Chariho School Parents’ Forum

October 18, 2007

Hopkinton Parent’s view of Chariho 2010

Filed under: bond — Editor @ 9:30 pm

There’s a pretty good moch-flyer over at Hopkinton Speaks from someone named Parents & Kids.  Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Parents and Kids Says:
October 17th, 2007 at 10:09 pm

My husband and I recently received the literature asking us to approve the Chariho bond. I’ve done some research with tons of good information from others and we put together our own literature in response. Please share this with your neighbors!

  1. It’s time to…

    Maintain Chariho High School

    Chariho High School was built in 1960 for students in grades seven through twelve. Today the facility only serves grades nine through twelve with projected declines in enrollment. Voting no on the bond will:

    • force Chariho’s management to properly budget on a yearly basis for maintaining the schools infrastructure
    • reinforce the rights of citizens to be fully informed about how their tax money is being spent
    • acknowledge that enrollment is decreasing, NOT increasing.

    It’s time to…

    Reconfigure Chariho Middle School

    Chariho Middle School was opened in 1989 when fifth and sixth graders were removed from elementary schools. Chariho’s 5th and 6th graders are exposed to the normal, but age inappropriate behaviors of teenagers. Voting no on the bond will:

    • send a message, for the third time, that parents and the community want 5th and 6th graders educated in the elementary school environment
    • create additional space for the community and school needs at the middle school

    It’s time to…

    Get community approval for the R.Y.S.E. program

    The R.Y.S.E. program was housed in temporary buildings skirting the Chariho Act which requires voter approval for permanent buildings. R.Y.S.E. claims to save money, yet Chariho administration remains elusive in providing any real numbers. Even the number of students housed at R.Y.S.E seems unclear, except to the extent that it is much less than the capacity of the building (100 students).

    Voting no on the bond will:

    • Keep R.Y.S.E. as questionable until the community is given the chance to vote on the program
    • reject the one size fits all approach to special needs education
    • stop spending local tax dollars for medical and psychological services

    It’s time to…

    Understand that state assistance is unreliable. Voting no on the bond will:

    • Recognize that funding from the state is still money out of our pockets
    • Reject unnecessary spending regardless of whether the spending is subsidized or not

    It’s time to…

    work together!

    Charlestown, Richmond and Hopkinton have been very generous with tax dollars to the Chariho District over the years. Yet, Chariho’s per student costs are among the highest in the country, while educational results are among the lowest. The three towns must work together to end business as usual and demand superior education at a reasonable cost. Voting no on the bond will:

    • send the message that we demand accountability and results oriented education
    • break the cycle of careless spending

    It’s time to…

    Put an end to unrestrained spending

    The proposed bond does nothing to address the problems at elementary schools. We can expect to spend substantially more money on elementary school infrastructure going forward.

    The proposed bond may make R.Y.S.E a ‘voter approved program’ simply by specifying a permanent building for R.Y.S.E.

    The proposed bond virtually assures that our 5th and 6th graders will remain in the age inappropriate middle school environment.

    The proposed bond increases space while student enrollment is projected to decline over the foreseeable future.

    The proposed bond raises the cost per student higher still, yet fails to recognize that new and improved buildings will not better educate our children.

    NO to Campus 2010

    It’s time to…

    Consider financially responsible alternatives

    November 6, 2007



  1. Hits most of the key points. I’d highlight the fact that the bond spends millions and still leaves us with all kind of problems with our elementary schools. With this bond Chariho is not done extracting the cash from our pockets.

    I especially like the emphasis on results at reasonable cost. Chariho has delivered neither. How anyone could support giving them more of our money is beyond me?

    Any chance the Building Committee will pay for mailing this “It’s time to…” fact sheet to the taxpayers?

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 18, 2007 @ 10:43 pm | Reply

  2. The building committee did sent out the mailer. Greg Kenney is the chair of that committee and has control of the $10,000. Ultimately, Ricci and the school board have final say on funds, but once it was approved for the bldg comm, they spend it as they see fit. Considering the legality of the issue, I would hope that they at least consulted with the solicitor (that doesn’t mean that the solicitor would go against the admin – we have seen that before – but at least Kenney should try to CYA).

    Comment by Bill Felkner — October 19, 2007 @ 7:58 am | Reply

  3. Lets talk about the Town Solicitor of Hopkinton ruling that the R.Y.S.E. program is legal.
    How many lawyers do we need to pay until you get it… R.Y.S.E.=LEGAL

    Comment by RYSEISLEGAL — October 19, 2007 @ 8:19 am | Reply

  4. I have little respect for lawyers, but if we now have two telling us it is legal, then I guess they’ve all decided which side of the issue is fanancially advantageous for lawyers. We live in Rhode Island…home to more lawyers per capita than any other state in the country. We should be proud.

    Regardless, legal or not, the way the program was implemented and the way it is run, it is surely not ethical, honest, and possibly not even effective. RYSE should be approved by the voters and the chips should fall where they may. I’ve said it before, with voter approval of RYSE, I’d be satisfied. As long as RYSE continues to exist without the community’s approval, I will oppose it whenever I can.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 19, 2007 @ 9:22 am | Reply

  5. see agian CR got an answer that RYSE was legal but since it was not a ruling in favor of the way he/she feels; he/she comes up with all kinds of reasons why lawyers would be in favor of it. So now that he/she can’t beat the drum that it is illegal, the tone changes to how it is ran. Stand up for once, be a man/woman and admit you were wrong, or is that just to hard for you to do? You see people like this are just complainers, no matter what you do or how you do it they are not pleased. Cr, has compained about the Town Council, School Committee, Police, and the Administration. Like I said look at the track record, anything anyone does is not good enough unless it agrees with how CR feels. So I say it again, come out of your hole and help.

    Comment by Bob Petit — October 19, 2007 @ 9:42 am | Reply

  6. My tone has not changed Mr. Petit. My contention from day one is that the community should decide on RYSE, not lawyers and not politicians. While my reading of the Chariho Act led me to believe RYSE exists illegally, the legality of RYSE was never my chief concern. For you to mistate my position is an outright lie or an indication of your intellectual laziness.

    To read what I’ve written and then try to convince people my tone has changed is ridiculous. My biggest problem with RYSE has always been its effectiveness and its cost. My comments on RYSE’s cost and effectiveness could fill a small book.

    My issue with legality is that RYSE exists without the community having a voice in the decision. This is important because if the administration and School Committee allowed the people to decide on RYSE, we would then have a better chance at finding out if RYSE works and if it works efficiently. In fact, I’ve even said that I would support RYSE, legal or illegal, if someone can provide clear and concise data proving it provides superior results at a reasonable cost. To date, the administration presents nothing of substance which would give citizens confidence that RYSE is in the best interest of the community.

    The problem you seem to have is that you don’t recognize “help” when it is right in front of you. Try pretending this is a room and you and I are standing right next to each other. This is not a hole…this is a public forum. I only see and hear you on the TV. Most of your opinion I’ve gotten on the internet. You may think this is a imaginary world, but join us in the 20th Century and embrace technology. You are being helped if you decide to open your eyes.

    Myself and plenty of other provide help to you all the time here on this website and at Hopkinton Speaks. You choose to ignore our help and blunder along with ridiculous assertions and by taking positions which defy logic. Don’t blame us because you choose your help poorly.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 19, 2007 @ 11:48 am | Reply

  7. The community doesn’t have a voice in RYSE as a program any more than it does on the music classes or the arts or any other class or program oat the schools. tht is why you have a school committee. If you want to change this than ran for school committee and change it, or have you all ready???? I also say that no matter what the administration gives you showing you whether it is cost effective or not doesn’t matter. If they gave it you on a sliver platter you would complain it is not on gold. I don’t choose poorly, I just don’t choose to go along with your every complaint, if myself or even the Town Councilors that you have criticized on here did than nothing would get done. YOu see you seem to think becasue you say it, or post it than that is the golden word. That is why I don’t agree with you on so many issues. I think a lot of your questions have been answered time and time again, you just keep asking these questions in a different way trying to get the answer that you want. You want everyone to roll over to CR and say that you are correct and everyone else is wrong. Not going to happen. You have criticized me, Barbara Capalbo, Tom Buck and have even criticized Mrs. Buck when we don’t agree with your ideas or ways of thinking. All though we might not always agree we are trying to help and I know this becasue I have talked to them, met face to face with them and respect them for what they are doing because they believe this is the best thing. What I am saying is you want to help, come out and join the fun. Hard to respect soemones opinion when they sit behind the computer to give it all the time. Doesn’t matter if it is todays technology, if you can do it better come out and do it.

    Comment by Bob Petit — October 19, 2007 @ 1:20 pm | Reply

  8. I already do it better Mr. Petit. As a common citizen I aleady provide more information to the public than you and most of your elected colleagues. You should be embarassed by this reality.

    Even though you are a poor communicator, you at least give it a try. Sadly, the administration and most of the School Committee don’t even try. In fact, they spend more far more effort hiding information than publicizing information.

    I know this tends to be the nature of government institutions, so maybe people accept it, but not me. I want to know how our money is spent and why it is spent. If asking the questions is offensive or seen as criticism, so be it. I’m not going to stop asking. You want to treat the community as children, seen but not heard. I won’t accept this treatment and that apparently irritates you.

    The questions I’ve asked have not been answered. You promised to answer some, but to date you have not. Others have asked similar questions of you and the School Committee, but these questions are also ignored.

    Even Mr. Felkner, a School Committee member, has been basically told to shut up. He refuses, but the committee tries to silence him at every turn or takes him into closed sessions so the information can be hidden from the public.

    I have no problem being wrong, but I don’t admit to being wrong merely because you don’t like what I say. You have one of those personalities where being wrong makes you feel badly about yourself so you resist admitting being wrong until the point of absurdity. This is why you cling to the ludicrous notion that the Building Committee flyer is neutral.

    You can’t even admit to the most egregious error. If you had told us that in your enthusiasm to promote the bond you had blindly supported an advocacy flyer, I would have admired you for your integrity and forgave you for abusing our money. Unfortunately, you stubbornly refuse to admit the obvious and end up being wrong for a very long time. Don’t blame us if we keep bringing it up.

    I’m different…I will swallow my pride and admit to being wrong the minute the proof is given. Because I don’t make a big production out of my mistakes, you assume I hide from my mistakes. If I were like you and threw a fit every time someone proved I was wrong or if I refused to quickly admit my mistakes, then maybe you would notice how often I am wrong.

    My spouse tells me that I am so quick to admit I am wrong that it sometimes seems like it never happened. The truth is that I am wrong just as much as everyone else, but I’m wrong for a shorter amount of time than those like you who foolishly refuse to admit an error and move past it. Being wrong isn’t your biggest fault, wallowing in wrongness is what hurts you most.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 19, 2007 @ 2:29 pm | Reply

  9. No Dr you are wrong again. Bill hans’t been told to shut up by anyone. But even Bill has to realize that there are times that things can be said and times when they can’t whether you agree with them or not. I don’t hide anything from anyone I ask questions and I read the information I have put in front of me and I do my homework. Just because we all dont ask how high to jump when cr says jump doesn’t mean we don’t have the best interest in mind for our town. You do provide a lot of information I will say that but I will not sit here and agree it is correct information all the time either. You pull numbers and inforamtion fromother sites and post them here, again just becasue they are out there doesn’t mean they are correct. Ask Bill he found that out through the RIDE site I believe it was, I may be wrong about the site.

    What irrates me CR is not that you think you put more information out or that you ae always right and everyone else is wrong. It was when you basically called me a liar because about paying taxes. Again we can have our differences but until you know exactly what my family and I have arranged you have no idea what is right or not. So becasue I am not listed on the town tax rolls I don’t pay taxes, i go back to saying, just because you find things on the interent doesn’t mean it is written in stone. That is what irratates me, someone that hides, can sit here and call other people names. But I guess if I am a liar that just makes you a coward. At least I come out and stand for what I believe is right and not hide behind a computer to do it.

    Comment by Bob Petit — October 19, 2007 @ 3:57 pm | Reply

  10. You stand for government. You have nothing to fear. The government likes those that promote bigger and more expensive government. Doesn’t take a lot of courage to be you or me. It does take courage to be Mr. Felkner.

    Now how about expanding on when our government shouldn’t keep up informed? Are you saying it is appropriate for the government to hide information from us? How about Elaine Morgan? Was it appropriate for the School Committee to not let her tell her story? Is this a time when Mr. Felkner should have kept quiet?

    What you describe Mr. Petit is very dangerous. This is not the way to run government…picking and choosing when it is okay to tell the public and when information should be hidden from the public. If you are going to make a mistake, you should make a mistake in telling us too much and not in telling us too little.

    I didn’t call you a liar. You said you are a taxpayer, but tax rolls showed something else. You’ve now told us you pay taxes for the trust. You may do that, I didn’t say you didn’t. Even you now admit you’re not listed as a taxpayer in Hopkinton. Is it not legitimate to ask why a person who claims to pay taxes is not listed as a taxpayer?

    As for the information I present here, you and others are free to present contradictory information. When you do not, then why would you expect us to believe you?

    I’m open to new ideas. I’d love for you to engage me in a debate over facts. My take is that you appeal to emotion regardless of facts.

    Emotionally, I’d love to build a brand new school for the kids every year. Factually, we can only afford so much and factually the school does not do a good job (test scores) so why would we give more money to a failing insitution? You counter with nothing.

    You don’t provide any information that we can afford to spend millions more. You provide no evidence that the schools are performing adequately. You’re all emotion and no substance and then you get angry with me for providing substance. It’s not logical, but apparently it makes you feel good.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 19, 2007 @ 4:23 pm | Reply

  11. It is unfortunate that only Mr Petit has the integrity to use his real name!!! If ‘curious resident’ hasn’t the same integrity, then why would anyone put stock in anything they write?

    Comment by Bill Anderson — October 19, 2007 @ 6:23 pm | Reply

  12. I determine integrity by a person’s honesty, not by their name. You are free to use your own criteria.

    “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet.”

    William Shakespeare, “Romeo and Juliet”, Act 2 scene 2
    English dramatist & poet (1564 – 1616)

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 19, 2007 @ 7:36 pm | Reply

  13. I am sorry but I must agree with the curious resident, R.Y.S.E is nothing but a joke. The kids that don’t spit or call their teachers some kind of vulgar name are rewarded and get to go out and play some kind of ball game. If they can not behave in school, than they should be suspended or exspelled or what ever they’re action has earned them. I’ve seen it and I think our money is being wasted. I agree, VOTE NO ON NOVEMBER 6TH. It has happened in the past you vote on something and give them your tax money and they spend it on what

    Comment by curious resident 2 — October 19, 2007 @ 9:48 pm | Reply

  14. they see fit, not what you were told it was for. Stop being a puppet and do what you think is right. Sorry about the separation, I hit the wrong button.

    Comment by curious resident 2 — October 19, 2007 @ 9:50 pm | Reply

  15. removed (but kept ISP info)

    Comment by fraudulent post — October 20, 2007 @ 10:23 am | Reply

  16. Boy, I’m glad I’m back. Both this site and the blog has more energy and fervor than I have seen in a long time. ‘Parents and Children’s’ writing is wonderful and timely and thoughtful. I hope many people pass this on to numerous friends and family.

    I actually don’t believe CR meant harm and I understand Mr. Petit’s fury too. Being emotional is appropriate (or at least understandable) when you feel your family is threatened, but I figured that Bob had an answer. He is a very open and honest person and CR’s great ability to wander the internet would come up with both the good and the bad and the questions. It’s a gift I certainly don’t have, being effectively incompetent on the internet.

    But, back to the bond. Grade configuration, the RYSE school, declining numbers of students, and the lack of maintenance in many years of budgets for the high school are important issues. But, I believe there is yet another one. That is Charlestown. If this bond passes, Charlestown is married to Hopkinton and Richmond. It has no options anymore at all. (Short of buying it’s way out of the district for A LOT of money.) Communally, we are liable for the high school campus — it is owned by the Chariho district, not by Richmond.

    If Charlestown votes the bond down, we (all three towns) can begin to address the elementary schools as separate building committees for each town because we are the landlords for each of these elementary buildings. Then if a bond is passed for the smallest children we can bill each town for the work they wish to do for each individual town’s elementary school. Then, if anyone wished to leave they could take their bill/cost with them.

    I know there are people in Hopkinton that do not wish to spend any money at all, but I believe that the elementary schools need a bond the most. Hope Valley and Ashaway are good solid schools for easily 5th grade, and very possibly 6th, without leaving their own towns. Children should stay as close to home, as close to their family and friends, for as long as possible. The very best scores on national tests are found at this level (by Ms. Buck and CR’s work) and the kids stay focused, with fewer behavorial issues for longer as well.

    And DON’T tell me that if we pass this bond for the high school (18+ million including campus improvements), middle school (3+ million) and RYSE program (4+ million for a total of 53 students + ? Alternate Learning Program students, who can be in a wing of a normal school) that we will have money to fix the elementary schools. We DON’T have enough money in maintenance (even if we added a million more) to even begin to maintain (let alone build new classrooms) for Richmond or Ashaway or Charlestown or Hope Valley (a total of over 1200 students K-4 as well as 560+ 5th and 6th grade students).

    A quote from the Wilson Quarterly, Autumn 2007 ‘Competition in American Life’ — “…universities compete with one another for students and prestige, with the result being a remarkably varied and dynamic system of higher education that is the envy of the world – and a stark contrast with a relatively uncompetitive K-12 system that performs poorly by international standards.”

    Vote NO and begin with the public elementary schools, encouraging but demanding teachers, and challenging curriculums. The middle school is in very good shape overall (it can use the maintenance budget), the RYSE classrooms are solid and useful as is, and the high school needs outside-the-box thinking especially as we may be forced to begin incorporating the Career and Tech Center into our budgets as the state has suggested.

    Comment by Barbara Capalbo — October 20, 2007 @ 6:42 pm | Reply

  17. I hope everyone is listening to what Mrs. Capalbo is saying. Passage of this bonds effectively ties each town’s hands for a very long time to come.

    Each town has ownership of the Elementary School facilities and this leaves in place options for us all in the future.

    Chariho administration and School Committee have demonstrated they can’t be trusted to maintain facilities. The bond creates more infrastructure under control of Chariho rather than the towns. What are we going to do every time Chariho lets another building fall into disrepair…build them a new one?

    Mrs. Capalbo’s proposal offers taxpayers the most protection from

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 21, 2007 @ 2:24 pm | Reply

  18. If we can concentrate on the elementary schools it gives all towns and their citizens the time to address and change the Chariho Act. Whether a town wishes full or partial withdrawal or simply even and fair taxation – the issues must be addressed in a tri-town format. Each town is the landlord for their youngest citizen students. The district, and not the towns, are responsible for the middle and high.

    The Chariho Act is over 50 years old and does not work to balance the cost of education in the three towns evenly for all the taxpayers in these three towns. Richmond and Hopkinton homeowners know we pay more than Charlestown homeowners – not just for this bond but for the general budget by millions. (If taxation was even for all taxpayers, Richmond would get back over a million dollars and Hopkinton just under a million.) In the bond .39 for Richmond, .32 for Hopkinton and .12 for Charlestown is the percentage your property taxes will rise for 20 years to pay for this construction project. And taxes will go up anyway, and the ‘caps’ do not count where bonds are concerned, and the maintenance budget (a total of 962,000 for this year) cannot fund the work needed by the four elementary schools.

    Comment by Barbara Capalbo — October 21, 2007 @ 3:34 pm | Reply

  19. Below is a quote from a Chariho Times’ editorial. Predictably, they call the bond a “solution”, but don’t tell us what it solves? They suggest that if we don’t agree with the bond we should offer solutions. Apparently the Chariho Times has been asleep as potential solutions abound. Mrs. Capalbo alone is an idea machine.

    The Chariho Times had shown signs of breaking out of the typical media default of supporting unrestrained government spending, but they disappoint. Perhaps they didn’t take enough time interviewing Mr. Felkner? They may have come to their senses. Maybe next time?

    Here’s the quote:

    “No matter which side of the fence you are on, there are inequities and problems that need to be solved in regard to the Chariho Regional School System.

    One solution to those problems is the bond.

    If you don’t agree with bond — fine, but we suggest you look at the problems and come up with solutions aka Zachary Shepard.

    The Chariho Schools and taxpayers need solutions.”

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 21, 2007 @ 10:24 pm | Reply

  20. solutions –
    1) RYSE – give the parents of each child the freedom to choose schools – money goes with them. If they want to stay, fine – if not, let them find the best fit for their child.
    2) Middle School – bring the kids back to the elementary level (then give them the freedom to choose too)
    3) High School repairs – bring labor costs in line with private sector and use created surplus for repairs and maint

    Comment by Bill Felkner — October 21, 2007 @ 11:13 pm | Reply

  21. Ok time to call a spade a spade. Bill Felkner or should I say CR. You have aksed for and recieved all your answers on the RYSE program, that is why I didn’t get the answers for you. After our last debate about this I came to realize just who you were. You see, there have been comments that have been posted on here from school committee meetings from CR that there is no way for this fictious person to have known unless they were there. See when someone starts blogs like this the way to get the ball rolling is to create a person to answer the questions you would have, create a debate between yourself so others will get involved. You have done just this, I have failed as I have tried to pull you out from behind the curtain. So great job Bill/CR but we didn’t need someone to create more debate about the schools around this area we always had Georgia and Dot to do that, but than agian at least they were straight forward about it. Of course you next move will be to post something so that people will think CR is someone else.

    You first complain that the RYSE program was not legal, when you found out it was, you offer an apology (I guess)but in the very next breath yu than say it isn’t cost savings or the program isn’t effective. You, then befroe the end of your story say that it hasn’t been proven to be cost effective or good for the students. WEll it hasn’t been proven to be bad or not cost effective either, now has it? I am sorry that Mrs. Morgan didn’t get a chance to speak that night, I am not the chairperson on the committee, but I do feel bad when any person comes in and cannot speak. With that said, If we want to put a Saturday aside (becasue we will need it) I am sure we can go back and forth with the public with parents that are for and against the RYSE program. With parents that have had both good and bad experiences with the RYSE program, as we could do for the elementary,middle,high and C&T schools.

    People tath are against the bond have gone from the 1/3 split, to RYSE not beign legal, to tax payments to RYSE not cost effective, to brown fields. The only complaint that I have seen anyone justify and move on is the 5th and 6th graders. Kudos to Barbara.

    Comment by Bob Petit — October 22, 2007 @ 8:16 am | Reply

  22. Who cares who CR is? You are beating it to death, and are taking away from the debate.

    As I said at Hopkinton RI Speaks, anonymity is a necessary component at times. I do not fault CR or anybody for offering their opinion under an anonymous/fictitious name. As I said there, we, Tom and I, know people who have been school committee members in another town and their kids have received retribution because of it. This is the world we live in. Anonymity allows people to speak openly about their feelings. I say, fine with that, as long as it doesn’t get personal, and people don’t abuse it. But, that is where the administrator has the responsibility to view the entries, and delete those that are inappropriate.

    Bill is outspoken enough and has proved he doesn’t need an alias to hide behind.

    Also just an observation, what does it benefit a person to attack another person in a vindictive way? Those that see the comments will eventually read into it and ignore what that person will say in future comments, so it doesn’t really benefit a person to be mean and personal.

    And yes, I’ve taken some abuse for my comments. So be it. That was the chance I took for speaking out without anonymity. But, I believe that those who are vindictive will lose their credibility.

    As far as the bond goes, I don’t believe anyone here has denied that the high school needs work. People have just recently received the flyer and are analyzing the pros and cons about it. Yes, the high school is a pro. But, people are also wondering if the costs of RYSE are saving us. People are asking why such a big expense for so few students when there are a great majority of kids that have even more immediate needs. People are wondering why we need to expand areas when in the future we will be, I hope, expanding the elementary schools to bring the 5th and 6th grades back. They have this right to question it.

    Some people think it isn’t much money. Others are wondering, where they are going to find the extra 10 -15 dollars a month to pay for it, when they are already strapped as it is. Especially knowing that the district is unwilling to cut anywhere in the budget except for maintenance and repairs. People are struggling with the notion of giving the school another blank check to do as they have in the past, which is not be accountable to the taxpayers.

    They won’t tell us the mandates because they feel if they tell us that we will ask for cuts in areas that they are unwilling to give up. I know this as a fact from a comment from a previous school committee member. This is another reason why the taxpayers don’t trust the schools. They’ve abused it for so long that I know a few people who have commented that they will no longer vote yes on anything Chariho puts before us. Ask yourself, what brought them to this conclusion?

    And now, when asked to consider a management study, they are beating that to death.

    So, I ask you this, suppose this bond passes, who is going to verify where every dollar goes at the satisfaction of the taxpayers?

    Comment by Lois Buck — October 22, 2007 @ 10:04 am | Reply

  23. My nephew was in the RYSE program. He quit school recently. Said he hated it. Wanted to appear before the school committee to voice his complaints. I told him that that would be good, but that he would need support from others as it would become a he said/she said thing. Case in point, Elaine Morgan and her attempt to appear before the school committee.

    I don’t think it should be a witch hunt. You are dealing with issues where most of these kids are still in school. There needs to be some anonymity here. Would you want to complain when you have to see these people everyday. I believe that the process of approaching the school committee should allow for some anonymity to protect the students.

    Let me give you an example, I had a problem with a teacher once. I kept every letter she had written me, but for fear for my son and any retribution he would receive, I set them aside in case it got worse. Because of shuffling around of teachers, his daily abuse ended with this teacher, and we moved on. You might ask, why not bring them out. For the same reason other people don’t speak out, fear of retribution.

    So, I ask you and Bill and the other Hopkinton School Committee members, what will you do for these parents and kids to protect them from retribution?

    Comment by Lois Buck — October 22, 2007 @ 10:18 am | Reply

  24. Sorry, Bob. I’m not CR. Tell you what, I’m going to be spending 2 days at “Hotel d’ Kent Hospital” soon (tomorrow is inducement day if baby doesn’t come tonight – we spent most of yesterday there with another false alarm).

    You can check if CR posts then – or you can go back to previous posts and find when he may have posted when I was at the SC meeting.

    But it’s an intriguing theory.
    PS. If you would like to debate the bond at a public forum I would be happy to oblique

    Comment by Bill Felkner — October 22, 2007 @ 10:20 am | Reply

  25. Who shot JR? Who is CR? Two questions for the ages.

    Congratulations to the Felkner family! The world can use as many Felkners as we can get. Although I am not Mr. Felkner, I take Mr. Petit’s accusation as a compliment.

    There does seem to be a faxcination with my identify by those whom are unable to get beyond emotion and deal wioth the facts. Do they want to debate my idenitfy or the facts behind Chariho’s dismal performance and management? Apparently debating my identity is more appealing to them?

    Mr. Felkner does answer questions when he can, but so much is hidden from him along with the rest of us that he can only provide a limited amount of substance. I doubt Mr. Petit is hiding anything. I imagine he gets swept away in a tidal wave of emotionalism and ends up thinking he knows the answers…but he doesn’t. The difference between Mr. Felkner and Mr. Petit is one wants to know the answers and the other one prefers remaining in the dark.

    The RYSE program can be seen as a castle on the hill to those who priortize intentions before results. All those victims collected in one place (RYSE) and receiving help from the government. How could we be so heartless as to question the existence of the magic castle? Why should we demand results when the intentions are so good? How dare we!

    The same emotional perspective can be applied to the rest of the bond. Saying the High School has “needed” certain repairs since the 1970’s is very appealing to those who think with their heart, but you notice that no answer is forthcoming when you ask for specifics? This the emotionalism that I refer to and it is the emotionalism that interferes with some of our good-hearted citizens’ ability to think and act rationally.

    Mr. Petit should spend more time thinking of questions to ask Mr. Ricci and less time thinking of ways to elude debate with us here. Mr. Ricci has the asnwers and it would be great if you could get htem for us.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 22, 2007 @ 11:39 am | Reply

  26. Because Mr. Petit has misrepresented the debate over RYSE, I’ve gone back through Mr. Felkner’s website looking for original statements about RYSE. The first statement I could find from Mr. Felkner is in December 2006.

    Interestingly, Mr. Felkner seems pretty optimistic that RYSE is effective, at least for some students, and he seems to think it could be saving us money.

    What happened between then and now is that when Mr. Felkner attempted to get specific information to support his optimistic “intuition”, he found that the administration obstructed his ability to verify cost effectiveness and results.

    The real question in this debate is why the rest of the School Committee is content to remain ignorant about RYSE’s effectiveness and cost?

    Here’s the quote – note there is no mention of legality:

    “• The second question is regarding the RYSE program. Special needs and alternative learning services were previously provided off campus, often with expensive tuition and transporta­tion costs. Locating these stu­dents on the main campus cre­ates tremendous savings, but will it still be a savings when bond and corollary expenses are accu­mulated.

    And, obviously, we need to be sure we are providing a better service for the students. Intuition tells me yes, at least for some, but I think it’s too soon to tell. There are other schools in the state that have pulled students from tuitioned placements and ended up sending them back because they couldn’t meet the students’ needs. RYSE provides a variety of services, and I would want to know we had all our bases covered before locking it in with new construction.”

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 22, 2007 @ 12:34 pm | Reply

  27. Now on to me. What is my first comments about RYSE? From a discussion about the 1904 building on December 22, 2006, I said this:

    “I’m still not sure what exactly the RYSE program entails, but if Chariho does not want to move 5th and 6th grade back to their local schools, how about moving the RYSE program into the 1904 building?”

    You’ll notice that 10 months ago to the day, I’m STILL not sure what the RYSE program entails? Like Mr. Felkner, I mention nothing about the legality. My first question about RYSE is generally that little is known about it.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 22, 2007 @ 12:42 pm | Reply

  28. Although I don’t specifically mention RYSE, I make my second RYSE type comment on December 28, 2006. Notice I do not mention legality but I am concerned about the school offering psychological services at taxpayers expense.

    “I see one quick cut of over $1,000,000 that could be done very easily. Completely eliminate psychological and social service budget items. Psychological and social services should be up to individual parents to provide for their children if help is needed. For low income parents, the government already offers plenty of reduced cost/free social services. When I was in school, guidance counselors might identify children with problems, but once identified, it was not the school responsibility to provide care. Why do we need redundancy in the schools?”

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 22, 2007 @ 12:47 pm | Reply

  29. In my third RYSE-type comment on January 3, 2007 I do not mention the legality of RYSE. I do naively assert that I depend on elected representatives to protect my economic interests. I’ve since discovered that most of my elected reps only protect special interests, not taxpayers’ interests, and worse yet, they often misrepresent my interests. The legality of RYSE still has not been mentioned.

    “As for parents not objecting to psychologists and the host of other parental replacements, until you shared the Chariho budget, I had no clue how much was being spent in this area. I’ve always depended on my elected representives to protect my wallet from this type of nonsense. If these positions are mandated, perhaps it is just one more reason we should look at rejecting mandates?”

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 22, 2007 @ 12:54 pm | Reply

  30. Here’s my first mention of Mr. Petit I could find from January 7, 2007. I reference a statement he made on Hopkinton Speaks.

    Notice that I say “even Mr. Petit”. Obviously I had faith in his credibility at that time.

    Note that the same Mr. Petit who told us that elementary age children will remain in the high school environment is now telling us to support the bond because we will still be able to remove 5th and 6th graders if the bond passes. Funny, he accuses us of morphing our positions.

    So tell us Mr. Petit, is it inevitable as you implied early this year or do you now feel we still can get the 5th and 6th graders back to elementary schools? If it helps, I can find the exact quote over on Hopkinton Speaks?

    “Even Mr. Petit threw up his hands on the Hopkinton Speaks board and claimed that it is inevitable that elementary age children will remain in a high school environment.”

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 22, 2007 @ 1:03 pm | Reply

  31. Keep in mind that this website is complex, so I may miss things, but this is the second mention Mr. Felkner gives to RYSE. It is dated February 22, 2007 and he mentions nothing about RYSE’s legality.

    “if you do the math you will notice that the RYSE building and space for the 6th graders is about $350 per sq ft. For comparison, URI is building a biotech lab @ $250 sq ft.”

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 22, 2007 @ 1:16 pm | Reply

  32. I found the first mention of RYSE’s legality in a May 8, 2007 post from Mr. Felkner in which he copies a letter sent by Mrs. Botelle to the Attorney General’s office. Prior to this, the entire discussion regarding RYSE was in regard to the services, cost, and effectiveness.

    Contrary to Mr. Petit’s assertions, legality was a tertiary issue which wasn’t even mentioned for months after the discussion of RYSE began here at Mr. Felkner’s website.

    From the very beginning Mr. Felkner offered tepid optimism, but wanted to know more. We should all recognize Mr. Felkner’s efforts to protect taxpayers and children. His oversight is atypical for the Chariho School Committee. I find it to be extremely admirable.

    Over the last year, in spite of his best efforts, information regarding RYSE’s costs and effectiveness remain veiled in murky numbers and secrecy. Mr. Petit attempts to further muddy the waters by claiming that legality has been the primary focus until recently when the legality issue was put to bed. As you can see from my review of the public record, legality was never the prmary issue, cost and effectiveness have been and remain the main issues of concern regarding the RYSE program.

    I will say it again, if the administration and School Committee provide clear and concise data which demonstrates RYSE’s effectiveness for ALL children at a reasonable cost, I will give RYSE my support.

    I will not support a permanent structure for RYSE under any circumstances unless and until the voters are given a say, but I won’t question the cost or effectiveness once the cost and the effectiveness have been put into the public arena for scrutiny and pass muster.

    I hope that Mr. Petit takes the time to consider his emotional responses to Chariho issues. It would have been easy for him to have reviewed this website to discover when RYSE’s legality became an issue in the debate.

    Mr. Felkner’s first mention of RYSE is somewhat optimisitic, and my first mention of RYSE expresses ignorance of the program. Mr. Petit would have known this if he did his homework. If he had reacted logically, he might have asked himself what went wrong along the way that turned Mr. Felkner and myself into questioners of RYSE’s existence?

    Perhaps Mr. Petit would have discovered that government should be wide open in response to citizen inquiry. This is to the benefit of us all. I hope it is not too late for Mr. Petit to change directions?

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 22, 2007 @ 1:39 pm | Reply

  33. Mr. Petit has claimed that Mr. Felkner, myself, and others(?) have changed our arguments regarding RYSE. I think I’ve clearly debunked this falsehood by providing the historical record where RYSE’s cost and effectiveness are clearly our primary concern.

    In doing my review of the historical record, I came across a claim made by Mr. Petit on January 5, 2007 where he unequivocably states on Hopkinton Speaks, “As far as bringing the 5,6,7 graders back to the elementary level. IT is not happening!”

    Mr. Petit has recently urged support for the bond telling us that the 5th and 6th graders can still be moved back to elementary schools even if the bond passes. Mr. Petit seemed pretty darn adamant that these children were stuck at the Middle School when he wrote in January 2007. Could he tell us if he’s changed his mind or if his new found attitude is just a ploy to fool voters into supporting the bond?

    In the same January 5 post, Mr. Petit writes the following: “To answer the question about psychologists and welfare professionals…Both Bill and I have questioned this and we are trying to find out more information on this and some other expenditures that we don’t agree with but some of this takes time and research.”

    It has been 10 months now Mr. Petit. You told us then you needed information on expenditures you didn’t agree with…is your research complete? Can you tell us what you didn’t agree with and what you found out?

    Mr. Petit’s entire post can be read here:

    If you read through the posts at the link above, you will find other comments from Mr. Petit that indicate his lack of support for having 5th and 6th graders out of the Middle School environment. He also expounds at length about RYSE.

    Sorry to say this, but in reading many of Mr. Petit’s comments on these pages and on Hopkinton Speaks, his general attitude seems be that the administration should be left alone. Once elected to office, his curiousity about what occurs at Chariho seems to have vanished. It’s as if oversight has been stricken from his vocabulary.

    One good thing Mr. Petit has going for him is his support for the management study. Maybe he doesn’t feel he has the capability of doing his own analysis and making his own judgments. I wish we had the management study AND ongoing oversight by every School Committee member. It’s our money and our children and we deserve no less.

    Please read Mr. Hirst’s comments today on Hopkinton Speaks. He had an interesting conversation with Mr. Day and was told that the management study will not be budgeted until next year. I’ve asked if this decision was voted on by the School Committee and who supported postponing the study?

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 22, 2007 @ 4:03 pm | Reply

  34. Good morning CR et al,

    I think Mr. Petit’s point of view on the management study is that it would be a neutral body of information — especially with three towns who have very different issues. There are members of the School Board who want to use the surplus and others who want to use the new budget if the study is to be done. I only want the study done if we all agree to abide by its decisions. Otherwise it would truly be a waste of money.

    Mr. Silks has brought this up before. The MGT study in 1998 was totally ignored because of the substantial problems that it revealed with the funding between towns. Charlestown would not agree to equalizing the monies spent by each town’s citizens. Richmond and Hopkinton spend by household three to four times the money that a similar household in Charlestown pays. It is astronomical. For the same buildings, teachers, administration, sports fields, curriculum, etc. 3-4 times!!

    Even the 2010 brochure points this out. Hopkinton’s taxes per household will go up .32 per thousand; Richmond’s at .39 per thousand; Charlestown’s .12 per thousand. If each household in every town went up .20 per thousand it would be fair to everyone who needs and uses the school system. If a grassroots campaign to end this unequal and unfair taxation doesn’t start here it will never occur. This is ridiculous — especially Richmond who pays the most! Wake up people! This will go on for 20 years if this bond passes. Every year for 20 years! your taxes will be raised unequally and unfairly. And bonds go above any cap the state sets for municipal funding.

    It is time to address and change the Chariho Act. Period. And you do realize that the general budget for the school year, every year, is the same problem, in the same percentages – not just the bond.

    Have a good day guys. School Board meeting is tonight for anyone to attend. 7:00 PM in the Middle School Library.

    Comment by Barbara Capalbo — October 23, 2007 @ 7:29 am | Reply

  35. Of course you are correct Mrs. Capalbo, but options are limited as to putting all three towns on equal footing. I have to believe that the three towns would have to agree to a change in the Chariho Act? Why would Charlestown ever agree? On an individual taxpayer level, they have it made now as Richmond and Hopkinton taxpayers carry significantly higher burdens per taxapyer.

    The only solution I can think of is to force Charlestown to decide it is in their best interest to stop gouging Richmond and Hopkinton. This can only be done by rejecting every single bond and budget until individual taxpayers in Charlestwon understand that we aren’t going to spend as much money as they[d like until they bear an equal cost.

    Your point is excellent and we should start our grassroots effort by rejecting this bond…both Hopkinton and Richmond. If that happens, then we can consider next steps to move Charlestown towards a fairer funding system.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 23, 2007 @ 10:12 am | Reply

  36. I feel guilt that Mr. Felkner has been accused of being me (nobody should have to endure that level of name-calling). Assuming Mr. Felkner is engaged in paternal duties right now, I feel compelled to write something which will allow Mr. Petit to overcome his paranoia. Thinking Mr. Felkner is me can’t be good for their relationship.

    With Mrs. Capalbo’s thoughts on the unequal funding by all three towns’ citizens, it would be very useful for Hopkinton taxpayers if we had all four of our members working togehter on ways to reduce Hopkinton’s tax burden.

    Mr. Felkner shows himself to be extremely focused on reducing costs and the taxpayer burden. Mr. Petit exhimbits a more liberal spending attitude. How can these two seemingly contradictory philosophies be blended together to benefit us all?

    Mrs. Capalbo may have discovered the key. If Charlestown, Richmond and Hopkinton taxpayers all pay equally for education, then Hopkinton’s costs will be reduced (Mr. Felkner is happy) while overall spending could increase (Mr. Petit’s happy).

    So Mr. Petit, I don’t understand any value in my name, but Mr. Felkner is having a baby, and I am not. Do not harbor any ill will toward Mr. Felkner. He’s a straight shooter and I’ve never seen him hesitate to publically tell us what he thinks. You can work with him and maybe you both can get what you want? Stop acting as if you represent the entire district. Until the entire district feels the same economic burden for Chariho, you must represent Hopkinton citizens and their children. We elected you, not Charlestown or Richmond citizens. Serve us.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 23, 2007 @ 11:49 am | Reply

  37. CR I sit here and read your comments about RYSE program and is or was it legal? is it cost effective? is it best for the children? I also see it is myself and MR. Flekner which I still think are the same but anyway. I haven’t changed my course since I’ve become elected to the school committee and one good thing you have a right to do, is not vote should I run again. You see, I told you I would look into the spending at Chariho and that I would look into curriculum. I have done exactly what I said I would do, BUT I will not sit here and have you, Bill Felkner, Georgia Ure, Dot Gardiner or Thruman Silks dictate to me what I should be doing or how I should be doing it. IF you feel you can do better than run for the school committee. I will contiune to look in to education options and spending as I have. I will do my best to help control both, I am one vote on a school committee of 11. I read the packet of information I get, I do research on things I feel I need to research further and I ask questions. I have nothing to hide nor do I have anything to prove to your or any of these other vocal minorities in Hopkinton. I refuse to be part of your three ring circus accusing one person after another of not doing the right things becasue it doesn’t met your agenda. First it was is RYSE cost effective; Bill asked a lot of questions, received a lot of answers but not the ones he wanted, did not meet his agenda, it went away for a little while. Than it was is RYSE legal, 3 (thats right three) different attorneys, and The Rhode Island Department of Education;Ken Swanson,I posted his e-mail but there were questions about his answer ( of course) not only said the program is leagal but a mandate. It either gets done here or outside the district. Well these have been beaten to death so lets go to 5th and 6th grade pull out, you want to do it, go ahead I think Bill Day said he would drive the bus for you. Where are you going to put them? the 1904 bldg? You all sit here and complain abaout spending money on the High School Campus, but you actually think you can all agree on spending money on the 1904 bldg. I laugh at that. On top of it, if you need to spend lets just say $1 million on the 1904 bldg ( we all know it will be more) are you willing to spend that much on the Hope Valley school? Or is this all about Ashaway and the 1904 bldg? Do my towns 5th and 6th graders come home or do they get bused to the town of Ashaway? If that is the case how does this benefit the parents, tax payers and most of all the children of Hope Valley? Well the building committee moved that to the end of the cunstruction to give ample time for Hopkinton to look in to withdrawal. Taken the wind out of your sail yet? Not at all, since these have all been answered or have been worked around to help Hopkinton and apease them we need to come up with something new,huummmm, oh yea brown field, oil spill lets go with that one, if we start to do construction we will disrupt the oil spill and it will cost us a lot more money, it may contaminate the water. Come on, you don’t think the building committee looked into this? You don’t think they asked questions? Besides the oil spill that happend to be found and has been worked on for a few years now and monitored CAREFULLY by DEM is on the downward sprial now, in other words it has been cleaned up for the most part. Not saying that we can’t run into problems, you can don that on any construction site, but te building committee has put in contingency funds for this. Not to mention the 1/3 split, the council backing or not backing the bond, or the tax impact, ( which if you want to change, we would have to chagne the Chariho Act) at this point nothing to do with the bond. I could go on and on, but I just feel that I waste my time here. I feel if you do post an answer to a question if it is not what someone wants to hear than to them the question wasn’t answered. Sorry, I think these have been answered even when asked 10 different ways. If someone needs to get in touch with me than you know my e-mail address, I refuse to continue to be part of a blog that cuts down other towns, people that are trying to make a difference or chlidren that need a little extra help. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, the children in the RYSE program have my full suppport, they are children of our district, our neighbors and I will treat them as such. Me may have some work to do to tweak this program to do a better job for our children and our district but they deserve for us to stand by them. And I will as long as I am on the School Committee.

    Comment by Bob Petit — October 23, 2007 @ 12:28 pm | Reply

  38. How long have you lived in a democracy Mr. Petit? You are not entitled to a free pass because you have good intentions. We not only can vote for or against you, we can publically and vocally tell you when you are making horrible decisions. We can do this every day…every hour…every minute. This is our right in a free society. You do not get elected and then get to do whatever the heck you want without being questioned.

    Yes, you can ignore us. You can pretend we don’t exist or we are a minority. You can delude yourself into thinking I am Mr. Felkner. This does not diminish our right to speak, not does it make you right and us wrong.

    You’ve misrepresented many things here and on Hopkinton Speaks. You can deny it, lie about it, or stick your head in the sand, but your words live on. You’ve said that the bond does not jeopardize Hopkinton’s desire to bring 5th and 6th graders back. You’ve even suggested you support the efforts, while also telling us it won’t happen. You can tell us if you are a liar, a stooge, or whatever else that would compel you to talk out both sides of your mouth? But when you speak with a forked tongue, don’t blame me for making the public aware of your behavior.

    I find it especially sad that you feel RYSE should exist with no accountability…no restraint. You seem to think that supporting RYSE is good for special needs children, yet you make this judgement based on feelings, not facts. RYSE could very well be hurting the children you claim to care about, yet this doesn’t bother you a whit…as long as you FEEL good, then that is all that matters. This is a pathetic way to run a school system.

    I’ve written and researched extensively about the impact of Middle Schools on 5th and 6th graders. Mrs. Buck and the ad hoc committee have also done a great job informing the public. While you support RYSE regardless of results and/or expense, you present all kind of barriers to a plan to help these 5th and 6th graders get back to an environment that will foster their academic success.

    What’s wrong with this picture? Do you only care about special needs children? There is tons of data demonstrating that the Middle School model is not good for young children. There is no evidence that RYSE is the one and only program beneficial to special needs children, yet you support spending millions more on RYSE come hell or high water, while telling us we can’t afford to change grade configuration. Do you have a horse in this race?

    As for curriculum, you’ve failed the town and our children there as well. My understanding is that there is a pilot program being conducted modifying the old TERC/Investigations curriculum? We’ve asked for more information, yet I’ve seen nothing. We’ve heard that the pilot curriculum is still aligned with Investigations, but again, nobody tells us anything. The math test scores for our children continue to decline. While Chariho burns, Mr. Petit fiddles. Don’t tell me you care about our children while you twiddle your thumbs as the administration continues to teach them with failed curriculum.

    Instead of coming here making excuses for poor Chariho management…instead of coming here and telling us how much you care about select children…why not come here and inform us what is happening at Chariho? You claim Mr. Felkner knows…well I’d assume you know too? Why not make an effort to share with the public? You do not give answers, you give excuses. Give us answers and you will be doing your job. Give us answers and you might shut me up.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 23, 2007 @ 1:03 pm | Reply

  39. CR you continue to think we are hurting the children of RYSE but you have nothing to back that either. A Few parents that speak out about a prgoram does not make the program bad. We can find just as many that will speak good about it. I don’t have a problem with you questioning, I have a problem with being called a liar and a fraud by someone that doesn’t even know me. Yes you have the right to vote for or against me but again I will not fall victim your your name calling or your pressure because I am from Hopkinton and I should do what you want. See, there are a lot more people in Hopkinton than Cr and his/her little regime.I also need to do what I think is best for them and not just you.

    As far as the 5th and 6th graders being pulled back, you got it CR, I will have them back in your towns tomorrow. Its that easy! You have been answered this also, by me a few times, but it wasn’t what you wanted so lets go back to it again and again. I am not against the 5th and 6th graders being brought back but I guess my questions hit a sore spot? Why becasue Hope Valley isn’t mentioned in this little free for all? That is right I am from Hope Valley, adn I will stand up for my town also, I want to know how much thought has gone into Hope Valley School? Are you willing as Hopkinton residents to spend as much in Hope Valley School as you ae willing to spend on Ashaway?

    You do so much research but when someone tells you something becasue it is not what you want it goes in one ear and out the other. Go back and watch some of the school committee meetings the answers are there if you really look for them, you dont, all you do is sit there and cut down everyone on how they act, and what they say. You are too busy being a judge of people to hear what is being said at the meetings. It is esy to sit there and criticize people,

    Here are the facts:
    The Building Committee has stated that they would be willing to make the additions to the Middle School one of the last components of this project in order to give the towns (specifically the town of Hopkinton) more time to analyze the cost and feasibility of bringing the 5th and 6th students back if they so choose

    Contingency costs are included in the plan to account for problematic and cost overruns. The referendum calls for a bond with a $26 million dollar limit. The Building Committee has stated that it’s first priority is the high school.

    The Building Committee utilized information from its subcommittees in coming up with a proposal. One such sub-committee was the Infrastructure Subcommittee. Input by this subcommittee was instrumental in deciding such things as the location of the new library. There is no plan to replace the septic system or move the well.

    The operating budget has been unable to keep up with the repair needs of district. Many of the buildings are older buildings with greater repair needs. New ADA and Fire Code requirements have come into effect that require attention and have so far had to be addressed through the operating budget. Much of the renovations required go beyond repair, they are replacements. For example, to replace the high school heating system, it would cost $2M. This is not a “routine repair”. It would be virtually impossible to complete a task such as this through the operating budget.

    Mrs. Ure mentions temporary classrooms that are being used when other permanent space is available. If it is the 1904 Ashaway building she is referring to, temporary classrooms were already in place before the district decided to discontinue use of this outdated building..

    Much of the new construction in the Campus 2010 proposal replaces costly temporary classrooms, it does not constitute new space. The new space is strictly at the high school, which is overcrowded; where space in inadequate to meet student needs. Recent graduating classes have been approximately 300 students.

    The Building Committee has stated the RYSE portion of this proposal calls for a permanent building the same size as the current temporary facility.

    It has been determined through both School Committee and Hopkinton Town Council solicitors that RYSE is legal and in compliance with the Chariho Act.

    Exact locations and real costs of construction can be found in the Campus 2010 brochure available through the Building Committee.

    Budget information on the proposal can be found on the Chariho website

    This is not a gamble. This is a bare bones, no frills solution to the facilities problem that has existing for years in Chariho.

    these are some answers to questions that just keep being asked over and over agian. wheter you believe it or not these are the answers, I am not saying you have to like the answers you get about anything, but when you do get and answer about something except as an answer and don’t re-ask that same question a different way.

    I still have a lot of questions also, but we can only cross one bridge at a time, and if that isn’t good enough for you too bad, deal with it as I am here for atleast 3 more years. And when you can be decent and not call people a liar or fraud because you don’t get maybe people would respect you more.

    Comment by Bob Petit — October 23, 2007 @ 1:57 pm | Reply

  40. I simply cannot believe that you actually judge the value of RYSE by whether it hurts the majority or helps the majority. This is not the way to determine the worth of a special needs program. Why wouldn’t you want a variety of options for children and parents? How about helping all the children? How about leaving decisions in the hands of parents?

    You do not have the intellectual curiousity to oversee the administration of Chariho. You should be asking the same questions as us, not criticizing us for asking the quesitons. As for name calling, it is not me, but you. When you contradict yourself, as I’ve shown numerous times, you shouldn’t be suprised to be asked why you’ve done that. If you’re not lying or trying to trick taxpayers, explain your contradictions?

    Let’s look at some of the unanswered issues surrounding RYSE:

    1. RYSE offers one methodology…MST. RYSE insisted that MST was the most suitable treatment thus ensuring the contract would be awarded to PC Inc. Doesn’t this make you question the administration’s motivations?
    a. MST methodoloy has been proven effective for chronically violent children. There is next to nothing about MST effectiveness on most special needs students who are not chronically violent.
    b. Because the adminstration insisted on MST treatment only, parents have little choice over the treatment their children are to receive.
    c. The School Committee fawned all over the PC Inc. rep. Did anyone other then Mr. Felkner ask about this disconnect between MST working for violent student, but not not proven on most special needs students? Are we not forcing parents and their children into an experimental program?

    2. RYSE claims to be more cost effective than past programs where special needs students were taken care of inside and outside of Chariho.
    a. Where is the evidence that RYSE is more cost effective? How much in total did we spend for special needs services prior to RYSE and how much do we spend now? Not per pupil cost, but how much did we spend? The question has never been asked by anyone other then Mr. Felkner and those of us out in the public. The question remains unanswered.
    b. Why are special needs students and their families receiving services which are normally provided outside of the school system? This includes family counseling, medical and employment services. Are these service costs attributed to RYSE? How could RYSE possibly be more cost effective when RYSE results in taxpayers funding services above and beyond what most every other school in the country offer?
    c. Why should the parents and families of special needs students receive preferntial treatment by the school? Why should we be paying for employment, medical, and psychological services for families of special needs students while every other family in the district must pay for their own similar services?

    I could go on and on Mr. Petit, but you’ve seen the questions before and you have ignored them. I expect the same this time. You list some answers to the questions you’ve asked, but you don’t seem to care about the answers unless you’re the one asking the questions. You represent yourself and few others. Frankly, the questions you ask are simplistic and do not probe very deeply. You accept emotionally pleasing answers because they make you feel good, not because they actually answer the questions.

    You may be on the School Committee for the next 30 years for all I know, but your efforts to date are an embarrassment to the community. You should be asking us what we want to know instead of attacking us for wanting to know. So keep being offended my those of us who don’t want to throw our money away on the ineffective, unaccountable, and ridiculously expensive Chariho School system. Keep your head buried firmly in the sand. If that makes you happy, so be it.

    I’ll let you go with this…when I was in Chariho the average class size was more then 200, but let’s use 200 as a low ball number. The building housed 7 through 12. That’s approximately 1200 students. You say the average class size is now 300. The High School now houses 9 through 12. That’s approximately 1200 students. What happened? Also, class size is declining and projected to continue declining…so whats up with the need for more space at the High School? Aren’t you curious? Don’t you think it’s important to know?

    Don’t worry, I don’t expect you to answer any of my questions. But I thought I would ask anyway.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 23, 2007 @ 3:04 pm | Reply

  41. Sorry CR, I’m going to get a little emotional here.

    I personally take great offense to the notion of our neglecting Hope Valley. I lived in Hope Valley from 1 years old to 16 years old, with a 6 month vacation in Richmond while I was in 3rd grade. I’ve lived in Ashaway since 1993. Over 30 years of my life, I’ve lived in either Hope Valley or Ashaway. I spent all but 6 months of my elementary life in Hope Valley School. I remember painting the stripes on Schroeders shirt when the Peanuts characters were painted on the wall of the cafeteria. Hope Valley School was my home. I may not have attended Ashaway School, but my husband and kids have. So, we, as a family have a connection to both schools. They are both near and dear to us, as Chariho High School is.

    Over the summer, I spoke to Barbara about the coming ad hoc committee and after I spoke to her, I drew up plans to the Ashaway and Hope Valley schools. Mind you, I am no engineer or architect, but I had ideas. A little presumptious of me maybe, but I was excited about the notion of bringing all our kids back to the Hopkinton Schools. I envisioned Hope Valley school would have an addition near the Langworthy Field area, which could have added 4 more classrooms. I even drew in my plans an auditorium. Dreams, dreams, dreams.

    We have only just begun a task that seems momentous and enormous. With the beginnings of this task, no-one has said that Hope Valley is going to be left out of the whole process. In making this comment, one would suggest that it is a tool of fear. Instill fear into the minds of people from Hope Valley to further divide the town, seems to be the plan.

    And guess what, the 1904 building is owned by all of Hopkinton. Everyone has a say so as to its future, not just people from Ashaway. If it is cheaper and still safe to fix the 1904 building, doesn’t this benefit all of Hopkinton, as more resources could go to the Hope Valley School, as we know it needs work, and an expansion, too.

    Please consider being a part of the ad hoc committee, which is looking into bringing our children into a more developmentally appropriate environment. We meet every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Crandall House. If you are interested, please come. If we unite in our efforts, all of Hopkinton will benefit. Even if you are not sure that the 5th and 6th grades should be returned to the elementary level, your opinion counts too. Please come. If you can’t, you can still help the debate by responding to the process at the link below.


    P.S. Just so you know, I lived in Charlestown for 10 years, as my parents attempted to stay in Rhode Island before retiring in North Carolina. They moved to Charlestown because the taxes were lower there. Hmmmmm!!!!!!

    Comment by Lois Buck — October 23, 2007 @ 7:35 pm | Reply

  42. I recently posted a comment and it hasn’t shown up yet. Perhaps it will at a later date. I apologize if it does. I’m going to take the link out and see if it posts then.

    Here it is:

    Sorry CR, I’m going to get a little emotional here.

    I personally take great offense to the notion of our neglecting Hope Valley. I lived in Hope Valley from 1 years old to 16 years old, with a 6 month vacation in Richmond while I was in 3rd grade. I’ve lived in Ashaway since 1993. Over 30 years of my life, I’ve lived in either Hope Valley or Ashaway. I spent all but 6 months of my elementary life in Hope Valley School. I remember painting the stripes on Schroeders shirt when the Peanuts characters were painted on the wall of the cafeteria. Hope Valley School was my home. I may not have attended Ashaway School, but my husband and kids have. So, we, as a family have a connection to both schools. They are both near and dear to us, as Chariho High School is.

    Over the summer, I spoke to Barbara about the coming ad hoc committee and after I spoke to her, I drew up plans to the Ashaway and Hope Valley schools. Mind you, I am no engineer or architect, but I had ideas. A little presumptious of me maybe, but I was excited about the notion of bringing all our kids back to the Hopkinton Schools. I envisioned Hope Valley school would have an addition near the Langworthy Field area, which could have added 4 more classrooms. I even drew in my plans an auditorium. Dreams, dreams, dreams.

    We have only just begun a task that seems momentous and enormous. With the beginnings of this task, no-one has said that Hope Valley is going to be left out of the whole process. In making this comment, one would suggest that it is a tool of fear. Instill fear into the minds of people from Hope Valley to further divide the town, seems to be the plan.

    And guess what, the 1904 building is owned by all of Hopkinton. Everyone has a say so as to its future, not just people from Ashaway. If it is cheaper and still safe to fix the 1904 building, doesn’t this benefit all of Hopkinton, as more resources could go to the Hope Valley School, as we know it needs work, and an expansion, too.

    Please consider being a part of the ad hoc committee, which is looking into bringing our children into a more developmentally appropriate environment. We meet every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Crandall House. If you are interested, please come. If we unite in our efforts, all of Hopkinton will benefit. Even if you are not sure that the 5th and 6th grades should be returned to the elementary level, your opinion counts too. Please come. If you can’t, you can still help the debate by responding to the Ad-hoc committee link at the top and to the right.


    P.S. Just so you know, I lived in Charlestown for 10 years, as my parents attempted to stay in Rhode Island before retiring in North Carolina. They moved to Charlestown because the taxes were lower there. Hmmmmm!!!!!!

    Comment by Lois Buck — October 23, 2007 @ 7:45 pm | Reply

  43. Taking the link out helped.

    Comment by Lois Buck — October 23, 2007 @ 7:46 pm | Reply

  44. Mrs. Buck, Mr. Felkner noted a week or so ago that posts with links sometimes need approval. He seemed unsure why because some go through and others don’t.

    By the way, you’re entitled to get emotional. I’ve seen Shroeder’s stripes and they are quite impressive! You are quite right in identifying Mr. Petit’s use of fear. He is obviously attempting to pit Hope Valley against Ashaway. Next he’ll be telling us Rockville and Hopkinton City want their own elementary schools too.

    I’m still stuck on the fact that Ashaway and Hope Valley housed K through 6 not too many years ago. They both now have portable classrooms meaning they have even more space than when you and I were children. No one has explained why we have space issues when enrollment has not increased substantially and we have more room than we used to have?

    My understanding is that student population of each grade is about 45 for Ashaway and 45 for Hope Valley. Projections have these numbers declining. Looks like we could make do with two classes in each school? This is exactly the number of classes there were when I was in Elementary School. Plus, we have the portable classrooms. What gives? Where has the classroom space gone?

    I’m not sure how it is determined now where a child will go to Elementary School? I’m guessing the line changes from year to year, but it’s probably someplace through Hopkinton City?

    As for my involvement with the Ad Hoc Committee. I am happy to help with research. I’m not sure if you visited the Ad Hoc Committee section, but I did review the ERIC database and provided my analysis of the studies/reports that could be accessed. Seems pretty clear to me that the Middle School model, at best, has no advantages, and in most objective studies which measure concrete data, Middle School hinders academic success for 5th and 6th graders.

    You’ve done a wonderful job so far Mrs. Buck in telling the public why they are correct in wanting 5th and 6th graders in Elementary Schools. Frankly, since the citizens of Hopkinton have plainly told the politicians they want the children in Elementary Schools, your efforts shouldn’t be needed, the politicians like Mr. Petit should follow the will of the people, but they resist thinking we elected them kings. I guess you’re stuck doing the hard work needed to try and convince them…I have my doubts they will pay attention.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 23, 2007 @ 8:56 pm | Reply

  45. Pre K is at Hope Valley now. I believe there is something else, but am not sure. Will check on this.

    Comment by Lois Buck — October 23, 2007 @ 9:13 pm | Reply

  46. The Ad Hoc committee is looking at the ability to return 5th and 6th grades to (1) first choice is within their own schools so that children are not moved, (2) secondarily the possibility of using the 1904 building for the 5th and 6th grades of both towns in Hopkinton. There are other options as well.

    Returning the 5th is not difficult in either school. The 6th is where a new configuration or a renovation or an addition to remove the portable classrooms in both schools will be discussed. Ashaway has one or two portables, Hope Valley has three. And they have had these portables for longer than the middle and high school. Both of these schools are solid, useful buildings and will remain so.

    CR, the state mandates on special needs or even the areas needed for additional assistance for the average child demands more use of spaces than any of us had to deal with when we went to school. Sometimes we can’t just separate 45 kids into 22 and 23 although that seems completely logical. I know we can find an answer that is compatible with our kids, teachers, administration and funding. Did you know there are now guidance counselors in elementary school? I am hoping that they only visit.

    And last night the School committee was discussing an elementary behavior policy – for 5-9 year olds. Nuts. Common sense says that the principal was the disciplinary resource who took into consideration everything known about any of the children before determining punishment. Zero tolerance for little children is illogical, injurious and just plain stupid. Another good reason to keep elementary schools small and local and very close to their parents. A good principal and caring teachers in this setting is more than adequate. And I have every confidence in those professionals. Yet another administrative level imposed on good work and common sense.

    Comment by Barbara Capalbo — October 24, 2007 @ 8:08 am | Reply

  47. I’m sure you’re right about mandates and space. I wish we could get rid of mandates altogether and each run our own community schools the way we see fit.

    If we want to live in a town where the government makes all our choices for us, we can pick this type of town. If we want to decide what best for us and our families, we could live in q town which allows greater personal responsibility. The way it stands now, there’s no place to go where the government isn’t telling us how to parent our children and conduct our lives. Pretty pathetic.

    Imagine needing a zero tolerance policy for young children? Think about what this says about this generation of adults? We even need rules to tell us how to deal with the behaviors of children. We should be ashamed but we are too stupid to realize what we have done.

    I believe our society is heading down a very bad path. We have people running around worrying about the Federal Government spying on them, but not seeming to care that their Local and State Government imposes it rules for living life with reckless abandon. We comply like sheep to slaughter. Our liberties fall by the wayside as we agree to anything just to get our hands on the money they took from us in the first place.

    Attitudes like Mr. Petit’s are pitiful. If someone tells these kinds of people that a program is “for the chidlren” that is enough for them. No proof needed. Results don’t matter. As long as they can tell themselves it is “for the children”, that’s good enough.

    I know this is a very complicated question, but do you have any idea on the cost of mandates? Would it be possible to look at reconfiguring grades and taking out mandates to see if there are cost savings to be had when we decide the best way to educate our children rather than politicians in Providence and Washington, D.C.?

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 24, 2007 @ 11:27 am | Reply

  48. Why not look into creating options for parents of 5th and 6th graders? Instead of trying to bend and twist Chariho to conform to the K-6 model, why not offer families the money saved if they choose to educate their 5th and 6th graders outside the Chariho system?

    Obviously parents and voters have spoken and have told the poticians they don’t want 5th and 6th graders in the inappropriate environment provided at Chariho. Imagine if these parents could decide for themselves what is academically best suited for their children? This is a win/win since parents who prefer the Middle School model would still be able to send their children to Chariho.

    We’d have to determine how much Hopkinton would save for each child not enrolled in Chariho, but if the number was $5000 to $8,000 per child, I could see where this would be enough for parents to make better choices for their children. I’m betting a school would start-up locally to meet the demand. They might even attract families from other areas. Who knows, they might even agree to purchase the 1904 building, fix it up, and use it as a school?

    I know there is a lot of controversy (most of it NEA generated) surrounding school choice. But this plan may be different than all the rest since voters have spoken and the School Committee ignores them. Besides, it’s not school choice across the board, but only in this segment of the student population. Besides, shouldn’t Hopkinton have the right to offer it’s citizens educational options that suit our town?

    Outside the box thinking, I know…but when faced with the fierce resistance of those like Mr. Petit, we may need to figure out a novel approach to achieving the best educational outcomes for our children…not just special needs children, but ALL our children.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 24, 2007 @ 1:49 pm | Reply

  49. Mrs. Capalbo was the management study discussed last night? Over on Hopkinton Speaks Mr. Hirst informed us that in a conversation with Mr. Day he was told that the management study would not be paid for with this year’s budget, but it would be included in next year’s budget.

    I do not understand how Mr. Day would know the outcome of the management study issue prior to public discussion and vote, but apparently they voted on it amongst themselves and Mr. Day decided to share with Mr. Hirst. I’m sure Mr. McQuaide was not involved in this informal agreement since he is such a stalward protector of open meetings.

    I hesitate to call the pre-arranged agreement on the management study an illegal vote. I’m 0 for 1 when it comes to lawyers’ opinions and the School Committee, but I am concerned when important decisions such as the fate of the management study are made out of the public eye. If the delay to next year is accurate, the School Committee has failed us once again.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 24, 2007 @ 2:01 pm | Reply

  50. Hi Cr,

    No, the study was not on the agenda. I think Mr. Day may have been speaking for himself. Certainly from attending the school board meetings I would guess that most would rather have the study in the budget than use the surplus. We’ll see as it progresses.

    Comment by Barbara Capalbo — October 24, 2007 @ 10:56 pm | Reply

  51. I hope you are correct and Mr. Day was making a guess. He probably should reconsider making guesses about issues which have not been resolved. Mr. Hirst wrote about it as if it the delay to next year was a forgone conclusion. I hope his assumption was wrong and they get the management study started very soon.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 24, 2007 @ 11:59 pm | Reply

  52. CR,

    Please, in fairness to Mr. Day he didn’t say or guess anything, Mr. Hirst reported that he did. I would not necessarily believe anything someone else said that you had said, unless you agree. Certainly the board is split and a major concern of a number of people is that the recommendations will not be followed or even considered as in the past. Mr. Silks made this clear too. $100,000 (or less) is still a lot of money to waste.

    Personally I would think that the entirety of RI Dept. of Education needs this study more than any district. Mr. Carcieri looks like he is looking at his portion as well to tighten the belt. State Special needs mandates are being looked at as well – which may be frustrating, but at least the legislature is looking at trying to reduce them to the level of the Federal mandates. I would suggest calling your local legislator and encouraging this development.

    Comment by Barbara Capalbo — October 25, 2007 @ 6:54 am | Reply

  53. I understand what you are saying Mrs. Capalbo. Perhaps Mr. Hirst did misunderstand what Mr. Day told him.

    Considering that Mr. Felkner, Mr. Petit, and Mr. McQuaide have all posted here before, I figured they might tell us if Mr. Day has been working behind the scenes to secure commitments? We do know that the School Committee is very secretive and doesn’t provide answers to the public easily (if at all), so it seems like a question worth asking.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 25, 2007 @ 10:04 am | Reply

  54. Let us hope that something will click in the brain of the voter on the way to vote:
    If we say NO to the bond, we will have more strength as voters to challenge CHARIHO administration.
    If we say NO to the bond, and instead review and develop plans to bring our younger children home for their 5th and 6th grade education, there will be more room at the CURRENT CHARIHO campus
    If we say NO to the bond, we can develop our own town bonds to renovate our current elementary school buildings
    If we say NO to the bond, we can evaluate the true needs to repair and refurbish the current CHARIHO campus, and include the calssrooms needed for “at risk” youths if that is desired by the voters. Until then, all students can be educated equally, in portable classrooms as needed. Once the elementary students and grades 5 and 6 are safely housed in their updated and refurbished schools, we can concentrate on the CHARIHO campus.

    Comment by Georgies Mom — October 25, 2007 @ 11:10 am | Reply

  55. I’d like to see more information available on the Internet. If Chariho is not hiding things, they should have no issues with ready public access.

    I have to believe that budgets and specific purchases are recorded in school databases, and should be easy to put out into the public arena. It’s our money and every single dime spent should be accounted for and publicized.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 25, 2007 @ 4:06 pm | Reply

  56. In reference to Mrs. Capalbo’s post #46 above and her observation that zero tolerance policy for young children is “nuts”, I think it is interesting to note that RYSE’s empire expands when zero tolerance is implemented. Read below to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth:

    “To respond to those cases where students cannot effectively be served within traditional district programming, the RYSE School offers an Interim Alternative Education Setting. This program is designed to provide an interim placement and evaluation for students ages 6-21 who engaged in behaviors that endanger self or others, offend “zero tolerance” policies and/or have a complex presentation and who are disengaged from the learning process.”

    So tell us again how RYSE is “for the children”? Vulnerable young children who run afoul of the politically correct zero tolerance policy may be forced into a 45 day RYSE assessment program? If they aren’t special needs before being indoctrinated, they probably will be after 45 days of brainwashing.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 26, 2007 @ 4:27 pm | Reply

  57. Just think! Every time you see a 64 passenger school bus going to a school in CHARIHO, that is close to $64,000 in “Building Upkeep” per year rolling to that school, or $939 pre student, per year! What could YOU do for YOUR houme with $939 PER PERSON Per year?

    Comment by Georgies Mom — October 27, 2007 @ 8:08 am | Reply

  58. I didn’t know we still had ‘zero tolerance’ policies in the elementary setting. That’s awful. These are little children who may indeed not know what they have done in adult eyes to ‘offend’ others. What do the parents think about this?

    Comment by Barbara Capalbo — October 28, 2007 @ 7:03 pm | Reply

  59. CR, sorry it took me so long to answer. YES – I have been told by 3 people that Bill Day called them – buttered them up and tried to get them to meet with Ricci. I hope none of those meeting occured during ‘work’ hours. Just another example of how taxes fund political activism (doesn’t this sound familiar to fans of RIC – inside joke).

    Comment by Bill Felkner — October 29, 2007 @ 8:58 pm | Reply

  60. For MR. Day to say that the study won’t be done until next year – after being placed in the 09 budget – this doesn’t seem quite right. You see, this was teh superintendent’s recommendation but I made a motion to simply use surplus funds and start the study immediately.

    If Day really thinks that the super’s recommendations are a foregone conclusion, then perhaps he has spoken with other board members to ensure that vote – if thats the case, its a violation of open meeting laws.

    Either he has violated the law or he is just guessing.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — October 29, 2007 @ 9:16 pm | Reply

  61. I have a question. Who determined that an untried program for children (not violent) in the RYSE program (MST by PC, Inc.)should be the required program? Are they (School administration) or Ms Perry related to someone at PC Inc.?

    If someone is going to treat psycological problems, shouldn’t the program be one designed for that specific application? What if the program, one that is not considered to applicable to these children, is found to less effective then a “standard” program? Do we get our money back? What are the studies showing regarding the effectivness of this program vs. other programs accepted and established for students such as the ones in the RYSE program? What changes to the Original Program for violent children were made to consider that this program was to be chosen over other, established programs? Who is the judge of all of this? How do we know that our children in RYSE are being helped, not hindered?

    Comment by Georgies Mom — November 1, 2007 @ 1:01 pm | Reply

  62. Listen to your children, please! All of the parent’s that have a daughter or son in RYSE, what you don’t know, I do, and 9 times out of 10 your children are telling you the truth. The only thing I ask you to do is not be strong-armed into thinking there is something wrong with your child just because these so-called ‘professionals’ say there is an indication your child may need special help. These are your children. They don’t know them. I can’t begin to tell you how many times the RYSE program has fallen apart. Think about it. If you have a student in RYSE, how many clinicians have you had? They all quit! They leave you and your child with nothing. If you put your child into the RYSE program they will be lucky if they make it out. The program is designed for the students to fail. I am not talking about ALP, I am only referring to the RYSE program.

    Your ‘administrator’s’ favorite quote, (especially Riccis’) is, “We only have your son’s / daughter’s best interest in mind”. This is how they draw you in. Don’t believe it for one second. They want the money from the state. That money in addition to this ‘bond proposal’ Ricci keeps pusuing, will give him next year’s raise to add to his $122,000/yr salary, pluse all the ‘perks’ he thinks he deserves. You vote for that bond and you are giving him a blank check. You are the taxpayer, he doesn’t live in your district. He has nothing to lose. However, it is your tax dollars that are paying for him to sit in his air conditioned office, which, by the way, is not falling apart!

    First, ask for the estimates he got from contractors, that had bid (?) on the renovations! Has anyone received one in the mail? Legally, he is supposed to have 3 estimates, but we all know that won’t happen. What will happen is the same way he got his position, he slid under the radar and did not even give you the respect to vote for the person you wanted to run the district, and now look at the mess that was created. You are all fighting against each other!! I bet if you took one person out of the picture, there would have been a compromise a long time ago. Think about it.

    I sat in a school committee meeting and watched (maybe 10) members put their tail between their legs and agreed with whatever Ricci said. Personally, put Felkner in as your superintendent. He is the only member of that board who has the backbone to challenge Ricci and ask questions. He is the only person who follows the letter of the law! I am somewhat disappointed that 3 towns could not get rid of the whole committee and get people that know what they are doing in there and that live in the district. After all, it is your tax dollars that are paying for this comedy of errors to continue!

    In terms of RYSE, don’t do that to your child. Don’t you ever wonder why you are not allowed past that entry way without the permission of the ‘principal’, who by the way, does not have children of her own, (she hides behind certifications she has managed to accumulate over the years), she is not married, and always appears threatening. Ask questions; don’t be forced into something you know in your heart is not right.

    Most of you are outraged parents. You have every right to continue asking questions until you are satisfied with the answers. If you don’t understand the answer it is because they are not telling you the truth. Don’t be intimidated by them. That is their weapon; they will use words you do not understand, make you believe that you, the parent, don’t know your child or what is best for him/her. You own that school district. You are at the controls. Band together, get rid of the administrators/representatives that enjoy hearing their own voices. Stand up for your children. Don’t let strangers, (which they are to you), tell you what they are going to do with your money, (at the detriment of your child). That is not the way it works.

    My primary message is that this is the time in your child’s life when they are trying to establish their own identity. Don’t let RYSE take away their self-esteem. Don’t allow strangers to stigmatize your child for the rest of their lives! Do you know the consequences and limitations that this program will have on the future of your child? If you do have a child that needs special care, put them in an environment with experienced and professional people that can help him / her. Don’t put them in a program that will hinder them for the rest of their lives. Talk to each other. Arguing with the ‘wannabes’ puts you on their level; don’t lower yourselves.

    Comment by Former RYSE employee — August 11, 2008 @ 3:40 pm | Reply

  63. […] The first was comment #62 on Hopkinton Parent’s view of Chariho 2010 […]

    Pingback by Former RYSE BMA speaks out « Chariho School Parents’ Forum — August 12, 2008 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

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