|PS24 Principal Donna Connelly|
NY POST October 19, 2015
Teachers at the Bronx public school whose principal removed their desks and chairs are getting their furniture back.
“All desks have been returned to the school and are going back into classrooms,” said Department of Education spokesman Jason Fink.
Last week, Donna Connelly, principal of PS 24, the Spuyten Duyvil School in Riverdale, ordered teachers to empty their desks and filing cabinets, then sent the furniture to the curb — to prevent teachers from sitting in class.
But after a Post report on the disturbing edict, Connelly sent out a staff-wide e-mail on Monday afternoon, saying, “Please be advised that I will be returning desks to all classrooms.”***************
October 18, 2015
The furniture is now piled in the basement, but what PS24 Principal Donna Connelly could have done is have all the filing cabinets and desks distributed to people in the neighborhood - whose taxpayer money paid for them in the first place.
Is there something that Richard Condon can charge Principal Donna Connelly with, to hold her accountable for this ridiculous waste of public property?
Ms. Connelly is on LinkedIn, and here is what Hillary Tankel wrote:
NYC DOE School Psychologist
"Dr. Connelly is down to earth and commands respect. She is open to her staff's ideas and opinions. She backs her staff and their ideas. She is a positive individual to work for and to work with. Can not say that about many principals I have work with."
and below is a comment from the worst schools in NYC (2010):
Betsy Combier, President
Principal forbid teachers to sit — so she threw out their desks, NY POST, October 18, 2015
A Bronx principal ordered her teachers to give up their desks last week, and had the furniture dumped at the curb — telling staff she doesn’t want them sitting in class.
Donna Connelly, principal of PS 24, the Spuyten Duyvil School in Riverdale, also told teachers to empty their filing cabinets, which she then discarded. With class in session, teachers were told to push their desks and cabinets into the hallway. Custodians then hauled them outside and piled them like trash on the blacktop of a school across the street.
“It’s the 21st century — you don’t need desks,” Connelly said, sources told The Post.
The diktat demoralized staff at the K-5 school, where diverse students perform well above the city average on state exams.
Connelly told teachers she “does not want them sitting,” an insider said, although though no chairs were tossed.
“Figure it out,” she snapped when staffers asked where to store their supplies, a source said.
As to where teachers should grade papers, Connelly answered, “Use the lunch room,” sources said.
Teachers had to remove student paperwork and items such as devices to help kids with asthma.
“All their stuff is in boxes, bags and on the radiators,” a source said.
Children watched as the furniture was cleared out, one said. “The kids saw their teachers upset about what was going on. It was dehumanizing.”
Photos of the desk dump made it onto a teacher’s Facebook page, sparking dozens of outraged comments.
“Thirty years in the system and I’ve never seen anything like this,” a Bronx teacher commented.
“How the f–k does someone with so little good sense become a principal? What kind of policy allows this to happen?” another posted.
“She is nuts!” wrote another.
Word spread to District 10 Superintendent Melodie Mashel, who on Friday ordered the furniture returned to PS 24 — and out of public view. But it was stacked in the basement, sources said.
Connelly did not return messages. A city Department of Education spokesman said the furniture was moved “to facilitate better instruction.”
Melodie Mashel's LinkedIn profile:
NYC Department of Education
Part- time Instructional Coach
In addition to functioning as a full time principal at a kindergarten - 5 Elememnatry School of excellence, also support Network 104 as an instructional coach. Work closely with principals in supporting and growing implemetation of Common Core Learning Standards as well as providing assistance to principals through the NYCDOE Quality Review Process.
All aspects of administrayion and supervision including curriculum design and implementation.
NYC Department of Education
Staff Development, teacher & parent workshops. Responsible for fedral/state/city compliance around ESL & bilingual education.
NYC Department of Education
Teacher of advanced students, Bilingual teacher, grade leader, professional development
Principal probed by DOE investigators
By Nikki Dowling
The DOE would not reveal any details about the investigation except to say it is based on complaints received a few weeks ago.
PS 24 parent Cliff Stanton said a group of one to three unhappy staffers lodged a complaint with the DOE claiming that Ms. Connelly misused fund-raiser money and is holding the assistant principal position open while her choice for the job, Manny Verdi, gets his AP license.
Mr. Stanton called the claims “absolute garbage,” “bogus” and “nonsense.”
“The sole purpose was to get themselves a headline story in the Riverdale Review,” he said of the staffers who filed the complaint.
Ms. Connelly agreed, calling the charges, “totally ridiculous” during a phone interview on Tuesday.
Since taking over in October 2009, Ms. Connelly has been no stranger to controversy. She received criticism almost immediately for naming Mr. Verdi assistant principal. After claims surfaced that Mr. Verdi was unlicensed, Ms. Connelly changed his title to guidance counselor. Since then, the AP position has been left unfilled.
Mr. Stanton defended Ms. Connelly’s decision to hold the AP position open, saying Mr. Verdi will have his license early next school year and that he and the principal make a “very dynamic duo who compliment each other very well.”
Ms. Connelly received more flak after PS 24 earned an F on the environment portion of its Progress Report, which is based by parents’ and teachers’ responses to a survey that asks questions about their school. Ms. Connelly, as well as parents, including Mr. Stanton and Joe Zizzo, attributed that grade to dissatisfaction with the former principal, who was removed, and Ms. Connelly’s myriad changes to the school.
“Change is happening and I think that maybe it makes people uncomfortable,” Ms. Connelly said.
Some of the changes Ms. Connelly has brought to the school include going from a five-day schedule to a six-day rotation, hiring new staffers, adding lunchtime enrichment classes and instituting a book-of-the-month club. Some said the restructuring upset longtime teachers who were used to the status quo.
“I’m not going to deterred from the goals that I’ve set for the school,” Ms. Connelly said.