Friday, January 24, 2014

UPDATE to this morning's Breaking News regarding STRIKE SIGNS at HMS


This morning we were alerted that SERVPRO was on strike.  SERVPRO picketing signs were up at HMS. No notice had gone out to D181 parents from the D181 Administration, who we assumed already knew about the signs.  We asked what this would mean for the date that HMS will reopen and urged the Administration to send the community, parents, teachers and staff an email update.

Dr. Schuster sent out the following email to D181 parents at 9:31 a.m.:

"January 24, 2013

Dear District 181 Community,

Our second day of split sessions is underway. Student attendance remains high, with 95.2% of the CHMS students present this morning. We are working to resolve traffic and bus issues and are grateful to the Clarendon Hills Police Department for their continued assistance in guiding cars at drop-off and pick-up. 

You may have noticed that a small picket line was present at HMS this morning. A labor group is picketing SERVPRO “for recognition.” The work at HMS has not been interrupted. This should in no way affect SERVPRO’s continued progress in eradicating the mold and preparing HMS for the return of our students and staff as soon as possible.

Please watch for a message later today with a more comprehensive update on their progress.

Dr. Renée Schuster

The signs posted at HMS stated that Laborer's Local Union 225 is On Strike For Recognition  because it does not have a contract with SERVPRO.  In addition, a giant rat was also prominently displayed near near the sidewalk of the school next to these signs.  (Note:  As of 2 p.m. the signs and rats had been removed.)

So while SERVPRO's work is continuing, with non Local Union 225 workers, the questions then become:
  • Who is SERVPRO using to do the work?
  • More importantly, when is the work going to be completed.
We hope Dr. Schuster does send out a "comprehensive" update today regarding the progress of the mold remediation, and informs the students, teachers, staff and parents whether the cleanup and testing will be completed on time. On time would be the date that was represented at the emergency meetings earlier this week.  First, on Monday night the Board was told that the removal of baseboards and drywall, as well as the duct cleaning, would be completed by SERVPRO sometime this weekend, allowing for Integrity Environmental Services to enter the building and conduct more air quality and sample/bulk swab tests for mold.  The results and report would take up to 48 hours, after which if the building was cleared for re-occupancy, parents and staff would be allowed to tour the building before it reopened next Wednesday.  This assumed, of course, that nothing would go wrong.  Then on Tuesday, the Board was told that SERVPRO was ahead of schedule by one day.  No updates specifying a completion date have been issued by the administration since then.

It is our understanding that perhaps the teachers received notification yesterday that the building will remain closed until at least next Friday, due to the discovery of more mold and the required clean up.  We hope Dr. Schuster will tell parents today if there is any truth to this unconfirmed report.  If there is truth to it, then we hope she tells us why she would send an email out to parents last night that did not provide this same information.  After all, we expect her daily updates to provide everyone with the same and most current information.  If this information is not correct, then we hope for the sake of all middle school students in D181 that BOTH CHMS and HMS can return to full day schedules no later than next Wednesday, January 29.


Anonymous said...

Interesting... ServPro most likely was engaged in labor negotiations at the time of the emergency BOE meetings. Not sure why this was not disclosed.

By the way, I find this invaluable source of (for the most part) unbiased information. Light years ahead of with respect to fact disclosure in a timely manner or the laughable "rah, rah" doormat Hinsdalean. Kudos to you! You are doing a invaluable service.

"Sunlight is the best disinfectant”
-Justice Louis Brandeis

The Parents said...

Update: Schuster has emailed parents that SERVPRO is not on strike, the work continues and the picketing is only by a labor group "seeking recognition." Schuster also says she will update parents later on the progress of work at HMS. We have heard, although this is UNCONFIRMED at this time, that teachers were told YESTERDAY that work will NOT be completed before next Friday. If this turns out to be true, we ask why didn't she tell the parents the same thing in her email update last night?

Anonymous said...

Um, because D181 is really good at coming up with their own version of the truth. Schuster can mess with our children, parents and teachers, but Servepro's union won't let her get with it. Too bad our children don't have representation and support like the Servepro workers.

Anonymous said...

I know people will say its not Schuster's fault that ServPro is on strike, but she is responsible. Why? You plan and plan and plan because in the real world nothing every goes right. If you sit in Arizona and dont pay attention, when a crisis arises you are on the razor's edge, as we are.

and, let me add, I totally agree that the hms staff and teacher are dedicated and hard working. That is the source of a lot of the frustration and anger. We have a terrific school system run by incompetents.

Anonymous said...

Someone should file a Freedom of Information Act Request for all of Schuster's emails to the teachers and BOE dealing with the mold remediation at HMS. Might be only way to learn the truth of what she is saying.

Mr. Everett said...

@fileAnotherFOIA Someone should get at least a rudimentary understanding of what constitutes a legitimate request for information vs just being a jerk

Access to Public Records in Illinois | Digital Media Law Project

@Razor's Edge So it's just inertia that keeps teachers and staff excellent? By that logic we should just eliminate not only superintendent but also BOE, lets MERGE with with Westomont Unit District, or how about CPS, that ought to work well, don't ya think?

@TheParents It is UNCONFIRMED at this time that you are milking this crisis so that you can build a base of power and then, at some future point, back BOE candidates that you will endorse to do your bidding while avoiding any negative consequences of actually revealling your TRUE IDENTITY as a coward and scoundrel

Anonymous said...

Your concern for our children is touching "Mr. Everett."

I urge posters to ignore "Mr. Everett." He is trying to divide us and distract us. Obviously he is scared and threatened.

Please do not engage him.

The Parents said...

We just received a comment from someone called Anonymous claiming to identify by name one of the bloggers. We are not going to post it because the anonymity of all of us bloggers is intended to protect our children. Moreover, the person is incorrect.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Everett, looks like the bloggers were right. HMS will remain closed through at least next Friday per an email Schuster sent to parents this afternoon. When did the teachers find this out?

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if Mr. Everett could clarify for the parents.

I heard that kids were told yesterday that it would be at least through next Friday. Shouldn't the parents have been told?

Mr. Everett said...

What exactly would I be scared of?

"Don't engage him?" Is that like in Poltergeist? "Carrie Ann, Carrie Ann, don't go into the light, run, run from the light..."


I assume the teachers found out split schedule would run all next week the same time that community members received notice. Rumor mongering / speculation is the speciality of the house here, not in my world...

Anybody care to take that deannexation with me to the regional superintendents office? Heck I'd even support hooking up with Butler 53 too, they are hard are work on trying to find private donors to build an all new school. Makes the CHMS gym floor drive look positively penny ante. Where are the big baller of Hinsdale / Clarendon Hills when you need em?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Everett: You are wrong. Teachers knew before the parents. In fact MY child came home yesterday and told me that a teacher told the class that it looked like HMS would be closed through next Friday. Another teacher told the students this today. Parents did not get official word on this, or even the possibility of this, until after 3 p.m. today. Surely Dr. Schuster did not intend for teachers to tell students to tell parents, did she? That is not my idea of a daily update as she was directed to do by the Board last Monday night.

Now, you mention that speculation is the speciality of the house here. But not in your world. Are you even a District resident or parent? I don't need to know your full name, or what school your kids go to, I just want to know if you have really been following all the issues that have hit D181, not just with facilities, but with curriculum and lower standardized test scores, particularly in the Monroe area. Are you a realtor? Because if you are, you should be worried that all of these issues could deter people from moving into D181 and could lower property values. As a parent and homeowner who has contemplated moving my kids to another district to get out of the crazy world known as "learning for all," acceleration for all even students who clearly can't keep up and are having their self-esteem stripped away a little bit with each passing day, I worry what will happen if I hold off making this decision. Will it become harder to sell my house? As for your idea about linking up with Butler -- they aren't going to be stupid enough to join forces with the D181 administrators who are doing a disservice to our children. Just one parent's opinion. Nothing more, nothing less. (By the way, I love the teachers here. They are doing their best to implement all the "changes" ordered from on high, and of course, their concerns -- just like their mold/health concerns --are being ignored.)

Anonymous said...

Everett angry

Everett mad that he outed as using comment as base to stroke feelings of superiority to less introspective local rich people.

Everett proud he so much smarter and morally superior to all consumption focused locals

Everett special man trolling comment board

Everett should go back to basement and get life.

Mr. Everett said...

The thought of a self absorbed panic mongering fool leaving the district should be welcomed not feared -- D181 has more than enough "sky if falling types" that'll still be here. You won't be missed.

Equally humorous is the calls for all the anonymous posters to find out what I do for a living / if I have kids. What differnce does it make? I like D181 and want it to perform at the highest level, not make a spectacle of a crisis..,

As to the "decline" in test scores, as I already said the state mandated tests are not really designed to tease out fine distinctions in student performance. If any of you have actually read any of the questions you should be more angry about the insultingly poor quality of these tests and odds are it will get worse with the Common Core...

I do have concerns about how the math acceleration has been handled. Some of the supplemental materials are just awful. Teachers in a district like ours should never hand out stuff like that and if we had taken a more reasoned approach they would have better alternatives.

The time wasted calling for the platters filled with heads of adminstrators could be better spent finding better models of math curicula and trying to build support for that.

Anonymous said...

Unless the administrators are completely incompetent, I think they already know "better models of math curicula". It took me less than an hour to find many examples across the country where districts got rid of Everyday math and adopted another program -and test scores improved dramatically- (and it wasn't Investigations). Certainly to implement a different program is another story. I'd hope their experience in education and studies would help with that.

And honestly-I haven't seen any supplemental materials at all (but you could be referring to the 4th grade math experiment). The new Everyday Math materials that align to Common Core seem very, very similar. Another year wasted. What are they working on in the curriculum dept?