Comments » 70

agentorange007 writes:

Well,well! Now the rest of the MCS parents know how the Fort Craig folks felt. It's not the money but "programming?". Give me a break!! Does the central office not have a clue about neuroscience evidence on music and learning? Of course not! Schools Director Stephanie Thompson knows nothing about such things because she has never been a real teacher or principal. Where are her comments for this article?

But she is hot to get a new wood basketball floor and soccer field lights for MHS. See, it is all part of the "Master Plan.". There is more mayhem and foolishness to come. Stay tuned!

sunshine writes:

I agree with agent. We've always been told how wonderful Maryville schools are, now they are sounding an alarm that we are behind in math and science because of new standards. STEM sounds good, but they don't even know what they are going to teach or who will teach it! Meanwhile, we have an excellent music program which is going by the wayside. Remember when you were REQUIRED to learn to play an instrument in 5th grade just 10 years ago? Give me a break.

agentorange007 writes:

MCS spokesmouth Anglim says to send your comments to the Central Office. There they will seen by blind eyes and heard by deaf ears. Of course there will be a well scripted "process" of study and stakeholder input. However, let it be known the decision has already been made, probably at a secret school board meeting at the Opryland Resort. Folks, closing Fort Craig was just the beginning.

john4034 writes:

Nobody has even mentioned that the 6th grad MIS band played at a national Music conference in Chicago with pieces of music commissioned just for them. The group was also the first in the country at that grade level to ever be chosen. No other middle school till then had played for the nation at this conference. The MIS and MMS also play grade 4 music,(High School Level) only six grades of music and pulling off straight ones at Music festivals year in and out. Yet the school decides to make 8-9 at the middle school and went ahead to the TSSAA and fixed a rule saying those kids can play Varsity Sports. The school already messed the High School band up having every other day band, you should see a marching practice or even instrumentation on that! That's like having a guard, running back and Defensive Back at practice and that's it. You just can't get better. I watched the Alcoa Program go from 100 members to 3 members and now Alcoa is trying to build the program back. Maryville, your program is already on top, why try to ruin this? If my numbers are correct you have 370 in 5th and 6th grade band, what other school system can compete with those numbers? i guess Maryville is becoming ALL about Math, Science and Football, but mark my words seven band members get paid college to maybe, MAYBE one football player a year........thanks for the rant

John

sunshine writes:

If they're so concerned about students learning math and science, why do they wait to fund before and after school tutoring until a month or so after school starts? Shouldn't tutoring be a priority?

john4034 writes:

Talk about a powerful program this piece doesn't even talk about the MIS band that went to Chicago to play at a National conference with Music Commissioned just for them. This group was the first sixth grade group every taken to play at this event, and had everyone in the crowd on their feet in the end. The MIS and MMS band Just played grade IV music, High School Level by the way and scored straight one's in doing this. The High school band at Maryville has already been altered by having every other day band, you should see a marching practice. You might have three in one class, ten in another so those kids don't get to go compete anymore. It's funny with the eighth and ninth graders going to be on one campus that means those ninth graders couldn't play varsity Sports, but Maryville Quickly called the TSSAA and fixed that issue. The Band kids received seven scholarships to maybe one football scholarship? So why are we making the band program go from elite to garbage? The MIS and MMS programs are better than MOST High School programs in the area.

agentorange007 writes:

in response to sunshine:

If they're so concerned about students learning math and science, why do they wait to fund before and after school tutoring until a month or so after school starts? Shouldn't tutoring be a priority?

The answer to your question: NO!

Tutoring is NOT a priority!

Academics are NOT a priority!

According to current MCS dogma, a kid can learn everything they need to know on the football field or basketball court.

Now let's call a snow day so our youngins' can stay up late and watch the NCAA football championship. Yippee!

sunshine writes:

The current director of schools isn't the right fit for the system. She gets evaluated by the board in June. Maybe they should give her an F and send her on her way. No tutoring available for someone who makes as much as she does.

agentorange007 writes:

in response to sunshine:

The current director of schools isn't the right fit for the system. She gets evaluated by the board in June. Maybe they should give her an F and send her on her way. No tutoring available for someone who makes as much as she does.

I agree but they will give her glowing reviews and a pay raise to ensure she remains the City of Maryville's highest paid employee.

teamplayer23 writes:

I never felt good about the new grade configurations in the first place. Now the complete unknown about it is starting to come to the surface. There is so much going wrong in our school system right now, it's just bitter icing on the cake to even think about the music programs suffering. Is there really anything concerned parents can do about this? I feel really bad for all the families that chose Maryville as their home based on the school system as it was a few years ago.

agentorange007 writes:

in response to teamplayer23:

I never felt good about the new grade configurations in the first place. Now the complete unknown about it is starting to come to the surface. There is so much going wrong in our school system right now, it's just bitter icing on the cake to even think about the music programs suffering. Is there really anything concerned parents can do about this? I feel really bad for all the families that chose Maryville as their home based on the school system as it was a few years ago.

"Is there really anything concerned parents can do about this?"

Yes. Jenkins' and West's terms on the school board expire next in 2012. Fire them at the ballot box and replace them with excellence-minded candidates. Then replace the current schools director with one who is actually qualified to do the job and not based on her "relationships."
http://www.blounttoday.com/news/2007/...

sunshine writes:

in response to agentorange007:

"Is there really anything concerned parents can do about this?"

Yes. Jenkins' and West's terms on the school board expire next in 2012. Fire them at the ballot box and replace them with excellence-minded candidates. Then replace the current schools director with one who is actually qualified to do the job and not based on her "relationships."
http://www.blounttoday.com/news/2007/...

Or encourage the current school board members to get rid of her now. It's not too late to turn back the clock, but it will be in 2012.

sunshine writes:

I had read the articles in your link a few weeks ago. Funny that they hired Thompson to keep things the same, but now she's getting away from site based management and "standardizing" the system by weeding out anything that made it unique!

agentorange007 writes:

in response to sunshine:

I had read the articles in your link a few weeks ago. Funny that they hired Thompson to keep things the same, but now she's getting away from site based management and "standardizing" the system by weeding out anything that made it unique!

...and what's the deal with all these beloved principals and coaches resigning, retiring, or stepping down?

sunshine writes:

in response to agentorange007:

...and what's the deal with all these beloved principals and coaches resigning, retiring, or stepping down?

Casteel's daughter said on facebook that he was forced to resign by Thompson. Heard there's a whole behind the scenes story to it but don't know the details. Have heard some bad rumors, though, and they are very widespread.

agentorange007 writes:

Here is a link to Stephanie Thompson's memo about the music situation

http://www.maryvillecityschools.k12.t...

Down near the end of it on recommendation for parents #2 is a link to the master planning website. I clicked on it and it led me to a nonfunctioning Amazon.com UK page. Look up at the address bar and it says something about Calamity Jane's Hottest Adult Stories. Why? Does anybody else get the same result when they click on that link?

sunshine writes:

in response to agentorange007:

Here is a link to Stephanie Thompson's memo about the music situation

http://www.maryvillecityschools.k12.t...

Down near the end of it on recommendation for parents #2 is a link to the master planning website. I clicked on it and it led me to a nonfunctioning Amazon.com UK page. Look up at the address bar and it says something about Calamity Jane's Hottest Adult Stories. Why? Does anybody else get the same result when they click on that link?

I do too. Oops!

  • May 9, 2011
  • 11:20 a.m.
agentorange007 writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

sunshine writes:

in response to agentorange007:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I guess most people haven't even looked at the letter, let alone gone to the links!

sunshine writes:

Hurrah! Newest schedules show sixth and seventh grades get daily band and orchestra. Fifth gets it three times per week. Good progress.

Rational1 writes:

The prevailing ignorance of these posts is astonishing. Clearly many have no idea what is like to be in education today. Schools are blamed for everything that is wrong with society; from poor test scores to teen pregnancy rates to drug abuse. Maryville City responds to those challenges by increasing instructional time in the core subject areas as well as introducing STEM classes. And the response is that Maryville does not care about academics? The evidence used to support that claim is that we are making cuts in band (a non-academic activity for those not paying attention). How rational is that thought process? Sports and band are both enrichment activities and are important. Sports activities do not try to take up instructional time. We do not practice football, baseball or track while we should be spending time learning math and science. Who in their right mind believes that a school system does not value academics based on the fact that they are trying to increase instructional time in the core subject areas by cutting time in an enrichment activity. And as for the personal attacks, grow up. You do not have to agree with every decision made, but to be mean-spirited and vicious is uncalled for and out of line. I hope your children have learned from their teachers here in Maryville City the value of respect. Clearly many of you have not.

agentorange007 writes:

in response to Rational1:

The prevailing ignorance of these posts is astonishing. Clearly many have no idea what is like to be in education today. Schools are blamed for everything that is wrong with society; from poor test scores to teen pregnancy rates to drug abuse. Maryville City responds to those challenges by increasing instructional time in the core subject areas as well as introducing STEM classes. And the response is that Maryville does not care about academics? The evidence used to support that claim is that we are making cuts in band (a non-academic activity for those not paying attention). How rational is that thought process? Sports and band are both enrichment activities and are important. Sports activities do not try to take up instructional time. We do not practice football, baseball or track while we should be spending time learning math and science. Who in their right mind believes that a school system does not value academics based on the fact that they are trying to increase instructional time in the core subject areas by cutting time in an enrichment activity. And as for the personal attacks, grow up. You do not have to agree with every decision made, but to be mean-spirited and vicious is uncalled for and out of line. I hope your children have learned from their teachers here in Maryville City the value of respect. Clearly many of you have not.

Just to clarify, who is ultimately in charge our childrens's education? (a) the parents, (b) the schools director, or (c) the school board? Pick one, coach.

Also, please rank a,b,and c in the correct heirachal order (answer below)

Answer:
Parents >> School Board >> Schools Director

If you said: Schools Director >> School Board >> Parents, (as is the current chain of command) then you would be wrong.

sunshine writes:

in response to Rational1:

The prevailing ignorance of these posts is astonishing. Clearly many have no idea what is like to be in education today. Schools are blamed for everything that is wrong with society; from poor test scores to teen pregnancy rates to drug abuse. Maryville City responds to those challenges by increasing instructional time in the core subject areas as well as introducing STEM classes. And the response is that Maryville does not care about academics? The evidence used to support that claim is that we are making cuts in band (a non-academic activity for those not paying attention). How rational is that thought process? Sports and band are both enrichment activities and are important. Sports activities do not try to take up instructional time. We do not practice football, baseball or track while we should be spending time learning math and science. Who in their right mind believes that a school system does not value academics based on the fact that they are trying to increase instructional time in the core subject areas by cutting time in an enrichment activity. And as for the personal attacks, grow up. You do not have to agree with every decision made, but to be mean-spirited and vicious is uncalled for and out of line. I hope your children have learned from their teachers here in Maryville City the value of respect. Clearly many of you have not.

If they care so much about education, why have they not considered supplementing the tutoring funds from the state that don't come through until mid to late September? Kids can't get after school tutoring until the state money comes in, so almost a fourth of the year is spent without it. The suggestion by the board to supplement tutoring funds was a novel one for our DOS last night. Clearly the idea had never crossed her mind.
Oh, and they still spend more on athletics (per student) than they do on music education.
You've obviously never played music to think it is a nonacademic activity. It is PROVEN to improve math capabilities. Do sports do that?
Maybe we'll have to suggest that sports practices be cut in half to make sure the athletes get all their homework done. Surely the after school practices get in the way of reinforcing the learning of the day.
The music folks have gone out of their way to avoid comparing music and athletics. Don't get that discussion started because of these comments on this page. But if you want to have this debate, we can take it public.
How do you think it looked to all the music parents at the meeting when Sayles and Thompson would not take no for an answer regarding the gym floor?

rational writes:

I agree wtih Rational1. I am disappointed and disgusted with the unprofessional, personal comments. I have 3 children in the Maryville School System all with varying sports, music and academic interests. I was involved in band when I was in school and my oldest child is in the band and wind ensemble. I had 20 years of piano lessons and was also an elementary school teacher before I had my own children. I support increased time on core academic subjects. The TCAP has become more difficult and the children need to spend more time in core subjects. I think the need for tutoring during the first 6 weeks of the year is minimal. Most children don't need or want to go to tutoring until they see that they aren't progessing as quickly as their peers. The need for tutoring won't become noticeable until 6-9 weeks into the school year anyway. The PE class should be as accessible as music classes. Any extracurricular music and/or sports can be after school and I support adequate facilities for as many varying activities that the budget will allow. I'm disgusted with the people who state that sports doesn't teach as much as music. I do think sports/athletics are very valuable to a school system. The values of hard work, dedication, perseverance, cooperation and TEAMWORK are NOT taught in many places outside of sports. You do NOT consistently learn those skills in music like you do in sports. You learn many life lessons playing sports that I think people take for granted. You learn how to work with others, use people's strengths and weaknesses to help the WHOLE team win. I think more people in the work place need to use the values taught in team sports. Music is valuable, but do not underestimate the traits gained from team sports.

sunshine writes:

in response to rational:

I agree wtih Rational1. I am disappointed and disgusted with the unprofessional, personal comments. I have 3 children in the Maryville School System all with varying sports, music and academic interests. I was involved in band when I was in school and my oldest child is in the band and wind ensemble. I had 20 years of piano lessons and was also an elementary school teacher before I had my own children. I support increased time on core academic subjects. The TCAP has become more difficult and the children need to spend more time in core subjects. I think the need for tutoring during the first 6 weeks of the year is minimal. Most children don't need or want to go to tutoring until they see that they aren't progessing as quickly as their peers. The need for tutoring won't become noticeable until 6-9 weeks into the school year anyway. The PE class should be as accessible as music classes. Any extracurricular music and/or sports can be after school and I support adequate facilities for as many varying activities that the budget will allow. I'm disgusted with the people who state that sports doesn't teach as much as music. I do think sports/athletics are very valuable to a school system. The values of hard work, dedication, perseverance, cooperation and TEAMWORK are NOT taught in many places outside of sports. You do NOT consistently learn those skills in music like you do in sports. You learn many life lessons playing sports that I think people take for granted. You learn how to work with others, use people's strengths and weaknesses to help the WHOLE team win. I think more people in the work place need to use the values taught in team sports. Music is valuable, but do not underestimate the traits gained from team sports.

Yeah, it doesn't take any teamwork to get 150 students to play the same note at the same time.
As for tutoring, why are we testing these students if we don't plan to use the information right away? Almost 75% of our free and reduced lunch students are below proficient in math in 8th grade. One would have to project that if they were below proficient at the end of one year, they would be below proficient at the beginning of the next. Who cares if the student doesn't want tutoring? They could be assigned to after school tutoring (with permission of parents) and the school system can find a way to provide transportation. Maybe they could use one of those shuttles they plan for the athletes. Unless you're afraid before or after school tutoring will interfere with sports practice?
I believe sports is very beneficial for some students, just as music is. But music is an academic subject and should continue being taught during the school day. Music performance is offered as a major in college, sports performance is not. There is a fine arts requirement to graduate from TN high schools. There is no competitive sports requirement.

bluefish writes:

It's so easy to screen the real issue with random details.

Just decide on the percentage of the total budget that goes to each category or subject - divide and apply. Let it be an upfront numerical decision. Business management 101

It appears that Rational 1 & 2 feel Athletics should be designated a larger piece of the pie than music. Who made that decision? Is it written down anywhere.

No one is saying that athletics aren't important. And music is not the only issue that people are concerned about.

Rational 1 & 2 are defensive instead of listening to the points being made. Hundreds of angry parents and students can't be all irrational!

Things really need to change. It's not personal until it affects your child. Then when decisions of the school board affect your child in multiple negative ways - it gets to be a problem.

Rational 1 & 2 - there is some legitimate concern in the air, don't you think? Surely you don’t think all of the concerned parents are irrational do you?

savethemusic writes:

in response to sunshine:

Casteel's daughter said on facebook that he was forced to resign by Thompson. Heard there's a whole behind the scenes story to it but don't know the details. Have heard some bad rumors, though, and they are very widespread.

Forcing Casteel to resign is the only smart move Thompson has made thus far...

rational writes:

I am defensive. I do feel that the opinions and news articles are very "Chicken Little" and dramatic. Even the headline of the article is very dramatic. I also feel the comments are polarizing. The comments lead me to believe that some parents believe that its them against the school system or music vs. athletics, or all Maryville City elementary schools vs. Ft. Craig. We're all on the same team trying to work together to provide the best education we can for our kids. So, let's work together. I am responsible for MY childrens' education. The teacher is responsible for the group of children in their classroom. The school board is responsible for the education of the children as a whole system. I am offended at the approach some of these commenting parents are taking not necessarily what they have to say. I am personally very happy with the system and the education my kids receive. I would guess that most of the parents who chose to put their kids in MCS are happy. That's not to say there isn't room for improvement. I think the comments I have read reflect a vocal minority. I think a lot of the parents expressing concern over music are still hurt because of the Ft. Craig decision. But in my opinion, the Ft. Craig approach to education is not a new approach. Whole language, looping, multi-age classrooms have been around for a long time. The approaches may change names every 10-20 years but they are theoretically the same. Teaching is an art, not a science. The Ft. Craig teachers will not lose the essence of how they teach within the elementary schools. Its not going to be a negative transition unless you make it one. I do not think athletics needs a bigger piece of the pie, just part of the pie.

rational writes:

Having band, orchestra 3 days a week in 5th grade is A LOT more than most schools provide. I think kids at that age need to be exposed to a variety of educational opportunities. At that age, kids are trying to figure out what subjects, interests, sports they are passionate about. Passion translates to success/achievement or more motivation to succeed. I do not think the music parents have gone out of their way to avoid comparing athletics and music at least from what I've read. I do not believe that there is a cause/effect relationship between math & the arts. I think kids who have a natural math ability are naturally better in the arts and the two interests feed off each other. I think art class and geometry goes hand in hand like algebra and music class go hand in hand. I do think sports enhance a child's academic ability. The determination and perseverance you learn carries over to the classroom. If 75% of the reduced/free lunch kids are below proficient in math, I don't think its because they don't have enough music in their lives.

sunshine writes:

in response to rational:

Having band, orchestra 3 days a week in 5th grade is A LOT more than most schools provide. I think kids at that age need to be exposed to a variety of educational opportunities. At that age, kids are trying to figure out what subjects, interests, sports they are passionate about. Passion translates to success/achievement or more motivation to succeed. I do not think the music parents have gone out of their way to avoid comparing athletics and music at least from what I've read. I do not believe that there is a cause/effect relationship between math & the arts. I think kids who have a natural math ability are naturally better in the arts and the two interests feed off each other. I think art class and geometry goes hand in hand like algebra and music class go hand in hand. I do think sports enhance a child's academic ability. The determination and perseverance you learn carries over to the classroom. If 75% of the reduced/free lunch kids are below proficient in math, I don't think its because they don't have enough music in their lives.

But they're not offered tutoring until they're failing their math class at the end of the first 9 weeks. People with money can go ahead and sign up with a tutor.
These must be the only comments you have read, because the facebook page and direction given to those concerned about music have directed NO comparisons be made to athletics.

sunshine writes:

in response to rational:

I am defensive. I do feel that the opinions and news articles are very "Chicken Little" and dramatic. Even the headline of the article is very dramatic. I also feel the comments are polarizing. The comments lead me to believe that some parents believe that its them against the school system or music vs. athletics, or all Maryville City elementary schools vs. Ft. Craig. We're all on the same team trying to work together to provide the best education we can for our kids. So, let's work together. I am responsible for MY childrens' education. The teacher is responsible for the group of children in their classroom. The school board is responsible for the education of the children as a whole system. I am offended at the approach some of these commenting parents are taking not necessarily what they have to say. I am personally very happy with the system and the education my kids receive. I would guess that most of the parents who chose to put their kids in MCS are happy. That's not to say there isn't room for improvement. I think the comments I have read reflect a vocal minority. I think a lot of the parents expressing concern over music are still hurt because of the Ft. Craig decision. But in my opinion, the Ft. Craig approach to education is not a new approach. Whole language, looping, multi-age classrooms have been around for a long time. The approaches may change names every 10-20 years but they are theoretically the same. Teaching is an art, not a science. The Ft. Craig teachers will not lose the essence of how they teach within the elementary schools. Its not going to be a negative transition unless you make it one. I do not think athletics needs a bigger piece of the pie, just part of the pie.

When the DOS begins removing programs with a successful track record, it brings up the question "Why?" "Why does it have to be done this way?" No options are given to the solution of the problems. There appears to be no thought given to a creative solution.
Need higher math and science scores, put them in class longer. Budget problems in the system, cut the personnel budget because it is largest.
I saw the fresh faced young teachers who received tenure the other night. We appreciate them now but will consider them a drain on the system once their salaries reach max. Two schools in the system are title 1 because of their percentage of free and reduced lunch. Do you think the only way to reduce the budget is to cut the hours of those teaching assistants who help in their classrooms?
FYI- Athletics receives a larger piece of the pie (per student participant) than music does. This does not include the hundreds of thousands scheduled to be spent on new sports facilities like a baseball field at Coulter Grove.
Speaking of cyclical educational theories: why was it REQUIRED that a 5th grader learn to play a musical instrument 10 years ago, and now parents are supposed to be glad for 3 day a week instruction? Our math and science scores were the same then that they are now, they are just being held to a higher standard. How many times have I heard "we have the highest tcap scores in the state." A state that was almost off the chart on Dr. Winstead's graph comparing national rankings.(And not off the chart in the right way). STEM, what is that? No teachers selected, no idea what it is going to include. But I guess the kids who get anything out of it will be the ones with the natural abilities in math and science, so there is no need to emphasize the music program any more.

agentorange007 writes:

in response to rational:

I am defensive. I do feel that the opinions and news articles are very "Chicken Little" and dramatic. Even the headline of the article is very dramatic. I also feel the comments are polarizing. The comments lead me to believe that some parents believe that its them against the school system or music vs. athletics, or all Maryville City elementary schools vs. Ft. Craig. We're all on the same team trying to work together to provide the best education we can for our kids. So, let's work together. I am responsible for MY childrens' education. The teacher is responsible for the group of children in their classroom. The school board is responsible for the education of the children as a whole system. I am offended at the approach some of these commenting parents are taking not necessarily what they have to say. I am personally very happy with the system and the education my kids receive. I would guess that most of the parents who chose to put their kids in MCS are happy. That's not to say there isn't room for improvement. I think the comments I have read reflect a vocal minority. I think a lot of the parents expressing concern over music are still hurt because of the Ft. Craig decision. But in my opinion, the Ft. Craig approach to education is not a new approach. Whole language, looping, multi-age classrooms have been around for a long time. The approaches may change names every 10-20 years but they are theoretically the same. Teaching is an art, not a science. The Ft. Craig teachers will not lose the essence of how they teach within the elementary schools. Its not going to be a negative transition unless you make it one. I do not think athletics needs a bigger piece of the pie, just part of the pie.

This is not a Fort Craig issue. Fort Craig is dead. Killing Fort Craig was just the first domino to fall.

Now the issue at hand affects the whole system. It is NOT a vocal minority who are concerned about the changes in the intermediate school music program.

What I am concerned about is the surprise coming next. What is it you ask? Don't know--that's why its called a surprise. Who knows? The next brilliant MCS proposal might adversely affect your kids.

I agree the MCS is a good school system. However, from what I have seen the past four years, I do not have much faith in the leadership of the schools director or the majority of the school board. It is sliding down the slippery slope of mediocrity.

sunshine writes:

in response to agentorange007:

This is not a Fort Craig issue. Fort Craig is dead. Killing Fort Craig was just the first domino to fall.

Now the issue at hand affects the whole system. It is NOT a vocal minority who are concerned about the changes in the intermediate school music program.

What I am concerned about is the surprise coming next. What is it you ask? Don't know--that's why its called a surprise. Who knows? The next brilliant MCS proposal might adversely affect your kids.

I agree the MCS is a good school system. However, from what I have seen the past four years, I do not have much faith in the leadership of the schools director or the majority of the school board. It is sliding down the slippery slope of mediocrity.

Well said, Agent. I hope folks will let the school board know how they feel regarding the direction of our schools, as they are making the decision whether to renew Stephanie Thompson's contract in June.

rational writes:

The Ft. Craig issue is not a dead issue. You are obviously still hurt by the decision and its driving your current/future distrust of the school board and decisions. The decisions do effect my children. My youngest is very disappointed that he won't get to spend 4th grade at Sam Houston. Furthermore, my biggest fear, (with the closing of Ft. Craig) is the integration of those kids into the other schools. I'm fearful that the Ft. Craig parents still have a chip on their shoulder. I'm fearful that they are going to come to school with an attitude of "should be doing". My child's teacher/principal is going to be consumed with justifying why they are doing what they are doing and its going to consume their planning time, effect their instruction time, rock their self confidence, and negatively impact my child's school day. Then, there will be the self-fulfilling prophecy and the "I told you this wouldn't work mentality." I just would like to see some cooperation in trying to make this work for the good of the whole system before the negative energy takes over. To state this is a dead issue is ignoring the elephant in the room. The comments I have read include rude personal attacks. But you are correct, I have not seen the FB page, but I have tried to keep up on the news in the media. But if sports wasn't "said" it doesn't mean its not an undercurrent of the discussion. Sincerely, Rochelle B.

sunshine writes:

There was only one mention of FC on this page until you came along. What you SHOULD be worried about, though, as an elementary parent is the crowding that will take place when four elementary schools become three. The high school will be in good shape as far as student population, but the elementary schools will still be in the gray or red zone. This is according to the MCS numbers. Be guided less by your fears and look at the facts.

rational writes:

in response to sunshine:

There was only one mention of FC on this page until you came along. What you SHOULD be worried about, though, as an elementary parent is the crowding that will take place when four elementary schools become three. The high school will be in good shape as far as student population, but the elementary schools will still be in the gray or red zone. This is according to the MCS numbers. Be guided less by your fears and look at the facts.

There it is already, a lovely condescending "SHOULD". Am I not entitled to an opinion if it differs from yours? Even if they fire all the Ft. Craig teachers, which they are not going to do, the Ft. Craig population will add 2 students to each classroom.

sunshine writes:

in response to rational:

There it is already, a lovely condescending "SHOULD". Am I not entitled to an opinion if it differs from yours? Even if they fire all the Ft. Craig teachers, which they are not going to do, the Ft. Craig population will add 2 students to each classroom.

Feel free to have your opinions. Show up in the elementary schools in Aug 2012 and see how many students they can squeeze into the classrooms-classrooms which used to be designated for other programs to enrich and enhance education.

bluefish writes:

I believe the number of parents who are unhappy with the way Maryville City Schools are being managed is a huge number. Much bigger than people realize.

Time will sort out the facts but I for one am impressed with the actual data that our fellow blogger, sunshine has gathered.

It would be a great step forward to have Stephanie Thompson removed as director of schools.

agentorange007 writes:

in response to bluefish:

I believe the number of parents who are unhappy with the way Maryville City Schools are being managed is a huge number. Much bigger than people realize.

Time will sort out the facts but I for one am impressed with the actual data that our fellow blogger, sunshine has gathered.

It would be a great step forward to have Stephanie Thompson removed as director of schools.

The director of schools will not be removed by the present school board. Three of the five current board members hired her in the first place and they do what she says, not the other way around. The only way to remove her is to elect forward thinking board members to replace the sitting ones. West and Jenkins are eligible for replacement in 2012.

rational writes:

in response to sunshine:

But they're not offered tutoring until they're failing their math class at the end of the first 9 weeks. People with money can go ahead and sign up with a tutor.
These must be the only comments you have read, because the facebook page and direction given to those concerned about music have directed NO comparisons be made to athletics.

That's not true. My son missed 1 week of school due to sickness in Late August/Early September. He was having trouble getting caught up with missed work. I asked if he could stay for tutoring and it was no problem. He said there was only one other person there. This was at MMS. He wasn't failing.

sunshine writes:

in response to agentorange007:

The director of schools will not be removed by the present school board. Three of the five current board members hired her in the first place and they do what she says, not the other way around. The only way to remove her is to elect forward thinking board members to replace the sitting ones. West and Jenkins are eligible for replacement in 2012.

Did not expect any difference to come from the concern about music, but there was progress. Let's give it one more try!

sunshine writes:

Funny, Thompson and Winstead said tutoring wasn't available until state funds come in 6-8 weeks after school starts during the Mon board meeting. Thompson said it wasn't needed before then anyway. Maybe you were lucky on your timing?
Plus, didn't your earlier post say tutoring wasn't needed this early in the school year?

rational writes:

I said the need for tutoring is minimal. I don't think it should be a policy that it HAS to be available at the beginning of the school year. If your child runs into issues, the teacher IS going to work with you. Every teacher I've encountered in this school system is great. If you have a problem, they will work with you to find a solution. I think the trick is to work with the teacher. I didn't blame anyone when my child got behind on his work. I didn't point fingers. I just asked for help. I think you catch my flies with honey than vinegar. The school WANTS children to be successful - they will work with parents.

sunshine writes:

in response to rational:

I said the need for tutoring is minimal. I don't think it should be a policy that it HAS to be available at the beginning of the school year. If your child runs into issues, the teacher IS going to work with you. Every teacher I've encountered in this school system is great. If you have a problem, they will work with you to find a solution. I think the trick is to work with the teacher. I didn't blame anyone when my child got behind on his work. I didn't point fingers. I just asked for help. I think you catch my flies with honey than vinegar. The school WANTS children to be successful - they will work with parents.

I agree. The schools are very willing to work with you. But we can't expect the teachers to work extra hours without getting paid for it.

3rdShifter writes:

in response to rational:

Having band, orchestra 3 days a week in 5th grade is A LOT more than most schools provide. I think kids at that age need to be exposed to a variety of educational opportunities. At that age, kids are trying to figure out what subjects, interests, sports they are passionate about. Passion translates to success/achievement or more motivation to succeed. I do not think the music parents have gone out of their way to avoid comparing athletics and music at least from what I've read. I do not believe that there is a cause/effect relationship between math & the arts. I think kids who have a natural math ability are naturally better in the arts and the two interests feed off each other. I think art class and geometry goes hand in hand like algebra and music class go hand in hand. I do think sports enhance a child's academic ability. The determination and perseverance you learn carries over to the classroom. If 75% of the reduced/free lunch kids are below proficient in math, I don't think its because they don't have enough music in their lives.

I agree with what you have said. My 5th grader was given the choice of band/orchestra or study hall. Not much of a choice. I'm ok with music in schools, just not a dominating position. I feel the same way in regards to sports.

HonorsStudentatMHS writes:

in response to rational:

I said the need for tutoring is minimal. I don't think it should be a policy that it HAS to be available at the beginning of the school year. If your child runs into issues, the teacher IS going to work with you. Every teacher I've encountered in this school system is great. If you have a problem, they will work with you to find a solution. I think the trick is to work with the teacher. I didn't blame anyone when my child got behind on his work. I didn't point fingers. I just asked for help. I think you catch my flies with honey than vinegar. The school WANTS children to be successful - they will work with parents.

Most of the time, yes. But, as a MHS student, there are often times where teachers are inflexible, and the things we do in class do not make sense. For the most part, the teachers in MHS fall into three different categories. First are the very professional theaters who know what they are doing and actualy teach. Next are teachers who are a little more random and have arguable teaching styles, and often times these teachers are the most helpful. Last are teachers ( and administrators) that are highly unprofessional and make being at school a bad experience for a lot of people. Yelling, sexism, rash comments, closed mindedness, and other "important" skills are being taught to your children by people they see everyday. And these are not a minority either, these 3 groups are not super out of balance. And these people in the last group are not hidden, peopleknowwho they are and the fact they are still in the school is sup rising for a lot of us students.

sunshine writes:

in response to 3rdShifter:

I agree with what you have said. My 5th grader was given the choice of band/orchestra or study hall. Not much of a choice. I'm ok with music in schools, just not a dominating position. I feel the same way in regards to sports.

3rd shifter is right. But instead of taking programs like music away, it would be good to add programs for students with other interests. Lets go forward with the good and add to it.

rational writes:

in response to 3rdShifter:

I agree with what you have said. My 5th grader was given the choice of band/orchestra or study hall. Not much of a choice. I'm ok with music in schools, just not a dominating position. I feel the same way in regards to sports.

The choice of study hall or band for 5th and 6th graders is a poor choice. My son was in band. While he was in band, he said the study hall kids got pizza and extra recess on Friday. His complaint was . . why should I have to work my rear end off in Phase 1 classes, have 1-2 hours of homework every night, and play band when the other kids can get their homework done in study hall and still have time to play? I realize that 5th grade logic is not the strongest, but from his perspective this was a BIG deal. His other complaint was that sometimes in band class he would sit for 1/2 or whole period doing nothing while the instructor worked with another group of instruments. I'm hoping that if band instruction is 3 days/week they might have another aid or instructor in there to help manage working with other sections or the class will be more focused to help them accomplish more in less time.

sunshine writes:

in response to rational:

The choice of study hall or band for 5th and 6th graders is a poor choice. My son was in band. While he was in band, he said the study hall kids got pizza and extra recess on Friday. His complaint was . . why should I have to work my rear end off in Phase 1 classes, have 1-2 hours of homework every night, and play band when the other kids can get their homework done in study hall and still have time to play? I realize that 5th grade logic is not the strongest, but from his perspective this was a BIG deal. His other complaint was that sometimes in band class he would sit for 1/2 or whole period doing nothing while the instructor worked with another group of instruments. I'm hoping that if band instruction is 3 days/week they might have another aid or instructor in there to help manage working with other sections or the class will be more focused to help them accomplish more in less time.

Please let the design team know about your wish for aid in the music room.

Chelle writes:

Rational, we used to have two full time band instructors at MIS-one of them was cut to part time by the School Board. (I believe, we haven't been there for a few years so the DOS may have gotten her way and eliminated the position) Years ago they tried to remove the position completely but people spoke up against it. They tried again and that's when the position became part time, and like I said-no idea if the position even exists now.
I think something that needs to be seriously looked at is what is happening in the classroom. I know that all the time in the world is not going to improve my daughter's scores when the teacher doesn't teach-texts and watches videos on his phone and favors the pretty girls and jocks. Extra credit if you give him a piece of gum and you're cute! No extra credit if you ask to do an extra assignment to boost your grade. Situations like that are becoming more common in our system. Rather than blame it on the schedule, they need to clean out the teachers that are wasting everyones time. There's becoming more of them with each year and it gives all of our fantastic, hard working teachers a bad name. It's unfortuante that our DOS isn't evaluating the true source of our problems and is wasting time messing with schedules and taking away a few of the great things that MCS had going for it. What's next? Telling the football team they can only practice once a week?
Oh-FYI for those that think athletics don't take up school time-what's the conditioning class for then? -Don't get me wrong, I have no problem whatsoever with our athletes nor the benefits that come to them. I do have issue with not recognizing and funding other intrests at the school.

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