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.