Chariho School Parents’ Forum

November 2, 2007

Campus 2010 in the news

Filed under: bond — Editor @ 8:54 pm

Just to make sure you didn’t miss anything.  If I missed something, please send me a link or text.

Campus 2010 Flyer 

Sept 12 – CSPF – Thomas Buck (Hopkinton Town Council)

Sept 19 – ProJo – Thurman Silks (Hopkinton resident)

Oct 22 – Westerly Sun – Thurman Silks (Hopkinton resident)

Oct 23 – Westerly Sun – Barbara Capalbo (Hopkinton TC)

Oct 24 – Westerly Sun -Matthew Ulrickson, Stephanie Brown, William Day, Greg Kenny, Greg Avedesian, Lois Russell (current chair (Day) and former members Chariho SC) pro

Oct 25 – Westerly Sun – Georgia Ure (Hope Valley, Ed Options Committee) con, Bill Day (chair Chariho SC) pro, Stephanie Brown (Hopkinton rep, former chair Chariho SC) pro

Oct 26 – Westerly Sun – Richard Hosp (Charlestown resident) pro, Lois Buck (wife Hopkinton TC member) con

Oct 27 – Westerly Sun – Beverly Kenny (Hopkinton TC) pro, Barbara Capalbo (Hopkinton TC) con

Oct 28 – Westerly Sun – Barry Ricci (Chariho Superintendent) pro, William Anderson (husband of C.U.R.E. political action committee member) pro, Lois Buck (wife of Hopkinton Town Council member) con, Holly Eaves (Charlestown rep Chariho SC) pro

Oct 29 – Westerly Sun – Barry Ricci (Chariho Superintendent) pro, Mary Botelle (Hope Valley resident) con

Oct 30 – ProJo – Bob Petit (Hopkinton rep, Chariho School Committee) pro, Todd Grimes (Chariho Athletic Director) pro, Deb Carney (former President Charlestown Town Council) con

Oct 30 Westerly Sun – Barry Ricci (Chariho Superintendent) pro, Bill Day (Richmond rep, chair Chariho SC) pro, Thurman Silks (Hopkinton resident) con

Oct 31 – Westerly Sun – Charles Beck (chair Charlestown Republicans) pro, Barry Ricci (Chariho Superintendent) pro, Doreen Dolan (Building Committee & C.U.R.E policital action committee) pro, Barbara Capalbo (Hopkinton Town Council) con, Bob Mitchell (Chariho High School Principal) pro, Deb Carney (former chair Charlestown Town Council) con

Nov 1 – Westerly Sun – Thurman Silks (Hopkinton resident) con, Bill Penhallow (former chairman Chariho SC) pro, Greg Kenny (Building Committee chair) pro, Bill Felkner (Hopkinton rep, Chariho SC) con

 Nov 2 – Westerly Sun –  Todd Grimes (Athletic Director) pro, Georgia Ure (Education Options Comm – Hopkinton) con, Holly Eaves (Charleston rep Chariho School Committee) pro, Thurman Silks (Hopkinon resident) con, Beverly Kenny (Hopkinton Town Council) pro, Dorothy Gardener (Education Options Committee) con, Mimi Johnson (Hope Valley resident) con

Nov 2 – ProJo – Bill Felkner (Hopkinton rep Chariho School Committee) con

Nov 4 – Westerly Sun – John Gilman (chairman HOPE PAC), Sylvia Thompson (Hopkinton council member)



  1. I actually feel badly for Principal Mitchell. He knows that the problems at the High School will remain should the bond be defeated. I wish Mr. Mitchell had discussed this with Mr. Ricci prior to the Building Committee cramming all their dreams into one bond.

    Mr. Mitchell does bring up one point which is pitifully funny. He is concerned because students have to go outside to travel between buildings. Apparently he is unaware of the history of Chariho. Going between the High School and Vo-Tech has been common for decades. I’ve never heard of any children melting from the journey.

    While I do agree the High School legitimately needs some renovations (within reason), using the fact that children have to go outside is plain silly and puts Mr. Mitchell on the side of those who will say anything to fool voters into supporting the bond.

    I haven’t read all the letters yet, but Mr. Silks’ point about being locked into the inequitable fundings scheme with Charlestown for the next 20 years should be reason enough for any sane Hopkinton citizen to vote no.

    If you’re on the fence, give this one some thought. If you own a $200,000 home in Hopkinton or Richmond you will pay double to triple what a Charlestown resident living in the same home will pay for Chariho.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 2, 2007 @ 11:27 pm | Reply

  2. The letter from the School Committee members who served when RYSE was first snuck into Chariho was riveting. They admit it was an experiment, and they weren’t sure if it would work, but they didn’t feel it was time to get voter approval. Think about that? They had no clue, still don’t for that matter, if RYSE would hurt or help children, yet they felt they alone were qualified to make the decision.

    In the letter they don’t mentioned any public workshops or parental surveys or public discussions about RYSE. In Mrs. Botelle’s letter she mentions being told about a “creative program”. Sounds like these people were even more sly and cunning than our current School Committee.

    Funny thing is that we still don’t know if RYSE is financially or educationally beneficial. For all intents and purposes, it remains an experiment on our most vulnerable children. As several people have noted, any school could try this…none do. Not one school in the USA except Chariho has turned their school into a social service agency yet we are to believe RYSE is a rousing success? How dumb do we look?

    RYSE remains about the adults. RYSE is an employment vehicle for the Special Education community. RYSE justifies ever increasing budgets which we cannot challenge because after all, “it’s for the special children”.

    To this day…with all the attention and focus on RYSE…they still won’t tell us how much we spend or show data demonstrating positive results for ALL the children. This tells me more than words could ever say. They have nothing good to report, so they report nothing.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 2, 2007 @ 11:53 pm | Reply

  3. In their push to have the bond approved, The Rag is apparently publishing daily articles refuting opposition to the bond.

    In the latest article, they cite Mrs. Capalbo’s observation about the huge price increase in the cost of building new facilities for RYSE. They follow up this truth with excuse after excuse as to why construction costs have risen so dramatically.

    I know people in the construction world, and while costs may have risen, I haven’t heard of buildings costing 25% to 30% more to build in a couple of years. The Rag presents the information with no challenges or questions. Simply written as if fact.

    The Rag next takes on opposition to RYSE based on budgetary costs. They pass along the numbers given to them by Ms. Perry, and note that they did not receive a cost comparison they requested. The Rag said they received the same documentation as the School Committee. I guess it is the one page sheet Mr. Felkner has posted here? What a joke.

    The Rag doesn’t even ask for proof of RYSE’s benefit to children. They ignore this question, apparently assuming RYSE is better because it sounds nice? That feeling thing again. The Rag didn’t interview any parents nor ask parents if they like having their children forced into the program. The Rag ignored the positive or negative impact of RYSE on children.

    The Rag did mention Mr. Felkner’s concern with the school providing and funding social services for parents. Ms. Perry defends the program by saying “federal education laws are “pretty clear” that such services are necessary for a child to perform at his or her best in school, and need to be provided through the district”.

    This is very interesting. Are all parents eligible for social services funded and provided through Chariho? What if we have mainstream children whose educational achievement could be enhanced by programs for us? Is Chariho legally obligated to provide all parents with services? Or does education equity only apply to RYSE children? The Rag never asks…after one somewhat balanced article, The Rag is back to old tricks.

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 3, 2007 @ 11:29 am | Reply

  4. The Sun probably only looked at the bottom line. And if you do that, then it looks like they are saving us money. But, if you look deeper into what is missing, you realize that we are not saving money. They count on people being busy and not being able to take the time to evaluate these documents. Pretty smart.

    The other document they mention is the 2007-2008 cost analysis. This is based totally on speculation. You can’t judge a program on speculation.

    Again, produce the documents we desire and we may well wave the white flag in defeat. But, until then, be skeptical because to date these documents have not been presented.

    We have a relative who was in RYSE. He quit a couple of weeks ago. He told me he couldn’t take it anymore. I’ve asked him many questions about RYSE and Bradley, which is where he went before RYSE.

    The following is a letter I helped him with. He dictated to me what he wanted to say. I made sure he and his mother read it, and I read it to him as well. I wanted him to come out in the letter. In fairness to RYSE, I made sure he gave examples, and in some cases, the care is similar at Bradley. You be the judge:

    To the editor:

    I was unhappy on the first day when I started at RYSE. Once when I was angry at RYSE, I smashed a chair, and they tried to charge me $50. I got it for $10 at Family Dollar. They charge kids $50 to repair holes in the wall, even if they didn’t do the damage.

    We played 4-square in the common room. I accidently broke a ceiling light, which they tried to charge me for.

    At Devereaux, in Rutland, MA, when I was given time-outs, I willingly went because I still had the freedom to use the bathroom or order lunch. Recently at RYSE, I refused time outs because those freedoms weren’t given.

    During ISS (In School Suspension), if I was sick, they would not let me go to the nurse or go home. Any kind of illness, like throwing up or migraines, 90% of the time I wouldn’t be allowed to leave. I even brought a cell phone to school so I could have my father pick me up and sign me out. At Bradley, I was taken care of because I was in the hospital section.

    I was doing Geometry in Bradley. When I came to RYSE in the 7th grade, they put me on 4th grade elementary work. In one year, I was back at grade level where I stayed for 4 years. I told them I didn’t want the easy street, I wanted to be challenged. They kept me at 7th grade level for 4 years. They told me they didn’t think I could do anything harder. They told me I have to do the work they think I can handle.

    I was treated different by students and teachers. Other RYSE kids picked on me, called me names, but they would not touch me because they knew I would hit back. If they got loud, they wouldn’t get in trouble. If I got loud, they threatened disorderly conduct and I might get arrested.

    I did not like RYSE. I encourage that RYSE should be shut down and move the kids to a more professional area.

    Anytime the school committee would like to talk, they can invite me, and I will share with them.

    By: David Burdick, Jr., resident of Hopkinton

    As I said, I had his mother read it as well. She corroborated everything.

    He is a good kid. He has his issues, but I can always count on him telling me the truth.

    He is often loud when he talks, which we encourage him to tone it down. But, he made a point the last time I talked to him about his volume. His father is hard of hearing and has a hearing aid. He spends his time at home talking to someone who can’t hear well, often raising his voice to be heard. It stands to reason that he would be loud.

    I was concerned that if he approached the school committee about his experiences, they would produce 4 people to make him look bad. I recommended that he get an advocate. He’s not worried about retaliation now, as he has quit school.

    I posted his letter to the editor here as he wanted it in the paper before the vote. But since he only dictated it to me recently, it will not likely appear until after the vote.

    Comment by Lois Buck — November 4, 2007 @ 9:06 pm | Reply

  5. To all of you who may be voting for the bond — Tom, Sylvia and I will be working to revise the Chariho Act whether this bond passes or fails. We are over taxing our retired, our elderly, our farmers, our low and moderate income families till they cannot function without fear. If you can afford the taxes (I can too) we are still being over taxed by 2 million a year in the general school budget — without even beginning to discuss the school bond for twenty years. Or, God forbid, a municipal bond for infrastructure or for our own elementary schools.

    Each of us (Tom, Sylvia and I) believe we need a bond for renovation and new construction for the elementary schools. They have had portable classrooms for longer than the middle or high schools. And for those of you with small children or grandchildren, this must come first.

    I know other citizens will not agree with me (I don’t know Sylvia or Tom’s point of view), but I believe we need a new high school. It is too bedraggled, inefficient and falling apart to renovate. We need a two story building with a central library – not one out in East Podunk, Iowa. Look at the design!! The library is too far from any normal pattern of student movement to allow them its use and the use of their lockers before the next class. It’s in East Jipippee! And it blocks the only egress from the center of this huge tract of land! Where will the kids be in case of a crisis? They have no easy way out of the campus.

    Just because we have land, should not and must not mean we abuse it. Where are the environmentalists? – only in the woods or open space? Give me a break here. Build energy efficient buildings – do not re-build inefficient buildings and think they will suddenly become ‘green’. This is the 21st century and there are excellent construction choices. We are rehashing an old plan that does not consider ‘time’ as a function of student class change or ADA requirements. Must every physically disabled child have to be late to every class. If we are trying to become multi-cultural and ADA compliant, why are we trying to accent the inequities?

    Thurm Silks is correct — where I live in a regional district cannot determine the cost of a basic democratic fundamental. Education is a right, not a priviledge, therefore I must be taxed equally throughout the district for the priviledge of supplying a right.

    Comment by Barbara Capalbo — November 4, 2007 @ 9:47 pm | Reply

  6. Young Mr. Burdick’s horror story with RYSE is tragic. I’m sure RYSE has a different version to offer, but regardless, RYSE took away the options for Mr. Burdick and his family. Ignoring the unknown costs for RYSE, and we still have Chariho making parental decisions. This is plain wrong.

    Good luck with your post bond efforts Mrs. Capalbo. Charlestown would be foolish to agree to tax equalization. Yes, it would be the ethical thing to do, but I’ve seen not one Charlestown leader step forward supporting tax equity, and I don’t expect it will happen.

    If this bond passes, we are stuck with the current tax structure for at least 20 years. You can anticipate continuing distress among Hopkinton citizens as Charlestown and Richmond vote to approve out-of-control Chariho budgets.

    On a positive note, without tax equity, there’s not a chance that we’ll be building a new high school…and that means you and I won’t have to verbally joust over the issue 😉

    Comment by Curious Resident — November 4, 2007 @ 10:26 pm | Reply

  7. Hi CR,

    I was raised mostly in Maryland where the state sport is jousting. Talk about an anachronism.

    Comment by BarbaraC — November 5, 2007 @ 12:47 pm | Reply

  8. It is evening, the night before the vote, and I know that no matter HOW the vote turns out, we will all lose for the following reasons:
    Who, in their right mind would allow a program called RYSE to begin? Consider the following:
    The program had NEVER been used in the context it was planned for
    NO ONE teacher, psychologist, aide, or psychiatrist had ANY experience with the program applied to this population. (Remember the program had never been used in this setting of RYSE)
    NO ONE has measured the success or failure of the program
    The School Committee, which we trusted to oversee the education, care, and in some instances, guidance and treatment of our children simply put in place a “new program”. No one has had or ever had any concern for the possible damage to our children or their welfare; they simply bought what was presented to them. Worst of all, they have defended their decisions even when asked to review or provide information regarding the success or failure of the program. Finally, they have allowed this single program to continue on with studies, bids, or reproducible assurances and examples that this program is a success and not harmful to our children.
    I would like to place each member who voted to put this program in place in the following scenario:
    Have to have a surgical procedure on your child, and are forced to accept a surgeon who has never done surgery on a child with that particular serious problem. After all, the surgeon used a similar procedure on combative children, why not on yours? Now, you are forced to accept this unknown treatment by an unknown surgeon, while you have an expert you know and trust available, but you have no choice.
    I am sure you will hear that this is a foolish example, but isn’t a MIND a terrible thing to waste?
    We still have the same superintendent, the same school committee, and the same attitude. When and HOW can we possibly win this battle? I am going to continue to try, and I am voting NO tomorrow.

    Comment by Georgies Mom — November 5, 2007 @ 5:57 pm | Reply

  9. […] Filed under: RYSE, bond — Bill Felkner @ 9:00 pm This was in the comments section of the previous post – This is not the first time I have heard stories like this, but like Elaine Morgan, it is one of […]

    Pingback by Letter from RYSE student « Chariho School Parents’ Forum — November 5, 2007 @ 9:00 pm | Reply

  10. […] program, among other things (although, the finances of RYSE are a side issue to me).   You can review the letters yourself but I think those of us who are most vocal opposing the bond did so based on our problems with […]

    Pingback by Still upset with the results « Chariho School Parents’ Forum — November 24, 2007 @ 3:04 pm | Reply

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