2+2 Does Not Equal 4 In The Level 3 Grievance Against Pam Vogel…. 1

The Region One Report broke the news of the Region One Board Of Education denying the Level 3 Grievance against Pam Vogel. In response to that news story, Marshall Miles received two responses from Region One Board Of Education members.

Comment one was from past Chairman, and current Kent member of the board Jonathan Moore, his condescending comment:Babble, babble.

Comment two from Sharon representative to the board Bob Whelan, his comment:

Bob Whelan’s response to my story: If one reviews all the documents presented, it is clear that:

1- The complainant did not present any evidence other than hearsay from ostensibly a witness that was not even in the room.

2- The witness, a person who ‘overheard’ the conversation did not even present an affidavit to validate the claim.

3 – Describing that someone is or was out on ‘medical leave’ is not a HIPAA violation – the attorney for the Union admitted as much in the hearing, and apparently there is nothing in John/Jane Doe’s personnel file that even speaks to the circumstances around the original request for medical leave, and John/Jane Doe makes it clear in their statement they have never had any direct interaction with Dr. Vogel.

4 – There is no language in the Teacher contract regarding reasons for the prosecution of grievances that had anything to do with this type of circumstance. The next possible step would be for the Union to bring the grievance to mediation/arbitration, but it is not likely that would change the outcome for all the reasons above. The decision of the Region One Board was unanimous to deny the grievance.
After reviewing the comments from Sharon Region One Board Of Education member Bob Whelan, I decided to contact the HVRFA and ask them about the points Mr. Whelan raised in response to my story on the Region One Board Of Education denying the Level 3 Grievance against Pam Vogel.

The Association provided me with the following response to Mr. Whelan’s post:

1) Mr. Whelan has no idea what is in the teacher’s personnel file as he does not have access to it.

2) Had he access to the teacher’s personnel file, Mr. Whelan would know that there exists a note, composed on physician’s letterhead, indicating that physician’s specialty and that leave was medically necessary.

3) While we cannot state definitively how Ms. Vogel might have known about the teacher’s leave, the fact that she discussed it indicates that she did know.

4) An affidavit was not presented because it would need to be signed; based on past behavior, it was CEA’s opinion that there was cause for concern about retaliation against the witness.

5) Dr. Vogel acknowledged that she spoke about the teacher’s leave with her consultant, claiming that what she said was not as specific. The Board appears to have ignored this fact.

In my eyes(Marshall Miles) this raises even more questions!

1) How does he (Mr.Whelan)know about the file if he does not have access to it?
2) Did he have access to it?
3) When Pam Vogel admitted that she spoke about the teacher’s leave,then that item should have opened an additional investigation by the board to find out exactly what she said, when she said it, and WHY she said it at all.

This should not become another series of events by a Region One
administration official that should be swept under the rug, and put into a dark room. It is the boards responsibility to oversee the administration…lets see some of that oversight.

As to Mr. Moore’s comments, the board Chairman should have Mr.Moore apologize for being rude, condescending, and not acting  in the best interests of the board.

With public questions arising about Assistant Superintendent Pam Vogel’s role and handling of the scheduling conflicts at H.V.R.H.S., it’s teachers and lack of transparancy with the public, we found this information particularly pertinent to the current administrative situation in Region One, and as we have been asked to inform the public of this ongoing process by the HVRFA, we are making this serious complaint public: Reply

On Wednesday evening, we received this email and attachments from the Housatonic Valley regional Faculty Association:

This evening the HVRFA met with the Region 1 BOE to present a Level 3 Grievance.  The grievance was filed on behalf of a teacher identified as Jane/John Doe, and based on the sensitive nature of the contents of this grievance, the teacher’s name and a course name that might be attached to that teacher was redacted.

 The grievance was based on a witness hearing Pam Vogel tell the scheduling consultant that “[Teacher’s name] is going to flip out if [course name] does not run. She/he has emotional issues, in fact she/he has had a leave for it before.”
The Association finds it important to share the materials that we presented in public session, and I am attaching them, on behalf of the HVRFA, here.  They include our initial statement of the grievance, the Superintendent’s Level 2 response and Association response, and an impact statement from the aggrieved.
We have learned that the BOE denied the Level 3 Grievance tonight from some members of the public who were on hand at the meeting before and after the executive session. So now it appears that it is up to the HVRFA to decide wether to take it to the next step..which would probably involve serious legal fees for the HVRFA and Region One.

Please see attachments provided to us.

YES:488 — NO:450 The Story Behind The Numbers Reply

488-450 The Region One Budget passes by 38 votes.

Here is the story behind the numbers.

It’s never a good thing when the public is pushed into voting NO on a budget to prove a point. Well, I dare say, that this year,at least the budget did not have to be defeated to prove that point.

And that point is….the new administration,before taking full control, has lost the support of darn near 50% of taxpayers, an ominous sign.

This was NEVER a vote on the budget. It was a no-confidence vote on the incoming administration and Region One Board Of Education. Before they even take full control of Region One, the incoming Vogel-Carter administration has lost the confidence of almost half of the voters in Region One.

A 48% disapproval rating! It is clear there will be no honeymoon.

And board members in Sharon, Falls Village, North Canaan and Kent have spoken…they do not like the way their representatives are acting in their behalf.Thats 4 of the six towns.

That is a disapproval rating of about 66% of the Region One Board.

The bar has now been set, and it is a high one for the new incoming administration and the Region One Board.

Enough is enough. Open up the process, include teachers, and keep the public better informed.Respond to taxpayers directly, and show concern and transparency when dealing with us all.

We deserve better from you.

This vote is not the end, to be honest, it is just the beginning.

We dare say Kent will now revisit the practice of “appointing” a Region One BOE member instead of “electing”.

We dare say voters in Sharon, Falls Village and North Canaan will expect better of their next board members.

And we dare say the Vogel-Carter administration is off to a very rocky start…months before they take their new positions.

The lessons learned from the people who fought for teachers, students and taxpayers will not be forgotten..as a matter of fact,they have only just begun.

We, the public,are now not only watching…but are involved.

And so far..we do not like what we see. We hope to see a change in attitude.


Region One Budget Vote Results

Salisbury 196 YES 60 NO

Sharon 68 YES 92 NO

Falls Village 33 YES 51 NO

North Canaan 60 YES 94 NO

Kent 50 YES 106 NO

Cornwall 81 YES 47 NO

TOTAL YES 488 NO 450

A NO VOTE on the budget May 2 could save us thousands of dollars in legal fees downthe road…. Reply

Lest anyone forget this story from March 7, 2017…..LEGAL ACTION AGAINST THE REGION ONE BOE IS POSSIBLE IF YOU VOTE YES ON THIS BUDGET. With your NO vote tomorrwo there will be time to see what schedule is being set for next year, We can use the NO VOTE as leverage to slow this process down, and include teachers in the process!

The investment now of a NO VOTE could save us thousands of dollars in legal fees.

From the Rpublican-American March 7, 2017

FALLS VILLAGE – The possibility of legal action has crept into the issue of the proposal to institute a modified 4 x 4 block schedule at Housatonic Valley Regional High School.
In a letter sent Monday by the school’s faculty association to the Region 1 school board, Elizabeth Foulds, association president, noted that she sent an email on Feb. 23 on behalf of the organization to Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain and all board members pertaining to the proposed schedule. It contained pertinent data and information members had gathered. She added that on several occasions, association members requested information and data regarding the schedule change, but nothing was provided. She said the group’s intent was not only to share information, but also to reaffirm its desire to work with the board, administrators and stakeholders to improve student achievement.

Foulds also wrote that one board member responded to the email, characterizing the association’s communication as an attempt to interfere with administrative issues and urging fellow board members to discuss the correspondence with the board’s attorney. She noted that the board member also threatened to call for board action at Monday’s meeting if Foulds attempted to communicate with the board on the association’s behalf. Foulds had read a letter at the Feb. 6 board meeting that listed many questions the faculty had about the scheduling plan.

Foulds countered that she has both a right and a duty to explain concerns of the membership to the board and administrators.

“Representatives from Connecticut Education Association’s legal department have advised us that, contrary to this board member’s response, it is not illegal for me in my role as president of the HVRFA to ask questions on behalf of the association, nor is it illegal for me to share information on the association’s behalf with the administration and the board,” Foulds wrote. “It is illegal, however, for any member of the Board of Education to threaten the association for acting within its statutorily protected rights. Suggesting that the board consult its attorney constitutes an attempt to threaten the association for engaging in lawful association activities. A board member responding in this manner interferes with the legal rights of the association to conduct its business and such interference is unacceptable.”

The letter adds, “Any further attempts to interfere with the legitimate function of the HVRFA will be met with the strongest possible response from the association. That is, the association will pursue any and all legal remedies available to it should there be continued attempts by any member of the Region 1 Board of Education to interfere with its legal rights and obligations.”

Opposition to budget isn’t about the money High school schedule big issue in Region 1 Reply

Pam Vogel, assistant superintendent of Region 1 schools. Republican-American Archive

FALLS VILLAGE – Some sentiment for rejecting the Region 1 school district’s 2017-18 budget in Tuesday’s referendum has surfaced.

Earlier this year, Assistant Superintendent Pamela Vogel proposed that a 4 x 4 block schedule be installed at the high school. It called for four 80-minute periods a day with full-year courses compressed into semesters. Eventually, that proposal was changed to a modified schedule that had 80-minute period days alternating with days of 40-minute periods.

Four years ago, it took seven tries to get a budget passed. At that time, opponents were concerned about the operations of the central office and repeatedly said money was not the reason they cast negative votes.

This year, parents and students attended packed meetings to express their concerns that block scheduling was being pushed through too quickly and that teachers, who had no professional development for such a change, had not been part of the decision. A “Stop the Block” blog also was established.

Why the Region One Budget MUST be defeated on Tuesday, May 2 Reply

we approach the Region One Budget vote on May 2, here are a few thoughts that came to us come from some students, teachers and parents, not only about the schedule, but the overall future of Region One. The identities of those who were willing to come forward will not be released.
“I am deeply concerned about the future of Region 1 and the educational system. As we approach the budget with no new schedule, the roads leading to a new schedule are slow as parents have actually spent little time discussing an actual schedule and the Leadership team even less”
” A request that parents and staff meet together so they can understand each other’s needs has not been fulfilled”
“The Assistant Superintendent did state “no 4×4″…but just one week later she introduced a 4×4 AB schedule. It is almost identical to a 4×4. Four classes a day although semester based classes were gone. She also stated the new schedule would be “very similar to the current schedule” although not exact due to needing I/E etc. The new schedule had 4 blocks, not 8. The new schedule did not rotate. It could not be further than the current schedule”
“I have made three inquiries on who the leadership team comprises of three separate times and as of now have had no answer”
To The Region One Report this is scary stuff. What do you think?
Now on to a related topic.  It is very apparent that here is a huge lack of communication within Region One between the Region One Board, The All Board Chairmen, and the administration. Here are just a couple of examples from the last two board meetings.
Example 1:At the budget meeting when the BOE was surprised at the new items being added to budget, and clearly unhappy..what happened? More miscommunication and more misunderstandings with Chair Andrea Downs saying that the BOE “thought” those items were included under professional development.It is hard to understand why didn’t they ask that at the meeting as it is clear those were new items.

Example 2: At the next meeting the $46,000 to pay for the NEASC training is out of the budget and will be paid for by grants. After inquires about the grant money taxpayers were told exact numbers were not known and taxpayers should email inquiries. Taxpayers also asked who the leadership team is.. and once gain are told that they do not have that information and email that request and they will be glad to provide. And yet the information requested was not provided. And after asking about the grants, the questions still not answered.
This is real..just watch the Region One BOE meetings on video.
Why are parents and staff on these schedule committees not allowed to communicate with one another during this process? Could it be they are being kept separate so the administration can tell each group what the administration wants them to hear? This administration has now created an even greater divide among faculty, students, parents, the BOE, and the administration itself. The Region One administration itself continually posts updates on the meetings.. but then, in reality, tells the people attending the meetings to not discuss what is being reviewed. The only views that are exchanged between the groups and the public are the administrations views of those meetings. The parent group and the leadership team are being kept separate, and the parent group and the leadership team, and the public are spoon fed information from an administration intent on total control.
There are now many more questions for the public to ask other than just the schedule. But with the budget vote Tuesday, May 2, it is our opinion that the budget be should be voted down for initially until the administration give a direct commitment to keep the same schedule in place, while transparently working with teachers, parents, students and the leadership team.
On Tuesday, May 2nd vote NO on the Region One budget, this is your only chance to pressure the administration and board into action on the many concerns the public has.

Please share with as many taxpayers as possible, lets use social media to turn out the NO vote on Tuesday, May 2.