Saturday, December 11, 2010

In the Spirit of the Holiday Season....

We want to thank those teachers and staff (both past and present) who have gone above and beyond in providing a safe, fair, adequate, and superior educational setting for our children. It is unfortunate that many of these same individuals were not mentioned in the list of the top 50 employees of the school (although some were) as we feel that many are deserving. In particular we'd like to mention the nursing and facility staff (again, those folks NOT mentioned on the list) whose contributions and efforts are often overlooked. We also think that the many teaching assistants who contribute to the learning of our children should also not be overlooked. Also, the efforts and patience of Greg Turner is also worth mentioning as his office is typically filled to capacity with students. And, while not typically a part of the school staff, we must mention the diligence and dedication of the numerous crossing guards who must endure the elements to ensure that our children are able to reach their school safely and in one piece. We ask that you remember these folks during this holiday season as they are the individuals who are dedicated, patient, and essential to our school yet often go unnoticed and unappreciated. Hats off to all of them!


  1. It is Craig Turner you are too concerned with the name Greg

  2. Dear Santa,

    I've been extraordinarily good this year, If I could ask for just one thing it would be for these bloggers to come to their senses and realize the charter school is much better than they make it out to be. I know every town needs to have a grinch, but if you could, can you try to give these people an awareness of the more important things in this world.

    Thanks! :)

  3. Was your child forced outside for recess today? Not all the children are dressed for spending time outside if they are dropped off and picked up. I don't see how anyone could do this to these children. Whose idea was it anyway? These are the people in charge I have a problem with.

    Thank you to the authors of this blog! Otherwise no one would know what actually goes on in the school. The school's idea is to divide and conquer. Don't let them discourage you!

  4. Dear Santa,
    Please forgive :) for their comments regarding our efforts. We, like you, are all about the children and while :) does not approve of our efforts, reasoning, or intentions we know that you understand and support us. We do know that the charter school has some very strong points but that change is needed to ensure all of the children are adequately and sufficiently educated. We too wish that we could be focusing more of our efforts on helping those less fortunate but since we believe that a solid education should come first and foremost, we have chosen to advocate for the children who are not receiving an adequate education within our school as a result of the corruption. We can understand how this may upset those individuals who are benefiting from this corruption and/or who do not have children being denied an adequate education but if you could try to instill a sense of empathy and compassion into :) and their friends, our holiday wish would be answered. If you could try to show :) what honesty, integrity, and morals look like, we would be forever grateful. In the spirit of the season, thank you.

  5. If you had honesty, integrity and morals you would not have created this sham of a blog to begin with!

  6. I found this note under my tree this morning and thought It would be helpful.

    Dear Anonymous,

    I'm very sorry I made it so cold today and forgot to give you the common sense to put a coat on your child in the middle of the winter. I've looked into the schedule for the next 100 years and will make sure the entire world revolves around you and your family during this time. Again sorry for the confusion.

  7. To :P @ December 15, 9:44PM
    If Neil Kinnon, the Board, Administration and friends and family members of Neil Kinnon had honesty, integrity and morals, we wouldn't have had to created this communication vehicle.

  8. Andrew25 -
    Come on, be nice! It is cold out there and some districts actually have guidelines as to when to/not to send kids out for recess. Someone mentioned that last week the kids were out in the rain? Who knows but if parents had guidelines, they could make better decisions.
    BTW, bright blue baseball hat?

  9. As long as it is over 32 degrees (which it was), it is acceptable to send children out for short periods of time.

  10. I would like to say that the concert last night was just fabulous. The kids all looked cute, their voices were loud and the songs were perfect. Clearly they had been practicing and the music teacher and classroom teachers did a great job.

    I am horrified/appalled/dismayed at the audience behavior. I have never in my life seen such rude behavior at a school concert. The audience was as loud as the kids on the stage. People were walking around, talking and just ignoring the concert. My kids were looking at me and saying "Why are people talking? Aren't you supposed to be quiet? I can't hear" It was just astonishing.... Wake up people, we are supposed to be setting an example to our children.

  11. To Anonmymous @ December 16th 8:00AM

    Yes, welcome to the MVRCS concert. The first year was the hardest and I'm sad to say, it just gets worse each year. Dr. McCleary tried his first few years to speak before the concert started and ask parents to stay seated and enjoy the concert but as you can see, he has given up. It was disturbing to see people getting up and walking out as he tried to compliment the students and end the concert.

  12. :): For the record, the temperature yesterday was 23 degrees and today although it is 32 degrees, with the windchill it feels like 21 degrees. Why don't you go stand outside for 20-30mins. and see how you feel? Most children don't have the layer of fat or sense adults would have to endure that kind of cold. What if they don't want to go out? You can bet they are forced to do what they are told regardless of how little sense it makes. What does that teach children?

  13. Maybe next year they can be bussed down to the new facility? Oh right, that is less than two miles so they would have to walk all the way down there and then walk back because that would leave no time for recess. Great idea having a new place so far away! Worth every penny of the $12mil we're sinking into just building it. How much will it cost to maintain? And the kids will still have a dump for a school to go to 200 days a year!

  14. Just curious. Do the Kinnon's still rope off the first few rows of seats for all of their friends and family to view the concert?

  15. By Lydie Rashchka-supervisor and teacher mentor in the Yonkers public school system

    As New York City emerges from a spring cold snap, parents unwrapping their children from winter clothes may find something unexpected underneath: a new layer of fat. During this year’s long and frigid winter, many of the city’s public elementary schools canceled outdoor recess, instead keeping students inside where they watched videos (and snacked). At my son’s school in Manhattan, children stayed indoors—where they killed time in the gymnasium—through much of April, too, because of the rain. Wouldn’t these children have been better off playing outside?

    The standard justification is that students tend to get sick on cold weather. But there’s little evidence that cold weather itself causes illness (unless you’re talking about frostbite or hypothermia, which can be prevented with proper attire). It’s exposure to sick people in cramped quarters (like school classrooms) that’s bad for your health. Not to mention what sitting indoors all day does to your metabolism; no wonder childhood obesity is on the rise. And, of course, there are the behavioral problems: children get antsy without fresh air.

    Yet many of the city’s school principles canceled outdoor recess when the temperatures merely hit the freezing point, or it there is the slightest precipitation. What happened to that famous New Year bravado? The city’s Department of Education does not have a formal regulation on when to cancel outdoor recess, leaving it up to individual districts and schools, but the unstated policy stands in stark contrast to the rules of schools around the country, particularly in places where extreme cold is a fact of life. In parts of North Dakota, the cut-off temperature for outdoor recess is zero; in Anchorage, it’s minus 10; and in one Wisconsin district it’s a wind-chill factor of minus 15. The Anchorage school district puts its philosophy succinctly: “Any child well enough to come to school is generally well enough to go outside.”

    So why are New York public school students treated so delicately? The decision to go outside isn’t simply based on the weather. When I taught elementary school several years ago, the decision was affected by pressure from teachers and their aids who themselves didn’t like going out in cold weather or sorting out schoolyard fights, and parents who were constantly telling us—despite the science—that their children were getting sick from the cold.

    Schools shouldn’t be making these decisions based on such vagaries. Why doesn’t the city’s Department of Education set up a policy that makes outdoor recess mandatory based on a reasonable standard—say, when the temperature hits 10 degrees or it’s raining heavily? Though the cold weather may be on its way out, it isn’t going away.

    There are many articles online indicating the benefits of going outside in cold that the schools policy is probably correct regarding outdoor recess. I would just assume that the students are going outside everyday and dress warm.

  16. Lydia: Nice article yet I don't believe the reason parents don't want their child to out is simply because they may get sick. They may not want them to go out because it is TOO COLD! No, I don't want my child out in the rain because the school hasn't provided an indoor recreational space. We don't live in Anchorage or N. Dakota so the days we have unbearable cold are way less than them. My guess is they also have indoor recreational facilities.

    The more I see of this school, the more I feel like it is run by a wannabe Naval Academy graduate. Some things are fine for discipline but there is a line the school crosses where it goes amok. That's where the cult atmosphere kicks in.

    BTW: Lydia should not rely upon spell check. As a teacher she should know better; she must not have achieved the level of "principal".

  17. As for the recess discussions, the real issues are that number one the school doesn't have a clear policy for parents to go by. One parent may send their child in thinking that 25 is too cold for kids to be outside and not dress them appropriately. If the school stated that our policy is xyz then parents could plan accordingly (and be held accountable).
    The second issue here is that although the new recess plan is better than previous years, the kids still don't have a ton of space to run around and play in. Also, because they don't truly have indoor gym or play area, they don't have an alternative. If the facility for the lower grades were given priority over an athletic center, the problem may have been resolved but no playground that gives kids an incentive to be outside and no gym just adds to the big issue.