Monday, March 3, 2014

"Many people think you (curriculum department) are delivering a great product.” Marty Turek, Board President of School District 181

Toward the end of the February 24, 2014 Board Meeting, school board president, Marty Turek, made the following statement after Kevin Russell, Co-Assistant Superintendent of Learning, shared the winter MAP results: "There are 4,000 kids in here. You can surmise there are over 4,000 parents, so it seems to me 40 showed up. It seems to me that a lot of people were pretty happy with it if they did not feel a need to come to get this explained. I think it is a testament that many people think you are delivering a great product, not perfect, but the majority are happy with the services you are giving." (Time stamp 3:34:00 of podcast)

We bloggers believe this an important statement for our readers and parents in the district to understand. The board, or at least the board president, is looking at the number of parents who are showing up to board meetings as a reflection of parents' satisfaction with the services that are being provided to our students.  We cannot blame any of the board members for taking this position, because they can only act on what they are told either by the district administration or the district parents.  We have more than 134,000 hits on this blog as of this posting.  We believe there is more dissatisfaction in the parent community than what the board is hearing, but that does not mean anything if the only voices the board hears are the same handful of parents who do consistently speak up at board meetings.  The board cannot react to anonymous postings on this blog. They must operate from the information that is shared with them directly. 

So, is Marty Turek correct?  Are there only 40 parents who are concerned about the direction the district is taking?  Are there only 40 parents who are not happy with the average to negative growth on the MAP test results their children are getting? Are there only 40 parents who are unhappy with the math program and the need for over 100 4th graders to receive tutoring on 4th-grade math skills?  Are there only 40 parents who are not satisfied with what their children are learning with the new reading and writing curriculums? Are there only 40 parents who are not satisfied with having to provide tutoring at their own expense instead of student needs being met in the classroom? Are there only 40 parents who are unhappy about the heterogeneous one-size-fits-all differentiated driven classrooms instead of targeted instructional services? We could continue, but we’re sure you get where we are going with this line of questioning.  

We have tried to provide a forum on this blog for dialog among parents and to get out the facts about what we see as issues in this district that we believe are having a negative effect on our children and the overall success of our district. Mr. Turek has shared his truth with the public and has now stated what we believe is truly the board's position.  If very few parents are attending or speaking out during board meetings, then there is nothing the board can do but assume the majority of parents are happy with the services their children are receiving. 

We informed our readers on our February 24 posting that they should not miss that evening’s board meeting because some important information was being shared: Dr. Moon's comments to the board and the MAP test winter results.  We know many of you are listening to the podcast or the live streaming audio of the meetings, but this is not making a difference. Either parents need to email or attend the board meetings and express their concerns so the board can include your voices in the future decisions they make, or they have no other choice but to follow the direction given to them by the administration.  We are at an important junction in this district, because with the hiring of a new superintendent, the board could give different directions for the district or they can continue on this same path.  We believe it is of the utmost importance that the board has the real story from the teachers and the parents and that they hear from them in enough numbers that there is no doubt about the direction we need to take. 

We know many parents believe they have spoken up and written letters and nothing has changed, and we share that frustration, but now is the time to either step up to the plate and be heard and let the board know what you expect for your children, or we will have no excuses for not accepting things as they now are.  We cannot expect the board to act without hearing many voices expressing concerns.  If your child is bored; if your child is frustrated with the accelerated pace of instruction; if you are providing tutoring for your child to keep up; if you are a teacher and are frustrated with what is expected of you, then all of these voices need to speak up now while there is still a chance to make changes.  If you cannot attend a board meeting, then we encourage you to write to the board.  The only way change will occur is for the board to believe parents are not happy with the services their children are receiving, because right now they believe you are all happy (with the exception of the 40 who showed up to the last board meeting). 

We do not believe we have had over 134,000 hits to this blog because only 40 people are unhappy, but we cannot make changes on our own. The only way change will occur is for all of us to be directly involved at the board level. Only six BOE meetings remain before the end of the school year. They need to hear from you; otherwise, from the lack of presence at the board meetings, we are telling them we are happy.  Are you happy? If not, then you must speak up for your child, for our district, and for our property values. There is no other way change will take place.

We welcome any comments, positive or negative, regarding the status and direction of D181.


Anonymous said...

Parents are being lulled into a false sense of security because Dr. Russell tells us all that "our students are meeting their goals". The thing the large majority of parents, and many teachers are not understanding is that our administration has set the goals so LOW, that our kids can't help but meet them. When given low standards to meet, the majority of people come away not realizing that anything better is possible.

Because Dr. Russell, Dr. Schneider, and Dr. Schuster are holding our children to the same standards as children who do not speak English, and whose parents have not completed high school, OF COURSE our children will meet those goals. Is this what is best for our children? Will this prepare them for high school, college, and jobs? When you compare our kids to children who probably have had 1/5 of the exposure to print, language and enrichment, then our children can't help but look good!

In response to the person on the previous post who thinks that Dr. Schuster and Dr. Russell seem like nice people, think again. I really don't think that sharing a microphone, greeting people in the hall by name, or madly scribbling notes at meetings means that the person is qualified or competent enough to run the curriculum in a school district.

I would be more interested in knowing how, or IF, they have responded to ANY of the parents who do speak at board meetings. And if they did speak to them, what ACTIONS did they take to address the major concerns? In my experience, and the experience of many of my neighbors, those people have done nothing. Yet my neighbors and I have ALL continued to volunteer (for free) and religiously pay our taxes, on time. Why are WE expected to WAIT for our schools to get it right? If the idea of "waiting" is applied equally to administrators AND children, then the administrator's paychecks would have been on on hold since last year.

Being "nice" is not enough when considering the qualifications of an administrator. Especially when we pay them over $200, 000 a year and pay for their $40,000 PhDs that will bump them higher up the pay scale, and make them more marketable for other districts.

Tired of Waiting

Anonymous said...

As a parent who regularly attends board meetings and has been called a "nay sayer", I couldn't agree more with this post. I am tired of parents seeking me out at school pick up and ranting and raving about the curriculum, but then being too busy to attend a board meeting or too scared to attach their name to an email. Parents need to stop hiding behind the few vocal parents and let their own voice be heard. Everyone is busy and no one likes to put their name out there, but everyone needs to step up to the plate. It is now or never. We have wasted too much time as it is. Our children cannot continue to suffer. Curriculum changes will only become a priority if mass amounts of parents demand it.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy. I have a 7th grader.

HMS Parent said...

To Anonymous: Are you happy with the curriculum? Which middle school does your child attend? Or are you happy you only have 2 more years to go before you can get out of D181? I have an HMS 8th grader and I am RELIEVED that she is about to graduate. If I had younger kids, there would be a For Sale sign on my lawn right now because I don't want my kids serving as guinea pigs!

Anonymous said...

I am glad the seventh grade parent is happy but I am a livid and frustrated fourth grade parent. Try living our nightmare for a day!

Anonymous said...

There are far fewer problems in the middle school, particularly if your child is not in ELA where some of the biggest changes have occurred (adding more students who would not have been in ELA previously). The difference between the upset and disruption at the elementary level and the middle school level is huge. I have children at both and I have been holding my breath for 2 years waiting for the admin. to start messing with, what has been for me and my students, a really good middle school experience. Good teachers (for the most part), tiered core classes with challenging and proven curriculum. Could it be improved upon? Sure. Does it need to completely overhauled ala Learning For All? No way. The silver lining in all of this is that the changes that were made at the elementary level have slowed down at the middle school level. Middle school parents with high school preparedness on their minds would never put up with a 2 year unproven trial like Learning for All and the failed 3rd grade math experiment.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and by the way, I asked 10 random parents this weekend if they were upset about the district supplied tutoring that is occurring in the fourth grade. Not one of them was aware that it was happening. Most parents still have no clue that this is a district-wide problem because they don't attend the meetings. And this topic will surely never be mentioned in any of the district's communications. Unfortunate but true.

jay_wick said...

Re: 7th Grader vs 4th Grader

While one may get cynical and say there few problems looming for my kid(s) the fact is nearly every parent has a substantial financial downside attached to the failures of the district.

This blog has already been visited by those that have chosen other communities because of the appearance of chaos that emanates from things like the recent facilities crisis and the despicable irresponsibility that allowed too abrupt a change in math acceleration and differentiated grouping.

One can shrug off these real issues as some of our BOE members try but when districts across the state are pouring resources into their classrooms to meet the challenge of Common Core the endgame will have our kids on the short end of a new measuring stick and home buyers will respond by shunning our costly towns for more results oriented districts. This is truly a "disruptive event" that could topple our district and sink home values.

Drive past Westmont Jr; High and see the sign that invites parents and students to a STEM night STEM Science. Technology. Engineering. Math. March 13 at Westmont Jr. High
Use google to find the TEACHER AUTHORED middle school math textbook in downstate Charleston that addresses Common Core requirements point-by-excruciating-point. Mr. Bright Pre-Algrebra

Look how neighboring Downers Grove D58 clearly articulates things like their 1:1 technology initiative or coordination of math with their sister high school D99 --

One to One Technology in District 58

Districts 58, 99 Collaborating On Math |Chicago Tribune a four-tiered approach for seventh and eighth graders: a regular track, an advanced track and two other tracks to give some students more time to master the concepts. .. "If they're being really successful and are able to jump, great. If they're not, that's great, too," Cremascoli said. "We have a path for everybody."

Does our district have the ability to stay ahead of the curve? Absolutely, but without the support of parents and community members that can see the results of too much "hands off" BOE inaction the key value component of our communities -- superior district schools, will be destroyed by people that seem more concerned with painting a picture that is at odds with reality than actually addressing the obvious problems that have been born during their term of service...

Anonymous said...

I am the parent of a sixth grader at HMS and I can tell you that I am not happy. My child's classes have been watered down so much that many kids, including my own, are bored stiff. And don't for a minute sit back and think the structure if tiers and ELA will stay in place. There are rumors circulating that ELA is about to be dissolved. The Learning 4 All is about to hit the middle schools. If I had any children in elementary grades, I would be long gone.

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised that there are parents in middle school who are happy with the education their children are receiving. The older kids have been grandfathered into the old system. What parents of older kids need to understand is that the current 4th grade students and younger are the children affected by the drastic changes in curriculum. Children in middle school right now have flexibility as far as correct placement in math, ELA, etc. Current 4th graders are all lumped into one level regardless of their cognitive ability. It's so hard to convey what has been done if your kids aren't going through it. Grade compacting (teaching 2 years of math in one year) and accelerating every student in an entire grade to the next grade level is unheard of in education. It's completely appropriate for gifted students, but not for an entire population of children. Basically ACE was dismantled and the district said that every child was gifted. And no matter how hard of a pill it is for some people to swallow, that’s just not reality-not even close. And now we have truly gifted children who are held back b/c they are lumped in with children who have no business being in an accelerated curriculum. And students who could benefit from a faster paced curriculum who aren’t getting the necessary instruction they need. And what has made matters worse is that somewhere along the line, these students have come to the conclusion that grade level is unacceptable. Most parents are either tutoring their children themselves, paying for outside tutors, or their children have been identified thru the district to receive tutoring after school. It’s the worst kind of failure by a public school system you could imagine. I try to explain it to my close friends who are in education-principal of a school in suburban Atlanta, teachers and administrators in Tennessee, teachers in NY, teachers in the Chicago suburban area and they can absolutely not believe it. No one can understand how a Board of Education for a public school district could allow something like this to happen. I don’t care what type of community we live in. This is a grave injustice to these children. It’s malpractice. And I’m surprised that parents are not seeking class action lawsuits.

Anonymous said...

I love how administrators take credit for the things that we parents have our kids do after school. Like Sylvan, Kumon, and after school tutoring! Or working with them ourselves. Laughable! And to the 7th grade happy parent - I would be happy too if my kids were almost out of this district!! Ignorance truly is bliss. Unfortunately, my kids are still in pre and elementary school, and will never have the same treatment that your child did.

To me, it seems like some of the parents who are so happy that their children were able to opt in really don't want to admit how much support they have had to give their own children JUST so they could keep up in the harder classes. Clearly, they keep this information to themselves to give out the impression that their children really are gifted, and that the selection process was wrong. However, if the selection program for accelerated children was really so wrong, why are some kids able to accelerate on their own without gobs of support? And do you really think this is better for your children? Have you any idea how many kids in middle school have drug and eating disorders? Or how many are cutting this or skin just so they can try to deal with the stress their parents out on them to "achieve". I admit the old gifted program had major problems, but don't blindly believe that this program is better.

Why do these parents think the "Nay Sayers" should just be quiet and dig our heads in the same like they are? Why don't they care that our regular kids are being forced to accelerate, and that quick learners are being forced to sit in class, waiting for the rest of the class to catch up. We need to tell teachers and principals that we want more differentiation for our kids. They are too young to speak up for themselves and blame themselves.

Why do parents have to work hard at supporting our kids, while the school shirks its responsibility to do so? And the teachers tutoring 25% of 4th graders are all getting paid to do so, they it really isn't that much of a sacrifice for them.

The only shame I see is these same parents complaining all the time in private, yet NEVER telling the teachers or principal about it. And that they don't support their fellow parents and children's friends. If these parents truly cared about kids other than their own, or had REAL faith in the L4A, they would stop tutoring and prepping their kids! These "happy" parents want to hear all the goings on in the district simply to give their own children a leg up over the parents who have no idea. Or, to give their kids a leg up from the children who can't afford private tutoring. Really sad.
Im glad that all kids can opt in, but certain parent's insistence that our district isn't really that bad is a big cop out, and detrimental to the majority of kids in our schools, as well as our whole community (the property values being the least important of the negatively impacted ). "Let the educators be educators" will never work if our educators/administrators are behaving like babysitters. If the Department of Learning administrators want to act like babysitters or camp counselors, we should only be paying them $13/hour. And we don't need so many of them. I would rather have more qualified teachers any day.

Anonymous said...

Does put too much stock into 130,000 pageviews over what, the past 12 months? Thats not a big number. If one person reads 3 articles, that's 3 page views, if you click back on an article to see updated comments, thats another page view. A better metric would be uniques tied to a period of time.

I'm not saying this downplay the blog, I'm just saying you don't want to rest on your laurels and assume people are reading this based on that data.

Anonymous said...

Ok Marty or Glen.

Anonymous said...

At least this blog gets more hits than Schuster's ever did before she took it down after only a few posts.....

Anonymous said...

See, I clicked on the article and read it. Thats a pageview, I clicked the comment link, thats a pageview, posted a comment and it redirected me back to the page...another page view. You folks read and responded to my comment, another 4 page views.

So right there was 7 page views. The numbers grow pretty fast.

HMS Mom said...

Do you want to opine on any if the substantive issues? If not please go away.

Anonymous said...

Without naming names, don't a couple BOE members have 4th graders? Seems absurd that they haven't wanted to discuss the L4A at meetings since they must have 1st hand knowledge of how it's affecting the kids.

Anonymous said...

Re: Elected officials indifference to the harm their actions / inaction bring upon their own children

Folks this is ILLINOIS --

Judge hears plea from Ex-Gov's daughter | Chicago Tribune

Maybe it has to do with the ego and narcissism of the whole endeavor -- elected office has strange effects on some people:

From "Father on the Year" to "Father Unknown"

Anonymous said...

Could it be possible that parents secretly believe in acceleration for all as a status symbol of wonder for their children? Why else would parents so willingly provide tutoring at $65/hr to prop up the L4A plan? If the majority of parents were against this plan, they would be shouting through the rooftops, right? I know a few of my fellow parents believe it's good for their little darlings to be tutored and accelerated, even though their kids are not ready. Tutoring occurs even during the summer for that leg up. I guess this is the reality of 181, like it or not.

Anonymous said...

If that is the D181 reality it is very sad. And all the more reason why I would want to move my kids out of district if I had some in the district. I am just a community member following this blog. My kids already came and went through this district. I did not have to tutor them. They were appropriately placed into a variety of tiers all across the spectrum. That was good enough for them, it was good enough for me and it should be good enough for any parent who wants their child to enjoy their childhood and love their education.

Anonymous said...

L4A is not just about accelerating. It also waters down the curriculum for the top tier of students. For students who would benefit from increased acceleration, they have been harmed because this program has been so badly implemented by the administration. And the bottom tier is struggling to keep up with a curriculum they are not cognitively ready for. This one size fits all approach truly is learning for none - and that is what matters, not how many adults attend a meeting or how many adults like the ego aspect of it.

Gary Tietelbaum said...

ISAT Boycott ?

The district risks losing out on federal funding if less than 95 percent of students take the ISAT or if too many schools fail to meet the federal benchmark, called Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) – this is the point of leverage to force the board and administration’s stonewalling and force them out.

Cassie Cresswell, a leader with the group More than a Score, said it is now time for parents to stand with the Saucedo teachers and any others who refuse to administer the test.

Last year, at a Seattle high school, teachers made a unified group decision NOT to give a mandated test.
National opponents of standardized testing applauded the decision adding it sends a strong and decisive signal to school administrators across the country.

At Saucedo Scholastic Academy - a high-achieving CPS magnet school – almost 40 percent of their students already opting out of the ISAT – Now teachers have taken the bold step last Tuesday 2/18/2014 of voting to refuse to administer it.

Sarah Chambers, a special education teacher at Saucedo, says that teachers were emboldened by parents and the student council, which voted unanimously against taking the ISAT. She said that all the 3rd through 8th-grade teachers voted to participate in the boycott.
“Our students are tested and tested,” she said on Tuesday, just hours after the vote. “They cry over the test. They get nervous over the test.”

Full story at

jay_wick said...


The political motivations behind the feuds inside Chicago between advocates of charter schools and the forces of organized labor really don't have much relevancy out here where nearly no state or federal funds are used to support education.

Interesting article though...

Anonymous said...

Actually, the Federal funding AYP requirements are linked to Title 1 Funding, which D181 does receive - although probably not a significant amount.

The more significant impact would be on the District's ability to point to high ISAT scores and say L4All is working if the higher achieving students do not participate. That would be a better argument a few years down the line, however, because the District will be able to respond that this year's ISAT is the first to be totally Common Core aligned with higher expectations to reach the Meets or Exceeds level and that was why scores dropped.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you are right! We should actively make an effort to all inform more of our friends and neighbors about this blog. If our Board of Education doesn't want to listen to us, we could always tell the media, our friends, and neighbors.

Who does Turek think he is, God? He seems to think that he is omnipotent, and all knowing. Does he really believe that he can read the minds of all of the parents who don't go to meetings or speak up? I have heard that he has political aspirations, too. Yikes!

Gery Tietelbaum said...

Thanks Jay - appreciate the opportunity to learn - as painful and embarrassing as it can be at times - learning is always worth the price - Gary

Anonymous said...

Gary, thank you for bringing this up (don't be embarrassed!!) and Jay thank you for pointing that out. I agree with the anonymous poster that said the higher achieving student's ISAT scores would be used to further the LFA agenda. And that would be grounds to boycott!!

Martha Guerlacher said...

Winnetka Board Comp - Anyone ever check out the board composition of Winnetka District 36 at

This is why we're becoming known as a community of "short bus" people

Anonymous said...

I agree with the person who posted that some parents secretly want their children to be accelerated for their own ego and that parents push their kids even though they aren’t capable/ready. It’s very sad that parents in this community have this mentality because pushing and pressuring your children only hurts your children and keeps them from carving out their own path and becoming the people they are meant to be. Everybody has their own value system and I’m not here to change that but it’s not how I want to raise my children. And I don’t want this value system shoved down my throat or my children’s. That is not why our family moved to this town.

The BOE’s plan caters to this group of parents and that’s not acceptable. If parents want to push/pressure their children so be it, but not my children. I want trusted educators to place my children according to their ability in a classroom that meets their needs and challenges them appropriately. I want them to actually learn the material. I want them to feel confident. I want them to feel like they can make mistakes and not be afraid of failure. They have to learn to get back up when they fall down. I want to build resilience in my children so that they grow up to be productive, well-rounded adults.

There has to be an identification process for acceleration with a parent op-in opportunity for those parents who want to push their kids. But don’t dumb down the curriculum for those students who are actually capable and ready. And of course, there has to be a gifted program. And grade level must be part of the curriculum.

Anonymous said...

Daylight savings time starts just in time for the first day of ISATs. So much for the kids getting a full night sleep before the test!

Anonymous said...

All the more reason to opt out of the ISAT. It will be just one more excuse the admin will use for poor scores.

Yvonne Mayer, D181 Parent and Former Board of Education Member said...

Part 1: Below is an email I just sent to the D181 BOE. It addresses curriculum issues that impact all students and staff in D181, and facilities issues that impact all HMS students and staff and ALL taxpayers in D181. Please feel free to forward to anyone you believe might be interested in this.

Yvonne Mayer

Subject: Request for 2 Community Concerns to be discussed at the March 10 Committee of the Whole Meeting
Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2014 09:52:26 -0600

Dear Board of Education Members:

Today I write to the seven of you with 2 community concerns I would like you to address at the March 10 Committee of the Whole Meeting:

Learning for All Plan:

I am sure that all seven of you are NOT aware that Dr. Schneider and "District 181 Staff" are going to be presenting at yet another 2 day conference on the "Learning for All Plan." This time it is a conference called "Illinois Includes" that will be held in Rosemont on May 7 & 8. This is clearly a conference intended to target students with disabilities and the idea of inclusion for such students into regular classrooms. No one in our community would argue with the goal of mainstreaming and including disabled students into regular classrooms whenever possible -- it is the right thing to do -- however, once again, D181 is not presenting for purposes of advocating for inclusion of disabled students, rather that our district has created a model that will raise the performance of all students through an inclusion for all model. The conference website states: "A conference around inclusion, can not only bring focus and energy back to the issue, but can help to shed light on the fact that inclusive education is good for all learners and it can actually help schools raise test scores and provide a higher-quality education for students with and without disabilities." Dr. Schneider's presentation on May 7 is described as follows: "Nonnegotiable Principles for Creating Inclusive Schools for ALL: From research and practice literature, we have a good picture of what effective leadership looks like. This session will discuss this literature and the nonnegotiable principles that are aligned, embedded and necessary in order to create proactive high achieving, inclusive schools for ALL students. This session will discuss what every leader should know and be able to do to raise the student learning outcomes of all learners." Scroll down on the page to see the D181 presentation description.

My concerns regarding this conference are:

1. Why is our Department of Learning continuing to present on the conference circuit before presenting data to you -- the BOE -- and the parents/teachers in D181 that shows that their "ideas" have actually successfully "raised the student learning outcomes of all learners" in D181? Where is the data that shows that our HIGHEST achieving students have actually achieved MORE under the Learning for All plan currently being implemented in D181, than they did BEFORE it was implemented? Where is the data that shows that this plan has "raised the learning outcomes" for EACH category of students in D181? Until such data is presented to YOU - the BOE - and the teachers and parents of students in D181, why should Dr. Schneider and his staff be allowed to continue to lecture other educators about it on days when school is in session and they should be working onsite to ensure that the Learning for All Plan is being effectively implemented?

End of Part 1.

Yvonne Mayer, D181 Parent and Former Board of Education Member said...

Part 2:

2. If Dr. Schneider feels he is in a position to go on the lecture circuit with this presentation, why won't he FIRST give his 90 minute presentation to the D181 Community? Why not have him give the EXACT presentation he is going to give at "Illinois Includes" to the D181 Parents, Parents and Community Members BEFORE May 7 & 8? If he thinks that this is a lecture that is important enough and valuable enough to present to outsiders, then why isn't it important enough to present to everyone in D181? So I am requesting that the BOE discuss asking Dr. Schneider and the "D181 Staff" to schedule 1 or 2 dates prior to May 7 & 8 at which this presentation will be given to the D181 commumity. Also, since most educational conferences include time for Questions and Answers at the end of each presentation, I would request that the same amount of time that Dr. Schneider will alot for Q&A at the Illinois Includes conference be afforded individuals who attend the presentations at D181. Please discuss this at the March 10 meeting!

HMS -- continuing leaks:

As an HMS Parent, I am very concerned that there continue to be leaks at HMS. Over the last week I was at HMS for hours on end helping out with the musical. I was told by multiple staff members that water continues to leak into the building and that ServPro is basically "chasing down leak after leak" as they are identified. Sheet rock is being torn out, more dust is being churned up and staff continue to have health concerns. Are ALL 7 of you aware of any of this? Having looked at the 1500 documents that D181 produced to Channel 7 news and were made available on the ABC website, it is clear that mold and moisture sources have been an ongoing problem for many years at HMS. The first mold remediation company -- Hygeniering -- wouldn't guarantee their mold remediation work because they said in their letters to the district (which by the way, were NEVER, as I recall, shown to the BOE at the time of the mold remediation work -- which occurred when I was on the school board) that the mold would return if the moisture sources were not fixed. If it was true then, it must be true now. If you don't stop the moisture, the mold is going to come back! So what are you doing about it? Obviously, the roof cannot be replaced until this summer, but until then, isn't there something else you can do to seal up the roof? HOW ABOUT commissioning a BIG BLUE TARP (or multiple tarps) to cover the roof until this summer? You've already been billed almost $2 million by SERPRO, so perhaps some money needs to be spent NOW to stop COVER the roof and stop the leaks? Please discuss this at the March 10 meeting!

Because I think these concerns are of importance to all D181 constituency groups, I will be sending copies of this request to their representatives and to the press.

Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully submitted,

Yvonne Mayer
D181 Parent and Taxpayer

Yvonne Mayer, D181 Parent and Former Board of Education Member said...

Below is an email response Board Member Garg just sent me. THANK YOU MS. GARG!

Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2014 10:07:37 -0600
Subject: Re: Request for 2 Community Concerns to be discussed at the March 10 Committee of the Whole Meeting

Dear Yvonne,

Thank you for emailing the board and for bringing these issues to the boards attention. I will be asking for a discussion about HMS's continuing leaks and ongoing work by servpro. I also appreciate the information about the conference and the questions you have raised. I will ask for a community presentation by Dr. Schneider similar to the format of the parent education series presentation which would allow for Q&A.


Anonymous said...

Can it be more clear that Dr. Schneider has his own "agenda"? and it doesn't appear to be improving our curriculum. His contract should NOT be renewed. This is ridiculous. Thank you Yvonne and Ms. Garg for bringing it to our attention, and encouraging discussion. Once again-our tax money is funding his salary. What is he doing for D181?

Anonymous said...

Our administrators are more concerned about their plan than our children. And they are all writing dissertations on this case study. Our kids are just data points.

Anonymous said...

If there are any parents out there, or know of parents that have had a positive experience with Dr. Schneider please post. I want to know what he's doing for our district.

Anonymous said...

Let's all go to Schneider's conference and expose him for the fraud that he is.

Please BOE - do the right thing - do not renew Schneider's or Benaitis' contracts!

At the next BOE meeting I want to see a plan on how the administration and BOE intend to get the curriculum back on track. Tick, tock - we have no more time to waist.

Gary Tietelbaum said...

Why a contract ? Why do school administrators need a contract ? Why not just "employment at will" like most Illinois employees.

With employment at will you just fire the people if they can't do the work or won't do the work. Parents understand this and the kids will too.

And please, let's not get carried away with credentialism, overpaying for so-called "administrators" who overinvest in themselves and now want to get reimbursed for the mere fact that they are educated beyond their intellect.

In any other business, these adminstrators aren't much more than "pencil pushers" and they aren't anything more than that here either.

People with "real" PhD's joke that an EdD is really just evidence of a perfect attendance record.

And all these EdD's from "no name" colleges - it's like their credentials came our of a box of Froot Loops.

Anonymous said...

Gary-I hear what your saying, but unfortunately I'm not sure it works that way in Education. But, both Schneider's and Benaitis' contracts are up for renewal and I hope the BOE looks hard at the value they are or aren't bringing this district. We seriously need a recognized curriculum specialist to sort through all the changes and makes some improvements (data based) quickly. I hope the BOE doen't just dismiss all the parents that spoke at the last meeting. Perhaps they need to ask about those dissertations also.

Anonymous said...

Was this the meeting the rest of you attended/listened too?

Anonymous said...

Yes, the last meeting was Feb, 24. Please listen to the parent comments-they are excellent.

jay_wick said...

Re: Contracts for administrators

As a practical matter the tradition of not just superintendents and district-wide staff but also principals and even classroom teachers being 'contracted' for service well in advance of the school year is a sound way to manage elementary and secondary schools -- without adequate staff lined-up to do needed tasks the day-to-day operations of the district and even classroom level assignments would be far more chaotic than they need to be.

That said the BOE would be foolish to not deeply consider offering contracts that are structured a little differently than usual.

It has become standard practice for firms undergoing transition in leadership to offer key staff contracts that come with both a "carrot" and something of a "stick" -- given the likelihood that any incoming superintendent will want to carefully evaluate which district office staff is best equipped with the skills to help transition to a new style of leadership it would behoove the BOE to offer ONLY significantly shortened contract lengths WITH A SWEETENER for working diligently through the transition period that might last only part way through the 2014-2015 school year. That sweetener could be structured as a "lump sum retention bonus" or something like "option years" that would serve as an incentive for current staff to prove themselves valuable to the new superintendent...
Of course that would also mean that any contract terms that "expire" a year from now (or earlier) would have to be revisited but I would find it hard to believe that anyone on the BOE could honestly call such a requirement burdensome, especially considering that next year the BOE will largely ONLY be approving the recommendations of the new superintendent.

Don't get me, I would be recommending such an approach to contracts regardless with how satisfactorily current administrative is doing their jobs. This is simply a smart way to ensure that any transition to new leadership is as smooth and complete as possible.

Given the often demanding schedule that exists due to the odd calendar of public schools in our state, where things like bureaucratic mandates are dictated by officials in Springfield, it would be foolish to try to maintain staff without contracts. That said some things seem to have fallen through the cracks with current administration (notably filings about the facilities) and someone on the BOE really needs to step up and demand a more detailed schedule of what each staff will be responsible for to fulfill their contractual duties.

If there are not already accurate and complete job descriptions in place and some concrete measures of how completely staff has met those requirements it would be disastrous to "rubber stamp" any recommendations from the departing superintendent.

Anonymous said...

I think the poster meant that the district summary and what actually happened at the meeting don't really match up.

Ed Leubner, EdD, PhD said...

Sorry to Break the News but this Tietelbaum guy is right about all the hubbub about the EdD.

I got my EdD early and my parents paid for it because my dad was a school principal and later school board member in FonduLac, WI.

I’ll let you in on the dirty little secret in education, “It ain’t that hard.” Never was.
If you can teach your kid to hit a baseball (and I know you can) then even the lamest of teachers can teach you kid basic reading, writing and math at the public school level.

Then why is it so complicated ? To keep you guessing. That’s why they keep changing the “learning strategy” and the curriculum. It’s all nonsense and the politicians buy it, even Dirk Dillard, whose dad was a teacher in the Hinsdale system.

My EdD program made the University of Phoenix look like bootcamp – and that was in 1972, before things got easy.

Later, I earned my PhD in electrical engineering at UWM then started a chip fab design software company that was later sold to Cadence Design.

Now that was hard work and it was risky because we risked failing and we almost did several times.
These contract government employees are a joke, should be treated as such and shouldn’t be taken seriously.

I’ve got two grandkids at HMS and much as I hate to say it, I would recommend withholding registration until late August to keep these little government dictators on their toes.

Times have changed and the educational system has to change with it.

On a risk adjusted basis, the $200K per year administrator contract is like $750k in the private sector. The value of the position just isn't supported by the economics - it doesn't work.

jay_wick said...

Re: The summary pdf and actions of the BOE at the Feb 24th meeting

I attended most of the BOE meeting and reviewed the audio podcast. The summary is mostly accurate.

I believe the summary also makes it clear that this BOE is not in compliance with Illinois Open Meetings Act in its deliberation regarding which search firm to hire. (5 ILCS 120/) Open Meetings Act

There are also summaries / FAQs that spell out in precise detail exactly what is permissible for a public body to consider in closed session -- Illinois Attorney General: Open Meetings Act

I personally have no desire to see any BOE members jailed / fined but I do think that this behavior demonstrates a lack of seriousness that too many BOE members have with regard to permissible behavior. This attitude is readily apparent in what they consider too hands-on / micro-managing and the "behind closed doors" decisions that clearly are causing so many problems in the district. THIS MUST STOP! The "pre-ordained" decisions are a direct violation of the Open Meetings Act and are punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

I urge concerned community members to not allow this cavalier attitude to continue even if that means escalating these issues through appropriate channels -- Public Access Counselor contact information:

Sarah Pratt
Public Access Counselor
Office of the Attorney General
500 S. 2nd Street
Springfield, Illinois 62706
Fax: (217) 782-1396


Anonymous said...

These highly paid administrators better not ask for a 4 day summer work week again! They have a lot on their plate that they never got to last year. And how much money can the com ed bill be for the little corner of Elm school they occupy? The "energy savings" from a 4 day work week are a joke, especially since they are behind on basic safety checks ect.

Comedy Writers said...

Thank You to Everyone - Our writing team has been following this blog for some time now and we've even attended a few board meetings.

We're gathering material for a pilot, similar theme to Parks and Recreation but set in a dysfunctional BOE/Teacher/Parent setting.

D181 has provided us with an innumerable situationa and we are grateful to have been able to download the podcasts for future reference.

The D181 board is right out of central casting and so is the administration team.

Thank you, thank you, thank you and wish us luck.

We love you guys. You are too funny.

Sincrely, the writers

Anonymous said...

I love it!!! Who should play Turek? Schneider?

Anonymous said...

To The Writers-As serious as this situation is, I will have to agree that you can't make this stuff up!!

Anonymous said...

Hilarious!! How about Tina Fey play Dawn Benaitis.
Glen Close play Renee Schuster.
Rob Schneider play Marty Turek!
We wish you weren't joking! We could really use some comic relief around here.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that Dr. Russell is leaving the district to become superintendent of Chicago Ridge school district. Hmm… wonder how he'll do there.

Anonymous said...

Could you please provide factual basis?

Anonymous said...

Adding on to the last comment, looks like the deadline to apply for Chicago Ridge's superintendent position was back in October. So Dr. Russell has been planning this for a while.

Anonymous teacher said...

It is true. He announced last night to the D181 staff by email.

Anonymous said...

If it's true, Dr. Russell's departure would be a significant loss for this district, especially given Dr. Schuster's upcoming departure. This would mean that we would have Dr. Schneider and Dawn Benaitis leading curriculum for the district which would be disastrous. Dr. Russell was not part of the decision making for starting down the path of L4A and elimination of advanced learning services and to those who would expect him to risk his job and publicly oppose Dr. Schuster and Dr. Schneider are living in a dream world. Although Dr. Russell has moved up quickly through the district and may not yet have all of the experience of some in his position, he brings many other attributes to the table. Besides being a passionate educator, he brings significant familiarity with all aspects of the district, an extremely hard work ethic, he is well liked and respected by many of the staff and parents and he's smart. Dr. Russell will succeed wherever he goes, including in D181 if given the chance to grow in his position. Yes, we could have hired someone who had more job-specific experience but we could have done a lot worse than Dr. Russell (i.e. Dr. Schneider and Dawn Benaitis). Parents, be careful what you ask for and watch the pressure you put on these people. They have lives and families outside of this district and to be hell bent on driving out any and all of Dr. Schuster's hires because you don't like what she has done (I don't either) may have some very serious and unintended negative results. An arrogant attitude that assumes any administrator would feel lucky to work in a district such as ours will ultimately be harmful to us all. And, do any of us really have confidence in our current BOE to hire top-notch administrators anyway? Choose your battles wisely or live with the consequences of your actions.

Anonymous said...

If that's true, it's virtually guaranteed that Schneider and Benaitis's contracts will be renewed.

jay_wick said...

Re: Departure of staff

It should not really come as a surprise that ambitious younger staff would look to maximize the level of responsibility they can find in other districts. Further, given the perilous status of pension funding in Illinois it makes a great deal of sense for talented staff to find the best way to secure their future earnings.

I know in the past the district has conducted searches for staff that drew in candidates from outside the local region; given the financial disaster that Illinois has become that may not be as possible as it once was.

Studies have shown that the stability of leadership in individual schools (specifically the principal) as well as district level staff does contribute to increased performance -- it stands to reason that when a carefully thought-out a plan, crafted through unusually high levels of dedication is implemented in a multi-year manner it is far more likely to increase not just student performance but also staff and parent satisfaction.
In contrast hastily thrown together efforts to deal with a sudden (inexplicable ??) change in direction leads to the kind of situation we are now grappling with. Further if there are staff members whose personal initiatives are not consistent with the needed direction of the district / a shared philosophical foundation for the proper role of elementary schools it does no one any good to have them working at cross purposes.

The shortage of properly credentialed district staff in Illinois should make it easy for staff to find a place more suited to their ambitions.

I would urge the BOE to consider these things when they look to retain staff or prepare to realign leadership in a way to get back on track.

Anonymous said...

I sincerely hope that the BOE will not make the grievous mistake of renewing Dr. Schneider and Ms. Benaitis' contracts just because Dr. Russell is departing. Why would we keep throwing away good money?

I know that many Monroe parents, myself included, have written to the BOE that Dawn Benaitis should never have been promoted after her disastrous time at Monroe. She certainly hasn't done anything productive at the administrative offices either. Doesn't anyone consider it odd that she did not present the MAP results at the last BOE meeting? Isn't that her role? Unfortunately, she doesn't understand the results and can't handle the questions.

Dr. Schneider's personal agenda needs to find another home as well. His research should no longer be conducted on our children.

Anonymous said...

If Dr. Russell didn't have the backbone to stand up for our children or provide adequate evidence to support the implementation of new textbooks or L4A plans, he was not operating in the interest of our community. I am pleased he was able to find another job, but I am much happier that he will not be a part of this district's administration. We can all sympathize with his being forced by his colleagues and boss to support a plan that he may have realized would be a disaster for our children. But HE did not sympathize with us and our children AT ALL when we went to him their time of need.

It is hard to forgive a person for allowing some of our children to go through such a terrible experiment and experience such deep levels of frustration, for almost two years. Negative experiences like this are exactly why so many children dislike math, and why other countries experience much more success in their math programs. If children are not given appropriately leveled, or differentiated, materials and lessons, and enough TIME to learn it, they will become unnecessarily frustrated and anxious.

Placing perpetually anxious, or, constantly bored quick learners in a one size fits all curriculum is not an educationally valid theory! I hope the gentleman with the ED and the PhD can let me know if I am wrong. Schools giving children an excessively difficult curriculum for so long, without proper support, is a clear disregard of Illinois SELAS legislation. Administrators have a responsibility to ensure that schools' curriculums are not CAUSING the stress that the children are experiencing. It should not be the parents' responsibility to TREAT the stress that the SCHOOL itself is causing! I have not seen anyone in the district address this, even though it has been brought up with administrators many times.

Our Department of Learning have put themselves, and their "NON NEGOTIABLE" philosophies ahead of our children. How our public servants and volunteer school board have allowed these educational impostors to ruin a perfectly good school district is beyond me. PARENTS and community members are the stakeholders and "employers". How has Dr. Kurt Schneider suddenly come to believe that HE has such POWER to to ignore us? To not have to "negotiate" or cooperate with us? D181 is not his science project! We pay his salary. WE are HIS boss - it is not the other way around. The information that he is using from our children's '"doctored" scores to try to substantiate his thesis is egregious! Who is HE to use our children as guinea pigs in an experiment so that HE can go on the lecture circuit and make extra money while he is on the clock in our district?

Dr. Russell allowed Dr. Schneider to force his philosophy on our children, and the entire Department of Learning is implicitly guilty of disregarding basic ethical and professional teaching standards. At least now, we won't have to pay for his PhD. I hope Ms. Benaitis leaves soon too, so we won't have to pay for her $40-50,000 PhD, too. That money can be used to hire more teachers or to provide professional development to teachers who want to help our children.

I am certain Dr. Russell is relieved to be free of the yoke of Dr. Schneider's experimental, "non negotiable" philosophies that are hurting our children, and I wish him good luck in his future endeavors.


Yvonne Mayer, D181 Parent and Former Board of Education Member said...

Part 1: Following up on my comment from 3/4, yesterday I received the email I copied below from Board Member Clarin responding to my request that the board discuss 2 community concerns at the 3/10 Committee of the Whole Meeting. He has called me out for not having my facts straight. As you will read in the email reply I sent him last night (also copied below), I don't agree. It also doesn't appear likely that the board will discuss any community concerns on Monday night. They are calling the meeting a "regular business meeting" (looks like they aren't having 2 meetings this month -- shocking since they have so much work to do). Also despite the fact that this board has regularly added a business meeting component to the Committee of the Whole Meetings, they have not added a CWM component to this "business meeting." As a result, technically the board doesn't have to have Community Concerns on the agenda. That is quite disappointing since I have just looked at the agenda and it doesn't appear that HMS issues, including the exorbitant bill from ServPro, are on the agenda at all for the board to discuss.

Here is the email I received from from Mr. Clarin:

Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2014 06:04:53 -0600
Subject: Re: Request for 2 Community Concerns to be discussed at the March 10 Committee of the Whole Meeting

Dear Mrs. Mayer: The work that has been done at HMS since the first frozen pipe incident is well documented. Since that first pipe froze and burst in early January I have been in the building at least 40 hours or more providing whatever help I can. So when you make a statement that there continue to be leaks at HMS and that Serv Pro is literally chasing down leaks, tearing out sheet rock and making more dust and are we aware of it, you need to get your facts correct.
Let me clarify. There are two(2) areas, Room 212 and Room 200 that I and the administration have been very aware of. In Room 212, yes we had to remove the newly installed sheet rock after another leak was found and in the hallway by Room 200 we have had to deal with the same stubborn leak for years. It is still there and we are doing everything we can to correct it. I am aware of all of this. Other than that the building has been clear of leaks.
When you state that Serv Pro basically has been chasing down leaks, Serv Pro, until Wednesday night, 3/5, has not been in the building for nearly 3 weeks. We stopped them from doing any work when staff felt that there work was creating dust and are holding off from finishing up the painting and the rest of the base board until Spring Break. They are not chasing down leaks as you state because there are no leaks, except for the two(2) we know about. We haven't seen any others.
What you knew or didn't know as a board member is really irrelevant. The fact is the administration and staff along with Serv Pro have done a monumental job of ridding HMS of 99% of the mold. Will we ever get rid of it all, probably not possible. Will it come back? If we are vigilant and stay on top of the issues probably not. We are addressing the roof, an issue that has been with us years. What can we expect when the warmer temperatures come, we are prepared to deal with that. The board will decide what to do with the roof. We have ARCON putting together specs to bid a new roof for this summer. Fixing many years of problems at HMS in 2 months has not been easy or has it been perfect but it is much better than it has been in many years.
Please forward the correct information to the press and all the D181 constituency groups so they get the facts.
Thank you,

Gary Clarin
D181 Taxpayer and Board Member

Yvonne Mayer, D181 Parent and Former Board of Education Member said...

Part 2: Here is the beginning of the reply email I sent to Board Member Clarin.

Subject: Yvonne Mayer's Reply to your Response
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2014 00:16:45 -0600

Dear Mr. Clarin:

Thank you for your response to my 3/4/14 letter setting forth concerns I asked the school board to discuss during next Monday's Community Concerns agenda item. I appreciate the time you took to respond and would like to reply to some of the points you made. I wrote my letter to the school board both in my capacity as a district parent and taxpayer, and as a former school board member. For the last 9 years my children attended HMS and I currently have one child there in 8th grade. I am, therefore, personally invested in ensuring that the facilities are safe and do not pose any type of health concerns. As such, and with all due respect, I take issue with your suggestion that I do not have the facts straight. It appears that perhaps you are not aware of all of the facts.

I continue my reply with the “facts” as I have learned them, both from personal observation, statements made to me by my own child who witnessed things and from teachers and staff at HMS who have no reason to lie to me and who came to me with their concerns, in part knowing that I would raise them with the school board.

It is not true, as you state in your response that SERVPRO “until Wednesday night, 3/5, has not been in the building for nearly 3 weeks.” In fact, they have. How do I know this?
Less than 3 weeks ago, the school was EVACUATED after school when SERVPRO workers tripped a fire alarm while they were IN THE BUILDING replacing ceiling tiles in a classroom in which they had also ripped out sheet rock due to a continuing leak. (I don’t know which room this was.) My daughter was one of over 50 students who had to stand outside in the middle of their “Annie” after-school musical rehearsal and wait for the fire department to arrive and inspect the school in order to rule out that there was a fire. Besides learning about this from my own child, a staff member told me about this incident shortly after it occurred, at the same time that the staff member told me of the continuing health concerns at the building. Neither my child nor the staff member had any reason to lie about what they personally saw and were told were the reasons for the fire alarm.
Within the last three weeks, several staff have told me that leaks continue, not just in the rooms you identified in your email, but also in the MRC. They have told me that despite assurances that SERVPRO would discontinue work until Spring Break, the company has been doing work in the building and as a result, health concerns have continued to be raised by staff. These health concerns include ongoing respiratory issues that have required some staff to demand that air purifiers be installed in their offices/classrooms, headaches, dizziness – in one case so bad that a teacher was transported by ambulance to Hinsdale Hospital and believes it is due to the ongoing environmental conditions in the building. I also learned about the ambulance incident from my child. Again, neither the staff nor my child had any reason to lie about these incidents.
I have personally driven by HMS in the last 3 weeks and seen a SERVPRO truck parked at the school. I have no reason to lie about what I personally saw.

Yvonne Mayer, D181 Parent and Former Board of Education Member said...

Part 3: Here is the next part of my email to Mr. Clarin.

Further, while your response to me is quick to accuse me of being wrong with the facts, it does not address he additional concerns I raised (the exorbitant mold remediation costs at HMS and Dr. Schneider’s continuing conference presentations on the educational lecture circuit) that I would like the entire school board to discuss. I did not ask for a written substantive response to my concerns in the letter I wrote to the school board, rather I asked that my concerns be added to the Community Concerns agenda item at the next meeting, but since you have chosen to address one of them in writing, I would like to point out the following:

While you chose to provide “facts” regarding 2 classrooms that do continue to have leaks, your email was silent on the continuing health concerns at HMS that staff maintains are caused by the environmental conditions in the building.
Your email was silent regarding the astronomical cost increases of the SERPRO work at HMS, an issue that was documented for the school board at the last meeting, but was not discussed publicly by any of you or by the administration. As a taxpayer, I have a problem with the fact that after you (the board) only approved $129,000 in remediation work by SERVPRO, they billed the district nearly $2 million, and the board chose not to discuss it when presented with the most recent cost summary. Don’t you think the taxpayers have a right to expect the board to discuss an increase of this magnitude?
You say that everything has been well documented, however, I beg to differ. As a concerned parent, it is my expectation that the documentation should have included weekly updates to the D181 community, and in particular to the HMS staff, students and parents on the mold remediation, leaks, health concerns, roof and soffit work and the cost of the work done to date, especially when it has grown dramatically without any discussion by the board.
You stated that what I knew or didn’t know as a board member was “irrelevant.” That is particularly offensive, since as you know I was a very involved board member who would have been extremely proactive in addressing serious mold and health conditions at HMS had the administration been forthcoming with even a small amount of the information that they obviously had in their possession while I was on the board – as now evidenced by the 1500 documents that were produced to Channel 7 News.
The question your entire board should be publicly asking is why these documented serious concerns were not raised by the administration for public discussion with either the prior board (that I was on) or the current board, until the teachers raised them as a result of the pipes bursting in January.
Your email to me has provided more information to ONE parent than the administration has to all the parents at HMS since the school reopened. That is wrong. Parents should not have to sit and wonder how things are going at HMS, while we wait and wait for an administrative update or discussion by the full board.

Yvonne Mayer, D181 Parent and Former Board of Education Member said...

Part 4: Next part of email to Mr. Clarin:

I appreciate the 40 hours that you spent at HMS during the “crisis,” however, as a “stickler” on the Open Meetings Act, I am curious how and when you were appointed to serve as the school board liaison between the administration, the board and the community with respect to the HMS mold crisis? There was no public discussion or decision by the full school board of this; it just seemed like all of a sudden you were doing the “job.” Obviously someone had to do it, and since you also have a relative working at HMS you had a personal, not just a board interest, in ensuring that the problems were resolved. I have no objection that you ultimately undertook this task, but I do question the process. Why? Because you serve on a board of 7 equal members. All 7 should have had a voice in any decision that was and any decision that will be made. All 7 should have the same information at the same time, especially when it comes from the administration. All 7 should publicly discuss facilities, health and cost issues related to the HMS mold remediation and continuing leaks. And all of these discussions should be held in public, pursuant to the Open Meetings Act. Any person, who is in the building on a regular basis or has a child attending that school, should be provided regular updates from the administration. That is the administration’s job – not yours. They have not done this, as much as you might want to defend them.
Further, I want to point out that your response was also silent on the concerns I raised regarding Dr. Schneider and my request that the community be afforded the opportunity to listen to his 90 minute presentation before he continues presenting it on the lecture circuit.
I would have appreciated if you had acknowledged receipt of ALL of my concerns and indicated whether or not you will support my request that the entire school board discuss them. I hope all 7 board members will discuss these issues during the Community Concerns agenda item on Monday night.

Finally, I would like to express my disappointment in the tone you took in your response. I believe I have every right to bring my parental concerns regarding the continuing environmental and facilities issues at HMS to your attention and should be able to do so without fear of receiving a response that appears to be a “ruler slap across my hand” and an attempt to get me in line. I believe I also have the right to bring my taxpayer concerns to your attention, since as an elected official, you are supposed to be overseeing the D181 budget. I believe I have the right as a former board member to bring my concerns to the current board, especially when information was withheld from us regarding the serious environmental conditions and health concerns that existed at HMS. It is disappointing that you feel you have the right to challenge me for bringing my concerns to the school board’s attention especially when, as discussed above, it appears you do not have all the facts.

As you requested, I will circulate your response to my original email to all individuals who I previously copied, and will do so along with a copy of this reply.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Respectfully submitted,
Yvonne Mayer
D181 Parent and Taxpayer