Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Quiet, but not gone

Quite frankly, I think we've done our best, and that the situation will sort itself out...but there have been some interesting things.

The most interesting is the resignation of the PTO President. I am sure we'll here a politically correct statement as to why she is doing it, but she has not gotten along well with J....imagine that. Other internal issues as well, perhaps, but it can't look good to lose what was supposed to be your key volunteer.


Anonymous said...

Quiz. We're glad to see that someone else is still there. Even though it's been quiet, it's not because we're all happy. There are parents that are leaving after this year and others thinking about it. They just aren't feeling good about the change in atmosphere - less friendly, cold, and sterile. Like a science lab instead of a school with warm smiling faces. Some people who have left notice the difference between what Holy Cross was and what it has become.

Anonymous said...

Drop off and pick up aren't any better. Where are the improvements she promised? It was better before it was changed. The drop at the side of the building is only because she doesn't want anyone at the school.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that all this complaining is STILL going on. Please bear in mind that HCS is a PRIVATE school - your kids don't have to go there. I'm sure there's room at any one of a number of Dover-area public schools that your children can attend.

If you aren't happy with the way things are going - LEAVE. Take your negativity and whining and find another school. Try taking your pitiful rants to a public school principle and school board.

HCS is NOT a democracy. It's a benevolent dictatorship. None of us get to make rules or get our way to change things we don't like. In all my life - as a student, as a teacher and now as a parent - I have never seen or felt the feeling of community that HCS exudes. Not once. Being petty, whining, moaning, starting secret cabals, holding "parents only" meetings - stop it already.

What many of the people that complain don't realize is that they're the ones that are spreading the negativity. They are the ones that create this environment around themselves. If they would either leave or change their attitudes, the negativity would vanish as well.

As for the "president" of the PTO leaving, let's set the record straight. That person RESIGNED of their own free will. I saw the email that was distributed and it stated that the reason for leaving was due to the amount of time their PTO involvement was taking away from that person's family. Anything else that is said is a lie.

The idea that this person is now spreading an entirely different story around school, the parish AND the community at large is a disgrace. They should be ashamed of themselves. The actual remaining Board members and the principal do not deserve to be put in this light.

The Quizzinator said...

I have to disagree with you on all counts.

I heard there have been issues for quite a while, but didn't want to post it, thinking it would work itself out. The fact that you saw an email that paints a smiley face on it is fine...how about the slamming of the fists down on the desk by our favorite person in a "discussion"?

No, Friend, this is not the friendly little parting of the ways you want to make it. There is not one cause of it, but there never seems to be, does there?

Do you have any line that you don't think should be crossed, or are you willing to submit to anything done?

If this was the only thing going on (and it sounds like you would know), it would not be a big deal. I'll be honest-I've pretty much given up, figuring that they've pretty much given all the rope that is needed.

Have you noticed how dead the school is? No spirit, participation is down...how did that parent night go, eh? Not as well as the past couple of years, but I am sure you'll blame the economy, the cost, the phase of the moon, or some sort of way to paper it over.

Anonymous said...

Quiz -

Understand, the email I referred to was sent by the former-PTO president. Her words, her reasons, her resignation. The people this was sent to have been friends of hers for years. Were there any other legitimate reason for that person leaving, wouldn't she tell her friends the truth? Why hold anything back from them...?

As for what you perceive to be a waning interest in all things HCS, for years it always seems there is a core group of families that attend most of the events, coordinate most of the events, etc. Volunteer response for the 2008-2009 events has been tremendous and is still growing.

An individual's attitude toward any situation is going to skew a person's perception. If believe things are bad and getting worse, then you will find ways to justify your feelings. People that see things as good, or great, or wonderful will do likewise.

My only hope is that the one's that are seeing things in a negative light do what's best for everyone there and find another school. Folks that are thinking about leaving should stop thinking about it and do it.

As background on me, I am a product of public schools. I was an educator in public schools. Up until very recently, I have detested private schools in general and parochial schools in particular. For the most part, I think students become too insulated from the real world and don't receive the quality of education they can get in public schools, especially exceptional students and students with special needs.

Having said that, I entered HCS against my own best wishes. it took some time, but I would not trade the quality of education, the teachers, the administration and the relationships we have formed (as a family) for anything.

Are things perfect? Nope. Will they ever be? Nope. Does it matter? Absolutely not. But we don't expect it - no sane, rational, logical person should. If you ever wake up and everything is perfect, check your pulse cuz you're probably dead.

I have watched over the past two years as a very vocal and very small minority has done everything possible to divide the school, to create a schism, to cause chaos. It's unnecessary. It's petty. It's childish.

Leave if you don't like it. If you feel the need to call parents to a secret meeting without the school's knowledge and not identifying yourself (even during the meeting), just go. Bundle up your kids, your bitterness and your childish behavior and go. Bye bye. Hasta la vista. So long. Just go.

It's not fair to the rest of us to have to hear the complaints from you, have our children hear your children's complaints day after day. You'll be better off and so will the school.

You won't be missed, just pitied...

The Quizzinator said...

I feel your pain, and don't disgree with everything you wrote.

You read much into what I write, not all of it true, but there are some things I have to allude to rather than come right out and say because I don't want people to get into trouble. If you are one of those who think that all the teachers left for reasons totally not related to the current administration, than one can't possibly reason with anything. If you believe that the huge number of kids and families who have left, and the fact we started with a signficantly less number of kids at the beginning of the year can be explained by any and all reasons but the administration, than pour yourself another big ol' glass of Kool Aid.

There are many things that I have had passed to me that people have gotten annoyed with because I haven't wrote about them. They do seem petty, minor, or simply a choice that I may not agree with, but I felt were not worth calling anybody out on, even if they were accurate.

I stand by my posting of the situation that the organization finds itself in. I KNOW there have been uneasiness, and while I don't know this to be a fact, I suspect that J. didn't try real hard to keep her key volunteer, did she?

As for leaving....maybe. I fought for change, and there was some, but I am beginning to think much of it was window dressing to shut up people like me. I didn't expect a whole lot from the School Board, for instance, but I thought they would have met a few more times since then, but I am convinced that the whole process was drawn out, on purpose.

However, until I make that decision to leave, I will document what I think is a downward spiral to the school. I had hopes at the beginning of the year, and I do think it is STILL better than last year. Some changes, such as not yelling at the teachers in front of the kids, seem to be be sticking, and that is a good thing.

What you fail to acknowledge is that the "secret" meeting was open,and I know of at least 2 people who begged Father Dan to call his own meeting. He chose not to, and there was enough resentment that it was a very well attended meeting...certainly better attended than most PTO meetings, n'est-ce pas?

Don't worry-sooner or later those of us who have fond memories of the way things used to be WILL pass on, and you can have your school, or what is left of it, to your own little world.

Anonymous said...

In response to Anonymous (from 10/30 at 2 pm)- I agree. Anyone who has taken a little bit of time to be at the school functions can see how much fun the kids have and the dedication and high participation of our families. My spouse and I attended the Parents Night and we had a ball! From what I saw- other people in attendance were have a great time as well.

Yesterday is a clear example of the atmosphere in our school. Did you see the children on parade or attend any of the parties? Well, I was there. I saw happy kids and happy parents. In the library, faithful parent volunteers were hard at work preparing for next week. It was friendly and far from cold and sterile.

Quizzinator, I truly feel badly for you. I hope you can see that there is a lot of good at Holy Cross.

I am immensely pleased with the quality of our new faculty. Mrs. Jacono will never be able to please everyone. It has been my experience that any time new leadership takes the helm someone is always unhappy.

For you to intimate that economics have not affected Holy Cross families is extremely naive. Most of us are hurting to some degree and watching expenditures carefully.

Drop off and pick up are congested because we have a physical bottleneck. I advise you to spend an afternoon watching the dismissal at CR high school and Simpson elementary if you want to see chaos.

As for the PTO president resigning... well, kudos to her for doing what she needs to do to best serve her family. Seems like again, in a Catholic school, we could be a little bit more supportive of each other. Lets back up our officers and support our volunteers in every capacity.

Anonymous said...

Hello. I have never looked or cared to look at the blogs because, someone always gets hurt at the end. Well, let me be the first to truly introduce myself. My name is Angela Manifold and I am/was the HC PTO President. I am very sadden by this whole process. My statement/e-mail was posted in the Crusader this past thursday so, now everyone knows exactly what my e-mail said. I will start by letting you know I DID NOT resign because of Mrs. J. I DID NOT resign because things were not going my way nor did I resign because of the PTO Board members. I will say we did disagree on some things but, that is the nature of being on the board and a good board will always will not see eye to eye because, we are human. Which I'm sure I may have vented once or twice like everyone does but, I feel the board members are still my friends. Just like I vent about my husband but, he's still my husband and I love him. We are all human. I left because I have 3 daughters my oldest is 8 and my husband who works a lot of hours. I would like to maybe be PTO President later but, right now was not the right time for me. Maybe in a few years when my daughters are a little older. I appreciate all the support I have received. Thank you but, please let's not slander anyone. Change can only happen with support so, please support Mrs. J and the school boards with your help and not with harmful words on a blog. Sincerely,
Angela Manifold

The Quizzinator said...


You leave the Quiz in a quandry...I could drag this on, bringing out each and every story. My original post hinted at some of the issues that others felt the need to bring to the center. I don't doubt anybody's desire to spend more time with one's family, so how can I argue with that?

I'll stand by the original post, but won't post any of the ways I think I can back it up, and will even delete the entire post, if you want me to.

Anonymous said...

Quiz, as you have done in the past, you should put Ms. Manifold's response on the front page...

Anonymous said...

Well Quiz your non response to the poster above serves to illustrate your forward desire to make things right...Do us all a favor and remove the Blog!

The Quizzinator said...

If she wants me to, I will.

And no, I will NOT bring down this blog, even if I am not checking it all that often.

Here is why...I don't think she is doing a good job. Adequate, maybe. I think she is doing the political work extremely well, however. The only thing missing from the Middle States Evaluation is dancing girls (or guys, depending on the preferences), but maybe she is saving that for the finale.

The political aspect may save her; it has done in the past, so she knows it works. However, if she loses anywhere near the number of parents and families she did this year (and I am aware of a dozen so far that say they are leaving) she must be removed.

However, I'll ask you...there are about 70 less kids in school this year, and you can do the math as to how that is affecting the budget. Do you think declining enrollment, especially if other private schools in the area are increasing, is enough to remove someone?

If so, what is the number? Here is Quizz's numbers...if she loses more than half the teachers she lost last year, and she loses more than half the students, my magic 8 ball predicts a very cloudy outlook for her.

Anonymous said...

I have not checked this blog in a while, but my curiosity got the best of me. This website still makes me extremely sad, but I commend those who are writing in with their support of Mrs. J! Quiz, the poster who said you are immature and childish is correct. You didn't get what you wanted when you supposidly confronted the administration directly so you "pitched a fit" in the way of this blog. I get the feeling from your postings that you think quite a lot of yourself...you almost have a "God-like" perception of yourself. You do all of this in the name of "righteousness", yet when you have been asked to remove postings or curb your hatefulness, you refuse. Why? Because you have not gotten what you want yet? So you pitch even more "fits". It's time to pick your toys up and go home. I wonder what will happen if/when you are face-to-face with God on Judgement Day....will He treat you the same way that you have treated Mrs. J? Probably not because He is a loving and FORGIVING God.

The Quizzinator said...

Amazing that you don't address whether or not the things posted here are true or not.

If one is told one thing that is not true, or is, at best, a gross misrepresentation of what turns out to be truth that I would punish my kids as a lie, that means all bets are off. One example is when I was told that I was I heard several people who had complained, and all were told "this is the first I am told about this". I smell BS, and call it as such.

There is a simple way to address where a difference of opinion exists, and that it to acknowledge it, and state that your decision is based on this. The problem is that the administration hasn't done that. They have repeatedly tried to hide behind "facts" that turned out not to be true, or say one thing, and do another.

Jacono has been a bit more careful this year in this regard, but as you can see from people posting over at Newszap, she is still doing it. I think the school is worse off than it was 18 months ago. You are certainly free to disagree and tell me how you think it is better, and I have encouraged that...but no one ever says how it is.

Tell me the school is cleaner, and I'll give you that. Tell me the teachers are better dressed, and I'll agree....but the core issues, those that define what the school is, have been lost.

However, you also have to tell me why so many parents, kids, and teachers are no longer with us. If there had been a one to one replacement of kids, it wouldn't be as obvious or as much of a financial impact, but the school base is smaller-and getting smaller.

Anonymous said...


Have you done a long-term study of how many families left during Mr. F's tenure and compared it to Mrs. J's tenure? I'm wondering where you get all of these "statistics" from. Or is it just an un-educated guess?

The Quizzinator said...

No, they are not educated or uneducated guesses. If they were, they could be refuted pretty easily.

They are not 100% accurate, but I think they are defensible based on open source information. For instance, school population is published by the state for all schools, private ones included.

What do we use? Our cracker-jack staff uses a variety of methods to come up with the numbers in addition to the state published ones. For instance, we have used the school directories and the directories to determine turnover. If you take all the third graders from last year's directory and compare it to the listing of the fourth graders, you come up with a pretty good way to determine turnover, and numbers. It isn't perfect, of course, but the imperfections of one year's data are probably repeated the next.

Our statistic department even pointed out that this year's directory was probably a bit more accurate because it was published almost a month later (imagine that). However, we figured that any differences would be favorable to the administration so we went ahead with the numbers.

Anonymous said...

I think the "exodus" of families as you put it, especially when you quote the past 18 months as your benchmark, seems to coincide with what we are seeing across the country, economically speaking. With job losses mounting, companies taking away bonus and incentive plans, etc., it should be no surprise that HC is losing students.

To many families that are struggling, putting their children into public schools may be something of a last resort, but a necessary one.

For me, I can readily think of four families with a total of 10 children that have left HC in the past 18 months due to be relocated with their jobs. So, if we are 70 students lower, these four families represent 15% of that number. I'd be willing to bet that if someone who is more finely in tune with what's what will be able to come up with even more families that have simply moved out of the area for one reason or another.

I'm finding as I read these blog posts that what little logic you claim to use vanishes rather quickly when held up to more than a cursory inspection. As I stated several comments ago, if you don't like the way things are, feel free to be added onto the list of 70. I daresay you won't be missed...

The Quizzinator said...

As I've said, you can find one excuse or another for any and all behavior. You can blame the economy, demographics, or any combination of the above, but the fact remains that the numbers of students who are leaving is unprecedented. The number of teachers who left is unprecendented...but that her old school's enrollment INCREASING after she left has nothing to do with her either, you probably would say.

Another factoid...why don't you look up the charter and private schools in the area and see what their enrollment figures are doing vis a vis Holy Cross? By your logic, they should be seeing a similar decrease, correct?

Anonymous said...

Whatever the number is of people who left Holy Cross this year, there have been numerous families who have left because of issues with the administration. It looks like there are about 30 less people this year. Let's say 70 left and 40 replaced those. It still leaves a deficit. Whatever their reason (and there are always people leaving for different reasons), there do seem more people who are unhappy. While 30 may not be a large number, if this pattern continues it's not good. I'm sure most Holy Cross families don't want this to happen which is why I believe people are complaining.