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Mont Pleasant’s hopes pinned on sixth principal

Mont Pleasant Middle School is seen on Dec. 4, 2013.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber
Mont Pleasant Middle School is seen on Dec. 4, 2013.
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In less than 16 months, Mont Pleasant Middle School students have seen five principals come and go. On Friday, they got their sixth principal, former high school principal Peg Normandin. They also have an entirely new staff of assistant principals. The longest-tenured assistant principal there now has been on the job for six weeks. The rapid turnover has exacerbated the many problems facing the school, city schools Superintendent Laurence Spring said. He said losing the ...

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comments

birmy
December 8, 2013
7:31 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Wait a second. I've read that teaching is easy! This doesn't sound like an easy job. So much so that anyone who becomes a principal runs for cover as soon as they can.

I read this. "McEvoy wanted every teacher to respond to tardy students in the same way — let them enter class quietly and punish them later, when the teacher had a free moment." How many "free" moments does it sound like they have???!!!! LOL!!!!!

THE ABOVE IS DONE SO THAT THE 2 ADMINISTRATORS ON STAFF DON'T HAVE 30-50 KIDS IN THEIR OFFICE FOR BEING TARDY. THEY PASS THE BUCK TO THE TEACHER FEELING THAT IT IS THEIR ONLY CHOICE. OTHER SCHOOLS MAKE TEACHERS LOCK THE DOORS AND AN ANNOUNCEMENT COMES OVER THE SPEAKER AND THOSE KIDS WHO ARE TARDY GO TO ATTENDANCE OFFICE WHERE THEY GET A DETENTION SLIP. HALLWAY MONITORS ARE OFTEN IN LARGE NUMBERS AND CARRY OUT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF ESCORTING KIDS FROM THE HALLWAY TO ATTENDANCE ETC.

We have learned the problem is not the paraprofessionals not being in the building. Its not the decisions of the Superintendent that led to this. Its not the merging of the school... I'd be interested to learn whose fault all of this is? Maybe we can start blaming the teacher this time? I've never read that in the paper before.

JIMOCONNOR
December 8, 2013
10:52 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Paraprofessionals can be seen as benign grandparents, aunts or uncles who reinforce the actual parent's agenda. They can offer comfort, or discipline with more latitude then administrators. They are often privy to issues long before administrators. Two or three well intended trained paras give higher return on investment than ballooning administration staffs.

safny
December 8, 2013
11:11 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

This school is way too big - physically as well as in the number of children. It even looks unmanageable. But the main issue is that there are too many parents in this city who DO NOT CARE whether their kids go to school and what they do when they get there. The reason that TARDINESS is a problem is that it frequently goes along with truancy and other issues. There are programs around this state that seek to hold PARENTS responsible for getting their children to school. New York State is infamous for its lack of help for children who are mentally or emotionally ill. How many programs are there in this county that provide mental health CARE other than medication for kids?? Now that is a story the Gazette should think about covering.

David78
December 8, 2013
12:22 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Where are all these behavioral specialists that were supposed to be hired by the district when Spring laid off all of those paraprofessionals? And, by the way, those paraprofessionals made MUCH less than these behavioral specialists!!!! So... Now let's add MORE administrators because that has been real effective at solving the problem!!!! Mr. Spring's "data" can't make up for good old-fashioned common sense. The work all of those paraprofessionals did cannot be replaced by a few behavioral specialist!!! I don't know why the district is acting shocked about all of this!!! This district is unbelievably mismanaged. Perhaps a change should take place with the top administrator. Bring back John Yagelski - hell bring back Eric Ely - he used more common sense than this superintendent!!!

jdar777
December 8, 2013
1:52 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

How about coming together as a team, including parents and students, without blame and anger, but determined commitment towards the common goal of becoming civilized and attaining excellence in all we do. Parents should be held accountable and offered parenting skills. If children were taught correct behaviors there would not be the complete disrespect and outrageous problems we have in schools. Anyone with foresight should have seen this coming- for years it's been brewing in a mixture of lack of consequences, anger, and the blame game. The root of the problem is disrespectful behavior stemming from lack of purpose and direction. No teacher, principal, para, or superintendent can change this in a few minutes at school. When we refuse to admit we need a code of right and wrong, when parents are unable to discipline their own children because of lack of knowledge or commitment, when children are untrained in self control, this is the result. We need all parties: parents, students, and school staff to determine together there is a problem and commit to its solution. Instead there is anger and blame and an overwhelming fear that things are out of control. It is not an easy road back to civilization and one person cannot alone accomplishment the journey. The trip to where we now find ourselves as a society was not instant either, we are the proverbial frogs slowly approaching the deadly boil. When all else fails, there's always prayer.

gina99
December 8, 2013
2:31 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Maybe if Mt Pleasant was safe principals would stay longer? There is no luck involved. Decades of ignoring gang problem in our City has taken its toll. Sick of blaming the parents. Other urban systems didn't have a terrorist as CSEA president and administrators that looked the other way. Mt Pleasant is not too big. If you can't fix it resign so that an experienced urban administrator can start solving the problems from years of neglect. We need a Charter School and we need it now.

jdar777
December 8, 2013
6:01 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Schenectady had a Charter school. From its inception, it was bullied out of business.

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