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Old 10-12-2017, 08:02 PM
 
114 posts, read 89,196 times
Reputation: 47

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That is a joke. The BOE Chair and the Facilities Chair had no issues sharing personal emails of people they didn’t like during their CAPS lawsuit discovery. Those poor people didn’t sign up for a committee like the CAC, they were just sending an email to their board representatives and they were put on a hit list by these CAPS thugs. Now they are all about protecting privacy. LOL! They are about protecting their privacy and keeping things opaque.

We just all need to realize. The BOE Chair and the Facilities Chair has one simple objective. Get their people back into the schools they want. It doesn’t matter how many students they have to move to do it. How many numbers they have to change. How many maps they have to tweak. To them the end will justify the means.
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Old 10-12-2017, 08:05 PM
 
114 posts, read 89,196 times
Reputation: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by getatag View Post
It may be interesting to go through all the released emails to see what set this off.
The good stuff won’t be in emails. These are CAPS professionals. They made a living combing through emails. They won’t put anything in email. They are doing anything of value offline.
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Old 10-13-2017, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Union County
5,783 posts, read 8,410,081 times
Reputation: 4818
So much has changed since I started this thread... not. Different board, but another case of a short sighted agenda. Similar logic applied to move thousands of kids in order to address some minor capacity issues several years ago, is now being applied "transparently" with the same end game - move thousands of kids to address some minor capacity issues. I won't even get into the "transportation inefficiencies" reasoning because that is a complete misnomer being touted by the board as an actual thing - when it very clearly is not. In the end, a large segment of the constituents in UC are getting hosed... again.

I have to agree with Phocion on one point. It took some time, but it's become painfully obvious that what we are seeing is a culmination of a plan that was hatched years ago. Under the guise of "Adequate Public Schools", the CAPS group has infiltrated the BOE... actually, infiltrated is an understatement - CAPS members currently hold the 2 most influential board positions (BOE Chair, Facilities Chair) when it comes to a realignment. The CAPS group held rallies, fundraisers, and even went so far as to sue the county in attempt to block the previous redistricting. If revenge is best served cold, this isn't even close - the ink is barely dry on the maps and they don't care - they need to move these kids back to where they perceive they should have been left before. It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

One would hope that there is still some time to come to their senses and do the right thing... Although, there was a very large group of parents beyond CAPS passionately speaking out against the last realignment, not all of those same people want to undo it now. Many (certainly the majority I speak to), want to be LEFT ALONE and not shuffled again. I won't deny that there are parents who adamantly want to be moved back, especially parents from specific neighborhoods (the Wesley Chapel contingent for example). However, that is not justification to move thousands of kids again.

McK did a ONE YEAR realignment forecast, in conjunction with a 10 year population forecast. The accuracy of this drops exponentially as you move further out because there are some very simple caveats that McK was clear about with regard to the forecasts - the economy, etc. Once again, I implore those involved to give serious consideration to the student impact part of their own realignment criteria... If you want to move a handful of neighborhoods, fine do that - don't repeat the same mistake and disrupt thousands of students under false pretenses again - especially since no matter what is done, another realignment may be required in 3-5 years. That is the nature of county level schools... there is no crystal ball.

It's simple - don't move kids unless you have to move them.
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Old 10-13-2017, 08:00 AM
 
547 posts, read 535,517 times
Reputation: 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbaHelms View Post
I'll save you the trouble. Certain BOE members took issue with some of the Realignment Committee members being copied on this email.

Board of Education Members:

School capacity should not be a political decision. School capacity should not change from year to year based on personal agendas. The State sets limits and establishes guidelines for good reasons and they should not be overridden at the local level.

I know many of you are being told to stay out of the realignment process, but capacity is not simply a realignment issue. Overcrowding has a multitude of negative effects. Overcrowding has been found to lead to lower test scores, to increase the number of disciplinary incidents, and to increase teacher turnover. The wear and tear caused by overcrowding leads to more rapid deterioration of school facilities. Overcrowding is also a safety issue in emergency situations. The educational outcomes of students should not be impacted by which facility they attend. Additionally, without accurate capacities, taxpayer dollars will continue to be wasted on capacity additions not of appropriate scale or located in areas where population density does not warrant them. Facilities planning simply cannot be done without accurate capacities.

I would like to reiterate my request that the BOE adopt as policy a uniform method of calculating building capacity and that UCPS consider using a method such as the one used by Wake County. I find UCPS’s policy to be inadequate: “Utilization: Capacity shall be based on the number of standard teaching spaces. Schools may operate above capacity through the use of mobile classroom units and/or special purpose classrooms.” https://boe.ucps.k12.nc.us:453/publi...20&action=view In addition to failing to outline a uniform method for determining capacity, this policy totally ignores the capacity of the core areas such as the cafeterias, gyms,and media centers.

We also have BOE members directing Mr. Cropper and the Citizens Advisory Committee to ignore core capacity for the current realignment. This directive will create many issues in our schools if not rescinded. Students at some schools shouldn’t have to go without using the restroom all day because the restrooms are too crowded between classes. Students shouldn’t have to carry all their books and belongings all day because the hallways are too crowded for them to get to their lockers between classes. Students shouldn’t have to eat lunch at 10:20 am because their school has to run six lunch shifts. Students shouldn't have to squat at cafeteria tables to eat lunch because there aren’t enough seats, particularly when seating has been removed to increase standing capacity so the Fire Marshall will increase the cafeteria occupancy limit ( 5 sf per person standing area v.. 15 sf per person for table and chair seating area) .

I was especially dismayed to hear the BOE plans to raise cafeteria capacities again at some schools by multiplying the Fire Marshall’s occupancy limit by the number of lunches each school is currently running. This is misguided for a number of reasons:

-The Fire Marshall’s occupancy limit is a safety LIMIT for emergency egress; it does not indicate how many students can be served by or comfortably dine in the cafeteria. Cafeteria capacity should be the lower of the DPI three-lunch method calculation based on seating area and the Fire Marshall's occupancy limit times three.

-The Fire Marshall’s occupancy limit is based on the number of seats and tables, the standing room area, and the number of emergency exits not the square footage of the dining area. So, two cafeterias with the same seating area could have different occupancy limits based on the number of exits. As an example, per the Fire Marshall, Parkwood Middle and Piedmont Middle have the same seating area but Parkwood’s cafeteria has an exterior door while Piedmont’s does not. Parkwood’s cafeteria occupancy is limited by square footage while Piedmont’s is limited by the number of exits.

-Different school facilities may be required to meet different building and safety code requirements based on which Code was in effect during their year of construction. An example of this would be that UCPS is allowed to have two classrooms with a combined total of 73 students and two teachers funnel out one shared exterior exit door for the classrooms exiting along the exterior walls of the original buildings at Sun Valley, Parkwood, and Piedmont middle schools when this would be an egregious violation of current Fire Code which would only allow a combined total of 48 students and two teachers in those classrooms if the schools were built today.

-Surveying the principals about the number of lunch shifts they run and utilizing that number of lunches to calculate cafeteria capacities would not be a uniform method and could result in capacities changing from year to year. The more crowded a school is the higher its stated cafeteria capacity would be.

This is not the first time cafeteria capacities have been raised. The BOE already arbitrarily raised the cafeteria capacities a year ago when they decided to go to a four-lunch standard for all schools. That decision does not follow North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Facility Guidelines:

“The dining area size is determined by dividing the number of participating children by the number of seatings multiplied by the square footage per pupil (size = ADM ÷ number of seatings x sq. ft. per pupil). A very small school may have one seating. A very large school may have four seatings. For the typical school, three seatings make the best use of cafeteria facilities. A program of continuous serving and seating (equals the space required for about 2.5 seatings) requires some additional planning and may be most efficient.” North Carolina School Facilities Guidelines. p.35 http://www.schoolclearinghouse.org/p...er%202014).pdf

DPI clearly recommends schools be designed for three lunches. As a result, most of UCPS's schools were sized to match cafeterias designed based on the three-lunch recommendation. Gyms, media centers, hallways, restrooms, etc. were designed to accommodate roughly the same number of students as could be served by the cafeteria in most cases. If the cafeteria accommodated 900, the rest of the school was sized to accommodate a similar number of students. Arbitrarily raising cafeteria capacity to 1,200 using the four-lunch method does not raise the capacity of the gyms, media centers, hallways, restrooms, etc. to accommodate that arbitrary increase of 300 students and just results in overcrowding those other core areas. It also doesn't increase the area of the kitchen or the number of serving lines. Therefore, I think the BOE should reverse their decision to use four lunches as the standard for all schools.

Clearly, there is a mismatch between core capacity and classroom capacity at many of our facilities. I urge you to follow DPI guidelines and calculate cafeteria capacities using the three-lunch method. Ignoring core capacity issues to achieve a desired result in the realignment process will adversely impact the educations of students at many UCPS schools. Wouldn’t it be better to follow the guidelines for calculating core capacity and then add core capacity where needed to achieve the desired outcome for the realignment rather than unnecessarily overcrowding many schools to mask core issues at certain other schools?


Sincerely,
Citizens are emailing individual committee members. This is evident from the citizen emails posted on the website. I'm sure the Board Chair isn't sending personal scoldings to every citizen emailing committee members. So I think we need to ask ourselves what is it about this particular citizen's email that got her all in a tizzy?

I probably don't need to point out the hypocrisy of the BOE Chair scolding a concerned citizen for not being "transparent" by voicing their concerns in an email that went to every board member, two members of UCPS staff, the realignment committee email (aka Matt Cropper) and every individual email address they could find for a committee member when the BOE Chair herself is emailing committee members and the consultant while she publicly espouses to have no role in a totally "transparent" process.

On Aug 8, 2017, at 10:55 AM, Melissa Merrell
<Melissa.Merrell@ucps.k12.nc.us<mailto:Melissa.Mer rell@ucps.k12.nc.us>> wrote:

Mrs. Pugh,
Thank you for your input and suggestions. As a parent near 485, and living in an area that has
been redistricted 6+ times, your comments hold a lot of weight and need to be considered.

Matthew,
I have to agree with Mrs. Pugh. The first round of maps do not appear to show any careful
consideration for neighborhood schools/closest proximity, or transportation routes. Since 2014,
our Transportation rating has plummeted with loss of funding from the state because we are
busing students to the 4th or 5th farthest school. Prior to 2014, UCPS had an efficiency rating of
99% with affects how much funding we receive for our school district.

The first maps presented did not appear to take neighborhood schools or transportation into
consideration. The feedback I have received it that it appears that you took the boundary lines
from 2014 and "cleaned up the edges". This was not the intent of the Board when we voted to
enter into a contract for Realignment.

Regards,
Melissa Merrell - Board Chair
Board of Education - District 4
Piedmont & Porter Ridge Clusters
Attached Thumbnails
Union County School Board proposes new student realignment plan-screenshot-142-.png  
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Old 10-13-2017, 08:44 AM
 
114 posts, read 89,196 times
Reputation: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbaHelms View Post
Citizens are emailing individual committee members. This is evident from the citizen emails posted on the website. I'm sure the Board Chair isn't sending personal scoldings to every citizen emailing committee members. So I think we need to ask ourselves what is it about this particular citizen's email that got her all in a tizzy?
Hmmm... probably,

"School capacity should not be a political decision. School capacity should not change from year to year based on personal agendas." or

"We also have BOE members directing Mr. Cropper and the Citizens Advisory Committee to ignore core capacity for the current realignment." or maybe

"Wouldn’t it be better to follow the guidelines for calculating core capacity and then add core capacity where needed to achieve the desired outcome for the realignment rather than unnecessarily overcrowding many schools to mask core issues at certain other schools?"

The BOE Chair has had a plan since she was a CAPS Neighborhood Lead for Emerald Lake. To undo what was done to her and her friends. The Facilities Chair has had a plan since she was a CAPS Neighborhood Lead for The Estates at Wesley Oaks. To undo what was done to her and her friends.

The BOE was said to be out of the process at this point, they are eyeball deep, directing it. The original maps came out from the paid consultants, and it didn't align with what the BOE Chair and the Facilities Chair wanted, which was to take care of their people, and undo the horrible wrong of the 2014 Redistricting. So maps have been changed, Options Renamed, old maps removed so you can't compare. And now we have it set just how they like it. Numbers are changed to ensure it aligns.

Where is the outrage this time, students will be moved? I thought they were against students being moved? Where is the news media this time? I guess it is ok this time.
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:14 AM
 
631 posts, read 736,101 times
Reputation: 305
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phocion View Post

The BOE Chair has had a plan since she was a CAPS Neighborhood Lead for Emerald Lake. To undo what was done to her and her friends. The Facilities Chair has had a plan since she was a CAPS Neighborhood Lead for The Estates at Wesley Oaks. To undo what was done to her and her friends.

The BOE was said to be out of the process at this point, they are eyeball deep, directing it. The original maps came out from the paid consultants, and it didn't align with what the BOE Chair and the Facilities Chair wanted, which was to take care of their people, and undo the horrible wrong of the 2014 Redistricting. So maps have been changed, Options Renamed, old maps removed so you can't compare. And now we have it set just how they like it. Numbers are changed to ensure it aligns.

Where is the outrage this time, students will be moved? I thought they were against students being moved? Where is the news media this time? I guess it is ok this time.
They have become everything they despised about the last BOE. Disgusting.
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:35 AM
 
547 posts, read 535,517 times
Reputation: 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phocion View Post
That is a joke. The BOE Chair and the Facilities Chair had no issues sharing personal emails of people they didn’t like during their CAPS lawsuit discovery. Those poor people didn’t sign up for a committee like the CAC, they were just sending an email to their board representatives and they were put on a hit list by these CAPS thugs. Now they are all about protecting privacy. LOL! They are about protecting their privacy and keeping things opaque.

We just all need to realize. The BOE Chair and the Facilities Chair has one simple objective. Get their people back into the schools they want. It doesn’t matter how many students they have to move to do it. How many numbers they have to change. How many maps they have to tweak. To them the end will justify the means.
An illogical joke that received this response:

Melissa:

I would like to respond to your ridiculous comments about committee member correspondence. You wrote:

"You copied many but not all of the Committee members on your email. UCPS has not released the private email addresses of the Committee members to protect the privacy of these individuals and to keep this process transparent. If Committee members are using their personal email to discuss realignment with members of the community, they are taking away from the transparency of this process both to the community and to the other Committee members who could benefit from the input that is not being shared. I am sure that you can agree with that. Please refrain from sharing or using the Committee members’ personal and work emails on any future correspondence. The realignment email address (realignment@ucps.k12.nc.us<mailto:realignment@ucp s.k12.nc.us>) is to be used for correspondence with the full Committee in order to preserve a transparent process for all members and the public."

1. I am not a committee member.

2. If the committee members should not be emailed as individuals, then why are you emailing them as individuals? We can all see these emails posted on the UCPS webpage.

3. The committee members were not given UCPS email addresses so you could control the process. They only have their personal email addresses. Gary claimed in a series of rude, interrogating emails he sent to me that: " Everyone on the committee has been informed on multiple occasions not to use personal or business emails during this process." We all know that statement is untrue; but if so, then how are the committee members to correspond with the public whom they are supposed to represent?

4. If committee members should not be using their personal emails because doing so would be "taking away from the transparency of this process both to the community and to the other Committee members who could benefit from the input that is not being shared", should committee members also not be talking in person or via phone with community members or each other?

5. The realignment email address cannot "be used for correspondence with the full Committee". "Correspondence" is the exchanging of written communications. Emails sent to the realignment email address go to Mr. Cropper alone so the committee members have no way to reply to them.

Prohibiting committee members from communicating with the public makes for a transparent process? Frankly, everything you wrote is completely illogical.

Have a good day!
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:47 AM
 
631 posts, read 736,101 times
Reputation: 305
Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbaHelms View Post
An illogical joke that received this response:

Melissa:

I would like to respond to your ridiculous comments about committee member correspondence. You wrote:

"You copied many but not all of the Committee members on your email. UCPS has not released the private email addresses of the Committee members to protect the privacy of these individuals and to keep this process transparent. If Committee members are using their personal email to discuss realignment with members of the community, they are taking away from the transparency of this process both to the community and to the other Committee members who could benefit from the input that is not being shared. I am sure that you can agree with that. Please refrain from sharing or using the Committee members’ personal and work emails on any future correspondence. The realignment email address (realignment@ucps.k12.nc.us<mailto:realignment@ucp s.k12.nc.us>) is to be used for correspondence with the full Committee in order to preserve a transparent process for all members and the public."

1. I am not a committee member.

2. If the committee members should not be emailed as individuals, then why are you emailing them as individuals? We can all see these emails posted on the UCPS webpage.

3. The committee members were not given UCPS email addresses so you could control the process. They only have their personal email addresses. Gary claimed in a series of rude, interrogating emails he sent to me that: " Everyone on the committee has been informed on multiple occasions not to use personal or business emails during this process." We all know that statement is untrue; but if so, then how are the committee members to correspond with the public whom they are supposed to represent?

4. If committee members should not be using their personal emails because doing so would be "taking away from the transparency of this process both to the community and to the other Committee members who could benefit from the input that is not being shared", should committee members also not be talking in person or via phone with community members or each other?

5. The realignment email address cannot "be used for correspondence with the full Committee". "Correspondence" is the exchanging of written communications. Emails sent to the realignment email address go to Mr. Cropper alone so the committee members have no way to reply to them.

Prohibiting committee members from communicating with the public makes for a transparent process? Frankly, everything you wrote is completely illogical.

Have a good day!
Too Logical likes your logic. Good job.
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Old 10-13-2017, 10:59 AM
 
2,154 posts, read 2,353,730 times
Reputation: 3093
It may be time to reinstate the mid-month BOE work session with a small change. Use the work session as a time for the public to politely ask questions and make comments that the BOE or staff may choose to respond to during the meeting.

BOE sessions always have a public comments item, but no response from BOE members even if they wanted to respond.
With the advent of immediate gratification and misinformation via social media it might be a better option to allow UCPS to respond immediately if they so desire. Reserving the work session for just such an exchange may be good for community relations and certainly spike attendance at meetings. The key would be to keep it all civil so information, whether agreeable or not could be exchanged in real time.
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Old 10-13-2017, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Union County
5,783 posts, read 8,410,081 times
Reputation: 4818
Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbaHelms View Post
On Aug 8, 2017, at 10:55 AM, Melissa Merrell
<Melissa.Merrell@ucps.k12.nc.us<mailto:Melissa.Mer rell@ucps.k12.nc.us>> wrote:

Mrs. Pugh,
Thank you for your input and suggestions. As a parent near 485, and living in an area that has
been redistricted 6+ times, your comments hold a lot of weight and need to be considered.

Matthew,
I have to agree with Mrs. Pugh. The first round of maps do not appear to show any careful
consideration for neighborhood schools/closest proximity, or transportation routes. Since 2014,
our Transportation rating has plummeted with loss of funding from the state because we are
busing students to the 4th or 5th farthest school. Prior to 2014, UCPS had an efficiency rating of
99% with affects how much funding we receive for our school district.

The first maps presented did not appear to take neighborhood schools or transportation into
consideration. The feedback I have received it that it appears that you took the boundary lines
from 2014 and "cleaned up the edges". This was not the intent of the Board when we voted to
enter into a contract for Realignment.

Regards,
Melissa Merrell - Board Chair
Board of Education - District 4
Piedmont & Porter Ridge Clusters
Just fyi - Heather Pugh (who originally sent the email Ms. Merrell is referencing) was one of the CAPS leads for St Johns Forest:

Heather Pugh
Stevens Mill
Kristine Bechtel
St. Johns Forest

Ms. Merrell's email and direct instruction to Mr. Cropper to change the maps goes directly against the process she is representing. As a fellow CAPS lead herself, it's disingenuous to not be clear that she knows Ms. Pugh. Worse, yet - Ms. Pugh's email specifically referenced changing the Emerald Lake neighborhood, which is where Ms. Merrell lives... so here we have someone that the BOE Chair has a documented history with fighting the past realignment sending a suggestion to change the BOE Chair's own neighborhood, and then you have the BOE Chair directing the "independent" consultant to make the change.

It's indecent and immoral. Especially when you see Ms. Merrell replying to other emails that the realignment is "in the hands of the committee". I guess it's only in the hands of the committee when it's not her neighborhood.

Amazing.
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