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Archive for Monday, January 26, 2009

Superintendent proposes leaner administrative team

January 26, 2009

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Lawrence school Superintendent Randy Weseman wants to streamline administrative personnel in order to save money.

If the school board approves Weseman’s proposal, one administrative position will be eliminated, saving $60,000.

Here’s the plan: Frank Harwood, division director of technology, would replace Mary Rodriguez, chief operations officer, when she retires on June 30.

An information resources specialist, Chantel Nicolay, will step into a new position -- division director of technology and library media services. The position combines her current tasks with the duties of the technology director.

The information resources specialist position will be cut, saving about $60,000.

The board, which is expected to consider the plan at its meeting Monday night, must approve the changes before they would take effect on July 1.

Comments

macon47 5 years, 2 months ago

if anyone remembers, or cares to when mary was promoted to personel,it wasnt long before they found she wasoverwhelmed, and a second side by side postionwas added to take her load.too many of these administrators weresimply teachers than could not teachso they were pushed up the ranksthe milk barn is full of these incompetents but hey, it is just your money, not theirs the board only does what it is toldand i cannot see this changing

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bearded_gnome 5 years, 2 months ago

or, the virtual smoking in the virtual boys' room! the virtual spitwods, and the virtual paddlings! ***first when I saw this, I thought they were getting "Lemur management."

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hawkperchedatriverfront 5 years, 2 months ago

Godot, what is wrong with you. The Virtual bus would be overloaded . But it would be fun watching them eat from the Virtual cafeteria...!!!:)

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Godot 5 years, 2 months ago

Here's a suggestion: let all Lawrence children enroll in Virtual School, eliminate the buildings, eliminate the teachers, eliminate the layers upon layers of administrative dead wood. Couldn't hurt, might help.

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barrypenders 5 years, 2 months ago

If they can do without the job now why did they have the job in the first place?Is everyone to believe that this is the only job that is useless?These fat cats in local government have been sucking off the public teet for long enough.

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Newell_Post 5 years, 2 months ago

Wow! One whole administrative position!

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hawkperchedatriverfront 5 years, 2 months ago

deskboy, semantics at play. Maybe the school district needs to be educated. huh?Challenge for Weseman and the board: Tell all staff, all of them. you get to keep your job and your current pay IF you come up with a way to cut an amount from the budget equal to 10 percent of your salary.So, Weseman has to find a way to keep his salary but save the district 10% of it? Teacher making $30,000 gets to keep the $30,000 but comes up with a way to save $3,000 from the current budget, not what they would like to spend. What they have spent so that next year it won't be spent.This savings going on in the district is yet to be seen. It will only be believable when the mill levy starts dropping big time.

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rusty2 5 years, 2 months ago

astonishing big cut there bud!and the interest costs on the new athletic fields is something like $250,000 per yearin interest for 10 years?

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budwhysir 5 years, 2 months ago

$600000 savings in salaries= an eventual, $500,000 in fees for new football field and tennis courts

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deskboy04 5 years, 2 months ago

That shouldn't be their mission. Their mission should be to educate the students. But they should look at cutting overhead to help make ends meet. And yes, they should do it as cheaply as possible.

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hawkperchedatriverfront 5 years, 2 months ago

Sigmund, they, the district has the best opportunity now to demonstrate good fiscal policy and management and get their spending back in line. Reduce the almost 60percent of tax revenue they are taking trom the county/city taxpayers. get it back to around 40 % or less.Make Douglas county, the cities within in it, the most attractive cities to live and do business in. Have the lowest mill levy in the state even without new business/expansion.It can be done. That should be their educational mission.

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Sigmund 5 years, 2 months ago

"Lawrence school Superintendent Randy Weseman wants to streamline administrative personnel in order to save money."It is funny/sad that this is news. Shouldn't this have been done all along by every level of local government? It takes a dramatic economic downturn before governmet even thinks about saving $60,000/year.

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hawkperchedatriverfront 5 years, 2 months ago

Public employees are a necessity but in Lawrence the public employess have failed to understand how they are being paid. The majority of employees in this town are civil servants but not very civil in their appreciaton of whence comes their income/livelihood.When the axe falls, it best make a clean cut or the tree will fall backwards and the damage is even greater.

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budwhysir 5 years, 2 months ago

Just a question of doom I suppose but "director of technology" and "information resource specialist" do not seem like terms used every day in the class room. If I read correctly, This move claims to make a savings during the layout of the current budget. Would there be any additional costs in other areas due to this change

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notnowdear 5 years, 2 months ago

Off-topic but important for schools.Public release date: 25-Jan-2009, University College Londonhttp://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-01/ucl-ntt012309.phpNew tactics to tackle bystander's role in bullyingA new psychodynamic approach to bullying in schools has been successfully trialled by UCL (University College London) and US researchers. CAPSLE (Creating a Peaceful School Learning Environment) is a groundbreaking method focused more on the bystander, including the teacher, than on the bully or the victim. The study, ... shows that an easily implemented school-wide intervention focussing on empathy and power dynamics can reduce children's experiences of aggression in school and improve classroom behaviour. (snip)"While school anti-bullying programmes are widely used, there have been few controlled trials of their effectiveness. CAPSLE is a psychodynamic approach that addresses the co-created relationship between bully, victim, and bystanders, assuming that all members of the school community, including teachers, play a role in bullying. It aims to improve the capacity of all community members to mentalize, that is, to interpret one's own and others' behaviour in terms of mental states (beliefs, wishes, feelings), assuming that greater awareness of other people's feelings will counteract the temptation to bully others. It also teaches people to manage power struggles and issues, both of which are known to damage mentalizing." (snip)Rather than simply targeting aggressive children, the CAPSLE programme worked to develop mentalizing skills in students and staff across the wider school community, beginning with bystanders perceiving and accepting their own (unthinking) role in maintaining the bully-victim relationship through abdicating responsibility and making an implicit decision not to think about what the bully/victim is experiencing. The emphasis was on the need to understand rather than react to others and thus avoid the problems created by a regression into the victim, victimizer and bully. (snip). The programme was found to generate more positive bystanding behaviours, greater empathy for victims, and less favourable attitudes towards aggression in CAPSLE schools. In these schools, fewer children were nominated by their peers as aggressive, victimized, or engaging in aggressive bystanding compared with the control schools. This was confirmed by behavioural observation of less disruptive and off-task classroom behaviour in CAPSLE schools.CAPSLE made no attempt to focus on helping disturbed children individually or picking them out for treatment. It did not set explicit rules against bullying, nor did it advocate any special treatment for bullying children. Nevertheless, over time the study found that bullies came to be disempowered, initially complaining that the programme was boring and should be stopped until gradually the social system tended to recruit them into more helpful roles. (please read on link)

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macon47 5 years, 2 months ago

throw the dog a boneeveryone is exiting and taking the money with themwhat a sad token to offer the taxpayerswaste and spend, waste and spendhalf of our property taxes go to schoolshow much more does randy want.all of itthey spend more than 60 grandon paperclips at the milk barn,what a joke

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OonlyBonly 5 years, 2 months ago

Big bunch of "streamlining" Randy all of one position!Did anyone say "Spin City?"

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deskboy04 5 years, 2 months ago

They could do a lot more to reduce administrative costs.

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not_holroyd 5 years, 2 months ago

Hawk salivating on two threads at once. There isn't a public salary he doesn't hate.

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ballfieldmom 5 years, 2 months ago

Topeka Public Schools has already researched and prepared a proposal for more than $10 million in budget cuts, put together through the efforts of a Budget Reduction Committee. In the proposed cuts is a 10% reduction in adminstrative positions totalling $850,000. Topeka is being very proactive with regard to what may be coming down from the legislature. Perhaps Lawrence should follow suit.

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notnowdear 5 years, 2 months ago

Any teacher who limits recess for kids deserves the worst those kids can offer.I think it is important to honor the expression of testosterone in boys.Public release date: 26-Jan-2009Daily school recess improves classroom behaviorAll work and no play may impede learning, health and social developmenthttp://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-01/aeco-dsr012609.phpJanuary 26, 2008 — (BRONX, NY) — School children who receive more recess behave better and are likely to learn more, according to a large study of third-graders conducted by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.The study, published in Pediatrics, suggests that a daily break of 15 minutes or more in the school day may play a role in improving learning, social development, and health in elementary school children. The study's principal investigator is Romina M. Barros, M.D., assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at Einstein. (Snip)According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, free, unstructured play is essential for keeping children healthy, and for helping them reach important social, emotional, and cognitive developmental milestones. Unstructured play also helps kids manage stress and become resilient.However, some studies indicate that children are getting less and less unstructured playtime, a trend exacerbated by the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. "Many schools responded to No Child Left Behind by reducing the time for recess, the creative arts, and physical education in an effort to focus on reading and mathematics," says Dr. Barros.A 2005 survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics showed that the 83 percent to 88 percent of children in public elementary schools have recess of some sort. But the number of recess sessions per day and the duration of the recess periods have been steadily declining. Since the 1970s, children have lost about 12 hours per week in free time, including a 25 percent decrease in play and a 50 percent decrease in unstructured outdoor activities, according to another study.The present study shows that children from disadvantaged backgrounds are especially affected by this trend. "This is a serious concern," says Dr. Barros. "We know that many disadvantaged children are not free to roam their neighborhoods, even their own yards, unless they are with an adult. Recess may be the only opportunity for these kids to practice their social skills with other children.""When we restructure our education system, we have to think about the important role of recess in childhood development," adds Dr. Barros. "Even if schools don't have the space, they could give students 15 minutes of indoor activity. All that they need is some unstructured time." "School Recess and Group Classroom Behavior," was published in the February 1 issue of Pediatrics. http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/content/full/123/2/431

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hawkperchedatriverfront 5 years, 2 months ago

The top heavy costs will continue until future businesses announce that Lawrence is too expensive and they will not come here. Others amy leave, shutter their company doors and let the buildings sit idle and rot away.This is an opportune time for the school board, city and county to take on the leanest, meanest budget cutting process and wage reduction and make Douglas county with the help of Baldwin and the other county cities, make it into the cheapest place to operate in terms of taxes.Then our local legislators need to take to task Westar and Black Hills and get energy costs down or go green and get rid of them. They are terrorists in our own community.

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anneht 5 years, 2 months ago

Well, that is a little tiny beginning, but it no doubt could be done on a much larger scale with no noticeable differences in how our schools are run. Top-heavy administraion is one of our major problems in Lawrence.How much longer can we endure the heavy costs of administration in Lawrence schools?

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hawkperchedatriverfront 5 years, 2 months ago

gee, $60,000 it took a PHD and that is all they can save

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