Sunday, September 18, 2011

Okay, I'm shocked. While I knew that Denise Jacono was creating a poisonous atmosphere in the school, I can't believe how quickly the school seems to be recovering. Teachers are happy, parents are happy, even the kids can fell the cloud has passed. Heck, I think even Msgr. Dan is in a better mood.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Let the Pigeons Loose!

And now....The end. Our long nightmare is over! Denise Jacono has left, and joy and light have returned to Holy Cross!

Not surpringly, Denise Jacono has left Holy Cross School, perhaps as she came..."fired with enthusiasm." The cover story is, of course, that she "resigned"....yeah, right. Resigned less then a month to go before school starts? Her departure wasn't exactly on good terms, regardless of what the letter says, but the response was joy and dancing in the halls of the school. To those who have blindly accepted every cock and bull story the school has handed out (amazing how many teachers left "to spend more time with their family"), I'm sure you'll find a way to spin this, but people don't leave school positions the month school opens up...and leaving "immediately" is never a good sign in the corporate world, let alone the academic one.

I gave her 3-4 years when she got hired, figuring that she would get the benefit of doubt a few years, and that the administration would feel forced to back her after getting rid of previous principals, in part, by parent pressure, and they didn't want to be seen as surrendering once again.

I'm not sure what was the final straw. I'm guessing that there was certainly a financial aspect to it, but I hope that it was that the administration finally ran out of being able to deny that there was a problem. Even this year, even with this blog, even with the history, I heard parents reporting Msgr. Dan giving his immortal words, "that is the first I've heard of that," whenever any complaints were brought to him. This spring's action proved that the issues that first appeared a few years ago were NOT the work of a few malcontents, or those who "didn't get their own way."

Denise Jacono's reign of error is over. She alienated every major constiutant of the school, she ruined the great parental involvement we had (and tried, at first with lip service, then half-heartedly, and then in desperation, to bring it back, adding to her woes), and the school is worse off than when she left. There is no way to get back those who left, and she leaves it dangerously weakened in an enviornment where academic expectations are increasing, and support of the Catholic education system is decreasing. I hope for the best, but at least there is now hope.

Monday, April 4, 2011

And now...layoffs

Got a notice someone posted on the blog - odd, and I assume it is the spouse, but they were asleep. Later, another comes in. I've been hearing rumblings, and thought it worth looking into, and WOW. Holy Cross School has announced layoffs for next year - 5 teachers and some staff (no, not Denise). Some of these are "for a year or two"....and if you believe that, I've got some swamp land behind the ELC to sell you. The reason given is the economy, which one can't totally ignore, but there are many other factors going into this - none good for the long term health of Holy Cross School. I would be a bit more accepting of the company line if they hadn't stopped asking people why they left about the time Denise came on board. Can't imagine why. No, this is a bit more then that. This is the beginning of the end of the school (and apologies to those who think the ending started with the closing of the high school), and I guess you've got the right person in place to oversee the collapse of a school. You'll see more changes, more layoffs, more cutbacks, more and more desperate fund raisers (tough to see how they can get more desperate, though), and finally...the end. I mean, really....if you start trying to cut back on the school lunch program, already woefully inadequate compared to the public school system, or latch-key, you'll see less and less people considering Holy Cross as a school. Hell, even announcing these layoffs will cause some to think twice about starting their kids at Holy Cross. Now, there is a move afoot to save some teachers, but I think it is a fruitless task. First, if they are cutting that many, it means either enrollment really has dropped off, or the church subsidy has been cut. If you save Mr. or Mrs. "x", someone else has to go. Further, you might want to check around before you try to "save" these people too hard. I ran into one of the targeted teachers about a month ago, and they weren't happy, even then. Although they didn't come out and say it, they were not planning on returning to Holy Cross, even then...the enviornment had gotten too poisionous, so you might just be pulling the rabbit out of the briar patch if you try to "save" them.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A lot has happened in a year...

As many of you have most certainly figured out, the Quiz quit, as did every member of the masthead, at some point over the past 2 years. Some of you have questioned as to when I quit, guessing that maybe it was before the end of the year. Maybe, maybe not...

It wasn't an easy decision...no, scratch that. It was an easy decision. I'm re-reading the words of someone who left a year ago, and I agree that life is much, much better on the outside. The school system is just so much better there almost isn't even a comparison. The teachers have more resources and seem to have more up to date methodology with a much stronger academic program then I expected. I think HC is still one of the best private schools in the area, but that means less and less the more I see of the other private schools.

While there isn't anywhere near the family atmosphere that used to exist at HC, it is still a much more professional feeling in the public school system. The after school programs, both the sports and non-sports programs, are so far ahead of HC that it almost isn't fair to compare them. The schools are cleaner, parking and driving is better, and the lunches are nutritious and tasty.

Now, I do hear of things happening at HC, and was tempted at times to write, but as my sources left in droves, it left me without a whole lot of background information that I could flesh out the postings. Sure, many of the things I've posted have come true, as turnover of teachers and children continues at an unprecedented rate, academic scores are dropping, teachers are unhappy, evaluators are coming in, the PTO had a problem finding officers (even more so than normal), but my heart was no longer in the blog. I continue to hear stuff on Sundays at church, but it really began to fall into the "IDK" mode once I decided to leave. HC being HC, I can't avoid the conversations, but it just didn't matter too much, anymore.

With that beings said, I'm hoping that the current review of the environment of the school comes up with some solutions - that they brought in outsiders for this affirms that there is SOMETHING rotten in Denmark, has been there for a long time, and isn't simply the work of a few agitators. There was, and is, something fundamentally wrong at the school, and it will continue to spiral downward until changes are enacted.





Tuesday, September 8, 2009

In Sadness

Losing any member of the family is not easy, and Mr. Mike Dawson was certainly a unique member of the parish. I've known Mike for at least 10 years and he will be missed.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Mr. President

Nice summer off...always great to take time off and get some perspective. Not sure how much I'll be writing this year, but I'll shoot for the same quality, as usual.

However, you may see a shift in what I write. Today, for instance, I'm calling out those who flooded the office with frantic calls about the President wanting to talk to the kids about those well known liberal values of studying hard and staying in school. Do you realize how much of a whack job you look like?

I'm not a great fan of Obama, but there are those on the right (and HC is full of them) who seem unable to muster the brain cells to debate the issues logically. There are issues that can be, and should be, debated loudly, but people prefer to huddle about conspiracy theories such as the whole birther thing and now this.

Here is what I think - people are afraid that Obama will have a positive influence on their kids, and this one 30 minute speech will undo everything they've said for the past year about him. He'll seem calm, reasonable, humorous...and will not say anything that they haven't heard before.

Not sure what the school's plans were, or are after this outbreak, but if I was a kid, I'd be mainly annoyed you are taking my lunchtime away.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations...evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism...

A couple of posts I'd thought I'd bring to the top...

The issues you describe may be fact. However, we as a community cannot heal, or begin to think about healing until we unite.
Here is another fact for you to list: this blog at best is a gossip lover's "guilty pleasure" (one of your guest's terms - not mine)at worst it is divisive and harmful to our Church and school.

Here is my suggestion: Ask again and again for meetings with the community and the Church. I know you say you tried this avenue...You really did not...you (or maybe not you) attempted to bully your way past the Diocese and Fr. Dan. Bullying never works! Extending an invitation to a "bitch" session only counts as bullying! There are plenty of things working at HCS. We need to start there.

Not a bad post, really.

First, I tend to agree with your statement about running to the diocese. I thought some went that route too early. As a minimum, those who went upstairs should have tried to meet with Father Dan, or notify him, as to why they felt they needed to do this. I'm not sure those who did, and there were more then a few who did this seperately, followed this route. And, to be honest, I think I even suggested this to at least one person - some control I have over my minions, eh?

However, there has to be a next step, as there is in every other area of our life when we are not getting satisfaction, especially when you can't seem to get through. Calls for meetings by those who were leaving, calls for meeting for those who have left, calls for meetings by teachers and administrative staff were not returned. I tend to think that some of these catagories (ie, teachers and staff) should have stood outside his door, if necessary, to get on his calendar. However, I also understand the average Holy Cross teacher is more mouse than lion when dealing with authority, especially Church authority. While understandable, it also underlines, to me, the extent that some of them have already gone.

The Quizz's posts have really only done one thing...and that is to provide a forum for those who have misgivings to know there are others who feel the same way, and to provide an opportunity for those who don't like our tactics to comment. I haven't deleted a single comment, and have only made one change in almost a year, because I do want a solution. I also think it is a "conversation piece" as I've over heard a few conversations about the blog. Funny, but I let it go, and it is interesting to see how two people will feel each other out as to the opinions posted here. Even Denise has used some of my postings in this matter, which I am certainly honored.

As to solutions, I've heard rumors of another meeting, but a bit more structured one, perhaps on church grounds. Again, I think this is a better solution, but an even better one would be for Denise or Father Dan to take the initative, show some leadership. Here's the deal...you call it a bitch session, I call it clearing the air. We'd have to address any possible retribution (which is difficult if you believe or know that your complaints will get reflected elsewhere), but such a meeting would be either you put up, or shut up. If they had such a meeting, agreed to write down the complaints, and agreed to address them, I'd stop posting immediately. I'd ask for anyone who has complained about her to her face or Fathe Dan to be invited, and maybe a few "referees". Establish some ground rules, and get it out in the open.