Chariho School Parents’ Forum

May 23, 2007

“No Bid” contract awarded for RYSE

Filed under: RYSE,RYSE paperwork — Editor @ 12:30 am

In this evening’s meeting (May 22), the board voted 5-2-1 to award a contract to Psychological Centers, Inc. for “clinical services” associated with RYSE.   This contract was not sent out for bids. 
Yes – Day, McQuade, Polouwski, Jennings, Serra 
No – Abbott, Felkner
Abstain – Petit  

 Let me set the stage – (I will link, scan and post documents soon):

Before RYSE was developed we sent students to various service providers, depending on the services needed. 

A very loose classification would be that student who need intensive mental  and/or physical health services would go to Bradley.  Children with mild-severe autism normally went to Groden.  South Shore Mental Health Center and Forwardview are more catch-all facilities (although my knowledge of Forwardview is limited).   Technically, they all would all consider themselves full-service facilities, but this is the way it usually falls out.

These are general classification and there are cross-over services.  As an example, a student could go to Bradley for “day program” services (funded by school budget, ie. taxpayers) and at the same time the student could receive psych services from South Shore and also get diabetes treatment at the local hospital (both could be funded from guardian/parent insurance).

Now that we have RYSE, we don’t send them to these specialized location but provide those services “in-house.”  All under the taxpayers expense.

The “in-house” services (versus community based services) are required by the client evaluation – the client evaluation is made by the provider of the “in-house” services.  (more on this later)

In 2003 RYSE was developed and they needed to purchase the “clinical services” for the program. The RFP (request for proposals) was for : (edited for length)

Clinical services to approximately thirty students in grades 6 through 12 enrolled in a new clinical day program.  Services should explicitly address youth directly, their family, peer issues, school issues, and neighborhood and community characteristics.

Proposal must include:
1. specific reference to the scientific literature documenting the effectiveness of the clinical services approach to be used,

2. an explanation of as to how the services will address the known determinants of school problems at the individual, family, school and neighborhood levels,

3. staff levels in each specialty area,

4. how the services will be integrated and coordinated across delivery settings for at risk youth,

5. an explanation of how and when the services will be provided

6. the costs for the thirty students to be served,

7. an outline of the types of insurance and limits of your insurance

8. supervisor arrangement

9. evaluation component that will be utilized 

From this 2003 RFP, two bids were received.  One from South Shore Mental Health Center  (Charlestown) for $249,000 and one from Psychological Centers (Middletown) for $420,000 (PC Inc. does not have a website to link).  We went with the $420k deal.

This was justified by saying that South Shore did not supply a good answer for # 1 above(“specific reference to the scientific literature documenting the effectiveness of the clinical services approach to be used”).   

South Shore Mental Health (SSMH) uses a collaboration of “in-house” and community services.  They have also provided services to Chariho for 7 years before RYSE was developed.   They have been operating in our community since 1964.

Kathy Perry said South Shore “did not provide research supporting (the south shore program).  The 2003 South Shore bid provided “specific reference to the scientific literature documenting the effectiveness” (bid request #1) with this:

In 1999 the Surgeon General’s report identified “1 in 5 children experience symptoms of a DSM IV disorder.”  The SAMHSA and NIMH reports highlight the need to develop a system of care for these youngsters that includes:

* co-locations of community/agency services at schools to enhance access
* formal partnerships between school and community agencies

Also in 1999, Burns PhD, Duke University, identified the benefits of home and community based treatments.  In addition, LEwis PhD, Univ of Missouri supported home/school and school/agency collaborations.

On the other bid, Psychological Centers (PC) is a program that uses the Multisystemic System (MST).  This philosophy of treatment was developed by the MST Group, LLC., for the “serious juvenile offender” population.  They are not in our district and have been in operation since 2000.

Essentially, they still provide services for the family and student (just like programs using community collaboration) but it now does everything “in-house” with a team from one service provider.  

As an example, rather than use the local hospital for diabetes treatments (paid by insurance) we now have diabetes treatments at RYSE (paid by taxpayers).  

PC provided “specific reference to the scientific literature documenting the effectiveness” (bid request #1) with this:

The Multisystemic (MST) approach (Henggeler, Melton, Brondino, Scherer, & Hanley, 1997; Henggeler 1998) is an integrated, cost effective family based approach that provides interventions for youth and their families in a variety of domains, including peer groups, school, vocational, and community.  MST attempts to change their natural settings, and thus changes are more generalizable and sustainable than interventions occurring in settings other than youths’ own social ecological systems (eg. outpatient mental health clinics, hospitals or resident placements).

…. although intervening at the school level is theoretically consistent with the MST approach, MST has not included specific interventions that are school-based other than advocacy, ed consulting and the like.

Essentially, it was acknowledged that MST was developed for “serious juvienile offenders” and would be modified for a school-based application.  It has never been used in a school before and there is NO research specific to that population. 

Furthermore, Chariho is the only school in the country to use MST services at a school and the only school in RI to have an “in-house” “24 hour a day/ 7 days a week” facility for “mental health services.”

Chariho signed the original $420,000 contract, paying $150,000-ish more for PC than SSMH because, according to Kathy Perry, Special Ed Director for Chariho, the research supporting MST was better than that cited for a community based system. 

Because we are now using the MST model, today we signed the “no-bid” $669,000 contract because PC Inc is the “only licensed MST provider in RI.”  

Enough for now.  To be continued…

PS. I also want to apologize to Elaine Morgan for the way she was treated by the Chariho school board chairman. 

Mrs. Morgan is a foster parent of a student at RYSE.  She tried to tell us how her daughter was getting day program services from Bradley (taxpayer paid) and psych services at South Shore (insurance paid) but was bullied by RYSE to use their system (all taxpayer funded). 

When RYSE won and the student was placed in RYSE, the student had a breakdown and was then sent back to Bradley. 

Bill Day, the chairman of the board, would not let her finish her story because Kathy Perry (the Spec Ed Director at Chariho) said Elaine was wrong (Much, much more on this later).

*************************************

Recently – In the Land of Chariho – Dorothy Gardiner of the Hopkinton Education Option Committee (EOC) photographed the leaks at the Ashaway School (remember this – Chairho said there was no “emergency” with the roof and a day later 2 classrooms were evacuated because the ceiling was falling in), board members McQuade and Petit filed a complaint against the EOC at the Attorney Generals Office because the EOC didn’t file meeting minutes (although without a quorum they are not required to).  McQuade also notified OSHA because the roof contractor let Dorothy on his lift to take the photos.

Today – in the Land of Chariho – Bill Day (chairman of the board whose wife and son both work at Chariho – yes, more on this later too) refused to let someone who is a resident, a taxpayer and a client of RYSE, tell the board about a “consumer complaint.” 

See a pattern?

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8 Comments »

  1. Unbelievable to say the least! If I’m reading this correctly, South Shore Mental Health Center offered a program tailored to meet the individual needs of each student? Psychological Centers, Inc. offers a one-size fits all approach, and that one size has historically been suited for “serious juvenile offenders”?

    This is why I get so darned frustrated! Not only are they not watching out for our money, but they seemingly could care less about the kids too.

    Behind this decision is some kinds of quid pro quo…I can’t think of any other reason why the decision would be made to go with the more expensive service with the less flexible approach? Follow the connections and I’m betting you’ll discover why PC Inc. was chosen.

    Mr. Day has been a grumpy, old man for years (well before he was old). Your description of his actions indicate that he has gone past curmudgeonly and now has added arrogance to his repertoire. His treatment of citizens and parents is disgusting and while he may feel no shame, we all should feel embarassed to have him leading the School Committee!

    Do I see a pattern? Yes, the pattern is that government rolls over everyone in its insatiable thirst to grow. With growth comes jobs for families and friends, e.g. Mr. Day’s family. Of course, to accomplish continuing growth, everyone must play along, so back-scratching is the order of the day as everyone involved turns a blind eye.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 23, 2007 @ 10:01 am | Reply

  2. I will post more details soon but it’s much worse than what you have read so far.

    In 2003, PC Inc outlined some “performance measures” such as customer satisfaction reports and tracking how many kids are reintegrated into the regular school.

    But after 3-4 years of operation, they say that 95% of the satisfaction interviews were positive so they don’t use them anymore (and they were not available for me to see). They also don’t track reintegration, as per Kathy Perry, this is not a goal and the students at RYSE “will need these services for life.” However, in another email she admitted that only 2 of 12 students last year needed to continue mental health services after graduation.

    And the reintegration logic is also ludicrous. They (PC Inc) has determined that the students need their services indefinitely and should not be pushed to go back to the regular classrooms. But in this year’s class of seniors, 3 of 4 of them are going to or have applied for college. So they can handle college but they can’t handle a High School classroom.

    Plus there is the fact that in 2006 Chariho has 6 times more complaints filed at RI Dept of Ed than Coventry or Exeter and 4 times more Westerly. Kathy Perry said these are not RYSE kids but kids in the regular ed that have IEP’s. But who is in charge of ALL special ed? Kathy Perry

    Much, much, much more to come…..

    Comment by Bill Felkner — May 23, 2007 @ 10:16 am | Reply

  3. It just keeps coming.

    Is there publically available information about school administrators, e.g. education, past jobs? Specifically, for this recent “no bid contract”, I’d like to do a little research on the backgrounds of the players involved. As I noted, I think there are personal/professional connections here that lead to poor decisions, such as implementing RYSE and awarding a no bid contract to PC Inc. Perhaps, with past employment and education, the links will be found.

    Also, the claim has been made that RYSE exists in violation of the Chariho Act. This seems pretty clear to me (but what do I know?). Rather than wasting time looking at all the nonsense that has gone on and continues to go on, maybe the best approach is to get RYSE before the voters and eliminate the problem that way? I have no clue what would be involved, but it seems to me that something needs to be done, or at least clarified, about RYSE being in violation of the Act.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 23, 2007 @ 10:40 am | Reply

  4. CR,
    I have asked the Hopkintown solicitor and the Chariho solicitor to give opinion on the RYSE/Chariho Act issue. I have already asked a contract lawyer friend and it is his opinion a violation occured, but we will see what the town and school say.

    Please email me – I have some information regarding a previous question you had.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — May 23, 2007 @ 11:18 am | Reply

  5. I’m glad to hear that someone is looking itno the issue of the Chariho Act violation. Do you know if the Chariho Act is a legally binding instrument, or is it a guide for process which is not legally binding?

    I’m going to assume that the Chariho solicitor will take a pass on the question or find that RYSE is compliant. I assume this because I have to believe that RYSE was originally implemented with the knowledge, and maybe approval, of the Chariho solicitor?

    That said, hopefully Hopkinton’s solicitor will agree it is a violation. If that should happen, what would be the next steps? Would someone have to file “charges”? Would an outside lawyer need to be brought in? I would be willing to make a small donation to fight the violation should it come to that.

    Whether one is for or against RYSE, a violation of the Act is inexcusable and voters should have the final word. If we get the vote, Hopkinton could be the savior for the poor students caught up in this mess. Unlike the budget, which is passed based on the total votes, my understanding of the Chariho Act is that one town can reject any expansion of the scope of Chariho?

    I sent you an email and will try to remember to check Hotmail over the next few days.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 23, 2007 @ 11:41 am | Reply

  6. THe Chariho Act is law.

    We are also asking the Hopkinton solicitor to look into it. Richmond and Charlestown should do so as well.

    You may be right about the school’s solicitor. But if he is unique in his opinion, that is grounds for other problems and he may not want to jeopardize his reputation for this. I already have one legal opinion but I want some from involved solicitors.

    Legal action would be necessary to rectify the situation unless Chariho acquiesces without such prompting.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — May 23, 2007 @ 12:19 pm | Reply

  7. The other factor, that might motivate the School Committee and the administration to move in a positive direction towards a vote, is the possible liability of individuals who implemented the RYSE program in violation of the Chariho Act. If the Act is the law, then I would guess that those responsible for ignoring the Act would be lawbreakers. It would be interesting to find out if the administration or committee members asked the solicitor for an opinion during the timeframe when RYSE was being discussed? Of course, I’m assuming RYSE was discussed, but with this group, anything is possible!

    If any committee members currently serving were also on the committee when RYSE was implemented, I would be wary, if I were them, to continue to ignore the Chariho Act. While Mr. Ricci was not superintendent when RYSE was brought to Chariho, he was in the administration that violated the Chariho Act, and I would hate to see him further involve himself in actions contrary to the law.

    My desire is for the School Committee and the administration to do the right thing and comply with the Chariho Act. While I think the violation of the law was willful for some people (especially smirkers), I would be happy to have the vote we should have had 4 years ago and start fresh from there.

    Comment by Curious Resident — May 23, 2007 @ 12:41 pm | Reply

  8. […] RYSE contract discussion Filed under: 5th & 6th grade, RYSE, grade spans — Bill Felkner @ 4:21 pm The first post on RYSE and the no-bid contract has brought up several question and points.  I would like to post them here for those that don’t normally read the comments section.  I have edited for length and content – the original is located here. […]

    Pingback by RYSE contract discussion « Chariho School Parents’ Forum — May 23, 2007 @ 4:21 pm | Reply


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