Wednesday, May 25, 2011

School Shenanigans

The following post was put together by our sources in the school system and is published just as we received it. The Corrector has agreed to keep them anonymous so our readers can get a little insight into how the “Top-Secret” tax-funded entity we know as our school system operates. Everyone reading this blog has at least one aquaintance working in the school system who you can call to verify this information.

Just one question comes to mind for our school administrators – What would be so hard about dispelling some budget and school decisions on your school website so all tax payers know what is going on?

Information as recieved by the Corrector

Last week, all staff of the High School was ordered to a last minute meeting where Andy Carlson announced that Dennis Murphy would be the interim principal at the High School for the next school. Murphy would also be retaining his job as activities director. Carlson would take absolutely no questions about the decision and the meeting lasted a whole of 5 minutes or less. Sources say that there have been no qualified people applying for the job. Hmm, strange or is it that prospective principals are doing a little digging and finding out things about our school district that are turning them away from applying here.

Apparently Murphy is so well thought of that numerous teachers are scrambling to find jobs elsewhere, with the present count of 2 definitely leaving for greener pastures with 1 more a high probable. The next couple of months could be interesting if the ones that are thinking of leaving actually do.

3 highly thought of people were told last week at the high school that their jobs were be eliminated, no reason why this was happening was given. One of the people in question sent an email to every school board member out lining the great job and professionalism of one of the other people and got call on the carpet by the administration for going over their heads to the school board. Apparently informing the school board of things administration is doing against the secrecy policy and will be dealt with harshly.

In another questionable move by Carlson, one that defies logic, all the IT techs are going to be based at Robins and will have to travel back and forth to the school buildings. Paying up more for travel in these times of high gas prices ought to be well worth the extra time need to get to the problem and fix it.

Of course, no questions were allowed on this decision by any of the principals or teachers either.

With 2 principals retiring and word on the school grapevine that 2 other principals are not being renewed, looks like the school district has only 1 principal out of 5 still in service.

Now that the mill levy is out of the way with overwhelming support from the community, it has been decided at the highest levels to replace every ink jet printer (regardless of how old it is, 1 year or 6) in the district and place a laser printer on every teachers, para, principal, secretaries, para and janitors desk.

Word out of the high school is that at least they are going to go with more centralized printing and accept a little inconvience to save some taxpayer dollars. Kudos to Jerry Vandersloot and the High School teachers for that move.

The queen of secrecy has finally retired from Robins, Zella Witter, she will not be missed. With her gone, maybe, just maybe there will be a little more openness out of the administration, but probably not, Carlson trained under her and if the appointing of Murphy is any indication, secrecy reigns supreme still.

She is rumored to be the reason behind the ouster of Dave Mahon, she and him didn't see eye to eye on secrecy and the things she wanted done.

It has been decided to install a wireless system at the High School, for $7000, that will benefit the administrators only, since teachers and students will not have access to it.

If you ask any teacher or principal what the reason they are where they are, they will say "We are here for the students" and they will mean it.

If you ask any of the administration the same question, they will basically give the same answer, but they would be lying, otherwise the whole secrecy thing would not be what it is over at Robins.

It’s too bad it has to be that way, maybe someone should make a sign to hang over the door at Robins stating the students are their reason for having a job. Maybe the school board should actually get more involved and not just listen to only the reports that the crew at Robins wants them to see.

Hope for the future


  1. Good post. It does look like maybe some people are finally comfortable enough to share some insight on the happenings of K-12 education in Havre.

    Hopefully some could come forward at MSU-N too, as the shenanigans you mention in your posts goes on up at campus as well.

    As a former educator myself I find this type of mindless following by the board of trustees very disheartening. I hope that under Darlene Bricker's leadership this will change. I know a number of the board members and I think they feel they are doing what is right, but they are so misguided in their own right that they hang on every utterance of the greenhorn Andy Carlson.

    Not much unlike MSU-N the happenings or in reality, lackthereof, is swept under the carpet and hidden like the ugly red-headed step child and this has to change in order to earn the trust of the taxpayers back.

    I agree with you that the best we can hope for is sunlight. Havre Board members must expose to the public everything that is happening or not happening and let the public decide.

    Trustees must remember that the public cannot always attend your meetings so publish it on the web. You will get more support for the public, I have no doubt about that.

    Best of luck in your hunt Corrector, this taxpayer looks forward to your uncoverings!

  2. It’s about time someone said something about these things. People other than school employees need to hear what goes on behind the scenes

  3. Today’s online Havre Daily finally has one of those “breaking news” stories telling about the drainage pipe construction up at the Highland Park school you reported here on this blog back on May 17th. They are really on the ball

  4. All these things are just more examples of the tail wagging the dog.

    The school administration keeps lots of secrets from not only us but also the school board members themselves. I know you guys hate the HDN but I must say I loved the picture in tonight’s paper of the flooded playground problem.

    Judging by the size of the huge puddle in the picture of the playground it looked to me like a mop and a bucket would cure this horrendous drainage problem for a total cost of $19.99 or just a little shy of the $141,000 they are spending.

  5. I wonder if Dave Mahon has run out of money yet.....

    Perhaps the school board could convince him to come back-even if it costs like an extra years wages- so he can straighten this mess out.

    I would suggest that everyone call their elected school board representative and suggest or demand that Dave Mahon be offered whatever money it takes to bring him back to Havre.

    We need a professional.

  6. The sad part is that the school board members don’t have a clue what is going on either. Jimbo is right about the tail wagging the dog. What the board members don’t seem to know is that they are in charge instead of the employees and staff being in charge.

    Reminds me of the City management procedures where the staff run the council and the mayor.

  7. The decision to put all the IT people at Robins is not necessarily a bad one. If all of them are going to work on tasks at hand (irregardless of what school they were previously at), it could do wonders for productivity.

    Instead of twiddling their thumbs at Highland Park or Sunnyside, waiting for things to break at their school, they can be working on something at the high school.

    Also, it isn't that hard to work remotely on machines across the globe from a desk in your home, why would working from a desk at Robins on a computer at the Middle School be any more difficult?

    I'm no IT professional, but this kind of decision actually makes a lot of sense. Of course, that's based on the pretense that everyone in IT will be working on any computer in the school district.

  8. <"3 highly thought of people were told last week at the high school that their jobs were be eliminated,">

    I bet the money being spent draining that puddle in the playground would have paid the salary of all three people losing their jobs for another year. I bet they would have happily took turns running to the playground with their sump pumps to keep the puddle drained after a month of rain that happens only once every decade or so