Posts Tagged 'ROCKWOOD SCHOOL DISTRICT'

Rockwood School District Publishes Student Health Records Online

It seems that the Rockwood School District in St Louis Missouri just can’t take a break. continues to make poor, unconstitutional decisions.

First, in an effort to receive vouchers from the state, schools implemented a “Run for Recess” requiring students run laps around the track before participating in what was left of their 15 minute recess. Next, it was discovered that the district  fingerprints all students without parental consent. Then came the state audit which unveiled what we already knew: the district was funneling millions of dollars to school board president Steve Smith (who later resigned, but not before throwing Superintendent Bruce Borchers under the bus. Borchers will not return to RSD).

The fingerprinting scandal broke when a mother noticed that someone else was eating off of her child’s account. Upon inquiry, she was told that “someone else’s fingerprint must be similar to your son’s”. Huh? Fingerprint. The district refused to comment on the issue, but later published an *opt-out* document for parents to restrict the child from being fingerprinted…but there is no indication anywhere on their website which informs parents of the standard practice. In other words, if the parent is not aware of the fingerprinting of their child, they would have no way of knowing to click on the opt-out link. This also gives the district the opportunity to implement this measure, though unconstitutional, and without parental consent of a minor, by default.

fingerprint opt out (2)

Now it has been discovered that the Rockwood School District has taken upon itself to actually publish student health records online. These records can be found on the district’s “Infinite Campus” site which is a database for all things and anything the district wants on record. Personal information. Information that goes directly into the Longitudinal Database as part of Common Core Standards. You can find all you need and more on the Longitudinal Database, as well as Common Core at Missouri Education Watchdog.

health record (4)

This database, though on a secure webpage, still jeopardizes student privacy rights. Personal information of a minor can not be shared or published without parental consent. RSD was approached on this issue, to which they (per their M.O.) remained silent and refused any comment regarding these publications. This database, of course, may be subject to sale, where another entity would have full access to this information. Worse, this database may also be seized by the federal government as part of  Common Core integration.  It seems that as long as the parents don’t know what is going on, RSD will continue to institute whatever practices they desire, despite the law.

No news is bad news…for Rockwood School District residents.

Before I say anything else, please don’t buy the Prop S “safety” Sandy Hook boogeyman argument. In fact, Rocked Schools District (RSD) eventually backed off of that one as soon as we started calling bullcrap on them… Yet, they expect you vote for it.
Whether you do, or do not buy into the Prop S hype, scroll below for just how little of this bill goes to “safety” for the students. After all, a vote for Prop S is a vote for the children, and anything bit is *anti-children*. Yet, they expect you vote for it.
Last Thursday, I requested my PSO to go to the Rockwood School District meeting to present a request. That request simply consisted of the district linking to the 2013 Missouri State Education Budget along side the link for Prop S on their website. Both the PSO President and the school Principal absolutely agreed to the request.
The very next morning, I received a phone call informing me that my request had already been *heard*. I was told that once my request was entered as “new business” later that night, it would automatically be sent to the Rockwood School Board for a vote…AFTER the election.
Now, I had not shared my request with anybody, and I was the only person in the room who was not a member of either the Board or Staff. How this information had already found its way to the district I can only guess.

Fact is, Prop S is a gateway. It is the gateway to saying “Yes! I will have some!…and more, and more and more!” This is a gateway to Glen Construction who has already over billed the District, who paid the same bill twice to Steve Smith, the then Board President, and current Board member. Oh, snap! Did I mention that Glen Construction is his company and he pocketed 2.1 million dollars  per year on these district contracts? Yet, they expect you vote for it.

Yea, Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweicht found them guilty on all charges. But after a 2 year warning of an active audit, it was only 1 month ago did the Board vote to “do things differently” (even though Smith claimed to recuse himself during some active votes on construction bids). Yet, they expect you vote for it.

Of the proposes 38.4 Million, Glen Construction stands to take 23+ of it…while the “safety” allocation is a mere 7%. Yes, you heard me. Seven percent is going to the safety and security of our children,our students. Yet, they expect you vote for it.

Wow! And they are concerned about locker rooms that are no bigger than the rest of us grew up with? Or new carpeting in cafeteria and hallways.Oh! The Humanity! (also, cafeteria (kitchens) and hallways need to be able to be doused in bleach daily…hardly condusive to carpeting)
Where will it stop? They play thisboff as a “No Tax-rate Increase”…which will pay off 69 cents by 69 cents per year. Well, that covers a span of hopefully 13 years…but considering the number of residents who have not paid their neighborhood fee to years, and years and years (minus the tax-cheats) it could be much longer.
Could you imagine if people just stopped voting FOR this rubbish 20 years ago? We would see the fruits of labor (stretched to capacity because it’s limited), and see a tax decrease at the same time.

Have these people noticed the economy? It isn’t something that will turn around over night, yet they expect you vote for it.

At this point, this is no longer a vote “for the kids”, it is a vote for control. It goes on and on. Of they win this proposition, be danged sure you will see another in two years. It has happened every two years since the first one passed.
Trust me, they’ll find the funds elsewhere without Prop S passing…after all 18 BILLION of the 23 B alotted per budget year in the state of Missouri goes directly to teacher’s pensions. You heard me right! 18 billion of the budgeted 23 billion is pensions.

Wanna know how much goes straight to administration under the school superintendent?
Yeah, cuts can be made all around without further burden to the tax payers. The money is there.

Since the Rockwood School District refuses to link the state budget to their site, I have linked it to mine.
Numbers don’t lie.

Now, as much as the PSO President(s) and I do not see eye to eye at all, I respect their work and their willingness to bring this matter forward. And as diplomatic as our school Principal (who I absolutely love, by the way) is, I have yet to receive a response, aside from my insider who told me exactly where this would go in the first place.

No initial response. No “hey, this is how it went” because, unfortunately, I know exactly where it went…and we all would have heard otherwise. Or a “sorry for transparency, finally!” Nope. Nada.

Them, this hit my inbox last night. Sounds like if they child figure out a way to get the busses running on the down-low to drive votes in for this proposition, they absolutely would!:

Mark your calendar for Tuesday, April 2. It’s Election Day and voters will be considering Prop S, a no-tax rate increase bond issue on the ballot. Below are some answers to voting information.

When are polls open on April 2?

Polls will be open at 6 a.m. and will close at 7 p.m.

Who may vote?

Any Rockwood resident who is a registered voter may vote in this election. Anyone needing to register to vote or needed to update his or her voter registration information may do so at any Rockwood school, or any St. Louis County library or City Hall. The deadline for processing registrations, reinstatements and transfers is March 6 to be eligible to vote in the April 2 election.

Where may I vote?

Just prior to the election date, each registered voter will receive a postcard from the election office designated the polling place for the election.

I’m out of town on April 2. May I vote by absentee ballot?

Yes. St. Louis County registered voters wishing to cast an absentee ballot should call 314.615.1800. In Jefferson County, call 636.797.5486. St. Louis County residents may download the absentee ballot application online.

March 27 is the last day absentee ballot requests are accepted by mail at the election office. Absentee ballots must be returned to the Election Office by April 1.

April 1 is the last day to cast an absentee ballot in person at the Election Office. The office is located at 12 Sunnen Drive in Maplewood for St. Louis County residents and 729 Maple Street in Hillsboro for Jefferson County residents.

How many “Yes” votes are required for the bond issue to pass?

The Constitution of the State of Missouri requires a four-sevenths (57.14 percent) majority for passage of the bond issue.

How will Proposition S appear on the ballot?

The ballot language for Proposition S is as follows:

Shall the Rockwood R-6 School District, St. Louis County, Missouri, issue its general obligation bonds in the amount of $38.4 Million Dollars ($38,400,000) for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, renovating, repairing, improving, furnishing and equipping school sites, buildings and related facilities in the District, including but not limited to (1) safety and health measures, (2) technology infrastructure and classroom technology and (3) maintenance of current facilities by continuing to fund major capital repairs and improvements, resulting in no estimated increase in the debt service property tax levy? If this proposition is approved, the adjusted debt service levy of the District is estimated to remain unchanged at sixty-eight cents ($0.68) per one hundred dollars assessed valuation of real and personal property. We invite you to join us on Facebook. Take the time to Like · Share the information about our students and schools.

Wisconsin, anybody?

***Rockwood Alert*** Rockwood Stakeholders for Real Solutions Requests Missouri State Audit

Well, it’s about time somebody moved on this.

As the economy continues to tank, taxes continue to rise in Rockwood, and that money is being funneled directly into the Rockwood School Board, not the schools.  Teachers are continually receiving 3% pay increase per year, while more and more taxpayers are losing jobs.  The justification for that? And I quote “Because that’s they way we’ve always done it.”  Seriously? I’m not buying that answer, because things now are not as they always were.

So when I received this about ten minutes ago, I was tickled:

IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 21, 2011

Rockwood Stakeholders for Real Solutions has sent a request to the Missouri State Auditors office to investigate the following stated in the email below.

To Whom It May Concern: Attached is a zip file containing documents connecting; 1. Rockwood School District2. Glenn Construction – the RSD Construction Program Mgr for the past 17 yrs.3. Rockwood School District Educational Facilities Authority – see below4. Steve Smith, Board President and employee of Glenn Construction

“The sole project of RSDEFA at this point is (i) the issuance of Leasehold Revenue Bonds, Series 2002 (Rockwood R-6 School District, St. Louis County, Missouri Project), in the aggregate principal amount of $8,210,000 (the “Bonds”), for the purpose of providing funds to (a) construct, furnish and equip an early childhood/special education center (the “Project”) (the Project Site and that portion of the Project being installed thereon being collectively referred to herein as the “Leased Facilities”), (b)  refinance certain prior equipment leases of the District, a portion of such equipment being situated at Babler Elementary School, which constitutes a portion of the Lease Facilities, and (c) pay the costs of issuance of the Bonds; (ii) lease the Leased Facilities to the District; (iii) enter into a Site Lease (the “Site Lease”) with the District under which the District will lease the Project Site to the Corporation; and (iv) enter into a Lease Agreement (the “Lease”) with the District under which the Corporation will cause the proceeds of the Bonds to be used to finance costs of the Project and will lease the Leased Facilities to the District in consideration of rental payments by the District which are to be sufficient, during the Lease Term (as defined in the Lease), to pay the principal of, redemption premium, if any, and interest on the Bonds as the same become due”.  source:  email from Scott Tate, Director of Finance, RSD


RS for RS feels this is, at the minimum, an “appearance of impropriety” if not a blatant conflict of interest.

1. Mr. Smith is an employee of Glenn Construction – the RSD Construction Program Manager for the past 17 yrs.
2. Mr. Smith is the President of the RSD Board of Education
3. Mr. Smith is the Vice President of the RSDEFA

On September 18th and 19th when RS for RS reached out to Glenn Construction for a meeting with James Glenn and Arthur Floyd, we were instructed by Steve Smith to provide him a list of our concerns and he would bring it to their attention.  
Please advise as to the proper step to file a request for an investigation.Direct all questions and request for additional information to; Eileen Tyrrell, Co-Founder and Spokesperson @ 636-222-8305.Respectfully,

Rockwood Stakeholders for Real Solutions
rsdstakeholders@gmail.com

Concerned Patrons of Rockwood Announces First Meeting This Weekend

I received the following message which I thought worth passing along to other Rockwood School District residents.  The District has squandered tax-payer money long enough. . .while we remain helpless to do anything about it. . .NO MORE!  Here’s our chance!:

Dear Patron of Rockwood School District,

Please place the date of July 10th on your calendar of events to attend!  At 2:00PM on that Sunday afternoon there will be a meeting held to discuss the recent circumstances involving the Rockwood School District and the hiring practices used to bring on two new administrators.  A loosely knit organization, tentatively going by the name of Concerned Patrons of Rockwood (CPR), has been formed for the purpose of putting this event together.  The primary focus of the meeting will be to have a discourse on whether the status quo should be maintained as it relates to RSD employment practices or answer the question…is there a better method?  Please forward this message to all your friends, neighbors, and other taxpaying citizens of the Rockwood School District, notifying them of this gathering and let’s see if we can have an earnest dialogue on this topic.  Here are the particulars:

What?: Concerned Patrons of Rockwood (CPR) Meeting

When?: Sunday, July 10, 2011 @ 2:00PM

Where?: Hidden Valley Ski Resort Lodge 17409 Hidden Valley Dr Eureka, MO 63025

Why?: For the betterment of the Rockwood School District!

We hope to see you then!

Sincerely,

Dennis D. Broadbooks

417 Oriole Hill Ct

Wildwood, MO 63040-1739

(314) 954-1212

I certainly plan to attend.  I hope to see you there!

Are “Fa Sho”, “Crunk” and “Imma’ ” Accepted Vocabulary Words on the MAP Test? They are in the Ferguson Florissant School District.

Interesting. First, we have the “Run for Recess”, then we discover that the Rockwood School District has digitally fingerprinted our children without consent (of which we are STILL waiting for them to address) , and now this.

Homeschooling is looking better and better everyday!

Missouri Education Watchdog was sent this sweet little ditty:

SUNDAY, APRIL 10, 2011

If you are a regular reader of this blog you know we have questions regarding standardized testing, particularly the MAP test. Many districts have completed one week of the federally mandated tests, while other districts will be starting this week.

The Joplin Globe reports MAP is just starting in Joplin and how intensive the process of the annual testing has become:

At many local school districts, preparation for the MAP goes on all year. The test helps drive curriculum, and students have been taking practice tests throughout the year.

The MAP assesses students at various grade levels in communications arts and mathematics, and gives parents and educators a means to compare students across districts. State and federal agencies in turn use it to grade schools, with implications for accreditation at the state level and for compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act at the federal level.

“It’s a high-stakes test,” Joplin Superintendent C.J. Huff said.

It is high-stakes in terms of the school’s point of view since it can affect accreditation and compliance for NCLB; and how do the schools respond to this pressure? The Globe reports:

West Central Elementary School offered a weekly “boot camp” for its students over several weeks, said Denise Legore, the school’s principal. The students, dubbed “privates,” are led by community members and mentors with either the rank of “sergeant” or “lieutenant.” The children sang in marching cadences and this year wore dog tags. They negotiated an obstacle course where they have to answer a question in order to move on.

I thought this was a bit odd. Children singing in marching cadences to prepare for a test? It apparently doesn’t happen just in Joplin. It’s happening in the Ferguson-Florissant School District as well. I received this question from a mother of a third grader in that district about the “Map Walk” sheet sent home with her child (you can find the words to the “Map Walk” at the beginning of this article):

Someone please read this and tell me what the heck is going on at my child’s school. What kind of grammar is this? And why are they teaching my child this? ….and what does “crunk” mean?

I was stunned at the sheet she referenced. There were misspellings, incorrect grammar, and rap slang being taught to students. I looked up the definition of “crunk”in an online rap dictionary:

adjective
crunk

To have a good time. Long as everybody get crunk in the drop — Lil Bow Wow (Bounce with me [2000].
To get crazy drunk. Originally, this term comes from the words crazy and funk. As opposed to popular opinion, crunk has had no relation to being coked up and drunk until recently. Because if its similarity of terminal sound with the word drunk many rappers have used it in reference with being crazy and under the influence. This and the intrinsical association with hard partying has brought about its association with alcohol.
A style of music most commonly made by rap artists from the southern states, aka the Dirty South. Some crunk artists (or groups) are Lil’ Jon, Pitbull, Lil’ Scrappy, Trillville, and David Bannerand also [[[lil’joe the prince of Crunk]] n N b o Crunkmusic
At a high level, as in volume: “He got the speakers in the trunk with the bass on crunk.” (Mos Def, from “Mr. Nigga” on Black on Both Sides).

I doubt many mothers of 3rd graders would be elated to see this come home in their child’s backpack. This mom has contacted the superintendent and the State Board of Education to determine if this is accepted educational practice.

I wonder how “boot camp” for MAP preparation is received in Joplin. I hope the cadences used there (I’m still trying to come to terms with this technique) are grammatically correct and don’t teach 3rd graders street jive (courtesy of the Urban Dictionary). Maybe that concerned mother should have her student do the “Map Walk” right out of the classroom when testing time comes around.


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Jen Ennenbach

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