BTW ANON from the other blog you owe me $500.00...I guess your very reliable source isn't so.. reliable. I will donate toward one of our schools.

Anonymous said...

Time to look in the mirror Amherst...

Anonymous said...

"because I try not to negatively influence a story."

This is the most fascinatingly self-delusional piece of BS I have yet to read on this blog.



Just WOW.

Dr. Ed said...

I'm genuinely confused- if she is asking to break her contract, why would we pay her anything? Because otherwise she will hold the children hostage, she'll suck so badly that it will be intoleratable.

Her contract is so poorly written that she'd not only grt paid even if she didn't bother to show up to work, but no one else could do anything without her permission, which she doesn't have to give.

Hence this is like a Mafia shakedown -- pay this bribe if you want your children to have a school to attend next mounth.

Shouldn't she be paying us?

Technically no, as this is a new contract explicitly replacing an old one, and if both parties agree, it is legal.

BUT:

1: A party that breaches a contract is liable for damages. Not just cost of interim, but all search costs.

2: You raise another question -- can STATE money be used for this -- I'll have to call Malden. Remember that the budget is a ratio of state/local money, all of which is considered state monrey, with encumbered uses.

Hence would all four towns have to make a separate (new) allocation for this?

Anonymous said...

Bravo 9:19!

Kelley is all of that and more, a mean old man, who spends his days hating and looking for ways to drag other people down. And the rest of the haters here are like Flies on Shit. And I'm sure his old Irish American mother is rolling over in her grave, as she watches her son wake up everyday only to see who else he can belittle.

Too much of a coward to actually put his life on the line as a cop, fire fighter or soldier, he spends his life pretending he's a tough guy investigative reporter, when all he really does is sit at home and get excited over the news on the police scanner. And then take pictures of drunk drivers at the courthouse.

Anonymous said...

Question is..what ongoing act of moral perpitude and outrage will be committed next by the school booster cheerleaders ..all in the name of " For The Kids...!!!..don't be fooled-again...our bad.....!!!!

Nina Koch said...

I'm not going to bother addressing all the people who enjoy dancing on a grave. I will just speak to potential candidates who might have the misfortune to stumble upon Larry's blog.

Dear Candidate,

Please don't withdraw your application based on what you see here. There are a lot of nice, reasonable people who live in the school district. There are plenty of dedicated, highly qualified people who work for the school district and wonderful students who attend the schools. Though you won't see it featured on Larry's blog, lots of great things happen at the schools.

There are challenges, of course, as you would find in any district. There are definitely things that need improvement and perhaps you bring the skill set to address those. There are indeed people who have legitimate grievances with the school system. And there are also people who just like to say mean things and get away with it.

Larry and his commentators do not represent the mainstream in Amherst. Larry presents information selectively in order to promote a particular point of view. He also provides an environment where people can say racist things or launch vitriolic attacks on other people, all behind the shield of anonymity. But most people don't do that.

Just come to Amherst and meet people. You will find there's a lot of good.

From a retired teacher (30 years in Amherst schools)

Anonymous said...

Nobody did this to Ms Geryk.... she did it her self.

Larry Kelley said...

I do accept advertising Nina.

You could upload that message for 24/7 viewing behind a picture of kitties playing with unicorns ...

Rick Hood said...

“I try not to negatively influence a story” - followed by - “Regional School Committee members could come under pressure from constituents who think the buyout is too high” Yeah, negative influence is certainly not your style.

+1 to Nina’s comments.

It’s a shame all the focus has to always be on the Superintendent and School Committee when most of the interesting stuff is really going on in the school buildings and classrooms.

Too much is put onto a Superintendent in terms of measuring the success of a school district. Success or failure of a district depends on a lot of people, not just one. The administrative position that has the most effect on kids is the school Principal. We have absolutely wonderful Principals. A main role of a Superintendent is to support Principals in their jobs. Ask Principal’s if they have a leader they can get behind and who supports them in their work, they will say yes.

And of course we have great teachers, who are the most important people in the system.

Geryk may have tried to do too much. Huge things that did not make it like Regionalization, and smaller but wonderful things that did make it, like the Family Center, formed to help disadvantaged families and kids, based on Brookline's Steps to Success. Perhaps she did try to do too much, but I have often thought I would rather have someone try 10 things and fail at 3 or 4 than try nothing at all. I hope the next Superintendent we get is not a do-nothing one.

Well, we had Geryk for a bit more than twice as long as the average tenure of a Superintendent in MA. One of the search consultants we used in 2010/11 told me that a Superintendent can really only last a few years if he/she makes the changes needed to do the right thing, because in doing so they use up all their political capital in that time. I hope we don't go back into a period of musical chair Superintendents we had back in 2008-2010.

Anonymous said...

Finally, the disaster is over with this woman. What a failure. Monumental. The best part is now the town can show how inept it is in its next pick. If there is a wrong way to do something, Amherst will find it.

Larry Kelley said...

Remember Rick: Sarcasm requires its own special font

(Geeze, are you not a "web developer"?)

Anonymous said...

I am in shock about the payout numbers especially if it is true that Ms. Geryk requested to leave. I am presuming the current SC's hands are tied. I believe the fault lies in he SC that gave her a five year contract. Probably that is an example of good intentioned people who do not really understand the flow of school districts.

Ms. Geryk always had great intentions but was always over her head. She had neither the professional experiences, academic background, or temperament to be an effective leader. You give great superintendents 5 year contracts.

When we choose our next Superintendent I hope we remember this experience. The last time we had an effective superintendent was Dr. Hochman. For those who believe that no one would want to come here that is simply wrong. This is where effective search and recruitment are needed. Hopefully Ms. Mazur will not be involved since her track record of recruiting quality candidates at all levels has been dismal.

Anonymous said...

And the taxpayers get fucked in the end, as usual. God, what the hell ever happened to just teaching the kids?

Anonymous said...

It is time that we show Larry how much we can't stand him or this hateful blog. If we stop coming to the website, his views will decrease and he will make less money off his perversity and ill will. And, let's boycott his sponsors as well! Let's send a message in money or lack thereof!

Farewell to those miserable people out there - Larry, his Facebook chumps or should I say chums, Vira Dumony Cage, Rebecca Cassagrnde, Mr. Ed, Squeaka**, Trevor, Shabazz, Sickned in Pelham, Aisha Hiza, and so this list goes out. Karma is a bi*#h.

Anonymous said...

Marie Geryk was the best Superintendent we have had in decades. I wish her well in her future endeavors.

Anonymous said...

"DOCTOR Ed has a Doctorate in Education"

Sorry, Ed, but when someone calls themselves doctor they should be a physician. You are a glorified gym teacher.

Anonymous said...

extortion successful! maria walks away with twice as much extortion money as we had to pay out for her racial discrimination of c. gardner, school attorneys get their percentage...maria gets sued by Aisha for discrimination and civi rights violations...us taxpayers continue paying through the nose for years to come and the kids suffer because of resulting teacher & school services cuts. to put a happy face on all the pain maria has brought and will continue to bring, a special thanks especially to APPY, HOOD AND NINA for putting maria on the throne. we wouldn't be in this sorry pathetic mess without you!

dear school committee - clean house or we'll clear you.

Anonymous said...

Kelley is the Trump of Amherst in a way. He never admits his mistakes and takes no responsibility for his actions that have a huge affect on this town. Yes this blog is toxic in the hate and vitriol it spews out day in and day out. The hateful comments on this blog do NOT represent the opinions of the vast majority of Amherst citizens.

Anonymous said...

Tell me one thing Jeremy Hochman did for Amherst. Just one. He came with an outsized reputation and a huge salary. But he did NOTHING for our schools except maintain the status quo.
Maria Geryk introduced many exciting new initiatives to address the needs of our growing population of low income kids as well as to reduce the achievement gap. I am sorry to see her go. And yes, we will definitely have an extremely hard time finding someone to take her place. We probably won't even be able to get a search firm to help us.

Rick Hood said...

@7:54
Yeah, it’s a shame too, because Larry has the time, connections and ability to do some really good investigative journalism, but instead seems to have learned from the Roger Ailes school of journalism.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:16: Maria Geryk failed miserably to address the needs of non-white or low-income kids and reduce the achievement gap. MA DOE data for 2015 shows 1.3% of white ARHS students failed to graduate in 4 years as compared to 7.3% low income, 7.5% students w/disabilities,8.5% Hispanic/Latino and 7.4% Black. The achievement gap is even more pronounced!

Larry Kelley said...

Geeze Rick, at least I don't hit on my female employees (not that I have any).

Anonymous said...

Geryk did not discriminate against Gardner. The math teacher Carolyn Gardner was insulted by a high school girl, what a surprise for anyone, let alone a high school teacher. (Of course, your lovely daughter would never do that.) But Gardner did not have the backbone to handle that insult so she cried discrimination. If you can't handle blowback from high school aged students, don't become a high school teacher. All of the evidence piled up in that case was either fabricated or circumstantial, except for the insulting note a high school girl left anonymously in the bathroom. The Gazette pushed the story hard because those kinds of stories sell papers in the Pioneer Valley. If her tires had been slashed, as Gardner and the Gazette reported, then the video cameras in the high school parking lot would have shown that. Zero evidence. Her phone was stolen off her desk. Really? How many phones do you think are stolen in that school annually? In any high school in America? But her phone was stolen only because she is black.

Gardner showed weakness and was devoured. The Gazette painted the school as having a serious race problem, and then the school club "People of Color United" invited the Gazette in to try to clarify their views on what type of school ARHS really is. Look it up. They said the school was not the place the Gazette was reporting. Does the school have problems? Yes. Show me any institution in the USA, or the world for that matter matter that does not have problems with understanding what it means to be a person of color.

Of course, Geryk was superintendent when Gardner played her ace and cried discrimination, so let's blame Geryk for the entire episode, (sarcasm). And now Gardner is likely bemoaning the fact that she isn't getting hired somewhere. There are plenty of great teachers of color to hire, and if I were hiring, I'd want to hire teachers who can handle the tough, in your face attitude that teenagers in this world can bring.

And the Pelham case: Let's imagine that this unstable mother who threatened gun violence to the school had been allowed to continue abusing the school staff and other children without Geryk's intervention, and then Ms. Out of control followed through on her well known violent threats. Then these same town whiners and crazies would have crucified Geryk for not acting tougher on that.

Was Geryk perfect? No, of course not. Only Larry Kelley, Ed the Crazy and Sicky in Pelham are perfect.

The whiners complainers and naysayers in Amherst are today blaming Geryk, but before that they blamed all of the other superintendents. And yet, the Amherst schools continue to be high performing institutions by any educational standards. It is not the schools that may make a potential teacher or principal or superintendent question whether to work in Amherst. It is the haters and nutcases evident on this blog daily.

Anonymous said...

Aug 5, 9:10 AM for the WIN!

YES! Thank you for your clarifying, accurate summation of the situation!!!

What a breath of fresh air in here and a perfect reality check.

Anonymous said...

Amherst schools have never been a (High performing institution by any educational standard.) Now that is funny...

Anonymous said...

Agreed! Wholeheartedly!

Anonymous said...

Has anyone considered Dr. Ed for this position? He's makes a great whipping pole in this blog.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh yes you sound upset. Perhaps you should act like an adult and stop the name calling. At least if you want to call Vira Douangmany Cage those names have the balls to do so without posting anonymously. Also please do tell what Geryk has done for the schools besides lose the school district money?

Anonymous said...



"...threatened GUN VIOLENCE"??? really?



Well, that explains A LOT, now doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

Larry, thank you for the diligent coverage throughout, on all developments related to the school system, and in particular on this travesty.

This unqualified woman has been a disaster from day one: unqualified, dishonest, has worsened any issue she touched, and has produced zero results. The Town of Amherst got what it asked for - good and hard!

Will Amherst EVER learn? Not bloody likely.

Anonymous said...

Are you smoking Crack. Best superintendent in decades. I'm laughing pretty hard right now.

Anonymous said...

Can someone walk me through the Superintendent wanting to leave her job to avoid getting a bad job review and then bargaining to get $250K to leave? What's her bargaining position? Why pay anything or more than a few months? Someone explain please.

Anonymous said...

@rickhood just stop already.

Larry Kelley said...

Sorry recent Anon I accidentally deleted your post instead of publishing it because I'm on my iPhone and was trying to cover a breaking story and my fingers are too fat.

Anonymous said...

Ooooo oooooooo what's the breaking story????

Also, Rick's really on your ass these days. Chill out Rick. Or as LK says, start your OWN blog if you don't like this one.

Anonymous said...

Whoever said she was leaving so she would not get a good job review. No one on the SC has said that. You just made that up in your mind. It is not fact.

Larry Kelley said...

Anon 11:42

Car accident on Rt 116 at Amherst/Sunderland border. Mother and child transported to Franklin Hospital in Greenfield. AFD tapped out and had to call in three off duty personnel and then tone out for Call Force for "station coverage."

AS with a lot of things these days I cover breaking news on my Facebook and Twitter.

Dr. Ed said...

Sorry, Ed, but when someone calls themselves doctor they should be a physician.

0: There is a reason why MD is used....

1: This is like saying that police officers should not be called "officers" because only someone LT or above is an officer. And officers don't/can't get "stripes."
I'd bet most of them would be rather p*ssed if you told them that.

2: As would a lot of unmarried women if you called them "Mistress" ("Miss.").

3: Psychologists (eg "Dr." Appy) ARE NOT PHYSICIANS, half have a Doctorate of Philosophy and the other have the exact same degree I have, as -- hopefully -- will the person hired to clean up Maria's mess.

4: The same Commonwealth that married Adam & Steve awarded me a Doctorate, in both cases, all citizens of the Commonwealth are compelled to recognize these things.

5: The "Dr." we have a February holiday for wasn't a Physician.

Anonymous said...

So many of your commenters are typical Amherst fascists. They pride themselves on how liberal and tolerant they are . . . and then want to silence anyone who disagrees with them.

Anonymous said...

Geeze Rick, at least I don't hit on my female employees

Mine are too valuable to do something stupid like that to.

Anonymous said...

MR ED
5: The "Dr." we have a February holiday for wasn't a Physician.

do you Martin Luther King...the holiday is and always has been in January ..

Ed you are pathetic. get a Job...

Anonymous said...

And in the end.....the love you take...is equal to the love...you make

Anonymous said...

I think Mr Ed was writing about Groundhog Day. That's Dr Punxatawny to you, sir!

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, I'm going to say this: the only thing Geryk should get is "TAR & FEATHERS."

I'm tired of trying to be civil & professional in the face of visceral from incompetent tenured hacks. I think we all are -- it's why Donald Trump will win.

Maria always was a figurehead for her minions, politically connected folk in the schools and at Planet UMass, and I wouldn't be surprised to see umASS hire her.

This is why she should not be permitted ti depart like a thief in the night, this is why she must be held publicly accountable for her misfeasance, malfeasance, and nonfeasanse. Otherwise, she'll get hired into some cushy "lecturer" position at UMass where she will train another generation of Superintendents to be just like she was.

Anonymous said...

"I'm tired of trying to be civil & professional..."

Ed, huh? You are the guy who calls people "Penis breathe." You are never civil & professional, You just are a weird voyeur, who is obsessed with our town even though you live in Maine. Yes, Maine. Quit pretending you have a job in DC.

Anonymous said...

Nina is sooooo with it .....expending YOUR property taxes to enrich her clique of education gangsta wannabe neophytes , what she won't allow - is anyone's right to respectable -quality EDUCATION from Amerst Regional !!! Our Bad ...Jez Say'n !!!$$$&@?!

Maryalice said...

As an educator for thirty-five years,(out of state)it saddens me that the professional career of Superintendent Geryk has to come to such an abrupt end. Educators, such as Geryk, and all of the teachers I have encountered in Amherst enter into this profession having a love for children along with a desire to affect change. Since working at Crocker Farm School as a substitute, I have witnessed first hand the implementation of policies and curriculum that have accomplished those desired outcomes. Most school systems are a reflection of their leadership,and this enthusiasm trickles down from the top and permeates all charged with the responsibility of delivering instruction. At Crocker Farm, I've seen endless examples of a caring environment that starts with the principal and vice principal and is demonstrated by each and every employee on a daily basis. Amherst residents should be so proud of their schools which on a daily basis are a reflection on their administrative team and the lengths they have have gone to in reaching every child. Certainly, in Ms Geryk's tenure in Amherst, her contributions along with her administrative staff have consistently demonstrated a desirable effect on the children they're charged with educating.It's important in times like these to be reminded of the whole picture and the positive accomplishments of a very dedicated teaching community.

Anonymous said...

Careful ed...your 2:03 post is close to a real physical threat. Maybe the police should be contacted!

Anonymous said...

When I get home from a long day I always like to take my pants off and let my "penis breathe ".

Anonymous said...

Mary Alice, Amherst schools do not reach or serve every child well. That is why some families are taking their kids out of Amherst & sending to other schools (charter, choice, private schools) or homeschooling them. The growing enrollment of Amherst and regional district kids in charter schools is not just a reflection of what those schools offer. It also reflects families' unhappiness with what Amherst isn't doing and how some kids aren't being served or getting the education they deserve and should be entitled to.

Anonymous said...

There are the two words that are the root of most of Amherst's problems including this mess, "deserve" and "entitled".

Rebecca Casa said...

Okay I'm trying to understand what the bigger questions are here. For me the bigger question is if she's getting a year-and-a-half and benefits isn't that almost 300,000? Where is this money coming from ? Insurance ? One thing Maria was good at is cutting the school bidget . Is the school Comm going to pay her out of the school budget ? Money is going to directly come from our children. Im not ok with that prospect at all. Why aren't they firing her for cause why are we paying her anything? I have been paying attention to the school committee meetings for a while since March and it seems to me that these are people that we have elected to protect our children to supervise the superintendent and to manage or oversee the budget? Am I wrong? Please help me out and understand the situation because as I see it if we pay her $300,000 out of the school budget that's going to immediately affect all of our children for a long time to come.

Anonymous said...

"Why aren't they firing her for cause? " I believe the answer to that question is that before you can fire someone for cause YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TO HAVE A CAUSE!!!! The SC does not have a cause to fire Ms. Geryk. Pretty basic concept. Sheesh! Where do you people come from?

Anonymous said...

Wow! You've been watching since March!!!. I've been watching for decades. Just a little perspective for you. Also, the SC does not manage the budget. They vote the bottom line and the Superintendent is in charge of managing the budget.

Anonymous said...

shouldn't everyone be entitled to a good public education? I don't have a problem with the word "entitled" in that context.

Rebecca Casa said...

Ageee

Anonymous said...

Well, don't run the superintendent out of town next time.

Rebecca Casa said...

Maybe she was but it that sets the bar really low. The disater has nust started. Payong her out of the school budget hurts eveyone of our children and teachers. Why doesn't the SC we elected have the gumption time after time not to do the right thing for our kids ? Total turnover I hope next election

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:02:
The Amherst and Amherst Regional School Committees don't have to just vote the bottom line and leave all the budget decisions within that bottom line to the superintendent and the central office. That's just the practice in Amherst, but the MGL doesn't say it has to be that way.

This handout from the MA Assoc of School Committees
(https://www.masc.org/images/events/2015/jtc-15/handouts/11-6_230_School-Finance_SC-Budget-Development.pdf)
describes how the policy role of SCs relates to the budget, since the SC can set policies to support or not support different programs/initiatives for example.

THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE’S ROLE IN BUDGETING
• Approve, Disapprove, or Modify the Budget
as Presented to Them by the
Superintendent.
• Approve Budget Line Items and Subsequent
Transfers of Funds Between Line Items.
• Act on Mid-Year Line Item Adjustments.

Anonymous said...

Like the terrible bullying program ? Or the current model of teaching in the middle school ? The restorative justice program that was never implemented correctly ? How about the WW project whoch is not family friendly ? Doing as she wanted instead of what the families wanted. How about the numerous payouts and lawsuits that have cost us money already with morecto come? Now qe are going to reward her. Is she a weatherman?

Dr. Ed said...

1: Unless she has already filed some sort of legal action, with this being a settlement for that, I doubt that any form of insurance would pay this.

2: She is contracted to work and be paid for this period, and hence the money is already encumbered in the current FY budget (Which I believe started July 1st) and is anticipated in the next. At UMass, it's money you never even get to touch if you wanted to, in any case, prudent fiscal management won't.

Hence the money is/will be there -- unless she is asking for it as a lump sum, which I
doubt as she is also demanding to be kept on the payroll for insurance purposes.
The district literally have a "no-show" Superintendent for 18 months.

3: The problem is in paying the NEW Superintendent, as that budget line item is already encumbered to Maria. You thus have to create a second budget line item for the new Supt -- and somehow find the money to fund it...

You have to cut $200K, maybe more, out of the CURRENT YEAR (2016-17) budget and/or find $200K in new revenue to offset this deficit. I don't think they can borrow it (at least legally) as this is not like a "tax anticipation" loan where, say, a town borrows against taxes due in Sept to do road work now. And payroll definitely isn't a physical object like a school building which can secure the loan.

Hence you either

A: Cut expenses (lay off teachers) except the deadline (union rules) for RIF notifications has already passes, and I suspect all the contract notices have gone out as well. You can't even think of touching SPED which is what 1/3-1/2 of the budg

You maybe can eliminate all your sports & such, unless you've already signed contracts for the current year. You may be able to lay off non-unit personnel, except I suspect all the Central Office Staff are in a barganing unit.
You may be able to lay off all the secretaries and janitors -- you definitely don't hire any substitute teachers, and skimp on heat & lights & supplies as much as you can.

B: Go to the towns and ask for more money. As they already have started the current fiscal year, they likewise won't have it unless they either cut something else or all four towns have a special town meeting for a mid year tax increase. Maybe an override.

C: Now there are reserves -- both the district and the towns should have some, but I doubt enough, and credit rating folk frown on them being used for something like this. Credit rating drops, Mega Skool just got a lot more expensive.

Bottom line: Where is the money for the NEW supt coming from?

Anonymous said...

The $ being given to the superintendent in this agreement could have paid for a number of paraprofessionals (remember the elementary school library cuts last year?) or other important things to help maintain and improve our schools. I hope there are not more cuts to come in order to pay for this deal.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of clueless people. Trying to educate you on the basics of school committee's responsibilities is impossible. sC has no cause. Geryk has plenty of cause to sue and I for one hopes she does so that individuals Are held accountable LIKE Vira and Trevor! Our sc has been out of control for years, never following what they were elected and entrusted to do. Look at how it always violates the laws that set up and govern their responsibilies. Trevor was great about breaking them all the time and Vira is a snake with her release of confidential information to Larry and the press within 24 hours. Cassagrande seems like she cares but doesn't have a clue. That woman with the long hair who sees herself as the racial injustice savior and is at all the meetings , MaryLoo somebody, is even worse. Can't wait to get outa Amherst and away from these people.

Anonymous said...

Maria Geryk, love her, hate her, whatever. She is master at public manipulation, she fell into a job she is clearly under qualified for. She had no real vision and hired a few good people to help. She started many "wonderful" programs but many ended quietly without results. She never stopped the exodus of students leaving faster than the population decline. She oversaw may botched racial incidents, the Pelham student's mom, the electricians kids who was bullied, the teacher who believed she was being threatened. All were dealt with poorly. She oversaw the likes of Mike Hayes and Rob Detwieler (sp?) Disappear without explanation. If she leaves her contract 18 months early and gets a $250,000 payday for not doing her job because the majority of Amherst people hold her on high, than regardless of her work good or bad she is simply brilliant. A brilliant manipulator of the masses.

Anonymous said...

For $250,000 can Maria take Kathy Mazur with her. The district would be better off without both. Any others we should add to the list?

Anonymous said...

In regards to how to pay for it, Dr. Ed has a pretty good point....until you do some basic math, which I realize is far beyond either side of this silly public school game.

Right from arps.org....they serve 4,000 students.

$200,000/4,000 = $50 freaking dollars per student. This is likely less than the cost of lunch for one month. It is so off to think that the parents can pony up for this and not burden the non-parents yet again. If you look at this on an annual basis over 1.5 years it is like $34 a year per student. These are students that cost the neighborhoods $21,000 each. Is this even worth talking about?

There are 40,000 people in town. That is $5 per person, there should be no meetings or votes for new taxes for $5 per person, that is less than the cost of paying attention to the issue for the very same people.

Time for parents to pony up. Just sent them a bill. Then close the public schools because there needs to be one captain. The biggest business in town cannot be run by 40,000 committee members. You will end up screwing up the economy....

It is true though, this blog hurts the school so much, but that is completely legal and it is the process of exercising our first amendment rights, which is volumes more important than all of the education Amherst has, could or will dole out x 1 quadrillion. Educating kids means nothing if you cannot say what you want. It would be more like programming if that was the case.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:19...exactly which parents should have have listened to? Which ones? We don't need a SI then we could all just everything. Nit-wit !

Anonymous said...

Unless Mike Morris is willing to shoulder the brunt, good luck hiring a new super, Amherst.

Anonymous said...

If someone disagrees with these libs, they're called hate mongers. Lol. It's to laugh.

Anonymous said...

Good riddance. Get someone in there who will restore discipline to the classroom. More teaching. Less indoctrinating.

Anonymous said...

No because the vast majority of amherst citizens are moronic libtards who will vote for a moronic libtard who lies to the families of the Benghazi dead. And who will not disavow a perjuring rapist.

Anonymous said...

Social engineering. Leftist agendas. Brainwashing. That's what happened. And it's worked! Look at the mumber of teens involved in that group of unrepentant racists Black Lives Matter. It's to laugh.

Dr. Ed said...

The ONLY way there won't be major cuts is if they got someone Like Mike Morris to do it on an interim basis and only having to find $40K-$60K to add to his existing budget line item. Yes that would mean either cuts from this years budget or expenses transferred to next years budget, with cut to compensate for that.

But it is "doable."

It's also how Maria gets one of her Minions to replace her. If they were to Hire Morris as an interim, it would be financially impossible to get rid of him prior to the start of FY-18 (summer 2017), at which point the argument would be that "he's already Supt, let's keep him."

After all, Maria's ONLY qualification was that she was already doing the job.

Now Morris mat be the absolutely best Supt on the planet -- I have never even met the man, TSLC deals with policy and not individuals.

But were I a member of the SC, I'd vote against this -- and in holding her to her contract make her life so miserable that she'd be paying the district to be released from it...

Anonymous said...

Who's "we?" Speak for yourself.

Anonymous said...

Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

They're charged with educating. But what they do is push a marxist agenda.

Rebecca Casa said...

Wow I made a list. I feel special to join the ranks of Shabazz, Vira and Trevor. Im not hateful of Geryk. Im concerned about the absolute power that our superintendents have( across the state) I ask questions and supported Aisha as I would have supported any parent that was banned without a true investigation, without due process, and was unable to get help from the admin team. Im a sucker for a cause. I do find it interesting that I ask questions and post my name. (Not hiding behind an anon) to understand. As a community we can move forward. I can't help feeling happy she is leaving after admin has failed my town twice, failed me as a parent, failed 2 of my children. It is funny your post makes it sound like we all hang out or something. Maria is gping to get her undeserved money and take it right out of the school budget, That will hurt our kids, I want her to stay or be fired because of that reason alone. I have more than enough positive karma coming my way unconcerned about your negative karma threat.

Rebecca Casa said...

TX for explaining spindd like easier way is to.cut things our students need possibly high School what programs not like there's anything left the cut at the middle school how sad.

Rebecca Casa said...

Thank you for explaining as I said education is knowledge and I love learning new things

Rebecca Casa said...

According to some that's exactly what happened. But I believe in choices. She asked for out. She wants out. How do we know if this did not happen she still wouldn't want out? Easier to lay blame than to take responsibility for your actions anyways.

Rebecca Casa said...

I just started paying attention. Working for the corporate world before this and I have time to pay attention. I probably should have but I'm paying attention now and trying to learn. Right now I think being on school committee is one of the most thankless jobs of any of our elected officials. I feel bad for all of them he needs to be some hard decisions made it's not like they're getting paid to make them.

Rebecca Casa said...

The Pelham story will come out soon. The question now is how much of the notes in the files in Maria's office are accurate? Until both parties and both towns have her day in court in no way will I ever believe that she threatened gun violence.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:26, no one is "entitled" to anything paid for with public dollars.

Rebecca Casa said...

Which.is a very tight budget. I think I gave the SI kudos for running fiscally tight ship

Anonymous said...

Well, geniuses. Next time wait for the superintendent's contract to expire. You guys all wanted her out so rabidly. Now you got it.

Anonymous said...

The only ones who wanted her put so rabidly were Trevor and Vira. Put the blame on them.

Anonymous said...

anon 7:52 - to the contrary, trevor and vira deserve a purple heart for safeguarding our children, teachers and schools. geryk and appy should be prosecuted for their bullying malfeasance and creating such a hostile school environment. PUT THE BLAME ON GERYK AND APPY!

Rebecca Casa said...

Your right I have no clue how it works which is why I sm going and lesrning. I have lived here my whole life. I decided I don't like what is happening but I don't feel comfortable complaining too much if I don't understand. I have a child in the schools we are trying to decide ourselves if we are stauring or going. Mostly due to taxes which is directly tied with our school budget.

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

Anon 7:52,

Don't be so naive, many many of us wanted her out just as badly. We just gave up pushing such an entrenched individual with approximately a 60% approval rating. We got on with our lives, pulled our kids out, and have been enjoying a drama free life ever since.

Dr. Ed said...

Someone needs to read the STATE TORT CLAIMS ACT.

Maria can't sue Trevor or Vera -- she can name them, but the district is required to indemnify them. And she can only sue for $100K, less than half of what she is demanding here. And yes, I believe insurance would pay this.

Hiza's suit is different, a cvil rights suit brought under the 14th Amd's exception to the 11th. As are SPED/IDEA suits for other reasons.

BUT...

The type of things Maria is alleging (eg lawyer letter) -- even if they had merit -- are employment law torts that wouldn't constitute civil rights. She's essentially arguing breach of her contract -- which she can't sue AT ALL for as there is an arbitration clause in her contract.

Remember too that Trevor/Vera could file a countersuit against Maria fora bunch of things including violating the arbitration clause.

And please tell me that Kent's secret $250K payout includes the "boilerplate" waiver on Maria's part where she gives up all rights to do anything.

Dr. Ed said...

Rebecca doesn't go far enough -- Trevor & Vera -- and Lisa and everyone else -- aren;t just folks chatting in the cereal isle. They are ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES -- they are the folk designated to speak for everyone else and that needs to be remembered.

Rebecca Casa said...

I don't know how I feel about Mike Morris. He covered all of Maria's meetings when she was missing between March and June. He went to meetings even when his family was sick. You would think Maria would be kind enough to cover that meeting when his family was sick (select board). That shows me he's committed but it also showed me he can be pushed around. I don't like that he always nods his head at every single thing that Maria says. I'm not sure he has his own opinions or his own agenda. I think if he were to turn the Wildwood project around into what the parents of Amherst wanted which would be pre-k through 6 Fort River Wildwood in the same building as an option and leave Crocker alone he might be able to convince the people he'd be worthy to be the interim superintendent. However the school committee is going to make that decision likely with a panel so I'm not sure the people of Amherst are going to have any say in the interim is . I would like to see it be Doug Slaughter. I don't want Mike to end up being a figurehead that is actually run by somebody else. I don't know enough about him to make that judgement. The one. I had one conversation with him regarding Pelham. I told him I felt that the administration failed Our Town twice all he did was nod. He did offer to talk in his office. I'm not going to talk to him and tell Maria is out of the building officially. Mostly because I don't trust myself. I don't want to go in there and tell her exactly what I think of what's happened to my town & my school due to a 90-day unprecedented parent ban.

Rebecca Casa said...

9:26 AM
The only ones on the school committee that wanted her out in your opinion were Trevor and Vira. Please don't forget the SC is elected by the people of Amherst and many tax payers want her out. The SC should be listening to their constituents. There are committee members that are supportive of Maria. They are feeding an agenda to some of the ones that are on the cusp and aren't sure what to do. If Maria is going to sue the school committee the school committee members have to just say Bring It On. They can't be held hostage by fear. I don't always agree with Trevor. I don't always agree with Vira. I do respect the fact that they don't get pushed around. Those are the people that are not going to be afraid to do the right thing. The ones that are going to do what the voters want them to do regarding the hard decisions. My does the school committee still have a lawyer who's in the same law firm with Maria's lawyer. All of the school committee should have their own lawyer who has the school committee's best interest in mind. That is not what is happening in this situation. How can they protect themselves like that?

Dr. Ed said...

A school budget is like ac irca-1980 checkbook.

At the start of the fiscal year,you deposit a bunch of money and then you write a bunch of checks -- you have to deduct all of the checks that haven't cleared yet from your balance.

Hence, it isn't writing one $50 check but writing 4000 of them, and while all of them will clear, both you and the auditor knows that other checks will be bouncing.
Yes,you COULD HAVE written the checks for less so that you could also write these 4000 checks, BUT YOU DIDN'T, and now it is TO LATE to do anything.

Yes, you can always make cuts (should is another issue), but for a bunch of reasons, once the fiscal year has started, you are committed to spending much of this year's money as you planned.

There are legal issues with sending $50 bills toall the parents, or $5 bills to all the residents -- it's called "extortion" amongst other things. You can ASK people to DONATE, maybe, as long as it was clear there would neither be personal benefit for doing so nor penalty for not.

To require people to pay you money, you must 1: have an approved vehicle for assessing it (i.e. property tax) and 2: go through the legal procedure to assess it.


Bottom Line, if there is $250,000 in free cash in this year's budget, both parents and taxpayers should be p*ssed....

Anonymous said...

Rebecca Casa, I'm not a big fan of Maria, but Mike Morris is spectacular. His record at Crocker Farm is great. He starts good programs. He supports them and makes them flourish. He operated a school that was very disproportionately low income. He made lots of improvements and was turning the ship around when his boss (Maria) asked him to work on the new state teacher evaluation stuff (which I thought was a waste of his talent). He then continued to get promoted because of merit. If I still had kids in the system I would be very grateful to have Mike not just step, in but take over. Mike is intelligent, thoughtful, balanced, willing to change, humble, professional, and creative. The district and town would be lucky to have him. The big issue would be keeping him for more than 5 years.

Anonymous said...

Geryk is like Obama, Clinton and Trump all in one. She has shitty approval ratings, blows a lot of smoke and does nothing, and she's done some things that have violated the law. Plus she has a husband who shoots off at the mouth. What a train wreck from day one. Want to know about a person, look at their family relationships. This woman could have had her own reality TV program.

Anonymous said...

My question, which nobody really seemed to have asked or maybe no one cares....
Who on the school committee leaked the confidential document...Since that person is an elected official and held to standards of confidentiality

to me that tells...not a team player....leaking documents can lead to access liability..
I wonder who would take that risk

Larry Kelley said...

I can honestly say I did not get a copy of the document from a School Committee member.

But if I did, their name would be protected no matter what.

Anonymous said...

Mike needs to learn fiscal restraint. He needs to realize that many of us in town are not on the ARPS payroll. We can't afford his grandiose ideas for the two new schools AND the cost to modify Crocker Farm to meet the needs of Pre K through 2nd grade. The town has expenses beyond the school budget!
For comparison:
Police and Fire services are 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week/365 days a year.
School is in session 6.5 hours a day/ 5 days a week/ 180 days a year.

Nina Koch said...

Rebecca,

Asking questions and trying to learn is a good thing. You clearly care about your community. Don't let wimpy anonymous snarksters give you a hard time.

Anonymous said...

Rebecca...how did the schools fail your two children?

Anonymous said...

I never understood why Maria would go out of her way to ban aisha for no reason. This is the super who brought us the bullying expert and tried to introduce race based policies that had the right wing in an uproar! So why? Just plain racism?

Anonymous said...

Wow Larry these people are attributing a lot of power to you and your blog. I noticed Rick hasn't commented since you called him out. We'll played sir!

Dr. Ed said...

There also are some very real questions about the use of Maria"s current budget line to fund this.

Much of that comes from State/Federal funds where it is allowed because she is supervising the schools in general or a particular -- kinda like how a PI can be paid out of his/her/its grant.

But continuing to pay Maria after she's gone is like paying someone not conducting research out of a grant and that's fraud.

This is a corrupt Tammany Hall deal.

Dr. Ed said...

You can't leak a public document.

It's inherently public information.

Anonymous said...

What do you suggest we do about the conditions in Fort River and Wildwood?

Anonymous said...

No real cut...
$50 per student, that is a 1/4% reduction, how can such matter?

Rebecca Casa said...

Good to know

Anonymous said...

Aisha was banned for a reason. Ms. Geryk did NOT ban her for no reason.

Rebecca Casa said...

My son the Middle School constantly ignoring his IEP. I Was constantly having to talk to his teachers. Two years in row. His self confidence was dwindling. I was getting nowhere with any admin at the middle school. My daughter two ways both related to a health issue. The second was they were unable not to feed her which was against the federal lunch program. I tried to talk to Mr. Jackson regarding what happened with her and how her medical condition was affecting her ability to stay awake in class, pay attention, and how it had effected her trimester exams. His answer to my husband and I was my kids have peanut allergies I understand. But he didn't understand because he wouldn't allow her to retake her finals I asked her guidance counselor Kelly Cortis to help me be able to retake her finals. ( we found out about the medical condition two days after her finals) I emailed mr. Jackson and Miss Geryk multiple times for help. She was like a 3.8 GPA and that semester she got sick her GPA dropped down to a 2.3 - .4. They ignored me.Then just said no even with all the medical documentation. She had an extremely hard time with her math teacher Mr Alvarez. His class was right after lunch and she had a terrible time staying awake. At the end of the semester when she had to turn in her final project her binder was exactly the same as her friends binder because they did it together she got a C her friend got an A-. I brought those binders into the math chair. Along with my concerns he was constantly belittling and berating her in class. WE ASKED FOR HELP OVER AND OVER nothing was done. At the end of the day she graduated she got wait-listed at 9 of her 12 schools. All colleges that she should have been able to get into if she didn't have that 2.4 and the middle of her sophomore year. She was lucky it didn't affected her life. She's got a great job. She makes more money than I do. She went to a great School.

Anonymous said...

The people on this blog are no different than a lynch mob. Have any of you actually spoken to Maria Geryk? Do any of you really know her? What a disgusting display on this blog.

Anonymous said...

So the crazy conspiracy theory was that Aisha was pawn in the Trevor game. The truth is probably closer to wanting to teach Aisha a lesson regarding mutual respect. And how he wasn't going to allow you just to talk disrespectful and rude to her staff. I don't think Maria ever planned on Banning Aisha for 90 days. I think that Maria decided on the ban because she thought that she would go away. Then it just turned into a battle of two women being extremely stubborn and wanted to prove their points

Larry Kelley said...

Yes to both questions.

Anonymous said...

alright Rebecca, it doesn't make sense given the time line you present for your daughter that Ms Geryk could have had anything to do with it. If, as you imply, your daughter was a soph when this happened and that she has now completed college, then it must have been at least 6 years ago. How could Ms Geryk have been involved as SI?

Anonymous said...

Rebecca I am trying to understand what happened to your children but I can't really follow what you are saying. Why couldn't your daughter stay awake? What happened with the binders? I am not trying to be mean but understand. Did your daughter have an undiagnosed peanut allergy? How did things work out with your son?

Rebecca Casa said...

Interim at thevtime acting someone was out.. On leave. I think. I still have myb emails. She was my point person 2008

Dr. Ed said...

Rebecca, the problem is twofold. First is 1/4% of EACH students expenses,you have economy of scale (and why PES would not be viable without school choice). Keeping the math simple, say 20 kids per classroom.

Hence you have to reduce teacher pay by 5% except there is a union contracted pay scale and you can't only pay 95% of what you are required. Hence RIF -- you lay off teachers, except it is to late to do that this year. So youi can't.

School buses have 24 seats - that's 72 elementary, 48 m/high. Let's say 40 & 60 -- at 1/4% per child, that becomes 10% and 15% of the bus. So you have fewer buses and more children walking, except (a) it may not be possible to reduce the number of buses this year (too late) and MA law REQUIRES you bus those who live beyond a certain distance.

My point is that you simply can't cut 1/4% per child on everything -- you have to cut specific THINGS and at this point in this fiscal year, you are legally unable to touch most of the budget. It's too late.

Hence you make massive cuts in the few things you can cut, and I think this is what Trevor is worried about.

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

There aren't 4,000 kids in Amherst schools btw.

Anonymous said...

then it must have been at least 6 years ago. How could Ms Geryk have been involved as SI?

Geryk was the head of SPED and this was a SPED issue under at least ADA if not IDEA.
Jackson's "peanut allergy" comment was asinine, but then, so is he. Peanut ALLERGY is a histamine response that we all get from mosketo bites, except (like bee sting allergies, it can be on the level of "Roll AFD."

Jackson should have referred you to Geryk (SPED person) and Geyrk should have convened an IEP TEAM meeting, particularly if you had medical documentation. It's like if your daughter was a Diabetic or broke a leg skiing, they have to meet her special needs, i.e. SPED.

Geryk also the person responsible for ensuring your son's IEP was followed.

Anonymous said...

Maria filled in many times (as Super) before she became Superintendent. My kids were in the schools at tht time.
Rebecca's daughter has a gluten issue- The school did address related issues (tiredness, not feeling well after mealtime) in looking at her academic performance (no given a chance to improve performance once diagnosed)
Aisha is a school choice parent. She spoke up about bullying- and continued to do so (It is still not addressed!) I honestly feel that Central was hoping that a ban would make her leave Pelham (have her daughter attend Chicopee schools).

Rebecca Casa said...

It was complicated becayse it was all encompassed in the end of the trumester in march. She had severe celiacs come on with no symptoms prior. It took over two months to diagnosis. We foynd out at beg of the third trimester. Two days after finals ended. The rest of the year we were trying to get her fed at school. A dismal failure at the time the only thing she could that were gf were the ff. Which they refused to sell her. Rebecca T in Food services remembers this.. I was trying to fet her fed, and get approval for her to retake her trimester finals. Neither happened. When I discussed it with mr. Jackson about her being fed his answer was oh I understand because my kids have a peanut allergy. So I thought he understood. I thought that meant he was going to help but I was wrong because he didn't help there was just no Avenue at the time (gluten-free wasn't so trendy as it is now) for her to eat. I had to bring her lunch everyday on top of having a full-time job and being pregnant with my youngest. So my main concern obviously is getting her fed and at the same time I'm trying to get her permission to retake her finals because severe celiacs when you're exposed to gluten it can make you extremely sleepy. Every class after lunch for a whole trimester she couldn't stay awake and we can figure out why. This not staying awake having trouble staying awake during math class put her in a very bad light with her math teacher mr. Alvarez. Mr. Alvarez would scream and yell at her smash his hand on the table if she were to close her eyes. Bring her in the hallway and yell at her in the hallway. But she's very bright and was able to keep up with the homework and do a lot of the work at home and keep her binder together which is submitted for part of the final grade in a class at that time. They have partners for the final binder project her partner I got an a- well she received a C. Those binders we're identical missing the same number of homeworks xcetera. I took both binders to the math chair at the time I don't remember her name but nothing was done. Meanwhile while all of this is happening I'm still emailing Mark Jackson and now that we know this is Medical I guess Maria Garrick I'm not sure why I started emailing her directly but I assumed it was because we were talking about a 504 about retaking her finals that she had taken the first week of March. This went on all the way until May. I heard no no and no everytime I ask mr. Jackson. I never heard back directly from Maria or mr. Hochman now that I think about it. Kelly Cortis tried really hard she was my daughter's guidance counselor at the time. After fighting for three months I realize nothing was going to change their mind and let her retake her finals. We moved forward then senior year we realized it was affecting her College acceptances. After my daughter's experience at the high school and my son being much more sensitive then my daughter after his experience at the middle school we pulled him and put him in Smith VOC

Anonymous said...

The history of Maria as Interim and Acting Superintendent...
http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2010/03/maria_geryk_takes_over_as_amhe.html

Rebecca Casa said...

I suggest we do what the people wanted. Keep cracker together Make Wildwood into the mega School and make it Pre-K to 6. And get the town to sign off on some kind of traffic plan for both ends of Strong Street. Oh and let's not increase class sizes or cut down on teachers. Because I think the plan calls for Less teachers and higher class sizes. I'm just learning about that plan to and it's really none of my business unless they build the school really fast and Pelham joins the region at the elementary level.

Anonymous said...

Right 504 and not IDEA -- that's Section 504 of the Rehab Act of 1973(?) and covers all the physical stuff. Hockman should have sent you to Maria.

Two things -- What you'r describing sounds more like Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) than any allergy, it's the body releasing too much insulin in response to the meal (Diabetes is releasing too little/none). While certain foods can exacerbate this, as can being underweight, it's not an allergy.

It might be worth her while to get it checked out, fasting & post-meal blood sugar levels and such. Ant family history of Diabetes? Make sure she mentions that if there is!

It also may be worthwhile to consider the possibility of something called "Primarily Inattentive ADHD" -- don;t laugh, it doesn't mean she's stupid -- far from it -- and as there is a lot of stuff about food affecting it, along with the academic problem you describe, it's possible.

Geyrk ought to have said all of this to you at the time -- but I'm not surprised.

A female sophomore whose grades suddenly plummet, combined with an eating-related malady -- that's a red flag for sexual abuse or pregnancy -- or both. It;s also a warning she's gotten into drugs, or is in an abusive relationship, or both. This stuff happens, Jackson really is a twit.

But I'd definitely check out the ADHD.

Anonymous said...

Yes gluten free was very popular for a while. Rebecca couldn't your daughter take her lunch to school rather then you stopping by in the middle of the day? It's a wonder anything gets taught.

Anonymous said...

God help us.

Dr. Ed said...

Draper v. Atlanta Independent School District is worth reading relative to a child with a newly discovered disability.

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/caselaw/07/GA.jdraper.atlanta.htm



Anonymous said...

Again, this whole comment is filled with supposition. No facts in site. Let's bash Maria over and over again based on nothing but guesses. This blog is filled with comments like this. These comments have succeeded in destroying a person who never did anything to you or this town but try to create the best schools for ALL kids. She is not a racist. Not by a long shot. You people are despicable.

Anonymous said...

What the fuck is wrong with you parents. School is for learning not to solve your kids health issues. If you can't handle raising a kid don't have any. You parents think the world owes you something. Keep your home issues at home and let teachers teach. The fucking schools don't owe you anything but a quality education for your kid. Screw your little princess' special needs. If you can't be equal as everyone else go somewhere else. I'm sick and tired of all the whining. Yes I pay taxes in this town and yes they're outragious. Oh yea, and I don't evan have kids in the schools. Parents grow up do what you signed up for by making babies and quit thinking the world owes you something!



Anonymous said...

If the schools have to continue trying to be doctor and mental health professional TO EVERY student then cost and teaching time go out the window. If rebecca daughters doctor can't diagnosis it then why should Maria be able to? Please don't burden our schools with another of your children rebecca!

Anonymous said...

Why rebecca do you think that's the plan the people want? You have a lead paint proplem in your home?

Dr. Ed said...

"Mr. Alvarez would scream and yell at her smash his hand on the table if she were to close her eyes. Bring her in the hallway and yell at her in the hallway.'

That's child abuse.

I'd have to file a 51A if I saw it.

And it was incredibly stupid on Alvarez's part -- a male teacher and a 15-year-old girl, if she would have had to do was say "he touched me" and it would be all over.

Actually, if you;d gone to the APD with what you describe above, I think they would have acted. The VAWA was in effect then, she's both a woman and a minor and "slapping the table near her eyes" is an assault, I've seen less prosecuted as such.

Where the hell was Mark Jackson -- or does he support this stuff?

Anonymous said...

No Kurt, you are.

Rebecca Casa said...

I would like to say it was that simple but it isn't and it wasn't. And I'd be careful about throwing judgments around because my daughter is perfectly capable of taking care of herself. She didn't Move back home after college. She has a job, is considering buying a house and she makes twice as much as I do. However until you understand how a severe celiac reacts to food after they have had exposure to wheat. And how wheat prevents peoples body's from absorbing nutireints. It is a hard to turn that malnutrition around having to balance the simple sugars with the protien and carbs as well as the calcium and vitamin d. Having to strip the diet down to introduce a very small group of food items at a time ie chicken and rice. Then having no clean safe method at school for the food tp be heated up. (Her guidance counseling was doing this for her senior year in a staff mic) . Until you experience that complete body disease /allergy/ shut down directly understanding it is difficult.

Rebecca Casa said...

@ 652 She had celiacs disease. But yes sudden onset of symptoms completely out of the normal like puking all the time we ran our brains with concerns, a long those lines and alcohol. While its tough to be in college and not be able to eat pizza or drink beer it was preferable to anything you mention in your post.

Anonymous said...

Just imagine for one minute that you are school personnel (esp. teachers) having to deal with parents like some who post on this blog. "God help us" is correct!

Rebecca Casa said...

In 2008 it wasn't considered a disability yet as far as I know. We never pushed for the 504 because my daughter didn't want it once we tried to start the process. Ty for the Adhd I didnt know the connection. When she gets exposed it now effects her ability to think along with severe migraines. Even one grain of wheat. Of course being asleep for a few days.

Anonymous said...

Dr ed stick a 51a up your butt!

Anonymous said...

Rebecca your daughter has a great job and sleeps for a few days? And can't eat pizza. Celiac is actually pretty rare but mental disease is not. I hope your current child is well. We can all hope.i am tired of paying for it!

Anonymous said...

Why did the school need to heat up your child's lunch? Rebecca it just bleeds the system. Your daughter couldn't have a cold lunch?

Anonymous said...

This post has turned Amherst into a "Portlandia" type of farce...umm maybe "Amlandia"!? It's quite funny. However, the let's all turn back , stop the online counseling, and look at the origin. Our Superintendent of schools is leaving. We as a community have to pick up the mess she has left behind...mega school, 2 vacant principal positions, a divisive community, etc.
I love the fact that this blog allows people to voice their thoughts. Thanks Larry.
Hope we can move forward and bridge the gaps. I've been in Amherst for 50 years...yup it's a crazy political place, but we have always found a way of respecting each other. Hope we can go back to that. ����

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear!

Anonymous said...

Wow...thanks anon 9:02..I feel better!

Dr. Ed said...

Why did the school need to heat up your child's lunch? Rebecca it just bleeds the system. Your daughter couldn't have a cold lunch?

No, it's the out-of-district SPED placements that bleed the system.

A few minutes of staff time to make sure she actually ate SOMETHING (remember, she didn't want to), and to be able to say (if needed) "I know she ate X, Y, & Z because I 'nuked' it and saw her eat it."

Worse comes to worse and she winds up in the hospital anorexic (and DCF actually investigates), there is nothing they can say. If you have any idea how much paperwork that stops, the district comes out ahead.

You are also building a trusting relationship with a teenager whom you don't want to drop out of school.

OTOH, she could have stayed home and her parents demanded an OOD placement. I've seen it happen, on shakier grounds than this, and then you pay $$$$$$.

Anonymous said...

The point is we should not pay Naria any money to. She should go, be fired or stay. Why should we reward someone who continually ignores parents and / or escalates situations that could be avoided.

Anonymous said...

We did and so did so many others during the past 5 years. Have you seen how much we pay for school choice which includes vocational school? Maybe we should start to treat the school like a business. Then we can worry about keeping our students instead of paying for them to go somewhere else like charter and voc schools our biggest price tags.

Rebecca Casa said...

I guess we'll find out won't we election day. I don't remember exactly what made me think that may be an article in The Gazette if I remember correctly I would have to do research I wasn't paying much attention then I really didn't have much to do with me at all and still doesn't.

Rebecca Casa said...

No one asked them or her to diagnosis my child. Im not a push off parent. I went directly to them after with medical documentation. Again if you have never seen how delibating it is your understanding is limited. The point being the current SI didnt try to help or listen then or now. Not feeding any child breaks our federal lunch contract endangering fed money we recieve for reduced and free lunch program.

Rebecca Casa said...

My oldest has gluten ataxis it not only effects her digestive system but her brain and is serious. Yes if exposed it can knock her out for days. Read about it yourself.. However never have the tax payers paid for her even at school. Yes after exposed to gluten eating cold lunches can be troublesome. In 2008 hardly any sand,meat was gf. The options werent there 10 years ago even at the gracery store. Cold chicken, rice, sweet potato arent all that good cold which is her diet reset. It is much easier now to eat then it was. @752 no lead paint.. 1980 contemporary but thanks for asking.

Rebecca Casa said...

They did nothing. The following year he had a different student he yelled at a lot. Another local family from area forever. Their son had aspergers I think. ONE bad teacher CAN over shadow all the good that happens every day in schools. 98 % of our teachers are amazing.

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

Let us pray..please..oh kind Lord..please..DO NOT let the school nutz pick another of their own-from the Umass School of Education...has Amherst..learned..ANYTHING ???!!!$$$$

Anonymous said...

A community that leads by committee dies by committee.

Do you ever wonder why there are not debates like this over the Amherst Superintendent of Food? You know Food, a precious resource, many fold more important than education?

The reason is that you allow the private sector to pretty much passively handle your demand for food and then you do not worry about those that have not.

Could you consider using this relatively autonomous system to provide education?

Anonymous said...

So what had she done for the school district?

Anonymous said...

Thank you member of team Geryk.Now please go and receive your reward from the witch.

Anonymous said...

Add Faye Brady and Marta Guevara to that list. Can't forget Mike Morris. While we are at it clean up the school committees.

Anonymous said...

His family was not sick for that meeting. My partner works at the summer school program. Don't let Morris fool you he is as bad as Geryk.

Anonymous said...

As a parent I have dealt with Geryk and her useless administration like Faye Brady. She is a woman who is evil and I'm glad she is leaving. A dozen of us parents celebrated the news drinking good wine and speaking about hopefully a good school future for our children. Some of us have had enough because of Geryk and have decided to take our children out of the District because of the treatment we have received and stories like Aisha Hizas who showed a lot of courage in standing up to Geryk who is nothing but a bully.

Rebecca Casa said...

With all the debating were doing and it's wonderful healthy sometimes not so healthy conversation the bottom line is Tuesday school committee is going to agree to pay out almost $300,000 to Maria. They could still change their mind and fire her or keep her and make her work out her contract.Regardless of what side of the situation you're on you should be emailing your school committee rep and the Regional school committee. Tell them what you expect. That amount of money is going to cost more than $50 per pupil because there are areas of our budget we can't touch. It's going to affect the kids, it's obvious where I stand. People love to talk on this blog but are you acting and actually emailing the school committee. If you're not emailing the school committee then maybe you shouldn't be complaining of the outcome regardless of what it is.

Anonymous said...

NOT ONE PENNY TO MARIAmarriotte@arps.org
modestowd@arps.org
appyk@arps.org
hazzardp@arps.org
douangmanyb@arps.org
ordoneza@arps.org
dolvens@arps.org
kentl@arps.org
sullivans@arps.org
sc-lucet@arps.org
baptistet@arps.org
cranstonc@arps.org . PLEASE EMAIL

Anonymous said...

You really do like to talk out your ass Rebecca. To fire someone you must have a reason to fire them. The SC has no reason to fire the Superintendent. She on the other hand has plenty of reason to sue the SC. Hence the negotiations to buy out her contract.
You clearly have a grudge against the schools and that colors everything you say.

Rebecca Casa said...

http://www.gazettenet.com/Archives/2016/01/AMSCHOOLVOTE-HG-012016 . This is why I am thinking the tax payers didnt favor this direction.

Walter Graff said...

Don't say I didn't tell you so. A disaster from day one.

Anonymous said...

Rick: when you say you'd rather she tried lots of things and failed at some... Who do you think pays for all those many failures? Tax-payers and students pay. I'd rather have a leader who focuses on what is needed- among those which she failed (or never touched) math science (virtually none until MS), bullying issues (restorative justice is psych abuse for our kids). Maria (and Mike) seem to have ADHD. Continually proposing new programs/inititives. No one (including them) has the time or focus to carefully analyze their effectiveness. Hence, we have a revolving merry-go-round of shinny new ideas (proposed to solve problems) pitched to the gullible SC (esp you, Rick). I don't think M Morris is a good replacement. He is perhaps even worse than Ms Geryk at finding new programs to try. He proposed tons at CF, which ones worked or have stayed (RTI? PBIS?). Who remembers RTI? All that time I kids took online tests? Where nothing was done in response (ie "R"esponse)? Amherst is NOT a lab school. We do not have to innovate new programs, let others do that and wait for the data (and don't skew it like this admin is adept at). We have neither the resources or the expertise to test and analyze new initiatives/programs.

Anonymous said...

The problem with a community of educators is that less practical thought is often proposed and more theoretical ideas. Books are great, but you can't learn to drive without getting behind a wheel. The problem for many in Amherst is too much life experience is in theory and too little in practical common sense approaches. Amherst is not a lab, but when most of your community works in a lab atmosphere as an educator, all they can do is bring that way of life to everything they do. The problem is life is different outside of a classroom.

Anonymous said...

The arps.org web site has lots of sections that are out-of-date, including the current enrollment. There are not 4,000 students in the APRS districts. According to FY2017 budget docs, there are currently 1,100 students in the 3 Amherst elementary schools, 1,407 MS and HS students. That adds up to about 2,500 students, and with Pelham ES, there's another 125 or so. In other words, enrollment has fallen about one-third in recent years, and as others have pointed out, it's not just changing demographics, but families actively taking their kids out of schools for options that better meet their children's educational needs.

Anonymous said...

As a former Crocker Farm parent, I loved Mike Morris' leadership at Crocker Farm, and wish as many other CF parents do, that he would have stayed there longer. In the central office, he still shows some of the attributes that made him a great leader at CF, and for example, he is much better at making parents feel heard when they have concerns than the superintendent ever has been, since she dismisses so many parent concerns without listening to them, really hearing them, at all. However, it still feels as though it might be time for the district to have some completely new leadership, to help correct what's not working currently in our schools and to help more parents believe in our schools once again.

Nina Koch said...

The district doesn't currently have a webmaster and no one is in charge of going through all those documents to check the information. I remember putting that enrollment number of 4000 up there ten years ago when I was webmaster.

One thing I would fault the district for is communication. It could do a much better job on that front, although it takes resources. The webmaster position was cut to save money.

Larry Kelley said...

You can always start a blog for them Nina.

They're free.

Nina Koch said...

Blogs aren't free. Yours takes many hours, which could be spent on other pursuits.

Plus I would have to get a drone and stuff.

Anonymous said...

I'll say it again. Don't hold your breath for getting any competent person to be SI here. I predict we won't even be able to attract an interim SI. You people are all living in an alternate reality. The Amherst schools will be rudderless for years to come. I am very sad for my kids. Because of all this upcoming change in SI I would like to send them to a charter school but as a single parent working full time I have no way to get them to and from school. I have been happy with the public schools til now. But knowing that we will only attract unqualified SI candidates going forward I want out. But I am stuck. My thanks to all the nasty mean - spirited people in Amherst. All you perfect people standing on the sidelines throwing stones. (insert sarcasm font for last two sentences).

Rebecca Casa said...

As I stated I don't know what's been talked about and I don't know if they have cause but if they have cause then we should not be paying her to leave. And if we are paying her why can't we run it through Insurance why do we have to pay for it through our kids education? I do not have a Grudge against the schools. I do think we need a leadership change after what happened in Pelham I am completely utterly brokenhearted by what has happened and what is going to happen in my town and to my town when we pay out a huge civil rights lawsuit because of decisions that were made by the administration. We will have to see if Amherst ends up paying out for that same decision right now that's a problem problem and then I think it may end up being Regional problem which means it's Amherst problem as well. There are always a few teachers that don't live up to the same standard as the awesome teachers that we have. And it makes me really sad that enrollment is down and people are pulling their children out of our school district and putting them in other places. One example to Educators from the Athol School District who live in Amherst took their fourth grader out of Fort River because of the bullying Kama because they couldn't get the principal or the superintendent to hear what they were saying. So they took their fourth grader out of Amherst and put their child in Athol in the school system with that child can get a 4.0 and not end up with the same college options as he could have had if he'd stayed in Amherst with a 3.5 GPA and now we're paying for this kid to go out of district out of the budget because nobody would listen to the parents. So I don't have an axe to grind I love our schools I just want them to be better.

Anonymous said...

The main page of arps.org says there are 3,000 students now. That number is not all that far off.

The page also says that school starts this year for students in grades 1-12 on Tuesday, August 31st. A minor typo (but it could be confusing to some nonetheless). Aug 31st is a Wednesday this year.

Anonymous said...

Agree so if we're paying Carol Ross at least half of her salary out of the budget and half out of the Amherst budget why isn't she doing a better job at marketing the positive things our school system does I think we need a better person and that should be part of her job or his job or Carol needs to step it up because there's a lot of damage control that needs to happen but there's still a lot of positive things that happen every day in our schools and that's getting overshadowed by all the negativity out of Chestnut Street. And again if Maria and give us so much to talk about nobody would be on Larry's blog. But there's so many mistakes so I can open wound that just keeps getting ripped open over and over again because nothing gets resolved because there's no transparency. I do understand some things can't be transparent but a lot of things that should be are not being shared with the community

Anonymous said...

What Rebecca said was not colored by a grudge she said you should email the school committee members with what you want. As taxpayers you have an opinion and you have the right to ask your elected officials to vote in the way that you see fit as a person Rebecca didn't say email them all and tell them not to do this she clearly states her opinion that she wants Maria to either work out her contract or to go away with nothing. She also clearly states that we should be emailing our school committee members with whatever your opinion is if you're a voter and you elected these people you should tell them how you feel if you think they shouldn't be worried at all give her a raise then email them that I feel that Rebecca's post was very fair

Anonymous said...

In the real world you do not need a reason to fire them...employment is at will. In public school screw the people world, the poorly written contract may only allow certain reasons, but that is because you agreed in advance.

But please be clear, in mass you can just fire some looser's ass and not tell anyone why. Plus all employees lie, which is terms for refusing unemployment welfare upon termination.

Again, if the school board screwed you with a bad contract, that is on them and anyone who was supposed to oversee them.

Rebecca Casa said...

Lol ... drones are optional Nina. Maybe some of those a secret service bugs would be in order though

Larry Kelley said...

And she is retired.

Anonymous said...

And people wonder why the schools are having trouble? "Apples do not fall far from trees." Just visualize how some of these Amherst parents behave. (Clue: check out some postings on this blog.)

Thanks to Larry, this blog is the only place in town where people can say what they really think. The biggest problem seems to be...some contributors are brainless and illiterate! (And, yes, it is OK to use the words illiterate and brainless.) Just try to read some of the attempts at communicating that are found in these comments. It does not speak well for the use of the English language! But, it certainly reveals the type of people who ask so much of our educators.

Personally, I have never had any contact with Ms. Geryk. I feel the public does not have all the necessary information to really have a clear picture of exactly what happened in the Hiza case. I feel there are pieces missing from the stories about what happened in Pelham. Something still feels wrong in the Gardner settlement, too.

Oh well, they also claim Hilary Clinton doesn't lie.

Maybe, each of us should be asking ourselves, "What does it mean to be truthful?" People hired and elected to important public and government jobs must be honest for a republic to function effectively. We must act locally, first. Then in November, vote to preserve our nation. Does honesty and integrity matter to you?

Anonymous said...

Where Rick Hood at?

Larry Kelley said...

Probably not posting to his blog.

Anonymous said...

The Amherst Pelham Regional School Committee this Monday night at 5 pm in high school library--but no public comment until 6pm--after the decision on superintendent contract and/or payout. If you want to be heard, TODAY email the school committee -- school committee@arps.org. Or go to the meeting in person and talk.

Larry Kelley said...

Actually it's Tuesday August 9th at 5:00 PM.

Anonymous said...

"some contributors are brainless and illiterate!"

Many of the illiterate posts are due to technology (speech to text, auto correct) and/ or misplaced reading glasses!

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