Monthly Archives: October 2015

More Information Requests Requiring “Vote” of TRSB

I sent the following information requests on Oct. 12 and Oct. 14 respectively.  School Board Chairman, Ms. Steenson, told me at a Facilities Committee meeting on Oct. 20 that, in order to provide the information  I requested, she would require a majority vote of the school board. The first board meeting subsequent to that discussion will be Nov. 5.

As background readers should understand that the SAU says they don’t break out the revenue and costs for paid pre-k and/or full-time kindergarten.  The full-time kindergarten program was sold to the board as a profit center but we have no way of knowing if the program is even breaking even.

Two questions arise from this:

  •  Why would the SAU not want to share the financial information from a program they boasted would be a profit center?  Is it credible – or acceptable – that they don’t track this program separately?
  • Why should a majority of the school board have the power to deny an elected representative information?

Dear Ms. Steenson and Dr. Metzler:

 We have these enrollment figures for Kindergarten
2014/15 2015/16
Atkinson 49 40
Danville 38 27
Plaistow 78 62
Sandown 47 67
Total 212 196
When the FT kindergarten program update was given to the board not long ago, we were told the number of students in half-day and FT kindergarten in each town.  I would like those numbers now as of Oct. 1 along with their tuition status  by town.
To be clear, here’s what I request the administration provide:
For each town individually:
  • Number of students  enrolled in half-day
  • Number of students  enrolled in full day, with additional details
    • Number enrolled at full tuition
    • Number enrolled with tuition fully waived (if any)
    • Number enrolled with tuition partially waived (if any)
      • Average tuition amount paid where partially waived
Please provide the above data separately for both 2014/15 and for 2015/16.
The Sandown 2015/16 enrollment clearly indicates district-wide programming.  Please provide 2015/16 enrollment by town of residence.  This is a separate question from the above.
In an unrelated topic, please tell me if any Pre-K students receive tuition waivers and if so how many are attending with fully or partially waived tuition?  What is the average tuition amount paid where it is partially waived?

Your attention to the information requests of a board member are appreciated. I am also certain that some members of the budget committee will also find this information useful.


Dear Ms. Steenson and Dr. Metzler:

The school board approves tuition rates every year. I cannot find a policy concerning the determination to charge a student the SPED rate.  How is this decided and by whom?
Does any student living outside the district who has an IEP automatically get charged the SPED rate or are there other considerations?
Do we currently waive any or all of SPED tuition to any out of district SPED students currently? If so, how many are paying the full rate and how many have their fees waived in part and in total?
Thank you for helping me understand this aspect of our tuitioning fee structure.
Best regards,
Donna Green
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Filed under Sandown Issues

Information Hide and Seek

Dear Readers,

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions from the actions of your administration.

Below you will see an exchange of emails between Arthur Green and the Superintendent’s Executive Assistant. It concerns the public release of a form disclosing staffing numbers that must be filed with the Department of Education in mid-October every year.

Mr. Green also requested the public release of the district’s end-of-year financial filings to the Department of Education. This was due to the DOE on September 1 but was not filed until mid-October. The district has replied that the numbers are not yet finalized and is not providing the document that was filed. Let’s be clear.  The document as it was filed is public and should be provided immediately on demand as required by the Right to Know law. Last year the form was posted to the district website for all to see.

From: Arthur Green <azgreen@comcast.net>
Date: October 18, 2015 at 9:47:38 PM EDT
To: Earl Metzler <Earl.Metzler@timberlane.net>, <trsb@timberlane.net>, <budcom2@timberlane.net>
Subject: Staffing Report A12B

Dr. Metzler

I have not seen the A12B Staffing Report for Timberlane as of October 2015 posted on the district web site.  Last year this report was posted immediately upon filing in mid-October, and I would hope that the intention is to post it in the normal course of business.  If this is not the case, please consider this a request under RSA 91-A for the report.

I will happily rescind this request if the report is posted publicly, which is the preferred result.

Thanks for your attention to this matter.

Arthur Green


From: Belcher, Catherine

Sent: Wednesday, October 28, 2015 1:45 PM

To: azgreen@comcast.net

Subject: RTK – Staffing Report A12B

Hello Mr. Green,

This email serves as notification that the item you requested under RSA 91-A (specifically A12 Staffing data) is available for pick up at the Superintendent’s Office.  There are a total of 18 pages.  The cost for copies associated with right-to-know requests is $.50 per page, thus your total is $9.00.

Kindly note our business hours of Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.

Thank you,

Cathy


October 29, 2015  7:45 a.m.
Ms. Belcher,
Thanks for your note.
As a clarification, this information in the past has been publicly available in the Budget Committee folder on the district website.
  • Will this year’s staffing report be posted publicly?
  • Will it be posted immediately after I pay the fee for the documents provided under Right to Know?
  • Will it be withheld from general public availability until I pay the fee?
Thanks for your help with this.

Arthur Green


Note:  Lest you think Mr. Green is being sarcastic in his email, you should know that in November 2014 Mr. Green obtained the school tax calculations for the district towns via a Right to Know request and was charged $20. Within an hour of him picking it up from the SAU office (because they refuse to email RTK requests) the information was posted to the Budget Committee website and was publicly available.

The SAU’s charge for their service to the Timberlane community is going up more than 16% in the coming budget. The SAU’s budget will have gone up more than 31% over two budget years. There will be a public hearing on the SAU budget on Nov. 18.  During this hearing, the board is expected to vote to increase the health insurance line so the budget increase will be more than 16%. Voters cannot change the SAU budget.  Only the SAU board has control of the budget but they act like it is an object of holy reverence – from the SAU’s lips to the board’s obsequious “yes!”  (The SAU board is composed of both the Timberlane and Hampstead School Boards.)

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Filed under Sandown Issues

Sandville Judgment on Reconsideration

The Towns of Sandown and Danville have received another thoughtful but unsupportive judgment from Judge Schulman.

Peter Bealo posted this judgment on Facebook.  The school board was not given this and probably won’t be as we have not been kept informed of any of the legal proceedings embroiling the district.

The reconsideration decision is dated Sept. 29.  The copy posted today to Facebook is time stamped received by the district’s lawyer on Oct. 21.

15.10.19 Final Order re Reconsideration & MTD (1)

Ah! No sooner do I post than I find a press release from the district in my email. Board communication by press release, gotta love it.

District Prevails in Motion for Reconsideration

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Cultivating Inflammatory Rhetoric: Citizens Against

These are postings by those closely associated with Citizens Against Withdrawing from Timberlane School District.  Some of these statements were posted on a Facebook site that does not permit comments by the opposition.

October 20 on Facebook Citizens Against Withdrawing from Timberlane School District:

Cathy Sargent Schoppe: Make no mistake about it… Jim Devine, Cindi Buco, Donna Green, Arthur Green, Cathy Gorman and Michael Costanza are bad for Sandown. Lies, misrepresentation, back room deals, abuse of authority, lack of transparency. The list goes on. Watching them in action and watching Jim Devine conduct town business is close to criminal. They make constant complaints and accusations of the SUA [sic] and School Board for actions and behaviors that they themselves display. They are out of control and will stop at nothing to get to their main goal; complete control of the town, town budget and education of our children. This issue is far from over. Please stay involved.

[This posting was “liked” by a Facebook ID “cubscouts.”  Who is behind that ID and are they an official with Sandown Cub Scouts?]

Oct 17 on Facebook Citizens Against Withdrawing from Timberlane School District:

Michelle Livingston: We have already established that the Green Coalition will twist the rules to suit their purpose and King Jim will most certainly make a motion to reconsider this vote. We are not safe. This is not over. At the risk of sounding paranoid (I am), we will be fighting this fight until 2018 when all of them are voted out of office. The only way to correct the wrongs that they have inflicted upon OUR town is to replace them.

October 16:

” ‘I fear the snake will raise its head again, but unlike Medusa, we’re now aware and we have shovels,’ [Mark] Sherwood said.”  Eagle Tribune, page 4, “Sandown to remain in Timberlane District,” by Kiera Blessing

October 15:

Don’t let Donna Green throw Sandown taxpayers under the bus!  [Headline on a postcard sent to every household in Sandown.]


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Filed under Sandown Issues

Awaiting Replies to Information Requests UPDATE

[UPDATE: At the Facilities Committee meeting on Tuesday morning (Oct 20, 2015), Ms. Steenson told me I would have to make a motion at the next school board meeting in order to get the board’s permission to obtain this information from the SAU. I trust she will give me an opportunity to do so at the November 3 meeting.]


Here are my latest information requests of TRSD.  They were sent to Chairman Steenson on Oct. 12 and 14 respectively. I sent a reminder out to Ms. Steenson today.

Dear Ms. Steenson and Dr. Metzler:

 
We have these enrollment figures for Kindergarten
2014/15 2015/16
Atkinson 49 40
Danville 38 27
Plaistow 78 62
Sandown 47 67
Total 212 196
 When the FT kindergarten program update was given to the board not long ago, we were told the number of students in half-day and FT kindergarten in each town.  I would like those numbers now as of Oct. 1 along with their tuition status  by town.  
To be clear, here’s what I request the administration provide:
 
For each town individually:
  • Number of students  enrolled in half-day
  • Number of students  enrolled in full day, with additional details
    • Number enrolled at full tuition
    • Number enrolled with tuition fully waived (if any)
    • Number enrolled with tuition partially waived (if any)
      • Average tuition amount paid where partially waived
Please provide the above data separately for both 2014/15 and for 2015/16.
 
The Sandown 2015/16 enrollment clearly indicates district-wide programming.  Please provide 2015/16 enrollment by town of residence.  This is a separate question from the above.
 
In an unrelated topic, please tell me if any Pre-K students receive tuition waivers and if so how many are attending with fully or partially waived tuition?  What is the average tuition amount paid where it is partially waived?

Your attention to the information requests of a board member are appreciated.


Dear Ms. Steenson and Dr. Metzler:

The school board approves tuition rates every year. I cannot find a policy concerning the determination to charge a student the SPED rate.  How is this decided and by whom?
Does any student living outside the district who has an IEP automatically get charged the SPED rate or are there other considerations?
Do we currently waive any or all of SPED tuition to any out of district SPED students currently? If so, how many are paying the full rate and how many have their fees waived in part and in total?
Thank you for helping me understand this aspect of our tuitioning fee structure.
Best regards,

Donna Green


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Filed under Sandown Issues

A Vision for Our Furutre

Here is the slide show that was presented to the Sandown Board of Selectmen on Thursday night, October 15, 2016.

BOS presentation October 15, 2015 A Vision for Our Future

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Filed under Sandown Issues

The Oct. 15 Withdrawal Presentation at Sandown Town Hall

Here for your viewing pleasure is a recording of the Town Hall presentation arguing for the feasibility of a separate Sandown School District.  After this presentation the Sandown Board of Selectmen voted 3-2 to prevent the withdrawal plan from being submitted to the Board of Education.

The slides will be posted here on the weekend.

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