First, I want to commend you for putting the board meetings back on Comcast's channel 22 after a one month hiatus. On Thursday evening I saw the complete meeting on Comcast's channel 22. However, I also checked it out on the district website... The website version is incomplete. It is three hours, one minute, and 40 seconds long, but the real meeting was much longer than that. The website version ends with the meeting still in full swing with Matt McCarty still talking during Section 6 of the meeting. Please ensure the whole meeting's video is posted to the district website.
I have some concerns over a few other things also.
The board packet for the 9/12/11 board meeting that was loaded to the district website on the morning of 9/12/11 on the district website was incomplete. It was at: http://www.clarkston.k12.mi.us/education/page/download.php?fileinfo=U2VwdGVtYmVyXzEyXzIwMTFfQm9hcmRfUGFja2V0LnBkZjo6Oi93d3cvc2Nob29scy9zYy9yZW1vdGUvaW1hZ2VzL2RvY21nci9BTExmaWxlNDY4NTgucGRm
I emailed Heidi at 4:20 PM on Monday, less than two hours before the meeting, to ask her if the board packet was complete, or if there were any additions or changes. Heidi emailed me back at 5:14 PM and said, "There were some budget documents added late this morning, under item 1.4". However, I discovered during the meeting that the following was missing from the board packet:
- Backup documentation for Section 4 "Presentation Items", 4.1 "District Highlights for Energy Star Awards and Food Services Updates"
- BAR for all of the "Reports" under section 6:
- 6.1 "Division and Superintendent Goals"
- 6.2 "Student Information System"
- 6.3 "Sinking Fund and Bond - Identified Needs"
- Backup documentation for Section 6, "Reports", 6.3 "Sinking Fund and Bond - Identified Needs" - There was backup from Matt McCarty's part of the presentation, but none from Anita Banach, Gary Kaul, or Todd Bidlack.
- BAR for Section 7 "Discussion Items", 7.1 "Board Goals"
- BAR and backup documentation for Section 9 "Information Items", 9.1, 9.2, and 9.3
- BAR and backup documentation for Section 10 "Superintendent Update"
Well... I went onto the district website Thursday and Friday and not only was the board packet not updated, but the original version was not even there... Here is the web address that the district web page directed me to for the 9/12/11 board packet on Thursday and Friday, 9/15 and 9/16: "http://www.clarkston.k12.mi.us/education/components/docmgr/download.php?sectiondetailid=7312&fileitem=46858&catfilter=ALL". This is the web page result when I clicked on that link: "404 File Not Found". Before sending this email, I was able to verify that the original link and the original board packet are back on the district website (but no updates to them).
I find it disingenuous of the district that the board packet was incomplete and the web version of the board meeting was truncated. It appears to be more of the same as I have seen in the past - hiding of controversial board business that the district doesn't want the public to see.
In my comments to the board, I had also said:
"On Dr. Rock’s “September Column” of his “Superintendent Columns” on the district website, he said,
“Several of our schools will pilot technology initiatives this year, including iPads, Netbooks, student response systems, and wireless environments. Throughout the year, you can expect to hear about a possible technology bond that would enhance instructional technology across the district.”
That sounds great, but if the district has overcrowded classrooms, fewer aides, and cuts in classroom aides in lower elementary grades, is this how Dr. Rock thinks it's the most prudent way to spend the limited school funds?
Also, as of the date Dr. Rock posted that “September Column”, he had not come forward to the board to get approval for the appropriations for “iPads, Netbooks, student response systems, or wireless environments” although he has stated that the schools “will pilot technology initiatives” and although any expenses over 20 thousand something dollars must be approved by the board (from “ Purchasing Policy 6320A”, it says “Budgeted items that cost less than $18,915 (2005-06) may be purchased without approval of the Board”).
Do policies not apply to Dr. Rock?"
In Section 10 "Superintendent's Update" of the 9/12/11 board meeting, you had several retorts to my comments to the board. In regard to my comments on your "September Column" (above), you said that the board had already approved the pilot initiatives, but I have been to all of the meetings that might have addressed that subject and I don't recall that being approved by the board... I would appreciate it if you could advise at what meeting the board supposedly approved the project and the finances for that. Mrs. Lieblang didn't seem to know anything about these pilots being approved either as she said she did not recall that being approved and asked you for more information on it during your "Superintendent Goals Report" in the same board meeting.
On another subject, will there be an official response from the district on the ineligible football player fiasco from the Clarkston High School boys varsity football team? For as much as you have written about everything else since you have been at CCS, the silence is deafening in regard to the lack of response to this event. I would think that an official response from the superintendent would be in order.
From where did the information about the student's ineligibility to play football bubble up? Was it reported to the district by the ineligible student himself, another football player, or another student or parent perhaps? Was it actually discovered by the coaches or a CCS employee as reported in the press? Or was it discovered by a challenge from outside of CCS such as another school, team, coach, or the press?