Sunday, September 18, 2016

Students need benefits

I wish I could say that this is my idea.  It is not but I agree with the Sound Off I scanned from the Eagle Herald Thursday, September 15 edition.  This short and sweet opinion hits the nail right on the head.  The Eagle Herald is a decent local newspaper although it does not cover Crivitz or most of the county school districts at all.  It it sad as more people would buy and read their paper if they did I suspect.
The author is nameless as the newspaper does not require them for Sound Offs. Great job by the author!

It seems to me that all schools should be concerned about educating our children better. The kids need to be prepared for life better than they seem to be. The schools and educators in general are more concerned about the testing scores the kids get than if the kids are ready for the real world and more education. 

Few good paying jobs exist in Marinette County and it is not likely that they will be here in the future either.  Most people have to leave the area to make decent money.  High School graduates need to be ready to go to technical schools and colleges when they finish high school. We parents need to our part and get on the educators to prepare our children much better.  Throw out the current thinking and go back to what worked in the past for many generations.  Reading, Writing and Arithmetic worked for most of us and enabled us to do anything we wanted to.  With the internet, computers, smart phones and all the information available via the keyboards our kids should be on top of the world instead of way behind education wise and communicating via the spoken word.  What do you think?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Goals?

Do you wonder why every School Board does not set goals?  I have wondered why everybody not just school boards does not set goals?  Of course if you make the goals public and fail to accomplish them what does mean?  It means that you need to try harder and/or set more realistic goals not wild dreamer goals perhaps?  I think it is strange that they had to have a special meeting to do it.  

I wonder why no special meetings or any meetings about updating the old school?  They just tried twice lately to build a new school and failed worse the second time by the way.  Is that project dead again?  I am feeling there will be yet another attempt or two to place the Peshtigo tax payers in the poor house for a very long time with another new school.  What do you think?

 I strongly feel the "goals" should be to provide the kids with an excellent well rounded education so they can do better than their parents.  Test scores are not everything if a kid cannot communicate and think for themselves. Schools should be instilling good value's and trying to bring out common sense along the way also.  This now means getting a good K thru 12 education so kids can get more education in tech school or college, then find a good job and make more money than their parents.   

What are you going to do Crivitz School Board?  Sit on your hands and not make it better for your children?  Oh wait some of you do not have children in the schools.  How about a show of hands for those that do?  The ones that do not really need to get out of the way and let those people that have children and care run the show now!

 Peshtigo School Board Sets District Goals

The Peshtigo School Board approved a set of district goals for the 2016-'17 school year during a special meeting held on Wednesday, Aug. 24.

A total of seven potential district goals were drafted and brought before the board for consideration by Superintendent Kim Eparvier. They were first to commit the resources and professional development needed to establish an effective process to address student learning targets and goals through differentiated instruction, second, in grades 4K-2, 95 percent of students score proficient or higher on the PALS test by the end of the 2016-'17 academic year; third, all students in grades 3-10 increase their Forward Exam scores over those from last year in both Reading and Math. Also fourth is to educate and communicate to the general citizenry regarding the immediate and long-term facility needs associated with their middle-high school programming along with the costs, the pros, and the cons of identified options; fifth, use a multimedia approach to increase communication between the public, the Board of Education, and the Administration, students, and staff of the two school buildings; sixth, to commit the resources and professional development needed to improve teacher use of technology to help students reach learning targets and goals; and seventh, to commit the resources and professional development needed to maximize the involvement and engagement of all students through the RtI process in an effort to close the achievement gap.

The board ultimately decided to keep the first, fourth, fifth and seventh goals. The second, third and sixth goals were removed. It was decided by the board that the sixth goal could be incorporated into the first goal, and that the second and third goals were more building-specific goals than district goals.

At the behest of several board members, including Board President Gary Larsen and Steve Coble, Eparvier also drafted another goal at the meeting regarding preparing students for manufacturing jobs in the area. While not finalized, Eparvier's draft goal read as "to develop business partnerships and programming that will promote and support local workforce needs."

The board also approved hiring Jessica Ledvina as an elementary school physical education teacher and discussed a possible trip to New York for music students. Due to a lack of information provided regarding the potential New York trip, further discussion on the matter was tabled for later, provided that the teacher who brought it forward addressed all policy questions raised by the board.


 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Fair treatment for School District employees?

It seems that once again the Crivitz School Administrator and School Board has not been fair to someone and Mr. Pfankuch (Pete) has pointed this out to them.  This time it is a year round employee that happens to be the principal and coach of the Varsity Boys Basketball Team. The excerpt below was stolen out of an article in the Peshtigo Times Aug 24, 2016 edition.

No one should ever say that "Pete" does not look out for people that he feels have been wronged in his opinion including teachers, coaches and students.  Giving back the three days of lost vacation should not be a big deal as this employee's vacation does not require hiring a substitute or really cost any additional money.  It appears that once again the school administrator and school board do not have much common sense.  They never take or go with the easy solution.  This even seems simple to me as the Principal/Basketball Coach is the only person that works year round that this is likely to happen to if I understand this all correctly.  The administrator is trying to fool the school board into believing that many employees could be affected.  I suspect the short changed employee is afraid to say much of anything since the administrator seems to forget he works for the school board and the tax payers including Mr. Pfankuch.  I think the administrator would fire his own mother and father if given the chance.   Because Mr. Pfankuch has brought this to the School Boards attention I do not think this will end without it being fixed.  Do you?

It is interesting that the school board president was not at the meeting.  Since it was on the agenda is he afraid of "Pete"?  When you run your own successful business you should be able to make all the regular scheduled meetings shouldn't you?  Maybe he and the school administrator should be replaced? 

Do not forget to check The Truth According To Dave for his thoughtful posts at https://davekopp.wordpress.com/

Here is the article so you can form your own opinion. 

Crivitz School Fully Staffed For Sept. 1 Start Of Classes

 

During time for public comment at the Crivitz School Board meeting in July district resident Pete Pfankuch had expressed displeasure that Jeff Baumann, high school principal and boys basketball coach, had been required to use three days of his vacation time to coach the school's basketball team for a three-day tournament in Carney, Mich. earlier this summer.

He maintained that coaches who work for the school district should not be forced to use vacation time to coach a summer tournament.

At Pfankuch's request, that issue was on the agenda for discussion at the Aug. 17 board meeting. At the start of the meeting Pfankuch asked if he would be allowed to participate in the discussion when it came up on the agenda. Vice President Corey Sotka, acting chair in the absence of Board President Mike Dama, assured him he would be allowed to join the board discussion at the proper time.

When that time came, Mans provided some background information before turning the discussion over to Pfankuch and the board.

"This is not a complicated issue, and boils down to the fact that coaching contracts are separate paid contracts which cover specific seasons of play. Activities carried out by coaches outside of the sport season are voluntary," Mans said.

He said district employees who coach are paid for that under separate contracts for which they get separate pay. Each contract has its own qualifications and expectations, he said.

He added, "Another way to look at this is how any non-school coach would handle such an activity with his or her place of employment." He said anyone with an outside job or a teacher with a summer job would have to take time off from their regular work to coach during a normal work day. He felt it would be unfair to treat district employees differently.

If this had been just a couple of hours, or only for one day, the employee could have worked early and/or late to make up the time, Mans suggested. However, this was a three day tournament which would have him out of the district for three full work days. He added that summer tournaments are not considered school events, and the district does not even provide transportation.

Pfankuch asked when that policy had been set up and approved by the board. Mans replied it is not policy, it is operating procedure.

Pfankuch felt all coaches should be allowed to coach out of season without using vacation time, and suggested including this in all coaching contracts moving forward. He also opined that Baumann should get part or all of his three vacation days back that he used for the Carney tournament. He said the school board should want the coaches at tournaments that make their teams better. "I just feel the coach was acting in the best interest of the school and the students and as a result he got short changed," Pfankuch declared. "In this case I feel the coach was punished for being a good guy."

Mans cautioned the board against talking about specific individuals in open session, but said they could talk in generalities. He thanked Pfankuch for bringing forth his concerns.

Board member Gary Huc expressed some support for Pfankuch's recommendations, but commented, "If a policy exists, it exists...but that's not to say we can't change it." He felt they also need to be fair to employees and told Baumann if he really does feel he was mistreated, "I wish you would share that with someone here."

Mans and several other board members noted some concerns they had with his proposals.

"It isn't about begrudging one employee vacation time or time off or anything else," Mans said. "I have to think beyond one employee. I have to think, where could that end?

Board members Cory Sotka, Lyle Cherry and Kris Heidewald all noted what they felt were problems with Pfankuch's recommendations. Sotka also opined that volunteer time outside a sport's regular season is part of coaching.

"I certainly don't think coaches coach for the money," Sotka said.

However, Cherry said if the procedure needs to be adjusted, it is something they can look at for next year.

Pfankuch had mentioned WIAA rules changing, and Mans said this has nothing to do with WIAA.

Aside from that, Mans also brought up budgetary concerns that would arise if all coaches were to be compensated for non-season coaching.

Heidewald said for five years when she was school secretary she put on the class play, with no added compensation and no time off from her regular job in the school office. "I came in at 5 a.m. daily. I had to take a personal day on the day of the play."

Huc felt as a principal duties are lighter in summer, and Baumann could make up the time and get his work done. The district would not need to hire a sub as they would if it were a teacher taking time off when classes are in session.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Brief Filed In Crivitz School Cell Phone Suit

Below is a copy of the article on the front page of the Peshtigo Times Newspaper Wednesday August 17, 2016 edition. This article is available for free online at http://www.peshtigotimes.net/

Not all of the local one day a week paper is available free online unless you subscribe to it for $10.00.  Next day mail delivery of the printed edition is available and well worth the $29.00 (locally) I am pretty certain.  Of course you have to read it to get the information.  I have not read the 45 page brief but I will as soon as I can lay my hands on the public information.  I wonder what Mike, Kam and Sophia are thinking now?  Do you think it helps their business, careers or educational pursuits?

Do not forget to check The Truth According To Dave for his thoughtful posts.
https://davekopp.wordpress.com/

Brief Filed In Crivitz School Cell Phone Suit

The lawsuit brought by three Crivitz athletes against Michael, Kam and Sophia Dama, Crivitz School District, and its insurer, Employers Mutual Casualty Company in protest of punishments imposed as a result of a locker room cell phone incident on Feb. 18, 2014 continues to make its slow way through the Wisconsin Court System.

On Friday, Aug. 5, Green Bay Attorney Richard E. Nell filed a 45-page brief with Wisconsin's 8th District Appellate Court explaining why he believes Oconto Circuit Court Judge Michael T. Judge erred when he dismissed the suit on March 11 of this year. The appeal asks that March 11 decision be reversed and the case be remanded to Circuit Court.

The original suit was filed by Nell on Nov. 13, 2014 on behalf of plaintiffs Brianna Kopp, Jennifer Kempka and Victoria Neuman, who were all minors at the time, but now are all adults. Sophia Dama was also a minor, and all four were members of the school's high school girls' varsity basketball team. Mike Dama, president of Crivitz School Board, was a volunteer assistant coach for the team.

The three judges of District 8 Appeals Court have already agreed to hear the case. The school district now has 30 days to respond, after which Nell has 20 days to rebut. Nell predicted that due to length of the brief and the complexity of the case it may be six months or more after the rebuttal is filed before the Appeals Court makes its decision.

The long and detailed brief gives a history of the events, starting with relationships of the girls prior to the locker room incident on Feb. 18, 2014, while the girls were preparing for their game that evening. The three plaintiffs were punished by the school district for allegedly taking photos of Sophia Dama over the wall of a bathroom stall and other allegedly improper conduct in the locker room.

In his brief, Nell states the school's investigation declined input offered by teammates Amanda Pickett and Katie Naud, and "excluded everyone that would have added neutrality, some protection for the accused girls, or an unbiased report of the events that occurred."

An investigation by Marinette County Sheriff's Department resulted in a District Attorney decision not to prosecute for any alleged legal offenses, but school authorities determined rules had been broken and imposed punishments that the plaintiffs contend were imposed unfairly. Their suit contends that the punishments and actions of the school and the Damas damaged the remainder of the plaintiffs' high school careers and their reputation in the community.

Nell said that when requests for summary judgment are filed law requires judges to consider the facts presented in the way most favorable to the non-moving party, and it is their position that Judge Judge did not do that. He said Judge had chosen which facts to believe, which is the job of the jury, while the judge decides if there are sufficient facts argued by each side to bring the case to trial. "He chose not to believe any facts we presented," Nell said.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

What's going on at the Crivitz School Board?

It has been a couple weeks since the last regular meeting of the Crivitz School Board and not long until the next one.  Nothing in the newspapers though.  Not much from The Truth According to Dave either.   I wonder what they are trying to sneek thru or hiding?  Perhaps no one on the school board or at the school remembered to send anything to the papers?

A couple weeks ago the Wausaukee School Administrator resigned at a special meeting.  It was front page in the Peshtigo Times on July 27, 2016. Her husband also resigned as they have accepted jobs abroad. Their search for a interim administrator is under way.  Maybe Crivitz should lend or sell them the services of our administrator on a part time basis?   He might have enough work to do then!  I am sure there are many areas that overlap and less time would be wasted by two tax payer supported entities doing school functions where all he'd have to do is cut and paste the name and addresses, etc.  Maybe even save postage in the process?  After all we share other employees with other schools for music/OT, etc.  Not that long ago we had a part time administrator and that worked well as he and the school board got us into a lawsuit that they lost to a person that is now on the school board.  So why do we need a full time administrator anyways?  Anyone care to respond on the School Board?  Board President?  Dad?  Dave?  Feels like the public comment period at the board meetings . . . . . . .

I know the legal briefs are due to the Appeals Court Judges for the Three Girls Punished by the School lawsuit.

So what's going on folks?  Anyone attend the last meeting?  Dave?  PLEASE HELP as I need some info to comment on!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Someone can read, write and replies.

Many people have asked over and over for responses to questions from County Boards, Town Boards, Village Board, School Boards, etc.   In the July 6th edition of the Peshtigo Times a person questioned the Wausaukee School Board on some decisions they made.  She also invited people to come to school board meetings and stay informed.  This blog writer commented on the letter and posted it on this blog.  It is titled:

Is Wausaukee learning bad manners from Crivitz?

http://www.crivitzschooldistrict.com/2016/07/is-wausaukee-learning-bad-manners-from.html

There seldom are any responses and I do not remember any one writing a response.  However in the Peshtigo Times July 13 Edition history has been made by a board member from Wausaukee.  Here is the letter.  I hope but seriously doubt that any of the other school districts, County Boards, Town Boards, Village Board, etc. will follow one members lead.

From Our Readers

Letter to the Editor:


Re: School District of Wausaukee Taxpayers

I would like to thank the person who wrote in the July 6th edition regarding recent expenditures by the School Board for the interest in the appropriateness of some of that spending. Public interest in the workings of the District are always welcome and we encourage members of the community to be more actively involved by attending Board meetings, especially the annual meeting which is held in late September or each October each year. I would also like to point out that each member of the Board of Education is also a taxpayer of the District and as such are equally affected by the budgetary expenditures and revenue sources that the Board deals with.

Having been a Board member since 2008, I have been here through the worst of times resulting from a deficit General Fund such as a potential dissolution of the District and the need for a referendum in order to keep the District viable. Because of the fact that the school building debt was paid off three years into that referendum, the tax levy was reduced to below the levy rate which existed prior to the referendum. Also during the past nine years all other outstanding debt has been retired resulting in elimination of debt interest and cash flow borrowing at a savings of several hundred thousand dollars over that time.

While it would seem that an item by item response to the expenditures noted might appear to be defensive, my purpose is primarily to inform not defend those expense items mentioned in the letter. Suffice it to say that all expenditures by the Board are related to one or more of these criteria: safety, health, efficiency (cost savings), long term maintenance of the facility, or perhaps most importantly a positive impact on student achievement. We have in place a ten year facilities plan for maintenance and capital expense for a building that is now nearly 25 years old. Three years ago the roof was replaced at a cost of over $800,000 because there were leaks that developed and for years had been "patch worked" at a continuing expense and proved ineffective. It is extremely difficult to provide first rate educational opportunity to our kids in a facility that is crumbling. Twenty year old vans break down and playground equipment, installed when the school was built, becomes dangerous and impossible to maintain with reasonable expense.

The Board takes very seriously the fiscal burden it bears and I believe that the record shows that we have been prudent in that regard. In everything we do, transparency is foremost. There are no hidden agendas and all aspects of what we do as a Board are an open book. We have excellent people on staff who execute their responsibilities in a professional manner. Any occasional errors in judgement result from human fallibility and not incompetence or subterfuge. A nationally known financial services company, during a visit last year, praised the District for its fiscal responsibility and financial stability. The most efficient use of taxpayer dollars remains a foremost concern and the Board will continue to exercise its best judgement for spending your (our) money!

Dave Kipp

The above is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of either the Board or any other of its members.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

What can you do?

If you are frustrated by the Crivitz School District or any other government body and want to know what to do to get change there are no quick or easy answers here or anywhere else.  There are many things that can be done though.  Rome was not built in a day.

First there is using the legal system. However the many lawsuits filed against any of them have taken or are taking years to go thru the complicated legal system.  The legal system works very slowly as does most local, state and federal government.  Using lawyers costs lots of money.  Not using lawyers means certain defeat.  Sadly these are facts of life and unlikely to be changed ever.

Perhaps the best way to get change is vote the people in office out of office?  Change might be better or it could be worse but not changing bad elected officials is insane.  Nothing will happen without changing them.  Do not even vote for them if they are the only candidate running as they will think they are doing a great job.  Think of not voting for them as a no confidence statement.   By the way the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

Another way and perhaps faster method to get change is to keep pounding them at their meetings and to voice your displeasure to them and about them in any way possible to anyone that will listen.  If they own a business do not patronize it.  Tell everyone you know not to do business with them and any businesses that their extended family owns.  Hit them and their relatives in the pocketbook to get them out of politics.  The old saying than money talks is very true.  Having no business or less business is very tough.

Recalling elected officials is a method that will work sometimes but you need to have all your ducks lined up in advance.  The latest Crivitz School District recalled failed because the recall committee did not have a good candidate and forgot to mention to petition signers that signing the petition was the first step.  Voting was the next step and even more important.  When you recall someone you also need to be aware of when the election will be held.  There is an exact formula and timetable for this political action. Having any election a couple days before a Holiday is not a good idea.  

Circulating a plain old petition may work but it is a rather outdated method unless you are a college student.  That is another story for another blog perhaps?

Maybe a good old fashioned sit in or protest might work?  Should we think about this?

You could start your own blog like Dave and I did.  It is fairly easy and cheap.  The best address was taken by me but it can be bought.  Dave cannot be bought so check out:
  
"The Truth According To Dave" at https://davekopp.wordpress.com/

 Like this blog his is well worth your time also.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Is Wausaukee learning bad manners from Crivitz?

In the Peshtigo Times July 6, 2016 issue the following letter to the editor was printed.  From reading the letter in the paper it seems like Wausaukee may have learned some undesirable techniques of the Crivitz School Administrator and his School Board.  I wonder how the tax payers and voters will react?  Will a couple blogs appear on the web?  Board member recalls?  Lawsuits . . . . . oh wait I doubt or hope they are not that dumb. Word on the street is the appeal paperwork is due in about a month.  The girls attorney is a good brief writer.  The judges are not locally elected and easily influenced people.

Editor:

Re: Wausaukee School District Taxpayers

I encourage everyone to become informed about what the Wausaukee School Board and Administrator are doing with our tax dollars. Lately, there has been a lot of activity with purchase of larger items. Is this part of a planned list of regular upgrades? Just nine years ago the school was going to close due to a negative fund balance, and a referendum was passed to keep the school going. I hope we are planning expenditures well in order not to reverse our financial progress.

Here are some recent big ticket items:

* Replacement of all the cafeteria tables (what was done with the old ones?)

* Hiring consultants from California, Pennsylvania and across the state.

* Sending teachers to New York and California for Professional Development.

* Building upgrades: digitalizing building automation, rewiring the gym, replacing flooring, outdoor lighting, football scoreboard, window flashing.

* $30,000 for a new lawn mower (the last mower was purchased only 4 years ago and to my knowledge appears to be in good working condition).

* $49,000 playground equipment.

* $30,000 for a 2016 brand new van.

* Purchase and placement of 11 "No Parking' signs in front of the school.

One thing you can do as a taxpayer is be aware of the board agendas. They are posted on the school web page or available through the school office.If there are agenda items that are confusing, or there is not enough information as to what the issue for discussion is, contact a board member or the administrative offices at school for clarification. I also encourage you to attend the board meetings. The next meeting is July 13.

Taxpayers are allowed to speak for up to 5 minutes at the beginning of each meeting. This is a great opportunity to voice your thoughts and concerns. Please be aware that not everything that is covered is reported on. Main meeting minutes can be found on the school website, but usually are brief and after the fact. As a concerned taxpayer, I urge you to pay attention to what is happening at our school!

Susan L. Klump

Sunday, July 3, 2016

I wonder why?

Have you noticed that lots of actions by the Crivitz School Board we learn about after the fact?  The headline in the Peshtigo Times on June 29th says they have decided to share an OT with Wausaukee.  I read both papers pretty carefully and I never saw a job posting or even discussion of adding this position or many of their new positions of late.  They promoted part time employees to full time or gave them more work, etc. Even made some cuts.  I wonder why?

Another interesting thing is how when a long time employee leaves they say wonderful things about the board in the newspaper.  However if you talk with the individual they are very happy to be leaving the administration behind and have little if anything good to say about it or him and the board.  I think I know why on this one.

We are sharing the services of the elementary music teacher again for the third year.  Music used to be a strong extra curricular area in Crivitz.  The K - 8 teacher is part time and the music program is not what it used to be.  I wonder why?

The do it my way or hit the highway administrator conned the school board into spending $8,500 to hire a firm to do some "first time ever strategic planning".  No mention of what this service actually entails.  Makes me wonder what does this overpaid under worked employee (administrator) do all summer?  I wonder why we now need "strategic planning" and what it really is?   Interesting that this is the same amount spent on researching "free" drug testing before they shoved it down our throats.   Testing we don't know if they are doing, if it is working or anything about it.  Why do we need these outside services?  

The School District has advertised for bids for various services and things that need replacing.  Sometimes they get no bids.  Perhaps they should place a couple phone calls or send a couple emails to firms that offer these services and products?  I am pretty sure that not every company reads the local papers looking for bids from the Crivitz School District.  I would suggest that you do not build your next house or buy your next vehicle by placing a couple ads in the local papers asking for bids.   Sometimes they don't take the low or the best bid.  They do not even follow the wishes of their staff like they did not for the Food Services Director concerning bread and buns.  They assume that the new local supplier will provide the information the employee needs to do her job and meet USDA requirements.  She is concerned about passing the "audit"!  Never mind  the long time relationship they had with the previous supplier or that their products meet the USDA requirements!   The boards solution is for the school employee to ask the new local supplier to furnish the information.  Really?  Why bother with bids?  Most bids have specific requirements that are supposed to be a part of the bidding process.  If you do not meet them your bid is thrown out.   Obviously the person that wrote the requirements of the bid did not do his job again.  Do you wonder why?

A board member questioned spending $400,000 for computer replacement which the paper reported was an annual expenditure.  It appears there was little discussion as he was told it was "necessary".  $400,000 and "necessary" was the reason?   I wonder why?

Last time I checked this blog has had close to 35,000 views over the years it has been available.    One would think that the Crivitz School District would have had the address www.Crivitz School District.com as their own?  I wonder why they did not?  Currently when you search Crivitz School District guess where this website comes up or better yet look for yourself.  Maybe I should sell it to the school district?  Any other bidders?  Maybe I should place an ad in the local papers for bids?

Am I starting to sound more like Dave Kopp with this post?  You can check for yourself  "The Truth according to Dave" at https://davekopp.wordpress.com/   Enjoy!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Maybe we should have recalled the top two school board officers like they are doing in Sevastopol?

 It seems that Crivitz is not the only place in Wisconsin where the public is unhappy with their elected school board members.  The same problems we are having in Crivitz have been going on to our south.

Maybe we need to move the Highway 64 line that Dave's mentions as a "divider" south to Green Bay?  Check out "The Truth According to Dave" His blog is at: https://davekopp.wordpress.com to see what he might have to say on this and many other subjects.

The story below is from the Channel 5 Website.  The direct link is listed below it.  I don't know how long the TV station keeps their stories on their website so I cut and pasted the article.  

The parents in the Sevastopol School District put together a petition that over 800 people signed in an attempt to force a recall election for the President and Vice President of the Sevastopol School Board.

This group of parents has grown after coming together to support Principal Mary Donaldson who got removed from the school back in February, that was just the beginning.

Parents voiced their concerns on the matter at board meetings, in the media and teachers wrote letters, but this community movement felt the board wasn't listening to their concerns.

"There was no other option," said Ben Rikkola a parent who has three children who attend Sevastopol. "People signed their names and that was a bold thing to do."

So the group of parents are using a democratic process to pursue a new election as a last resort, they needed 743 signatures for the recall election and got over 800.

This group states lack of transparency, inappropriate us of taxpayer' money and broken lines of communication as the reason for the petition.

The clerk for the Sevastopol School District told Local 5 that she has to review the petition to make sure that the signatures came from people who live in the district and are old enough to vote, she also said that the school board has until June 26 to challenge the petition.

The community group already has candidates ready to run against President Sue Todey and Vice President Bill Behme.

"We are kind of waiting and holding our cards before we name our candidates," said Rikkola.
The group of parents said they never wanted it to come to this, but have grown tired of being ignored.
"It is simply a case of a small minority that is calling the shots at Sevastopol and not willing to listen to the majority," said Rikkola.

Sevastopol has won a pair of blue ribbon school awards and those flags fly in front of the school.


 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Doing things the smart way?

An excellent Opinion Letter was in the Eagle Herald on Friday June 17, 2016.  I am guessing that not all of you read the decent local newspaper so I have scanned it and will give my comments after the article.


While the Menominee school district like other school districts around here often does strange things I think this is an excellent move on their part and makes good fiscal sense.  They are spending the tax payers money wisely it seems.  Peshtigo should learn from them.  Crivitz needs to check out the old building they are using as a grade school and middle school to inform the parents and tax payers of the condition of the building and any short term or long term needs.  I think the new Crivitz high school was built in 1999 so it is 17 years old already people.

What do you think the highly paid administrator and highly paid building, grounds and transportation manager do all summer long?   Surfing the internet?  Snap chatting?  Face booking?  I wonder what video games they play?   I would bet the administrator plays solitaire or chess against the computer.  I doubt he plays on line poker with his money but he likes to gamble with the tax payers money with lawsuits.  They lost the firing Amy lawsuit and now she is one of his bosses.  Ironic or justice?  One has to wonder what his chance of keeping his job long term is?  Will any or all of the three girls run for School Board?  What about their parents?

I am guessing that none of the local big fish in a small pond can influence the judges that will decide the three girls lawsuit.  Hopefully the judges will decide based on the law as it is written and not the little bit the Oconto Judge took the time to actually read.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

What will they do?

It seems like schools and other government operations need to start thinking, planning and adding bathrooms and facilities for kids that identify with a different sex than they were born or are physically.  When or where will this start in small schools and the like?  What will the local school boards need the school administrator to do?  Oh wait in Crivitz the administrator seems to think he is in charge so I am wondering what he will tell them to do?  Any way you slice it this will cost a lot of money to the tax payers.  Come to think of it I don't think I have even seen a "family" bathroom in either school. While many locals will choose to ignore the new needs and I don't even know if we have any students that need special bathrooms and facilities yet I am suspecting the government is not going to let that be the solution.  I wonder if the Peshtigo dream school has plans for the extra stuff needed?  Oh wait they don't have any real plans as they just want the tax payers to pony up the money and their high priced design firm (that won't tell us how much money they will make) will plan the new $34 million dollar + school.  With no short term or long term plans for the Crivitz School District I cannot help but wonder.  What do you think?

Friday, June 10, 2016

Drug testing in our school . . . . is it working? Are they even doing it? Why no results?

Drugs are a problem in Marinette County and all across the US it seems.  Marinette County even has a drug court.  Don't kid yourself that legalizing marijuana will reduce the drug problems.  Legalizing marijuana just means there will be more people under the influence driving vehicles and fewer dollars coming in for court fines for awhile.  Legalizing marijuana will just make law enforcement more difficult.

The Crivitz School Board was forced by the Athletic Director to spend $8000 (that we know of) researching implementing "FREE" drug testing.   We have been provided with no results.  NOTHING!  We do not even know if they are doing any testing.

I know that because they are testing juveniles they are not supposed to disclose names or identify the kids or adults and giving out any medical information is a big NO NO because of HIPAA Laws and Regulations. The School Board should at least tell us how many kids were tested don't you think?  Are they catching any kids violating their policy?  But more importantly are they getting help for kids that are violating their policy?  They did not help the girls they punished that filed the ongoing lawsuit against them or the one that seems to have lied and started the whole mess.  I wonder what their drug policy even is.  Think any School Board members know what their drug policy is or even care?  Wonder if any of the school board members use drugs?  They way they vote often makes me think so.  Is alcohol a drug . . . . . . .

The school could have bought a lot of things with the $8000 the School Board spent with lawyers.  Perhaps we would have better testing of the volunteers if they used this money to pay for that?

Here is an article I found on the subject:

The Short of It

South Carolina's Beaufort County School District will start random drug testing of student athletes in the fall, a policy that has parents divided.

The Lowdown

While prohibited from giving random drug tests to the general student body, teachers or staff, the law allows the school district to test students with special privileges, such as participating in athletics and extracurricular activities as well as having a campus parking permit. The Beaufort County School District will begin the new policy by drug testing at least 38 students at each high school each month, and phasing in testing of extracurricular participants in 2016 and parking permit holders in 2017. Drug testing will cost the district up to $50,000 the first year.
The school is implementing the new policy to identify students struggling with substance abuse to provide them with services and counseling. If a student fails a drug test, he or she will not be able to participate in athletics for 365 days unless they receive an assessment by a licensed substance-abuse professional, complete at least one treatment session within 10 days of the positive test, pass another drug test within 90 days of the first failed test, and meet with their parent and principal.
Second and third offenses carry increasing levels of consequences, and corresponding consequences will apply to the privileges of extracurricular participants and parking permit holders when their drug testing begins. Students will not be reported to law enforcement or disciplined by the school unless they are under the influence at the time of the test.
In a local news survey of about 620 people, 55 percent said they opposed the district's plan, while 41 percent were in favor. Some parents in the South Carolina school district think the school is overstepping and unfairly targeting certain students, while others think student drug abuse is a significant problem that the school needs to monitor.

The Upshot

While it is admirable that the school wants to provide services and counseling to students struggling with substance abuse, I'm not sure if the school's policy is fair or useful. It seems like an invasion of students' privacy to be able to randomly test them without cause, and it's an inappropriate condition of participating in athletics and extracurriculars or parking on campus. The kids who want to get away with it will probably find a way, and it seems like the school district's money would be better spent on another method of addressing students' substance abuse issues.
What do you think?

I wonder what Dave has to say and you might also so check out

The Truth According to Dave 

https://davekopp.wordpress.com/


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Where to find it on the web.

There is a ton of information on the internet.  It is available to anyone at any time. The addresses I posted here are not opinion websites so the information is accurate unlike some information you will find on the internet and various opinion sites.  When you get bored you can look up lots of things that you may find useful.  If I think of some more I will add them or post another blog article.

Wisconsin Circuit Court Access  Look up your friends and neighbors or use it to do a cheap (free) background check like the Crivitz School District does. Keep in mind it is only for Wisconsin residents.  It is not often up to date for some counties as I suspect the people responsible for updating the information put in their time and leave unlike people in the private working sector. They get to it when there is nothing else to do most likely. 

https://wcca.wicourts.gov/index.xsl

School District Government which is chapter 120 of Wisconsin State Law,   Substitutes published and certified under s. 35.18. June 1, 2016. This is how a school district government is required to be set up by the Wisconsin State Government.

http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/120.pdf

General School Operations Everything from the duties and powers of school boards; construction of statutes thru parental choice program for eligible school districts and other school districts. Items of interest include: Tests for alcohol use, policy on bullying, locker searches, 

http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/118

WIAA Website has everything and more than you might want to know about Wisconsin School Sports.  It even covers the requirements for coaching.  No mention of what WIAA stands for though.

http://www.wiaawi.org/Sports.aspx

Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations  It starts with Sovereignty, Jurisdiction and Civil Divisions of the State and last of the index is Construction of Statutes, Repeal of Existing Laws, Curative Acts and Miscellaneous Statutes.  This is a huge list of laws for everything and anything in Wisconsin. You have to go to the actual website to link to one area of interest to readers of this blog as it is on Public Instruction and includes:
 
115. State superintendent; general classifications and definitions; children with disabilities. (PDF: PDF)
116. Cooperative educational service agencies. (PDF: PDF)
117. School district reorganization. (PDF: PDF)
118. General school operations. (PDF: PDF)
119. First class city school system. (PDF: PDF)
120. School district government. (PDF: PDF)
121. School finance. (PDF: PDF)


http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/prefaces/toc

Recall Elected Officials information which includes school board. It has been used on two Crivitz School Board members successfully so far.  I wonder who is next?

http://www.gab.wi.gov/sites/default/files/publication/64/recall_of_local_elected_officials_manual_2015_06_p_58025.pdf

Wisconsin State law Library you can find most anything of a legal nature that you might want to look up.

http://wilawlibrary.gov/

The Truth According to Dave 

https://davekopp.wordpress.com/

Monday, May 30, 2016

Rearranging the chairs . . . . .

Over in the Marinette school district several administration positions will change July 1st.  Three people are retiring. The article in the Eagle Herald was a little difficult to follow but their very biased editorial cleared things up.  The positions people are retiring from are the Superintendent, Garfield Principal and the "activities director".  I don't know what an "activities director" does and I think they eliminated the position.  They have not hired anyone new for positions they have just traded chairs and buildings for positions with three people retiring.    

The old superintendent is retiring at age 58 after about 7 years as the boss.  58 seems real young to "retire". Wonder if he is headed to another job?  Double dipping on Marinette's tax dollars perhaps?

The new superintendent is a woman that steadily worked her way up thru their system with some time in Franklin, WI in an "administrative" capacity.  I'd guess if it was an important position she held that they would have told us so. Wonder why she left there in 2015?  She came back to Marinette to be director of teaching, learning and technology.  Wonder what that position does?  It does not sound very critical or important.

The former high school principal "steps down" to be the new "quality assurance director".   Why doesn't Crivitz have a "quality assurance director"?  Wonder if it pays more than principal?

The High School will get a recycled principal from the Menekaunee Sunrise Early Learning Center. So from little kids to big kids. Quite a big jump.

While another person will be moving from district improvement/assessment coordinator to principal of Garfield.  Another interesting change it seems.

It is sometimes great to promote from within for employee morale, still one has to wonder if this changing of chairs is in the best interests of the students or the tax payers? Sadly we won't know because they just did it without consulting the voters and parents or look at external job applicants evidently.

The Marinette district has a lot of non teaching positions it seems.    It does provide for more people to have at meetings and make decisions about spending tax payer dollars.  All these people seem to have gained most of their experience locally.  Many of them are also coaches for sports.  Most people learn from others that have been on the job for more years than they have.  No one to learn from it appears.  Look at how well that has worked for our plumber/school district president!  Lots of the experience he gets plumbing fits in with the school board no doubt.

In Crivitz the school board hires other districts school teachers and gives them their first experience in management.  A questionable practice in many people minds.

I almost forgot that way back on May 12th the Eagle Herald said Menominee Board of Education gave their superintendent an "effective" rating.  This means she passed and kept her well paying position but she was in the lower end of the school boards grading range again according to the newspaper.  I'd call that a C or C-.  The board was concerned about "communications and inaccurate information".  "They need to have information from the superintendent in a timely and accurate manner before decisions need to be made" the school board told her.  Hard to imagine that board members would want to know well ahead of time what the issues were and the facts.  They don't need to in Crivitz.  Not only that but they wanted to be involved with programs and staff being hired also.  Guess there is plenty of room for improvement for the current superintendent?  Wonder if the pay is tied to the evaluation?

Why doesn't the Crivitz School Board evaluate their administrator and put the results in the paper for all to read?  Maybe the evaluations are done in one of the many questionable closed meetings the board has?  Closed meetings other school district do not seem to have or perhaps need. Maybe they have less to hide than Crivitz does?

It is our kids, our school, our tax money and our votes that should be determining these things.  You should find the time to take in a school board meeting and see how little they communicate, discuss and decide. It might scare you given their budget.

Check out The Truth According to Dave  for his opinion on lots of local issues.

https://davekopp.wordpress.com