Chariho School Parents’ Forum

October 28, 2008

SC meeting

Filed under: 1 — Editor @ 11:27 pm

Had a doozy of a meeting tonight. 

The Admin Contract and Structure Subcommittee issued a report and we voted to accept it.  9 to 2 vote (you can guess who did what).  The report said that Chariho admin was “appropriate to meet the needs of the District.”  Interesting that our enrollments are at levels near what they were in 1999 but our budget and admin levels are substantially more (if someone could find some budget or staff # info from that time it would be appreciated). 

This report also referenced an “action” to “identify a strategy” to give us “flexibility” with admin contracts.  I cut to the chase and reminded people that we looked at cutting positions during the budget and could not because contracts restricted us.  I asked if this “action” had a goal to resolve this problem.  You will never see it but it was informative watching Holly Eaves and Andy McQuade ‘answer’ (using the term loooooosly) the question.  I have no idea what they said.

Another item was the insight report.  The SC reiterated that we cant use them because some schools report transportation and other dont and some schools retire debt through the towns, others don’t. Because of these inconsistancies it is difficult to compare.  I pointed out that each report breaks down costs to “instruction” “instruction support” “leadership” and other categories.  Assuming each school uses instructions and administrators, costs could be compared. 

But the most interesting part came during the discussion on IEP’s placed on the agenda at the last meeting.  I couldnt attend that meeting so I emailed Ricci with a few questions. 

Here is the original correspondence from Superintendent Ricci.

***** (from Superintendent Ricci) ******




Please see responses below.


Barry J. Ricci

Superintendent of Schools

All Kids…All of the Time


——Original Email——-


Wont make it tonight. If someone else wants a discussion with the IEP topic there is no need to postpone it if I could get a few questions answered here. Hopefully I am reaching you early enough to save her the effort of going to the meeting if she is not needed.


Are parent of students in the classrooms allowed to visit the contained classrooms (either RYSE or other self-contained)?

If not, why? Please site policy.

Yes. There is a “check-off” on the calendar that allows a child to be removed in the event of an observation by a parent.

Are Committee members allowed to visit RYSE unannounced?

If not, why? Please site policy.

For safety and security reasons, we do not allow unannounced visitors to classrooms at any of our schools. Specific to the clinical program at The RYSE School, there are issues of confidentiality when dealing with students who have been identified via the IEP process. For visitors, including School Committee members, with legitimate purposes for observing, guidelines would need to be established to protect the confidentiality of students.


When a parent requests a second opinion on the IEP (resulting in an IEE if my acronym is correct), is that second opinion allowed to contain grade equivalences for the numerical scores?

If not, why? Please site policy.

If you’re referring to a second opinion on an evaluation, we’re awaiting a decision from RIDE on the issue of grade equivalencies. Our practice is to use age equivalents.

And is that IEE allowed to have treatment recommendations?

If not, why? Please site policy.

Yes, treatment recommendations may be considered by an IEP team.

If no one else needs Kathy for the discussion, you can save her the time and just email me the answers. Thanks

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile


Unknown to me, George Abbott asked that the agenda item be postponed or replaced on this meetings agenda.  So when I saw it I asked some of the parents who talk to me about these things.  One of them was very surprised by Ricci’s responses and he sent me more info and attended the meeting. 


But the discussion was killed and put off until the next meeting. They said that since the entire commitee didn’t have the same info that I had, we needed to reschedule until they did (when have we heard this before?  Oh yea, when I brought in RI Dept of Ed info and they cried foul – NEVER do your homework – just let the administration give you the info you need!)

But the info provided me by the parent was daming.  Here’s a hint – you (the taxpayer) have been paying for a lawyer to fight a parent who simply wanted information about their child’s education.   Chariho has been fighting this parent for 16 months.

Sounds a lot like the fact that when RYSE started our legal bills tripled due the amount of parents that took Chariho to court.  Parents pay a lawyer out of their own pocket to fight a lawyer that their taxes pay for.  This is insane (and why hasn’t any of the press reported this? The data is public and was posted here).

I wonder if this is something that can be resolved via the town council.  After all they hold the purse strings, no?  But I digress… 

All this might have come out eventually so maybe my “antagonistic” style isn’t necessary.  After all, its only been 16 months for this parent to battle the school (and it still is not resolved)

 – or 2 years since Investigations Math was to be changed (and we are still in “pilot” phase)

– or been 5 years since RYSE forced kids into the program and we just found out last year (and they still refuse to give me the legal invoices – or give parents the choice where to sent their kids)

– or the 10 years that parents have told them to return the 5th and 6th graders (and we still don’t have it)

–  or 16 YEARS since Hopkinton first asked for “actual” budget amounts (which they still have not provided).  Yes, you heard that right.  The very same thing Tom Buck asked for recently was originally asked for 16 years ago and it still has not been supplied (h/t to Sir Uncle Buck).

– or 22 years since MGT reported that the tax inequity should be resolved.

I guess I’m just impatient.

I’ll post more info on this soon.





I will wait and see if the Westerly Sun accurately reports it before posting full details here but it was a perfect example of how Chariho fights against the best interest of the parents to protect their revenue streams.



  1. Why can’t you “cooperate” and wait a few more years? Whose more important some dumb parents or a building full of adults who depend on other people’s children to provide them with excellent employment?

    With Chariho’s penchant for delay tactics, they can wait out any parents for years. And it only costs us tens of thousands in legal fees.

    I wouldn’t put much faith in the media reporting any story that reflects poorly on Chariho. Chariho might find other outlets to spend our money.

    Comment by Curious Resident — October 29, 2008 @ 12:47 am | Reply

  2. Boy do they hate the word responsibility and transparency.

    Comment by RS — October 29, 2008 @ 10:16 am | Reply

  3. All administration all the time, I’ve read on this site sometime before. The administrator is to fat, lets get rid of ‘that’!.

    Comment by josh — October 29, 2008 @ 8:11 pm | Reply

  4. Wasn’t it interesting Ricci did not site policy in answering any of the questions? Is the superintendent not familiar with the policies therefore, unable to site them? Maybe he was just too lazy. Anyone who cares about their position and wants to impress the taxpayers who pay his salary, insurance, etc. would have provided more in depth answers and would have sited the policy that substantiates his answers. It appears Ricci thinks his position is that secure, which makes his answers sound quite comfortable by only offering a fleeting thought. “Ignorance is bliss” in Ricci’s case? It is apparent he does not have to answer any questions because the person asking is so beneath him, he does not have the time to ponder over meaningless questions. A superintendent who is truthful should understand the importance of the question and answer it to the taxpayers satisfaction!

    Does anyone remembering voting for Ricci as superintendent? If you do not, it is because it was ‘announced’. You did not vote for him; you had no say in whose policies were going to affect your children’s future and you were not involved in deciding who would be using your tax dollars to educate your children and maintain a safe and clean school district. Isn’t there a law, a policy (?), something perhaps mentioned in the Chariho Act that states that the school district must collectively vote for the person they want as the superintendent? It may even be at the state level…I just don’t think he is legally a superintendent, (however, I do not understand that level of the political process). But that did not matter to him. He slid under the radar, but does that necessarily mean that you are stuck with him? Ask to see the ballots/statistics that voted him in to his position. There must be a record somewhere with those results.

    He dictates, he is not interested in diplomacy. No one has officially challenged the process used to put him in that position. Obviously this gives him the impression that if no one says anything then he can do whatever he wants, and up to this point, he has. Is there not a way to remove him from the position and replace him with an honest, sincere (real) Superintendent, which the taxpayers of the Chariho School Distrcit can prove to Ricci that he “is not smarter than a 5th grader”???

    Comment by looking after the onlooker — October 30, 2008 @ 12:40 pm | Reply

  5. He didn’t cite the policy because the policy actually says the exact opposite (even though the RI Dept of Ed says (in writing) that it is wrong). THis is what I HOPE the Westerly Sun reports.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — October 30, 2008 @ 1:04 pm | Reply

  6. If the fiscally responsible folks only had vouchers, then we could vote with our feet and Ricci would be left with an empty empire and most probably answering why would the parents want to pull their children out of a first rate educational facility.Although I’m sure he would claim they had to leave because the bond failed and the facilities are too dangerous for the children’s safety, or he could just retire and jump off the train(with ca$h in hand)before it jumps the track and becomes known as the great trainwreck of Chairiho.

    Comment by RS — October 30, 2008 @ 1:33 pm | Reply

  7. […] have learned one thing.  Last meeting I showed an email from Ricci that said parents WERE given “age equivalencies” when they […]

    Pingback by SC meeting Nov 18 « Chariho School Parents’ Forum — November 18, 2008 @ 12:20 am | Reply

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