Wednesday, January 7, 2015

AM~Erica Will Be One to Call Out the School

So anyway...

Today is cold in the midwest. This is super important to know.

There was a major windchill advisory in place. It was starting at low temps, with much lower windchill temps. The temperature and windchill was going to continue to just...keep...dropping...

After just over two-weeks off for "winter" (cough-cough-CHRISTMAS-cough-couh) break, today was supposed to be the first day back to classes for the kiddos in our public school district. I know I was READY for them to go back!! I love my kiddos, but they needed a change of scenery. And to see their friends. And to get them out of the house. They needed to go back! (said with all the love of a mother)

As we switched between all the local news stations, the numbers might have been different, but we knew that today was going to be miserable outside. To the point that we were discussing whether or not school would actually be called off.


Our school district has changed some stuff up this year in how things would work for a regular school day & for inclement weather cancellations.

1. No more half/shortened days. It's a full-on regular school day or nothing.

2. Instead of just calling off school for nasty weather, there would be the 2-hour delay option implemented, if the superintendent deemed it necessary.

See, Missouri is ridiculous when it comes to education right now. Between horrible standardized testing & attendance expectation extremes as a carrot to hang in front of districts & individual schools to stay accredited & tax payer funded, it's put the schools & districts in an ugly position of trying not to consider our children dollar signs. But they are calling our kiddos dollar signs.

Yes. We even have each school displaying what percentage of school body attendance is present, and they like to keep it in the forefront about how high the attendance needs to be to maintain tax dollars. Oh...and the teachers need to just put their actual teaching plans to the side & worry about how the kids are going to make the school & district look on impossible standardized tests that make no sense.

Don't get me started on the common core B.S. coming our district's way.
Brace yourselves, parents.

We also have a former superintendent who used to like getting a lot of face time on local media. About once a week, we were seeing his face on the screen for something! He left before he could implement year-round-school, and went to a neighboring school district, just on the other side of the state line. We still see his face on the local news media from time-to-time.
When a new superintendent was being searched for, it was absolutely no surprise to the local public they went in-house. Not much would change.

Although seemingly more approachable & connected, quite often we can see our district superintendent's face gracing the screen of our televisions with how great our district is. Some days, our current AND former superintendents will appear on back-to-back stories. A whole lot of face time...


I told you all of that to get to what happened today.

Come time to go to school, several major school districts were waiting for another one to close. So they tested the busses. The busses were running. So now it was about the attendance situation & that state carrot being dangled...
Guess they needed to get the dollar signs into the building.

No child should have been waiting out in this cold. Even though it was said that just wait for 5 minutes before the bus comes, would chill to the bone in less than 2 minutes, even being completely bundled and layered. Also, the busses were not exactly running on time waiting for kids to get to the bus. That 5 minutes turned into 10.

I'm glad we could drive our kids to the bus stop or to school...but not everyone has that luxury.

My youngest was so angry about having school today, I'm surprised he didn't stage a protest at his school. I also know that attendance was down in many area districts due to frustrated parents wanting to keep their kids safe at home. I don't blame them.

However, surprise-surprise, our district superintendent got screen time this afternoon defending the decision to have school. He used the story about how there are kids who need the warm meal, and they could come & get a coat, hat &/or gloves if needed from the schools' surplus.

Don't get me wrong!! There are a whole lot of students in our district who are on the free or reduced lunch program. Really too many. I'm certainly not saying they need to fend for themselves, but what I'm saying is that there are so many that truly are underprivileged. The school district does try their best to make sure it's not open knowledge so they are not looked down upon by other students. It does not change those numbers, however.'s my biggest issue with the superintendent hiding behind the fact they are in a position to have school to be able to give out these items & make sure they are fed is this: they still had to work getting to school in the bitter cold first. They didn't receive the items before they had to head out! This does not make one look like some hero. Especially when the rest of the parents in the district already know our kids are viewed as dollar signs & not individuals.

Our superintendent has done a fairly nice job of appearing approachable (I know, I know...I already said that) by being on Twitter & being fairly regular and open on tweeting with those who have questions for him. Even the students! This was working out fairly well...until today...

Now then, the anger levels were running high today - both from students AND parents. From what I understand, tweets towards him today were less than complimentary. Some questioning his actual reasoning for staying open, but there were inappropriate tweets telling what certain individuals ACTUALLY felt.
Well...this led to a couple of things:

1. From what I understand, instead of handling himself professionally, he actually went on a large blocking spree, whether they tweeted him on this situation or not.

2. According to the news (surprise-surprise), he had good humor about all the tweets & how he couldn't keep up by tweeting this:

That's right. This was a gif of "Bruce Almighty" being retweeted about how quickly he was BLOCKING people!! That, my friends, is not in good humor, as the news graciously said about him. This is obnoxious.

OK, here's the deal...
Our district has already mismanaged cold weather days. There has been twice that should have been the late start option, and one day fully called off.

There was a windchill day that should have been a late start; it was a regular day.
There was a snow day that should have been a late start; school was called off all day.
There was today's windchill & falling all day & should have been called off; it was a regular school day.

As of this moment, I'm not sure what will end up with these words & points. Anyone who has been raising concerns has been put on some kind of roadblock, even by the school board, as being more closed off to listen to parents & students, and instead just having more & more rules put in place to where it has become speak-by-appointment-only, or be completely blocked (see above tweet) or ignored.

Looks like many other districts may be in this type of situation. And parents are mad. And students are mad.

This goes to the the governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, on down. The education of these kids, and the overall wellbeing of these kids, are not being considered fully when the almighty dollar has a grip on you.

Our kids are not tax dollars. Our kids are not bargaining chips.

Today was ugly in the Kansas City area. I'm proud of the districts who were smart enough to close on a day that children could have been really dangerous for them. I thank you.

As for the other districts...
It's disgusting what you have done. It's disgusting when you hide behind charity to make your case.

And, from what I understand, many schools didn't have the attendance hoped for due to the parents using actual common sense. 

We are the tax payers. Our money should be going to the education AND welfare of our individuals. Not some blanket form of implementation that is blind to nearly all of this.

Something needs to change! And you are not hiding anything. No more excuses. We can see through your veils of charity. We know what this is about. Take some responsibility & own up to it. Tell the Governor he won't bully you into mainstreaming our children into a mold they don't fit into. It's despicable.

Now then, in the morning, it will be frigid. It will warm up later in the day. Will we attempt a late start? Or continue on as a regular day? I won't complain as much about tomorrow being a regular day...but you owe it to the kids to let them know you might actually care about them. I would hope.

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Just got the call that our district will enforce the 2-hour late start option since, unlike today, the weather will be cold in the morning, but will warm up.
Think he learned from the major lashing he received?

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