Archives for the month of: July, 2015

The Board renewed the Code of Conduct on July 7, as one item in a consent agenda.

The entire board has now ratified:

  • Contacting police for all “electronic media crime”
  • Failing to inform students or parents what an “electronic media crime” is and how severely it will be punished by our current superintendent
  • Requiring students to apprise themselves of due process
  • Questioning students concerning infractions that will result in severe punishment without informing parents
  • Questioning students concerning infractions that will result in severe punishment without an advocate present

The entire board has opted to set no limits on:

  • The number of hours a student can be held for questioning (nearly 3 hours for one middle-school student in ‘computergate’)
  • The leveling of threats of permanent expulsion during questioning in order to obtain confessions or evidence against other students

Board of Education

Phil Whitney, President
(914) 591-9175
phil.whitney@irvingtonschools.org

Catherine Palmieri, Vice President
914) 693-6896
Catherine.Palmieri@irvingtonschools.org

John Montgomery
(914) 591-9352
John.Montgomery@irvingtonschools.org

Bob Grados
(914) 231-6365
Robert.Grados@irvingtonschools.org

Michael Hanna
(917) 750-8790
michael.hanna@irvingtonschools.org

Irvington Parents Forum at Yahoo Groups
Irvington Parents Forum on Facebook
Irvington Union Free School District
BoardDocs
Irvington USFD Board Meetings – YouTube
Data NYSED

From a blog written in 2005-2006 by an “old-school” teaching candidate attending Columbia Teachers College. Education Departments believe in teaching “skills” (“21st century skills,” “Habits of Mind,” etc.), not knowledge, and that’s the theme of her struggles in the program:

So I am at a graduate school of education, home of teaching people how to give urban kids a crappy education. I am currently using all my powers to ward off the incessant doctrinal attacks on being oldschool. An argument I had with my instructor yesterday should serve as an excellent starting point.

The class is a “methods class” on teaching social studies. We were practicing writing a lesson plan, as a class. The lesson was about Hurricane Katrina and its effects on New Orleans. So we dutifully planned the lesson, and then came to the part about what homework we were going to assign. After deliberation, the class decided that, as homework, our high school students would have to design a Hurricane Survival Kit.

I meekly raised my hand and said, “well, this is a very creative lesson, but I think maybe it’s a little too lite, especially the homework.” My instructor replied, “well, actually, I think it’s quite difficult. They have to use all this information from class and synthesize it and even maybe look up an evacuation plan for their city.” Right. Here would be the Hurricane Survival Kit from most of the kids: , where the blank space represents how they didn’t do the assignment because it was stupid.

I responded that, at my old school, god bless its hard heart, my ninth graders had 20 pages of reading a night for one class. And sometimes they didn’t do it, but when they didn’t, they failed quizzes. And eventually they would have to read it, or they would fail essays, tests, and the class. And failing a class meant summer school, or repeating the year. So a lot of them just did the damn reading. The rest of our conversation went like this:

Instructor (who is, sadly, very smart): Well, does reading 20 pages a night give you all the skills you need?

Me: Well, it sure does improve your reading.

Instructor: But what about life skills that are so important today?

Me: Those are great too, but there’s not really a lot of time for that, what with needing to read.

Instructor: See, that’s the thing: I don’t consider these other skills “extra.”

Me: But basically, reading and writing [we don’t talk about math] skills are really what you are going to need in college. They are the limiting factor here. Even if you have the other skills, if you don’t have reading and writing, you’re just not going to college.

Instructor: Well not everyone wants to go to college.

At that point, I sat back in my chair, crossed my arms, and looked resigned. Let me paraphrase the underlying thinking here. Basically, we must produce project-based edu-tainment to occupy the kids who couldn’t care less about school, meanwhile dooming the other kids (and there are more than you would think) to failure in ever attaining any kind of dreams of accomplishment. She argued that traditional education is a turn-off to urban kids and that trying to force them to do it will cause them to drop out of school. Hello. They already are, in huge droves. The schools that do what I’m talking about–the oldschools–are actually successful. I don’t think it’s easy to work with urban kids–they have a lot of really difficult things to deal with at a young age. But some of them can make it, IF we let them.

After class, in an email, she suggested we start a message board discussion of these ideas so they won’t take up so much class time. Excellent.
Welcome to School | 9/29/2005 | by newoldschoolteacher

From School Law, 35th Edition:

52. Student Discipline

Codes of Conduct

52:5. Is there a process school districts must follow to adopt or revise their code of conduct?

Yes. The code must be developed in collaboration with student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations; and school safety and other school personnel (§ 2801(3); 8 NYCRR §§ 100.2(l)(2)(i)). In addition, the code must be reviewed annually and updated if necessary, taking into consideration the effectiveness of code provisions and the fairness and consistency of its administration (§ 2801(5); 8 NYCRR §§ 100.2(l)(2)(iii)(a)). Districts may establish a committee comprised of similar individuals to facilitate review of the code (§ 2801(5)(a); 8 NYCRR §§ 100.2(l)(2)(iii)(a)).

School boards and boards of cooperative educational services (BOCES) may adopt the code or revisions to the code of conduct only after at least one public hearing that provides for the participation of school personnel, parents, students, and other interested parties (§ 2801(3), (5); 8 NYCRR §§ 100.2(l)(2)(i), (iii)(a)). Districts must file their code of conduct and any revisions thereto with the commissioner of education within 30 days of adoption (§ 2801(5)(a); 8 NYCRR §§ 100.2(l)(2)(iii)(a)).

Police involvement for “electronic media crime” originated with Superintendent of Schools Kris Harrison:

Police involvement was not discussed by BOE or parents (minutes):

Parents weren’t meaningfully consulted, and it’s impossible to tell whether board members knew that the police line had been inserted when they voted to approve the Code. Unless they sat down and read all 38 pages of the revised Code, they wouldn’t have known, because Kris wouldn’t have pointed it out to them.

Board of Education

Bob Grados
(914) 231-6365
Robert.Grados@irvingtonschools.org

Michael Hanna
(917) 750-8790
michael.hanna@irvingtonschools.org

Catherine Palmieri
914) 693-6896
Catherine.Palmieri@irvingtonschools.org

Phil Whitney
(914) 591-9175
phil.whitney@irvingtonschools.org

John Montgomery
(914) 591-9352
John.Montgomery@irvingtonschools.org

Irvington Parents Forum at Yahoo Groups
Irvington Parents Forum on Facebook
Irvington Union Free School District
BoardDocs
Irvington USFD Board Meetings – YouTube
Data NYSED

IUFSD Code of Discipline and related documents