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Monday, October 1, 2012

New Blogger: "Yo Miz" - Elizabeth Rose's Blog - on ACRs

Guidance Counselors? A Luxury Item At Best. Let’s Rotate ‘Em!


Breaking news from the trenches.  It seems the DOE has started sending “excessed” guidance counselors to a new school each week.  What a terrific idea!
Last year, they only put “excessed” teachers on a weekly merry-go-round.  It was fun.  I was there.  ”Excessed” guidance counselors and social workers were kept at the same school all year.
Seems that, as of now, some guidance counselors are being put into weekly rotation. They will be assigned to a new school each week.
This makes perfect sense to me.  Say Jasmine, a high school senior in the middle of applying to college, needs help with her applications.  It is so much more interesting for her to meet a new guidance counselor each week.  It’ll be fun for Jasmine to see how long it takes them to catch up with where the last counselor left off on Friday.  It’s good for Jasmine.  Week after week, she’ll learn more self reliance.  So she may miss out on a scholarship.  No biggie.  With 40 weeks to a school year, she’ll get to develop a deep and trusting relationship with 40 new counselors at no charge!
Consistency is way overrated.
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Francesco Portelos: We Will Occupy Warren Street

We will Occupy Warren Street

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Who had the brilliant idea of taking me out of the classroom? Instead of spending time creating engaging lessons or calling parents or researching the next lesson….I am starting a movement to unite an entire community.
I created www.occupywarrenstreet.org. As I put the site together I came across some really ugly numbers as they pertain to my school. I know my sons will not be going to a school ranked 939th out of 1,124. I have 10 years to change it. I already started and am picking up speed. Go ahead….submit 3020-A charges against me and try and terminate me. Will that not make me a concerned parent in the community anymore? No.
On June 6, 2012 I attended a Town Hall meeting at PS 58 and listened to my boss, Chancellor Walcott. An audience member asked “What about the problems at IS 49?” I believe his response was something like “We are aware of the issues at IS 49 and will be working closely with TWEED to work on a resolution.” What the chancellor, and everyone in the auditorium, including the CEC, probably did not know was that just 3 hours earlier a big riot took place at our school. As staff was waiting to sign out, a suspended girl sneaked into the building followed by a group of students. She proceeded to beat up a teacher and an assistant principal. That was June 6th and the assistant principal is still out. The teacher left for another school.
I hate to assume, but something tells me if you picked up our school’s issues and moved them to a more prominent section of Staten Island, they would be squashed immediately. Why are we treated differently? Are our children not worth a proper education?
This article is from June 2011.

In Staten Island, a school gone wild - NYPOST.com

We are still waiting for the support. Maybe the problem lies with the Children First Network that we belong to. Maybe they are too far away in Ozone Park Queens (where I am located). According to this link below, an School Leadership Team and the principal can vote and change the CFN they belong too. We didn’t told that.

Children First Network Overview

I will be bringing that up at the next SLT meeting. Oh wait, I cannot attend the SLT meetings because I am not allowed in the building. I can’t enter the school building because they think I was making lights blink in classrooms and running a real estate business. You can’t make this stuff up.
In any case, small little Warren Street will be occupied. It is just a matter of time. The community will have a voice now and not wait for PEP to have a closing hearing.

All local politicians, media and DOE officials are invited to attend the Occupy Warren Street meeting.
Asking for help has not helped me much in the past. See below an email I sent to District 31 Superintendent, Erminia Claudio, on Sunday January 29th. This was after my school account was suspended, I was told to be quiet at a UFT meeting, was called a “hindrance” to the community and asked to resign as UFT Delegate. I reached out for help. I went to my bosses boss. She was nice enough to call me on a Sunday evening. The very next day, however, I had THREE investigations called in on me as well as TWO disciplinary memos written. Hmm…thanks?
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From: Francesco Portelos 
Date: Sun, Jan 29, 2012 at 8:28 PM
Subject: Issues at Berta Dreyfus IS 49
To: eclaudi@schools.nyc.gov
Dear Ms. Claudio,
I hope this email finds you well. We have met before when principal Linda Hill has brought you to my classroom during a site visit. I am an Environmental Engineer who 5+ years ago decided to take a $20,000 cut in salary to create more engineers. I have created and run the IS 49 S.T.E.M. Lab for 5 years now. The success of the lab with my different way of teaching has been unimaginable. I’d like to tell you more in person. The reason I write to you is because in the last few weeks my teaching and my efforts at the school have come under attack by the administration. It all aligns with the time period when I started asking tough questions at the SLT and Union meetings that the administration didn’t want to address. All I wanted to do is write a goal for the CEP that addressed the 75% of the student population that was missed by the first 3 goals.
I am
  • a member of the SLT,
  • the UFT Delegate,
  • Coach of the successful Robotics Team,
  • Coach of the Cranial Crunch Team,
  • Creator of the very successful dreyfus49.com email and document sharing system
  • Creator of the online Progress Report system
  • SES tutor
  • JCC Beacon Computer Lab
  • and many more notable roles.
Please allow me to meet with you at your office and keep any meeting between us. I do not have all the details of what is happening. All I know is that for years I was praised and and called “an amazing asset to the school” as well as “a great find” by Linda Hill. I have received nothing but S ratings on observations including one that I requested to be done on me in December. I have great letters of recommendation from two Assistant Principals and Ms. Hill as well as by after school employers.
I wait to hear from you as I approach what may be a very tough week for me. In the mean time you can see these articles I am mentioned in as well as my very popular site that educates my students, their parents and siblings.
Other Links to view:
Follow me on twitter: @mrportelos