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Why do you think that AHES teachers have 12-15 students each... please check the website (ncschoolreportcards.com or schooldigger.com) and you will see that AHES class sizes are right on track w/ most Moore County schools. On the school report cards page it shows the 09-10 school year totals of class sizes above district average. K-22 kids, 1st - 21, 2nd-22, 3rd-21, 4th - 20 and 5th - 24... and By the way, we have 2 classes of each grade.
Just as we have always referred to AHES as a family I also think of our YR program as a family. Wherever we land that feeling will remain intact. It is very unfortunate that so many outside of AHES have taken on the "us vs them" mentality. The "program" I referred to is the YR program and I certainly have the authority to welcome anyone I want to anywhere I wish to. I am shocked that my very kind comments are causing you such distress. I don't feel that anyone at AHES feels, as you put it, "elitist, psedo-private, school/club" but many from other schools certainly seem to have self esteem issues and keep portraying us that way. I only want what is best for ALL IN MOORE COUNTY. For the most part all the parents involved have stressed, from the start, that this was a rushed decision with little to no valid evidence to back up the Superintendent's claims. Now it seems that many more have joined our fight. Now that other schools really see how Dr. P's manipulations ARE going to impact everyone there sure seem to be a lot more people shouting that this decision has been rushed.
Let me be clear... Dr P's new proposal is workable for my family. I will have one upcoming Kindergartener and one 4th grader. So I would be one of the parents shuffling between two elementary schools. However, although her newest proposal suits my family's location and schedule, DOES NOT MEAN that I am convinced it is what's best for the county. I do not see documentation where any money will be save by this proposal. Common sense tells me that closing one small campus only to keep two additional campuses open more days a year can not result in savings. (Regardless of the age of the buildings) Not to mention, the previously referenced $20,000/yr in repairs to AHES seems pretty reasonable to me. I'm curious what the repair cost per year are to each of the other schools in the county. Many are almost as old and I can only assume in need of the same type of repairs. Also, please note, no upgrades of any measurable size have been done at AHES in years. It seems to me that this $20,000/yr number comes from repairing toilets, sinks, floors, etc. and I'm pretty sure every other school in the county requires similar maintenance (esp. the older ones).
Regardless, I am hoping that the school board has been paying attention to everyone's concerns... those from ALL schools in the county and taxpayers in general. I think that most can agree that very little documentation has been given and what has is inadequate. The only right decision for the BOE tonight is to remove this line item from the budget. Let's spend the next few months getting all the facts and figures straight and make the best and most informed decision that benefits all of our county and it's children. We will reap the benefits or consequences of tonight's decision for decades to come.
Wow, once again I am astonished at the comments made when referring to the children of AHES! I think that the question of whether or not the YR program will be open to everyone is a GREAT one that should be addressed at the board meeting tomorrow night PRIOR to their vote. I think that they should open it to any and all that would like to take advantage of the YR schedule. However, those who wish to be welcomed into the program should really try to avoid making such obnoxious references to my children and their friends. Shame on you. The decision is up to the county, but I guarantee we want the YR program to grow as much as possible. We are not the ones who put a cap on our program, that was the county. If you and your child wish to join our schedule I welcome you w/ open arms and no snide remarks.
I do not know all the numbers, however, Dr. Purser and the MCS website AHES FAQ page say that 64 are PES district and 84 are WPES district. I believe it also stated somewhere that only 12 children ride the bus in the morning and 50 in the afternoon, so I'm sure there would be combining of the buses. This seems to offer a small savings but certainly not any huge amount.
I am confused by many of the concerned parents of PES and WPES questions. Why do you think your classroom sizes would change due to the influx of year round students? The traditional students would be on the same schedule they are on now. Therefore, the year round students who choose this option (if the BOE votes approval for this proposition) would be in different classrooms that are YR classrooms. They would be 6-7 weeks ahead of the traditional schedule, so they wouldn't be in the same class.
Please understand, not all AHES parents think that this is the right decision. In fact, many still are standing strong in belief that this decision needs to be delayed, at least, one year to make sure that the changes being proposed are not only cost effective for the county, but best for ALL involved... not just AHES, but everyone.
Also, we have not said that the other county teachers are inadequate or underqualified, we are simply stating that our teachers are wonderful and should stay with the year round program wherever it lands.
I believe, perhaps, you should speak to one of the twelve classroom teachers from AHES to see what they have been told by Moore County Schools. MCS will attempt to place them in other teaching positions through attrition. In other words, as other teachers in the county retire or quit, they will allow them to apply for those jobs. Yes, this is what they've been instructed to do. To contact the principal at whatever school/schools has an opening. You know, just like all the other unemployed people in this county and part of the state.
I would also question just how many teachers that WOULD normally retire are not, due to the tough economic times. I believe that there is far less turnover from normal retirement because of this. I have personally spoken to several teachers who would have retired a few years ago if they could have afforded it. However, they must continue to teach & hope that their investments for retirement turn around.
My point is, there are fewer teachers retiring than normal. This means less jobs for these "fired" teachers from AHES to "apply" for. It is reasonable to assume that a select few will be placed at whatever schools a large number of these displaced students end up. However, since no one will no where the 265 students will end until a final decision is made and time for all parents to declare there new schools of choice, who knows? Also, I would call to your attention that Dr. Purser has raised the student per teacher ratio as part of her new budget... so there won't be as many teachers needed.
So, I stand by my previous comment that AHES teachers are being "fired for a job well done" and I sincerely hope that they are able to find another job within our great county. Otherwise, we all suffer a great loss. However, if I were them, I'm not sure I would want to continue working for an organization that clearly disregards success and seems to owe them no loyalty or the common decency and respect of informing them of this whole situation well in advance of a board meeting. Shame on you Dr. Purser! You owe your employees better.
Thank you, Dr. Varanasi, for very eloquently putting into words what so many of us are feeling. I have felt for the past 2 1/2 weeks like we MUST be in the Twilight Zone. In what world does dismantling this program (AHES) make sense?
Thank you also, to irkim13, for questioning the comments of Alistener. I believe the comments that have been posted regarding AHES teachers is only asking for fair and equal treatment of them. In other words, don't fire them for a job well done. That is just insane. I really didn't think that I lived in "Crazytown" but after the events of the last couple of weeks (beginning w/ a rumor the school was closing, to a connect-ed phone call after the board meeting was already underway, to a letter telling us of our alternative choice of school which was mailed before the board meeting and in the weeks that have followed such malicious lies being circulated about our school) I now believe that I'm either in Crazytown or the Twilight Zone. Either one would make more sense than closing this school.
Make no mistake, no one is arguing the age or condition of our school buildings. They are in need of repairs. If, in fact, the repairs and upgrades are not a cost effective option, than relocating the program should be. There should be more than one year round option in our county. I agree with previous posters that there should also be a year round option in the northern part of our county as well. The point to all of this is, we must separate fact from fiction. I DO NOT BELIEVE that students are handpicked for this school. If anyone believes that or has experienced anything like it, that type of discrimination should be taken up with the county office and an attorney. Academy Heights is a public school and all district children that wish to attend are welcome within the attendence number mandated by the county. I have not seen anyone reference the fact that there are a dwindling number of elementary age children in Taylortown. Many of those living there now may choose to attend or not attend the year round school of choice.
I challenge anyone who lives in Taylortown that has applied to AHES (which everyone must do, you have to transfer in to a school of choice, even residents of Taylortown and Pinehurst) and was turned away to come forward. I want an explanation for your individual situation from the county. However, until we have some specifics I am tired of this topic being regurgitated that Taylortown kids can not get into this school.
Actually, irishman, I think it shows she has class and is brave enough to use her name instead of hiding behind a screen name. Shame on you for feeling the need to ridicule people for admitting who they are, not to mention that she was defending herself and was only quoting an article from the paper. Wow, I'm constantly amazed by the people on this website. Go Cathy!
Once again, commenting about what you are unfamiliar w/. The School Board had a very specific and well explained schedule and agenda for the way the meeting Monday was to go... Part 1, anyone who wanted to comment on the other 4.5 mill $ of the budge and Part 2 for AHES issues. The lady didn't speak about anything relating to the budget. That was my only point and the reason I hadn't referred to her in the first post. I shouldn't expect less than more aversarial comments on this board.
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