Friday, September 01, 2006


I can't translate this email but I can give it an airing. It's from a financial consulting firm, doubtless the bloated fee for which the taxpayers paid unawares so that the local school officials could rip off the Westchase community. It appears to be the financial firm's output about the Board's and Elia's tearing up Westchase and scarifying the children there. It relates to the administration and Board's skullduggery with the land deals in Westchase.

The back story of that mucked-up event is that La Elia et al--always abetted by the Board of Potted Plants-- created the Westchase debacle with a thousand little kids crying and clinging to their mothers' skirts when the Board and Elia and shunted them to new schools. Rumor says that this scramble was to cover up Elia's overbuilding of classrooms when she was mishandling the building department prior to the Board's hiring her after a "nation-wide" search for $35,000 only to discover that the inside candidate, sitting in the building department immersed in a real-estate scam,was the in-locus incompetent for the job. Ignoring or participating in real-estate scams, covering up mistakes by jerking children around, being unable to punctuate all made La Elia irresistible to head a school system that requires children to master punctuation, not to cheat on tests, not to engage in real-estate rip offs, or not to engage in boundary flim flam.

I love the periodic dire warning in this firm's document dump purloined from the IRS that any person who discloses this information will be hung by the thumbs from some meat hook in ROSSAC. This is a hoot as a scare tactic, analogous to anyone in the school system's getting booted out of a job if he or she ask questions.

As villains, these Yahoos are Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern on speed.

Jim Hamilton's greasy thumbprint is on this document; that fact means it's a public project paid for--overpaid for--by tax money and hence public information. Imagination anybody's launching something on the WWW and saying it's a secret.

In any event, I am ready for martyrdom for the First Amendment. I will take my needlepoint and needlepoint away on my granddaughter Danielle's wedding rug in the slammer.

Following this document dump, I print Tish Dietrich's commentary--she's a mother martyr in the Westchase community-- on how the Board and administration--especially La Elia--ripped the Westchase community apart for the Board and Elia's convenience and delusions of grandeur, not to mention from their incompetence.

lee drury de cesare

Hi.

My name is Tish and I, my husband, and my 5 & 7 year old daughters live in Northwest Hillsborough County. This school district staff announced plans this past spring to utilize my children and approximately 1,000 others (otherwise termed by district staffers as “student stations”) as pawns in order to fill seats at schools that were undercapacity so more funding could be requested for building new schools. On April 18th the School Board members, with the notable exception of Members Susan Valdes and Jennifer Faliero, who seem to be the only two board members that actually hold strong to the belief that there should be a partnership between families and education, voted to accept the district staff suggestions for the massive reboundary plan after having provided our families just over 1 months notice to “provide community input”.

Our story begins when our children entered the 2005/2006 school year at Westchase Elementary School. Westchase Elementary sits in the heart of the Westchase community of approximately 4,000 homes. It sits on property that was donated by the developer of the Westchase community as part of mitigation for being a development of regional impact. From the time of entering the school year, until February of 2006, none of the families of children at this school were ever informed that our school was at over-capacity level, let alone the inflated over-capacity number derived from implementing the final requirements of the Class-Size Reduction Act.

In February, the first inkling of impending trouble was provided to us by the editor of our neighborhood magazine that a meeting was being held at Mary Bryant Elementary school to discuss their overcrowding situation and the possible siting of a new Elementary (Elementary “I”) school in the Northwest. We were informed, and it was confirmed by news media staffers, that a task force had been created at Mary Bryant to get community input on how they should change the boundaries of the Mary Bryant school. As part of these discussions, the task force and district staffers, without having invited Westchase Elementary parents into the discussion, discussed also moving children from Westchase Elementary, specifically from two neighborhoods, into the new school as part of the redistricting process. Needless to say the Westchase community was angry at not having been invited into these discussions and we showed up, uninvited, to a meeting that was scheduled at Mary Bryant to voice our concern. We were told in no uncertain terms by the district staff that this was a meeting for the Bryant parents and did not concern Westchase. This caused a rift between our community and many of our Northwest neighbors because we were so outraged that task force recommendations were being allowed that affected us without our being invited. This was just the begin of a setup of monumental portions of pitting communities against communities and parents against parents. We were told that we would have our turn to speak at an upcoming meeting regarding the siting of the property only.

However, against state law, the school district staffers never gave formal written notice to the Westchase Community Association of the possible siting of a school site (Elementary “I”) within immediate proximity of two Westchase neighborhoods. When we went to this meeting in order to express our concern against rumors of reboundarying two Westchase neighborhoods to this new school we were told the only “input” the district was interested in hearing that evening was with regard to the school site, and nothing else. So, being concerned that our community would be split without our input, the residents fought the only way they were allowed to at that time, by writing statements of concern about the siting of the school right in the middle of two other elementary schools when the clear need for a location was much further north. Well, the district had already purchased land in an attempt to build Elementary X at North Mobley in the Northwest and had been halted by legal action by the surrounding communities against that siting, so they NEEDED this site to go through unopposed. Therefore, in an effort to quiet our voices, and to have our community association not begin legal action about improper notice of a school siting, a “comfort letter” was sent to the homes of all Westchase Elementary families as follows:

February 3, 2006

Dear Parents,

After a thorough analysis and input from parents, school district staff has concluded that children attending Westchase Elementary will not be transferred to the new school (Elementary School “I”) planned in the area.

The new attendance boundaries for next school year have not yet been finalized. The proposed boundary maps will be available for public input soon. None of the boundaries under consideration involve moving children out of the Westchase attendance area.

Though it is becoming more and more difficult in high-growth areas, the School Board and school staff try to avoid moving students when possible. We appreciate your input and concern.

Sincerely,

Joyce Wieland
Principal

After receiving this letter, needless to say, parents backed off of their high alert status, as any other parents would have after having read this letter. To our surprise, a little over a month letter, and only a couple days before spring break, we received another letter, this time SENT ONLY TO 144 FAMILIES AS OPPOSED TO THE ENTIRE SCHOOL, telling of us the school districts intent to move our families to Lowry Elementary school. We were told that a “community meeting” would be held shortly after spring break to provide an opportunity for us to have our comments heard and delivered to the school board members. We believe this was a deliberate attempt by school district staffers to “quiet the large voice of Westchase” in their false expectation that the entire community would not be concerned with the move of a few, and also to provide a very short turnaround time for community input given that many families vacation during spring break. They could not have been more wrong!

Over 500 people were in attendance at this “community meeting,”, with the majority of attendees unbelievably being residents of Westchase from “non-affected” areas showing their support for their neighbors that were proposed to be moved. The message could not have been more louder or clearer that this was a hasty decision that had the ability to wreak havoc on childrens, families and the , well-bonded, tightly knit, community that has provided exhaustive resources in our partnership with our neighborhood school. The lone Board Member to attend that meeting was School Board Member Jennifer Faliero – who actually cared about what was happening at Bryant and Westchase Elementaries, despite representing a district from the other side of Hillsborough County.

Incredibly, after hours of heartfelt and impassioned speeches that were turned over to district staffers, and massive media attention, our “community meeting” to provide “valuable input” was provided to School Board members in a highly sanitized two or three page summary with attachments of only 3 speeches. Were we given an opportunity to create our own task force to hash out possible solutions with CHOICES to our overcrowding situation? NO!

The only opportunity we had to appear before the School Board prior to the fateful School Board Meeting on April 18th to seal our fate was to show up at a special Board Workshop called by the school board on April 12th, to discuss ONLY the possible closing and repurposing of Dickenson Elementary school, the only other school to receive as much press as we because they were an under-priveledged, highly achieving school that was slated to be closed in the proposal because they were severely undercapacity. Why did the school board deem to tackle this situation in an isolated manner in a specially called workshop? Because the ire of the community that the district had not found ways to attract more attention to this school and create programs at a school that should have been held up as a shining example of success to others was overwhelming. In fact, the Dickenson situation, grew to be the focus of the proposal, to the detriment of all the other 1,000 students being shifted in the boundary proposal and helped to diminish the voices of the families and parents that were expressing their dismay at the arrogance with which they were treated. At the very end of the meeting the school board members deemed to spare some of the Westchase residents an opportunity to speak, since we SHOWED UP, but there was no opportunity given for interactive discussion. We were given just two short minutes each to speak and a “thank you very much, you can leave now.”

So, what was a community to do to fight such a certainty without any significant information? We did what we could do, over the short period of time falling between the end of spring break and April 18th. We sent hundreds of emails imploring school board members to delay and work with us, we made public records requests seeking information that we did not have, including supposed “town-hall meeting” asking for input on school overcrowding, and we spent countless hours doing our own research into the issues which became necessary due to delay tactics on the part of district staffers in replying to our public records requests.

What little we were able to piece together from information provided by district staff proved that there was an unbelievable lack of forethought, or planning or homework or statistics and minimal actual public input. These “town-hall” meeting had provided a mere handful of comments in reply to a questionnaire asking parents if, in the event of overcrowding situations, would they prefer double sessions, year-round schooling or splitting boundaries. Well, maybe its just me, but being given those options, without the benefit of knowledge of the ramifications of such options, could, kind of be equated to the state of Florida putting a class-size amendment on the ballot without thought for the need for massive amounts of funding to provide for more classrooms and a thorough analysis of the changes that would result from passage of said amendment.

We found that, unbelievably, each of the schools that were being toted as needing to be filled due to undercapacity was because the previous school district facilities manager had added federally funded wings to schools that were already under-capacity. How did the facilities manager get the funds? Easy, the government set it aside to add class-room space in preparation of class-size amendment fulfillment. Who was the THEN facilities manager in charge of adding the wings? It was none other than School Superintendent Mary Ellen Elia. Then the district indicates it is in dire need of funds to keep up with county growth and the need for school and may need to ask for ½ cent sales tax increase. Well, what else can Ms. Elia do but responsibly fill those empty seats that she planned in places where there was no need, by shifting poor helpless children away from their neighborhood schools. One school that was slated to be closed, Dickenson Elementary, which received much press, was originally planned to be spread amongst three or four other schools that were undercapacity………. Because they had brand spanking new wings added to them when there was no need for wings. No one had done their homework on what happens when communities begin to age and schools are built one after another within a couple of mile radius (as in Town and Country). Why were larger additions not undertaken at schools that desperately needed greater capacity?

We also found, through a common bound of mistreatment with our disgruntled neighbors from the reboundaried families of Bryant Elementary, that the same developer that built Westchase Elementary, also built Highland Park off Racetrack Road in the Mary Bryant attendance zone, and OFFERED to donate land for a school, which the school district TURNED DOWN, supposedly due to not wanting to work with developer on ensuring the fa├žade of the school fit in with the community surrounding it. However, can anyone be sure that it wasn’t instead because accepting a donated land site undoubtedly would have taken money out of the pockets of those brokering overinflated prices for land acquisitions made by the school district?

Well, the residents of Westchase worked around the clock – and I mean literally around the clock - staging marches; corresponding and coordinating efforts with media, including editorial boards (who came out strongly against the reboundary on behalf of all communities); writing speeches; creating marketing campaigns; making calls to School Board Members; sending emails to School Board Members; setting up conferences with School Board Members that might be willing to spend a moment of their time with us; emailing our governor, congressman, state representatives, and county commissioners; and generally doing anything and everything we could to get this decision delayed until communities had more opportunities to provide input. I lost 15 pounds in two weeks from the stress of the one-sided negotiation process, in addition to trying to run a business and shield my children from the devastating news that they might have to switch schools. I, did to my children the same thing the school board did to my children…….I IGNORED THEM, in my ceaseless effort to protect them.

Unfortunately, as we all know, children are wise. They quickly woke up to what was happening after seeing mom on television many times, from being taken to marches with Westchase United signs in front of their school, and from having to sit quietly in a corner while parents utilized non-working hours to strategize a campaign to save their children from being ripped away from their neighborhood school.

I remember distinctly the question my daughter asked me when, after the School Board made the fateful and flawed decision to send our children elsewhere, I told my daughter that she would be going to a new school but that it would be okay because all of her neighbors and friends would be going there with her. She asked the heartbreaking question of whether her best friend, Lauren, who lives, of course, in an “unaffected section of Westchase” would be with her at her new school. My heart broke in a million pieces for her.

Because, what the majority of the school board members failed to take into account in our situation – again with the notable exception of Valdes and Faliero – was as a community we are unique in our close-knit nature despite our size. Parents begin meeting each other from all corners of Westchase the minute their children are born through stork clubs and mommy and me clubs. The mothers bond while children from all corners of the community play together at two parks centrally located with the community. The preschoolers seal fast friendships when attending the centrally located preschools, Kids R Kids and Primrose. The parents begin their learning process on the way to elementary education through these associations with parents of elementary aged children. Everyone in the community is aware of everything that happens at the Elementary and Middle School through our community news magazine that is delivered monthly to our doorsteps. Three and more generations have come over time to live in this community because of the sense of family – wanting to be closer to the grandchildren, the sense of community and the common thread of education and betterment for the children. And, after my first daughter entered elementary school, and after having lived in the community for 12 years and having been involved in many good volunteer works, I could count on running into community mom’s at least once or twice a week at local grocery stores, shopping and community venues that would report to me about having spent time with my daughter in school this week for any number of reasons from parent volunteering, ready readers, a play or production, through the music program, being a lunch room helper, or just helping with morning and afternoon bus patrols. Volunteering in this community fostered volunteering. Visit the school and ask the teachers, the PTA, the SAC Committee and the Principal. The school was a well-oiled machine due to invaluable gift of time and funds, and it was OUR SCHOOL.

But, I digressed. The morning of our April 18th meeting dawned bright and early, although many of us hadn’t slept a wink the night before for preparing our arguments and cases against our reboundary, when what should begin flooding our emails with the force of a tidal wave, but the responses by district staffers to all of those public records requests which we made repeatedly in our quest to actually try to present accurate information. A deliberate attempt to ensure that our information was inaccurate and could that our arguments could easily be defeated by information presented by district staffers that had been armed in advance with the “tough questions” that would be “thrown at them” by School Board members with a goal of getting at the truth and having the “best interest of children” at heart?????? You do the math.

I made mention of two notable exceptions in our dealings with the School Board members. I would like to expand on that.

In a school board largely comprised of arrogant and out-of-touch board members that would do well to have term-limits imposed on them, and largely seem to be dictated to by district staffers rather than the other way around, I put before you the efforts of two valiant, in the minority School Board Members – Ms. Valdes and Ms. Faliero.

At our fateful decision meeting on April 18th, Ms. Valdes made the first step when she called for a “Split of the question” allowing for the Dickenson group to be removed from the rest of the “lump-sum” boundary proposal, and a second question requesting that a delay be made until community, stakeholder and task force input could be sought. She said that “we had proven that our community came together through adversity, and that all of Hillsborough County should be viewed as one LARGE community for the betterment of the children” – Valdes. She said she heard the outcries and she felt they needed to be addressed.

Miss Faliero, the only board member to actually make the effort to tour the Citrus Park portables with the parents affected in the reboundary of Mary Bryant, and actually came to the Westchase Community meeting, made a very brave and impassioned speech. She stated, and I quote, that the School Board based on “GUIDING PRINCIPLES in our literature, MUST make decisions based on improving student achievement. We must encourage open dialog. In order to build a level of confidence in our decision making, we must encourage open dialog. This decision is not in the district’s best interest and goes against our principals of high student achievement and the democratic process. This Justification to fill empty seats in under-capacity schools in and of itself is not sound.” Miss Faliero further railed against a curriculum and program that had not been adequately put together district staff, and no concrete data to show how the reboundary would increases academic performance. She stated, “If filling empty seats is only to achieve numbers, then argument must be made that we might hurt student achievement.” She pointed to success being attributed to by principal, teacher, and involved community, and that Dickenson being below capacity and being extremely successful was because of these reasons. She firmly stated that there was no looming impending immediate deadline and that the district district was already in compliance with class size amendment, which was confirmed later in the meeting by a district staffer with specific regard to Westchase and the upcoming school year. She asked, “Why the rush with only 24 days of school left. This is completely unfair to parents and teachers. Working parents need to make day-care reservations. These people’s lives will be adversely impacted. Our deadline is unnecessary and meaningless.”

Contrast that with the three worst offenders in arrogance, as follows:

Member Kurdell, who continued to state emphatically that the School Board Members needed to “stay strong, and have courage” in ramming these decisions quickly down the throats of the affected families. Because, what would more time or effort buy. She compared our situation to a band-aid when needing to be taken off, and how ripping the band-aid off quickly is less painful.

Dr. Lamb took a few seconds of his time to expound on his experience with “how successful kids become quickly after change.” He continued by ensuring we knew that the district had never made such an early effort to get principals assigned way early in the year for parental preparation and early planning. Interestingly enough, many principal appointments came at the very end of summer, such as at Alonso High School, as usual.

And, worst of all Member Candy Olson, presiding over the highly expensive and exclusive South Tampa community, with the only two public private schools in existence, Gorrie Elementary and Plant High – where parent patrols go home to home to confirm that all children enrolled truly do live in the attendance zone. Miss Olson stated arrogantly that our representation that they gave us only 2 minutes of time to speak and that they didn’t allow our input despite having to spend so much of their precious time reading emails and taking phone calls was willful misrepresentation on our part. She accused us of being negligent of suggesting any alternatives, and held it against us that we WERE UNWILLING TO SPECULATE ON ALTERNATIVE SUGGESTIONS because we had very little time to put together plans given the difficulty we had in getting district staff to actually turn over information.

Then to add insult to injury, Miss Olson continued by painting the picture of driving through the charming Westchase and Countryway neighborhoods and noting how clean and orderly we in Westchase were and that her doctor told her that his daughter lived in Westchase and got cited for having dirt on her doorstep. To the started gasps of the audience Miss Olson continued by stating, “I think one of the values of public education is that children get to see OTHER KINDS of people.”. What an insult to not only Westchase, but the strongly affluent and in some areas, more expensive Countrway community!

Member Olson concluded, however, by being very emphatic when she stated that she hoped the, “NEXT TIME time we will have a lot more information farther ahead. I hope we look more carefully at choice or special assignment.” And, essentially use these unfortunate people as a learning experience.

You all know the ending to the story. The Board voted 5 -2 in favor of the massive reboundary proposal, and IN FAVOR of tearing children that pleaded with them along with their parents away from their neighborhood school. The Board sent a firm and ARROGANT message that communities DO NOT MATTER, that the wellbeing of children DOES NOT MATTER, that community task forces are largely a waste of time, that their district staffers are beyond reproach and that Ms. Elia was simply doing what was asked of her when she was hired. The district staff and School Board, led by newly appointed Superintendent Elia, made many enemies during the time frame of March 16 – April 18, a crucial time in the Elia administration. And, they are just arrogant enough not to care.

Unless more families and parents wake up and realize that this treatment is coming soon to an area near them, they will continue to get away with it. It is time for five of these Board Members, some of whom appear to have been around since some of our parents were in high school, to retire, and thankfully one of them, Ms. Bricklemeyer has announced her retirement. Let’s help nudge the rest of them along.
Hi Lee.

I just changed my ending of my blog with one sentence – if you have not put it up yet – to indicate that some of the school board members and Elia clapped at the end of the meeting.

You all know the ending to the story. The Board voted 5 -2 in favor of the massive reboundary proposal, and IN FAVOR of tearing children that pleaded with them along with their parents away from their neighborhood school. The Board sent a firm and ARROGANT message that communities DO NOT MATTER, that the wellbeing of children DOES NOT MATTER, that community task forces are largely a waste of time, that their district staffers are beyond reproach and that Ms. Elia was simply doing what was asked of her when she was hired. And, then, at the every end of the meeting………THEY CLAPPED THEIR HANDS.

The district staff and School Board, led by newly appointed Superintendent Elia, made many enemies during the time frame of March 16 – April 18, a crucial time in the Elia administration. And, they are just arrogant enough not to care.

Unless more families and parents wake up and realize that this treatment is coming soon to an area near them, they will continue to get away with it. It is time for five of these Board Members, some of whom appear to have been around since some of our parents were in high school, to retire, and thankfully one of them, Ms. Bricklemeyer has announced her retirement. Let’s help nudge the rest of them along.


Tish Dietrich
Dietrich Consulting Group, LLC
813-333-1921
813-333-1926 Fax
813-244-8474 Cellular




Hi Lee,



Here are the email from the “email dump” by the district the day of our vote (they are too old to forward so I cut and paste):





Email 1



Just in from the district. Matt-this is your baby. What can we use from this?



Mark







IRS Circular 230 Notice: We are required to advise you no person or entity may use any tax advice in this communication or any attachment to (i) avoid any penalty under federal tax law or (ii) promote, market or recommend any purchase, investment or other action.


Confidentiality Statement: This electronic message contains information from the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, and may be confidential or privileged. The information is intended to be for the use of the individual or entity named above. If you are not the intended recipient, be aware that any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of the contents of this message is prohibited. If you have received this electronic message in error, please notify the sender immediately by reply e-mail or telephone at (813) 229-7600.




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From: Kristin Waskiewicz [mailto:kwaskiewicz@sdhc.us]
Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2006 9:46 AM
To: Connolly, Mark
Subject: Re: Public Records Request

Mark -- Please see the Fishkind agreement attached. I will forward you two correspondence emails between the district and Fishkind as well.

Thanks.

Kristin Waskiewicz
Office of Communications
Hillsborough County Public Schools
813.272.4055

Kristin Waskiewicz on Monday, April 17, 2006 at 4:34 PM -0500 wrote:
Mark -- I pulled the agenda item from November 8, 2005 when the Fishkind professional services recommendation went before the Board, but am still working to get the actual agreement, as it was not part of the agenda item. Just wanted to give you an update.

Thanks -- Kristin

"Connolly, Mark" on Friday, April 14, 2006 at 1:53 PM -0500 wrote:
Kristin-

Thank you. Does the District have any other records responsive to the public records request that my wife sent to you last Wednesday? Also, though you previously told me that the District does not have any report from Dr. Fishkind's firm yet, I would appreciate receiving a copy of the agreement between the District and Mr. Fishkind as well as any documents provided to his firm describing the scope of services expected by the District.

Thanks again.

Mark Connolly




IRS Circular 230 Notice: We are required to advise you no person or entity may use any tax advice in this communication or any attachment to (i) avoid any penalty under federal tax law or (ii) promote, market or recommend any purchase, investment or other action.

Confidentiality Statement: This electronic message contains information from the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, and may be confidential or privileged. The information is intended to be for the use of the individual or entity named above. If you are not the intended recipient, be aware that any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of the contents of this message is prohibited. If you have received this electronic message in error, please notify the sender immediately by reply e-mail or telephone at (813) 229-7600.





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From: Kristin Waskiewicz [mailto:kwaskiewicz@sdhc.us]
Sent: Friday, April 14, 2006 1:39 PM
To: Connolly, Mark; Mark and Linda Connolly
Cc: Steven Ayers; Barbara Leon
Subject: Re: Public Records Request


I guess I'm going to have to refer you to Steve Ayers. He would be the one to provide that backup information, or at least explain it. He can be reached at 272-4091, and his secretary's name is Barbara.

I'm sorry this has been a tedious process. I hope you get the information you need.

Thanks -- Kristin

"Connolly, Mark" on Friday, April 14, 2006 at 12:25 PM -0500 wrote:
Kristin-

Thank you for sending the document via email. I am writing because there is no way for us to perform any meaningful analysis of the information you sent to us without the backup information used to prepare the document to determine (1) where the numbers set forth in the document came from, and (2) why the person who prepared the document did not use the specific "adjusted student generation rates" that are published in the Hillsborough County Comprehensive Impact Fee Study dated July 12, 2004 as compared to simply using the more general average multiplier of .185 that does not take into account what housing type is involved in the construction.

Do you have any of that information in writing? If not, is there someone at the District that we can speak with to obtain the information verbally. This is important as the April 18 date fast approaches.

Thanks.

Mark Connolly




IRS Circular 230 Notice: We are required to advise you no person or entity may use any tax advice in this communication or any attachment to (i) avoid any penalty under federal tax law or (ii) promote, market or recommend any purchase, investment or other action.

Confidentiality Statement: This electronic message contains information from the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, and may be confidential or privileged. The information is intended to be for the use of the individual or entity named above. If you are not the intended recipient, be aware that any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of the contents of this message is prohibited. If you have received this electronic message in error, please notify the sender immediately by reply e-mail or telephone at (813) 229-7600.






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From: Mark and Linda Connolly [mailto:connolly88@earthlink.net]
Sent: Friday, April 14, 2006 12:14 PM
To: John McKay; Connolly, Mark
Subject: Fw: Public Records Request


This is the District's real estate analysis for the Lowry boundary.
Linda

----- Original Message -----
From: Kristin Waskiewicz
To: Mark and Linda Connolly
Sent: Friday, April 14, 2006 11:11 AM
Subject: Re: Public Records Request


Linda -- Steve Ayers provided the attached information and said it answers questions one and two below.





1. All documents memorializing, reflecting or relating to the analysis of residential development within the geographic boundaries for Lowry Elementary that have been performed during the last 12 months by or on behalf of the School District.








2. All documents memorializing, reflecting or relating to the analysis of residential development within the geographic boundaries for Westchase Elementary that have been performed during the last 12 months by or on behalf of the School District.




Thanks.

Kristin Waskiewicz
Office of Communications
Hillsborough County Public Schools
813.272.4055












Email 2



They sandbagged us. I have not even looked at this stuff yet.







IRS Circular 230 Notice: We are required to advise you no person or entity may use any tax advice in this communication or any attachment to (i) avoid any penalty under federal tax law or (ii) promote, market or recommend any purchase, investment or other action.


Confidentiality Statement: This electronic message contains information from the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, and may be confidential or privileged. The information is intended to be for the use of the individual or entity named above. If you are not the intended recipient, be aware that any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of the contents of this message is prohibited. If you have received this electronic message in error, please notify the sender immediately by reply e-mail or telephone at (813) 229-7600.




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From: Kristin Waskiewicz [mailto:kwaskiewicz@sdhc.us]
Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2006 9:47 AM
To: Connolly, Mark
Subject: Fwd(2): Fw: Upated forecast and power point


----- Original Message -----

Save Reply Forward Print Delete Attach Send

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 8:55:55 AM
Message
From: James Hamilton
"Hank Fishkind"
Subject: Fwd: Fw: Upated forecast and power point
To: Kristin Waskiewicz
Attachments: Hills forecast.ppt 299K
Hills_Fcst(2-15).xls 184K
revenue forecast.xls 423K


----- Original Message -----

Save Reply Forward Print Delete Attach Send

Tuesday, February 21, 2006 12:47:51 PM
Message
From: "Hank Fishkind"
Subject: Fw: Upated forecast and power point
To: "Matt Anderson"
James Hamilton
Attachments: Hills forecast.ppt 299K
Hills_Fcst(2-15).xls 184K
revenue forecast.xls 423K


----- Original Message -----
From: "Hank Fishkind"
To: "Matt Anderson" ; "James Hamilton"

Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2006 12:41 PM
Subject: Upated forecast and power point


> Jim
>
> Here are the updated forecasts and power point.
>
> Matt
>
> Please keep copies for yourself and forward copies to Gretchen.
>
> Regards,
>
> ->Henry Fishkind, Ph.D.
> ->Fishkind & Associates
> ->12051 Corporate Blvd
> ->Orlando, FL 32817
> ->Tel: 407-382-3256
> ->Fax: 407-382-3254
> ->E-mail: Hankf@fishkind.com
> ->Web Site: WWW.fishkind.com





Email 3



more from the District.







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From: Kristin Waskiewicz [mailto:kwaskiewicz@sdhc.us]
Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2006 9:47 AM
To: Connolly, Mark
Subject: Fwd(3): Fishkind Presentation Materials and Enrollment Model


----- Original Message -----

Save Reply Forward Print Delete Attach Send

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 9:00:16 AM
Message
From: James Hamilton
Gretchen Saunders
"Hank Fishkind"
Subject: Fwd(2): Fishkind Presentation Materials and Enrollment Model
To: Kristin Waskiewicz
Attachments: Hills forecast.ppt 409K
revenue forecast.xls 423K
Hills_Fcst.xls 146K


----- Original Message -----

Save Reply Forward Print Delete Attach Send

Monday, February 6, 2006 10:56:35 AM
Message
From: Gretchen Saunders
"Hank Fishkind"
Subject: Fwd: Fishkind Presentation Materials and Enrollment Model
To: James Hamilton
Ken Otero
Cathy Valdes
John Bowers
Lorraine Duffy-Suarez
Lewis Brinson
Steven Ayers
Attachments: Hills forecast.ppt 409K
revenue forecast.xls 423K
Hills_Fcst.xls 146K



Gretchen Saunders
Business Division
School District of Hillsborough County
Telephone: 813-272-4383
Fax: 813-272-4007

----- Original Message -----

Save Reply Forward Print Delete Attach Send

Monday, February 06, 2006 8:27:30 AM
Message
From: "Hank Fishkind"
Subject: Fishkind Presentation Materials and Enrollment Model
To: Gretchen Saunders
Attachments: Hills forecast.ppt 409K
revenue forecast.xls 423K
Hills_Fcst.xls 146K

Gretchen

I have attached a number of files for you and for distribution as you may
see fit.

The power point is my presentation. The excel files contain the enrollment
forecast and the revenue forecast respectively.

Please give me a call with any questions that you may have. The revenue
forecasts for items other than those related to ad valorem are my best
estimates.

Regards,

->Henry Fishkind, Ph.D.
->Fishkind & Associates
->12051 Corporate Blvd
->Orlando, FL 32817
->Tel: 407-382-3256
->Fax: 407-382-3254
->E-mail: Hankf@fishkind.com
->Web Site: WWW.fishkind.com

Hello Ms. Olson.



As you are currently campaigning for another term in office, and one of your repeated platforms is that you DO care and you DO listen, I would love to know why something is not done about the following items?



1) Why do I have to receive a letter from a PTA parent pleading for volunteers to run the media center at Lowry Elementary because the Media Specialist has to do an inventory, due by September 15th, of all big ticket items belonging to the school. The PTA parent says, and I quote, “If he does not have relief, students will not have access to checking out books for AR, projects, homework assignments, etc.”. Why do we not have enough staff for a backup/backups to the media specialist? Where is the district money going? Not having access to these basic things is going to hurt my students ACHIEVEMENT.

2) Why is there no help in the lunchroom? There is one or sometimes two ladies working the lunch lines. Children, especially those in Kindergarten, have no help making their lunch decisions and moving swiftly through the line, and then only have 3-5 MINUTES TO GULP it down. Poor NUTRITION, including inability to have enough time to digest their meals, is going to hurt my students ACHIEVEMENT. There are only approximately 3 individuals assigned to lunchroom duty/assistance – far too few to wipe tables, assist with trash and ensure an actually semi-peaceful lunch environment. A planned trip to the cafeteria to have lunch with your child should not result in a Migraine Headache for the rest of the day due to the noise levels. We are in a school now that was supposedly way under-capacity, so why are the children still rushed through lunch and some 5th grade children are eating lunch at 10:00 in the morning? Because we have an ineffective use of space and a lunch line that is WAY too small to accommodate the pupil population at the school. Where is the district money going? And please do NOT attempt to place all blame on the Principal, who already has to wear far too many hats to be effective in all areas, and who is provided a very meager budget with which to get all things done.

3) Why are children being scraped up on their arms and legs just pulling up to their lunch tables in the cafeteria? The tables and chairs are a hazard. I was with a Kindergartener when an incident happened. Where is the district money going?

4) Why are the teachers in the new wing still awaiting technicians to hook up their computers and fix televisions in the classroom? Teachers are told that the priority goes to the new schools first. Why are the new schools and schools that are scheduled to be built getting all the money and all the others are being left to fall to pot with the exception of big ticket items (like paint, air conditioning, electrical work, etc).?

5) Why are the lists of school supplies so incredibly long that parents have to spend hundreds of dollars at the beginning of the year not only buying uniforms, but also supplementing supplies desperately needed in classrooms? The lists this year were incredibly large, and many families have 2 or more children they need to provide supplies for. Where is the district money going?

6) Finally, I would like to know what will be done about the fact that Mary Bryant and Westchase Elementary schools are both still overcrowded. The families in those areas deserve to know now, not within a month or two of a change, what to expect. It seems an East vs West boundary line for Mary Brant is not going to be adequate to keep Mary Bryant within class-size amendment. And, as for the Westchase Community, the answer should certainly not be to split the community into yet a third slice and have the children attending THREE different schools (Westchase, Deer Park, and Lowry). Somehow, I’d find it hard to believe if Mr. Person doesn’t have that split already drawn out – as he has been chomping at the bit to make that split at the Shires and Radcliffe for a very long time (since before Bryant opened). Please give a community a BREAK! Ask the parents NOW so we can all stop worrying about it and focus more on our good works of earning a salary and volunteerism at our children’s schools.



All of the residents of Hillsborough County pay school taxes, although the amount they pay may differ, including the elderly with grown children, families with children in private school, families with children that are toddlers, and families with NO children. If all of these people without children are paying in, why can’t the district find an equitable way to apportion the funds so the burden is eased more across the board? It seems there must be some more equitable way of splitting available money among schools so that it doesn’t only benefit the communities that are slated for new schools.



It seems to me that the correct decision was made to keep Dickenson together, because as you said they were a “unique” dynamic and they had overcome many obstacles on their way to such a high rating and high student achievement. You said they should be made an example and the district should try to duplicate what they did. Well, schools in large communities such as Tampa Palms, Meadow Point, Fishhawk Ranch and Westchase also have “unique” dynamics. Look into how well these schools fared in the category of PTA fundraising efforts and community/business/family donations and volunteerism versus at those schools that are surrounded by smaller disassociated neighborhoods. Maybe then a dynamic can be applied to schools across the county and true partnerships in student achievement can be formed EVERYWHERE.



The reports are in that the student enrollment is below projection. Perhaps district staff and the Superintendent can relook at the budget now and find some more money for the schools that are in need of upkeep.



I would very much appreciate a written answer to my questions, as I am unable to be at the Tiger Bay function tomorrow afternoon to ask these questions of you directly.





Tish

Tish Dietrich

10620 Chambers Drive

Tampa, FL 33626

813-854-5653 or Cellular 813-244-8474










Tish

Tish Dietrich

813-854-5653 or Cellular 813-244-8474



Please Vote Stephanie Georgiades for School Board - District 6 - At Large

For the Students, For the Teachers, For the Communities!

Vote: September 5, 2006

http://www.vote4stephanie.com



Thank You!

Hello Ms. Olson.

As you are currently campaigning for another term in office, and one of your repeated platforms is that you DO care and you DO listen, I would love to know why something is not done about the following items?

1) Why do I have to receive a letter from a PTA parent pleading for volunteers to run the media center at Lowry Elementary because the Media Specialist has to do an inventory, due by September 15th, of all big ticket items belonging to the school. The PTA parent says, and I quote, “If he does not have relief, students will not have access to checking out books for AR, projects, homework assignments, etc.”. Why do we not have enough staff for a backup/backups to the media specialist? Where is the district money going? Not having access to these basic things is going to hurt my students ACHIEVEMENT.

2) Why is there no help in the lunchroom? There is one or sometimes two ladies working the lunch lines. Children, especially those in Kindergarten, have no help making their lunch decisions and moving swiftly through the line, and then only have 3-5 MINUTES TO GULP it down. Poor NUTRITION, including inability to have enough time to digest their meals, is going to hurt my students ACHIEVEMENT. There are only approximately 3 individuals assigned to lunchroom duty/assistance – far too few to wipe tables, assist with trash and ensure an actually semi-peaceful lunch environment. A planned trip to the cafeteria to have lunch with your child should not result in a Migraine Headache for the rest of the day due to the noise levels. We are in a school now that was supposedly way under-capacity, so why are the children still rushed through lunch and some 5th grade children are eating lunch at 10:00 in the morning? Because we have an ineffective use of space and a lunch line that is WAY too small to accommodate the pupil population at the school. Where is the district money going? And please do NOT attempt to place all blame on the Principal, who already has to wear far too many hats to be effective in all areas, and who is provided a very meager budget with which to get all things done.

3) Why are children being scraped up on their arms and legs just pulling up to their lunch tables in the cafeteria? The tables and chairs are a hazard. I was with a Kindergartener when an incident happened. Where is the district money going?

4) Why are the teachers in the new wing still awaiting technicians to hook up their computers and fix televisions in the classroom? Teachers are told that the priority goes to the new schools first. Why are the new schools and schools that are scheduled to be built getting all the money and all the others are being left to fall to pot with the exception of big ticket items (like paint, air conditioning, electrical work, etc).?

5) Why are the lists of school supplies so incredibly long that parents have to spend hundreds of dollars at the beginning of the year not only buying uniforms, but also supplementing supplies desperately needed in classrooms? The lists this year were incredibly large, and many families have 2 or more children they need to provide supplies for. Where is the district money going?

6) Finally, I would like to know what will be done about the fact that Mary Bryant and Westchase Elementary schools are both still overcrowded. The families in those areas deserve to know now, not within a month or two of a change, what to expect. It seems an East vs West boundary line for Mary Brant is not going to be adequate to keep Mary Bryant within class-size amendment. And, as for the Westchase Community, the answer should certainly not be to split the community into yet a third slice and have the children attending THREE different schools (Westchase, Deer Park, and Lowry). Somehow, I’d find it hard to believe if Mr. Person doesn’t have that split already drawn out – as he has been chomping at the bit to make that split at the Shires and Radcliffe for a very long time (since before Bryant opened). Please give a community a BREAK! Ask the parents NOW so we can all stop worrying about it and focus more on our good works of earning a salary and volunteerism at our children’s schools.

All of the residents of Hillsborough County pay school taxes, although the amount they pay may differ, including the elderly with grown children, families with children in private school, families with children that are toddlers, and families with NO children. If all of these people without children are paying in, why can’t the district find an equitable way to apportion the funds so the burden is eased more across the board? It seems there must be some more equitable way of splitting available money among schools so that it doesn’t only benefit the communities that are slated for new schools.

It seems to me that the correct decision was made to keep Dickenson together, because as you said they were a “unique” dynamic and they had overcome many obstacles on their way to such a high rating and high student achievement. You said they should be made an example and the district should try to duplicate what they did. Well, schools in large communities such as Tampa Palms, Meadow Point, Fishhawk Ranch and Westchase also have “unique” dynamics. Look into how well these schools fared in the category of PTA fundraising efforts and community/business/family donations and volunteerism versus at those schools that are surrounded by smaller disassociated neighborhoods. Maybe then a dynamic can be applied to schools across the county and true partnerships in student achievement can be formed EVERYWHERE.

The reports are in that the student enrollment is below projection. Perhaps district staff and the Superintendent can relook at the budget now and find some more money for the schools that are in need of upkeep.

I would very much appreciate a written answer to my questions, as I am unable to be at the Tiger Bay function tomorrow afternoon to ask these questions of you directly.

Tish

Tish Dietrich

10620 Chambers Drive

Tampa, FL 33626

813-854-5653 or Cellular 813-244-8474

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