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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Life Skills








Tonight, Tuesday, June 7th at 6:30 p.m. in the Middle School the RSB will vote to change graduation requirements.  I do not know how long Life Skills has been a staple for Hamburg seniors, however, I can tell you that I am shocked that the RSB would remove it from the list.  One would think that the RSB would make more requirements for seniors instead of less.  I cannot validate the rumors about a 1/2 day for seniors, but it has been reported by several sources that the HS principal supports and encourages the idea.  I cannot help thinking that if John Thomas, former Mayor of the Village of Hamburg, were still teaching the class, Life Skills would never be on the chopping block.  In fact, I would argue that if you know the right people in the community, your class or graduation requirement would never change.  For example, when the RSB was considering cutting the Finance Academy, a recent addition to the graduation requirements, select individuals spoke on the Academy's behalf and presto, no more talk of cutting Finance Academy.  When influential parents came to a meeting to complain about a cross-country coaching position and modified cheerleading, poof, the money appeared and the program and position were saved.




In short, I hope people stand up on behalf of Life Skills.  I know that when my children were in school, the class was taught by two veteran teachers that brought in speakers that my children still speak of today.  They also kept their journals and found the writing prompted by the teachers to be some of the most self-reflective of their lives. The issues faced by seniors are much different than 

freshman and as a health care professional, I would hope Dr. Calkins would be a champion of the heath needs of our senior students.  Furthermore, with the alleged prevalent drug culture at the HS, one would hope that the RSB would keep a program that would help students avoid this type of behavior.

Lastly, Life Skills as an elective will not work.  I spoke to a recent graduate about early release, a program that allows seniors to finish their day a period early at 2pm.  This former HHS students said, "it didn't matter that there were classes that you might like to take 9th period, all you cared about was getting out of school early."  As a retired teacher, I can tell you that this student's attitude is exemplary of the majority of seniors.  Students don't want to be self-reflective about their behavior and hear about drugs, alcohol, sex, etc but they need to.  Our RSB should recognize this need and keep Life Skills as a graduation requirement.


24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why wasn't the changes in graduation requirements discussed before the May 2011 budget?

Anonymous said...

When will the changes they vote on tonight take effect?

Anonymous said...

We use to skip Life Skills & drink beer in the parking lot. I would bring a cooler in my truck and we would enjoy cold beer right after suffering through the day of school. We would have to wait for School to let out to leave as we did not want to be noticed leaving. And half the time had to wait for some girls who cared about education at the time. I quit drinking at 24 yrs old to stay alive. If we had half days who knows what the hell we would have done. Looking back that might have been the best time I had in HS. I know about how dangerous it may have been but it sure was fun. So I say we build more schools and less jails.

sad for loss & no info said...

I believe it will take affect fall 11. this September. Sorry that a good program is leaving us. I am sitting in my living room in disbelief. We had no information or public input into these proposed education changes for our kids. I don't like public meetings shy,but I want to weigh in on how angry I am for my two kids in the hs.

Anonymous said...

Not all, but many have no idea about education or ethics. The sb Prez is in the pocket of this scum bag supt. He is a discusting playboy.

ARTVOICE....WHERE DID ALL THE TEACHERS GO. said...

The Board of Education and the Superintendent lied. How much of the tax payer dollars will they spend to continue their lies that Dr Calkins, Bryne Collins, Crawaford, Kerr and Achramovirzch made up about teachers. I was at the Board meeting tonight, I have been following this blog, i live in Buffalo. This blog has enlightened so many public school activists I watch the Board and their response to the very pleasant teachers who spoke tonight. Watch ARTVOICE. MIDDLE OF JULYS ISSUE IS ABOUT HAMBURG BOARD OF EDUCATION.

Anonymous said...

I must have been at a different meeting tonight!

Anonymous said...

I can now see why Greg Wachlac isn't returning to the school board. He has an uncontrollable situation on his hands, himself. I agree lying about anyone and wasting my dollars to defend lies is not what I want my kids school to spend money on.

hs teacher said...

Wow, since this blog the board has no secrets, glad board exposed. Shocked at the crap that the sb gets away with. Expose them all. Heard the speakers last night kudos to them for the courage to take this power triping group on. You lie about me and I will scream so loud you'll hear me in the next school district. Hurray for us shame on them. Keep up the good work teachers. Shocked and yet encouraged that someone has some b***s.

sorry said...

As I see it the truth isn't important to the supt of sb prez. Glad all spelled out for us last night. We need more to expose behind the curtain behavior of some on the sb. I'm sorry I cannot except this secret crap. Exposure is tough they were caught and they are trying to deflect this issue on others. Thank God they have the evidence the spoken word. I understand they cannot claim that they didn't lie. Where I come from lying about someones character is the worst type of character.

Anonymous said...

Erie 1 BOCES believes a blended approach to classroom learning (defined as a combination of asynchronous online, synchronous online, and face-to-face) is key to increasing the ability to serve the needs of all students, particularly those who are traditionally underserved: at-risk students, elite athletes and performers, dropouts, migrant youth, pregnant or incarcerated students, and students who are homebound due to illness or injury.

Anonymous said...

Hey BOCES,
Write to us on a fourth grade reading level so I can understand your words.
Thx,
Average Joe

business 1st rankings said...

Kudos to Charlotte Ave ranked in business 1st at #13. What is a disappointment Armor elementary at 46, Union Pleasant ranked at 64 and Boston Valley ranked in the
100's. Middle School ranking at
38. Waiting for the HS ranking; I can remember when the HS was ranked 3rd and Charlotte Ave in top 5. Our School Board is failing our kids. Charlotte Ave an exception. I guess if I want my kids to get a top flight education we need to move to Amherst.

Earl Gray said...

Harris Beach, do you get paid to come to the blog each day from rochester? I bet old Achramo has your $300/per hour suits spending taxpayer dollars to play KGB agents???? Didnt Steve give you enough money from his foul-ups, bleeps and blunders in Greece? Really, I mean his destructive paranoia? What a disgrace this man is to Hamburg....when our taxpayer group gets a hold of his lies and legal bills that will be the end.

Anonymous said...

Hamburg, dumbing down of our education system.

Anonymous said...

To Earl Gray,
it is not just Achramovitch but it appears that the school board has given him a blank check to squander on his misdeeds. Kelly Harper you need to use your PHD in education to get this school district on the right track. Please step forward, the rankings are not impressive except Charlotte Ave, we have lost our luster here, and that is a travesty.

3 million dollar man Achramo said...

Achramovitch, spent almost $3 MILLION dollars on legal fees his last year here in Greece. This is one of the reasons he was asked to leave. Yes almost $3 MILLION IN LEGAL BILLS (foul ups.)

Boston Valley Parent said...

Hamburg is no longer in the top 10 business first ranking. Why the decline? A panel needs to be assembled to get to the root of this decline in our schools. Good job Charlotte. To bad I live in the Boston Valley School Area.

Anonymous said...

Greece,
Thanks for the information. The 3Million Achramovitch spent speaks in volumes about him. What was the board thinking when they appointed him? I find it hard to believe that no one else was qualified out of 20 candidates for the superintendants postition. Someone in Hamburg must owe him big time.

Anonymous said...

I want my kids to go to Charlotte Ave. How do I have them attend this school when I live in Armor?

Anonymous said...

Boston Valley's ranking in business first was 132. Someone is failing our kids.

alum said...

Please school board do something to help these schools improve.

We expect the rankings to be better. I am an alum and I went to a far better school here in Hamburg than what you are offering my children.

Anonymous said...

Why the low rankings? SB needs to make changes. New sb memembers we expect you to start working on this one. Thanks Concerned group we love you.

Mile High Club said...

3 million to Harris Beach? I hope he has a frequent shopper card with that firm. At the very least, I hope he gets a fruit basket at Christmas. Wake up Hamburg Taxpayer, your superintendent is fleecing you.