Posts

Showing posts from April, 2014

The Turner Report: Joplin School Board race opens with scandal, slumber party

The Turner Report: Joplin School Board race opens with scandal, slumber party

Lee's Summit does something similar, but they don't spend the night.  They all sit in one car.  I guess Joplin wins because at least their candidates are actually in line when the doors open. 

Details are not clear about exactly who attended this slumber party, which was held at the Administration Building at 32nd and Duquesne, only that select people were invited. Filing for the Joplin R-8 Board of Education officially began at 8 a.m. this morning when the doors were unlocked. For the first time, some board candidates were allowed to circumvent the rules.

Board President Jeff Flowers indicated that he arrived at 8 p.m. the previous night, using his own key to enter the building..

According to her Facebook page, by the time former Irving Elementary Principal Debbie Fort showed up at the building at 3:30 a.m. to wait in line, she received an unexpected greeting.

I arrived at the Board of Education at 3:30 …

The Turner Report: Links you should look at before voting for Joplin R-8 Board of Education

The Turner Report: Links you should look at before voting for Joplin R-8 Board of Education



This reminds me of the things that they do in Lee's Summit when you are running for school board.  I guess that this is the norm in Missouri.  This is just part of the post.  Please read it all.



For those who are interested in more informationbefore casting their ballots for Joplin R-8 Board ofEducation this week, here are some Turner Report links that provide more information and a brief description of each link.

The photo shows how the ballot will appear. As I have noted numerous times over the past several weeks, the reason the top four names are listed as they are is because of the infamous "slumber party" the evening before the first filing date.

Joplin School Board Race Opens with Scandal, Slumber Party

Candidate forums are not always worth the time they take to watch. The R-8 Candidate Forum, held Monday, March 24, in the Corley Auditorium at Missouri Southern State Universitywa…

Background checks mandatory for Missouri teachers, how extensive depends on the district - KSHB.com

Background checks mandatory for Missouri teachers, how extensive depends on the district - KSHB.com



KANSAS CITY, Mo. - School districts in Missouri are required to perform background checks on everyone who works there, however, how extensive the searches are depends on the district. "There is no national background check if you want to do a background check,” private investigator Ron Rugen said. “If you want to do a background check on someone for criminal and civil and other matters, you have to go state by state to get those done." Lisa Cummings helps vet everyone who works for the Belton School District.  “You have to do them (background checks),” she said, “You have to do them immediately. I mean, it’s the safety of our kids.” Districts are required to take fingerprints from applicants as well as perform a criminal background check through the Missouri Highway Patrol and FBI databases. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education also works as an oversight. Personnel t…

Letter To The Editor Mark Ousnamer - Lee's Summit Tribune - Lee's Summit News

Letter To The Editor Mark Ousnamer - Lee's Summit Tribune - Lee's Summit News



I would like to thank the voters of the R7 School District for getting out and participating in this election. I appreciate your support and feedback, opinions and passion for the topics discussed the last few months as well as your votes.
Although I was not elected to the R7 School Board I will continue to use my business background and expertise to ensure accountability and consistency in the operations of the R7 School District. 
Mark Ousnamer

NJ School Districts Accused of Retaliation Against Parents.mov - YouTube

Local School Boards Should be Abolished | Missouri Education Watchdog

Local School Boards Should be Abolished | Missouri Education Watchdog



I’m all for local educational control.  Authentic local control.  We do not have authentic school board control in Missouri and I wager than many school districts in other states don’t have local control either.  School districts must adhere to federal and state mandates and autonomy is eradicated and discouraged for local school boards.  An entity to watch and research in Missouri and your state is your state school board association, a private association which uses tax dollars for its existence.  You might find (as we are discovering in Missouri) that these associations do not protect taxpayers, but rather, they assume control that is not granted to them but is wielded over school board members. Missouri school board members must undergo training to understand what their duties are and most boards look to the Missouri State Board Association (MSBA) for this information.  Increasingly it seems as if MSBA is writing …

Missouri schools are missing chance to enter federal Green Ribbon program : Stltoday

Missouri schools are missing chance to enter federal Green Ribbon program : Stltoday



According to one source, DESE claimed it lacked the resources to participate, despite the contest only requiring DESE to nominate applications. The award carries with it no monetary value, and as such, would cost the taxpayers nothing! More frustrating for Missouri schools, a cohort of at least five organizations, including the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the Missouri Botanical Gardens, the St. Louis chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council and the Missouri Environmental Educational Association, volunteered the necessary manpower to organize the contest, educate schools on the application process, collect and review applications and suggest to DESE the nominations they felt should be passed on to the federal competition. You would think that with our stellar 41st place in Education Week’s 2013 national school rankings, DESE would do anything to bri…

Victory: Student Charged After Recording His Own Bullies Will No Longer Have Case Pursued By District Attorney | Ben Swann Truth In Media

Victory: Student Charged After Recording His Own Bullies Will No Longer Have Case Pursued By District Attorney | Ben Swann Truth In Media



Our special education director threatened a family that if they brought a tape recorder to an IEP meeting he would cancel it.  In Missouri you can secretly tape record meetings.  



10 days after Benswann.com was the first media in the nation to report the case of Christian Stanfield, the 15 year old Pennsylvania sophomore who was convicted of disorderly conduct for recording bullies, we have now learned of a new twist in the case. As we were first to report, Stanfield used his school approved iPad to record a 7 minute incident where bullies mocked and used incredibly vulgar language to berate him during a special education math class. Stanfield says this kind of bullying has gone on throughout the entire school year and made the recording to prove to his mother that the bullying was truly happening. CThe 15 year-old presented that audio recording to his…

Student In Wheelchair Barred From Field Trip Because School Couldn't Drive Him

Student In Wheelchair Barred From Field Trip Because School Couldn't Drive Him



A Tennessee elementary school student who uses a wheelchair was unable to attend a class trip because, the school said, no one could be found to drive a wheelchair-accessible van. School officials have apologized for the incident, but the boy's family members have taken matters into their own hands. Holden Crawley, 9, attends class part time at Stone Elementary School in Cumberland County. He has been unable to walk or speak since suffering brain injuries in a severe car crash two years ago, and he reportedly doesn't get many opportunities for outings. His family was thrilled for him to go on a class trip to a zoo last week, but they learned right before the trip that he would have to stay behind because there was no one available who could operate a wheelchair-accessible bus, reports local outlet WATE-TV. "We were very excited about this field trip. His grandpa took off work. His 5-year-old s…

5th Grade Boy Seriously Injured During School Hours - WSET.com - ABC13

5th Grade Boy Seriously Injured During School Hours - WSET.com - ABC13



Pittsylvania Co., VA - Witnesses say a fifth grade Pittsylvania County boy got very serious injuries in a fight at his school, Twin Springs Elementary this week.  Damian Bowen suffered from a bi-lateral nose fracture, a cheek bone fracture, a possible concussion, and will have to undergo surgery. Damian's mother could not go on camera but she's heartbroken by her son's condition.
Within just a couple of days, the Facebook page 'Justice For Damian' snowballed into a community-wide conversation. Its purpose is to bring awareness to what happened to 11-year-old Damian Bowen.
"There's 15,000 different stories," said Lorie Rivero, friend of the family.
Rivero says she can only tell the version she heard from her son who is in Damian's class. She says he told her Damian and another fifth grader exchanged words.
"[Then] Damian was hit, fell back, hit a desk, then something about a book…

Feds To School: Retaliation In IEP Process Not OK - Disability Scoop

Feds To School: Retaliation In IEP Process Not OK - Disability Scoop



The San Carlos School District in San Carlos, Calif. retaliated against the parents of a child with special needs by making allegations that resulted in a sheriff’s deputy visiting their house, a letter sent to the family by the U.S. Department of Education concludes. The March 6 letter was sent in response to a complaint the parents submitted last year after a district official contacted the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office in October 2012 and claimed the child’s father secretly taped a meeting with district educators. The name of the family was blacked out from a copy of the letter obtained by The Daily News. Although the parents weren’t charged with any crimes, the allegation of criminal behavior, the deputy’s visit and the veiled possibility of arrest and prosecution “are all sufficiently adverse since one or all of them would be reasonably likely to deter a parent from advocating on behalf of their child,” the fed…

Feds Impose Stiffer ADA Penalties - Disability Scoop

Feds Impose Stiffer ADA Penalties - Disability Scoop



For the first time in more than a decade, the fines that the federal government can impose for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act are set to rise. The U.S. Department of Justice said it will increase the maximum civil penalty to $75,000 for violations of ADA provisions requiring restaurants, movie theaters, schools and other businesses open to the public to be accessible and accommodate people with disabilities. Previously, the maximum was $55,000. For any subsequent offenses, the fine will jump to $150,000 from a prior cap of $110,000, federal officials said. The new penalties will apply to violations that occur after April 27. The increases were announced in a final rule published in late March in the Federal Register and account for changes in inflation since the penalty figures were last set in 1999.

CAC and What It Doesn't Do

CAC Mission StatementThe CAC mission is to facilitate communication, advise and partner with the R-7 Board of Education, Superintendent and community to ensure a successful and innovative school system that maximizes each student’s potential.
http://cdn.lsr7.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Charter4.pdf


Taxpayer/Stakeholders are given no way to contact CAC members, other than Janice Phelan, Director of Communications for the District, which defeats the whole purpose of it being a Citizens' Advisory Committee because of her affiliation as an employee of the District. The District uses this group to say they meet CSIP Governance Goals but they will not provide patrons with a way to call or email these CAC Members.  The CAC participates in consensus voting on financial matters and part of their charge is to communicate District initiatives to the patrons.  Please open the Charter link and read Outcomes carefully.  

If you attend a CAC meeting, you are considered a visitor/guest and you …

Fox C-6 Watchdogs: New Bill Payments Report to Debut in May 2014 Board Packet

Fox C-6 Watchdogs: New Bill Payments Report to Debut in May 2014 Board Packet



Wouldn't it be great if our school district could be this open?  



New Bill Payments Report to Debut in May 2014 Board Packet I received an email from Fox C-6 Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lorenzo Rizzi on Wednesday April 14, 2014 in response to my Public Comments about the Bill Payments and Credit Card Statements I made at the April 2014 school board meeting. I also commented about the Bill Payments and Credit Card Statements at the at the February and March 2014 school board meetings as well.

Dr. Rizzi's email stated:
"I am writing to inform that beginning with the BOE May meeting, the payment of bills will show more detail which includes credit card purchases. These will be included in the board packets and posted on the website each month. I have scanned an example for your viewing."So, starting in May 2014, you will be able to download school board meeting packets and review the bill payments…

Schools Could Face Liability Under the MHRA for Student-on-Student Harassment | Business Insights | Husch Blackwell

Schools Could Face Liability Under the MHRA for Student-on-Student Harassment | Business Insights | Husch Blackwell



This is why we must not let our districts lobby to change the human rights law.



On April 17, 2012, the Missouri Court of Appeals issued its decision in Doe ex rel. Subia v. Kansas City, Missouri School District. There, the Court of Appeals recognized the existence of a cause of action against a school district for student-on-student sexual harassment. Doe, an elementary student, alleged he reported sexual harassment and assault by another male student to school administrators, who allegedly allowed the perpetrator to use the bathroom -- where the harassment and assault were alleged to have occurred -- at the same time as Doe. As a result, Doe alleged the harassment and assault continued. Doe filed a Charge of Discrimination against the district, alleging its inaction deprived him of the full, free and equal use of a public accommodation in violation of the Missouri Human…