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What Is Happening In Our Kids' Schools?? A Parent's Voice...

Is your child in a Centennial School? Do you have questions / issues with what is going on in your childs school? Have you voiced your concerns only to have it fall on deaf ears? Speak up right here!

Most parents think "I know what is going on in Johnny/Jane school".  I thought the same thing until recently....Let me ask you a question. As an adult, how would you feel if you were getting in line to get your lunch at a cafeteria or buffet and the workers there said "you must first remove your jacket before you can get your food or be patted down before your leave to make sure you are not stealing." 

You would be insulted and offended, RIGHT???

Welcome to Centennial Elementary where your child is treated like a juvenile delinquent.  My child is not a thief and I don't expect them to be treated like one!

  Can someone please tell me what kind of message that is sending to our children!!  Where is the trust and respect that our children deserve??  Why were parents not informed as to what is going on??  What gives them the right to do that??? 

As a parent, what do you think about this?  How do you feel about your child's school?  Do you have any school issues?

I am putting this out there because I feel parents have a right to know what goes on in our schools.  It is obvious that the school is not going to inform us! We need to communicate with each other.  I have spoken to many parents and some of the stories they have shared with me are just downright wrong!   

That is why I have created this blog.  To share our stories.  To voice our frustrations.  To speak up and not be criticized or judged.  To know that someone is listening to you!!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jane Lynch May 17, 2012 at 04:05 AM
Since you feel like your at a school board meeting, well then I direct your question to our Chief Financial Officer for your answer. Contact the Administration office and speak directly, Once again, thank you for your inquiries. Hope to see you at the Finance Meeting on Monday night, once again you may ask your questions. Your participation is most welcome. For the last time, you may view at CSD website all Committee meetings and Board Meetings. The Teacher's contract and the PSERS are stated at these Committee meetings and Board meetings. I have directed you to our Chief Financial Officer and I have directed you to our meetings, please check our website, every issue is on video for your pleasure of viewing. Thank you, this issue now is complete....
concerned123 May 17, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Ms. Lnych this issue is far from complete, Your actions and the actions of other board members are leading this disctrict into financial ruins. The numbers don't lie. I am glad another resident and fellow taxpayer reconize this is the typical attitude you receivce from our board members towards residents that ask questions. Ms Lynch will not answer any tough questions because she knows residents are not going to like the answers. Just look at the numbers posted. If any of us ran a business this way we would be broke. I plead with residents to educate yourself how our disctrict is being run. Its a time to vote in some members that have a financial responsiblity to our disctrict and residents. . Current members are just kicking the can do the road and running business like usual.
Lavender Green May 17, 2012 at 01:45 PM
This has been the best article, with all these interactions! I agree we need new, responsible, caring individuals in the district. The schools are not as bad as some, but, they could be better and with the right people who put the children first, before their $600 + a day paycheck, is what is needed. The district needs to be cleaned up, there is so much good here that its sad to see those who dont care. I think a voter run meeting should be scheduled, people need to be heard and not wait for the school or district to schedule things, take action, and together everyone will win! Kudos to all of you who are using your voice! Its commendable to see so many people care
concerned123 May 17, 2012 at 02:08 PM
It is puzzling why this Board Leadership doesn't be honest with the public and just have a presentation of the facts and what the projections going forward are, considering all options. From what has leaked out already there will have to be a tax increase, well above the rate of inflation and with a Board that has no issue with applying for exceptions to ACT1 to fund these increases over the state set inflationary rate it comes back to management and the transparency that goes along with it. Again when will this Board Majority allow the facts to be presented to the public in a public forum? Those in the minority that have fought for transparency use your voice: our voice that you represent at meeting to force these issue in front of the public. Let the majority go on record as those the will fight transparency to the public.
Pete Krenshaw May 17, 2012 at 02:23 PM
You are correct, more people being present at meetings expressing their concerns should force the board to deal with these issues with transparency in a public meeting. At the very least, each person will get their two minutes to speak before being gaveled down and told to have a seat. Of course the expectation would be to have a dialogue with the board members but based on previous performance, I highly doubt a true conversation will be had. They will simply sit there and pretend to listen and probably do what they want in the end. Perhaps I am just too jaded...
Jane Lynch May 17, 2012 at 03:49 PM
FYI http://www.centennialsd.org/cms/lib4/PA01001061/Centricity/Domain/3/proposed%20final%20budget%20050712.pdf http://www.centennialsd.org/cms/module/selectsurvey/TakeSurvey.aspx?PageNumber=1&SurveyID=110
Sarah Ronzelli May 17, 2012 at 04:22 PM
I have been following the posts and am shocked at some of the responses. I and you have our children in this school district and I believe they are receiving an excellent education. Some of these posts attack the teachers and find nothing good about this district. Please your children are in these schools. You attack the one school board member who is trying to get the information for you. You attack the administration for not doing their job the way you want it done. There are many excellent programs and great courses of study for our children to get a good education. Yes, there could be things changed and I believe in time all of your opinions will matter with this district. Before you start attacking everyone, think about your children in these schools. I do expect to be attacked for this post but, my opinion is of value as you think yours is!!
The Hidden Truth May 18, 2012 at 01:20 AM
This was told to me several years ago by a Board Member: Back right before they voted to close the Elementary Schools, they realized keeping all the schools going would cost a little more than the tax increase would allow without referendum. The tax increase was placed under referendum and voted down. So in order to keep the schools going, they had to prove the schools were run down and needed replacement. There is a loophole with the tax code if new schools are needed they don’t need to go to referendum, the Board can just vote for it. Tax increases were and always will be voted down in Warminster because of the fixed income seniors at Anne's Choice, Centennial Village and Christ Home. Some have voting booths set right up in the lobby. They walk down and vote no. However in doing so they didn’t realize the loophole would cost us all more.
Kim May 18, 2012 at 02:11 AM
I am not going to attack you because you have the right to your opinion just like everyone else on this post. Some people agree and some people don't. That is what this blog is for. Some children/students ARE probably receiving an excellent education but there are some schools that need a little bit of fixing so that the students can receive and excellent education. My child went to Leary and yes, he did get the Best of the Best! Now he goes to Willow Dale and he gets mediocore. I am thinking about my child and everyone elses child. That is why I started this blog. We all want what is best for our children and it is obvious that some schools are not delivering what we feel is a quality education. Children are treated poorly and without respect by school faculty. If it was happening to your child wouldn't you do something about it or stand up for your child? That is what we are doing. There are things that need to be addressed and fixed and I for one will not wait for "in time". I thank you for your honest opinion and for reading this blog!
concerned123 May 18, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Eveyone should voice their concerns and I am glad to see people do so. My point is you ask board members questions and they give no soild answers. This is the typical repsonse you get with our board, Ms Lynch wants to act like she has the taxpayers back by posting on this blog. When her voting record differs. Look at the contract her and the other four just approved, You ask simple direct questions and she just links you to pages with numbers that no lay person can figure out and tells you this is now complete ! Our disctrict needs a change, We need board members that are transparent and open to the public. The current board is leading this board to a cloudy financial path.
Matt May 18, 2012 at 02:16 PM
The district posts a current version of its multiyear forecast here, along with several years of audits. What is not transparent?
concerned123 May 18, 2012 at 03:31 PM
My question towards transparency lies in the old attaché the “devil is in the details” when you look at the gross numbers it appears that are overall teachers salary cost are going down. What is not expanded in the REQUIRED Audit that is published is the break down. Or was it explained in detail to the Public before the majority voted to approve it without allowing the public to vette it. That decision was ANTI-TAXPAYER.
concerned123 May 18, 2012 at 03:31 PM
What is this new contract is costing us as it is compounded year after year during its term ( this is the Growth we should be concerned about). As teachers progress thru the salary matrix there raises become compounded so what appears to be a 1% raise is all actuality is a 3 % increase when it is compounded across the salary matrix. As there salary grows are level of contribution is also compounded. Social security payments go up and the PSERS payment goes not , not including the fact that today it is 8+%, next year it will be 12+%, and expected to hit 21+ % but 2016. The Board may not be able to control PSERS but it can control salary growth that would limit the overall growth in PSERS. Wouldn’t you like to be able to collect both Social Security and PSERS?
concerned123 May 18, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Also these numbers, I assume reflect the reduction in staff. While that easily gives the appearance that we are saving money it dilutes the reality how much more this contract is costing us over the previous one. Why does this matter well first of all let’s look at the rest of society? Have you gotten a raise? If so how much is it? Do you pay much more for your health benefits? Is your coverage as good? Do you have a guaranteed benefit plan like PSERS that will pay out 75% or more based on your last three years before retirement? It used to be traditionally Public service workers accepted a little less salary than their private sector counterparts because the benefits and job security exceeded the private sector environment. Today we have a reversal; the protected unionized public sector employees have exceeded the private sector employees in job protection, salary and benefits. We elect people to represent our interest and then they ignore us or the present only part of the story. When was the last time a teacher was let go for poor performance? How often does that happen in private industry?
concerned123 May 18, 2012 at 03:32 PM
We are the ones supporting them and we have risen their to a status that well exceeds are own. I have no real issue for what someone can make either public or private but when we gave a system that rewards just because you are their longer or you have increased your education credits that we help pay for but then have no real system to judge whether or not that is making an impact in the performance of the their job through some sort of merit evaluation, it a system that just makes no sense. In the history of Pennsylvania schools year after year teachers and administration receive a satisfactory or un satisfactory rating last year it exceeded 95% satisfactory statistically impossible but this is the only way we can judge those with a very important job in the current system. This system doesn’t breed excellence it breeds complacent.
Matt May 18, 2012 at 04:00 PM
The business manager has listed the value of the contract raises separately from any savings from reduced head count or retirements. I think I saw it on the document "budget in brief." He even came to a home and school meeting at our elementary to explain the projections to us.
concerned123 May 18, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Matt I would appreciate it you could post the link with this specfic info. Because I looked at the budget brief and I don't see any such breakdown that you state.
Matt May 18, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Here's where I found this year's cost of the contract (1st page, left hand side): http://www.centennialsd.org/cms/lib4/PA01001061/Centricity/Domain/3/proposed%20final%20budget%20050712.pdf Here's where I found the long range projections: http://www.centennialsd.org/cms/lib4/PA01001061/Centricity/Domain/3/projection%20051412.pdf
WDC May 21, 2012 at 02:03 AM
All we can do right now is voice our concerns tomorrow night at the meeting. If you are not in agreement with the new bell schedule and other issues, please be at the meeting and let your voice be heard!!!!!! We can change the direction of this district if we all stand together and united and let the board know that things ARE going to change for the better!!
Pamela May 21, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Unfortunately until the SB stops having their behind blosed doors Executive Sessions, nothing is going to change in this District. Dr. Pollack and Mr. MIller have little regard for the tax payers. Dr. Cressman and transportation will sit up there tonight and state "this is the best we can do". The rest of the the board members, will give a speech of how much it is hurting the community and how unfair it is but they will screw our kids and us in the end and not think twice about it come tomorrow. Where is all the money that they told us we would be saving by closing these schools? Did our high school really need $10,000 sky lights put in, $500 hand dryers, or even tampon dispencers in elementary school ? Was that really education value or keeping up with the Jones or should we say CBW CBE? Everyone can say this whole fubar was for education, but the truth of the matter is they spent $$$ millions on useless pretty objects that would have been better spent on buses, teachers, full time kindergarten, and a lower tax raise.
mum2boys May 22, 2012 at 02:04 AM
We are aware. We know that unfortunately the School Board is going to do what they want no matter what we say or do. They have proven that over and over again.
Thomas Hezel July 06, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Concerned123, there was more to the situation than what you know. That contract needed to be approved to have many items removed from the old contract to allow the district the flexibility to handle its finances in the future. With those stipulations still in the contract, the district would be bound to certain decisions made by board a long (1976) time ago. the problem is that you are making judgement on a decision made with only a small fraction of the information at your disposal. That is why our government is set to allow the public to elect people, who are entrusted to know all the information before making decisions. The general public don't have the time to gather all the information. The most recent change of the contract was made because: 1) we had the power with the latest contract to make decisions, and 2) we had the good faith of the teacher's union to work with them. If this sounds like fun to you, please run for school board. I personally commend my fellow board members who went forward with this un-popular vote, because it was in the best long-term interest of the district. As for those that didn't vote for it? Well, some i assure did not for personal reasons.
concerned123 July 06, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Mr Hezel I appreciate your repsonse to my posting, Residents and Taxpayers like to thank you, This response from you shows the typical arrogant response we residets can expect for our board members. These are tpical governement responses from elected officials They think they are above us, Our voice are held is little reguard. If you and the other members were doing your job correctly their would be open communication with residents to financial decisions in our district. No wonder so many residents do not trust this board. If you have a problem with residents and taxpayers questioning your actions I think you need to step down Mr. Hezel . Our board members have shown over the last few years that financial responsibility towards this district does not exist ! We all need to wake up and create some change.
Part of the Solution July 06, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Concerned - just an FYI, Mr. Hezel is no longer on the board, and with the statement he made above, I am glad that he is not.
Thomas Hezel July 06, 2012 at 04:42 PM
that makes three of us.. PotS
Thomas Hezel July 06, 2012 at 04:58 PM
According to PA law, a school board is required to have executive sessions to discuss legal, personnel, labor contracts, and real estate issues. This is the only time a quorum of the school board can gather to discuss district issues. All other times must be at a public meeting, advertised well in advance (note: the most recent Ad-hoc committee's did not adhere to these guidelines) .. If you do not agree with this, please feel free to have the law in PA changed to eliminated executive sessions.
Thomas Hezel July 06, 2012 at 05:00 PM
agreed. now the hard part is trying to change it.
Pamela July 09, 2012 at 11:29 AM
I believe Mr. Hezel, Mr.Reinboth,and Mrs.Mueller all stepped down before they could be voted out. They all ram-rodded these projected down the communities throat without a thought to consequences. "Good Riddence" would be the appropriate sentiment and "thank you for a wonderful legacy"
Jake May 18, 2013 at 04:33 AM
I have a child graduating this year from Centennial School District and all I have to say is I'm glad it will be over, that I never have to step foot at any of these schools again. Everyone is discussing money but set that aside because it will never change. The school board members do as they wish. There are so many problems at these schools. I'm going to Pick on the High school because that is where I have the most recent knowledge. Students find the school a joke. The rules are made up sometimes as they go along and punishments for misbehavior and not justified with what the student does. They are so extreme and go above and beyond with the punishment. Students are treated like prisoners. Understand I am not saying that students can do whatever they want but it's way too excessive. There are a lot of bad apples (Staff) at that school. I have never been a parent that walked into school and said "Oh no not my child" I never had blinders on. I would go in and listen to the issue from the school and also from my child. Some times it was my child but I found out over the years that the school made mountains out of mole hills so to speak. and found a lot of the times it wasn't my child. There are so many things going on over at the High school that the school board and the superintendent have no clue and most of it has to do with some of the staff. Now don't get me wrong there are a lot of good faculty but seems there are way too many bad apples.
Jake May 18, 2013 at 04:46 AM
Most students would treat faculty with respect, if respect was given back. I myself have felt what the students go through with faculty. I called and spoke to a disciplinary faculty person and was talked down to. I am a grown adult and should be talked to like one. The schoolboard needs to clean out some staff and reorganize programs and rules. Stop worry about building bigger and better schools and keeping up with the Jones', worry about the students education and implementing updated education. Why is it required that my child learn Shakespeare for example. How about a required class that teaches a student banking?? for example how to balancea checking account, how not to get into trouble with credit cards. things that will prepare them in adulthood. This is just a small example. My opinion of this school district is very low and I guess at this point I am grateful I do not have to deal with the school district much longer. Good luck to the rest of the parents who still have children in the school district and for those about to put their children there don't seek a different school district!!!

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