July 10 and Dayton Public Schools

thumbnail of Human Resources 7-10-18 (3)

The HR report should just be called “Ch-ch-changes” and makes for fascinating reading. Click to download PDF

July 10 is the magic date to re-sign your contract with Dayton Public Schools. Sign it, and then resign after that, and the board tries to vote properly to sanction you for breaking the contract. Since Rev Harris has been elected, they rarely get the vote right.

However, it means this is when we see the churn. Typically about 20% of their employees bolt every year, which is high. Compare that to top performing schools like the one David Lawrence is taking over in Northmont- where no one leaves, you start to see a pattern.

Since the 48 hour rule precludes them from having a complete list before the “review session” tomorrow- but we still get a few glimpses on what’s happening.

Belmont gets a new Principal from Texas- probably thanks to Dr. Donetrus Hill, one of the few smart guys still left in the district. Welcome Dr. Toron Wooldridge, who seems to have a gap in employment since 2016 on his Linkedin. Quick notable fact, he was signed as a 6-0, 232-pound Inside Linebacker from Houston, TX to Texas A&M. He’s come a long way from  being a “Redshirt freshman … who sat out the regular season because of academic problems” to Ed.D. The gap in employment, may have been due to the loss of family members due to a distracted driver. Wooldridge made a push in Texas to adopt no-text while driving laws.

Change 2 is that Nelson Stone, formerly principal of the boys school, has now been assigned to Ponitz. This after he was first supposed to go to Meadowdale. Ray Caruthers went to be the Trotwood Madison HS principal.

Change 3- is that Norris Cole’s uncle is the new Dunbar Basketball coach. I don’t know if Lyle Cole can fill Pete Pullen’s shoes, but he sure can fill a whole teams worth of Chuck Taylors without much work. Amazing that Taylor still hasn’t been brought up on charges for perjury or to pay the district back the copious amounts of cash it wasted because he lied. Not sure if Cole is a teacher, which only seems to be important if your name is Powell and you’re part of a winning football program.

Change 4- the district let Jim Cole, the man who rebuilt the Dunbar Women’s Basketball team and was coach of the year last year- go. No replacement yet, and Cole was snagged by Fairborn. Watch the Lady Skyhawks take off.

In the good news department, Dr. Bob Buchheim got the message loud and clear after his second demotion in less than a year and left town.

The Office of Exceptional Children seems to be getting cleaned out after Dr. Roberson left with two more resignations.

There are a bunch of new supplemental pays for already well paid administrators- including District AD Shawna Welch- and Erin Dooley- but, we can’t tell if these are in addition to, or replacements for. Lolli likes handing out money to people at the top, and to lawyers.

There are also some new “Dean of Students” positions- which could just be a new way of putting people into assistant principal positions without having an actual principals license. Some superintendents have done this in the past- others wouldn’t.

And as a last insult to injury- when the last school board claimed it was broke in November of 2016 they fired Marijane Recob who had been running the Challenger Center at Kiser since it began. Now, they’ve hired 2 people for $40K each, to do what she did solo for about the same money. I’m guessing Marijane would have continued doing that job for $20K if it had been offered to her because she loved it that much.

We’ll see by the business meeting how many others decide to ditch the good ship Lolli-pop.

 

 

DPS board stuffing money in their pockets

thumbnail of DPS rejection-letter

Brian Wildermuth either didn’t present my offer to the board, or he did illegally. Click to download PDF

On May 22nd, I offered to settle the lawsuit over the Sunshine Law violations of the public body, “school closing task force” on this blog and in writing to the City and the School Board.

This requires the attorney’s to take the offer to the school board. I go to board meetings, I watch the agendas. There has been no discussion of legal issues mentioned in the executive session briefings since I made the offer.

On June 2nd, I got a letter of rejection from the school boards lawyer of my settlement offer.

This means that either they illegally discussed it in executive session, of which they’ve had two meetings this week, both, “Special Meetings” and both about personnel. The meeting on Friday was just over the change of contract for board attorney Jyllian Bradshaw. This was 4 days after another special meeting- called for the budget presentation and a bunch of HR Changes- without public input, including the travesty of paying Erin Dooley less than Wyetta Hayden for a similar position.

Either Brian Wildermuth broke the law by not presenting the offer to his client, or Bradshaw and Lolli broke the law by not presenting it to the board, or someone illegally polled the board about the offer.

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Invoices from Subashi & Wildermuth for “protecting” the school board from a violation of the Sunshine laws. Click to download PDF

In the meantime, the board has already spent $12,500+ defending themselves- and lost the first round.

thumbnail of Human Resources-Jyllian Change of contact

It cost taxpayers $625+ to have the board come in for a special meeting to vote on this.

But, those two “special meetings” this week- cost the taxpayers too. The meeting about the budget seems to be an annual thing- why the treasurer can’t have the numbers at the regularly scheduled business meeting like every other school board in Ohio is a mystery- and why they had so many personnel issues that couldn’t wait- is one thing, but to call a board meeting just to change Jyllians Bradshaws title?
REALLY?

You see, each board member collects $125 per meeting, plus mileage. So having these five idiots come in for one vote on Friday cost you $625 plus mileage:

Motion by Mohamed H Al-Hamdani, second by Karen Wick-Gagnet.
Final Resolution: Motion Carried
Yes: Mohamed H Al-Hamdani, William E Harris Jr, Sheila J Taylor, Karen Wick-Gagnet
Abstain: Robert C Walker

Why there isn’t outrage over this I don’t know. The rule of “P’s” should apply- Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.

And if you are wondering about the pay?

Here is the section of Ohio Revised Code on school board compensation:

(A) Each member of the educational service center governing board may be paid such compensation as the governing board provides by resolution, provided that any such compensation shall not exceed one hundred twenty-five dollars a day plus mileage both ways, at the rate per mile provided by resolution of the governing board, for attendance at any meeting of the board. No member of an educational service center governing board shall receive in compensation under this division a total amount greater than five thousand dollars per year for service on the governing board. Such

Source: Lawriter – ORC

The lawmakers had to make the change and add a cap, because of idiots like the former DPS board who were scheduling meetings almost weekly and stuffing their pockets. Normal school boards meet at most twice a month. DPS finds a way to meet almost weekly, often times hitting the cap in August- meaning all the meetings after that are unpaid.

And on June 12, they are going to meet again- to give Erin Dooley a supplemental contract to fix the last oversight- and to hire yet another expensive PhD $117,040  to oversee the office of exceptional children. Dr. Angela Nichols is coming from the Lebanon City Schools. Because, well, you can never have to many PhDs in education.

There are also some inconsistencies in the supplemental contracts- with Dr. Donetrus Hill getting a premium double supplemental for $5,200, maybe because his title is longer “Chief of Curriculum, Instruction, PD ?Math/Science”

Still no word as to who the principal will be at Belmont, although former DPS superstar principal David White just got moved in Trotwood from High School Principal to Junior high principal- and it wouldn’t surprise me if he made a return, with some kind of secondary responsibility as “head of discipline” to justify a boost in DPS pay to come closer to what he makes in Trotwood.

Both the men’s and women’s basketball coaching positions at Dunbar are still up in the air. The women’s team hasn’t been playing in summer ball, thanks to the indecision by new AD Shawna Welch. Coach Jim Cole was “coach of the year” last year- which in DPS doesn’t mean anything. He’s basically built this program from nothing to a winner in 3 years.

Of course, the question is, will the board try to vote in a review session, as has been the case forever. That’s why we have “business meetings” and there is time for public input- but, hey, that would be following the rules, and they just don’t like to do that.

And, for tomorrows meeting, the agenda does have them going into executive session to discuss legal matters… maybe they will get smart and settle, before they buy Wildermuth a new boat.

 

DPS spending money like a house on fire

Remember this time last year? That’s when the board was willing to spend $200,000 to hire Huffmaster to break a DEA strike, because, well, we didn’t have the money to pay our teachers more.

We lost staff, who bolted instead of risking a strike, the money to Huffmaster was wasted, with a last minute deal, and the teachers who didn’t get their step increases, or a three year contract, had to start the school year off last year without their normal prep time.

We could blame Rhonda Corr for that, although the more likely suspect was Adil Baguirov (who should have already been off the board over his residency issue), but the reality is- the rest of the bargaining team is still in place, including our new Superintendent Libbie Lolli.

thumbnail of Human Resources 5-29-18

Handing money out like Candy. Click image to download PDF

What a difference a year and a new board make. Lolli handed out RETROACTIVE raises to admin and staff, and now, extended the DEA contract, threw back in the step increases and released new pay scales- including 2 positions that seem really strange: Director 2 (No bachelors degree) starting at $79,380.77 and Associate Director 2 (No bachelors degree) starting at $67,470.63. Now, I grant you, a bachelors degree isn’t necessary to run a bus fleet or be head of maintenance, but, I’m wondering if these aren’t in place for a certain PR person- who might not have completed her studies at Ohio University.

That’s a lot of cash for someone who didn’t finish college – and to be working in education.

There also seems to be a whole lot of new directors. This week alone we find out that we are now still in the hunt for a Principal at Belmont- after Dr. Donetrus Hill had already started telling everyone that it will be a student uniform required school next year (for the record, East side schools tend not to require uniforms- West side do.).

Now Dr. Hill will have the title: Chief of Curriculum, Instruction, PD/Math/Science  and a new big bump in pay $117,000.00. He’s been here since January of 2017.

Wyetta Hayden is now Chief of Schools Elementary- $119,966.00

The new to DPS Carolyn Mack is Chief of Curriculum, Instruction, PD/ELA/SS and making $119,966.00

The new Executive director of Athletics took the pay up over $100K, Shawna Welch- who has been with the district a long time, now makes $105,373.75
A new hire from Cincinnati Public Schools Lynsa Davie, is the new Chief of Schools Special Projects, and making $117,040.0
Now, let’s rewind back to Lori Ward’s day- where the complaint was that downtown was too top heavy….
You had about 7 people making over $100k, The superintendent, the Treasurer, the head of the construction project John Carr, and the two chiefs who managed the schools and the one constant teflon coated associate superintendent- Sheila Burton.
Burton, gets yet another raise as Associate Superintendent to $126,075.00 which is mind boggling, since she’s never taught in a real school, given grades, or had to write a lesson plan.
https://youtu.be/MxjVopw4wK0
Just for the record, Lisa Minor- who used to be Chief of School improvement- made $96K under Ward and worked her butt off, nights and weekends. She is now in Trotwood. She was one of the two people who engineered the A in annual yearly progress, the other being David Lawrence, who was making $120K before they bought his contract out. He also worked ridiculous hours.
There is a travesty in all this happy go Lolli spending- the only truly proven and competent person in the district, who happens to also hold a Superintendents license, is former Stiver Principal Erin Dooley- is now the Chief of Schools, Secondary- and is still going to be working at Stivers- is only getting paid $117,000.00, which is almost $3000 less than her elementary counterpart Wyetta Hayden, who can’t be found after 6pm, unless there is a board meeting.
Dooley has had the only top performing school in the district for the last 20 years. She’s the only one who has created a culture of excellence, and trained many principals. If there is anyone who should be making $127K a year it’s her- not Burton.
There are a few “you have to be kidding” promotions on this HR report- but, they aren’t worth discussing. The more interesting item is that the auditor is resigning, and we will see if the position gets refilled.
The 5 year budget wasn’t posted on Friday but is now. It will take a while to analyze, but you can guarantee a levy will be coming, and it’s also pretty probable it will fail.
Missing is an executive session to discuss a certain settlement offer. We’ll see if they update the agenda.

Update: Monday: 28, 2018

This post kept me up thinking last night.

Maybe this is the beginning of a marketing to the community push?

Since Lolli is an introvert, and has shied away from any marketing plan, or efforts, maybe, she envisions all these new chiefs spreading out into the community to talk about the new changes she’s making.

Of course, the fact that few of her chiefs have ties to the community, or know it well, kinda hurt her if that’s her plan.

So far, we still have no strategic plan, the organizational chart and budget seem to be the only thing growing, while the district is shrinking.

Or as we used to say, “Too many chiefs, too few Indians.”

Niccolò Lolli at the helm

Machiavelli was ruthless.

Machiavellianism is “the employment of cunning and duplicity in statecraft or in general conduct”.

Dr. Lolli announced the latest seating chart on the DPS tilt-a-whirl and analysis by the team behind esrati.com says she gets an A- for strategically solving some district problems.

Some of the people are being set up to fail, by being given horrible assistants, or assignments that should be a hint to leave. Others are being used to help set the stage for the next round of school closings. As Dr. Lolli says- this isn’t a final line-up, because she needs to find some new bodies to fill in the gaps- and she expects some to resign after seeing their new placements.

Good morning,
We are continuing to build the administrative team.
These changes are now being announced. A few adjustments from the last announcement have been made as we continue to make sure we have the best teams in place.
Edison: Jessica Reese, Principal
Myra Baker, Asst. Principal
Kemp: Stacy Maney, Principal
Gary Armstrong, Assistant Principal
Valerie: Shawnkeida Whitlow, Principal
Deidre Kelley, Assistant Principal
Teacher Leaders: Morgynne Hicks, Kristal Etter
Edwin Joel Brown: Channey Goode, Principal
Assistant Principals: Dale Robinson, Tiffany Bozeman
Wogaman: Basharus Simmons, Principal
Assistant Principals: Stacey Williams, Timothy McKinney
Wright Brothers: Eric Krissek, Principal
Assistant Principal : George Hurbanek
Belmont HS: Dr. Donetrus Hill, Principal
Assistants: Alice Owen-Clough, Karen Chichetti, Gerry Griffith
Dunbar Early College HS: Dr. Sean Henry, Principal
Assistants: Chris Caldwell, Dr. Lynda Huggins
Meadowdale HS: Nelson Stone
Assistant: Melinda Clark
Ponitz Career Center: Raymond Caruthers, Principal
Asistants : Daniel Hinshaw, Lolita Stevens
Stivers School for the Arts: Rachel Murdock, Dean of Academics/ Erin Dooley Assistant Principal: Adrienne WileyILC: Tasha Millerton, Assistant Principal
Chief of Curriculum, Instruction and PD: Carolyn Mack
Chief of Secondary Schools: Erin Dooley
District Athletic Director: Shawna Welch
Director of Outreach and Student Activities: Ida Nalls
Director of Professional Development and Curriculum
Support: Ryan Tait
Associate Director of Truancy: Mark Baker
We still have a few vacancies to fill in a few of the buildings.
Congratulations to each of these administrators!!
Elizabeth J. Lolli, Ph.D.
Superintendent
Dayton Public Schools
115 S. Ludlow Street
Dayton, Ohio 45402
(937) 542-3530
(937) 542-3555 (Fax)

As long as she relies on Dr. Sheila Burton, Marsha Bonhart and doesn’t figure out a true head of operations, she’s doomed.

However, moving Erin Dooley to supervise all the high schools is long overdue. The only proven principal in the district, Dooley can serve as a mentor/troubleshooter/drill sergeant to the principals being thrown into the fires of what passes for High Schools in DPS.

At the upcoming review session, she’s also hiking staff and admin salaries, retroactively, – with the odd explanation: “To better align with increases received by members of our bargaining units, I recommend an increase of 3% to the salary scale for Administrators and District Support Staff, retroactive to July 1, 2017.”

For the bargaining units- you waited until the last minute to sign, throwing the district into chaos? There was no retroactive pay for the teachers. And, you and your former boss, Rhonda Corr had no problem throwing several hundred thousand at Huffmaster for the strike that never happened.

At some point, you are going to say you’re broke and come to the taxpayers with yet another F on your report card- and want more money.

Yet- there were no RFPs or RFQs for research. Just a line item “Contract between Hanover Research Council and DBOE for research services, research reports, survey design, administration and analysis, interviews, benchmarking metrics. Effective July 1, 2018. $42,000 annually”

I’m still waiting for the communications that were used between DPS and the Montgomery County ESC to hire Burges and Burges for their survey. It seems all of a sudden, we’re flush with money.

And the legal bills keep coming: “Increase $158,000 to provide legal services to the district for various legal matters on an as needed basis for the 2017-2018 school year. Not to exceed $323,000 Originally approved on June 2017 board agenda Board Agenda: May 15, 2018”
“Increase $65,000 to provide legal services to the district for various legal matters on an as needed basis for the 2017-2018 school year. Not to exceed $240,000 Originally approved on June 2017 board agenda Board Agenda: May 15, 2018”
That’s over half a million, and DPS has an internal legal staff as well.
There is also another large chunk of money going to the Montgomery County Educational Service Center- a slush fund operation, which operates with Dayton tax dollars- but Dayton residents can’t serve on its board: “Increase purchase order by $91,841.12 due to vendor increasing rates for one on one

assistants services during the 2017-2018 school year. Originally approved December 19, 2017
Board Agenda Not to Exceed $341,841.12 For May 15, 2018 Board Agenda”
On personnel issues, there are some non-renewals- including the Ruskin Principal, Jennifer Dearwester, and the assistant principal at Ponitz who was part of the failure to keep a riot from getting a teacher dragged down the hall- Debra Corbin is non-renewed and the other assistant, Julie Nighswander, resigned.
Dr. Bob Bucheim got demoted to “Associate Director, Secondary Social Studies” which should serve as a hint that he’s no longer useful to the district and that he should be job hunting elsewhere.
There will be some battles over the other non-renewals, but, this board will sit in a trance and let the Superintendent get involved in more lawsuits. I’m starting to wonder if the new board members weren’t sponsored by the local bar association.
The real question is what happens this fall, if the district doesn’t pull a rabbit out of the hat with improved annual yearly progress to stop the State from stepping in. The last team to get an A in AYP was headed by Lisa Minor and David Lawrence who have both left the district. And, while it’s early in the resignation season, many DEA members are saying they just can’t take another year of the tilt-a-whirl, and we’ll see how many abandon the good ship Lolli-pop.
Less victims for Dr. Niccolò Lolli.
Machiavelli, however, is applauding from his tomb.

Decision time for Dayton Public Schools

Contract renewal time for the Superintendent, Lori Ward and the Treasurer, Craig Jones. There may be others, but these are two key contracts. Last contracts were three years.

Considering we’re probably two years away from a state takeover of the district, it doesn’t make sense to offer anything more than a two-year contract.

There is no time for an outside search at this point- the Board of Education waited too long. Even if an outsider were brought in, it would be too little time to assess, manage and implement strategy as well as earn the trust of the community, the staff and the students.

Before any contract is offered to Ms. Ward, who has little to show for her last 6 years at the helm, the board should consider the existing staff with superintendent’s licenses and ask them each to come in and give a 20-minute presentation on what their vision would be, what changes they would make, and what they think they could achieve in the next two years.

The possible candidates (if I missed anyone- let me know)

  • Robert Buchheim- the newest guy on the list, he’s the “Executive Director Curriculum.” Probably doesn’t know the district well enough.
  • Sheila Burton- the current “Associate Superintendent”
  • Erin Dooley- Principal of Stivers- the only school in the district with an A grade.
  • David Lawrence- “Chief Of School Innovation” I’ve written about him before.
  • David White- left the district for Trotwood after being offered a raise, he was the turnaround guy at Belmont and then Ponitz. Knows the district.

The board is scared of the “optics” of a white lead board firing a very well liked African American superintendent. Burton and Lawrence qualify for minority status. Lawrence is a Dunbar grad. Sadly, it’s 2016 and we’re still talking about the color of people’s skin.

Either way, the board could use the ideas that are presented to sharpen their direction of the district, which still seems to struggle with getting focused on what is really important.

It’s not police in schools, it’s not suspension rates, it’s not computers, it’s about providing an excellent education and learning environment in every building.