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Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Catherine Magouyrk’

Thank You Ellen.

And then there were none

And then there were none

 

See 58 minute mark on. Unbelievable Discussion:

Gee, I would think LE would like the evidence of a recording.

Do you think school board members appreciate the irony of them being filmed voting to ban filming? Pretty soon they will ban phones at proms. Thank you Ellen Purdy for all your efforts to bring some accountability and openness to MCPS and thank you school board for your public record for all that you do.

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At the beginning of the school year I was more than happy to give credit to MCPS for putting up a health warning on their web site about the virus that is spreading across the country and appears to be hitting kids especially hard. Three weeks into the school year I’m not feeling so great about the depth and effectiveness of the MCPS’ response to what is becoming one of major issues facing our schools and schools around the country in their mission to educate and safeguard our kids during the school day.

For a school system which has the resources to be handing out free IPads like candy and which has a compulsive obsession with issuing feel good public affairs announcements, one would think someone in authority either on the school board or in the central office would realize that a web warning with a list of symptoms and guidelines was only one step that needed to taken. Another even more obvious step would have been to devote some resources to increasing the health care staffing and support to meet the obviously predictable rush to the school clinics. This was not hard to see coming. I can tell you from first hand observation right now the Osbourn and Mayfield nurse offices need help and additional space, I suspect the other schools in the MCPS are in similar need.

What to do? I know what the School Board and Central Office first response will be: “WE WANT MORE MONEY!” Well, here’s an alternative for the people who wanted to run our schools: You go down to the school nurses’ office and YOU take time out of your work days and your family times and you volunteer and help respond to the health threat which YOU saw coming but which you thought could simply be treated with a public health warning. You dumped this on the nurses and the schools, you deal with it in the real world just like the staff, students and parents are being forced to deal with it.

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Dear Superintendent Magouryk,

I would like to suggest that you put up on the MCPS website last night’s perfomance of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus by the OHS Choir and Orchestra.

It would be a wonderful holiday greeting from the school system and it would highlight the type of excellence and oustanding achievement the MCPS has promised to deliver to the citizens of Manassas.

Merry Christmas from your most vigilant and dedicated critic,

ABTF

p.s. You might want to edit out Dr Werner’s Eagle cheers at the end, while understandable, John probably should have realized that even ‘Go Eagles!’ is topped by the “Messiah.”

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Manassas Patch reports today on the 1st feedback from the Citizen/City Council/School Board session on  the issue of new facilities for the MCPS.

Not surprisingly, Parrish/Albrecht Learning Halls, i.e., trailers, are not a popular option among city residents for Manassas students.  Once again, I would suggest Manassas look at the old Marsteller school on Sudley as part of the solution to school building woes. In addition to possibly contributing to the solution for the need for more classroom space for the MCPS, it also contributes, suggests a path for the development of the neighborhood which residents might find preferable to the Liz one note solution to all of Manassas development needs – TOWNHOUSES.

As for new digs for the Central Office? Sure,  Marsteller might just free up some trailers at Haydon and Weems for a new ribbon cutting at Tudor Lane. Surely Central Office wouldn’t place students in trailers while building new facilities for themselves?

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Just as you think Manassas can’t get any sillier, i.e, ‘Man Arrested for Shooting Self,’ this study by AIM (Accuracy in Media) suggests that our ‘Race to the Top’ (Save My Job- MMeyers) grant proposal wasn’t too thoroughly thought thru by the people in charge of our children’s education. What kind of school system embraces a core curriculum which apparently challenges the very concept of core knowledge? To be fair to the critical thinking challenged MCPS School Board, 48 governors signed onto the core curriculum in ‘Race to the Top’ not only before reading it but before it was written.

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The new superintendent of Manassas Schools has launched a new monthly column. She has chosen the News & Messenger as her media outlet. I’m not sure why, since she states that she is attempting to reach out to the entire community; that’s something the News & Messenger hasn’t attempted or succeeded to do in years.

As for the column, overall a nice first effort, however ‘the no negativity and skepticism will be tolerated’  clunker at the end echos past MCPS arrogance and an inability to listen to and accept legitimate criticism. Perhaps, the next column should be proofed by someone outside central office?

A healthy dose of skepticism can be a good thing.  It can often be found in the company of an open mind, an ability to engage in critical thinking, a commitment to excellence, and a willingness not to take oneself too seriously. Coincidently, those qualities are also the qualities I like to see in the people in charge of my children’s education.

And with no further ado, your new superintendent wanting to hear from you:

It’s Your Turn to Be Heard

“Public sentiment is everything. With it, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.” — Abraham Lincoln

One of the first things we teach children in kindergarten is to “take turns.” Well, it’s your turn to talk and my turn to listen.That’s because, as Abraham Lincoln said, public sentiment is everything.

As your new superintendent — and new to Manassas — I recognize the need to listen before speaking. I have listened and learned about your challenges and opportunities. I have interviewed staff, parents and citizens, and clearly see the tremendous potential here for a second-to-none school division. We are already fully engaged in improvements to our technology and communication systems — something both the public and the School Board echoed as urgent needs.

Another focus that has begun centers on Manassas City Public Schools and the City of Manassas. On August 14, 2012, the Manassas City Schools School Board approved a joint resolution between the City Council and the School Board outlining a process for identifying the capital needs of Manassas City Schools and the City. Now it’s your turn to talk, again, about our facility needs for both the schools and our community. We will present information and capture your opinion at an upcoming event October 16 at Mayfield Intermediate School. It’s called “Your Voice. Your Community. Our Future.” Everyone is invited and urged to attend.

The Manassas City Public Schools is working collaboratively with the City of Manassas to develop a Capital Improvement Plan. As citizens of Manassas, we want you to see a list of needs for both schools and our city’s infrastructure at the same time. By working together, and with your help, we can ultimately prioritize the list for future funding and take it to our respective boards. City Manager John Budesky and I stand ready to build community consensus on our greatest needs and help find the resources to build them.

For our schools, we can all agree that our first priority is student achievement. We want higher achievement for all students from all economic and ethnic backgrounds at all levels of academic performance. We must provide equal access to quality instruction, resources, and technology, and adjust our teaching to meet the needs of every student.

In the coming weeks and months, I will share with you through this column our priorities for academics, technology, family involvement, and accountability through multiple measures of performance that we will call a “Balanced Scorecard.”  We want to be transparent so you can see our progress.

One thing I know for sure is that I will need your support to be successful.  No school system thrives without community support. We will ask for constructive suggestions, not negativity and skepticism.  We need parents and families to embrace our schools, support our teachers and talk to their children about school work. We invite non-parents to get the facts and understand our needs, then come to the table to offer suggestions and hear our stories so we can reach consensus and build a broad base of support for our future direction.

I look forward to taking this journey with you. Please take advantage of this opportunity to have your voice heard.

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