Tag Archive | building

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Exemplary P.M. Is Afforded Rare & HUGE Honor By UAE With Their ‘The Burj Khalifa’.

by Anura Guruge


Click to access original article.


Must Watch YouTube video.


3-days ago I told you how I felt.

Click to ENLARGE. Use link above to access original post.


Made my day.

She, Jacinda Ardern, so, so deserves all the kudos she gets. She has shown the world how real leaders act. Trump is too busy playing golf to notice.

Obviously the muslims appreciate her sincerity, commitment & compassion.

How GREAT for the whole world.

Terrible, uncalled for tragedy. Then, at least, you have moments like this.

Thank YOU, New Zealand.

Thank YOU, Jacinda Ardern.


by Anura Guruge

How Come NOT A Single Teacher From Alton Central School (ACS) Or Prospect Attended School Board ‘Common Core’ Workshop?

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> ACS Board Aug. 8 Workshop … — Aug. 9, 2013.
>> ACS Workshop … should be hilarious — July 31, 2013.
>> ACS board not 100% behind Common Core? — June 11, 2013.

++++ Do a SEARCH on ‘Common Core’ or ‘Alton Central’ from
Sidebar search trench for other related posts >>>>>


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So how come not a SINGLE TEACHER from Alton Central School (ACS) or Alton’s Prospect Mountain High School attended the much vaunted School Board workshop to discuss Common Core?

It is not like teachers don’t attend School Board meetings. They were there in droves earlier in the year when the $18M Bond was being discussed — all seated regimentally together. They attend when awards are being given out.

But, come this crucial, ‘KEY TO THE KIDS’ meeting on Common Core they are conspicuous by their absence.

It could not have been a coincidence or accident.

They were either telling us something or had been told by the Administration to stay away.

Their absence can be interpreted in multiple ways.

As I already said I was disappointed and amazed that the Administration did NOT stand up and defend their decision to pursue Common Core — at least in 2013 – 2014.

We had ancient folks from out-of-town standing up and talking about their teaching experiences from the 1970s — as if that had any bearing on CC.

There were all these non-educators that stood up and claimed that various teachers and unions were against CC.

Wouldn’t it have been wonderful to have some of OUR teachers there to give us THEIR impressions.

Because in the end, it is what they think that really matters?

I could be wrong but I have a sneaking feeling that the Administration told them to stay clear to avoid any flack!

That the Administration, to their dismay or otherwise, knows that they do not have a majority support by the Board is probably influencing their decisions.

Don’t we have an anointed, much-hailed ‘Champion of the Children’? How come he wasn’t there? Whether you support CC or not, somebody OTHER THAN the estimable School Board member, Steve Miller, the GUARDING of Alton’s school kids, needs to be there to represent the kids.

The Administration clearly demonstrated that they are not going to stand up.

I am doing my part. Don’t forget that it was I that got the ball rolling on CC — since I knew that we had an issue even more divisive than the $18M Bond. So I am doing my part — though I really am not passionate one way or another about CC. I am a great believer that you can take a child to a playground but you can’t get her to go on the monkey-bars.

Alton Central (ACS) School Board Summer ‘Workshop’, Thursday, August 8, 2013: Bar Common Core Segment The Rest Was A Non-Event.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> ACS Workshop … should be hilarious — July 31, 2013.
>> ACS board not 100% behind Common Core? — June 11, 2013.

++++ Do a SEARCH on ‘Common Core’ or ‘Alton Central’ from
Sidebar search trench for other related posts >>>>>


I urge you to watch the video as soon as it is available.

I will update this post with a link to it — as soon as Deanna spots it online.


The Workshop from 1: 30 to 3:45 pm was devoid of a audience bar us and a substitute teacher taking notes for the local rag. That was IT!

The Workshop from 1: 30 to 3:45 pm was devoid of a audience bar us and a substitute teacher taking notes for the local rag. That was IT! One of the Board Members was also missing — for the 2nd meeting in a row. Must be taking the Summer off.


I got up and spoke at least 5 times -- I think. Got one major breakthrough. Motion passed, unanimously, that in future MOST public documents discussed by the Board will be displayed, via a 'magic lantern', on the big screen so we can all see what the heck they are talking about.

I got up and spoke at least 5 times — I think. Got one major breakthrough. Motion passed, unanimously, that in future MOST public documents discussed by the Board will be displayed, via a ‘magic lantern’, on the big screen so we can all see what the heck they are talking about. This picture was taken around 3:50 when the CROWDS poured in for the Common Core segment. Didn’t see many Alton parents. A lot of old folks — even older than ME!


It really was a Workshop in two parts: 3 hours of tedium and paper shuffling from 1 to 4 and then 1:20 minutes of rather amusing (if not for the fact that it was so sad) live entertainment along the lines of ‘no, I don’t believe you‘ rhetoric on Common Core.

When we got there just at 1pm my friends Raymond Howard and Steve Miller were there. I was glad. I actually went and sat with them leaving Deanna to sit in the front row. By 1:30 Ray and Steve had both left, albeit after Ray had given one of his pithy and always to the point remarks, in public input, that he always gets the feeling that the Board just loves to spend our money. Ray and Steve had work to do. I feared this with the timing of this Workshop.

So from 1:30 till 3:45 when busloads of ol’ folks turned up to contribute to the Common Core entertainment Deanna and I were the only bona fide PUBLIC at the meeting.

This is beyond the pale. It is diabolic.

Though nothing of IMPORT transpired the agenda for this Workshop included ‘Building Discussion’ and ‘Strategic Plan’, in addition to ‘Common Core’.

So in February – March we had all those fireworks about ACS building renovation and the $18 M bond, now come August no other parents can spare 2 hours to attend this Workshop?

I got up and had my say about this. I claimed that this Board in general, though there are two notable exceptions, make the public feel unwelcome and redundant. Their habit of glibly discussing documents that the public does not get to see is a classical example of this. Yesterday they spend 50 minutes talking about two documents and we (i.e., Deanna and I) had no idea what they were talking about. Bloody waste of our time — but that is how this Board views us. Mere taxpaying chattel — because we are not as rich and famous as they are!

Well, at least, with the help of Carlos Martinez and Steve Miller, I did get a motion passed — unanimously. In future we, the public, will get to see, on the big screen, via a ‘magic lantern’, the documents being discussed by this august board — though, of course, they retained the right, to arbitrarily override this provision when it is not convenient to them or the Administration. Well, we will see how this transpires. Dying to see the minutes.

That there have only been 4 members at this and the last board meeting was beneficial. These 4 members kind of balance each other out. I wonder how many board meetings you can miss before your conscience tells you that you need to quit?

In reality, other than this ‘public display’ motion that I forced them to adopt, the only real action that came out of this Workshop was the formation of a 22 member Strategic Team to look at EVERYTHING pertaining to the future of ACS — including buildings and grounds.

Deanna volunteered to be one of the team members — representing the parents. [To be fair, I was also asked, but I declined because I have never been a committee person. I am broadband.]

Steve Miller will also be on the team representing the Board. That is wonderful. I am glad. So in some ways I know that I am well represented on this Strategic Team: Deanna and Steve. What more can I wish for.

The Common Core was something else — as I knew it would be.

The Administration, to their shame, punted the ball. Neither the Principal nor the Superintendent, William Lander, Esq., had the gumption to stand up and defend what they claim that they believe in.

Instead they got a young lady, quite impressive, from the Dept. of Education, in Concord, to be their proxy. She was politic and didn’t know as much as she should have. She was outsmarted and out-researched by the Common Core detractors.

I know folks will scream at ME but I really have no skin in the game when it comes to Common Core.

Though I have a Master’s and have taught (adults) extensively, I am not a great believer in formal education! So to me Common Core, Apple Core, Metal Core are all the same. Yes, it is also true that I will make sure that my kids know the basics of what they need to know — by hook or by crooks. Once you know the basics, the rest is up to the individual. At least that is how it worked for me.

What cracks me up about Common Core is that our current principal Sydney Leggett has been talking about CC ad nauseum ever since she became Principal. She has told me, on the record, that ACS is committed to CC for 2013 – 2014,

I tried to get a vote — and vote of confidence — on CC yesterday. Check the tape. Sandy Wyatt, the Chair, who I have learnt to respect immensely, and have found is far more savvy than she lets on, very glibly brushed my request aside. By I will try again at the next board meeting which I think is this coming Monday. I want a vote by this Board — for the record.

I think, if Mrs. Wyatt allows me, that the vote will indicate that THIS board is not in support of CC! We know that Carlos Martinez will vote against it. He has to. He has no choice. I know that Steve (my friend) does support CC and did, BRAVELY, go on the record the last time we spoke about it. As ever kudos to Steve. So they cancel out each other. Let me take a stab at this. I think the vote will be 4 – 1 AGAINST CC! So where does that leave Mrs. Leggett?

I did hear something interesting yesterday. Though I had also heard a statement to the contrary at an earlier meeting, there was a muttering that Mrs. Leggett may never have got a VOTE from the Board to proceed with CC. Oh dear!

IF I had a say, I will stand with Mrs. Leggett. We need SOME standards and CC is a standard. That I am a UNESCO-brat may or may not have anything to do with it. But since I am a foreigner I don’t count anyway.

But, let me please urge all ACS parents to WATCH THE TAPE.

make up your own mind. Come to the meetings. They sure beat TV.

Alton Central (ACS) School Board Summer ‘Workshop’ — Thursday, August 8, 2013, 1 pm – 5 pm. It Should Be Hilarious.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
++++ Do a SEARCH on ‘Common Core’ or ‘Alton Central’ from
Sidebar search trench for other related posts >>>>>


entertainmentmaskAt this ‘workshop’, originally billed, erroneously, by the Superintendent, William Lander, as ‘the retreat’, will address, in public, ‘Common Core‘ and the new charter for the ‘Buildings & Grounds Committee‘.

There is also a session on the future vision of the board, but I think there is nothing that cannot be easily and inexpensively fixed there with some pairs of Dollar Store reading glasses.

The scheduled 1 hour segment for discussing ‘Common Core’ should prove to be the BEST public forum entertainment that has been available in Alton all Summer. Forget the July 3rd fireworks. The fireworks during this session should be spectacular. Jane Cormier, Alton’s indefatigable State Rep, Jane Cormier, per her husband, School Board member Carlos Martinez, will attend and speak on this issue. Per a request I had made in May, Carlos asked whether she could be on the agenda. That was denied. She will have to speak during ‘public input’ so to speak. This should be a very entertaining hour.

Now that the Board, made an about-turn, and decided that they are not going to move the 4th Grade modulars, we should also have some fun discussions during the ‘Buildings & Grounds’ segment.

I am assuming that the SAU, will per custom, tape all of this and put it on YouTube. My guess is that parts of this will go viral. Now if we could only monetize that through YouTube. That will pay for a $36 M school.

Alton Central (ACS) School Board Voting, July 22, 2013, To Give Superintendent, William Lander, An ‘Off-Contract’, ad hoc ‘Bonus’.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related post:
>> Intriguing ACS School Board Meeting, July 22 …  — July 23, 2013.

++++ Do a SEARCH on ‘Alton Central’ from
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Alton Central School Board meeting

Click to access YouTube video of July 22, 2013 Alton Central School Board meeting.


I talked about this in my prior post.

This was the proposal to give the Superintendent, William Lander, a means to accrue sick pay (up to 30 days) though this was not in the 3 year contract that he, amazingly, managed to finagle through this dysfunctional board.

I want you to watch exactly what happens. It starts at the 1:32 mark (1 hour 32 minutes into the video).

The issue here, as Steve Miller, repeatedly points out is very basic and simple.

The Superintendent, William Lander, extracted an unprecedented 3 year contract from this Board. This sick pay benefit was NOT in that contract. Lander still has 2 years left of his contract.

So what Steve Miller is saying makes so much sense. Lander did not negotiate this as part of his contract. Now he is coming back, through the back door, with AN ADDITION to the contract.

Now as I have said before Lander owns this Board!

That even comes up. The Board won’t ask Lander to leave the room while they discuss his benefits!

This board is dysfunctional.

Also watch and notice that at least 2 members have GREAT DIFFICULTY trying to figure out how this addendum to the contract can be incorporated once the remainder of this existing contract has run out in 2 years.

This is the problem of having amateurs controlling multi million dollar public funds.

Two of the members, from what is in the public record, appear to have issues managing their own finances. But, they monkey around with public funds.

Watch how the voting proceeds. Watch WHO seconded Terri’s, immediate, without discussion, motion to APPROVE this bonus to Lander.

This board has to be held accountable at some point.

Steve Miller cannot fight all these battles on OUR behalf on his own.

Alton Central School (ACS), N.H.: Intriguing School Board Meeting, July 22, 2013. More People Really Should Attend.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> ‘Slipping through the cracks’ … — July 22, 2013.
>> Slip waiting to happen at ACS — July 17, 2013.
>> Administration again compromises credibility — July 9, 2013.
>> School bus fiasco … — July 8, 2013.
>> Credibility of ACS Administration questioned — June 24, 2013.

++++ Do a SEARCH on ‘Alton Central’ from
Sidebar search trench for other related posts >>>>>


The BIG headline is that they are back to talking about costing out an addition, and Steve Miller of all people got that ball rolling. So the ‘contingency’ plan to move the back modulars closer to the permanent buildings, which was backed by the administration was put on hold. There was a brief discussion about the costs for 4 to 6 room additions. But, one key point, as far as I was concerned, was never really discussed. I thought that if there was any addition, even if it was just one room, the entire school has to be brought up to code and that that was where all the real costs were. That did not get discussed. I was going to get p and ask about it. But, between Deanna and I we had asked upwards of 8 questions — more from Deanna, than from me, for a change. So, I decided to leave it for another day. So deja vu all over again.

Other than the two of us there were only 3 other parents present — and one of them is employed by the school. I wish more people would attend. A lot of ‘crazy’ stuff happens.

Let me give you some headlines.

1/ The Superintendent, who managed to wrangle a 3 year contract from this Board last year, tried to get another compensation hike by requesting (through his friend & associate the ‘business manager’) a recommendation that he be allowed to accrue up to 30 days of sick pay — which he could, when he leaves, cash in. Steve Miller, rightly, pointed out that this was not in the negotiated contract and that it should not now be added to it since it was a chance to the T&Cs. But, the Board Chairs, Sandy Wyatt and Terri, voted for it — though Sandy Wyatt did look a bit sheepish. Steve Miller voted against and after an agonizing wait, Carlos Martinez, joined with Steve. Krista was not present. So it was 2-2 and the motion, thankfully, was not passed. But, this proved my point. If Krista had been there the Superintendent would have got his wish. Scary.

2/ All of those that work for ACS are entitled to a $2,000 year ‘bonus’ if they opt not to get health coverage through the school (because, for example, they get coverage through their spouse). Steve Miller, again, questioned the NEED for this. The administration claims it is an incentive. They voted on Steve’s motion to drop the $2,000. Carlos did NOT vote with Steve. So Steve, as was always the case last year, lost. This time 1-3. To me there is an easy fix. Everybody should pay a token amount, say, $25 a month for their health insurance. That would do away with the need to pay a bonus.

3/ Steve Miller, again to his credit, question the principal, Sydney Legget about her claim that only 1 kid was affected by the school bus snafu. She now admitted that she heard of two other cases the next morning. Yea. I couldn’t get a clear view of the skyline from where I was seated to see if there were any pigs flying!

4/ Though I knew the answer, just to make sure it goes on the record, I got up and asked whether they could confirm that there was an independent, 3rd party investigation in progress about a serious bullying allegation at ACS. The Superintendent confirmed that there was indeed an investigation. I asked whether we would be given any details of it. NO. Remember, we are paying for this. But, it is closed-door. Trust me, nothing is going to happen. There is another meeting today, Tuesday, July 23. But, the Board will just brush it under the carpet. But, at least we now have it on record that an investigation did take place.

5/ Deanna and I both brought up bullying. You can watch it on TV.

Kids ‘Slipping Through The Cracks’ At Alton Central School (ACS), N.H. — The Cracks Should Be Fixed ASAP!

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Slip waiting to happen at ACS — July 17, 2013.
>> Administration again compromises credibility — July 9, 2013.
>> School bus fiasco … — July 8, 2013.
>> Credibility of ACS Administration questioned — June 24, 2013.

++++ Do a SEARCH on ‘Alton Central’ from
Sidebar search trench for other related posts >>>>>


Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.


I have still not been able to rationalize why there is so much raw emotion from parents when it comes to the Alton Central School (ACS) building (which we are now finding out is in better shape than the Board cum Administration ever admitted) but very few people seem to want to stand up and be counted when it comes to other issues, such as bullying, that adversely impact the kids.

So check out the above remarks, originally appearing on Facebook, by an ACS mother that we know. [Yes, of course, I have all the names.]

Not good.

Kids should not be falling through the cracks.

But, the current administration, as I have pointed out, appears not be accountable to any power of Earth.

Well, all I can do is to highlight these issues. If others do not care, bully for them. We are already homeschooling one …

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