Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Superintendent announces school-district reorganization (Updated 2)

Updated 2011-04-05 23:55 with additional links.
Update 2011-04-06 14:52: Referred to Jo Posti answering some questions about the reorganization.

In an interesting change (shake-up?) at the school district, superintendent Dr. Timothy Steinhauer announced a reorganization of some top spots.

“These changes are designed to improve student learning, communication, coordination, and consistency throughout the District,” Dr. Steinhauer wrote.

Under what is being called the “first step” of the reorganization, there will be two changes:

One: “The reappointment of Dr. Deborah Allen in a new role as the Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education and the appointment of Dr. Ronald Davis as the Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education.”

Two: “By the start of the 2013–14 school year, all curriculum supervisor positions will be eliminated. Individuals currently holding these positions will be able to move into other positions within the District over the next two years.”

It’s not clear what the next steps of reorganization will be. For now, the superintendent is “asking for patience” and promises to have more information after the April 18, 2011, school-board meeting, at which the school board is expected to vote on the announced changes.

I wonder what’s coming up.

Update: On her blog, Center Court, school-board president Jo Posti has answered some questions about the reorganization. They are:
  • When will other positions impacted by the reorganization be announced?
  • Is this announcement a reaction to the District's current or future budget situation?
  • Will there be staffing changes within the teaching staff?
  • Why now?
The answers are not particularly direct or informative. Still, one thing did catch my eye:
Once the plan is fully implemented, there will be a significant savings to the District, ...

Also reporting on the reorganization:

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Facinating ! More to come, and certainly this will have future budget implications as well. In fact, the budget and Act 1 may be among the driving forces here.

Also, could not help noticing that, like most District correspondence, the letter has no date....is that the standard nowadays in the education field ? Times they is a-changing.

Bill Lewis

April 05, 2011 11:10 PM  
Blogger Matt C. Wilson said...

Is it just me or is Jo Posti's blog post pretty much a minor rewording of the exact same content as the letter?

April 06, 2011 12:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this change is needed why are we waiting two years to get it done?

John Ewing

April 06, 2011 12:59 AM  
Blogger Tom Moertel said...

Matt, I have to agree. But I don’t mind the rewording as much as I do the stuffing with marketing words. What ever happened to saying things clearly?

The train hasn’t entered Orwell territory yet, but that’s where the track ends.

April 06, 2011 1:01 AM  
Blogger E. T. Gillen said...

Bill Lewis,
I just posted the direct link on my blog. The letter isn't dated, but the document properties show that the file was created on 4/5/2011 at 4:28:52 PM.
Elaine Gillen

April 06, 2011 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All residents have a stake in what is going on here – property owners, renters, parents of students and those who do not have students in the district. I believe that, if the school board would be willing to say it like it is in view of the recent staggering cuts in state educational subsidies among the many other current economic variables affecting our district and other surrounding districts, many of us would quickly roll up our sleeves and offer whatever expertise is available to problem solve according to our educational mission.

Does this school board read the newspaper? Do they understand the reality that we face and also that other districts are beginning to grapple with the problem at hand?
What is the reasoning behind this recent reorganizational plan? We really do not know based on the information we have received so far.

The problem is that we simply CANNOT afford another $40 Million debt load for this high school project and yet the board behaves as if it is perfectly acceptable spending. It’s no wonder only three individuals showed up at the community forum on revenue opportunities for the district. Why should anyone spend time exploring such options when the elephant in the living room continues to be ignored?

To the board: Rather than proceed as if you know best and we are all half-baked in our analysis, simply admit that you are on an unaffordable spending path and those of us who agree with that assumption have something to offer and will undoubtedly get behind you to help figure this out.

-Charlotte Stephenson

April 06, 2011 10:57 PM  
Anonymous John Kendrick said...

Charlotte is completely correct. I feel that the decisions and actions of our Board are unbelievable!

I feel that the residents of our community should be outraged! In my opinion the residents would be justified to end the civil dialog and literally walk up to the table in the front of the room, slam their fist down in front of Posti or Remley and shout, “ENOUGH! WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH!”

I can’t believe that our community has tolerated this insanity! I think that the time has come for Mt Lebanon residents to rise, organize, and take control of what is left of Mt Lebanon!

April 07, 2011 1:03 PM  
Blogger E. T. Gillen said...

John Kendrick,
We tried that already. On April 12, 2010, I presented the 3,333 signatures and put them in front of Ed Kubit. I started off with this: "In the 1976 film, Network, Howard Beale (played by Peter Finch) yells, "I'm as mad as Hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" Mt. Lebanon is filled with residents just like Howard Beale.
I ended it with:
"This room is filled with people wearing blue and gold to show support for a better Mt. Lebanon. Standing before you dressed in blue and gold, Mr. Kubit, are 3,333 people who value education but are saying how dare you ram a bad plan down our throats. Like Howard Beale, we’ve reached our breaking point. Enough is enough."

I had the petitions wrapped in a blue and gold blanket. And where did that get us?

But, I am "moving on" to watch it all fall apart before our eyes.

Elaine Gillen

April 07, 2011 1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the Commonwealth Foundation, April 7, 2011:

". . . the private sector in Pennsylvania has lost 124,000 jobs since 2000, state and local governments added 39,000. The biggest increases were in the heavily unionized public schools that added nearly 33,000 jobs despite losing almost 27,000 students. In what industry other than government would you lose "customers" and still be adding employees?"

I expect the price of the high school project will force future consolidation(s) in our District.Good Luck to the school board members (and parent volunteers) who have to recommend and explain the consolidation(s).

For now, the high school project is a done deal except for the alternate deletes, the tax increases, the reassessment of homes, and the future consolidation(s).

John Ewing

April 07, 2011 5:42 PM  
Anonymous John Kendrick said...

John Ewing is completely correct.

In fact, I'd say that he may be making a case to make a strategic investment in commerical real estate in Castle Shannon.

Doesn't Remley own commerical real estate in Castle Shannon?

Very interesting!

April 07, 2011 6:29 PM  

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