Mount Pleasant Cottage School Superintendent James Gaudette

Mount Pleasant Cottage School Superintendent James Gaudette

 

Superintendent Gaudette

Superintendent James Gaudette

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1,079 Comments

  1. Mr. Gaudette creates new certification lines to cut experienced tenured special education teachers. He currently employees a teacher who does not have special education certification teaching our students classified with learning and/or emotional disabilities. He has cut all certified school counselors from the district and has distributed guidance duties to untrained school psychologists and social workers. The most vulnerable students who are in most need of guidance are left without proper support. There are no parents for these students to advocate for their needs as they are part of the foster care system.

    • Watch the State direction. It is based upon content specialty.

    • I suppose we should state that the school counselors at the time had no guidance plan and their poor work create more problems than solutions. It is well documented that the poor performance and inefficiencies cost more to the district than benefited the district. Also, the current configuration, without these individuals is more efficient and effective. Our Guidance plan is posted on our District website. Check it out.

      • Kids said they weren’t being seen by school counselors for the first three months of school this year. Whose documentation proves it is better, the ones you create? JCCA has a duty to protect these children and make sure they receive the services they are entitled to. IEPs were also changed illegally. I hope they will investigate.

        • Are you now questioning the integrity of the remaining PPS staff with respect to their RS logs and CSE meetings? I will look into this because my information does not support your allegations so I need to confirm.

          • IF you want to help these kids sit down with them and listen to their needs, pay attention their disabilities and make give them the ability to strive. I don’t expect you work a miracle with those who are too challenged to compute instruction, however they also need adequate assistance. Provide these kids with tutors. give them uniforms. Make school a real place not just a place they are made to attend. I believe that if your intentions are good and you work hard at it than there is nothing that you need to explain the evidence of these changes will speak for themselves. I hope that you are going to be the one to make a difference. After years of lies and ass coverers as I like to put its hard to believe your claims.

        • I am seriously appalled at the way James Gaudette, seems to be throwing all the blame on those who came before him and the incompetence of those who are “responsible”. Mr. Gaudette also throws the blame on the anxieties and pressure placed upon the facilitators and faulty. He does not make it clear what the actual complaint were which were filed against their division. All that seems clear is that the education and discrimination issues were brought to his attention at some point or other and he is now under pressure to do something about it. As he puts it things have improved since he has been in his position which started four years ago. My question is was this something he took upon himself or was the threat of loosing grants and perhaps his job what made him look into the matter. I must say that it seems to me that this is a indirect and fearful explanation of the event that conspire at these facilities. I was once a ward of the state under the care of JCCA. I must say that JCCA perhaps like many other agencies are over whelmed by the amount of children in care. They only cared about what was easiest for them and being the ones who are right and winning a battle with the courts other than what is the best interest of the child. The system fails the children who are in care. They didn’t provide us with the proper care in the cottages, nor educationally, nor did they care what we needed. They failed to provide us with the least bit of comfort, clothing or security. We were kept secluded in a place were there was no real way out. Most of the children who were in in the cottage schools were there due to lack of adequate placement or became trouble for the agency. I was never given the right to contact my lawyer no given the lawyers information because I left for dead. I did not have a social worker who advocated for me nor a mother who was actively involved with my services. My mother gave up due to stress and lack of hope. JCCA always had a story for why I was neglected or in imminent risk, there for the case was dragged on and on. When I turned 14 my mother and I had a conversation about her giving up her rights because she felt there was no hope. These cottage schools are poison and these kids are not safe there. They are abused by other children, there are no tutors and the schools are pretty crappy… It was hard for me to be a ward of the state and everything I said and did was held against me as if I were on trial. Foster care isn’t the answer for all these kids. My mother did use drugs and I was not being beaten to a pulp. I believe in my heart and have first hand knowledge of the abuses that conspire at these facilities and at JCCA. Its a game of cat and mouse. I was the mouse and JCCA and its employees were the Mountain Lions. With no one to turn to and no one to save us I hope that these facilities improve. I hope that the children who actually don’t need to be there aren’t sent there and for those who end up there get the security and attention they deserve. I was often told that I had to understand that life isn’t fair and that compassion and comfort were what the agency was responsible for. Foster homes are no better, I was lucky enough to go to home were I was physically abused or raped but I treaded lightly as possible. I remember not being given the adequate attention I needed. Sometimes I wasn’t given enough food, and I most certainly wasn’t provided the clothing I needed especially not at the RTC. The gave us 150$ a year to buy clothing from vendors who came to the facility. If there weren’t clothes and shoes your size lets face it you weren’t going to get any than. Also to make one thing clear my mother was part of my life she just wasn’t in the courts and they never listened to us poor minorities. Our complaints were un heard, and if they did get heard trust and believe we only made it worse on daily lives to be held with our abusers. When I finally got out of the RTC and began to advocate for myself while in a group home called UTOPIA ( what a joke of a name, although I must say out of all the places I was placed this was the best placement I ever had.) As I started to ask for resources available to me they began to spite me and I began to get several excuses to why I didn’t get the extracurricular activities which funds are to be provided by JCCA. I was told I didn’t do the work to find a place to get music lessons and that, it was my job to find a place and so forth. We didn’t have computers at the group home which was in Queens NY and the Agency was in the Bronx, were the computer they told me I could research a place would be at my disposal, but it had to be on a date that the director was available. Any social worker we had who had a heart was soon after fired. I got into a fight with a girl at the group home who assaulted me and I had been having problems with on and off and was sent back to the RTC and threated with harassment if I called the group home to check on friends. These things didn’t happen to me by accident they used their power against me every chance they had. I was even institutionalized and forced to take Abilify and Trileptol in order to stay at the group home shortly before the fight. So you see most of the workers don’t give a crap about us. With this being said I hope that it opens the eyes of those who have never experienced an RTC first hand or what it is like to be a Ward of the state in the custody of JCCA. I am not saying the system should be perfect but they can make some major improvement.

          • sorry that is a typo my mother did NOT at any time use drugs.

          • Thank you for sharing your experience with us. It’s not an easy fix for the agency/foster care system or the school. I truly believe there are staff members at the agency and in the school that truly care. The, “system” has limited their ability to do all they can. I pray things get better for the children in care. Good leadership is a great place to start. I wish you well in your future. You write well and it’s obvious you have inner strength to move you forward to success. Best..

        • Mr. Gaudette, you claimed that you will “look into this matter”. Has this investigation of mandated services begun? If students were not being seen was it actually the administration’s fault for making counselors provide too many other services they were untrained in? Why are some people constantly scrutinized, reprimanded, written up, or investigated for minor infractions while others seem to have a free pass for far more serious claims? The principal cursed and made other derogatory claims about staff during PLC meetings. It happened, many people witnessed it. PLC stands for Professional Learning Communities. This behavior was neither “Professional” or “Learning” oriented. PLEASE ANSWER THE QUESTION… Why is SHE not being investigated? Who did you call in to see if this behavior actually occurred? I didn’t hear of anyone being called in. Is it because her behavior was known, planned and condoned all along? Is it because those who are “loyal” are immune to disciplinary action? Is there another explanation?

    • this is all a game of cat and mouse where the poor children are bullied and all else doesn’t matter all the way up the chain. These people are hired due to their stone hearts and ability to cover the ass of the agency and provide as little need for funds as possible. If its kept on a hush hush than their in good standing once the shit hits the fan they want to tell us they didn’t turn the fan on in the first place and its infact not shit but chocolate maybe even nutella.

      • TO the person who wishes me the best thank you so much for your kind words. I had been troubled for sometime but as I got older I tried to defer from blame and to try and do better in life as best I can. I didn’t get the chance at a proper education so that means a lot to me hear that about me writing well. you’re absolutely right that there are some workers who do care and I am thankful for them they mean so much to a child and children who are like me and who are or were in those kinds of places. I agree that there has to be a good leadership the problem is the problem is much bigger than I am able to compute due to me never working as a social worker or for a foster care agency so I can only speak for what I experienced and witnessed myself as a ward of the state. I did have the luxury of having some “home mothers” who cared. I would say 70 percent of the staff at these places who work with us in the cottages and in the school as aids do care. Just as its been said here those who try and go against the current wash up on shore. Thank you sincerely
        yours
        Barbara.

        • Hi Barbara, this wound up at the end of the messages. Wanted to repost with your original message.

          Dear Barbara,
          Thank you for sharing your story. I hope that all of us facing these issues will have the courage, honesty and strength that you have shown as we attempt to make these institutions better. I am sure that your story will be an inspiration to those who read it and want to work for better conditions. Thank you and keep the faith that you have the resources to persevere. It is clear from your letter that you have a lot to offer the world. Perhaps you will be one of the people who help will change the system you describe. Your letter is certainly a start.
          God Bless

      • Man Geunthner you’re whacked. What’s with the Nutella comment.

    • evasion of tenure

      Looks like Mr. Gaudette just posted three new dually certified elementary school teachers. I guess more special education certified teachers will be riffed. Looks like he will not stop until we file an article 78 for evasion of tenure. I guess Mr. Gaudette wants to spend every day writing responses to law suits. How is the board of education approving these new hires?

      • Learn What a Tenure Line is

        First off this is not Mr. Gaudette

        Any attorney who tells you that this is tenure evasion is just out to collect some more legal fees from you. He must be laughing all the way to the bank when he cashes your checks.

        If you file an article 78 the judge will either give you a lesson on tenure lines or just laugh you straight out of the courtroom kind of like what happened in your gender discrimination case. Oh wait that one was so ridiclous it got dismissed before it even got into a courtroom.

        As anyone reading this blog has seen you cannot admit when you are wrong. Since I am assuming that this trend will continue I look foward to your irrational response that will be cluttered with ignorance, misinformation and straight out lies.

        • Mr Gaudette I am not sure who you are addressing your response to and what it is about. I do know that there is past case law with similar cases that were evasion of tenure. I do not need a lawyer to look up case law. You might want to check it out before you give a pompous impulsive response.

          • Did you get a chance to read the post with all the dismissals yet? Was he being pompous or giving you a reality check?

        • in all honestly, you sound the idiot with the irrational response… There are laws and lawyers that will protect teachers.

          • Not Mr. Gaudette

            Thank You for proving my prediction! Irrational, ignorrant, misinformation and lies! A judge you will try to explain to you tenure lines you will ramble on about your entitled nonsense.

            Someone in your group recentely ran for a union position and lost 28-9. The fact that you still think that this can only be Mr. Gaudette show how blind you are to the truth.

          • We, all of us even the weaker ones who feel they need to conform to survive ARE entitled to a few things. We are entitled to be treated with respect. We are entitled to be valued as a professional as we worked hard by getting an education, meeting certification requirements and working many years learning from our experiences. I have never heard Nr Gaudette ask anyone for their professional opinion. We are entitled to go to work every day and feel supported. We are entitled to feel as though we will have a job tomorrow and the next day to support our families. We are entitled to be told when we do something wrong immediately and gently with suggestions on how we can improve. We are entitled to have our personal business kept confidential. We are entitled to have fair union representation. These ARE entitlements. This blog us not meant for name calling and disrespect. Sometimes comments are harsh and made with anger. I will ask everyone once again to please stop name calling and attacking. These actions will not facilitate improvement. They will further divide and harm the district. Thank you.

          • “It’s easy to stand with the crowd, it takes courage to stand alone”.

            Gandhi

          • You are standing alone because you are alone. You are not as courageous as you are out of touch. Don’t confuse yourself.

        • How about just not ruining people’s lives by laying them off Mr. Gaudette. Maybe you will get a taste of your own medicine someday. There is no reason for you lay people off and you know it. Look at the safety reports. Things have gotten worse as you force kids into classes they are not academically or emotionally prepared for. Kids lives are being ruined too. They give up and become truant because they don’t want their peers to know they can’t learn in the classes you force them into. Why don’t you ask the teachers and assistants, they know what’s going on. It’s because you never ask anyone anything. You know it all. When do you EVER ask the people who are with the kids all day what is best for them? Are you afraid you’d have to stop laying people off and wouldn’t save money? It’s a disgrace. THE TRUTH IS FINALY OUT. I just hope someone is listening.

          • You went to the BOE, the press, SED, PERB, SDHR, EEOC, your own Union and the general public. Everybody listened. The truth is out. The problem you have is that no one believes your spin.

          • This is a story about how hard it is to change an entrenched system. A system that over the years was turned into job protection for the adults rather than the original mission of educating children. One where their was an external locus of control rather than internal as these individuals would cast blame on everyone but themselves when students were not successful or they did not get their way. The volitile comments and actions the most entrenched took had many forms and often tried to project that they were working for the kids interests but the truth of their actions were stated in the opening salvos of contempt in this blog. They did not want the school to change if it required them to change. This is classic change theory. The individuals herein were the very few. Most professionals at MPCS eventually became more successful in the new model of an academically driven and accountable system. Their success translated into greater student success in terms of skill development in a variety of sectors. The school has more work to do. But the critical mass of problem solvers has and will continue to grow now that the few but vocal and hostile problem creators and drama queens have been marginalized.

          • During the 2010-2011 school year with the nearly exclusive use of a “self-contained” model teachers use seclusion as a discipline strategy over 10,000 times in one year. That is over 47 students being removed from class a day on average. In the 2015 school year seclusion was used 44 times. The argument from our bloggers is that they know better and that a self contained model is better for the children. Yet the very same teachers dealt with most any disruption by removing the child to seclusion.

            If a child has a learning disability and can not do math would a teacher send the student to seclusion for an inability to complete the math assignment or becoming frustrated and refusing? I would hope not. But teachers who signed up to teach in a school full of Emotionally Disturbed youth use seclusion to address the emotional disability apparently at almost any exhibition of that disability.

            So the answer is a resounding no. You were not helping children in any capacity that one can find. You sent children out of your class often and for prolonged times to make your life easier. You did not set up Child Study Teams or Behavior Intervention Plans. Neither their behavior, social skills or academics were appropriately addressed. You now try to use theses same children as human shields to protect your positions and present that you are only engaging in your protracted battle for them.

          • So in the end the lives you are concerned about are the teachers who got layed off. While that is most unfortunate, it is a by product of change. A necessary change to ensure that the organization improved in efficiency and effectiveness to improve the opportunity of the youth we serve. Your employment is secondary to meeting the needs of the youth we serve. Remember that.

        • I believe that “Evasion of Tenure” is a relatively recent legal term. Article 78 may have been suggested as a possible venue to make inroads against this district’s actions against tenured teachers as case law is evolving. It is a proceeding used to appeal the decision of a NY State or local agency to the New York Courts. It is based, among other things, upon whether the body or officer failed to perform a duty prescribed upon it by law. It also involves a possible abuse of discretion, which I would assume is what is being challenged in the Evasion of Tenure petitions.

          I am not sure why a person would say “… the judge will either give you a lesson in tenure lines or laugh you out of court”. I can assure you that judges do not take cases brought before them as laughing matters and generally take the allegations of the litigants quite seriously, whether ultimately deemed valid or not. This is particularly true in a proceeding where one party has significant economic resources behind them, and the other, especially by possible virtue of actions by the defendant, does not. I would also venture to say that the legal system does not generally look favorably upon those deemed to be “repeat offenders”, or those with an ongoing pattern of violations, as seems to be the case here.

          • Evasion of Tenure a relatively recent legal term. Sounds like you made it up yourself so I guess it is very recent.

            In your defense, the Judge didn’t laugh you out of court but on the down side you did receive some damning dismissals.

          • Apparently given all of the dismissals MPCS is not a repeat offender as you suggest. What we have here are repeat litigators.

          • Our litigants have used every available venue to sue. To date they have either lost or settled for no monetary gain or given anything they could not have achieved without the litigation in the first place. They have tried to use forums that place more financial burden on the district and used that to try to pressure the BOE. They continued to claim wrong doing as evidenced by the volume of legal claims. The union did not pursue the claims after researching the issues. The dismissals keep coming and the district keeps improving.

    • The cyber bully says...

      “Mr. Gaudette, you’re not on my radar….don’t get on it.”

      -FPORTELOS-

      • I think by definition a “cyber bully” hides behind a computer.

      • If anyone is wondering if Mr. Gaudette’s IP address matches the IP address of the anonymous person posting “Cyber Bully” and “Give Mr Portelos Money” ….know it’s the same

        • Here we have it. Clear evidence of Mr. Gaudette’s harassing and Bullying behavior. Board of Education, can you PLEASE see what this means? You have been manipulated and lied to by a master, but the truth is right here. There is much more evidence, much more undeniable evidence. It is in the pages of all of those lawsuits. Mr. Gaudette is trying to wear people down financially or “settle” it away before it comes out. PLEASE let this be the moment where you realize you have been played, and PLEASE refuse to be played any longer. PLEASE do something before more people are hurt and more valuable resources for our students are wasted.

          • I’m not sure what happened to the posts that I saw before… Someone posted “Give Portelos money” And “Cyber Bully” over and over, like a Maniac. Now you know The Superintendant did this?? What other district would tolerate this..not one with parents involved, not the district my kids go to. Doesn’t anybody out there care what’s happening at this place and to these kids? Maybe it’s time to get the media involved if your Board won’t do something. Someone should call Lo Hud or channel 12 or send them this blog.

        • No surprise there.
          He should start his own blog. Then he could pontificate to his hearts desire; on his or the districts time.I wonder how many followers he would get then.

    • Give Bryan Glass money!! Lord knows he has trouble earning it.

  2. Mr. Gaudette eliminated self-contained classes for students who have a history of severe trauma, abuse, neglect, and/or psychiatric illness leaving students feeling overwhelmed and overstimulated resulting in truancy and an increase in long term suspensions.

    • Kids have a right to the Least Restrictive Environment. I know that some teachers got laid off because of this but the kids rights to a quality education trump certain property rights of staff. You conceptual leap to increasing long term suspension is not valid.

    • This is unfair. These kids should have their needs met and since these children are in the care of social services they should be well educated, safe and given all the resources they need to strive. Is that why the agencies and their employees are meant to do? sad world we live in really it is. The children who are severally mentally ill or challenged don’t stand a chance in over whelmed class rooms and should have classes that meet there needs or curriculum that meets their intellect level. If they are over whelmed they will give up and they will feel ashamed and depressed due to feeling not good enough which I know is what most of these kids are already feeling, unheard, unwanted and alone with no one who truly cares. its sad.

      • What is even more sad is that you use these kids as human shields to protect your job as a special education teacher and your position in the middle class. You taught them at their level and never expected or challenge them to excellence because it was too hard for you. You measured your success on how you felt about you and not on what will happen to a child after they left you and had no more academic skills or possibility of opportunity than before they met you. Your belief system is one of the major reasons The educational system hasn’t been able to change poverty in America.

    • FOR THE UNDERDOG

      Mr. Gaudette has eliminated the (special education) self-contained model and replaced it with (dually-certified) rotation. I understand that every student should be able to receive services in the least restrictive environment. However, the self-contained class, may very well be the least restricted environment for a large majority of our students. (Probably the ones that no longer attend school, due to the anxiety of switching classes combined with the fear of failure.) Self- contained classes allow students to feel comfortable in their learning environment. They have one teacher, with one set of rules, and they are surrounded by the same group of students every day, all day. Trust is very difficult for most of these students and it is much easier to establish a trusting relationship with one teacher and one class, than it is with four or five different teachers and multiple classmates. These students need to trust their learning environment in order to thrive. A student will hesitate to read aloud or ask a question if they do not feel safe. They also need the support that a Certified Special Educator can provide (individual lesson plans, differentiated instruction, remediation when necessary etc). It’s more about the ability to understand a student’s needs and learning style than it is about how much academic knowledge you possess. When these students believe in their teacher, they will learn from them. These students have failed in school time and time again and they require the extra support that the Self-Contained Model provides. There are exceptions and there should be (dually-certified) rotation for these students. Bring back the self-contained model and watch the attendance rise. I know by bringing back the “underdogs”, your personal rating may go down, but aren’t we obligated to teach ALL students. Give all the students the proper setting they need to thrive. The students who are internally motivated will thrive regardless of the licensing of their teacher, however, the unmotivated ones will fall apart and drop out without the extra support they need and deserve.

      • To: For The Underdog: Thank you for an intelligent, moving and honest comment that is focused on the needs of the students and provides clear suggestions for improvement that Mr. Gaudette claims to be asking for. Let’s see how many he takes.. The ball is in HIS court, and it generally has been. It’s time to start passing the ball and playing the real game of using the skills of experienced and veteran players ing with the new skills, energy and ideas of the “rookies”. Also, not forgetting the middle players, not superstars, not new, who are the under appreciated sup

        From: An Underdog

    • One more time for emphasis!

      During the 2010-2011 school year with the nearly exclusive use of a “self-contained” model teachers use seclusion as a discipline strategy over 10,000 times in one year. That is over 47 students being removed from class a day on average. In the 2015 school year seclusion was used 44 times. The argument from our bloggers is that they know better and that a self contained model is better for the children. Yet the very same teachers dealt with most any disruption by removing the child to seclusion.

      If a child has a learning disability and can not do math would a teacher send the student to seclusion for an inability to complete the math assignment or becoming frustrated and refusing? I would hope not. But teachers who signed up to teach in a school full of Emotionally Disturbed youth use seclusion to address the emotional disability apparently at almost any exhibition of that disability.

      So the answer is a resounding no. You were not helping children in any capacity that one can find. You sent children out of your class often and for prolonged times to make your life easier. You did not set up Child Study Teams or Behavior Intervention Plans. Neither their behavior, social skills or academics were appropriately addressed. You now try to use theses same children as human shields to protect your positions and present that you are only engaging in your protracted battle for them.

    • James Gaudette

      This is a Civil Rights issue. We need to provide the highest quality education to children in the Least Restrictive Environment. It is our job to figure out how to do that task. To shortchange these children to a lower level of expectation without first methodically trying to support their higher achievement would be failure for everyone involved. I thank those teachers and support staff who rose to the challenge. Your results are nothing less than miraculous and the children will have more opportunity for it.

  3. The Board of Education should closely investigate this man’s actions. It is sad that what has gone on there would never have been tolerated in a school with parental involvement. These are some of the most vulnerable and neglected children who are having their rights violated. Staff who dare to raise concerns or report violations are dealt with in a severe manner, thereby discouraging others from doing the same. Union leaders who are more concerned with keeping themselves comfortable advise against reporting violations that harm the students and often turn against those who do and are retaliated against. Why isn’t the Board investigating these allegations more thoroughly? Instead of allowing cases to be “settled” and protecting Mr. Gaudette from further legal action, it seems they should stop the illegal and unethical actions from occurring in the first place. These children deserve better.

  4. There have been many New York State special education law violations that have been sustained (founded) and violations are still continuing to occur. He has no regard for laws that were created to protect and educate children.

    • Procedural issues not substantive issues. You can blame that on me if you want. I am not going to throw others under the bus on that but I was late to that party.

      • Three years late? You were in charge for years and always knew what was going on and in fact directed people to do it. There are emails too so you might want to watch who you do or don’t “throw under the bus”.

        • Bring you information forward in a constructive way I can say with complete conviction that the staff left in the PPS department are dedicated to making sure we are a quality service and in full compliance. It is a very complicated business.

          • In my many years of teaching, have never heard an Administrator describe his staff as being in “full compliance”. You are demonstrating the very issues that concerns us… You are a control freak and it’s scary. I am one of your staff and to be out of “compliance” means your job or harassment that leads you to quit…

          • See that is where you are mistaken. Compliance is the basic requirement for all of us. We are dedicated to compliance and striving for excellence. If you are a current employee I hope you will decide to be part of that. Otherwise you are a drag on those who have stepped up to the challenge.

          • Thought you were “late to the party?” Now that you know there’s evidence “it’s complicated”. Always ready with a new angle. Hope people see through it.

          • I was late to those decisions. I say it is complicated business because I,do not blame those that made to mistake on the PNW’s. and that afterall is the compliance issue we are speaking about.

          • I was late to those decisions. I say it is complicated business because I,do not blame those who made to mistake on the PNW’s. And that, afterall, is the compliance issue we are speaking about.

  5. Me. Gaudette has no interpersonal skills whatsoever. He is the worst possible choice to consider when filling a leadership position. He uses unethical, bullying tactics to try and keep his staff in line and the only ones that suffer are the students. Students that need more support than others in typical school settings. Having worked with some of those kids, I know how much they benefit from qualified teachers and I am very concerned that Mr. Gaudette and Ms. Baron are ruining their chances to succeed in a Common Core world. Many of the young men and women I worked with had high hopes and attainable dreams. It is very sad. Mr. Gaudette has a history of harassing and discriminating against people; female employees in particular. He needs to be stopped. The Board needs to open their eyes and make the Mount Pleasant Cottage School a place that people can be proud to send their kids and a place that students can be proud to graduate from.

    • OK. I will admit that my interpersonal skills need improvement. That is a work in progress. That being said, the level of academic achievement appears to be increasing rather dramatically so I remain optimistic that students are proud of their accomplishments when receiving a diploma, CDOS credential or SACC from our school. We are way ahead in the Common Core. We started that focus four years ago. Our current teachers (probably not in any posts) have expertise and success teaching common core aligned curriculum. I am proud of what they do and think our students have a better chance at attaining their dreams because of it. I am equal opportunity with respect to hassling people.

    • I personally feel that every women he has harassed and sent home crying should come together an file a civil harassment law suit against him and the District there are way too many of us for the board not to look into this matter!!!!

      • They did file. They lost.

        • Critical note:

          “…there are too many of us for the Board not to look into this matter!!!!”

          Notice the emphasis with 4 exclamation points. The tactic was to gain advocates to litigate and place political pressure in such a way as to force a pause or abandonment of change that threatened their financial interests.

  6. Mr. Gaudette needs to be in control of every detail in the district. So much that all but one original Administrator remained in position. All others went running for the door with premature (forced?)retirements. Ms. Baron, was brought to the district by Mr. Gaudette; he had worked with her previously; I wonder what went wrong with her last position? Since she arrived she has had different administrative titles and duties. She is submissive to Mr. Gaudette; not permitted to make any decisions on her own. Another new administrator was promoted in one year from an untenured, part time teacher to a district level administrator before even finishing his administration program.

    Mr. Gaudette explains to counselors how to counsel students as he states,that they didn’t know what to talk about with kids before he arrived, He explains to teachers how to teach as he states, “our teachers are not the brightest of the bunch”.

    Maybe he should just eliminate the entire staff and perform all the roles in the district.

    • I am not sure why you are dragging the principal into this. I am pretty sure that is my picture is at the top of this forum. I am not interested in sharing my fame here with her at this time. Focus people.

      • She will do anything to appease you in order to keep her job. She is just as unethical as you are. She makes fun of staff in front of other staff and has even made fun of you at times.

      • REMOVE THAT RIDICULOUS PICTURE. Please Mr. Portelos

        • Have you tired pretty please yet? If that doesn’t work put some sugar on top. At a last resort add a cherry.

  7. Yesterday at a PLC meeting (supposed professional mtg.for teachers to discuss ideas & strategies amongst themselves) MsBaron, our principal, warned us all to “protect our asses” as certain people are trying to bring down the organization. She said that “Mr. gaudette is protecting his ass” and “Ms Baron said she is protecting her ‘ass”.
    It makes me wonder why a teacher who Ms Baron accused of using inappropriate language in a PLC mtg. back in October, 2014, was suspended the next day and now our principal does the same thing with no consequences. (Keep in mind that a PLC meeting has all adults – teachers, ass’ts. and other staff).
    Thx,
    “what’s good for the goose…”

    • Dear Taxpayer,

      You sound like staff that was disciplined. Please try to match your title with your criticism in the future. It assists with credibility.

      • You are again argumentative… Admit that Ms. Baron used inappropriate language. She should be “disciplined”. 15 people her say it…

        • 15 people heard her say it.

          • Still wondering if Ms. Baron is going to be disciplined. What kind of example are you setting if a teacher is disciplined for something and then the Principal does the same exact thing and thensome (she said it multiple times) and you let her off the hook?

          • The same thing? Are you saying that Ms. Baron dropped the f bomb several times when refusing to complete the PLC assignment? Because that would be “the same thing”

  8. Gaudette and Baron will stop at NOTHING to protect themselves from being caught at all the unethical things they do including slander, harassment, lying, bullying. It’s insane that it’s gone on so long. The union leadership appeases him. As long as they’re not the ones under fire collect their little perks and allow them to get away with it.

  9. Why isn’t something being done about removing these two people whose abuses of power are so egregious as to be criminal? Is there no one to look out for the welfare and education of the students? I am a parent with children in the public school system, and I can assure you that if these atrocities were being perpetrated on my children, these two miscreants would be brought up to the bar of justice pronto!

    But these children do not have parents who care for them. These children must rely on their educators and teachers – teachers who are prevented from doing their duties by the whims of a tyrannical Supervisor.

    Where is the Board of Education on this? One of their prime duties is to see that such miscarriages of justice are not condoned. Are they not doing their jobs? Please! Somebody must do something to help these children!.

    An Outraged Parent!.

    • An outraged parent of kids in a different school. Deduction says it is an upset employee with kids.

      • Or should I say “former employee” with a beef.

        • More Questions for Mr. Gaudette

          Which could be any one of 50% of your staff that you forced early retirement, cut for budgetary reasons, or forced to resign. It could also be someone still there working under extreme hostile conditions and praying for relief. Either way, make a difference and fix things the correct way. It’s never to late and you will earn a lot more respect if you start over.

          • So basically Gaudette found a legal way to reinvigorate an entrenched system for a school
            that was designated as persistently failing for over seven years by SED. NCLB requirements call it a “Turnaround” and state that the main obstacle is the resistance given the requirement for staff replacement. Yes close to 50% of the staff were changed. MPCS is no longer designated as Persistently Failing. The number of students taking and passing Regent’s exams is at an all time high. Groups of teachers now get together at regularly scheduled times to solve common problems rather than complain about how no one supports them, or they are not paid enough, or as denoted in this blog how the Superintendent is a failure because he doesn’t buy them bagels enough!

    • All it takes to have a wretched administrator removed from office is to write and submit a slew of 310 Appeals to the Commissioner. Best done if a well known state offically recognized organization like the PTA or SEPTA organizes the 310 appeals efforts, submitting one for every three parents that come forward as a group. All it takes is 3 people to form a class action suit. From the comments on this board, more than three caring adults are that inflamed over this superintendents behavior.. Kitchen bitchin’ isnt going to change anything but a well organized focused intensive paper drive, will. Teachers forced to retire early are also best able to organize violations for 310 Appeal submissions. They can also help to inundate FOILS to the district while also knocking door to door obtaining petition signatures to submit to local senators and gov. Cuomo demanding removal of this administrator. With so many commentators outraged over MP districts complete disregard for thr children im surprised this hasnt happened yet. Expecting this administrator to change is akin to asking a scorpion to please be nice.

      Lesson of the day fellow warriors – BE the change you wish to see in the world.

  10. At a recent meeting he acted like he didn’t care about the blog, and made a joke about it. Then he told everybody it really wasn’t anonymous and could be traced, still with a smile on his face. He threatens people in a way that is hard to even prove. Dont believe him and don’t let him scare you, the only way to stop a bully is to stand up to him. He should use his intelligence to help people, not hurt them.

    • He cannot trace. Mr. Gaudette worry more about your support for the school district and your legacy while thinking less about who left these comments.

      I left this one. Francesco Portelos http://www.educatorfightsback.org

      • Dear Spiderman,

        I,made the comment not because I am interested in knowing who your anonymous internet bullies are, but rather so the positive people in the district can’t be traced by you.

        • Really? Even you must know this doesn’t make sense. This lie makes me think all your other answers are lies. You are hurting people for no reason but your desire for revenge and control. You are calling other people bullies?

          • Since some of my posts have been screened out, I do maintain that people should be cautious speaking out in this forum. I think the attacking naruture of this forum is indicative of what positive people should be prepared to endure. That was the reason for my comments at the faculty meeting. I do admit that I had a contemptuous smile. I mean, come on, look at this website. If you don’t want people to laugh get rid of the superhero images for a start.

        • Where are the positive people? I’m eager to hear from them. I think that everyone is postive until you start your bullying act.

          • It looks like Mr. Gaudette continues to spread the word that he is “investigating” who is blogging on this site. It is not going to work. EVERYONE realizes that you are just attempting to scare people and control them.

          • James Gaudette

            http://www.theexaminernews.com/current-former-staffers-charge-cottage-school-failing-students/

            Here are the positive people. The 15 staff who came out to answer the questions and confront your misrepresentations. All of which were eager to assist in the light of day, gave their names and ask for a picture. In addition, let’s count the over 3 dozen teachers who came out to support them. They cheered so often and loud it seemed more like a pep rally than a panel presentation.

          • Press conference?

            Before the Pleasantville Examiner article, in response to the reporter’s written questions, the superintendent held a “press conference” as he called it. He sent the staff a letter calling it this. It was a very unusual press conference. He gave the questions and it seems to some, answers, to the staff who he asked to participate. Guess he changed it to “panel discussion” in his post.

            During this meeting he was the only one allowed to ask questions and directed them to specific people. If someone got stuck in an answer he jumped in to better explain what they were supposed to be saying. He is now saying it was like a pep rally? If that is true, why wasn’t the staff allowed to be questioned without him watching and directing everything? Why wasn’t the reporter even allowed to directly ask questions? Nobody but him was allowed to ask questions. What was he afraid of her finding out? It was not a press conference or a pep rally since I heard most people were asked but not eager, to participate. If he asks you to do something it’s not really a choice and if you said any of this in the “light of day” you probably wouldn’t have a job.

          • Do you really think all those people came out to support their peers because they were coerced?

        • See Portelos post of April 2, 2015 at 10:59.

          This is the second lie in this blog alone. You are the cyber bully as you are actively manipulating the content of the blog as well as the headings at the top.

          • What is being manipulated? What are the lies? It is not clear what you are referring to.

          • Let me clarify. The blog started with a heading regarding the multiple lawsuits and surmising that Gaudette violates teacher rights. It was changed to an internal memo with additionally charged accusations. Finally it was changed to the one above as if portelos and his cronies only want to help improve the environment. Their real motive is to protect their positions but they claim it is of a higher order. That is the most insidious form of evil.

          • What is worse is the continued citing of scripture to give some appearance of these people having a noble agenda. Doesn’t ISIS use religion to support their campaign too?

    • Did you get beat up a lot as a child and a teenager, Gaudette? That’s how vengeful bullies are born.
      They have pills for your fears and anxieties. Get help before you get fired. I’m sure the district will pay for it & they are probably hoping you will get help.

  11. Mr. Gaudette decided that cognitively impaired students who are alternately assessed don’t deserve the support of certified teaching assistants. I wonder if it’s because these students don’t take Regents exams so if he can’t boast about scores going up to the Board of Education, he doesn’t care about improvement. Shame on you Mr. Gaudette. Only thinking about yourself once again!

    • When he hired a reading teacher last year she was trying to test and work with some of the alternatively assessed kids, but Gaudette and Baron stopped her. Apparently there was “no point” in providing those kids with some reading support. Then he got rid of the reading teacher so now none of the kids are getting any help. Half our kids can’t read. This man is the WRONG choice for our school. He only cares about making his high salary and that’s it. Open your eyes Board members.

      • Actually the record shows that this teacher was overcharging the district for services. Subsequently we went to a model of professional development that provided that all teachers would be a teacher of literacy and were able to save that money on an inadequate service.

        • I know the teacher you are talking about. She is a great teacher and a kind and honest person. There is no such “record” and you know it. Of course what you say isn’t true. You try to destroy people who get in your way. EVERYBODY THERE KNOWS IT because you’ve done it so many times. Your lies don’t wash here. Maybe you should start your own blog for all of the “positive people” you speak of. However, please don’t confuse respect with fear in your assessments of “positive” and “negative” people.

          • Positive people are those contributing to the mission of our organization. I do not assume to know their motivation. I do not see blogs as an expression of the real state of things as this forum is a prime example. Full of conviction and ridicule but low on facts and solutions. However, the Union recently read a prepared statement distancing themselves from the actions of this group. Subsequently, I must admit, your actions probably had as much to do with our recent improvement trajectory as mine. For that, I thank you.

          • I do not need my own blog. This one does just fine.

          • This is my blog! My name is at the top of it! It is now the first draft of my work on change theory. It would have never happened without you.

            Thanks.

        • Since when do teachers “charge”? You agree on a salary and pay it. You asked someone to test every kid in the school and work with the ones that need the most help. A few staff did stipends too. And she did you a favor. Nobody wanted to do it. That had nothing to do with her job as reading teacher. She needed prep time for reading and also time to do stipend and test the kids. She was in the library a lot for ELA work in her lunch time and anyone thagt went to he office she would make time for her even it the meeting was not scheduled. She was a good staff and decent person.

          • Gaudette says this is his blog?
            Hey Portellos, lets start by replacing his picture with a picture of the kids that this is about and for.
            Or better yet a picture of all the teachers and staff that this bully has forced out.

          • Or better yet a picture of all the kids that graduated with a regents diploma.

          • Then it will truly be “Gaudette’s Blog”

    • Because I think that the provision of two aides in each class is a more cost affective approach to addressing students with similar cognitive needs but less impulse control

      • Sorry, this post should be with the Teaching Assitant concern. I am still getting up to speed with this blogging thing.

  12. Question for Mr. Gaudette

    Why don’t the students say the pledge of allegiance each day? After years of displaying the giant crochet flag made by students at graduation, why was it taken down last year and not displayed. These students were so proud of their accomplishment! Where is your patriotism? Why was the plaque recognizing students names who created beautiful artwork taken down in the main hallway? Why aren’t you celebrating student success? Is it because you can’t take the credit for these things?

    • The good news is students are now spending their time preparing to be college and career ready as opposed to crocheting flags.

  13. More Questions for Mr. Gaudette

    Mr. Gaudette, if we are having budget difficulties, why did you spend money on student lockers that are not being used? Why did you spend money on speakers to play classical music outside the school to deter students from standing outside the school building? Was this yet another impulsive decision that didn’t pan out? Why did you carpet the hallway outside of the district office? Didn’t you also spend grant money on things that were not approved for the grant money and had to repay it? I guess you’re the only one permitted to make mistakes. Didn’t you also get a raise?

    • Actually, because students should have access to lockers. It is a normal school thing. The speakers helped to move students from that area without the need for security to confront them. Currently we do not need that intervention anymore. But if we do I will reinstate because it works better than putting security in a position to confront. My goal is to reduce confrontation of students and help minimize placing security in harms way.

      • All they would do is hide drugs in then. They are using old book from other. Its a business there kid are dollar sign to this place. You have right now I kid that has an agency phone. He is the eye and ear of the place. He don’t go to school. He don’t have a GED or high school. diploma. He works better that paid staff. If something big happen right now. He would call them and they come sweep it under the rug. The kids are the only one who hurt. Its sad they don’t care.

        • More Questions for Mr. Gaudette

          Thank you for sharing your opinion. I hope you can return to school when things get better. I’m sorry the leaders let you down. Please never give up on education just because this place let you down.

  14. Everyone,
    The point of this site is about awareness, accountability and action. The three A’s. What our group would like to see is for your district to progress. For the students’ sake first. If that means having this faceless forum because otherwise would bring retaliation, then so be it.

    My personal peeve is when good teachers get shafted due to personality conflicts, budgets or alternative motives. Has that happened here? If it has, how can it be rectified? Again, for the students’ sake.

    • This is the problem. Your personal peeve has blinded you to create a site that is basically used as a smear campaign for people who have no other alternative because the facts do not support them. They are provided with a forum to misrepresent the facts to further their personal agenda. Like the movie states… “With great power comes great responsibility” if you want to be seen as Spiderman as it appears on your website, you need to accept responsibility for what you created.

      • This site, in general, has helped many. Wish we didn’t need it though.

        • I wish it could be turned into a more productive dialogue. Not sure how to do that though. I ask for your help as you obviously have more experience with this than I and ultimately, it is your baby.

        • You don’t need it for anything other than building your self esteem.

      • I noticed that you changed the top of this forum to one that is less accusatory and more nuetral. I wanted to recognize that and thank you. Some posts may not have the same clarity but I think your willingness to develop a more balanced approach is commendable.

    • Please post my last comment to your post and advertise that the first replies to each post are from me. I stand by my convictions and firmly believe that a transparent approach will overcome those who hide in the darkness of annoymity for personal gain. Let the public decide who is working for kids and who is not.

      With any luck, this can be my legacy.

      James Gaudette

      • With all due respect, the kids hate you… They see right through you and strongly believe you could care less about them. They love and respect a handful of teachers that they trust. Kids are not stupid. They see what’s going on. They know you are abusive and disliked. Some of them stated that they actually liked the Superintendent that was there before you. Your goal is to get them on your side, which is the same goal you should have for your staff… What actual experience do you have working with kids from broken homes?

        • You have no idea about my experience with broken homes. You insult me as I am confident it is greater than yours. And I know the best way to escape poverty is education. And the best way to get an education is in a quality school that has more than a self proclaimed “handful of teachers”.

          • Our entire school is only a “handful of teachers”. If you have so much experience why have you been emotionally abusive to students, taunting them and embarrassing them as a means of controlling them. Why do you you think you got jumped? Students take control and aggressively act out when they feel humiliated, embarrassed or belittled. Please do not brag about your experience.

    • I did notice that you omitted one of my posts. That swayed the veiwpoint and is not a fair play.

      • Not at all. We actually took off moderation. We can’t keep approving these manually. I hope everyone can keep this clean.

        • It is still missing.

          • I just found another I missed. The Spider-Man one?

          • Why can’t I reply to your question about the missed post? To answer that question, no, the spiderman comment was in anger about your failure to allow the pet peeve response for so long. I see you did so I extend my thanks for that.

            Seriously though, get rid of the superhero references. It is too comical…get it? COMICal.

          • Just repost it. I definitely don’t believe in unfair moderation. Perhaps there was a glitch. My side says ask went through.

          • The picture under mrportelos.com? That was a motivation for a project where students had to use Photoshop to super hero themselves.

          • I am referring to the picture of you in the spiderman outfit with the caption to the effect of– is Portelos Spiderman? In case you have not figured that out, let me answer. Unlike Spiderman, you create the conditions for anonymous mob attacks with purposeful misinformation and lies. While I my be your intended target as indicated by my name and picture with the opening salvo to start the mob rule, innocent people are dragged through your mudslinging campaign. And all the while you watch and take no responsibility for what you create. So when I called you Spiderman it was purposeful sarcasm used to illustrate the dissonance between how you
            portray yourself and how I see you.

          • I appreciate your choice to change the top of this forum from a highly charged accusation to one suggesting examination for improvement. Many comments are now out of context as the one above. To truly be transparent that fact should be mentioned or a new thread started only with posts after the change. Your willingness to move away from your previous stance that helped to fuel the mob to one of true moderation is encouraging.

    • Looks like a maniac is among us.

    • No one had to donate to my NYC Fine. Just work and fight to make your district better for staff and students

  15. Spiderman,

    The other posts went through much faster that the last two. I am wondering if you stated agenda is true.

    Jim

    • Start another investigation. Everybody is guilty but you. The man who runs this blog has been nothing but respectful to you even when you accuse him, mock
      Him and try to bully him. Thank you Mr. Portelos for being a true gentleman and for the opportunity for people to finally be heard.

      • Dear Anonymous,
        I am the one standing up to your anonymous blogs. Portelos created this and its inception is based on attacking. I have a hard time walking away from a fight that someone else picks with me and invades my digital space. I mock it because I find it humorous. I should be more respectful. Portelos creates the conditions for the mob attacks while asserting it is a necessary service. I guess it is your groups catharsis. It is not, however, heroic in any form nor gentlemanly. Is is more passive aggressive in my estimation. As requested, I think I have addressed all of the concerns point by point at this time. No need to rehash the same old points. The remaining staff at our district can make their own decisions on next steps. The group in this forum are not really part of the mainstream anymore. I know you are angry but we must move on.

        • More Questions for Mr. Gaudette

          Your new staff is horrified at the unprofessional behavior going on by administrators, but they dare not speak up as they are not tenured and vulnerable. You have no allies, Mr. Gaudette, you only have followers who follow out of fear. They have shared however that the interview process had questions that had nothing to do with teaching. That the interview conducted by you was unusual and lacked any indication of educational pedagogy. You have created a system where you have a circle of administrators, where one will lie and the other will swear to it.

          • Successful Administrators

            I too have heard these complaints. I also concur that the interview process was quite odd… I was asked multiple questions and when I tried explain my answer for certain things I was told to just say yes or no. I was never asked about my teaching experience or strategies I might use to improve the learning of children at MPCS. I guess Mr. Gaudette was mainly concerned with how staff would handle behavioral issues but a Successful Administrator would certainly ask questions about potential staff’s actual experience as well to get a feel for their teaching styles and views. In the past I was asked to share experiences and demonstrate teaching skills, in addition to being asked how I might handle challenging situations. I guess I “scored” high because I was hired. Knowing that I am competent, kindhearted and intelligent, I knew I would do a great job despite not being asked about my skills, but I questioned how Mr. Gaudette could hire staff by carrying out one “yes or no” interview. Perhaps this is why so many staff are incompetent in Mr. Gaudette’s eyes… He didn’t know anything about how they actually taught or what they actually knew until they started teaching… Following a standard interview procedure and getting to know people better is probably a better way to determine which staff will be the right fit for MPCS…

          • My interview is direct result of my training by Dr. Martin Haberman’s Educational Foundation. It is that scoring rubric with corresponding interview rules. Before you judge anymore perhaps you could read his book “STAR Teachers of Children in Poverty”.

          • I can see how well the rubric has worked so far. Aren’t you letting go the two new teachers you just hired?

          • Mr Gaudette how are you blogging during school hours? Shouldn’t you be working on more productive projects? We are in bad shape. I guess your reputation is more important than the well being of our students.

          • I think we should be cautious in mentioning the new teachers. They are thrust into a very rough environment with little support. It is only recently that mentors have even been assigned. The mentoring program has been remiss and lax and mostly non-existent for many years, and most agree it is still not effective. The administration is only doing it because they have to and have not put any thought or effort into it. It seems that they’ve also used mentor relationships to get dirt on senior teachers, putting the whole mentoring process at risk by breaching confidentiality. The kids we work with are very different from most schools. New teachers need a crash course in behavior management, as well as ongoing support for the constant challenges we face. No such support system exists. Also, I happen to know one of the teachers who is being let go. He is a kind and compassionate man who worked tirelessly to help these kids. People are not “rated” on how effective they are here, they are rated on how well they play the game. We all know it, but most of us don’t want to admit it – especially those of us playing it. New teachers deserve a fair chance and a better support system.

        • You are the king of passive aggressive!

      • Mr. Gaudette,
        With all due respect, legal action is inspired by illegal activity. People do have a right in this country to both file lawsuits and sue for damages, the people who they alleged who have engaged in such activities. The courts will ultimately decide the merits. Mr. Portelos’ site is merely a conduit for those in a lower position in the power structure to have an opportunity to exercise free speech and bring serious matters concerning disadvantaged children to the public. Although you in no way seem to be looking for advise of any sort on this site, I suggest you read through some of the intelligent, respectful and heartfelt posts here and consider some of the suggestions instead of insulting and defaming those you believe to be responsible for them. I can assure you that you are by no means correct in all of your assumptions. There are more people than you know who feel “we need change”. We appreciate the opportunity to offer suggestions here, if nowhere else. Thank you.

        • The truth is out. Please refer to all of the dismissals.

        • In this particular case, I think that the legal actions were not inspired by illegal activity as you suggest but rather, it was an attempt by a few to rally support of the disgruntled and entitled to try and raise a false specter of employment rights violations so that they could force a settlement of financial gain. Their attorney Bryan Glass admitted it to the District’s attorney and in came up numerous times during the many proceedings they initiated.

          It was always rooted in their desire to have their needs met over the needs of children whether because of a desire to be in control, spite, retaliation or financial gain. Or, a combination of those issues.

      • I have not read these comments since Saturday. If you did Google ” Francesco Portelos” then you’ll know I’m fighting systemic issues. Not that your district is just a blip on my radar, but last I checked everyone was able to get their voice heard. Information accurate? I don’t know. Litigation? I guess serve complaints. I’m at a union meeting now fighting for teachers here. As far as “Francesco ForEducation Portelos” Facebook account, I add everyone there. I share education news. If you say I have a friend Diane on my list, then I guess I do.

      • I am actually very disturbed by the way Portelos is being attacked. I haven’t met him but he seems like a gentlemen and Mr. Gaudette is acting like a bully. Why are you making fun of him? Your behavior is the exact reason for his work. Putting bullies in their place and giving the teachers an opportunity to be heard. Listen to us for once.

        • Give Mr. Portelos Money!!

          http://www.gofundme.com/aji90c

          • I will be donating Mr. Portelos. Thank you for continuing to fight for teachers. You are truly courageous.

          • You’re the only one looking for money. The only one.

          • SUPPORT FREE SPEECH

            Mr. Gaudette, Mr. Portelos didn’t post his “Go Fund” site. Somebody else did. People who support free speech and administrative accountability might want to contribute. I did.

          • You should dig a little deeper. The fund is stagnant.

        • We teach our students to ignore bullies. It’s the best thing to do. We say ” tell someone.” Well, we are telling the world here. I honestly haven’t read all the comments.

          • Yes we are telling the world here. It just isn’t following your intended story line. The gig is up. You only have so much traction being angry and disgruntled. At some point you must figure out how to build momentum on your vision not on derailing the vision of others. You are running out of time!

          • You should also buy some lifts.

        • Dear Teacher,

          You a just very disturbed. It doesn’t take much to set you off.

      • Successful Administrators

        I read the book synopsis and ordered it from Amazon. Thank you for suggesting. I sse the Author’s point in his interview process but I imagine that he assumes that additional questions are asked to ascertain information about ones actual teaching ability… We cannot assume that it is only necessary to focus on behavioral management skills because we are working in a Special needs school… The ability to actually teach is surely necessary…

        • You obviously have no clue what you are talking about. Read the book and then you might not come across as such an idiot.

  16. Honestly, I think this is all about you.

    • Now you are harassing the moderator because he doesn’t jump when you say jump? He’s not one of your employees.

      • Seemed like everything was moving pretty fast until I,questioned you and then the post was conveniently lost for some time. Sorry for your feeling of being harassed but you pick this fight not me. Who is really being harassed here?

  17. Frank,

    Are you going to allow a balanced conversation? We are now three posts in without you putting them online. What is it you stand for?

  18. For the students. Allow full disclosure.

  19. Addressing the Aides

    Two aides are not equivalent to a certified teaching assistant. In addition, you hired aides but kept them under 30 hours so you didn’t have to pay them medical coverage. They are paid per diem and are less “invested” in the program. They now have rotating shifts, with more new aides being hired. Our students need stability. They need to feel safe and form relationships with staff in order to learn. A revolving door with an entire staff of new teachers, and teaching assistant does not help the stability of the program. Penny wise dollar foolish. It takes skill to balance the budget without affecting direct services for students. Cutting high salary, experienced teachers and replacing them with inexperienced teachers at a lower salary is the easy and quick way to do things. Not very thoughtful and definitely not in the best interest of kids.

    • Ok so now you are questioning the “investment” of teacher aides. Wow!

      • You love teacher aides. That’s why you won’t pay benefits. What a joke. You like them cause they are cheaper to hire and easy to get rid of they complain about anything.

        • See that is your problem. You have to demonize everything. Budgets are fixed, not ever increasing. I respect the work teacher aides do but we have a very specific budget parameter. Remember one costs center increase may lead to another cost center decrease. It is too easy for you,to throw stones. I have been waiting all this time for a solution from your team of critics. The ball is in your court.

          • Give up your Audi A8 the district pays for and get a cheaper car. That would be a start. Stop taking raises for yourself while leaving everyone else without a contract for three years. That’s two suggestions.

          • Again, it is about your misrepresentations as you try to vilify me. I do not receive a car allowance and my salary was flat for three years. I am at the end of my career and managed my money wisely for the last ten years. My investments pay for my lifestyle. I save my entire salary. Thanks for admitting it is about your desire for money though. Anymore solutions?

          • Could be wrong about the Audi.. Sorry if so. See it’s not that hard to apologize. Try it. Didn’t you just get a new contract with a raise and an extra bonus if you are extra efficient.. ie. cut more services and jobs? Where did I mention my desire for money? But now that you’ve told us all how wealthy you are, please let me know if that’s an offer.

          • You apologize then go back into misrepresenting facts about my contract. No, you are wrong. While I know that you did not speak specifically about money, it was an easy inference…you made a jealous comment about my financial position then referred to your lack of a contract. Then on the second post you did it again, this time with your hand out for an offer. All this and still no solution presented as was originally requested. I am waiting for a real plan from you.

          • You are the administrator, why do you want people to provide you with a plan you have no intention of following? It is your job to devise a plan for this school. Saving money is important of course, but it should be done ethically and not used as an excuse for personal vendettas against people. I don’t approve of the name-calling but I think the main theme running through this is lies. Here is a plan that might solve most of your problems. Tell the truth.

          • Ok. The Truth is, you are throwing stones.

          • It is very ironic that you use the word demonize. Then you write in a letter to your staff to do some soul searching during the school break. We would love it if you could do some soul searching and treat people with respect and dignity when you return from break. With your trail of destruction how do you sleep at night? An ounce of compassion goes a long way.

  20. I hope you have proof of your allegations regarding the reading teacher. Defamation of character is a serious charge. There are major communication issues within the district. Re-check your records.

    • I have looked this over many times. The Reading Teacher is one of the lawsuits mentioned at the beginining of this section of your wesite (oh, btw thanks for picking a picture of me when I had hair). I suppose it will be decided soon. I think the District is in the right and have welcomed conversation throughout.

    • Truth is the best defense to defamation. See you in court.

      • How dare you speak of truth when all you do is lie? Then you lie some more to cover up other lies… That girl did nothing wrong and you know it. The only thing she did wrong was get pregnant. I heard you say that you were thinking of hiring additional reading teachers at a meeting back in November of 2013. She did some wonderful work with our kids the short time she was there. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  21. Mr. Portelos,

    I would be greatly disappointed if you screen out my posts to your comment above. It presents to me an uneasyness of allowing for a robust converstion which I thought you were requesting.

    James Gaudette

    • Sorry…wife and kids came home. Delayed moderation.

      • Thank you.

      • Mr. Portelos didn’t post ANY of these “Give Money” posts. Its pretty clear who did though.

        • This was a pretty funny spoof. Admittedly James Gaudette posted a bunch. He did not post the first or all. In fact I learned that others began to copy the spoof and as it started to get a life of its own Portelos took them out.

  22. I think it’s extremely unprofessional that the MPCS Superintendent has decided to invade this blog and attempt to ridicule people that are posting their legitimate concerns. His behavior is yet another example of everything described on this blog. He is clearly guilty of something if he feels the need to do this. An honest, ethical administrator would bring these issues to the table and discuss them one by one in an attempt to gain his staff’s trust and not bully them further by commenting about how he is right, as always. He has no sense of how to collaboratively make school improvements. He makes threats to get what he wants instead of offering support and praise through good interpersonal skills and positive reinforcement. That is the way to run a school. This person is a disgrace to the field of Education and a disgrace to those poor kids under his supervision this person.

    • I am sorry, I thought dialogue and response was what you wanted. I was willing to do this here. I admit that some misrepresentations have gotten under my skin, but chasing me out of the dialogue seems…one sided. I will remove myself then. Perhaps, if you are actually working at MPCS UFSD you can engage in one of our focus groups as we are discussing the issues in a forum where people stand by their convictions and choose to solve problems rather than caste blame.

      • Lies, lies and more lies… If anyone ever brought these issues about your unethical behavior to you in person, you would find a way to get rid of them. This blog was created so staff could share their concerns and let the Board decide what to do with you. You have proven to be an ineffective Administrator and have bullied staff to the point that do whatever you say to keep their jobs safe so they can provide for their families not because they agree with anything you do or say. This site was supposed to be a place for staff to share concerns about you and your unethical methods, not a place for you to try and defend every illegal thing you’ve done and justify it. Everything is not about you Mr. Gaudette.

        • I think “Lier, lier, pants on fire” is a more catchy phrase. They both sound childish though.

        • The blog was created to pressure Gaudette into a settlement or to see if you could create the pressure to get rid of him. You only say it is to improve to his your true intentions a gain a moral high ground. It did not work. Everyone in the school knows the real reasons behind your actions and when the dismissals begin to get posted on the internet the entire world will know as well. You miscalculated again.

      • This is Gaudette’s blog! His name and picture are at the top, he is now the main contributor, he is answering questions of why he did what he did as requested, he has shown the improvement, he is writing out his theories on change, he is having fun with it despite its original intention of destroying him. He has once again used an internal locus of control and resiliency to fight off the mob of anonymous bullies and entitled litigants to improve the chances of the most needed children of the state.

        If you know yourself and you know your enemy you need not fear a thousand battles.
        -Sun Tzu-

  23. The Union members didn’t even know that a few of the “leaders” did this. These union leaders are ones that you have “protected” and given little perks to. They spoke up to make you look good to the board and because you have managed to make everyone think the school is closing because of all of the lawsuits against you. You have gotten rid of almost all of the the people who would have opposed your unfair and unethical actions, or have made them too afraid to speak up publicly. Some have been driven into early retirement or long term sick leave by harassment or by putting them in harmful situations. The only credit for improvement goes to the truth, which always does come out in the end. Your mismanagement was exposed and now you are being forced to fix it. Good. Now maybe work on how you attempt to manipulate, humiliate and destroy people before more truth comes out and more people are harmed.

    • SloPpyAll they would do is hide drugs in then. They are using old book from other. Its a business there kid are dollar sign to this place. You have right now I kid that has an agency phone. He is the eye and ear of the place. He don’t go to school. He don’t have a GED or high school. diploma. He works better that paid staff. If something big happen right now. He would call them and they come sweep it under the rug. The kids are the only one who hurt. Its sad they don’t care.

    • The lawsuit thing was your big plan. Now that you have all these dismissals and a digital footprint of an entitled litigious disgruntled former employee, I am
      Interested to know what your backup plan is.

  24. Humm, it looks like you were involved in a federal lawsuit in your last school, Bershire, as well. It involved a teacher you got rid of for poor attendance because you didn’t acknowledge her FMLA leave. Humm, it looks like you changed your testimony regarding whether or not you counted those days in the total days taken. She had to be reinstated. Oh, it looks like you were involved in another federal lawsuit regarding racial issues. Something about you referring to yourself as the white devil and hanging a noose from the ceiling when meeting with an African American staff member. It looks like it was settled before it went to trial. I don’t know but it looks like a pattern to me. Maybe you should look at your actions before moving forward.

  25. We have been trying to figure out why Mr. Gaudette would bring Ms. Baron to the district. She hasn’t been effective in any of the various roles she’s been given. He must have been aware because they worked together in the past. Why would he hire someone who would make him look bad in his quest to take credit for fixing a district. Well we figured it out. She is just the figurehead principal. She is submissive and complaint even when Mr. Gaudette talks down to her in a degrading manner, which most of us have witnessed. Oh yeah, Mr. Gaudette, will say several times per day, “I don’t want to step over Ms. Baron”, but in fact he does it all the time. We have even witnessed Ms. Baron doing the happy dance when Mr. Gaudette is not going to be in. She complains behind his back. She knows that he makes her do his dirty work and then is planning to blame everything on her when the cards fall. We think she does all this nasty crazy targeting of staff to impress him. We are not letting you off the hook, Monica, you are responsible for your own devious behaviors.

  26. Why has that letter been posted at the top of the blog? We all read it… Half of it doesn’t make sense and the other half is lies. Please delete as Mr. Gaudette’s letter does not solve the major problems plaguing the district. Problems that are directly caused by him and Ms. Baron. Are we supposed to see it and say, “Oh there’s the letter, he’s a great Superintendent afterall”. Not one thing you’ve posted here has changed my opinion of you or convinced me that your actions and intentions were different than what was actually stated. When you admit to being a lying, sneaky, arrogant, snake, I might start believing things you say. Until then I will carry out my educational duties and wait for the day that Karma shows up.

    • If you really want to see improvement look to yourself and the atmosphere that you have created. You often point out how incompetent you think the former superintendant was, but the morale was not this bad, and students and teachers were appreciated and treated respectfully by him. You want credit for all that is going well but blame others for all that is wrong. That is not leadership, it is narcissism. If people could actually bring concerns to you a site like this wouldn’t be necessary. The union is writing statements for you but not telling the members about it. Wonder why? You publicly criticized the Union leader a few years ago when she spoke for the membership without their knowledge. I guess you approve of that behavior now. There is a lot of hypocrisy going on here.

  27. Successful Administrators

    Every September you pace back and forth and back to school meeting with your head down while yelling out the new “rules” for the year. A successful Administrator stands at the podium to welcome everyone back while smiling then takes a minute to share a funny story or meaningful quote. This sets the stage to effectively engage with your staff so you can discuss your expectations for the year. The successful Administrator then ends the meeting by thanking everyone for making a difference in the lives of the children. Successful Administrators also stand outside their office most mornings saying good morning to staff and students with a smile. Not watching the parking lot from a window to see who is getting there late. Successful Administrators also send emails thanking staff for their hard work on specific tasks and praising them for a job well done. The only time you contact your staff is for something negative. Successful Administrators also treat their staff to a nice lunch once or twice a year to show appreciation for the work they do each and every day. You never do any of this. You think that keeping your staff in line by punishing them often and threatening them with job loss is the way to run a school. You also seem to enjoy an opportunity to “catch” a staff doing something you consider wrong so you can then “discipline” or “investigate” them. This is very wrong Mr. Gaudette. Staff are certainly going to make mistakes here and there but it does not always mean they are trying “get one over on you” or “pull the wool over your eyes”. How about calling some staff into meetings to praise them, offer encouragement and urge them to keep up the good work? And when you do need to call a “disciplinary” meeting, how about taking the time to listen to an employee and offering ways to help them correct whatever they may have done wrong. Checking in with them after your meeting to see how things are going is certainly better than threatening to fire them or report them to the Board if they do it again. As I read through your comments on this blog, you uses phrases like “staff that was disciplined”, full compliance” and “former employee with a beef” when referring to your staff. You have not written one positive thing about them. Successful Administrators describe their staff as a “team”. You are not a leader Mr. Gaudette. You don’t know how to be. Perhaps teaching Art was your niche, as leadership is not. I am not sure where you did your Administrative Internship, but the person that mentored you would surely be embarrassed by your behavior.

  28. In the letter posted he writes:

    “In the past two years I have observed some of the best instruction in my career”

    Is that considered negative or is it possible you were mistaken when you said that he has not written one positive thing about them? Help me understand why you would write that when there is a letter posted on this site that was was given to every staff member. It seems like your comments are not very well thought out.

    • Successful Administrators

      As I stated, I was referring to his “comments” not that ridiculous letter. Please read more carefully next time before you comment. Additionally, I believe that the comment in that letter about instruction is an attempt to convince staff that they have improved because of him, which is obviously a joke.

      • So when he says something positive it is self serving and when he does not say anything he is a bad administrator.

        I actually read very carefully you said he never contacts the staff is for something negative. The last time I checked writing a letter is one if many ways people can contact each other. On the other hand your username is Successful Administrators so that must mean you are correct.

        • Successful Administrators

          You are not even making sense. I did not say a letter is not a way to communicate… I said “his comments” on this blog were negative about his staff….

          Also, please focus on the whole post and not one piece of it that you feel like you can make an argument about. I am sharing my experiences and opinion. That is what this blog is for. Everything I wrote is true to my experience and the majority of other staff would agree.

    • Don’t you realize you can’t control everything, especially this site. The letter is posted not to show your wisdom and intelligence, but to show your blindness to yourself. It’s hilarious, but also sad, that you don’t see that YOU are the HIgh Conflict Personality you speak of. Check your definition. You are guilty of everything there.

      • Bravo! Finally a close read! So my onion begins to get peeled.

        • A Time For Peace

          So here we are, you and I. More alike than not.

          Facing each other on different sides of the same street.

          You on the shady side shrouded by the dark shadows of anonymity.

          I on the sunny side in the harsh and blinding glare of public scrutiny.

          As our taijitu gains momentum, the masses huddle at the median seeking shelter from the cyclonic winds of change.

          The storm comes quick with howling bluster and thunderous rhetoric promising destruction to any safe quarter and driving fear into the hearts of the lesser traveled.

          Yet those who have been here before know that the courthouse is not only made of stone but resides on the south side of the street. The north wind can not sustain.

          As the storm subsides and light peeks through the overcast, a promise of spring allows the caravan to resume its journey.

          And all of the ugliness and beauty that we have exposed will be used to guide their way.

          • We are not close to it’s crescendo because you say we are. We are not going anywhere. We will not stop the momentum of change. When you reach the bottom there’s no where else to go but up. This poem might signify your good bye from the blog but this is far from over.

          • I guess this is not your good bye

            Interesting that you sent a letter to staff members stating that this poem was your good bye to responding to the blog. So you just changed your name to anonymous and continued to mock and ridicule. There were many posts after your poem post. I guess it’s just another deceptive action. Well at least you’re consistent in your behaviors. Looks like we might need to start an investigation to create a paper trail if this pattern of behavior. Maybe a 3020a?

          • I’ve extracted more analytics, but won’t post here. Rather I’ll send to those courageous staff members who sought us out and had the “audacity” to speak out and represent the students.

          • Are we close now?

          • You have no momentum because you do not understand what change is or how to achieve it. You just bluster about and make a spectacle of yourself. And when your show is over we go back to doing the real work.

          • Hey Frank, FYI they don’t represent students anymore than your pathetic self.

  29. I am making sense and I think that is the part that is very frustrating to you.

    “The only time you contact your staff is for something negative.” Those are your words

    We both now agree a letter is a way to contact someone.

    This letter is posted above and in the letter he states,

    “In the past two years I have observed some of the best instruction in my career.”

    Which is a positive statement.

    This shows that your statement, “The only time you contact your staff is for something negative” to be untrue. This also puts in question everything else you have said in this discussion when you make comments that are so easily proven to be untrue.

    If my argument still does not makes sense to you please let me know and I will attempt to chunk the argument into more digestible points so you can better understand.

    • Successful Administrators

      A letter is a way to “communicate”. An email is also a way to “contact someone”. This is exactly the kind if narcissistic behavior that make people hate you. I don’t care what you question either. I stated FACTS… EVERYONE sees what you do in September. EVERYONE sees you hiding in your office on the morning trying to catch staff being late instead of welcoming them at the door. I can go on and on and on. Everything I wrote is true. You chose one line to try and discredit what I said because you know it is all true. I spoke about things that EVERYONE else has witnessed. And regarding my advice about how about successful Administrator behaves; that is based on experience having worked in other districts throughout my career. You could have taken this post and commented about how you would like to make changes and create a more positive, team like environment but again you choose to try and convince me and anyone else reading that you are right. I truly hope my advice can help you somehow.

      • Well said Successful Administrator!

      • Please understand, my convictions are true and I stand by them until the end (or until someone convinces me otherwise). I erred by not placing my name at the beginning of this forum. I have poor techinical/computer skills. I took tesponsibility for that and every post afterward. There seems to be a fly in the oinment.

      • Mr. Gaudette’s letter above appears to be a clear example of how to point fingers when things go awry. If Mr. Gaudette was a true student of Bill Eddy’s philosophy, he would note that the best way to deal with HCP’s and Negative Advocates is through the CARS method, which involves connecting, analyzing, responding and setting limits, not bullying, harassment and instilling fear. As the previous blogger stated, Mr. Gaudette is the poster child for HCP, who are often found to be narcissistic.

        • The problem with your analysis is nothing has gone awry for Gaudette. Only for you. And you brought it onto yourself. It must suck to be you.

    • Are you calling yourself “anonymous” now Mr. Gaudette? I thought you were proudly writing as yourself. Love the “chunking” reference. Very Marzano.

      • Anonymous who made the Marzano reference is not Mr. Gaudette just so you know. I just thought it was a good opening to make the reference. Also how did you get 5 text messages from staff members thanking you if you do not have your name on it?

        • Successful Administrators

          I have friends in the district… More than I can say for you. We communicate and I informed them that I had posted.

  30. How are they all facts if I already have proven you lied? You are writing opinions not facts. I did not try to discredit your argument, I did discredit your argument. That is a fact!

    • Successful Administrators

      I’ve received 5 text messages from colleagues thanking me for posting my original post. The staff knows the truth. I was never arguing either… You are incredibly arrogant… I was stating FACTS about my experience and observations within the district. That is what the blog is for. You turned it into an argument because that is all you know to do. Bully, bully, bully. There was never anything to discredit because I was not accusing you of anything. I was stating facts about what goes on, what multiple people SEE daily. You have so many lawsuits and claims against you that you are programmed to immediately try and come up with a way to discredit what someone is saying. You don’t know when to stop… Hopefully the Board will eventually realize that money could be better spent on hiring an appropriate Leader instead of continuing to pay your legal bills.

    • So by your theory, everything that you’ve stated is false if one lie can be proven? Did you receive a raise this year? It is clearly in your contract that you did. Did you instruct counselors to change IEPs illegally? There are many people who can attest to this and there are emails as well. Maybe some of your “insiders” are starting to get nervous as you blame them for your actions. It seems like Mr. Beovich and Ms. Baron are being forced to do most of your dirty work now. I hope they don’t have to take the fall for you and jeopardize their licenses. They actually seem like decent people who are being used.

      • Again this is not Mr. Gaudette. My arguement is once you are caught in a lie it puts everything else you said in question. It greatly hurts your credibility.

        • Successful Administrators

          So in that case, anything and everything Gaudette and Baron have said must be “lies”. They have been “caught” multiple times. Fortunately my “credibility” is well established. Something you cannot understand.

          • All you are is a proven liar. You can tell yourself whatever you want but you embarrassed yourself today.

        • I agree with this statement and also appreciate that you are not Mr. Gaudette. I think it’s important for people who have different opinions from those previously expressed on this blog to feel free to jump in. This forum should not be attacking or one-sided in my opinion. Perhaps understanding and respecting each other’s opinions would be helpful in genuine problem-solving. Mr. Gaudette has only succeeded in these tactics for so long because he has had very little in the way of checks and balances. “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Let’s hope by sharing concerns and asking for accountability, things will change for the better for all of us, even Mr. Gaudette.

          • Successful Administrators

            You are pathetic… Everyone knows that you are and your minions are liars and nobody else. You and your administration embarrass yourselves daily in your sad attempt to run a school. You are going crazy because I accurately compared you to the actions of a “successful Administrator” by stating your flaws and you know I was right on. You have serious mental problems that need to be evaluated. I suggest you see someone asap. Focus on some of the other posts on this blog. Everyone knows you’re a liar.

          • I am wondering if this person wanted to focus on other post because they were unable to deal with the reality that the confrontation was illuminating.

            Their argument was unraveling and the response was anger. This pattern of angry displays when the logic overwhelms them seems consistent with other threads too.

  31. The letter wreaks of emotional disability to me. You cannot be an effective leader unless you connect intelligence with emotion. Do your research Mr. Gaudette, it’s proven to be true! We work with emotionally disabled students and we in fact have to remind ourselves daily that in order to survive with you we need to imagine you are one of our emotionally disabled students. That is sad.

    • Successful Administrators you are still upset that I proved you to be a liar. You still are the only proven liar on this message board no matter how many times you try to flip it around. If you think that anyone is upset about your irrational rambling you are sadly mistaken. At this point your posts are somewhere betweeen funny and sad.

      • Successful Administrators

        There were no lies Mr. Gaudette. Only truth, which you cannot accept… I am 100% confident that my colleagues agree. You only contact ME for issues that relate to negativity, as well as many others. The back to school meeting stuff, not greeting your staff and students each day and never showing appreciation for your staff speak for themselves. EVERYONE sees it EVERY year and EVERY day. You are sick. You are the only liar and only problem in the school. I will stand up to you. You will not intimidate me. Please get help and I will see you tomorrow! 🙂

  32. Mr. Gaudette your need for absolute control has created the demise of our district. First you hire an incompetent submissive principal so you can have control. Then you rehire a school psychologist that you previously forced to resign after falsifying thousands of legal documents. You rehired her so that you had something over her head so you could control her and get her to conduct your little investigations. She logged in related service sessions when she didn’t see the students. She’s probably still doing that since she now has to perform guidance duties and is not seeing the students for mandated counseling sessions. You hired an inexperienced untenured financial administrator so he will do whatever you say regarding the finances since he’s bought and paid for. Is there no end????? You apparently even control the board members. You can be quite charming when your handing them a bunch of lies about how well the students are preforming and dazzling them with your budget presentation.

    • Please keep your focus on me. This is my character assassination. I prefer to do those alone.

      • Too bad you lack the control to determine where the blog goes.

        • Maybe not. Keep your head in the game. We are not even at half time yet!

          • Blog doesn’t seem to be going as the entitled teachers planned.

          • They want Gaudette to stop blogging now. Another reversal. Isn’t it crazy how things change. Our litigants must have ridden a roller coaster with this blog. How happy they were when they were defaming the Superintendent and anyone supporting the change or not actively fighting it. Surely thinking they had the upper hand. Now how frustrated they must be that the facts make them clear to all despite the attempts at anonymity. Careful what you wish for kids.

  33. Where are the students. Check the percentage of students enrolled at the agency who are attending in school. Since Mr. Gaudette came, the attendance has dropped considerably. The students sometimes don’t even make it passed our Ease of Entry Program before they decide that this place isn’t for them. Maybe because the Ease of Entry Program has had so many teachers, teaching assistants, protocols, procedures, and lack of structure that the students first perception of the school is that of chaos, uncaring, and inefficiency. The students aren’t attending but Mr. Gaudette is collecting money for them. No wonder why he’s not reaching out to bring them in. He can just blame the agency and keep collecting the money.

  34. Dear Barbara,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I hope that all of us facing these issues will have the courage, honesty and strength that you have shown as we attempt to make these institutions better. I am sure that your story will be an inspiration to those who read it and want to work for better conditions. Thank you and keep the faith that you have the resources to persevere. It is clear from your letter that you have a lot to offer the world. Perhaps you will be one of the people who help will change the system you describe. Your letter is certainly a start.
    God Bless

  35. Board Meeting Minutes

    It’s very interesting that in the December board meeting minutes public comments were omitted. The teaching assistant union representative and a teacher made very compelling statements. The teaching assistant spoke on behalf of all teaching assistants when he pleaded to the board and administrators not to cut all teaching assistants from the district. This had been threatened by Mr. Gaudette several times. The teacher pleaded with the board to investigate what is going on in the district for the best interest of the students and described how much she loved teaching at the district. Why was these statements omitted from the minutes? The board approved the minutes, why didn’t anyone notice? These staff members had the courage to speak out in a very intimidating setting in an effort to help others. What is even more interesting is that at a previous board meeting a staff member spoke out about how great our administrators are, for self-serving purposes, and her statements were included in the minutes. Is it too late to fix the December board meeting minutes?

    • This is really upsetting. I never go to board meetings since I have kids but do read minutes time to time. Why was a complaint left out of minutes but praise left in??? Really scares me. I didn’t know this happened I need to try and start going. Do you look at mintues before Marci posts and tel her what to leave and what to take it?

    • As stated in another comment, the statements of the Teaching Assistant and Teacher were left out of the December minutes. However, the latest minutes reflect SUPPORT for the Superintendant by the “Union Leaders”. Please note that Union MEMBERS had no knowlege of this statement either before or after it was made. We only found out by Mr. Gaudette’s statement of it on this blog, and the minutes that are now posted on the website. Many of us were shocked such a statement was made, especially without our knowledge or consent. MINUTES ARE A LEGAL RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS AND SHOULD NOT BE MANIPULATED. ALL comments should be included or none at all. Board members, you were there for both meetings. How many “honest mistakes”, and “coincidences” are there?

  36. Mr. Gaudette,
    Please what about the charge of racial discrimination someone else talked about here. how can that be true, since you are in charge of so many minoritykids.

    • It is not true. It, like the many other False allegations,defamatory comments and insults where simply attempts to stop me from stomping out entitlement, inefficiencies and poor performance. It comes with the territory.

  37. To Mr. Gaudette. I thank you for admitting that you need work on interpersonal skills. Wha about the other stuff? You don’t admit to anything and seem to be trying to convince people that they are wrong no matter what.

  38. Revenue/suggestions

    You claim you want our suggestions, however we have provided you with many remember? We suggested you file with the State to increase our day student population so that we have more steady income. Your answer was that we don’t have a good school program for them. Well you have been here for a few years now, changed the program and staffing drastically and we still have no program to market to day students? Another suggestion is to fund raise, ask for donations and write grants. There are so many grants available to districts who serve at risk youth that we have not taken advantage of. Do some research as we found some ourselves and we are not getting paid as a district administrator. How about taking advantage of student teachers by forming a relationship with Pace University as Ossining School has done. They hire all their teaching assistants from the student teachers in their education program so that they can later move them to teaching positions as they become available. Decrease the number of Aides (by letting the ones you just hired go) and increase their hours so that they receive medical benefits. Train them properly, and help them to be more invested in the district. Offer incentives for good attendance and good performance evaluations. They don’t have a union so you can be more flexible. Look at quality not quantity. Develop a peer leadership program so responsible students can be rewarded and used in the district to develop plans for assemblies and positive activities for students that are low cost such as school spirit week, etc. We used to have a faculty vs. students basket ball game. The students loved it. Where is the fun in school? These suggestions have all been made before but ignored. You continue to focus on the negative and trying to make the school like a regular public school. You forgot that our school isn’t a regular public school. Embrace the student population that we serve and tailor our program to their needs. Focus professional development on team building and give the teachers confidence so they can be creative in the classroom instead of having to follow as script in fear of a poor evaluation. And above all DO NOT CHANGE STUDENTS CLASSES,OR MOVE TEACHERS ASSIGNMENTS DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR. The students need stability. Changes should be made only as a last resort. Students have difficulty with change. In a “real” school, students feel confident that when they go to school their teacher will be there and not changed unless it’s an emergency. Our students deserve the same. How would you like it if you came to work every day and every day you had a new secretary and your office was moved? Close your eyes and imagine that. You might imagine that no secretary wanted to work with you because of your behavior. That’s what a student imagines when you change their class. Look within your heart, we are praying for you.

    • You start by making revenue suggestions but include not making changes when the population changes. Those two factors are contradictory. The sad truth is that the children attending MPCS are wards of the State and they are transient by definition. The average length of stay is around one year. There are multiple rules on class size and configuration that must be adhered to. WE ARE UNDERFUNDED. We must make the necessary changes to maximize service delivery and meet regulation. This means teachers can not continue to have class’s of one and two in order to stop changes. this is why the push to make all teachers of high quality and skill dealing with our population. We must operate within our reality. That includes you.

  39. Thanks for the input Diane!

    • Keep guessing….

    • If it is Diane, I would thank her too. That comment provides an intelligent and thought provoking analysis of the situation at hand. Instead of mocking it, or the person you believe wrote it, why not find it in your heart to think about what the comment was about… Providing an environment that best suits the the needs of children with severe emotional needs. Thank you.

      • Successful Administrators

        Great job “We Need Change”. This is exactly what I tried to explain to Mr. Gaudette after he went crazy over my factual post about his behavior. I offered suggestions of ways that might improve his relationship with staff and improve the district dynamics, but he resorted to trying to insult me and attempted to conceal the real intention of my post, which was clear…. He does not seem to take criticism well, but is very good at dishing it out.

  40. “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, thinking it will eat him last.”

    Winston Churchill

  41. Great Union. They go to the board in support of the superintendant instead of the teachers they are supposed to protect. What’s in it for them I have to ask. Brand new hires will now have seniority over teachers who’ve been there many years. More people and their families will be without income. Want to tell us more about “the gift of truth” ? Somehow think the person who wrote that will be spared just like she was spared last year after telling the Board of Education how great Mr. Gaudette and all the other administrators are. I won’t go into what’s said behind their backs. There’s some truth. It’s an ugly, ugly business when the union uses the same tactics against its members that Gaudette does. Read the above quote.. It fits.

  42. It is time to look at Union President as well… This person breaks multiple Union leader laws as set by the NLRB and she and Mr. Gaudette work hand in hand leaving out the most important people…. THE TEACHERS… While she keeps her cushy job and “special” class, we suffer… Mr. Gaudette gives her what she wants so she will TRY and prevent us from filing grievances, taking a sick day or speaking up about ANYTHING in general. Nobody ran against her because they are aware of her and Gaudette’s “relationship”, wanting no part of it. Union leaders are supposed to support TEACHERS not administrators. Especially when the Administrators engage in deceptive behavior constantly. It is sickening. If I could refuse to pay Union dues I would, but I am a teacher; a caregiver that strives to bring success to my students, a teamplayer that enjoys working with colleagues and a constant learner that looks to my leadership for support and guidance… In solidarity? Ha!

    • Everybody is to blame but you.

      • Please be more specific..

        • You havre an external locus of control. You blame the environment and all outside of you for your current state rather than accepting who you are and the context you are in. You react rather than proact. This is why you will never become.

    • Our Union President should have been the one to start this blog, not apologize for it. It’s pathetic and shameful. How dare she… You sure are right about her doing anything and everything to keep Gaudette and Baron happy. Everyone else could drop dead for all she cares. Aside from keeping her special class intact I’m sure there are other benefits for basically busting the Union when she is supposed to be leading it. The same goes for the other “leaders” of our Union. It is a joke that she is the Union President and a joke that Gaudette is Superintendent. This is like the twilight zone.

      • Making your circle smaller because you did not get your way. Do you see the pattern yet? You also escalate unnecessarily creating a pattern of unpredictability and hostility that does not serve your purpose. Please go to the two thirds
        Point of this blog and read the posts on the theory of change dynamics. Let me know if you find anything of interest for the next time you want to initiate or stop a change. Try using resonance, patterned frequency, measured amplitude and judicious dissonance. I am telling you it works?

  43. “Not Mr. Gaudette”, why does anybody outside of administration know an (former) employee’s personal information. Either it is an administrator posting this information (highly unethical) OR an administrator told confidential information to other employees (equally unethical). This is a very serious and ongoing problem with Mr. Gaudette’s Administration. When will it stop?

    • Once a legal claim is filed and then decided it is no longer a personal or personnel matter. It is a public document. Problem you have is all of your bogus claims are being dismissed one by one.

      • Ms Baron has spread many staff members personal information around the school way before any legal claims were filed. This is not a game Mr Gaudette. There is no winner. Where it is all about you winning and coming out on top, with us it’s about the students getting the support they need. We all win when the students come to school and feel like part of a positive school community. Stop cluttering our mailboxes with letters boasting about how great you are telling us to search our souls and follow you to the pot of gold at the end if the rainbow. There’s only gray skies over your head.

  44. I’m sure everybody is looking up these public documents the same week they are decided. You are not talking to the person you think you are. Please Don’t make assumptions or believe all rumors…another big problem around this organization.

  45. If you find reading law suits brought against you entertaining, you are a foolish man. I thought you wrote your final farewell speech and here you are blogging. You have no self control. You will dig your own grave. That we find very entertaining.

    • Not Mr. Gaudette

      This is not Mr. Gaudette, I know you find it hard to believe that people would stick up for him but fact is he has much more support then any of you. You guys are trying to ruin the district not him.

      • Yeah 5 union members trying to save their jobs. Yeah I guess that is a lot. Hang tight you’re in for a rough ride.

      • And will your salary be doubled for supporting…? Given an administrative job possibly that you are not qualified for? That’s how things roll at MPCS! Join the corruption and deceit and you will possibly be rewarded… Dare to try and challenge it and you are doomed!

  46. We organized a rally in Queens yesterday. Shall we move up North? http://t.co/EfpKAvQAh9

    • Not Mr. Gaudette

      Shaking in my boots, go get fined another $10,000 and thrown in jail for 33 hours and call it a win.

      • Mr. Gaudette, you’re not on my radar….don’t get on it.

        • Not Mr. Gaudette

          I can not stress this point enough I am not Mr. Gaudette! Other people are allowed to defend him!

          • Not Mr. Gaudette

            Don’t wory Portelos you will get to that $10,000 all these people support you they should be donating!

        • Mr. Portelos.

          I am not sure what would happen if I got on your radar. Please advise me of the possible consequences of your threat so I may adjust my behavior accordingly.

          Thank you.

    • Give Mr. Portelos Money!!

      http://www.gofundme.com/aji90c

    • For on second, I though there might be some decency in you when you sent a letter seemingly feeling remorse for your actions… The way you harass this man however reminds me that you are you… Your “yin” is not gone and never will be… Thank you for confirming…

  47. Don’t forget to search the past federal lawsuits filed against Mr Gaudette. I’m sure he is proud of his digital footprint or should I say footprintS. Were those entertaining to you as well Mr Gaudette? I guess, just like our students, negative attention works for you too.

    • I saw that he had a racial discrimination on record, as well as a DWI… Very scary stuff…

  48. So this is a threat??? If one person’s claim is dismissed everyone else’s will be. Thanks, I’m putting this o the record…

    • Hahaha how is that a threat? Only the court can dismiss cases. Lets play this out… You are going to put in on the record that someone threatned that more lawsuits are going to be dismissed. Please put in on the record and tell it to a judge. You really are embarassing yourself. You guys really are funny. Thanks for amusing me on a Friday night!

      • Judge Judge I was threatned that more of my frivolous lawsuits will be dismissed! Hahahaha

      • That’s pathetic that this blog is your amusement… Time to get a life??? Sadly, it’s the only outlet for some people…

        • Did you really just say get a life? Are you a teenager? This is very amusing watching you guys fumble through laws and trying to convince each other that you are correct. If you guys said something valid once in a while it would not be as amusing.

        • They didn’t fumble through the the laws. Bryan Glass did that for them.

        • At a cost.

  49. Entitled bullies seem to be overrunning this place so I guess I will be in the majority. Seriously, why don’t we stop the name calling and focus on what must be done.

    • Good idea

      • You never did get around to focusing on what must be done did you? Meanwhile the professionals at MPCS Who did not spend their time blogging set up professional development, partnerships with Yale, had more kids pass regents exams than in previous years, created CDOS programming, developed partnerships with the agency. Need I go on?

  50. Mr Gaudette it looks like you probably will not have an opportunity to ruin another school district and harm special needs students once you leave our district. I do not believe any other board of education would hire a superintendent who had a sustained allegation by the justice center for obstruction of justice. Quite frankly I do not understand why our BOE had allowed you to continue working with the most vulnerable students with such a charge. If anyone should be embarrassed about their actions it should be you and the board members. It’s time to retire before you are officially removed. Your contract indicates that you can be removed for moral turpitude. It’s only a matter of time before you are exposed.

    • Haha by ruin you mean make better? Providing students with the least restrictive environment and a dramatic rise is test scores does not sound like the district was ruined. Again just a supporter of Mr. Gaudette (as hard as it is for you to believe we do exist).

      Quite frankly you do not understand alot of things tenure lines, least restrictive enviroment, the legal system, how a union works so it does not suprise me that you do not understand why the board would stand by someone who has vastly improved the district.

      • Test scores can be manipulated.

        • Have to admit hard not like you Portelos! You do not give up! Wish you knew the whole story and I am sure you would see the truth! I understand they gave you their biased version so that is what you need to go by. Hopefully on day you will get the truth.

          • He was right on. Why do you think they let the guidance counselor go who was also the testing coordinator. So the teachers who taught their students could score their own regents. Last year Ms Baron sat a student to take a regents hours after the designated time set by the state. It was the guidance counselor who had to push to have the test discontinued. Testing protocol has never been adhered to. An administrator even allowed a teacher to reopen a test after three teachers scored it. I would like to see what data shows an improvement that doesn’t include test scores. How can you say the district improved when the school is empty. Doesn’t the board look at attendance?

          • Untrue statements above.

        • And they have been.

      • We all know that his only current “supporters” are Baron and a couple of our Union leaders, which is really sad… I don’t care who is posting either way. Test scores are not the only measure of success in a school district. I also think that test scores were manipulated. People are sharing their opinions here in am effort to improve the school. Let’s try to strategize and work issues out instead of arguing. Facts are facts. We can only move from here whether or not the leadership remains the same.

        • Agreed. The divide and conquer attitude has worked and we have allowed ourselves to be manipulated. The power base in this place thrives because we can’t trust each other. These stupid investigations, the rumors, lies and gossip are designed to keep people weak and obedient. This has led to forced early retirement, lawsuits, health problems from the stress involved of being targeted, etc. It’s psychological warfare and if you participate in it you are guilty too.

          Stop shunning people and spreading nasty gossip. Stop jumping in on the attacks against people’s character. Stop going in and giving them little tidbits to put in their files. Stop believing and spreading the crap you hear, because the same people spreading it about others are the first to spread it about you. Show the people who get their power in this way that it won’t work anymore.

          Come into work and be kind and professional to your co-workers, ALL of them, no matter what your past history or opinion of them. Don’t listen when they gossip or try to get dirt from you. Don’t follow anyone but your own conscience. Speak your mind, especially in regard to helping the students, but do it respectfully. Don’t worry if you will get “in trouble” for it.

          Try it on Monday if you dare. If enough people do it I GUARANTEE it will break the spell that’s cast on this place. The dark, nasty, spell of mistrust, fear and isolation. This administration and this Union won’t give you back that power, why should they, most people like power. But the good news is it’s actually very easy to get it back. There are more of us than them. We create the climate. None of us will have to say a word, and we can still change it.

          “You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew”. Einstein

      • Yes, very hard to believe. Especially when you sound just like Mr. Gaudette. Or should I say “NOT Mr. Gaudette”.

  51. The lies continue….

  52. Watch this video. It’s worth it. Very inspiring. Thank you each and every one of you who are trying in your own way to make a difference.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=b_RjndG0IX8

  53. Me Gaudette gave an aide the position of testing coordinator. Testing coordinators are usually administrators or guidance counselors. It’s an extremely important job. Nobody else wanted the position in the district. I can speculate it’s because they know they will be pressured to be unethical. It’s much easier to influence a per diem aide to bend the rules. The aide was just hired for this position and the heaviest testing period is in the month of April. Not too much time for proper training. I hope the aide reads this so she can have a heads up into what she is getting into.

    • You say here is a fact and then use the word speculate.

      The definition of speculate is to think about something and make guesses about it.

      You guys are to funny!

  54. Are you bored? OBVIOUSLY the first part is fact and the second part after the word “speculate” would be the logical guess. Any idea union member why nobody is concerned about this?

  55. Mr. Gaudette, This is a post designed to get a positive result in your school. It’s to help IMPROVE the climate. You still come in to mock it. Obviously, the loss of your power base is frightening. Again, I challenge everyone to free themselves from the tyranny by boycotting the nastiness and being respectful to one another. What Administrator, or Union Leader, would oppose this? Darkness cannot stand light, because there is nowhere to hide the secrets in the light.

  56. “Successful companies and organizations lead from the bottom up! Not from the top down!

    – Allan Mulholland

  57. Gee Not Mr. Gaudette, you sound JUST LIKE Mr. Gaudette. The sarcastic, mocking tone is like a fingerprint.

    • Still not Mr. Gaudette

      I’m not Mr. Gaudette and there are many people mocking you. If you don’t want to be mocked don’t make it so easy.

  58. Still not Mr. Gaudette

    It isn’t Mr. Gaudette if you don’t want to be mocked don’t make it so easy.

    • Air of superiority? Sorry, STILL sounds like Mr. Gaudette.

      • I guess I can’t convince you no matter how many time I say it. I am not him. Have a good night!

      • It sounds like Mr Gaudette because of his influence I’m sure. Remember the email the union president wrote to the members? It sounded just like Gaudette. Union member I was tempted to post the vile email you sent to the members to show the board how unprofessional you are. I decided against it because it would further divide. I realize that you are a victim yourself at the hands if Mr Gaudette. You’re just too weak to fight. Don’t embarrass yourself with these nasty posts.

        • Although I agree with what you say, the Union President didn’t write that letter. However, she also didnt didn’t refute or denounce it in any way and urge “Solidarity”. She said nothing in support of trying to bring the membership together or advocate for members in danger of losing their jobs. She did however speak up for Mr. Gaudette at the last Board meeting. It was another Union “Leader” who wrote that letter. I hope people will consider my proposal above. We have to rise above the nastiness, hidden agendas and deceit and take back our power.

          • Why are union officials who were voted into their positions by us to support and help us, providing Mr. Gaudette with confidential union activity information? Mr. Gaudette mocked a union member who ran for a union position quoting the exact count of the vote. I hope ALL the members, take this into consideration before sharing their personal information with union leaders. Mr. Gaudette is certainly a chess player, he has the union leadership eating out of the palm of his hands. How manipulative, so much for the transparency that he boasts about on a daily basis.

    • To the Apprentice: Just because it’s easy to be cruel doesn’t mean you should be. You’ll only bring out the cruelty of those around you. Didn’t your mentor teach you that? Try to have compassion for those of us “below” you. After all, it wasn’t that long ago you that you were “below” others was it? You never know when you will need compassion back.

      Let’s say you are being asked to do things by a higher up that were at times unethical, maybe even just “slightly” illegal at times or least bending the rules. It’s a job that pays way more money than you were making before, and you can’t risk losing it. But then you are thrown under the bus when the investigations come. Nobody wants to hear what you say, it’s far better to find a scapegoat than to get to the underlying problems and maybe get more people in trouble. People are told the school will close down if we don’t “clean this up”.

      Nasty rumors are spread through out the school so people will REALLY blame you, dislike you more, and believe the lies and half-truths they tell. You can’t afford the lawyers that the organization has, especially since you don’t have a job. Your reputation is damaged and you can’t find another job because they give potential employers negative information about you. Your former coworkers, are laughing, mocking and writing nasty messages and emails to you. Even worse are the “friends” who say nothing in your defense. Their silence is deafening. You wonder how you will pay your bills, and maybe even feed your family.

      Hope it doesn’t happen that way, but you might want to have a little more compassion in case it does. I for one won’t be laughing because it’s not funny…even if you think someone deserves it.

      • I am not sure the apprentice has many choices at this point. It seems he is caught between a rock and a hard place. If he does not support his mentor in what ever is asked of him quietly and continue to be compliant, he will be set up to fail. His reputation will be harmed and he will lose his salary. If he does what he is asked and it is unethical and/or illegal, it could have worse repercussions and damage his career going forward. He is in the beginning of his career and that would be devastating. These are difficult choices. He seemed to be a good person before his promotion. Either way, it is very unappealing to be mud slinging. Especially because he is in a vulnerable position. I hope Mr. Gaudette’s negative influence has not already seeped into his soul. Apprentice….tread with caution, this is your life. Mr. Gaudette does not care about you, only what you can do for him.

  59. And why do you find that so amusing? Why try and embarrass her and throw it in her face? She has children and a home. She lost her job… How is this funny or brag worthy? God forbid someone try and stand up to you… Power, money and lies can often win over innocence… That doesn’t make it right… Do you even have a heart?

    • Those funds are used to protect this loser superintendent not for the students. You are pitiful. You are stealing the students money for all the lawsuits.

      • No, you are stealing money because the lawsuits are bogus. Haven’t you been reading the decisions?

        BTW, insurance covers the lions share of the cost. We had a very low deductible.

  60. Plea to the Board Members

    Board members! Please! Listen to us! We need a new Administration! Gaudette lies, cheats and abuses his staff so that YOU think he has everything under control and so that YOU think HE is the reason for test scores going up. The teachers are the ones doing all the work. Not because of his leadership but because they are good teachers! They want to help the children. They want to receive recognition for their hard work and effort. They want to be effective under the new APPR plan. He has nothing to do with it. It is time to put a proper leader at MPCS. One that can win the admiration and respect of his staff IN ADDITION to collaboratively working with teachers to bring test scores up. Not intimidating and bullying. PLEASE! I am begging you to listen to the people taking the time to post here. The people that are victims of the abuse day in and day out. The people that are gone and still suffering the aftermath of his actions. The people that are sick because they have been traumatized by of his abuse. The people that retired early or are close to it because they can’t handle the emotional abuse of being under his leadership any longer. I understand one of you received an honorable recognition recently. Mr. Gaudette’s leadership will surely ruin your reputation if you continue to support him. His leadership has turned the Union leaders and teachers AGAINST one another and Ms. Baron has shown to be just as deceptive as he is. Teachers have nowhere to turn for help… They can’t trust their Principal and now they can’t even trust their Union President! This blog is our only hope that you will hear us. I am sure you are all good people but have been blind sighted like so many others. How much more of the State’s money do you want to spend on this man’s legal bills??? We could be using that money to make school improvements instead… The truth is coming out now. We are working on notifying the state, starting petitions and possibly going public with this. Please investigate! He would like you to believe that WE are the problem but this is not the case… In his letter, he accuses staff of having a personality disorder known as HCP… How can we all have the same disorder??? Anyone not in “full compliance” has it according to him… We need changes and soon… PLEASE! Thank you for taking the time to read.

  61. I was wondering why the board members did not consider the results of the school climate survey. That survey provided honest incite about how the union membership was feeling. Reviewing the results would have been a great starting point for collaboration on strategies for improvement.

  62. What happened to last year’s school nurse. She was compassionate, a team player, organized and effective. She made a great effort to obtain proper medical records for the students. She was on top of everything. Oh I forgot, those are the staff members who get let go. She must have made too much noise about the ethical responsibility we have to our students. What a shame. I am sure Mr. Gaudette told the board members that she was not a good employee for whatever reason he could fabricate as he has done with the others he let go.

  63. Can we hear from some of the supporters that Mr. Gaudette keeps bragging about? And I mean teachers, teacher aides and support staff; not the Principal, new Financial PERSON or the Union President and her minions. Those people already sold their souls to the Devil. Where are you friends? Please share here about how you support Mr. Gaudette. Speak up. Post your real name. No need to worry about getting harassed or losing your job if you are saying something positive. You may even get rewarded with a special class, salary increase or administrative position…. Oh and the best part; you may not even need an actual Administrative certification!

  64. Francesco Portelos Personal Story

    Please watch this video and share it with others. This is not only about Mt. Pleasant Cottage School. We are not alone in this battle. It is remarkable how his story is so similar to that of ours.

    http://www.workplacebullying.org/2015/04/01/dtoe/

  65. It’s a blog to bring awareness about bullying and unethical behavior in the workplace. Whoever keeps posting the money comments over and over is not only showing a lack of maturity but is showing exactly why we need a site like this. Bring some ideas to the table if you are an administrator. People would be glad to hear them. Positive, proactive ideas. People have posted many such ideas on this site. Is there any acknowledgement beyond sarcastic barbs? Maybe the situation would improve if there was SOMEONE listening to the concerns people have for these kids and answering in an honest and problem solving manner. Thanks

  66. Check your analytics. The conversation ended with them, with the exception of throwing your dogs off a feeding frenzy, when it was said. The remaining conversation was between us. There were only two remaining items to document. At a march 16th faculty meeting it was claimed that you are an agent for the soon to be exposed anonymous antagonists (yes you read that right) and that you would try to trace identities of posts. Two satirical spam pranks later you divulge the same truth. Everything is now documented in this blog. It is so much more powerful coming from you. Now that you have been lured out from underneath your rock (nice logo by the way) and given up everything needed we can say goodbye as well. You may slither back from where you came until I need you again. If you regain consciousness between now and then, you may want to contact an attorney.

    In times requiring great change more Sun Tzu than Lao Tzu.

    • You are a very sick man. Mr Gaudette why didn’t you just use your name. Nobody else is in the mental state of mind to write such a disturbing post.

    • ANONYMOUS ANTAGONIST?

      Satirical Spam? Don’t think so. Someone was caught doing something wrong and was called out on it. Now to try to “cover his ass” he is threatening lawsuits with more lawyer bills paid for by the District to defend unethical tactics? I hope not. Hasn’t enough money been wasted already?

      The above post threatens to expose the “anonymous antagonists”? That’s OK because when you tell the truth you don’t have to be afraid of being exposed. The fear tactics just don’t work anymore. It’s only when you have lied that you are afraid. Sun tzu, Lao Tzu..The Art of War, The Way of Peace… It’s all unnecessary with the Truth.

      Pretty sure there will be more questions asked and more investigations. Instead of being afraid for yourself please just tell the truth. These children deserve that. If we can’t give them that then we don’t deserve to be working with them. Thank you.

    • Sun Tzu, quoted in the post above, was a military strategist and author of “The Art of War”. A few of his quotes are “All warfare is based on deception” and “If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by”. However, this is not a military regime, it is a school district. The leader is supposed to be a superintendent, not a General.

      The post above is clearly written by Mr. Gaudette and the person he is speaking to is Mr. Portelos. Mr. Portelos runs a public service designed to identify issues surrounding mismanagement and bullying tactics in public schools. The goal is to help districts improve as a result of this public exposure. In a district such as MPCS, that does not have parental involvement, it is especially important to have a forum to bring attention to issues that effect the students and the staff that educate, support and protect them. Although some of the posts have been angry and accusatory, others have been thoughtful and have offered sincere pleas on behalf of the students as well as solid ideas for improvement. However, instead of using the forum as a means of reflection and growth, Mr. Gaudette has chosen to basically declare “war” on Mr. Portelos and those who have posted calling them “angry antagonists” and threatening to expose them. He insults, berates and threatens legal action against Mr. Portelos in the above post. It seems he takes no responsibility for his own actions and goes straight to attack mode when challenged or exposed. It also appears that this is a reflection on how he chooses to run the school district.

      Most people reading the above post would see that there is clearly something wrong. Even more concerning is why a public school superintendent is not being held to the same standards of accountability that superintendents in more mainstream districts would be. It seems both unjust and biased against underserved and mostly minority students. If the actions described in this forum, and the multiple lawsuits against this superintendent, were occurring in one of the wealthier districts in this county it is hard to believe it would go on as such. Where are the checks and balances in this district?

        • Thanks for Sharing

          I have so much respect for the board members who were able to see that the leadership was not taking the district in the direction that they wanted. I’m still hopeful that our board members come through for the students and staff. We have all endured so much over the last couple of years.

      • Your fight for your entitlements has been matched by a more worthy opponent. Your entitlement made you soft. You choose an attorney, Bryan Glass, who turned out to be as entitled, lazy and soft as you. These occurances were not by chance. Similar energies coalesce or to cite a cliche “birds of a feather flock together”. You do not receive respect because
        You do not deserve it! You have been exposed and will be continue to be exposed for your true motivations. You made the fight ugly and now want to run and blame others when they respond in kind. You dragged
        Innocent people through the mud and tried to ruin those that nothing to do with your fight. Your multiple lawsuit tactic has failed to date and will continue to fail because you are trying to fabricate a story. It is clear to any independent observer when facts are taken into evidence rather than your twisted rants. You must be remembered and this blog serves that purpose. The memory of you will serve to keep your culture of entitlement from re-emerging for years to come.

  67. Well, it looks like, there’s no stopping Mr. Gaudette and Ms. Baron! It seems the intimidation and targeting continues. Some people just never learn from their mistakes. Big brother is watching!

    • Still?? When is the next board meeting? April 27th? Our group might have to take a road trip. Is there speaking time? https://youtu.be/bo2iCqvCpQw

      • There is public comment time allocated at the end of the meeting. We would only be allowed a short amount of time to speak. If we needed more time, we would need to ask the board to schedule us into their agenda. I think we should attend the board meeting together.

        • According to state law, you can film. Time to make some YouTube channel videos.

          • Well if law suits, N.Y.S. law violations, Justice Center violations, and a blog don’t facilitate change, I guess we have no choice. Very sad that it has to get worse before it gets better. We will not stop until stop until our students are able to come to school and receive the education they deserve, until our staff members can come to work without feeling sick from stress, until our highly qualified staff members are reinstated to do the jobs they love and until our union is strengthened to support their members in their professional growth. Mr. Gaudette, we are here to stay.

      • Thanks for Sharing

        The board meeting is next tues at 7:30 at the school

  68. Independent Invrstigation

    Attention MPCS Board of Education: With all of the complaints on this site why doesn’t this School Board hire an Independent Investigator as the school board mentioned above, in Franklin Township, did? If the staff were assured that they wouldn’t be punished for speaking truthfully, I believe most would be forthcoming and honest.

    Look at ALL of the evidence provided in the lawsuits and allegations, not just Mr. Gaudette’s and Ms. Baron’s. Interview the witnesses and complainants about what they really said and hear their stories. Ask the people on long term sick leave if their health is suffering in the face of mismanagement, retaliation and unsafe conditions. Ask the state if there is any need to lay off teachers with many years of experience who have dedicated their adult lives to working with this population and have shown success in doing so.

    Ask the students if they feel safe in their classrooms or if they were doing better in a modified rotation. Ask the students which teachers support, encourage them and help them to learn and grow. See if these are some of the same ones Mr. Gaudette is calling “bad teachers” or “adversarial”.

    Look at the State testing procedures and the inconsistencies in its administration and scoring. Ask the “witnesses” to the various investigations what they really said. Investigate if gossip and incidents were twisted and written up as “complaints”. Ask if Union members even knew about the “Union leaders” speaking against other members, and in support of Mr. Gaudette, at the last Board meeting. Ask the members why morale was so low in the survey results and what they think about the climate and safety of the school for both students and staff.

    Ask the security team and other staff what they have witnessed in interactions between students and Mr. Gaudette over the years. I think there is an awful lot to discover.

    There is plenty of evidence to look at, plenty of people to talk to, and a lot of money will be saved in lawyers’ bills. I believe most of the staff being targeted and accused of various misdeeds would welcome an investigation of this sort. It would need to be TRULY INDEPENDENT and witnesses would need to be given absolute assurance that they could not be retaliated against or penalized, and that their testimony was sworn but anonymous where possible.

    What about Mr. Gaudette? Is he agreeable to a completely independent investigation that also puts his and Ms. Baron’s actions under investigation, one that is completely hands off from his control or supervision? Think about how much time and money could be saved with such an investigation. It was done in Franklin Township, why not here? I’d think Mr. Gaudette would welcome the chance to prove the “4 or 5 people” he claims are writing all of these blogs wrong.

    • It’s definitely not 4 to 5 people.

    • Great idea! I hope the board members are brave enough to do it. They could also investigate the ongoing New York State Special Education Law violations that continue to occur. How many general education students has the district accepted over the last few years? How many of those students have been evaluated and considered for classification? Now compare that number to the number that had been classified before Mr. Gaudette arrived. It looks like Mr. Gaudette and Ms. Baron are not classifying students so that they can support their hiring contents certified teachers and riffing special education teachers. Again, retaliation at the expense of our vulnerable students. They are not getting the support they are entitled to by N.Y.S. law. The process for classifying students in our care has been provided to us from N.Y.S. Ed. Dept. and send to our union president. Has this information been passed on to the membership? I think not……

  69. Emotional Abuse is Hard to Prove

    An 8 year old child is told at the end of the day by his teacher that not only will he be sent to a new class tomorrow but he will also have a new 1:1. He cries, he’s upset, he has already had two teachers this year and now he will have a third. The teacher cries to see this child so upset. She has no control over the situation as the decision to move the child wasn’t discussed with her previously. The child’s class is changed and within a few weeks it doesn’t work out and his class is changed once again back to his previous teacher. Doesn’t Mr. Gaudette and Ms. Baron Know how important consistency is? This is emotional abuse. If this child had a parent active in his life, this would have never taken place. With no voice this child is confused. Was it his fault that he’s been moved? Was it his fault he’s been moved from his home? NO this is not the teacher writing this post. Why would she, she would only be retaliated against. It someone who witnessed this situation and also felt helpless. Thank you Mr. Portelos for allowing me to post this anonymously so that I won’t be retaliated against and lose my job too.

    This is not an uncommon situation at MPCS. Students, teachers, teaching assistants and teacher aides are moved around randomly and quite often. Most of the time it’s to punish a staff member for something they have done. STOP USING CHILDREN AS PAWNS! Where are the Jewish Child Care Agency staff members? Why are they not advocating for these students in the absence of their parents? Do they even know that these students are being moved around? Are they even notified?

    • According to state law, you can film. Time to make some YouTube channel videos.

    • Change is hard. It shard on everybody. However change can not be stopped. It is constant. THE SCHOOL IS UNDERFUNDED. There are specific rules regarding class size and composition. We must be relailient. No child is changed in a class at random or to punish teachers. However some kids had to be pulled out of a couple of these bloggers classes because it was determined that that teacher was bullying kids as reported by safety monitors, school psychologists and the child. But they are the same ones saying they are here for the kids. The information to spin their truth serves only them.

      • Their caustic ridiculing anonymous comments to so many people they disagreed with here in this blog are similar to the way they treated kids. The more they think their target is powerless the more confrontational they were.

        • From what I heard it was Gaudette saying nasty things to kids (calling one a dog, another he said racial things), Gaudette who got jumped by a student & Gaudette who is scared to walk around (not so much now that all the kids don’t want to come to school). His comments above apply to him.

          • Of course he is scared. You threatened him with a spanking. Remember? wouldn’t you be scared too? I mean a spanking by a superhero like you is pretty intimidating.

  70. discrimination..evasion of tenure.. What next?

    As we speak Mr. Gaudette is preparing to hire 3 new teachers, setting up classrooms even. He will be placing these teachers on new lines and they will effectively be “ahead” of teachers with far more seniority and experience. He’s been doing it with the full cooperation of the “union leaders” up until now. One of these leaders is dually certified and the other has very senior status, so they are likely “safe”. He got “caught” last year and had numerous notices of claims filed against him as a result. He now is proceeding more deviously in his plan to RIFF HIGHLY QUALIFIED and experienced teachers and replace them with new teachers. This year he’s setting up the classrooms ahead of time. It is all just a game to Mr. Gaudette. He shows no concern for the children or the dedicated staff who have served this district for many years. BOARD MEMBERS PLEASE LISTEN! We have appealed to you time and again to intervene. What does it take to get your attention? At least PLEASE make him wait until the matter can be more thoroughly investigated and thereby prevent more legal actions and heartache for both children and staff. Look at his blogs above, he believes no one can stop him. It is likely yet more people will be forced to secure legal means if their rights are not protected and they lose their livelihoods unethically and/or illegally. Why is this STILL happening?

    • What can we do to go public and what happens if Mr. Gaudette knows who participated? Will he fire the people that reported him? Wouldn’t that be obvious retaliation? I am afraid, but willing to support anyone that will go public to expose him. This will never end and the Board doesn’t care. Mr. Gaudette and Ms. Baron are ruining lives. What can we do???

      • Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.

        Haile Selassie

      • Local media?

        • Does the media care that a Superintendant who had to PAY A SUBSTANTIAL SETTLEMENT IN A RACIAL DISCRIMINATION CASE is in charge of mostly minority students? Do they care why he was given a long term contract AFTER that occurred, while he was an already an employee of the District? Do they care if he is now harassing and trying to get rid of anyone attempting to protect these children’s rights? Do they care that the board DOESNT seem to care and in the face of multiple lawsuits seem to be doing nothing to stop him as they pay his mounting legal bills? Do they care that he’s STILL going full steam in his plan to eliminate “troublemakers” who dare to question or report his treatment of students and staff? Do they care he is attempting to fill the school with untenured, and therefore vulnerable teachers who can be easily controlled to NOT report anything, NOT question anything concerning these kids who don’t have involved parents?

          Does the media care? I HOPE SO.

  71. Wow no training for proctors for NYS assessments until a half hour before testing began. What? Only notified teachers at 5:00 pm the evening before testing about morning meeting Some things never change. Threatening teachers that they would possibly lose their jobs if rhe students didn’t take the assessments. What a way to pressure already test phobic, highly stressed,vulnerable students many of which are well below state standards who have a history of failure. Mr Gaudette keep the stressful climate up there and all your staff will be on medical leave; the numbers are already quite high.

    • Oh and make sure each student gets the testing accommodations required as indicated on the IEP. ….BIG BROTHER is watching!!! WE ALL are big brother.

  72. What is going to take for this Board to shut this man down? Look at this blog. Are we all crazy? I don’t think so. Somebody, please, do something. There is no getting through to this man or the Board. We need to DO something and fast. Lives, young and old are being ruined.

  73. “Peace without Justice is Tyranny”
    William Allen White

    Mr. Gaudette instead of interrogating and punishing people to try to stop the “leaks”, change YOUR BEHAVIOR, ATTITUDE AND ACTIONS. There are more people than you know reporting actions that damage the students. There are more people than you know who actually care about them and seek to make the environment better. They may not be front and center because they are afraid of retaliation, but they are out there. I’m hopeful they will CONTINUE to report violations as long as they are taking place.

    Treat these kids like you’d want your own child treated and perhaps the blogs will stop. Treat the staff as you’d like to be treated and perhaps the blogs will stop. Stop targeting people like a hunter after his prey and perhaps the blogs will stop. I can pretty much assure you that they won’t stop until you do. You can not bully away freedom of speech and the defense against defamation is truth.

  74. This year the Gateway program was dismantled upon Mr. Gaudette’s direction. Gateway is a tightly run program for sexually exploited females. The ages of girls in the program run from about 12 through 21. They are highly vulnerable and become targets for the boys who attend school and live on campus. For years, up until this year, there was a separate class for these girls. It was very successful at keeping them safe and focused on academics. There was a very supportive and nurturing teaching team working with them. There were even cottage staff members who frequented the class to add additional support. The teaching team had special training to deal with the issues that this group presented with after being traumatized and victimized. Now the girls are scattered around the school building in different classes with different teachers to their detriment. Many have fallen back into victim roles. Why was this decision made? There were no meetings with the teaching staff or any other school staff members to discuss this drastic change. Once again, students needs being overlooked!

  75. “To be silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all”.
    Eli Wiesel

    “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”
    Thomas Jefferson

  76. It’s sad that some people have felt as though they will lose their jobs if they don’t “cooperate” with unethical and possibly illegal requests. But have they considered they might lose their licenses if they do? Trust your gut feeling… If it feels wrong it probably is. The most important thing is to tell the truth even if you feel you can’t speak out about it. In a place where so few can be trusted it’s hard. Who do you even tell the truth to? People get in trouble for telling the truth around here. That’s why some of us had to reach out to outside organizations.

    There will likely be more investigations, more people asking questions, more subpeonaes, etc. Some blame it on the people who have reported violations and/or have been involved in legal proceedings against the District and/or specific administrators. However, who is asking you to lie.. or at least not tell the Whole truth, or maybe just to bend it a little? Who is asking you to do things that you are uncomfortable with such as make “complaints” over petty things, falsify a few documents, not classify students properly, etc. When the REAL Investigations come do you think a person who asked you to do something illegal or unethical is going to jump up and say “Its not their fault, I told them to do it!! ? Do you think investigators will care why you didn’t report something you were mandated to?

    Then there are the “neutral” people, who just want to stay out of it all. Is this what you came here for? To watch what is happening without lifting a finger to protect these kids or advocate for them? To watch people you have known and maybe have even been friends with get “beat up”. Or worse yet, to join in the mob that kicks them while they are down, like bullies on a playground taunting the one that’s “different” because some people say “They deserve it”? I don’t think that’s why you work at this school, no matter how many years you’ve been here.

    Personally I’d rather lose my job than my license. I’d rather lose both than to have to face the reality that I lied, exaggerated, left out relevant information or otherwise testified falsely against someone to save myself. I’d rather get in trouble for being “over-involved” than learn a kid who kept coming into my class high on “who knows what”, died of an overdose. I’d rather my family and friends see me broke for being honest in a just cause, than being prosecuted for perjury or obstruction because I was afraid. I’d rather be punished for helping a colleague who was being treated unfairly, than feel guilty that I didn’t.

    The good news is it’s never too late. Stop believing the rumors and hate filled propaganda that a select few spread each day. That’s the way the dysfunctional machine is being greased. Stop treating peers that you’ve known for years like they have a contagious disease and you can’t sit next to them or even say hello. Somebody might see you talking to them? Fear is what gives the weak power. We are all better than that, we have to be to do what we do everyday in this environment and with these kids.

    The other good news is you won’t have to worry if you tell the unadulterated truth, even if you didn’t tell it before. It’s never too late… that is until you testify under oath or subpoena or submit false documentation to State agencies and it is discovered. In that case you need a lawyer, not the unasked for advice I’m giving here.

    “The truth hurts for now… A lie hurts forever”. Not sure who said it
    “When in doubt, tell the truth”. Mark Twain.

    • I am so tired of the BOARD that continues to protect this corrupt man and his unprofessional “assistants” that only care about their own high salaries and job security. This is how Mr. Gaudette ropes them in. What is wrong with them? Are they now fearing that their own judgement in character will be questioned or flawed if they acknowledge his dishonesty and corruption? Why else would they continue to support someone who has harassed, verbally abused and belittled his staff? Something is very wrong… This is also a man who has a record of harassment and discrimination working in other districts… Not to mention a few other things on a police record…. Huh?

      • We are sorry we couldn’t make the meeting yesterday. Something came up. What took place? Can we request minutes? Several DTOE.org members and I do want to attend as we are extremely disturbed by what we are hearing. We’d like to hear from the Board and get their take.

      • Quick, call the Justice League.

    • Great point!….THE TIDE IS TURNING. It seems as though instead of looking at each other, we realize the evil is coming from another source….Unity, good-hearted, compassionate people…the time has come. We are no longer victims.

  77. Handicapped Parking

    Yesterday, the handicapped parking spaces increased for the second time to a whopping 6 spots….I wonder if we are in compliance yet? Maybe EEOC needs to to pay us a visit.

  78. Dear Board Members

    We do not blame you for being taken in by Mr. Gaudette’s confidence, presentation and convictions. We are all guilty of this. When he arrived he dazzled us with promises of unity, transparency, support and accountability. We were hopeful. We hung on every word he said. After feeling somewhat neglected by the past administration, we thought we finally had a strong leader who wasn’t afraid to stand up and help move the district in the right direction. His promises fell flat and everything he stood for in the beginning was a facade. He is very convincing when he manipulates data to inflate his effectiveness. It is time to just admit he is not the right person to lead this district. It is time to realize we all made a mistake in taking him at face value. Sometimes, as quoted by Mr. Gaudette, we need to peal back the layers of the onion before we see what’s inside. Please rectify this situation. Be strong and take control of this district for these vulnerable students. There are currently only 60% students attending school and there are currently approximately 15 students suspended. No matter what NYS assessment data he is presenting it can’t reverse these sad statistics. Let the staff members form committees and ask each team leader to report directly back to you for school improvement. You won’t be disappointed. There are many intelligent and professional staff members employed by the district. Ms. Leamon and Ms. Lee could lead this process, they are neutral administrators. Ms. Baron and Mr. Gaudette need to go…and go fast…every day they create more more damage. We want to work with you to make the district a better place. We are committed.

  79. How many staff members need to be treated for stress related illness such as panic attacks and high blood pressure? How many staff members have to leave the school in an ambulance? How many staff members need be physically hurt attempting to keep our students safe? How many staff members have no other recourse but to go out on medical leave because they just can no longer handle the hostile, toxic environment created by Mr. Gaudette and Ms. Baron? It still continues today and every day….please Mr. Gaudette and Ms. Baron, stop the harassment and bullying! Bringing these issues to light has not even caused a minor change in their behaviors. What will it take?

  80. Yet more class changes for these fragile elementary students? How can you justify even more class changes and staff changes two months prior to the end of the school year, in the midst of N.Y.S. assessments. Who is left to deal with the aftermath of the emotional melt down of these young children due to these disruptions, not the administrators. More emotional abuse. Why, just to create a new class with a dually certified teacher to set up a system to enable more special ed. certified teachers to be cut? PLEASE think of the students.

    • Horrific….change is needed

    • At: Mr. Richard altman

      MR. ALTMAN, I am reaching out to you specifically because YOU ARE IN THE UNIQUE POSITION OF BEING ON THE SCHOOL BOARD WHILE ALSO BEING THE DIRECTOR OF THE AGENCY. With all of the complaints that have been given to the school board FOR SO LONG, I want to know HOW IS IT STILL GOING ON????? THESE KIDS DESERVE SO MUCH BETTER. WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE IT STOP???? WHY is it that children who should be getting the MOST protection because of their prior history and vulnerability are getting the LEAST? Nobody is asking for perfection, but we are asking for actions that HARM STUDENTS TO BE STOPPED.

      Why were emotionally disturbed and fragile children moved to different classes so many times….For Mr. Gaudettes plots and schemes? These kids need structure and stability. They need to form relationships with the teachers so that they can trust them and learn from them. They need to not feel rejected as they get moved around with no explanations. THEY NEED TO BE PROTECTED FROM PEOPLE WHO SEE THEM AS DOLLAR SIGNS, OR EVEN WORSE, USE THEM AS TOOLS FOR REVENGE.

      HERE ARE SOME QUESTIONS FOR MR. GAUDETTE AND MS. BARON. Did you notify parents and agency staff about all of these moves PRIOR TO DOING IT? How about AFTER even? You were just FOUNDED BY STATE ED for CHANGING IEPS ILLEGALLY and yet YOU NOW CHANGE CHILDREN’S CLASSES THE SAME WAY? Secretly, just like the IEPS were, so nobody knows the dirty little deeds being done behind close doors. WHEN WERE THE MEETINGS TO DISCUSS WHAT WAS BEST FOR THE CHILDREN HELD? Who was there? WERE TEACHERS, WHO KNOW THE KIDS EDUCATIONAL NEEDS THE BEST, PART OF THE DECISION MAKING PROCESS? NO, they had nothing to do with it, but of course are scared to say anything because EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SPEAK UP. Were counsellors Involved in the decision making process? NO, they were just TOLD to do it AND were scared to protest as well. WERE THE LEGAL GUARDIANS INFORMED THAT THESE STUDENTS WERE BEING MOVED TO DIFFERENT CLASSES TIME AND AGAIN? Were they given an opportunity TO DISCUSS WHAT WAS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THEIR CHILDREN prior to any moves? WERE THE COUNSELORS AND SOCIAL WORKERS FROM THE AGENCY, who represent those under JCCA’S GUARDIANSHIP, a part of the decision making process? No again. Of course not, because it would NEVER have been agreed to. Maybe once, certainly not 2, 3 or even 4 times. If they only knew the REAL REASONS you are doing these moves it would be even worse. Getting rid of teachers you don’t like, or are “troublemakers”, and getting new teachers in who can’t voice concerns or advocate. Prove that these students HAD TO BE MOVED for any LEGITIMATE reason that ALLOWED YOU TO TRUMP THEIR RIGHTS. New classes could have been started WITHOUT all of the moves. But you had to “stack” the classes to justify hiring dually certified teachers. You’ve also hired more than the census justifies. Who are you planning to lay off first Mr. Gaudette?

      IS THIS LEGAL? I’m not sure, but it’s definitely not ethical. What would ANY of us do if OUR child had been moved to new classes and new teachers with no reason, explanation, or even having being TOLD about it? What if your child was moved from a class he was doing great in, maybe learning at a faster rate than he ever had before? What if for the first time he was making friends, connecting with peers and showing excellent academic growth, because he had emotional issues that had kept him from doing well in school before? I’d be banging on the door of the school demanding an explanation. What if the administrators there then told you to “BE QUIET AND DONT COMPLAIN OR WE’LL REPORT YOU FOR BEING A BAD PARENT?” This is basically what is done to the staff that tries to question these moves in lieu of parental involvement. Guess then I’d call or write whomever I could at that point and file a complaint. I’d also get my child out of their ASAP and alert the proper authorities as to what is going on. It is not the people REPORTING these deeds that are to blame, but THOSE WHO ARE DOING THEM. People who are pointing it out and advocating for change are “disgruntled employees” and “troublemakers”. Those who play along without complaint, preferably with a smile and a “positive attitude” of course, are “valued employees”. They may even be given plum assignments and other perks. Think I’ll stick with the “troublemakers” for now.

      PLEASE HELP US MR. ALTMAN. WE KNOW YOU ARE RETIRING SOON, BUT PLEASE ADDRESS THESE ISSUES, AND THE MANY OTHERS THAT HAVE BEEN PRESENTED TO YOU, BEFORE YOU GO. PLEASE DO IT AS THE DIRECTOR, A BOARD MEMBER, AND SOMEONE WHO HAS SPENT A CAREER WORKING WITH THESE CHILDREN. Thank you.

  81. Let’s give credit where credit is due. Mr. Gaudette brought some important changes to the district. Technology, curriculum and methods of instruction were vastly improved. He balanced the budget, which was no small feat. His Achilles heel has been his ego. His belief that he is the one with all of the answers. By surrounding himself with people who only want to please him out of fear, ambition or who knows what, rather than challenge him to grow with dialogue and different ideas he has created a

    • ….dysfunctional and unhealthy system.

      • I have to strongly disagree. He has not brought curriculum to the district. He has directed teachers to basically copy N.Y.S. standards and called it curriculum. It would have been a wonderful opportunity for teachers to work together to develop our own curriculum which would have included N.Y.S. standards with daily living skills. Curriculum is a living document that needs to change as needed as we teach it to our challenging special population. Teaching methods? All Mr. Gaudette did was force-feed Marzano to teachers, and only the portion of Marzano he agrees with. His implementation was to give a copy of the Marzano standards to the teachers and give them a poor evaluation if they did not follow it. His implementation was as poor as N.Y.S. implementation of common core. He brought us technology, but what good is it if there is no technology curriculum for students. We have a technology lab that is not even being utilized. We forbid our students to use technology because we have not taught them how to use it responsibly.

        No matter what he has brought to us, it will not improve the district if there aren’t any staff members coming to school. Board members, have you checked the staff attendance? It was poor before, but now, there are so few staff members coming to work that it has become a safety issue. Check the research, a sudden decline in staff attendance is a major symptom of a bullying, unhealthy work environment.

        His actions and motives appear very good on the surface but if you look beneath the surface there is nothing there.

    • He didn’t balance anything… He used qualified staff to help improve curriculum, then got rid of most of them or forced them to retire. The only reason we have a budget deficit this year and last is because his legal bills are so high… Qualified teachers need to go in order to support his habit of harassment and abuse. Definitely a necessary budget write off….I am still hopeful that our Board will open their eyes… Not giving up yet. Please do the right thing… Get rid of this man and give us a leader that we can respect, admire and look forward to working with every day! What more evidence do you need????

  82. What sickens me the most about Mr. Gaudette’s actions is his idea of “group think”. Group think is REALLY the equivalent to using his chosen five weakest staff members to spread harmful,hurtful lies throughout the building to try to convince the group that these lies are true. These lies are only self serving securing his ultimate control and manipulation of people. He tries to make you believe that if you don’t believe these lies, than you are in the minority of the school population and open yourself up to being vulnerable. Does that remind you of anyone in history? It’s powerful, scary and so harmful.

    • If you are one of those chosen five weakest staff members, please look at your actions. You are the ones who are enabling Mr. Gaudette to continue to have power and hurt the very people you have worked with for so many years. You are not safe because when he is done with you, you will be targeted as well. Mr. Gaudette does not care about people or children, he cares about himself. This is crystal clear at this point.

  83. Lies, Lies and more Lies! Mr. Gaudette when you lie so much you forget what your original lie was. Exposed little by little…until your naked in front of a crowd. The truth always prevails….we have plenty of patience to wait for it.

    • Mr. Portelos, the next Board of Education Meeting is May 18 at 7:30. Mount Pleasant Cottage School, 1075 Broadway, Pleasantville, NY 10570. Hope you can join us. Anyone who has the interests of these students in mind is encouraged to attend. We are looking into possible local media coverage as well. We are determined to bring attention to this matter until the result of a safer and more equitable environment for the students and staff is achieved and the legal rights of both groups are no longer being violated on a regular basis. Thank you for assisting us in bringing conditions that might have gone unknown to light.

  84. Right makes might

    “Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction … nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.”

    Abraham Lincoln

  85. Successful Administrators

    I haven’t checked in recently but want to comment that this blog has not helped Mr. Gaudette one bit. A small part of me hoped it might. I am longing for that Successful Administrator that greets staff with a smile, provides positive feedback and constructive criticism where necessary and shows appreciation for staff through written and verbal communication. Has this blog done anything for Mr. Gaudette and Ms. Baron? I see that Mr. Beovich JUST got his Administrative degree, but he has been in an administrative position all year… Huh? Where do we draw the line with corruption and deceit? We know they are reading… How can things only be getting worse? How can the Board still allow this team of fools to lead us????

  86. Successful Administrators

    Yes he received an “internship certificate” which means working under the supervision of another leader and learning the field… Not being given full control over the school finances and having your salary doubled while you are still an “intern”. According the info posted at BOCES, he just earned his actual Administrative degree… This year was supposedly an “internship”…

  87. Just to clarify regarding Mr. Beovich’s School Leadership Program; once you have completed half of the program, you can be issued a certificate which allows you to obtain a full time administrative position under the direction of the superintendent. The position is provisional. Even if he graduated this year with his degree, nothing is final until he passes his exams and becomes certified by the N.Y.S. Education Dept. What is more important, is that his predecessor appeared to have been forced out to allow for Mr. Beovich to take the position; some type of early retirement settlement. I’m quite sure Mr. Gaudette claimed he didn’t do his job like he did with the rest of us. What is more important is that Mr. Beovich was given a position which is critical to the district with little to no experience. He was a part time,untenured teacher with only a handful of teaching experience. What is most damaging, is that Mr. Gaudette is directing him to act out of his role “Operations and Financial Administrator”, to do his dirty work targeting employees and providing discipline. Mr. Beovich is actually mimicking Mr. Gaudettes disrespectful bullying behaviors. Others refer to him as a mini Gaudette. It is really unfortunate because I think had Mr. Beovich had a good mentor,things might be very different. Mr. Beovich seems to be under the impression, that in order to be a good administrator, you need to bully, harass and treat your staff in a disrespectful manor. Mr. Gaudette places vulnerable untenured staff in all positions, including administrative positions so that he can continue to have absolute control, in a dictatorship manner, very self-serving. What’s sad is that the Board of Education has not only approved his actions; they do not seemed to even notice the pattern.

  88. Mr. Beovitch’s predecessor was a seasoned veteran who was fair and honest. He was concerned with the well-being of students and staff and was generally well respected. He was also a man of moral character, who did not always just sign anything put in front of him without question. As we all know, people like this do not do well with Mr. Gaudette. When you behave in an unethical manner, you must surround yourself with people who are willing to do the same, or you will be exposed. They must at least be silent about what is going on, which in many ways is unethical in itself. When the organization is entrusted with the well-being of vulnerable children, cooperation and silence seems especially unethical. There is change coming to the agency side. Let’s hope the same will happen for the school and that these children will finally be given the opportunity, care and resources they deserve.

  89. Previous Class Action Law Suit

    Look… Mr. Gaudette is not a stranger to being part of a class action lawsuit. Similar concerns and violations were addressed in regards to improper procedure followed with parental communication. Sounds like when he directed our CSE to change class size without parental input and notification; then acted like he had no idea it was going on when NYS Education Dept. sustained a complaint addressing the problem. Read part of the case below.

    SUPREME COURT STATE OF NEW YORK
    COUNTY OF NEW YORK
    —————————————————-
    X
    Index No.:
    EUNICE STATON, LATASHA GIBBS,
    CHARLENE WILSON
    Plaintiffs,

    against

    CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT
    NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF
    EDUCATION; JOEL KLEIN, CHANCELLOR
    NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF
    EDUCATION; ALBANY SCHOOL DISTRICT;
    AND LONNIE PALMER, SUPERINTENDENT,
    ALBANY SCHOOL DISTRI
    CT
    Defendants.
    ————————————

    While here have been some communications sent to some Parents with children in Failing Schools, these communications fail to meet the parental notification requirements of NCLB. For example, Hackett Middle School Principal James Gaudette wrote a letter to Hackett Parents concerning NCLB, but the letter does not include, as required under
    NCLB’s regulatory guidelines:

    An explanation of what the designation of Failing School means;

    Why the school received the designation;

    A comparison of Hackett’s
    academic achievement to non

    failing schools;

    An explanation of the actions the district and NYSED have taken to improve academic performance;

    A list of schools for children to transfer into, there being none within the school
    district transfer options as both middle schools are Failing Schools;

    A description of the performance and quality of choice options available;

    A deadline for choice options; or

    Mention of a way to communicate choices in a number of ways, including mail,

    • This isn’t surprising. Mr. Gaudette is notorious for ignoring the legal laws and guidelines regarding education. We see it everyday… Then he has the nerve to ask us to go along with the illegalities, like when he decided to make his own guidelines for reporting to the justice center. Made us all uncomfortable knowing now important the set guidelines and procedures are for the kids. The Board members should be hanging their heads in shame for keeling this person at that school. Looking forward to seeing this go public.

      • Most of it has. Are you satisfied yet? When all the dismissals go up on the Internet will that satisfy you? When they facts come from the perspective of judges and show the consistent theme of the lack of merit of your litigation and illuminate your true motives, will you
        Finally be at peace?

      • So you were looking forward to it going public when you thought you would win and now you are angry that it is public because you lost. And I might add you look like the entitled idiots you are when one reads the multiple dismissals.

  90. This man had to settle a lawsuit for racial discrimination, and he’s in charge of minority kids? He had his contract extended AFTER the lawsuit, and he’s still doing crazy stuff that’s causing more lawsuits? Who is responsible for keeping him around? Are taxpayers paying his salary and legal bills? It should be publicized, it’s a disgrace. With racial discrimination so big in the news it seems a lot of people would be interested in this story.

  91. “The system fails”, as stated very eloquently by a former student. I hope board members will re read and listen to what that brave young woman said and understand that it is absolutely true. The system fails these students as the powers that be manipulate what they want you to see and hear. Do you know that when the volunteers come on grounds for the agency annual fundraiser most of the kids are shipped off to the movies? It’s the one time of year this happens. Why? Because they want the illusion presented that everything is great here. Of course it is peaceful and quiet when hardly any kids are around. We know that you are on the Board for the right reasons and that you want to help these children. But we see what is going on every day and you don’t. People have reached out from the agency side as well voicing concerns and hoping for change.

    If the situation had gotten better this blog would have stopped. Mr. Gaudette is still continuing full steam ahead in his tactics. He uses others to do his dirty work more often, but his plans and plots have not changed. He is still hell bent on silencing every staff member who dares to point out any wrongdoing and he is still showing discrimination against protected classes of people. He is still overloading classes and violating students IEP rights. He is still placing some of them in classes they can’t emotionally and/or academically handle in an effort to get rid of tenured teachers. He claims he is following State regs in doing this. He is pushing them past their “least restrictive environment” without even proper input or consideration. This is a violation of State regs, not compliance.

    Publicity for these problems is not what any of us want. It is hard enough for the organization to have a fair chance of succeeding as it is. However, if we canot bring attention to these issues and get real solutions in any other way what would you have us do? Nobody wants lawsuits, nobody wants negative publicity, what we do need is change. Board members, we are still hopeful that you will be a conduit of this change. Please do not “rubber stamp” any more of Mr. Gaudette’s proposals unless you are completely sure he is being honest and transparent with you. However, the posts that he has made on this blog alone should be evidence this is not the case. Here is an example of the type of harassment some of us have faced and continue to face from Mr. Gaudette. It shows the way he treats and speaks to those who question or cross him in any way, to those he feels have exposed him. There is direct evidence to support that it was written by Mr. Gaudette on April 6. It is obviously directed to Mr. Portelos, the moderator of this forum.

    “Check your analytics. The conversation ended with them, with the exception of throwing your dogs off a feeding frenzy, when it was said. The remaining conversation was between us. There were only two remaining items to document. At a march 16th faculty meeting it was claimed that you are an agent for the soon to be exposed anonymous antagonists (yes you read that right) and that you would try to trace identities of posts. Two satirical spam pranks later you divulge the same truth. Everything is now documented in this blog. It is so much more powerful coming from you. Now that you have been lured out from underneath your rock (nice logo by the way) and given up everything needed we can say goodbye as well. You may slither back from where you came until I need you again. If you regain consciousness between now and then, you may want to contact an attorney.

    In times requiring great change more Sun Tzu than Lao Tzu.”

    This was written by the person that you are continuing to allow to lead our district. Again, we know you were fooled and manipulated by a very intelligent man, but with all due respect, it also seems clear going forward that you can no longer say that you are still unaware of what is taking place.

  92. If you check out the Board of Education meeting minutes from Berkshire, June 2011, the meeting that was held right before Mr Gaudette “left”. There was a proposal to cut all teaching assistant positions, and to hire behavioral aides instead. I guess Mr. Gaudette just has a cookie cutter plan to “fix” every school in the same manner. Did anyone reach out to the staff at Birkshire to see just how effective his plan was there? He appears to be very smart; however,there’s nothing smart about using a cookie cutter plan for every school. After all, we are not the same as Birkshire; no two school are ever the same.

  93. Just read the Birkshire Board meeting minutes. Interesting, did you notice that Mr. Gaudette brought Monica Baron to Birkshire that same month, June 2011 after she, “left” Valhalla? Did our board of education ever consider why Ms. Baron has jumped around from job to job following Mr. Gaudette?

  94. Dear Board Members Re: board meeting

    Dear Board Members:

    Mr. Gaudette is definitely a salesman. His presentation at the board meeting was nothing but bogus misrepresented data. I can certainly understand how you can believe everything is going well in the district based on his presentations. I hope you are wise enough to ask for the actual data. Here’s what I would ask for if I were a board member:

    1. The agency census for the months of Sept., January, and May for every school year from 2010-2015.

    2. The number of students attending school for the same months and years as indicated above. Calculate the percentage of students attending school as compared to the census, broken down by school.

    3. The number of students suspended during those months and years.

    4. Staff absenteeism (all staff members from teachers to custodians) for the same months for the same school years.

    6. The number of long term medical absences of staff members for the same months and years.

    7. When looking at N.Y.S. testing data, you need to look at how many students were enrolled, sat for the exams, and passed the exams compared to that of previous years. I would go back at least five years for enough data to get a clear picture. If you do not look at the number of students enrolled than your data is not valid.

    Many statements were made by Mr. Gaudette without valid data to back up his claims. He is counting on everyone to be data “confused” which is common. Ask Mr. Gaudette for the actual data that he used to come to his conclusions and bring the data to a data analyst so you have a more clear picture of what “is” not what he wants your perception to be.

    Once again, data can be easily manipulated to mislead and confuse an audience. What we are counting on is that the board members are smart enough to question the data, and if needed ask for outside assistance with interpreting the data.

    Mr. Gaudette did not answer many questions brought about by the board members. He used double-talk and answered the question without really answering it. For example a very good question about text books was asked. That is a definite concern, keep probing.

    A question about the lack of support for a student on an I.E.P. EXCELLENT question, keep probing.

    I hope, and pray, that you all are reading this blog because it is our only means of communication. We will post the video of the meeting so that you can listen to it over and over. Really listen to it. What is Mr. Gaudette NOT saying??

    Respectfully,
    A Dedicated Educator

    • After reviewing the presentation I want to point out the questions Mr. Gaudette did not answer:

      How high can a horsefly fly?
      How much wood can a woodchuck chuck?
      What is the average airspeed velocity of a coconut laden swallow?
      What is the meaning of life?

      This is just a sampling of unanswered questions as there are many, many more. I just need to listen to the presentation over and over.

  95. We need change

    The post above makes some excellent points. However, I would not necessarily call Mr. Gaudette’s data “bogus”, he is too clever to deliver blatantly false data. Mr. Gaudette takes actual data and manipulates it. He uses certain statistics and leaves out others. He speaks very rapidly so that people will be dazzled by the presentation, without necessarily having time to keep up and ask questions. He presented the power point at the faculty meeting as well. It had many misrepresentations which will be pointed out in the coming days.

    The whole presentation is similar to the one he did a few years ago, after the grievance was filed. He threw lots of numbers up on the smart board and told us all how grievances and calling the Justice Center were very expensive and would cost people their jobs. He even went so far as to name a few of the people who could be cut. He was going to lay off all teaching assistants. He was on the verge of letting these people go, but it seems he received information that warned him that what he was doing was illegal and could have serious financial repercussions in the form of lawsuits. Miraculously the money was there after all. It was similar to the rumors this year that the school was on the verge of being shut down by the “High Conflict Personalities”… with agendas. It’s actually people defending their legal rights as the Assistants and others would have likely done had they been let go as a result of protected activity.

    What is important to remember is that Mr. Gaudette is a master at creating “data” to back his agendas, and even his allegations against people. However, when the data is examined in more detail, it becomes clear that it has been manipulatedat, and at best is not following proper practices. Mr. Gaudette seems to have done another dazzling presentation that is more style than substance. We look forward to analyzing the data more carefully, as it appears it is being utilized for his ongoing method of working his way up the tenure line and targeting certain individuals and/or protected classes of people.

    It’s especially concerning that he may be again using the children as pawns in his strategies. It seems there is yet another investigation of his treatment of students and why he moved some children 3 and even 4 times during the course of the year without proper meetings and input from concerned parties. Lets keep all of this in mind while Mr. Gaudette is up there speaking about how he is trying to do “…what’s best for the students”. Those of us who have seen his policies in action know better.

    Yes, in all fairness he may conceptually want to help the students, but Mr. Gaudette is not adverse to them having collateral damage in the poetic battle he imagines his leadership to be. Drop the weapons and realize we would like to work together Mr. Gaudette, but we can’t if you rule by fear, intimidation, oppression and violation of rights, by isolating, punishing and “getting rid of” those who oppose these tactics or who are different in any way from your ideal. History teaches it is a recipe for revolution. We need change.

  96. Curriculum Audit/Testing

    During his recent presentation, Mr. Gaudette failed to disclose that Ms. Baron was formerly a Vice President of the organization, Phi Delta Kappa, that performed the curriculum audit. This automatically calls into question the credibility of the report. There are also quite a few irregularitites in the testing results he presented. While not wanting to embarrass those involved, let’s just say that proper procedure was not always followed. Why is an untrained Teacher’s Aide the current Testing Coordinator? My understanding is that her qualifications are in Art. It is not to demean her abilities, but this position requires a great deal of skill and training. It appears that having someone unfamiliar with all of the rules gives Mr. Gaudette more control over procedures and the ability to remain unchallenged in testing implementation. Testing is a very serious part of a school’s credibility and should be treated as such. It is also an area which State Ed seems to take very seriously. Among those reported from this year and past are: Some student’s IEP testing modifications not being met, Teachers grading tests that their own students took, administration of tests after deadline has passed. A teacher who refused to grade their own students’ tests last year was later targeted as being “uncooperative”. Keep in mind that regulations state teacher’s are NOT allowed to grade their own student’s tests in New York State testing, so this teacher was simply trying to follow proper procedures. Let’s hope the circumstances change during the remaining tests this year and people are not put in an unethical position that could endanger their credibility and possibly even their license.

    • Also,please keep in mind the current testing coordinator is the fourth staff member to be assigned to the position within the last two years. The testing coordinator works with the district’s CIO (Chief Information Officer). The norm is that each school district assigns an administrator to such a position. Ms. Baron originally held the CIO position in the district. The position was then transferred to a teaching assistant, and he was given a stipend for the extra duties. Therefore, the CIO and the testing coordinator positions are held by a teaching assistant and teacher aide. This was done by no mistake. When the state comes in to investigate the testing procedures and protocols, guess who will be thrown under the bus? Mr. Gaudette will say he didn’t know what was going on. Just like he did when NYS investigated special ed. law violations and they were sustained (founded). Even though he directed the I.E.P. Coordinator to performs such actions, he stated that he didn’t know what was going on. He “fixed” the problem by taking the staff member out of the I.E.P. Coordinator position. Mr. Gaudette NEVER takes responsibility for what he does. There is always a scapegoat in place to protect him.

    • After reading the PDK Curriculum Audit, it is obvious that Mr. Gaudette has that International Organization under his spell as well. Why else would they state that the School District needs to improve instruction and curriculum management?

      • Curriculum audit

        The curriculum audit can be used to justify many changes and agendas that Mr. Gaudette seems to have in mind. When the original audit was done, many of us were led to believe it was being done by the state as an independent evaluation. We later found out it was a paid organization and all data was going directly to Mr. Gaudette. All comments and concerns were shared with him as well. It may have identified some of the potential “troublemakers” early on for Mr. Gaudette.

        Additionally, no matter how legitimate an organization may or may not be the results will be deemed questionable when a party involved in its audit has close ties to this organization. Unfortunately, much of Mr. Gaudettes data cannot be considered “clean” as a result of such practices.

        It would be far more beneficial to use genuine data gathered without partiality and look at areas to improve. The School Climate Survey was an attempt to gather such data, but as it could not be controlled or manipulated by Mr. Gaudette, it was effectively “shut-down”. It could have been used as a means of improving the school and possibly avoiding some of the many current difficulties and ongoing issues regarding administrative mismanagement and safety concerns.

  97. As a NYSUT member, I was wondering if the membership could collectively ask the board of education to require the superintendent to submit to a psychiatric evaluation. Based on comments made on this blog, observations of impulsive decision making, numerous allegations of verbal/emotional abuse toward students and staff members,and narcissistic behaviors, would it not in the districts best interest before making any decisions going forward? I am wondering if any superintendent has ever had to submit to a psychiatric evaluation in New York State. What protections to we have as a district when we hire a superintendent who appears to be emotionally unstable? There is a process to protect students from teachers with psychiatric illness but what about administrators? Is there a process in place?

  98. Although I understand the point that the previous post is making, I think a public forum such as this is not the place to discuss a person’s health…mental or otherwise. People’s personal health issues are not a weapon or tool to be used against them, or a joke to chuckle about. This administration and even some “union leaders” have treated it as such, revealing personal information and even making jokes about it. It’s a practice that is both unethical and possibly illegal based on HIPAA laws, and it’s one that should be strongly discouraged. I hope the Board of Education will look closely at how the administration has been utilizing people’s personal health information and make an effort to curtail the continuance of such practices in the future. We need change.

    • I agree, a person’s mental health is a personal and confidential issue; however, we need to focus on our students. When an administrator is emotionally unstable, it directly affects our students. How do we protect them? Unfortunately, this public forum seems to be our only option to bring our concerns to the for-front. Inappropriate as it might be, what are our alternatives? The post was not intended to be used as a weapon. It was not posted to cause anyone harm. It was intended to bring attention to the need for an immediate intervention. The emotional and physical safety of our students should be always our number one priority. Maybe we could ask for a closed meeting with the board members so that we could have these difficult conversations without making them public. I am not sure they would be open to such a request but I guess it wouldn’t hurt to try.

      • James Gaudette, Superintendent is crazy like a fox!

        • Not sure if Mr. Gaudette is “crazy like a fox”. Seems to imply control and cunning. Cunning yes, control I’m not so sure. The most disturbing aspect of Mr. Gaudette’s behavior is that he seems to be incapable of changing the vindictive and retaliatory practices that have put him under numerous investigations and charges. The surface changes seem merely to appease the board who have thankfully begun to monitor him more carefully.

          His claim at the last staff development meeting that the environment will move from a dictatorship to a democracy is interesting. Maybe he will give the assistants back their chairs now that it is a democracy? Let’s vote on it. Did the Board of Ed know that he took away the assistant’s chairs and made them use the hard student chairs because he said they sat too much? It was demeaning, insulting and punitive. Staff will behave more professionally when treated more professionally and respectfully. Isn’t that Administration 101? Maybe instead of asking if he is “crazy like a fox”, the question might be “Can a leopard change his spots?”

          • Mr. Gaudette should be described as a predator,as he preys on peoples’ weaknesses and goes in for the kill.

  99. The information below was sent by the New York State Education Department upon the request of a concerned MPCS staff member. The information was emailed to our union president to share with the membership. It was never shared or discussed; I suspect due to fear of retaliation. If the goal of Mr. Gaudette is not to classify students to support his hiring of content certified teachers, if a teacher or counselor requests that a student be evaluated for classification, negative consequences are likely to follow. Please understand that our teachers and counselors are our students’ only advocates in the absence of parents. How many general education students that have entered our district this year have been referred to our CSE for evaluation? In the past, this process was common practice.

    “Mount. Pleasant Cottage is responsible for operating a CSE for students placed by ACS/DSS/courts who have a disability, or are suspected of having a disability. If a student is suspected of having a disability, it is the responsibility of the CSE to evaluate the student in accordance with the procedures outlined in 200.4 of the regulations. Evaluations may be obtained from the agency if they are available, but otherwise it is the responsibility of the CSE to complete any needed evaluations.

    Please tell the staff who are concerned that they should speak with Millicent or Monica and ask for the process to refer a student to the CSE. If there does not appear to be a process in place, the staff member should submit a written request to the principal asking that the student be referred to the CSE. Refer to section 200.4 of the regulations for information on referrals to the CSE.

    If these requests are not honored, the staff members could choose to submit a formal state complaint.”

    • Can someone send me contact information in your union president? I don’t like what I’m hearing. The president should be representing and supporting.

      • I will email you her contact information privately as to protect her privacy. I would appreciate any support you could offer her. She is in a difficult position at this time. No sense to place blame, maybe things could improve going forward. It takes a person with strong leadership qualities and courage to take on such a role as Union President. I do not think anyone was prepared to deal with someone of Mr. Gaudette’s caliber. Thank you again, Francesco.

  100. Dear Board Members,

    Before approving any more of Mr. Gaudette’s appointments or changes at tonight’s board meeting there are some issues you might want to consider and/or discuss with Mr. Gaudette.

    1) Does the enrollment currently call for the hiring of new teachers or is this in anticipation of Mr. Gaudette’s laying off of tenured, generally older, teachers as a result of these new hires? The current teachers who are deemed by the State to be “Highly Qualified” are eligible to teach these classes, some with minor modifications. Why are students not being evaluated for classification as had been done with every prior administration? It seems more in line with Mr. Gaudette’s agenda to lay off teachers than the actual needs of the students.

    2). Two male teachers have been allowed to teach “out of certification” without being moved, while female teachers are told they are “unqualified” and forced to change positions numerous times. Male teachers have also been allowed to retain their original tenure even though teaching in a different line of certification. Mr. Gaudette is not allowing that for current female teachers who are thinking of accepting positions within the district on a different line of certification.

    3) Why is Mr. Gaudette replacing all of the elementary teachers if two years ago he claimed in a BOE meeting that the PCS elementary quad showed the highest growth in the school district, with some students going up 2-3 grade levels in one year? He has already displaced and/or laid off some of these teachers who had many years of experience with this population. Could that be a possible factor in what he calls a recent decline?

    4) If the board would look at the STAR testing scores over the past few years it would see that there are many inconsistencies in these scores. The scores have fluctuated greatly from year to year, even month to month and week to week. Some students will retake a STAR test a few days later and get a much higher score. Perhaps a more valid testing model could be utilized as our students cannot be fairly evaluated in the current State testing model and the STAR results are inconsistent. This has been previously suggested by teaching staff to Mr. Gaudette to no avail.

    Please consider these questions and information. It would be unfortunate if there are actions allowed to take place now that later prove to be illegal, discriminatory and/or harmful to the students or staff. Thank you for your consideration and I believe the staff of MPCS are hopeful that you will hear our concerns and provide counsel to improve the environment of our district and protect the rights of all.

    • After over a dozen lawsuits, many complaints to SED and the Justice Center, pleas to the BOE, letters to media, shaming the Union Leaders, Mr. Gaudette keeps moving toward dually certified teachers. Can’t this man be stopped?

      • The complaints are not regarding hiring dually certified teachers. The complaints involve discrimination, retaliation, and the educational neglect of students. The removal of tenured teachers is Mr. Gaudettes way of removing those who can speak out about his practices. He is using dual certification as an excuse. It is evident in how he could easily allow some dually certified teachers to remain in their tenure lines, but instead is effectively making them “new” teachers, where they will be at his mercy to receive tenure or even keep their job over new hires. They will then not dare speak up as he has shown what happens to those who do.

        • That is what I am saying. After all the attempts to stop him, it has been unsuccessful and he seems to be gaining strength not losing it. He is so bold as to appoint the two Union Presidents to the newly created hiring committees, discussed the movement toward dually certified teachers and the continued reduction of Special Ed only certified teachers at Board meetings, told staff that he will retire when they are the best they can be through self-evaluation and continues to poke fun at this blog. More and more people are doing what he asks and overtly criticizing the few people that he has eliminated from MPCS.

          • Eliminate people?

            “More and more people are doing what he asks and overtly criticizing the few people he has eliminated from MPCS?”. This seems to be clearly coming from Mr. Gaudette. What kind of leader actually celebrates and applauds the ostracizing and criticism of staff and constantly plays people against one another? What kind of leader talks about “eliminating” people like they are bugs? Sounds like a lot of “groupthink” to me.

            I hope the staff realize how quickly they may be next to be “eliminated” should they not follow his ever increasing demands and often unethical and unprofessional requests. The people who are on the “inside” seem just as miserable as those on the “outside” here. No one wants to compromise themselves, but need to in order to keep their positions. However, If you think you are safe or protected due to your “doing what he asks”, think again. We may soon see that even his closest allies are being “thrown under the bus”. If they are not safe, do you think you will be?

            Until Mr. Gaudette stops promoting the negative “groupthink” he warns us about the environment will not change. Again, it is not a war Mr. Gaudette where you “gain strength” and “eliminate” perceived opponents. You should strive to unite all staff to be on the same side in protecting and educating these kids.

  101. Mr. Gaudette is going to try to appoint the “union leader” who has stood up and vouched for him time and again to a more secure position at this evenings board meeting. She has ignored the union needs and done all that Mr. Gaudette has asked thus proving herself “loyal”. She ran to be the head of a committee then never held a single meeting. She has stood up and spoken in his favor Numerous times. He had his hand picked committee recommend her so it wouldnt look like it was him.

    He hasn’t allowed screening committees in the past, why lately? So the board will be fooled into thinking it wasn’t just his choice and that they recommended her. Why is he even being allowed to appoint another teacher when the enrollment doesn’t support it? If enrollment goes up he could do it closer to the beginning of the school year. He is doing it to “punish” those who aren’t shutting up about what he’s doing to these kids or who dare to advocate for them in any way. He can then can start laying the senior teachers who are not dually certified as soon as enrollment declines, as it always does in the summer and fall. It’s a complete disgrace and I hope this board will delay any appointments until it is investigated further. The post above points out some serious issues that should be looked at before any appointments are made.

  102. Although it is commendable, and actually required by law, to include all comments or none, it needs to be clear that a neutral comment was actually taken out rather than also including the one that included concerns regarding student rights. The names of both people who spoke were included, however the comments were omitted. The problems this district faces will not be solved by pretending they don’t exist or by “eliminating” those who voice them. Let’s hope for more transparency moving forward.

  103. Just to be clear, Mr. Gaudette and Ms. Baron have had an ongoing relationship over many years. Mr. Gaudette appointed Ms. Baron to a position at Berkshire at the last board meeting before he left. He then created a position for her at MPCS as soon as he could and moved her right in.

    • The Board minutes from Berkshire show that Mr. Gaudette left Berkshire in May. Mr. Potter was acting Superintendent and was the person to hire Ms. Baron. Do you think Mr. Potter hired her as a favor? I was also told by Ms. Leamon that Mr. Gaudette had nothing to do with Ms. Baron’s hire. It was 100% her and Mr. Angeron. Someone should ask her if that is correct.

      • This made me curious so I looked into more hiring and found out that Mr. Gaudette had no input on the decision to hire the new Director of Pupil Personnel or the new Elementary Teacher. He let the committees have 100% control. Why is he giving up control over the last two administrative hires and the last teacher? It does not fit with the way he is characterized.

        • I’m not quite sure what “I looked into more hiring” means exactly but here are the facts: Ms. Baron and Mr. Gaudette both worked in Albany, Birkshire and MPCS and were both active members of PHI Delta Kappan. Mr. Gaudette creates the perception that committees are hard at work but the reality is that he is too full of himself to ever allow a committee to make a decision on their own. Not only does he hand pick the committee members but who in the committee would dare go against his recommendations? Mr. Gaudette is not capable of giving ANYONE 100% control, not even 10%. The only thing Mr. Gaudette has no control over is this blog and we can see the effects of that. We can still make believe that we are moving from a dictatorship to a democracy, but those are just words to create an illusion. The truth is so obvious that a million lies could never hide it.

          • I know he hand picked the committe members but they are the two principals, the two union presidents, the two deans. Are all of them in his pocket? Who should he pick instead? I checked with a member of the committe and he said that they developed the questions, the rubric and generated the score which Mr. Gaudette simply agreed too. He is also having them pick the math and English teachers. I agree that Mr. Gaudette and Ms. baron both worked in Albany, they worked in Berkshire at different times and now they work together here but that is not what was said in the post before. It says that Me. Gaudette appointed Ms. Baron which he didn’t. I just want to try to find out which side is telling the truth without the anger and insults because many people are agreeing with Mr. Gaudette at meetings, even the ones he is not at, but not in this blog is so different in perspective.

      • you are correct that the administration made the decision, however, now understanding who gaudette is, they were set up. She was a last minute interview, and claimed she was extremely experienced in all the new programs gaudette wanted to bring into the district – plc, marzano, etc., so the belief was the her impact would be immediate – not need training, support etc. Well as we can all see now, that wasn’t true. Why does she keep getting a new position when she is not able to be successful in the previous = CSE, Principal, what next

  104. We need real change

    It is not to say people are “in his pocket”, they might be somewhat intimidated however. Did your investigation turn up that some of the people on the committee are personal friends with the person who was hired as the teacher? Was the position posted on OLAS to broaden the scope of the search? Has the person he hired had any recent experience working with younger students? Mr. Gaudette didn’t even allow a screening committee at all for years…they could only meet with the candidate AFTER he had hired them. Now you are saying he is 100% uninvolved?

    People will agree with him at meetings because the PLCs are monitored by Principals at Mr. Gaudette’s direction. People who disagree or ask too many questions are labeled as “negative” and receive a lower score on their APPR, which is basically their “report card”. People learn very quickly not to disagree. It is true that some people may genuinely agree, but as mentioned in a previous post, Mr. Gaudette tends to stack the deck in his favor and not present “clean” data. It would be so much more productive to truly release the reigns instead of just pretending to. Maybe some of those “negative” ideas are the ones that might lead to valuable changes.

    I agree that the truth is important without the anger and insults, but let’s make sure it is not a newly minted truth designed for the public eye. Mr. Gaudette is extremely clever in how he has set the stage, however let’s remember stages don’t need to be set unless there is an act. Truth and integrity generally speak for themselves without too much assistance. We need REAL change.

    • I looked all weekend and can not find any mention of Mr. Gaudette being an active member of PDK. Can you present the dates of his membership? Right now I am concerned because the posts keep questioning Mr. Gaudette’s integrity but just by scrolling back a few posts we see that Mr. Gaudette did not appoint Ms. Baron to a position at Berkshire, he did not create the position at MPCS and I can see any evidence that he was an active member of PDK. It is very hard to accuse Mr. Gaudette of lies and misinformation when most of it seems to be coming from the bloggers, not him.

  105. Measuring success

    Mr. Gaudette recently sent out emails to staff and students commending the growth in scores on regents exams. It is indeed commendable that students are passing these tests. There are a few issues to take into account regarding this information.

    1. The 2 teachers listed thus far are both non dually certified, k-12 special Ed teachers, with a great deal of experience in working with this population. This has been the line of certification Mr. Gaudette has reduced and has stated he will continue to reduce in the future.

    2. Although everyone understands that there is a need for non- self contained classes and rotations, particularly at the high school level, many of the staff at MPCS believe it is just not the best option for ALL of our students. Some students have severe emotional needs that make a self-contained, or modified rotation, the least restrictive environment that is both therapeutic and educationally productive.

    3. It is also important to recognize that test scores are not the only evidence of a student’s growth, or a teachers level of expertise or commitment. There are many other factors that should be taken into account as well. Attendance rates, behavioral growth and vocational strengths are examples.

    This is not to diminish from the great success of students and staff in gains on test scores, but it is a request to also seriously consider the flip side of what we can do to more adequately meet the needs of our most struggling students.

    • IS ANYONE LOOKING INTO THE ADMINISTRATION AND SCORING OF REGENTS EXAMS? We have had a history of improper training and not following protocols and procedures. No score is valid if we are not giving students proper testing accommodations as indicated on their current I.E.P.s, if the proctors are not trained appropriately for the proper administration of the exams and if the teachers are scoring their own students exams.

      Ask the proctors if they had any training prior to the exam date. Ask them when they were notified of the exam they were proctoring. Ask staff members if the rooms were set up properly for testing, ex, enough desks, clock in the room, enough chairs.

      Also, we don’t need to know ONLY how many students passed the exams. What we need to know, for example, is how many 9th and 10th graders are enrolled in the school. Out of that number, how many students sat for the Algebra and Global Regents? How many passed these exams.

      We need to move away from looking at a snap shot of data and look at the entire picture. Mr. Gaudette haven’t you ever heard of SPS? (Self-Praise Stinks)

      • All the issues her suggest the scores would be lower. If the students did not have the proper accommodations there scores would be lower. If no one actually involved is coming forward to say there is a problem then the logical assumption is that it is being done correctly. If the clear majority of the wide data sources available and professionals view points are positive then the entire picture looks pretty good.

      • The 10 School Evaluation groups are comprised of all professionals working with students. Last year the district received a rating of 2 out of 4 on the DTSDE rubric, this year they rates the district in the 3 out of 4. The financial situation is improving, the buildinsg no longer leak when it rains, the technology availability is greater, there are district wide textbook adoptions in all core subjects and test score are going through the roof. What part of the picture is left? The misinformation from the trolls in this blog and their willingness to disparage so many people without facts makes one wonder if their motives are genuinely for students.

        • Well now we know for sure Mr. Gaudette is back blogging. All he talks about is how he fixed Edenwald’s leaky roof. You just can’t control yourself can you? What did you get a hot spot so it wouldn’t be traced back to you? Everyone knows that there is not one single person that would defend you or your actions, without compensation such as salary increase, job security or promotion. Anonymously…Not a chance.

          • Mr. Gaudette for sure? or another misrepresentation shared as fact by the bloggers like so many posts before.

    • I don’t understand why you need to put a negative spin on something that so many people are proud of. Can you for now put your personal agenda aside and just be happy for the kids and the teachers on their achievement.

      • Our students just didn’t start passing regents exams. We had many “achievements” long before the Gaudette reign. The only reason Mr. Gaudette is celebrating is because he is taking credit for the achievement. Teachers feel good when they see that their students are learning; not because they are getting recognized for it, but because they care about kids. Mr. Gaudette, don’t you think you should be doing something a little more productive than blogging.

        • Edenwald students who did not even have the opportunity to take regents exams before Mr. Gaudette are now passing regents exams. If you want to put a negative spin on that you truly only pretend to care about children when all you really want to do is advance your personal agenda.

          • THat is not true, Edenwald students who qualified (from Pellers class at edenwald) sat for Regents.

          • Time for facts.

            Edenwald Regents Access:

            Year Exam Participants
            2011 ELA 0
            2015 ELA 6
            2011 Algebra 4
            2015 Algebra 10
            2011 Geometry 0
            2015 Geometry 5
            2011 Earth Sci 0
            2015 Earth Sci 5
            2011 Liv. Env. 0
            2015 Liv. Env. 6
            2011 Global 1
            2015 Global 7
            2011 US His. 0
            2015 US His. 10

            Edenwald is a school for severely disabled children. The population is approximately 120 students. Access to the General Curriculum is moving in a positive direction and success rates (to be posted in another area) are increasing as well.

        • Not Gaudette. We have been through this before. Remember?

    • The school district has a full continuum of services and programs. Special education teachers are hired for special education classes. Once the classes have general education students, they require a general education certificate. This is the reason Mr. Gaudette is hiring dually certified teachers at PCS. A quality teacher is a quality teacher but certification rules are a bigger issue.

  106. Curriculum coordinator

    It is concerning to see that Mr. Gaudette has released a very minimal posting for a Curriculum Coordinator. This position has not been posted on OLAS, which is the site to advertise the position outside of the school district.

    In the past, when Mr. Gaudette has submitted these type of postings, he has had someone in mind that he has basically already hired. The posting has generally been a formality.

    After the many concerns presented in this forum and elsewhere it seems the Board would want to bring in some fresh perspectives and people who might be unconnected to Mr. Gaudette. It is hopeful that the search for a new administrator might be broadened in order to better meet the needs of our vulnerable students with the same accountability and transparency as afforded in more mainstream schools.

  107. Curriculum coordinator

    This is the posting for curriculum coordinator that Mr. Gaudette sent to in house staff. Please excuse any changes in formatting due to cutting and pasting. All of the job posting information is included.

    MOUNT PLEASANT COTTAGE SCHOOL, UFSD POSTING

    POSITION AVAILABLE: Curriculum Coordinator

    QUALIFICATIONS: Experience and Training in Curriculum Writing and Mapping. District Level Administration Certification highly desirable.

    RATE OF PAY: As per Administrator’s Contract.

    TIMETABLE: Please apply by submitting a letter of interest to James Gaudette by Thursday July 2, 2015.

    Posted: June 19, 2015

    The following link is a curriculum position posted on OLAS. There were no postings of this nature in the Hudson Valley Area. This one is from the Catskills region.

    https://www.pnwboces.org/TeacherApplication/JobDetailInfo.aspx?JobNumber=ONCN0077885-0053

    • Wow, is that how a real district (the ones that have involved parents) post such an important position. Maybe one day we too can have high expectations for the administrators we hire.

  108. Why is the position only posted internally? I guess if Mr. Gaudette already has someone in mind for the position, it really doesn’t matter what the posting says; it’s just a formality to post it. I also noticed that when Mr. Gaudette posts available positions whether it be internally or on OLAS, the qualifications and job descriptions are always vague. I guess that gives him the wiggle room to manipulate the position and tailor it to the person he wants to give it to.

    • Job Descriptions are posted on the website. Mr. Gaudette has said at board meetings that he will do everything in his power to promote from within as he did in the last three hires. Most people seem to like it why is it a bad thing?

    • and protects him from recall

  109. If I remember correctly, Mr. Gaudette reported that we had too many administrators in the district when he was hired. He immediately dissolved many positions, even attempted to discontinue the position of principal. I could be wrong but just a couple of years later, a new curriculum administrator position is created and now it seems we are almost right back up to the number of administrators as we had before. I guess with a change of title, comes untenured administrators with lower salaries. Well, I guess it’s not only teachers in the position of “out with the old in with the new”.

  110. Proctors not being properly trained could lead to many issues that could effect test scores either positively or negatively. The students deserve the same care and oversight as mainstream students, perhaps more based on their disabilities. Are you not even going to look into whether these things are true Mr. Gaudette, before jumping in to defend against them? Just because people are afraid to report them doesn’t mean they didn’t occur. The information presented is not designed to blame people, it is to point out issues that would not be accepted in schools with more parental oversight and to correct these issues.

    • So you are hoping that there was something wrong? You have no evidence but since positive test scores hurt your personal agenda you want to find a flaw. It is great to know that you do not believe that the students that you supposedly care so deeply about could not have possibly received these test scores through their own hard work.

      • I don’t think that was the intent of the comment – but you can manipulate statistics to prove anything. All the comment was saying was look at all the data not a snapshot

    • Well, for not blaming people you are spending most of your time blaming everyone. Now you are saying that all of the proctors, the multiple scorers, the principals and the CIO are all in a conspiracy with Mr. Gaudette. The list of co-conspirators keeps growing and the list of your supporters keeps shrinking.

      • We should add PDK, the Union, the BOE and the 10 self-evaluation groups on the Mr. Gaudette conspiracy list.

        • Given all of the dismissals we should add the State Division of Human Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Commissioner of Education to the Gaudette co-conspirator list.

          • Whomever has such inside knowledge must know that many allegations have been sustained and founded as well. In addition the district was forced to “settle” other cases based on the evidence presented and the desire to avoid further litigation. Furthermore, they would also be fully aware that there are still quite a few legal battles ahead, and they will likely increase should Mr. Gaudette continue as he has in the past. As usual a false spin cannot be given when this blog is able to expose the facts. It is why Mr. Gaudette passionately opposes it and is doing all he can to discredit it.

        • Since Mr. Gaudette is the only one obsessed with the word “conspiracy”, it looks like we don’t have to check the URL to know who is posting this ugliness.

    • Not Mr. Gaudette. Please don’t tell me we have to go through this again!

      • Not Mr. Gaudette

        We know who “Not Mr. Gaudette” is too. It is hard to believe his apprentice would be posting without Mr. Gaudette’s full knowledge and consent, especially during the workday. Be careful you don’t get caught in his web too early in your career and are overly influenced in sarcastic disrespect towards staff and misleading and unethical practices.

  111. This is not a game Mr Gaudette and nobody is interested in your sarcastic humor. You create illusions of conspiracy and you do it well. We are only focused on how harmful YOU are to children. You can continue to play and twist words but by now there’s not one person who doesn’t see through your facade.

  112. Mr. Gaudette, please stop trying to twist the posts in this blog into something they are not intended to be. People are generally smarter than you give them credit for and see through the attempt. I do not see any of the recent posts discrediting the accomplishments of students or staff.

    It seems the information that was posted about testing came from your own staff, and is designed to better the testing procedure not to criticize it. It may be what led you to take a teacher out of the classroom and put her back as testing coordinator after many concerns had been raised. It is not staff’s fault if they are not properly trained or qualified for positions they are put into. Correcting these concerns will
    lead to MORE validity of the success of our students and also ensure more students are successful as well. Testing procedures are also carefully monitored by the State and should be followed precisely for the protection of all.

    Instead of continuing to attempt to vilify those who bring concerns to you, perhaps you should seek to encourage and appreciate these concerns. A blog like this wouldn’t be necessary in that case. We need change.

    • Not Mr. Gaudette

    • The only reason the blog is necessary is for your cause. You use it to provide misinformation, fail to put a name on it, do not address when you are caught in a lie, accuse any and every staff member not agreeing with you to being corrupt of frightened and try to disparage people you are committed to the MPCS mission. Perhaps you should try to stand up at a union meeting or at an evaluation meeting and make your statements in order to gauge your support or lack thereof. It would take some courage though.

      • Are you saying that all staff were properly trained and that some staff weren’t asked to participate in improper grading procedures in the past? Are you saying all IEP modifications were properly implemented? If not, you have put staff in jeopardy in these cases, as well as the student results.

        The Information and concerns presented here come from staff. NO ONE wants their results to be questioned on technicalities or improper procedures when they have worked so hard to achieve success. I would hope NO ONE wants to see staff or students fail either. I think most of our staff are proud of the students without wanting any accolades for themselves. They are equally proud of their students for successes not measurable by test scores.

        It is up to the superintendent to supervise protocols and procedures, as well as to model them with integrity and fairness. If people are not receiving clear direction from him, or are being spread too thin, even his own administrators will be confused.

        The lack of clear direction is perhaps parallel to how an administrator has so much time to Blog during school hours. With the amount of inside information regarding administrative concerns, Mr. Gaudette’s affiliations and past employment history, as well as time spent “investigating” the posts in this blog, it seems unlikely these new “pro-Gaudette” posts would be coming from staff with much direct student contact. They are all too busy working with, and for, the students during the school day.

      • “Perhaps you should try to stand up
        At a union meeting or at an evaluation meeting and make your statements in order to gauge your statements or lack thereof. It would take some courage though.”

        Yes, it would take courage and perhaps also being independently wealthy. Unfortunately, most of those who have stood up at Union meetings have been “eliminated” or shut down in other ways. It doesn’t exactly encourage others to do the same. Most people need their pay checks.

        • Maybe you could write a letter to the board and have a friend read it at the next board meeting.

      • The only lies on this blog come from you Mr. Gaudette. The only mud slinging comes from you Mr. Gaudette. Maybe the board members could randomly poll the staff members and ask them to explain the district mission. It would be interesting to hear the results. The mission was the number one piece missing when you arrived at MPCS and told us we weren’t the brightest of the bunch and started to make drastic change. The only support I seek is from our board members. This is not personal.

    • Please refer to the very first post back in March. There is nothing wrong with hiring dually certified teachers. What IS wrong, is cutting special ed. certified teachers and replacing them. If Mr. Gaudette wanted to move in that direction, he could have replaced teachers who had resigned or retired with dually certified teachers. He could have also permitted special ed. teachers to move into dually certified positions without losing their tenure. He used this “replacement” method to clean house. This has been stated multiple times within the blog.

      • Is it legal for a special ed teacher to teach the new regular ed students being admitted to the district?

        • Unfortunately, Mr. Gaudette’s past practices leave a great deal of doubt as to whether new students are being properly classified. I’m sure he has blamed it on others, but we all know who runs the show.

          • Oh so your arguement is that every regular ed student in the district should be classified?

          • Now we need to add the CSE, the Director of PPS and the counselors to the Gaudette conspiracy list.

          • “Oh so your arguement is that every regular ed student in the district should be classified?”

            No Mr. Gaudette, we are saying they should be evaluated, a practice that is only recently occurring after attention was brought to the situation in this blog. Again, the manner in which you forced staff to illegally change IEP classifications gives rise to great concern as to how you will now handle classifying them.

          • No, again you are wrong. Every student admitted to a district does not, nor should be, referred for a Special Education designation. And, MPCS UFSD no longer automatically refers or classifies students. That did lead to the reduction of Special Education certified teachers in favor of Dually certified teachers but the spirit of the law is pretty clear to all those who no longer rubber stamp classifications for certain teacher’s job security.

      • Here is an interesting point. Only two teachers have been laid off and are still laid of. One teacher laid off prior to Mr. Gaudette has been recalled. This is over the course of four years. Where are all the people you are speaking of?

  113. “IS ANYONE LOOKING INTO THE ADMINISTRATION AND SCORING OF REGENTS EXAMS? We have had a history of improper training and not following protocols and procedures. No score is valid if we are not giving students proper testing accommodations as indicated on their current I.E.P.s, if the proctors are not trained appropriately for the proper administration of the exams and if the teachers are scoring their own students exams”

    Calling for an investigation of the scoring of the exams that does not discredit the staff and the students? It seems that you hope the scores are not valid. If you are not discrediting the teachers why not ask these questions in the email chain that has been praising the students and teachers for their hard work?

    Can you guys answers this with a yes or no. Do you believe the test scores are valid?

    If yes why the concerns? If no what specifically are you accusing the district of?

  114. “Not Mr. Gaudette”

    Well then Mr. Gaudette should be investigating which person with lots info about the district, including cases being dismissed that most of us don’t even know about, is blogging all day at work.

  115. So it is true the cases are being dismissed?

  116. Don’t know for sure about that, I’m going by what a previous post stated. You’d have to ask Mr. Gaudette or whomever else has all of the information that is being shared here. The Board of Ed is also likely to know which allegations have been founded, “settled”, dismissed or are ongoing. To my knowledge there are some in each of these categories. I’m fairly certain this information could be acquired through the Freedom of Information Law or FOIL, which legally requires a District to supply such information upon request. Here is a link from this site to better utilize FOIL to find the information you seek, that is if you are not just being facetious in your questioning.

    http://protectportelos.org/f-o-i-l/

  117. Is it legal for a Special Act District to not even evaluate children coming into the District who may have emotional, behavioral and/or learning disabilities? Is it legal to purposefully leave them unclassified to fulfill an agenda? Is it legal to change their IEPs without proper notification and consultation and give them less services than they are entitled to?

    • Yes. In fact it is illegal to automatically evaluate every child for special Ed just because they are new to the District. If you research the laws without your agenda blinders you might actually learn something and in turn not look so stupid.

  118. It’s not going to work anymore Mr. Gaudette. Say what you want, the truth can’t be made a lie and a lie can’t be made the truth. Email addresses are not IP addresses by the way. All of the staff have each other’s email addresses from union correspondence. Again, instead of encouraging divisiveness and blogging, how about leading the school in a more positive direction?

    • “Oh so your arguement is that every regular ed student in the district should be classified?”

      No Mr. Gaudette, we are saying they should be evaluated, a practice that is only recently occurring after attention was brought to the situation in this blog. Again, the manner in which you forced staff to illegally change IEP classifications gives rise to great concern as to how you will now handle classifying them.

      So if you are conceding that there are some regular education students it seems that the only legal way to have a class of regular and special education students is to have a dually certified content and special education teacher.

      Also if your child was a special education student would you want them taught math by a teacher who is certified in math and special education or a teacher just certified in special education?

    • Calling Mr. Gaudette a liar doesn’t make it so and not addressing the lies you have posted doesn’t make you truthful.

  119. Please note these are all SUMMER SCHOOL POSITIONS. Another misrepresentation? That District is not systematically seeking to eliminate its senior, experienced, Highly Qualified, and tenured teaching staff as you are Mr. Gaudette. Perhaps you can call them and find out how they are managing it.

    • They also have dually certified teachers during the year as well. Good job Researching!

      You keep mentioning Highly Qualified but that does not qualify them to teach regular education students you are aware of this correct?

      If your child was a special education student would you want them taught math by a teacher who is certified in math and special education or a teacher just certified in special education?

  120. Mr. Gaudette, we are aware of dual certification when required by law and welcome dually certified teachers into the district. Please refer to the above posts regarding your past history regarding not following proper classification procedures and many other issues, including forcing tenured teachers into new tenure lines. It’s not my intention to air dirty laundry here, but you make it difficult when you attempt to justify your actions.

    • Who has been forced into a different tenure line? That is a PERB violation and would not be tolerated by NYSUT. Please have those people who feel that they are forced into tenure lines against their will seek out the Union President.

      • … I like the “against their will” part. Everyone here knows the real story Mr. Gaudette. Let’s not have to explain it to others.

  121. Add 33 teachers to the Gaudette conspiracy list.

  122. “All cruelty springs from weakness”.

    Seneca

  123. Why is the Board of Ed of this school allowing the superintendent to behave in this way? It’s obvious to anyone reading this that intervention is needed.

    • Follow the Money!

      It’s all about the $$$$. Everybody wants to blame Gaudette. Gaudette is just doing what the board and the agency and the powers that be want him to do. You give him to much credit for having the smarts to do all this. He isn’t that smart. His mandate was to cut costs and he was given ‘carte blanche’ to do whatever was necessary.
      Whenever you have a major problem, it’s always about the money.
      Stop begging the board and stop begging Gaudette for change. You will never get it. All this talk is a waste of time. Speak to the agencies and the press who will help you. The longer you keep up the banter the more success these thieves and crooks and greedy people will continue to have.

      • The crooks and thieves (a.k.a.litigants) greed has been suppressed quite effectively to date. They keep trying but alas…”hell hath no fury…”

        You get the idea.

  124. I agree. It is obvious that Mr Gaudette is mocking and provoking his staff members on this blog. It is so sad that this man is responsible for the most important job anyone could have, educating our students and providing a safe,structured and nurturing environment conducive to learning. If the board members can’t even stop him from blogging we are in pretty bad shape as a district.

  125. Is it possible that it is not him? Many staff members are upset that the test scores were called into question.

  126. The answer to your question is, “NO”. It is not possible that it is “not Mr. Gaudette”. Everyone knows that. We learned from the first “not Mr. Gaudette”. It is crystal clear. I really do not think Mr. Gaudette should be speaking on the behalf of the teachers. The majority of the teachers and staff members that work at MPCS are caring, honest people who would want testing to be carried out correctly and ethically. Good values and academic integrity needs to be reinforced and supported from the top down.

  127. The district has never been in worse shape. The only positive impact to the district has been on paper with new policies (well needed but only on paper, not implemented) and creative writing to indicate major academic improvement (inflating success rates for individual personal gain). A good administrator lays the foundation for the momentum for improvement to continue when they move on. This is clearly not the case. With zero motivation caused by negative reinforcement, this would be impossible. Your district is only as good as the teachers and staff it employees, if you don’t embrace their strengths, empower them to be part of the decision making process and celebrate their successes, you have nothing.

  128. Remember…there is a difference between fear and respect….Mr. Gaudette, you have not earned respect.

    • The emotional response to the change agent is less
      Important than the achievement of the new desired state.

  129. Yes, there is evidence it is you posting Mr. Gaudette. It will be submitted at the appropriate time. Why the District wants to keep paying your legal bills is beyond anyone’s imagination. Everyone makes mistakes Mr. Gaudette, it’s called being human. You prey on their mistakes and weaknesses and seem to enjoy it. When people have finally had enough of your cruel antics it will be a sad day for us all. We had a leader who could have been a positive force with his intelligence and dedication. Instead he let one lie lead to another and let his ego overcome his empathy.

    You may win some legal cases and lose some others. It’s sad they are even taking place, not reasons to boast. They are bitter and mean and unnecessary. You are supposed to lead us, not berate and try to humiliate us when we don’t jump on your self-described caravan in which you see yourself as some sort of King. People are following like slaves in chains not the prancing gypsies you imagine in your poem. Some day many of us hope to break free. Play nice Mr. Gaudette, you are the leader and are supposed to be setting a positive example, not creating a vicious and fearful community.

  130. “Thanks” to the teacher who wrote the letter about some of the goings on here that hurt kids. It is brave to stand up and be heard even though you know people will try to knock you down for it. The mocking and punishing and shaming of people who do this needs to stop. If you think it’s so funny or wrong you don’t belong working with kids.

  131. Another Newly Created Position - How creative!

    Mr. Gaudette has gone through great lengths to convince everyone that the district does not need a Guidance Counselor. If the district does not need a Guidance Counselor, than the facts just do not add up. Since the Guidance Counselor role has been eliminated, the following positions have been created to carry out those duties and responsibilities:

    1. A Teacher Aide was given the position of Testing Coordinator, and was given a stipend for the additional task. When that was not effective, a teacher was pulled out of her classroom to perform this task.
    2. A Clerical staff member has been assigned to input student schedules, adding to all the original duties of the clerical staff member. (I foresee an additional clerical position being created)
    3. A newly created position has been internally posted for a, “Student Information Officer”. The rate of pay for this position is a Teaching Assistant’s salary plus and addition $5,000 stipend. The scope of responsibility for this position is to maintain and prepare student records.

    Does this sound like a well thought out district reorganization, or does it sound like an impulsive decision that Mr. Gaudette now has to do damage control to clean up? I am sure these ever changing cut and paste positions will save the district money, but at what cost to our students. Why is so much time and energy being used to convince us that the district can, “survive” without a Guidance Counselor? Have the board members considered this question? Why do you think that the other districts employ Guidance Counselors? What ulterior motive did Mr. Gaudette have in eliminating the Guidance Counselor position? Mr. Gaudette’s well rehearsed fabrications do not stand up to investigation; please look at the evidence. Time after time he presents you with ridiculous excuses to punish or eliminate people who have opposed his unethical behavior towards students and/or other staff. Please look at all of the data before approving more of his actions. Please talk to the students. Please do not wait for the N.Y.S. Education Dept. to find more violations of Special Education law. Can we really afford more sustained violations?

    • No need for a guidance counselor? Them why did you hire one this summer and last summer mr Gaudette? Did the board members ponder this? Did you fabricate yet another explanation to validate the need for a guidance counselor in the summer? Maybe this Seotember the students will have schedules ready when they begin school instead of waiting around frustrated for a month. Maybe we should send the reporter for an unannounced observation in sept.

    • http://www.theexaminernews.com/current-former-staffers-charge-cottage-school-failing-students/

      Two Guidance Counselors @ $100,000.00 $200,000
      15% error rate in transcripts and scheduling 2,700

      1 Clerical @ $40,000 and 1 T.A. @ $35,000 $75,000
      error rate of 2 (no not %, just 2) 2

      Savings in $ $125,000
      Reduction in error 2698

      Looks like a good plan to me.

  132. Inside promotions

    Inside promotions are people who have proven to be “loyal” to Gaudette. This BOE should hold off on hiring insiders, we need NEW administrators from outside the District who have been properly trained and licensed and will be willing and knowledgeable enough to stop any unethical or actions. Gaudette is NOT the person to be training new administrators. The committees are a scam. It’s not effective unless the candidates are unknown to the District, otherwise it’s a popularity contest.

  133. Panel presentation? I thought it was a press conference? Oh that’s right no questions were permitted. I’m not sure which teachers came to SUPPORT your cause Mr Gaudette I know most were wishing they sat closer to the door so they could slip out and avoid the torture of listening to the prefabricated lies and deceit. You really do create your own distorted perception of reality.

    • I guess they were clapping because they felt tortured.

      • Where in the blog does it say that? Your efforts to shame people and turn people against each other don’t seem to be working too well any longer. Perhaps a more positive approach would be helpful?

      • Isn’t it normal for people to clap after they see a show? And what a grand performance it was!!! Bravo!

  134. Well written article. It seems as though the teachers have stated facts that can be backed up with evidence while Mr Gaudette has once again written a fairy tale.

    • 15 people presenting the reasons for the change to a “least restrictive environment” and over 36 in the crowd acknowledging the district’s success in student achievement is a well orchestrated “fairy tale”

      Let’s add another 51 to the “Gaudette Conspiracy List”

      • Wouldn’t it just be easier to list the disgruntled employees that did not like how the changes effected them? It is a much shorter list than the conspiracy list.

  135. Reading the article it seems that three women have an issue with the law. It seems that they are arguing for the law to be changed to the most restrictive environment. Maybe they should state their case to Artie Duncan.

    • Too late. Arnie Duncan is on the “Gaudette Conspiracy List”. Why else would he advocate for such things as least restrictive environment and higher achievement standards?

    • “Reading the article it seems that three women have an issue with the law.”

      Why mention that it’s women? There have been ongoing issues regarding Mr. Gaudettes treatment and attitude towards female employees.

      • I would guess someone would say that it is women because th

        • If someone said 3 African Americans, or 3 Gay people, wouldn’t that be odd? Why does it matter what their gender is?

        • Gender has nothing to do with it to answer below. Changing it to 3 people does not change the fact that Jeanine, Diane and Laurie seem to be arguing against the law of Most Restrictive Environment.

        • *least

  136. There is nothing wrong with with the law and I doubt that is what they were inferring. Sometimes the least restrictive environment for students with severe disabilities and/or those who have suffered severe trauma is a self contained classroom. Students who have difficulty with executive functioning become easily overstimulated. Nobody said that every student needs a self contained classroom. Mr Gaudette how many self contained classrooms do you have available to students in grades 6-12? We used to offer a variety of class settings for example an academic rotation team teach and self contained. This was to meet the needs of every student. Now if a student can’t handle an academic rotation they are most likely in out of school suspension. Please do not cloud the facts with judgements comments. They are a waste of everyone’s time.

  137. Let’s not forget the small group of teachers who have had the courage to speak up have yielded positive changes to the district by bringing the issues to light. For example there were no students waiting to be evaluated for special Ed services and now all of a sudden according to the article there are 19. Thanks again to those brave teachers. Please keep speaking up and helping our students. You know you have our support even though we can’t speak up.

  138. Professional leadership... And chairs

    Mr. Gaudette, instead of you and Mr. Beovich making sarcastic comments on this blog, perhaps you should continue to work towards improving the school. It does not look professional to your employees and others to observe administrators behaving in this way. We deserve mature and professional leadership.

    Many colleagues have expressed support of this blog and feel it is at least partly responsible for some of the positive changes. Most people do not want any “credit”, they are just happy conditions are improving for both students and staff. The day the assistants get their chairs back will be a happy one for us all as it will be symbol of your change from a punitive and negative approach to a more positive one.

    When concerns and questions can be spoken about without fear of repercussions and people are treated fairly and professionally as valued members of the organization no matter what their perspective, this blog will no longer be necessary. I think most of us look forward to that day.

    • So all you want is to get your chair back? when does sitting on your ass assist students?

      • Again, you miss the point Mr. Gaudette/Beovich. For all the unwavering “positivity” that is demanded from your staff, the negativity that comes from your own posts is shocking. Do you have a comfortable chair? Does that mean you never get out of it? Again, we ALL deserve professional and respectful leadership, even those who have different viewpoints at times.

    • I think that most people look forward to the day your group is gone. If you do not think so run for Union position a check the results.

      • How many people approved your addendum to the contract? Only about 20 people even bothered to vote…and it was still rejected. You have weakened the union with your divisive tactics, but we will rise from the ashes eventually. Again, Mr. Gaudette, PLEASE stop posturing. You are forcing people to expose your inaccuracies.

        • Could it have anything to do with the fact that Gaudette and Baron promoted a rumor that she and others were trying to get the school shut down… And also saying there was a real possibility of that happening? Refer to the “High Conflict Personality” letter for reference if necessary. It’s all about blaming others and praising himself. People should be working together for the good of these kids. What kind of administrator attacks people on a blog?

        • This is not a popularity contest mr Gaudette can you ever just focus on the program and the students?

  139. http://www.theexaminernews.com/current-former-staffers-charge-cottage-school-failing-students/

    Let the people decide. Stop trying to spin your stories. The collective group is moving forward and being successful.

    • We are ALL part of the collective group
      Mr. Gaudette. That’s what collective means. Yes .. The people should decide, but they should also have valid information available to them
      before they do. The article was fair and balanced considering the constraints and control on questioning. Let’s see if a larger newspaper, with more investigatory resources, picks it up. Much of the information that was claimed to be “…not allowed to be discussed” is available through FOIL (Freedom Of Information Law).

      • No. You are an outsider. Just ask around.

      • Nobody is claiming to be a hero. People are claiming retaliation for protected activities. Maybe Mr. Gaudette/Beovich should see how these court cases play out before talking about any more “angry women. Let the judge decide… The people can be easily fooled.

        It’s easier to fool people than to convince them
        they’ve been fooled”.
        Mark Twain

        We have to remember that Mr. Gaudette has the easier job.

        • So you would agree if the decision was made to cut a position before any of these “protective activities” took place then retaliation would not be possible.

      • More women comments?

        • I don’t think the woman part really has anything to do with the comment. If we refer to her as an angry person, employee, guidance counselor doesn’t change what seems to be a question on if the complaints were filed before or after it was decided to reorganize the guidance department.

          Also raises the questions why no complaints until the end of last year if Mr. Gaudette has been in the district since 2011?

        • There WERE complaints, from some of Mr. Gaudette’s newest “friends” as a matter of fact… dating back to when he first arrived. If those people are honest they will tell the truth under oath and acknowledge them. Plenty of people heard these complaints from “union leaders” about his attitude towards women. Nobody wants to call you out Mr. Gaudette, but please stop the posturing. It will not be productive for anyone.

        • A judge has decided and it was dismissed.

        • Really Mr. Gaudette, ALL charges against you have been dismissed? I’m sure the BOE members reading this know better. They are still paying your legal bills.

  140. “All cruelty springs from weakness”
    ~Seneca

    “I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member”.
    ~Groucho Marx

  141. We are well aware of your tricks and semantic games Mr. Gaudette. Let the Judge decide.

  142. You can only imagine how elated they will be when you leave Mr Gaudette. Too bad there wasn’t a vote to get you out. Of course it would have to be anonymous.

  143. Least restrictive environment

    Arne Duncan is in favor of Least Restrictive Environment, as we all are. Let’s not twist and manipulate the law to the detriment of the students in understanding what it means however. The newspaper article basically states that you place students in regular Ed and classify them if they are not successful in general Ed. That does not seem to be proper practice and based on the answer below, might in fact be another violation of State Education Law. A meeting should be conducted for all students to determine whether they should be classified upon entering the program. It is not good practice to basically “see if they fail” before giving them modifications or classifying them. It is also essential for parents or guardians to be a part of the process, something this school has also been cited for. You cannot pick and choose which parts of State Education Law to follow.

    From Wrights Law:

    7. Once a determination is made that a disabled student cannot be educated satisfactorily in the regular educational environment, even with the provision of supplementary aids and services, what considerations govern placement?

    ANSWER: IDEA does not require that every student with a disability be placed in the regular classroom regardless of individual abilities and needs.

    This recognition that regular class placement may not be appropriate for every disabled student is reflected in the requirement that school districts make available a range of placement options, known as a continuum of alternative placements, to meet the unique educational needs of students with disabilities. This requirement for the continuum reinforces the importance of the individualized inquiry, not a “one size fits all” approach, in determining what placement is the LRE for each student with a disability. The options on this continuum must include “the alternative placements listed in the definition of special education under Section 300.17 (instruction in regular classes, special classes, special schools, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions).” 34 CFR 300.551(b)(1).

    (Wrightslaw Note: IDEA 2004 defines “special education” in the statute at 20 USC 1401(29) and in the regulations at 34 CFR 300.39 in Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Ed., pages 55 + 202.)

    These options must be available to the extent necessary to implement the IEP of each disabled student. The placement team must select the option on the continuum in which it determines that the student’s IEP can be implemented. Any alternative placement selected for the student outside of the regular educational environment must maximize opportunities for the student to interact with nondisabled peers, to the extent appropriate to the needs of the student.

    It also should be noted that under IDEA, parents must be given written prior notice that meets the requirements of 300.505 a reasonable time before a public agency implements a proposal or refusal to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child, or the provision of FAPE to the child. Consistent with this notice requirement, parents of disabled students must be informed that the public agency is required to have a full continuum of placement options, as well as about the placement options that were actually considered and the reasons why those options were rejected. 34 CFR 300.504-300.505; Notice of Policy Guidance on Deaf Students Education Services, published at 57 Fed. Reg. 49274 (Oct. 30, 1992).

    (Wrightslaw Note: IDEA 2004 explains “Prior Written Notice” in the statute at 20 USC 1415(c)(1) and in the regulations at 34 CFR 300.503 in Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Ed., pages 109 + 253.)

    – See more at: http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/lre.osers.memo.idea.htm#sthash.rYS8slfi.dpuf

    • That is the whole point of the conversation. The child needs to start out in the Least Restrictive Environment and only after all modifications, supports and services have been provided and proven unsuccessful are they to be considered for a more restrictive environment through the CSE. Let the professionals at the school do their job as outlined. You have made your complaints to everyone and anyone. If you have a concern bring it to the Director of PPS and if it is not resolved satisfactorily go make a complaint to SED. Stop trying to rewrite history to support your legal claims

  144. I have a question for Mr. Gaudette…..Have you ever looked at how much time you are spending trying to convince the world that YOUR way is the only way, that your way “works”. Add up all the time you have been utilizing to respond to lawsuits, orchestrate a press conference, divide the staff, create new positions, initiate “investigations” on staff members etc. If all that energy and time was focused on improving the school, I really believe we could have the best special act school district out there. If you combine all the expertise and experience of the staff members you have, and actually respect their knowledge abilities and eagerness to learn and grow, what a wonderful world it would be. Please stop focusing on yourself and your personal needs and be open to learn and grow like the rest of us.

    • I know that you have not been in attendance at MPCS UFSD last year so you may not know this but the All District Staff are participating in evaluations of the District practices and developing programs/procedures/services to improve through a participatory and rational process linked to best practices. They are directing Professional Development, PLC calendars, Social Emotional programming, etc. Before you go claiming credit understand that this process started over two and one half years ago. As the Examiner article shows, over 51 people are invested in the positive momentum so just let the professionals complete their work.

    • Let’s imagine organizational change as energy transfer. And the manifestation of the energy transfer is exhibited in overt behavior. Now, add another layer in that that energy transfer travels is wavelengths similar to sound, or perhaps water is more illustrative. There are two main forces: facilitation of a particular change direction and resistance to that change direction. Overtime an organizational culture will try to achieve homeostasis. In order to achieve a desired change a change agent disrupts that semblance of balance. Disruptions can be large or small and should be matched to the magnitude of change required. Too continue the wave analogy, like a bathtub full of water more disruption leads to more spillage. It is not good or bad per se. It just happens. Old organizational cultures are the water that gets mopped up.

      • Let’s push the wave analogy further. Can we agree that a normal curve is a measurement of some phenomenom with respect to a population at a particular moment in time? For example average weight of humans. The population measurement tends to follow a curve, oftentimes a bell curve. If we can also agree that this measurement is a snapshot in time and that that curve changes along a particular direction we can assume that the curve is moving in a direction. That is to say, the average weight of humans has changed overtime and continues to change as time progresses. I would argue that the average weight of humans over time has moved forward on the dimension of increasing. Particular populations have changed at different rates but on a whole, humans have increased in size over time. So the normal curve we see, regardless of the particular phenomenom, is in constant motion. The normal curve in motion is a wave.

        • Complicating our image is the complexity that any phenomenom is interacting and influencing any other phenomenom. So average weight of humans includes height and body mass ratios. Two waves traveling together and interacting. In this case seemingly reinforcing each other to maximize weight change in humans over time.

          • Along this particular trajectory, there were a variety of other waves traveling in similar and different directions creating momentum and resistance to the change in human weight over time. Examples could include the innovation and spread of farming or ,on the down side, pestilence or drought.

          • so when we look at a normal distribution we are viewing a 2 dimensional image of a particular phenomenom but in reality that phenomenom is interacting with a variety of other phenomenoms. If we take those other phenomenoms into account our 2D image is more accurately represented by three dimensional imagary. Remember that this whole thing is in motion reacting to the forces of facilitation and resistance.

          • Now imagine that normal distribution (curve) is traveling along a particular dimension and at the same time is being pushed and pulled by a variety of other intersecting dimensions of phenomenom that coexist and influence it. Now take that moving image and instead of looking at it from the classic side angle, rotate it so that you are looking at it from the top down. That interacting wave pattern of change begins to resemble the image of a hurricane on the weather channel.

          • So if you accept that change is the transfer of energy, the analogies of storm to change is amazingly metaphoric and symbolic to the point of visualization. By understanding the forces of resistance and facilitation we can better predict not only which path the storm is most likely to take but in fact can influence its direction.

          • I would like to propose that resonance is critical to directing the waves of change. Understanding how to create resonance within a particular wave trajectory is critical.

          • The force of resistance is dissonance. Managing dissonance is the way to change a wave trajectory.

          • Frequency and amplitude present the driving forces by which resonance and dissonance are managed.

          • Presently we are presented here with four specific wave motion concepts:

            resonance: the reinforcement or prolongation of a sound by reflection or by the synchronous vibration of a neighboring object. A phenomenon that occurs when a vibrating object or external force drives another system to oscillate with greater amplitude and at a specific frequency.

            dissonance: A tension or clash from a combination of two disharmonious elements

            Amplitude: the maximum extent of vibration or oscillation from a point of equilibrium (mentioned previously as a state of homeostasis).

            Frequency: the number of occurrences of a repeating event.

          • The next step in our understanding of managing change phenomenon is to take these abstract concepts and attach them to the concrete social behaviors that are manifested by them.

            Malcolm Gladwell’s “Tipping Point” has some great stories that illuminate what is trying to by expressed here. If you are so inclined read his work and try to insert the concepts of the wave described above into his vignettes.

            Our particular journey through change and these concepts will be presented as well in upcoming posts. While, I am no Malcolm Gladwell, I accept who I am in my context, have embraced it and seek to make my impact upon it. I hope we can all walk away with a better understanding of the dynamics of social change: whether you chose actions of resonance or dissonance. After all, one wave’s resonance can serve as another wave’s dissonance and visa versa.

          • Kurt Lewin’s pivotal work examines change as composed of three basic processes: unfreezing, changing and refreezing. While his work and reinforcing work by others examined the components that contribute to successful unfreezing etc. I found that the theory missed some important concepts of why certain changes ( I would argue all changes) do not end up exactly as planned. The analysis and understanding of those forces is my interest.

          • I think that the whole is composed of:

            it
            the it that we can perceive
            the it that we can measure
            the it that we think we understand
            the it we understand

          • there is too much information in it to be processed so entities scan and filter in order to manage the information in such a way as to make sense of it and use that amount of it in order to coexist (survive) in and with it.

          • Scanning and filtering it becomes our “field of vision”.

            Mathematical reasoning and scientific inquiry is a process by which we try to add clarity it but is limited to our particular field of vision.

            As we move our perspective or approach so does our field of vision move.

            So my argument is that any measurement and attempt at understanding a phenomenon is necessarily constricted by those things we chose to scan in or filter out.

          • Take this line of reasoning and return to the normal distribution (curve) for a moment. Let’s see, in the case study we have before us that the goal was to change a professional norm. That norm is composed of many variables (i.e., morale, productivity, comfort, press, etc.) each one with it own norm. Remember that these norms when measured are a moment in time and may appear static but in reality are moving waves that may work to create resonance or dissonance with the phenomenon we are trying to affect (professional norm).

          • Each normal distribution or curve is traveling in a particular direction and has a facilitative (resonance or constructive interference) or a resistive (dissonance or destructive interference) on the wave trajectory of professional norm.

          • To complete this thought, in order to get the phenomenon in question (in this case professional norm) to the target end state (the place we want to refreeze to use Lewin’s terminology) we must not only be cognizant of the specific phenomenon but also must take into account the various waves that are in a certain proximity to that phenomenon. These waves can be managed through the purposeful use of dissonance, resonance, amplitude and frequency.

          • Let’s return to the water analogy.

            Imagine social behavior as water. Water moves and flows adjusting to its environment eventually coming to a place of rest. An organization creates structures and processes to contain and direct social behavior in order to meet a specific output. So in this analogy the organization becomes the vessel that contains the water. The vessel shapes the water and helps to control its movement. So it could be a tall beaker, shallow dish, tub or, my favorite, a pint class. Without the vessel the water simply spills and pools without a specific form. When water is removed from the stream and placed in a vessel, the walls (structures and processes) provide limits to the waters movement. Over time the formal and informal structures and processes that create the limits or outer walls of the vessel create a type of homeostasis. The water appears still.

          • So my thought is that the various normal distributions (professional norm, productivity, morale, achievement, etc) are reflected off of each other and the limits imposed by the organization until over the course of time through constructive and destructive interference they resemble a standing wave when looking within the vessel. They have coalesced and as a collection of waves move in a particular direction as determined in large part by the vessel itself.

          • Now, that is not to say they are all reinforcing each other. For example productivity and morale might be in dissonance with one increasing and the other decreasing but regardless their proximity keeps their trajectory within a range. Remember the hurricane analogy as we think about the single trajectory of the multiple waves. When the storm first begins mathematical models are applied and the storm trajectory is plotted out to forecast were it will come ashore within a range (i.e., between South Carolina and Virginia). As the storm progresses, a variety of facilitating and resisting forces influence the path along its journey until it reaches land (perhaps as far north as New Jersey).

          • For our purposes the critical analysis is not predicting the trajectory of the wave but deciding on the required end state and actually having it end up at its intended target.

          • We have to manage the waves contained within the vessel in such a way as to create the forces that direct the vessel to the desired destination.

          • I have tried to paint you a picture of my abstraction on change in words. The next step is to provide some vignettes to illustrate points in a case study approach. This will personalize the information, for some more than others, but is necessary in my estimation for a couple of reasons:

            I think people are still following this blog. They have it set to send them an email when posts are made. Those who have been part of the change are still invested in its outcome on both sides of the issue. The ground gained in positive changes is still susceptible to regression as it has not completely refrozen in the new location. The old culture took years to create and I think it will take years of attention to insulate it from those who desire to return to it.

            While my antagonists no longer blog, have run out of fodder for lawsuits and have been exposed for their core intentions I do not think they have come to the point of acceptance of the change in general or me in particular. I think they continue their struggle and that is their right. Consequently, it is my responsibility to continue to protect the ground that has been gained and those who have risen to the great challenges I put before them.

            I did not chose this battle or this forum. My antagonists did. As much as I have tried to keep my personal life and professional life as separate they continue to become inextricably intertwined as these people try to destroy the essence of who I am in this digital space. So this is my story and while I did not pick this fight or forum I can not think of a better place to make my final stand than in the enemy’s own camp.

            I hope to inspire others to take control of those things and people that seem overwhelming and to give them the tools to develop the strategies that will help make the changes they see fit.

          • In an attempt to balance the conversation I will take a moment for some self-disclosure.

            I am falible.
            I do not pretend to be anything more than that.
            I have always struggled with written communication as my thoughts race faster than I can keep up with. More problematic is that if I do not capture them in the moment they oftentimes leave me for extended periods of time or are gone forever. In a twist of cruel irony, I remember that I had an illuminating thought about how to understand something and communicate it but can not remember it enough to do so. I struggle not only with output as my lack of good grammar skills is only match by my poor spelling (you definitely know when I forget to turn on my spellcheck) but input is difficult too as I find myself gravitating to the pictures of the more complex readings. So as a consequence, I do not pretend to be an expert in wave theory. I have a cursory knowledge of basic principles but most of this theory comes from my getting lost in the pictures and having my thoughts wander to the metaphors of Lao Tzu as my own imagery evolves. I don’t fight it anymore. I find sketches, drawings and paintings a better way to capture my experience and have tried to upload some but (another weakness) can’t figure it out.

            I am not a miracle worker. I am not a saint. Hell, I don’t even qualify as a do-gooder.I have made mistakes that I wish I could take back, choices that did not serve me or those I promised to care for. I am not fully grown. What I fancy myself as, is an artist. A bit temperamental at that. I would argue that I am an educator equal to anyone else involved in this blog or visiting this website and take offense to the fact that it is name Don’t Tread on Educators (DTOE) because that is exactly what these bloggers and Portelos have been doing because I an not a teacher. I request that either Portelos stop fanning the flames against educators he has no real information about or simply change the name of his website to Don’t Tread on Teachers.

          • It was July of 2011. I had just started. I had met only a few people in the district when the call came. I was told to get a copy of the local paper because the High School Principal had been arrested for passing counterfeit bills at a local gas station. I did and there was the story. Attached to the article like we see so many times was a blog for responses. And there it was! a blog citing that in my past I had received a DWAI. There for the entire community, I guess as a service to them. Several days later is when I got my first anonymous letter which read in short part “you can see we did our research on you” and then advised me of my need to be careful. I realized that I was not going to have a honeymoon period.

          • We were about 7 million in the hole. Census was dropping and even though teachers were laid off prior to my start I was forced as one on my first decisions to lay off more. In good conscience I advised the teachers of this as soon as I could letting them know to still come to work in September because that we would carry them for a month in hopes census comes back up. On the first day of school four of the staff notified failed to come to work. Three called in sick. One was coughing and hacking on the tape. On day two the same three called in again and the fourth still had not made contact. I learned that all four had secured jobs in between my communication and the start of school. Good for them! However, three were using sick time when they were actually receiving pay for a new job. I am quite sure that is both immoral and illegal. Regardless, it was not professional. Just ask for an unpaid leave of absence, I understand. Shortly thereafter, I receive another anonymous communication justifying their behavior of double dipping and how dare I force a resignation from them.

          • It was the second day of classes. I entered Edenwald through the side entrance and on my immediate right was a de-escalation (seclusion room). Peering through the small window was the sad face of a middle school boy. I stopped in to ask him why he was in seclusion. He explained that he was placed there because he was in the wrong reading group. He was clear that he had done the same reading series last year and passed. He admitted that he had acted in an angry way. It was his second day in seclusion for reading. It was only day two. He had 100% seclusion already. I ask for his teacher’s name so that I cold try to help. I set out to find her. As I entered the class I was fortunate enough to not only find his teacher but the reading specialist who made the placement determination. They were enjoying a cup of coffee and talking about their summer vacation. I spoke to them about the issue and requested that he be retested. thought surely this would at least clarify if the information was accurate and show we are responsive to students. There was considerable reluctance as the teachers knew this child better than I and he needs to learn how to accept adult direction. I was persistent and told them I would follow up tomorrow. Less than an hour later I received the call from the reading specialist. She admitted that she placed the child of question in the wrong class by mistake because she confused him with another boy with the same first name. Now before the argument of this was a simple mistake and an anomaly, the teachers at this school used seclusion 4055 times in that school year with an average enrollment of 120. That 2.7 children sent to seclusion a period. That was no anomaly. That was the way of doing business.

            I realized at that point, we have a problem with the professional norm. That became my focus.

          • It was December of that year. I had caught a security monitor sleeping in his comfortable chair outside the principal’s office on more than one occasion. I began to address it. He explained he had to work two jobs to make ends meet. I understand that that is tough but I let him no that his sleeping at our job will not continue. Shortly thereafter came another anonymous communication. This time addressed to me and the BOE. This one made claims that I had purposefully hung a noose in a classroom in order to intimidate the minority staff and students. They even had a picture! I was dumbfounded. Our bloggers even cite this in the early parts of this blog. The BOE in their capacity began an independent investigation of me through an Impartial Hearing Officer from a rotational list. Needless to say, the investigator went to the people claimed in the anonymous letter as witnesses. Not only did the investigation clear me but the conclusion from the evidence was that there is a group of people “threatened by change”. This was good news and bad news. The bad news is that there was obviously a coordinated set of anonymous bullies with a ruthless agenda but on the other side, some people recognized that and chose the path of truth to support the hope for removing them from a position of power. I could not fail them.

          • These happenings presented to me a deeply entrenched system focused on adult needs over student needs. One that was prepared for me before I even entered into the system. One that was organized and willing to employ guerilla tactics. So the question to be answered: is how did a change agent enter into this system and make the dramatic reversals in performance in just four short years?

          • The answer is amazingly simple using the principles of the theory outlined above.

            1. Set the parameters of the “field of vision” and maintain their integrity
            2. Use resonance to move the normal distribution wave along a particular dimension of change and dissonance to adjust the wave direction
            3. Use the frequency of events that strengthen the normal distribution wave to create a predictable rhythm
            4. Insure that the amplitude of events matches the context and establish a progressive rythm

          • 1. Setting the parameters of the field of vision

            As presented earlier, their is just too much going on all around us to pay attention to everything. So what we do in order to survive is scan and screen. The organization is no different. We must select a singular vision for the destination of the vessel (organization) and a small set of important norm distributions that we want to change (minimalism). In this case the destination was Least Restrictive Environment which included access to higher quality curriculum. The small set of normal distributions were articulated that revolved around creating a rational decision making process. The attempt was to create a resonance in the rationality of our interactions as professionals to create the forces that would help our children function in the more normal environment similar to their peers. In order to do this the concept of LRE and the need for this was consistently presented in multiple forums. You can see it here in this blog. In order to address the norms, all staff were provided (again on multiple occasions) with a rubric outlining the norm target. It follows:

            1. The majority of staff makes and evaluates decisions based upon “what’s in it for me”
            2. The majority of staff makes and evaluates decisions based upon “what is in it for my constituency or friends”
            3. The majority of staff makes and evaluates decisions based upon “what is in the best interest of the organization”
            4. The majority of staff makes and evaluates decisions based upon what is determined to be in the best interest of our youth after careful consideration of the various perspectives of people involved.

            Additionally, the staff were provided with a template for the process of inquiry and decision making the included:
            1. Ideas must be grounded in best practice gathered from research
            2. The process must be inclusive
            3. The decision making must be based upon rational decision making rules

            The goal destination was supported by the structure of the rubric and the idea generating process. This became the field of vision when approaching the actions in the change process. Issue that did not align with these few things did not receive the same prominence of attention as those that did.

            By contrast, my antagonists did not have a defined end state other than “not the one I proposed”. Even a review of this blog shows that they couldn’t articulate the destination of the organization with any clarity. While they could say what they didn’t want to do, they struggled with what we should be doing in terms of the organization. Additionally, they could not select a unified target of what they wanted to change. Was it teacher rights? Was it the importance of a self-contained model? Or was it just that the Superintendent is evil and needs to be stopped? The bloggers move in and out of these three basic target areas in what appears to be an attempt to find something people could resonate with. For example, the blog starts with teacher rights and does not progress to student needs in a self contained until after the teacher rights argument loses effect. Finally, they spend most of their time on a personal attack of the Superintendent. The main reason for this as I see is because they were a collection of individuals mostly consumed with their own needs who tried to create a coalition of revolt. Their unification was based upon their self interests and not the organization’s interest leaving a collage of desired end states. More problematic is that even their litigation is all over the place. Is it Union Rights for PERB? Is it Gender Discrimination for SDHR? Is it Age discrimination for EEOC? They did not have a single defining issue that could be adopted by a broader population. While they thought their shotgun approach would assist in their campaign, it only served to dissipate the wave of energy across too many targets. Their field of vision was too broad whereas mine stayed steady for the course of the change.

          • You use the field of vision to select the target and the normal distribution waves of most importance. You then align the normal distribution waves to create a resonance.

          • So lets look back at the change as a normal distribution wave. As I thought about my illustration I imagined the movement toward LRE as the superwave and the professional norm as a subwave of that superwave. I will try to explain.

            The school maintains approximately 300 students. Of them, about 40 are elementary. Our elementary like most schools is self contained regardless of classification. So that leaves about 260 students that could or could not be placed in a self contained model. In 2011 approximately 85% of the approximate 260 students were in a self contained classroom. The normal distribution of students in the district was skewed toward the most restrictive setting. Being in a self contained classroom was the norm. In 2015 approximately 62% of the students were in a self contained classroom. So the amount of children in the most restrictive environment is changing over time (in this case 4 years). The norm moved along a dimension toward Least Restrictive Environment. In another example, more students at Edenwald in 2014 passed the Living Environment Regents than even had access to the test in the previous three years, combined! Looking at US History, more student passed that Regents in 2015 than even had an opportunity to take the test in the previous four years combined! So there is more kids passing rigorous coursework today than were even exposed to it in the four years proceeding. That distribution moved toward the stated target. Since it is an organizational goal, I labeled and envision it as a superwave.

          • The subwave that was identified as critical to our success was professional norm and here is why.

            If you are a teacher in a school that is primarily self contained, you are certified in Special Education and your tenure line is Special Education. In order to move to a more content based program the school needs less teachers with only a Special Education Certification and more teachers with a Content Specialty. The number of students didn’t change. So, the bottom eight teachers on the Seniority list in Special Education became at risk of being excessed while new teachers were hired to replace them. If you were one of those teachers, the likelihood of you evaluating my decision on the rubric previously presented was to be in the one category… “what’s in it for me”… as you look around at the seven other teachers and you are invested in the union for protection it is highly likely you will gather resonance from using a two or “what’s in it for my constituency”. I had to set the seeds for the lager population to operate in a three or four on the rubric to create enough dissonance to counter that energy. A destructive interference. Now reread the article below with the concept of resonance of staff embracing the new model and examine the field of vision. I count 3 staff with 5 core issues (many targets) vs. more than 52 staff participating in and supporting LRE and quality curriculum (single target). I fact the article ends with the message that the new model resonates with the students as well. The tables had definitely turned.

            http://www.theexaminernews.com/current-former-staffers-charge-cottage-school-failing-students/

            I would like to address a couple of additional issues that to clarify some of they charges from the 3 women.

            1. With respect to the child who had gaps in the full implementation of his IEP the following detail should be provided. Our children by in large are classified emotionally disturbed. Most have an additional diagnosis of conduct disorder. In this case the child stole his teacher’s phone and when confronted became hostile and menacing. Really not surprising for a conduct disorder ED student. The teacher chose to go to the police and secure a restraining order. It is pretty damn hard to implement 100% of an IEP when the child can’t be within 100feet of his teachers place of employment and considering that was the only school we could service him. We scrambled to create something, anything, to try and keep him in school.

            2. With respect to the age differential concern is a similar situation. The child and teacher had a stormy relationship similar to the one above. Since we were monitoring teacher’s use of seclusion, this teacher would call the cottage to have the child removed from her class for extended periods of time unbeknownst to administration. Moreover, for color commentary, go back through this blog and pull out the posts that are more than two paragraphs, have multiple words and/or complete sentences in all capitals and have multiple punctuation marks (i.e., !!!!, ?????, ….). Select the ten most histrionic. I am pretty sure that is the teacher in this relationship. Yes, when we learn of the stormy relationship we moved the child to avoid further hospitalization and we were not timely in writing the variance. I stand by that decision today. So when you read the article and specifically the quote… “there is a direct correlation between how much time the teacher spends with the student and the ability to connect with that teacher.” I would agree to a certain point. However, I do not assume that that relationship is productive or in some cases even healthy.
            3. We had a brand new CSE Chairperson. She is a wonderful and dedicated professional. She was new to the very complex part 200 regulations and some Prior Written Notices were flawed. It was a paperwork issue.

            Finally, the teachers were advised of the change in direction toward LRE and encouraged to become dually certified. Not a one; that is correct, 0 teachers chose to increase their skill set to increase their value. I did however receive over ten notices of claim!

          • Technically, LRE and quality curriculum are two targets, each with its own distribution wave. So you really could have LRE with poor curriculum or quality curriculum with highly restrictive settings. These concepts were purposely merged in order to leverage resonance and dissonance which is the next topic. Similarly, professional norm as I present is composed of many other distribution waves such as knowledge, morale, commitment, perseverance, resilience, etc. which i will try to tease out in future posts.

          • I want to present that there are two main forces that are perpetually moving in opposite directions. They are equilibrium and chaos.

          • We, like all organisms, prefer the equilibrium side of that continuum.

          • In fact we like equilibrium so much we create them. That is homeostasis. Take body temperature for instance. We operate best at 98.6 on average So if forces begin to raise our temperature our body tries to lower it (I.e., we sweat). If it lowers we shiver to warm. We maintain a homeostasis or in this case a constant body temperature.

          • Humans are amazingly adept at managing there environment to maintain homeostasis. Why sweat? Just turn on the air conditioner.

          • Here is the dilemma. We are individuals and as such our homeostasis while falling within a range is individual as well. Have you ever been in a room where one person opens a window because he is hot and another complains because he is cold? We all want 98.6 but how we get there is a little different. Complicating matters further is that we are mutually dependent on each other. Regulating my body temperature requires work from people I have never met (I.e., the man who delivers my fuel oil or the people that maintain the electric lines to my house). So in order for me to maintain my individual homeostasis I must rely on someone else’s and visa versa. Our social network is critical to our survival and as such we need to manage social interactions as any other part of our environment.

          • We survive better in equilibrium. When we rely on each other we purposely create patterns of interaction that creates a collective homeostasis. We use structure: commandments, commitments, agreements, contracts, laws, policies, etc. and processes: negotiation, mediation, enforcement, legislation, litigation, democracy and even war to define the acceptable range of our collective homeostasis.

          • The structures and processes mentioned above are a subset of formal interactions. We must not dismiss the power of the informal interactions that set the parameters of the acceptable homeostasis. For example, when I drive on the thruway the speed limit is posted at 65 but enforcement tends to start at 80 for speeding. So I find that many people exceed the speed limit but few are traveling over 80. There is an informal agreement that you can drive 79 on the thruway in a 65. I have never seen that agreement with the state but it sure does seem to exist. And what’s more people seem to acknowledge it, albeit, informally.

          • In summary, what I am saying is that in order to maintain our individual homeostasis we engage in a variety of formal and informal interactions in order to maintain a collective homeostasis. One of those collectives is our place of work.

          • If the collective homeostasis supports and reinforces (resonates with) our individual homeostasis we want it to remain stable. If it does not, we create dissonance in an attempt to change the collective homeostasis in a particular direction. One we resonate with. Over time the formal and informal structures and processes set the parameters (walls) of the collective homeostasis (vessel) and the various normal distribution waves become standing and begin to solidify. The water looks still when looking into the vessel.

          • As the normal distribution waves inside the vessel solidify so does the trajectory of the vessel.

          • Therefore, in order to change the trajectory of the vessel (organization), you must disrupt the homeostasis within it.

          • Therefore, in order to change the trajectory of the vessel (organization), one must disrupt the homeostasis within it.

          • That disruptive force is dissonance. The problem however is that dissonance begins to move us toward the chaos side of the equilibrium/chaos continuum and we do better on the equilibrium side. So there are two critical understandings of the use of dissonance.

            1. It should be used sparingly
            2. It should be immediately followed by the development of a new resonance that directs the new expected norms and subsequently the trajectory of the vessel towards the new target.

          • In order to concretize this abstraction, I will present some scenarios from MPCS UFSD based upon my assessment of the 2011 MPCS homeostasis and trajectory. Before I do that, I would like to set some qualifiers:

            1. This is my description based upon my perception of it, my measurements of it and my various understandings (or lack thereof) of it. Others will have a different perspective (field of vision) /and as such a different perception, measurement criteria/items and collection of accurate and inaccurate understandings.

            2. The collective homeostasis is composed of the amalgamite of normal distribution waves. Each individual homeostasis sits in a different place in those various normal distributions. I am painting with a broad brush here and understand that people are different.

            3. By in large, the collective homeostasis (and behaviors within it) is set by the formal structure and processes of the organization (the walls of the vessel). The informal interactions are a reaction to that. So for example, we go to a restaurant for the main propose of getting something to eat. However, restaurants have different structures and processes. If I go to fast food I go to the counter order my food and then go find a seat. When I am done I dispose of my trash. If I go to fine dining I wait at the door, someone seats me, they bring my food to me and then they clean up after me. The same ends (getting something to eat) but very different means. We learn that these two are different through interactions with the organization. Our behavior is guided differently if we want to eat and through successive experiences it becomes routine and without thought. It just is the way of doing it in those different types of restaurants. Think of the learned behavior this way. If I go to a comedy show and someone in the room is crying and sad I think it is odd because the behavior is out of context. Conversely, if I go to a funeral and someone in the back is laughing it would be similarly odd.

            So my changing of the expected way of behaving would be as odd as bringing a clown show to a funeral.

          • I assessed four main continuums that needed the mean behavior in the normal distribution to change or as I see it, I had four waves that needed to have course corrections.

            They were:

            1. A focus on remediation over resiliency
            2. A focus on controlling student behavior rather than understanding it
            3. A reliance on exclusionary approaches rather than inclusionary ones
            4. An external locus of control vs. an internal one

            I would like to examine each one in order.

          • Our whole District was set up on a remediation model. One of the very first items of correspondence given to the family of a child referred to us is a consent to evaluate for Special Education. Imagine that! We never even met these people and we are already assuming that their child is in need of special education. There are some posts in this blog that even reinforce this concept that all children coming to our school should be evaluated just because they are coming to our school. One post even questions if not immediately testing for special education is legal. Upon entering the child is tested in math and reading. Their scores are used to place them in a class and given to the teacher. More often than not the teacher would direct the curriculum and instruction to meet the child at his or her level of functioning. If the child is in 9th grade but reads at the 3rd grade level the teachers looked for 3rd grade material. They were self-contained with similar students reading at similar levels receiving similar 3rd grade instruction all day long. This created, in my estimation a stagnation in learning. In the above case, at the 3rd grade. More problematic is that those teachers had to teach every subject. They were stretched too thin. I have numerous examples of teachers providing the wrong content in a particular subject. So not only were we failing to challenge our children but we were actually teaching them the wrong things. When teachers were challenged on this concept of providing the required course content for the grade and not the ability the most common answer was that “they can not do it”. My position was, if the teacher does not think the child can accomplish grade level expectations then the child will not. So to follow that line of thinking our low expectations we were actually reinforcing the low skills.

          • We had a Code of Conduct, PBIS, point sheets, token economies, primary reinforcers (usually candy), seclusion, suspension and on. We did not conduct FBA’s, create BIP’s, have CST’s, use cognitive therapy interventions nearly as regularly as the first set of strategies. The concept of trauma informed interventions is still quite new with us. We set out to regulate the kids because we are in charge and we know better and quite frankly it is easier. We failed to listen, understand, appropriately intervene and set in motion those things that help a child self-regulate.

          • If the child didn’t fit your expectations then is was too easy just to exclude the child. Remember the over 10,000 incidents of seclusion. This was such a way of doing business the teachers at PCS didn’t even go the extra yard of writing the child’s behavior up. While the log showed over 8,000 sign ins for seclusion it was only documented by the teachers 294 times. As much as I tried to explain that a child can not learn and practice the expectations of the classroom unless he or she is in the classroom and that the misbehavior is part of the disability, this concept gained little traction. At the one school the number of incidents of seclusion went up by 1144 in the first year as I made my pleas to the special educators of the district.

          • Teachers are the most important and pivotal resource within a school. In fact, teachers are the most important and pivotal resource within American Education. Successful teachers with an internal locus of control have the ability to enhance the lives of generations. Teachers who progress down the external locus of control path become some of the most destructive influences within any system.

          • In order to appreciate the assertion above, we must consider three psychological needs: self-esteem, control and affiliation.

          • I see these three needs as so intertwined with respect to the establishment of a psychological homeostasis on the external vs. internal locus of control continuum that they are best described as a constellation.

          • If you have an internal locus of control and you are unsuccessful, you failed. If you continue to fail repeatedly you are a failure. That is pretty hard to take for your self-esteem. If however, you adopt an external locus of control and you are unsuccessful, you are a victim. It is easier on your self-esteem to be a victim than a failure.

          • If you are a victim however, by definition you lack control which is equally problematic to your psychological constellation. So while you may buttress your self-esteem in the short run you are still moving down the external locus of control continuum. Poor self-esteem plus lack of control leads to despair. Despair is a dark place where most people would avoid at all costs. If, however, you see yourself as a victim for purposes of self-esteem but choose to take control you become a dissonant. Following this thought, if you can find or attract (through affiliation) other victims who align with your dissent you increase your self esteem. This reversal allows you to increase your internal locus of control on a wave that is in dissonance with the one you thought was disrupting your psychological homeostasis. The goal is to regain homeostasis. This process is not good or bad per se, I just propose it as a method of social change and reaction to it.

          • Francisco Portelos is an excellent example of this trajectory.

            Based upon the digital space artifacts this is my opinion.

            Mr. Portelos started his professional life as an engineer. For some reason that did not work out. The reasons for which I do not know but remember my understandings are based upon waves and waves are basically repeating patterns. So I conclude his moving from the engineering field was due to failure.

            He then chose to be a MS Teacher. Based upon the written record of his 3020-a, I am going to say he failed at that too.

            He then appealed his 3020-a. Another failure

            He was passed up for administrative positions. Another failure

            He is still a Teacher on Rotation. Fail.

            He had an unsuccessful bid for an upper level union position. Fail.

            He is however, amazingly resilient and has great technology skills so he is able to create this blog and website which attracts other failures/victims/dissenters to his cause beginning his climb back to higher self-esteem. I think that the core issue here is self esteem because Mr. Portelos has gone as far as dress up like a superhero (spiderman) post the picture of himself in this costume and opine “Mr. Portelos is Spiderman?” That certainly looks like self-esteem issues to me. In order to keep his trajectory he engages in escalating dissonance against one group “administrators” in order to create resonance with the group that feeds his self-esteem. Creating dissonance is not bad. In fact it is a necessary part of change. It should however be judiciously applied, match the context and have some factual underpinnings. Using it as your go to tactic eventually dissipates your wave energy and becomes another item on your list of failures.

            So it is not surprising that my dissenters had gravitated to Mr. Portelos and Bryan Glass as they looked to gain some type of resonance.

          • The reason my antagonist reacher outside of the organization is because they were unable (although they tried valiantly) to gain any resonance within the organization. It was an example of escalating despair and attempts to change their trajectory.

            This leads us to the examination of the use of dissonance and resonance within MPCS.

          • So we had four basic continuums that were at play and in my estimation critical to the poor 2011 organizational functioning as measured by seven years of school report card data, need for police intervention and financial stress.

            Remediation vs. Resiliency
            Controlling behavior vs. understanding it
            Exclusion vs. inclusion
            External vs. internal locus of control

            I saw three of them being best addressed through the legal mandates and moral imperative of Least Restrictive Environment and the fourth largely a professional norm issue.

          • Prior to the use of dissonance the resonance toward a new target must be established so that when the disruption starts people have a place to gravitate to.

            We began with examination of the Common Core expectations in ELA. Teams of teachers reviewed the grade level expectations and developed a sequencing of how to best match the k-12 anchor standards to our student’s current functioning with an eye towards reaching grade level achievement as would any general education curriculum would expect.

            Marzano teaching strategies were introduced.

            Special Education teachers were HOUSSE’d into specific content areas to establish focus on grade level expectations and course were established that were grade level (i.e., from math 9 to algebra 1).

            Teams of teachers were set up into textbook review committees to expose them to content standards aligned with their new content focus and to become familiar with working as a team around content.

            An evaluative rubric on decision making was established and shared along with data based decision making concepts.

            PLC’s were established.

          • Dissonance was then applied.

            The seclusion room at PCS was closed and the use of the two at Edenwald were called into question.

            People were advised of the movement toward dually certified teachers and advised to become dually certified to increase their value to and job security within our district.

            We stopped automatically classifying students and began to use an RTI approach which education students. This created a greater need for content certified teachers and a reduced need for Special Education only certified teachers. At the same time we moved from 8:1:1 to a less restrictive model of 12:1:1 reducing the number of staff in general.

          • What is even more sad is that the superintendent is spending hours copying text from a book into this blog as a hopeless effort to explain and boast about his rationale for change. For a man with higher education in psychology, you should have been able to facilitate change by treating people with dignity and respect. I believe, if not all, most staff members would agree that change was needed; however the manner in which you facilitated that change was degrading, unprofessional and inhumane. Shame on you. Please just post the title and author of the book instead of wasting valuable school hours typing it into the blog. Also, if you were honestly trying to explain yourself to the mass, would it really include insulting and harassing Mr. Portelos, or is that just a way to make you feel better about yourself. Don’t forget, you were an art teacher right? Should we assume you failed at that? Are you really transferring your own issues onto Mr. Portelos?

          • Understanding that the district was set up as a collection of individual contractors each in his/her own room teaching what he/she felt was best, little time set aside to meet with colleagues around important organizational goals, it is easy to understand why so many individuals operated out of the level 1 decision making rubric”what’s in it for me”. The use of regularly scheduled (frequency) PLC’s with assigned topics for discussion (infusing ELA anchor standards into lessons, review and discussion of Marzano high yield teaching strategies, textbook review and training, creating quality SLO’s, developing and monitoring student progress through individual learning plans, etc) created the conditions where professional worked together to solve common problems and evaluate themselves pushing the rationality of decision making up the rubric toward “taking into account a variety of perspectives for the best interest of students”.

          • Those initial PLC’s were team based within a grade configuration. It was not all inclusive. The District needed a more inclusive approach to eliminate the boundaries between worker groups (ie, teachers, teaching assistants, monitors, teacher aides). This is the reason for the ten districtwide PLC’s that used a random heterogeneous selection method ensuring that all constituencies were represented at each District-wide PLC. These PLC’s were also given a standardized (Consistent frequency) schedule. These groups also were given greater control over District evaluation and planning (increased amplitude).

          • So the frequency of the meetings with the topics created regular timed events in which individuals worked in collectives to address the areas of increasing student success in a least restrictive environment. A resonance toward the goal was being set and nurtured. The focus began to move away from the old way of doing business and began to embrace the new vision. The most salient example of how this professional norm changed is that we went from not having PLC’s, to having PLC’s with assigned topics from administration, to having a district-wide PLC create the topics of the school based PLC’s based upon rational decision making processes.

          • The PLC example is one of progressive rhythm using increasing amplitude. School based PLC’s are started to begin the experience and process of teacher directed self study, evaluation and program development. A district wide committee becomes the PLC steering committee increasing the amplitude of importance of the PLC and facilitating the concretization of the new professional norm. This district PLC increases the empowerment of all staff in the important topics that are evaluated and discussed. This empowerment is the antithesis of what the antagonist would lead someone to believe and is critical because as presented earlier there were some drastic changes on the horizon as we moved from a self-contained model to a content based one. As individuals lost positions they were recruited to begin their litigation. They knew the Union had no legal footing to stop the change so they needed an anchor point when the evasion of tenure concept fell through. The fall back plan was to demonize the superintendent and every initiative from his office. This tactic failed because a critical mass of the new professional norm was established years prior through the frequency of events of PLC’s. No matter how hard the antagonists tried, the new norm was on the move and they were unable to change it using dissonance and amplitude alone.

          • So let’s take the two examples above with respect to the elimination of a reliance on seclusion to illustrate measured amplitude and progressive rhythm.

            At PCS not only did the teachers use seclusion over 8000 times in a school year but they only documented it 294 times. This is a gross violation of student rights under IDEA. The level of concern resulted in a total elimination of the seclusion room since there were no BIP’s that were written allowing for seclusion. I had the m