Sunday, August 28, 2011

Nothing Ever Changes.....For The Good Anyway!

It's official, MVRCS is back in session and summer vacation is over. Yes, back to good ol MVRCS where nothing ever changes. Chris Finn, during his Orientation speech last week, very proudly stated this to incoming Kindergarten parents. To be exact, what he said was that MVRCS is still doing today what they did when they first opened their doors (except of course teacher turnover, which has changed drastically over the years). While the Administration may think that this is a positive thing, we find it disappointing and a bit sad, especially considering that they think this is a good thing. It makes it overly apparent to us just how uneducated the Administration and Board are in regards to best practices in education. Constant research is being done on what our children require to learn, child development, and various educational theories and practices. The fact that MVRCS is totally out of the loop and unwilling to explore what experts in the education field have found, should not be an embarrassment NOT something they brag about. Yes, direct instruction (i.e. rote and repetition) are no longer seen as highly effective or a best practice as that methodology fails to meet the educational and learning needs of ALL students. Of course since none of the Administration has ever worked in any other educational setting and/or do not truly have the credentials that our district schools would require, it should come as no surprise that the school refuses to employ varying approaches in education. Unfortunately, we do not feel as though this is something Chris Finn should be eager to brag about to incoming parents but apparently the school feels that educating the students that can learn through this method is sufficient and, for those students that don't, adios.
This brings us to his next, totally inappropriate but typical, MVRCS standard comment "This is how we do it here and if you don't like it, you can leave" attitude. First off, imagine a Superintendent, Principal or School Committee member making such a statement? They would probably be ousted faster than you could say Winn Dixie yet Chris Finn states it as though it were scripture. Yes, many parents chose MVRCS because they value their childs education BUT if they have any varying views, opinions, or thoughts as to the actual education their child receives, they have mistakenly thought that Kinnon would value their input. No, parents at MVRCS get to decide if their child enters the lottery and subsequently enroll there but the buck stops there! Parents are not given any say or input into how things are done. A parent has a concern about the group level their child is placed in for Reading or Math instruction, good luck getting insight as to how the determination was made or trying to get it changed. Kinnon and his following Administration make all the decisions and parents do not have any input. Again, no room for improvements or possibility of improving things, as remember, NOTHING CHANGES at MVRCS (yes, that includes the Board of Trustees who have all outlived their usefulness - especially Kinnon). Note to new incoming families, be very careful what you say to the Administration as you should know that they do not welcome varying opinions, input, suggestions, or parents standing up for their children. You have enrolled your child in the school and you must check your parental involvement/concern at the door and entrust your child into the hands of an Administration and Board that have questionable (if any) credentials/experience within child centered, innovative, and professionally appropriate educational settings.
We also found Chris Finns orientation speech to be filled with an incredible amount of propaganda while lacking the focus on the emotional needs incoming Kindergarten students. No talk of how parents can best help their child adjust to their first exposure to school (never mind the very structured environment), what children may go through, how the school can and is willing to assist parents through this milestone, or any other discussion regarding their child's development and adjustment to Kindergarten. This should come as no surprise seeing as the school chose not only to move the Kindergarteners to the Athletic facility but to do so after the start of the school year as it isn't finished yet. Heaven forbid they put off plans of relocating students until the facility is complete and has been up and running long enough to work out any issues or problems. Not only did they not take the emotional implications of relocating Kindergarteners to yet ANOTHER new environment, but they increased the number of classrooms for both K and 1st graders. Of course, the school was already bursting at the seems trying to accomodate the students they had yet the Board added 2 additional classrooms before ensuring the Athletic facility was going to be complete. We have to wonder what the law requires a classroom size be for a group of 25 or 30 children. We know that one of the Kindergarten classrooms is obviously too small a space for such a group (the one near the 'kitchen' area of the fishbowl building) yet MVRCS is using it for one class. The parents of incoming children had better hope that the the school does not run in to any further issues that may postpone the completion of the Athletic facility as the current facility is clearly no adequate to accomodate the number of students currently being housed there.
The reoccurring theme we see time and time again with the management of MVRCS is the constant disorganization and poor planning of the Board and Administration. Too often it is overly apparent that they are not all on the same page and/or do not fully understand or choose to ignore the laws and regulations that govern them. The transportation fee fiasco of last year is a clear indicator that they lack a clear understanding of their obligations and effective, professional, well-verse, informed leadership. After charging families for transportation (we won't even get into the linear v driven mileage issue or the use of a hub), they were informed that per their initial charter, they were not permitted to charge for transportation. Of course the jury is still out on whether they knew they couldn't charge and chose to ignore yet another inconvenient law or if they were just clueless as to the implications of their charter contract. In either case, just another example of poor leadership, ignorance, and mismanagement of our children's education. But hey, they require you to leave your child's education in their hands and trust them.


  1. We've had nothing but exceptional dealings with several teachers the first few days of school... Emails, phone calls, updates and help with the transition to school. It's been great.
    Too bad you are stuck in your misery. Once again, we are CHOOSING this school over the public school option. Why you spend your time trying to shut it down when your kids have left is beyond me...

  2. These posts get more ridiculous by the day. You're telling me you sign your kid up for a lottery, at a school that teaches DI, and the first thing you do when you show up is complain about DI? You should try sending your child to a spanish immersion school and telling them you don't want a foreign language taught.

    Let's finally come clean here... does anyone involved with this blog actually have children attending this school? We've been at this for over a year now and found out the only thing worth saving at the school is the crossing guard staff. Which of course is a good thing, because we all know a certain person, who shall go unnamed, that has trouble crossing the street!

  3. "Kinnon and his following Administration make all the decisions and parents do not have any input."
    First off, I doubt that the board decides placement, that would be the admin most likely. Why would the board worry about where Billy is placed. Parents ask all the time why their child is placed in a certain group and it is because of their performance in the previous year or their testing. I have found that a lot of parents get insulted if their child isn't in as high of a math group as they wanted...I have also seen these children struggle and do poorly when their parent's whining has gotten them moved. Parents need to have a little more faith in the teachers and discuss with the teach how to improve their child's performance, not try and get their child into higher placement by brute force.

    Whether you like the admin or board or not should be left out of the equation. Talk to your kid and talk to their teacher, work with them. If you are really unhappy, yes, leave. Students come to school with their parent's negative attitudes and it affects their performance. Don't complain to your student. TALK TO THE TEACHERS AND WORK WITH YOUR CHILD. This is the best education they can get.

  4. Gately the crook continues his bad behavior! Wonder if this is even legal in our public schools. Another great example of what little value he really bring to the school.------------------------------------------------------------------------

    From: Martin Gately
    Sent: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 8:30 AM
    To: Staff
    Subject: Knockout Pool

    It’s Baaack! The annual MVRCS Knockout Pool is back. For Mystic Valley rookies and those who are forgetful this is the deal: If you would like to play in the NFL Knockout Pool you need to contact me and tell me that you want in (not hard to do, click on the reply icon). The entry fee is $10.00 per player (small enough not to be a big deal if you lose, big enough to be pretty nice if you win, estimated winning prize $350 to be delivered around the holidays). The winner gets all of the money so we (we because we all think we are going to win, but actually only the winner) want as many people as possible to join.
    The way the game is played is as follows: Each week each player needs to pick the winner of one NFL game. If you pick a winner you get to move on to the next week. If your pick loses you are knocked out (hence the name). The rule that makes it hard is that you can only pick a team once per season so by November people are running out of good teams to pick.
    The winner is the last person standing after everyone else is knocked out. If there is more than one person left at the end of the regular season (New Years Day 2012) they split the money. Ties are not losses. A list of the games can be found here: .
    Picks are due to me every Friday by noon. Exception: those weeks when the NFL has Thursday night games then the picks are due Thursday at noon and Thanksgiving week when the picks are due Wednesday at noon as I will be busy watching Mystic Valley win its third straight Thanksgiving Game over Minuteman on Thanksgiving morning. Opening night is next Thursday September 9th so the first picks are due next Thursday at noon.
    Each Friday afternoon I will send out an Excel Spreadsheet with everyone’s picks so that you can root for against your friends. On Tuesdays, after all the games have been played, I will update everyone on the results along with a special personal message from internationally known TV/Movie star, Nelson Muntz to those who get knocked out. Throughout the year during my updates I will shamelessly and extensively plagiarize the work of Peter King (MMQB), Gregg Easterbrook (TMQ) and numerous other NFL writers and commentators.
    As always I will stress to all that joining the pool is a fun way to get to know your co-workers. Especially if you are new to the school and clueless about football but not really something to get into if you know what you are talking about and could actually win the thing
    Good luck to all! Especially me!!! BTW despite all the emails that I send out that make me look like I am an expert I somehow have never even come close to winning this thing or the March Madness pool.

    Martin Gately
    Public Relations Director
    Mystic Valley Regional Charter School
    781 324-1847
    781 315-2333 c

  5. Why do you send you kids here then? If you don't like it maybe you should send them to the public schools in your town.

  6. Wow.....the above posts don't have a clue....and FYI this is A PUBLIC SCHOOL IN MY TOWN.......

  7. Clearly there is an employee of the school writing negative comments here. How else would you have access to Martin Gately's "Knockout Pool" e-mail?

  8. Students read this blog as well.

  9. Where are you? It's over 2 months and no posts.