Cue the crocodile tears from Gilbert Public Schools again: with the passage of Proposition 123, the school district will receive new $$Millions from the state, all of which has already been budgeted and (perhaps) spent by a profligate superintendent and governing board. The state-wide vote was a cliffhanger, but the change to the Arizona Constitution squeaked through. It’s too soon to know just how many court challenges there will be, but the race to the courthouse has already begun. It appears that citizens who voted YES were almost equally as critical of the measure, but they held their noses and voted for it anyway. The word TRUST has been flung around by all sides, as in no one trusts the politicians or the educrats with this new largess, but … it’s for the kids.
The crocodile tears will come in the next couple of GPS board meetings when the budget for next year must be approved. That’s because whatever amount of money taxpayers give to Gilbert Public Schools, it’s never enough. If you ask Superintendent Christina Kishimoto why, she won’t answer. She doesn’t talk to ordinary citizens or to parents. Of course, she has some huge messes on her hands, problems that she personally, professionally and institutionally created, so she doesn’t have time to assuage the public. She’s too busy spending all that money!
First up: GPS employment contracts. Crammed into new contracts is a clause that says GPS magnanimously will give employees a one-time $500.00 gift. Who thought that up, who they thought they were kidding and who believes this measly few bucks will earn gratitude, everlasting or otherwise? The answers don’t matter. Surrounding school districts are giving seriously generous and long-lasting pay raises to employees with money from Prop 123, and once again, GPS is sitting around with its thumb .. never mind. There was never a requirement in Prop 123 that the new money actually flowed into classrooms.
NOTICE TO GPS EMPLOYEES: if you want to break your contract, develop a health issue. If you present a medical certificate (i.e. a doctor’s note) to GPS and say you just can’t perform essential duties, GPS cannot and will not inquire further. We know that because Slime Bucket Suzanne Zentner said so during a board meeting a few months back. Also, it’s the law that GPS can’t pry into your medical history without a business reason for asking. We also know that Slime Bucket Suzanne and her BFF Christina Kishimoto make the decisions on who has to pay the infamous Hostage Ransom Payment that GPS built into employment contracts in the past couple of years, even though that is something reserved to the governing board’s discretion. The GPS governing board does what Christina Kishimoto says, so Her Highness doesn’t even bother consulting the board on the hostage clause.
Medical issues. Yours or those of your close family member (it’s best if that family member is covered by FMLA!) are your silver bullet against the GPS vampires and werewolves. BTW, other school districts in the Phoenix Valley have pretty much completed their hiring for the next school year, so don’t wait too long!
GPS, on the other hand, still has hundreds of vacancies and is getting desperate to lasso enough new employees to fill classrooms. If you’re considering GPS as an employer, ask yourself WHY entire departments on some campuses seem to have emptied. Particularly science and math. Also Special Education. There’s a reason for this, and as a prospective employee, you most definitely should look any GPS gift horse in the mouth. Just sayin’…. it’s your professional future ahead. And an incredibly stressful life. That’s “the GPS way” these days.
The *mass exodus* that Christina Kishimoto says she was supposed to stanch is recurring. GPS is desperately trying to keep under wraps the true size of the 2016 mass exodus — having word get out before the end of the school year would surely stymie new hiring. As of Friday, May 20, 2016, when the agenda with employee hiring reports was posted online, there were 75 certified resignations shown, plus 6 retirements. At the same time, the Online Certified Employment List showed 82 vacancies remaining, for a total of 163 certified vacancies, which doesn’t include earlier hires, of which there have been as many as GPS could hoodwink. The point is that GPS is taking pains to keep the real employment data hidden from public view. GPS used a real kabuki dance to hide losses of classified staff: GPS simply failed to upload the complete list; you can view page 1 of 4 pages, but not the entire list. What incredible silliness. Knowing GPS, Christina Kishimoto also wants to keep the governing board in the dark as to the actual numbers … er,
Here’s some data that prospective GPS employees should be looking at: the mass exodus of certified employees in 2015, completely on Christina Kishimoto’s watch, was this:
1-5 years: 137 resignations in 2014-2015; 56.85%
6-10 years: 57 resignations in 2014-2015; 23.65%
More than 10 years: 47 resignations in 2014-2015; 19.50%
Note: that’s just resignations, it doesn’t include retirements. You’ve been warned. We’ll update this post when data becomes available as to the size of the 2016 mass exodus from Gilbert Public Schools.
Another *mass exodus* is occurring in GPS: STUDENTS! GPS still doesn’t know why students are leaving the district by the thousands. The biggest losses are in the elementary grades. So what does GPS do under the *leadership* of Superintendent Christina Kishimoto? Spend $$Millions on “a new home for GCA,” a 7-12 grade facility, for the sole purpose of *competing* with charter schools. Just brilliant, right? <dripping sarcasm> Specifically: since 2009/10, enrollment has declined by about 2,700 students (1.2% annually), with a loss of about 900 students this past year alone.
Hey, board members…the numbers you have been given suck, but it’s worse that you don’t know why those numbers suck. For one thing, losses on the east side of the district were most likely influenced by the new schools opening in the area, not all of which were charter schools. You know, there are other school districts like Higley, Queen Creek and Chandler. What GPS doesn’t want to accept is that those other school districts are enticing a lot of GPS students, just as the many nearby charter schools are doing.
Belatedly, GPS decided to pay for a phone survey to ask departing families why they left. As if people who already made the decision to leave are going to take the time to give GPS thoughtful answers that might reveal how screwed up the district has become. Nope. After people have left, they generally won’t feel like taking the time and effort to help GPS understand. That’s human nature. The problem for GPS seems to be that Christina Kishimoto and her minions in the White Castle haven’t been human in a long, long time. Their lack of common sense would be comical if the price were not so high, in terms of damage to a once-stellar school district.
Since Christina Kishimoto set an example of inappropriate behavior with her *alleged* boyfriend, who departed in disgrace in January 2016, Westie’s birdies are chirping that the Loose Zipper Brigade has been adding some new notches to their belts. We weren’t surprised to hear the name Brian Yee coupled to that news. [That dude must be phenomenal at something or other! But we digress.] Inquiring minds want to know (and many probably already know the answer) why Brian Yee’s assistant principal left in the middle of the school year. Same old stuff. In both *alleged* cases of inappropriate relationships in GPS in 2015-2016, the subordinate disappeared.
Prospective GPS employees, you’ve been warned … again.
The Gilbert Public Schools email server was hacked on Saturday, May 14, 2016. A student used a teacher’s login information and sent pornographic emails to students, teachers and parents on Saturday night. Entirely predictable and preventable: parents have been trying for the entire school year to get Gilbert Public Schools to do something about the pornography problem, but the official GPS response has been something along the lines of The Three Stooges — a comedy of blunders and missteps by Superintendent Christina Kishimoto.
As the email message from the principal of Highland Junior High School quoted below shows, the Mesa police and FBI were contacted about this incident of “Internet fraud.”
Date: May 14, 2016 9:24 PM
Subject: HJHS – Teacher email account hacked
Dear HJHS Parents and Students,
I am sorry to report that one of our teachers, [name redacted], had her Gilbert Public Schools email account hacked into tonight. There were two very inappropriate messages sent out to her students without her knowledge before district could deactivate her account. If you or your child received one of these email messages, please delete it immediately without opening. We are working on suspending all our student accounts right now to prevent further students from viewing these messages.
Gilbert Public Schools takes situations such as this very seriously. I have reported the crime to the Mesa Police Department and also the FBI since they are the ones who handle all internet fraud. If you have any information regarding this crime, please contact us as quickly as possible so we can report it to the proper authorities.
Again, I am sickened by this horrible act and am working as diligently as possible to take care of the situation. Your continued support is appreciated.
This is an automated email. Please do not reply to this message. Click here to access the portal.
The school district and Mesa police have screenshots of the pornography disseminated as part of this hack. Although Principal Marcie Taylor worked with GPS Technology Service staffers to suspend student accounts, there were many, many copies of the email messages that were not deleted.
Apparently, a student gained access to the internal GPS email system by using a teacher’s district-issued Chromebook or by seeing the login information on the screen of the teacher’s device. Although GPS bought thousands of Chromebooks for the rollout in the district’s junior high schools this year, administrators failed to anticipate the failure rate and maintenance requirements, such that by the end of the year when Chromebooks were needed for standardized testing, there were not enough Chromebooks for every student to take those tests. Word went out from on high that teachers should lend their Chromebooks to students for testing.
You know it’s bad in Gilbert Public Schools when STUDENTS are chirping to Westie. Whoever thought this Chromebook initiative would work without having a rollout plan and the fifty thousand known glitches identified and fixed doesn’t know much about kids, mischief making, education or technology.
First problem: network logins. These Digital Native kids know all about how admin-issued usernames and passwords are standardized in GPS. In the real world, kids use their admin-assigned logins one time, and then the kids set their own usernames and passwords. For security, you know.
The current situation confronting the serious Digital Native students is that GPS won’t let them set up their own secure usernames and passwords. Nope, if kids try to change their admin-issued login information, the GPS system resets to the default that the techies dreamed up. Of course, Digital Natives figured out how to use the back door to set up their own secure username and password. Note to Superintendent Christina Kishimoto: there’s ALWAYS a back door into the network.
The school district’s ineffective technology security has been a widely-known issue for the entire school year. Christina Kishimoto made technology the theme of her superintendency at GPS and rushed through Chromebook implementation, ignoring resultant problems identified by parents of junior high school students that began shortly after the devices were distributed in the junior high schools.
Worse than just ignoring those parents, Christina Kishimoto had her henchmen organize appearances at a board meeting to demonize their parenting skills!
Parents were appalled by pornography issues and failures by GPS Technology staffers to prevent the spread of porn on student Chromebooks, in addition to the exorbitant costs and GPS failures to track expenses or return on investment. An example from the public comment segment of the February 2016 governing board meeting:
Once again, Christina Kishimoto’s alleged *inappropriate relationship* with her subordinate Steve Smith, Executive Director of Technology, who resigned in January 2016 after their alleged relationship became public knowledge, is implicated in this pornography incident in Gilbert Public Schools. Many members of GPS and the community believe the superintendent’s alleged *inappropriate relationship* was the reason that technology projects in the district have been poorly planned and clumsily executed. For example, the rollout of new financial software in January 2016 continues to adversely affect GPS employee payroll and benefits administration.
Public comment about the superintendent’s alleged *inappropriate relationship* from the January 2016 governing board meeting:
By the way, Christina Kishimoto was in Austin, Texas with the Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators on May 14, 2016, when this incident occurred. Got to focus on that *national reputation* thingy!
In closing, Christina Kishimoto wants parents of students in Gilbert Public Schools to know that she thinks their parenting skills SUCK! Take a gander at her letter to parents. Notice that the font color changes near the end, where she informs you about underage drinking of alcoholic beverages. That’s probably because some ghost writers were involved, and they, too, think GPS parents don’t know how to raise their own children. Because no one in Gilbert, Arizona knows this parenting stuff, right??? Click here or click the letter below for a larger image.
Gilbert Public Schools – more screwed up now than ever before! Sheeeeesh. PS … we heard about your high-fiving in the district offices, GPS dudes and dudettes. A little premature, um, celebration?
The school year is almost over. Fresh-faced graduates from Gilbert Public Schools are ready to take on the world. Over the summer, evil plotters will labor in secrecy in the bowels of the GPS White Castle to *reform* whatever catches the superintendent’s fancy. In other words, everything old is new again in Gilbert, Arizona!
Superintendent Christina Kishimoto’s reforms of what was once a reputable school district will continue to bleed student enrollment, devastate teacher recruiting and bludgeon taxpayers for more money. You will be hearing cries that the sky is falling, which will lead to new budget cuts since GPS already had plans to spend every dollar they hoped to get into their hot hands, including dollars the district won’t receive due to the aforesaid student losses. These happenings on Christina Kishimoto’s watch are a result of her blind ambition for a national reputation and her tone-deaf *leadership.*
It’s all part of her plan, and Kishimoto’s Three Votes on the Governing Board are fully supporting every effort to loot the GPS treasury, with the usual brief respite while Top Dogs party all around the country on taxpayer-financed vacations. In addition to the usual mid-summer celebrations in Tucson, Arizona, members of the GPS superintendency and their favorite administrators will party hardy* in Baltimore, Maryland this year with their
buxom bosom buddy, Robyn Conrad-Hansen. Christina Kishimoto, lavishly spending taxpayers’ money to show how much she cares about her staff, cries out to the public, “Let them eat cake!”
At least it will be a break from all their meetings catered by the GPS Food Service Catering Department. If you ask why a school district needs a catering department, Governing Board Clerk Silly Jilly Humpherys will not listen to you. Her pal, GPS Governing Board President Lily Tram, already decided that anything this superintendent wants, she gets, even if it takes dollars away from educating students. Of course, the only reason the Governing Board exists is to educate students. If you didn’t know that, obviously you were not cut out to be Lily Tram’s BFF or fellow board member.
Since everything old is new again, it won’t surprise you to learn that high school seniors have been up to their annual playing tricks and pranks, and a few of them made international news. One such occurrence involved a senior at Red Mountain High School in Mesa, AZ, whose prank involved a teeny weeny exposure in a football team photograph that school authorities had not noticed during all the months that the photo was distributed in various venues. The student’s poor choice landed him in some scaldingly hot water: he was charged with 69 misdemeanor counts of indecent exposure. No, we did not make up that number; the Mesa Police Department did, seemingly with no awareness of its racy double entendre. There was one felony charge for this kid, which the Maricopa County Attorney declined to prosecute, a decision applauded far and wide, especially after a petition supporting that conclusion went viral on the Internet. The Mesa Police later dropped the case, perhaps because the so-called victims urged them to do so. BTW, Playgirl Magazine was impressed!
The way the dots of that incident connect to Gilbert Public Schools probably is a mystery to the scalawags and carpetbaggers in the GPS superintendency. Here comes Westie to the rescue, with the corporate memory that seems to no longer exist in the GPS White Castle of Doom. The principal of Red Mountain High School is Jared Ryan, the guy who opened Campo Verde High School in GPS. Birdies chirp that he jumped to Mesa School District in the Great Exodus of 2014, shortly after Christina Kishimoto was announced as the new GPS superintendent. Good move, Jared! This move is especially interesting in hindsight, since Jared Ryan was spouting the same *national* thingy that Kishimoto pushes:
I have maintained a philosophy of surrounding myself with individuals focused on exceptionally high standards and a desire to be a nationally recognized example of what a community school can be. Red Mountain and Mesa Public Schools are filled with the type of students, staff and community members it takes to achieve that vision.
Returning to the Red Mountain High School yearbook photo mess to connect the dots to GPS: the spokesperson for Mesa Public Schools is Helen Hollands, a former member of the GPS Governing Board. Good old Helen Hollands told the press that Jared Ryan calling the cops who then arrested this high school senior was *mandatory,* meaning no one thought for a moment about what would happen next. It appears that Helen Hollands believed the yearbooks would be *edited* with a sticker covering the offending area. This is really rich, considering who was in the Loose Zipper Brigade in Gilbert Public Schools when Helen Hollands was on the board.
Helen Hollands, a spokeswoman for Mesa Public School[s], said Tuesday that it was mandatory for school administrators to report the offense to police and that the district was pursuing its own disciplinary actions, which officials would not share. It was “highly recommended” by the district that those who had received yearbooks return them temporarily so the photo could be edited, she said.
A senior prank at Highland High School, a GPS school, went awry recently. Principal Melinda Murphy may not be amused that the reporter thought she was a he:
Videos posted online shows students starting a water balloon fight in the middle of campus as part of a senior prank. The school’s principal walked out into the middle of the fight to stop the prank. He then closed off parts of the school.
That’s not nearly as bad as pranks at Highland High School and Gilbert High School in the past, when cats and pigeons were killed as part of a football game prank. Hey, lookie, Good Old Charlie Santa Cruz was principal at the time! Isn’t it amazing that Charlie dealt with his delinquents, while the Highland kids were arrested? That’s the way things still seem to work in GPS: it all depends on who you know.
Gilbert police on Tuesday detained three Highland students, all 17-year-old boys. Each faces one count in juvenile court of criminal trespassing, and two of the three face animal-cruelty charges for killing the cats. Gilbert High Principal Charles Santa Cruz is preparing to discipline two students for the pigeon killing. Police aren’t involved.
There was another incident garnering international media attention that, to a casual observer, seemed to involve a Mesa high school, but it was really GPS Desert Ridge High School. The flyer that gained worldwide media coverage reads:
So you think you come to school looking pretty cute > but what the boys see is meat, and it’s distracting > so they make lousy grades > but you end up with one of them anyway because he thought you looked HOT! > and then he ends up under employed because he learned nothing in school > so you get to support him … forever… > but it’s okay … because you look cute today!
The student who first posted an image of a misogynist flier and wrote “so it’s the girls fault, right? #feminism” on it was treated to an unusual reaction: “my librarian claims I’m the only one offended by it,” and that “when I asked her about it, she dismissed me, folded the written part, & put more staples in it.” The way that Irene Mahoney-Baloney Paige dismissed the incident on behalf of GPS was *interesting,* to say the least:
A flier calling girls “meat” who distract boys and ultimately cause men’s failure brought international attention to Desert Ridge High School in Mesa when it was found hanging in the library in late April. Students began to call the flier into question on social media, and soon it went viral, getting coverage from news outlets including ABC, the Daily Mail, the Guardian and Mic… “The poster in question has been in the library for some time (not hung up) so it is unclear when it was made or by whom,” said Irene Mahoney-Paige, director of communications for Gilbert Public Schools.
Gilbert Public Schools — never miss an opportunity to prove incompetence and/or ignorance.
*Big Fat Asterisk: Yes, we know the correct term is *party hearty,* but the definition appears at the incorrectly spelled link. Sheeeeesh. We know what these guys do when they’re at a conference!
How did Governing Board Clerk Jill Humpherys become the de facto spokesperson for Gilbert Public Schools? The community long wondered when GPS would actually start communicating with the public in a meaningful way, but the answer has been: “Irene Mahoney-Baloney Paige says sit down and shut up!” Even the most die-hard community enablers of GPS incompetency had a hard time accepting at face value the news that she won a communications award; we helpfully archived the discussion for your perusal. In this case, *perusal* means you must get up off the floor and stop laughing long enough to actually look at the photos of the awards and read the comments … obviously, GPS did not expect educated and experienced members of the community to point out just HOW those awards were won and who won (or didn’t really win) them.
Thus, Silly Jilly stepped in to fill a GPS communications void. That void has existed for about two years, but who’s counting? As you can well imagine, when someone named Silly Jilly steps into anything, the results will not be what she expected. But, man oh man, what blog fodder she creates! We predict a fun-filled summer for all you Westie fans out there.
Let’s peruse Silly Jilly’s silly words about Proposition 123, which is going to Arizona voters on May 17, 2016. There’s a lot of pro and con information out in the blogosphere and in the news, so we’ll just zero in on Silly Jilly’s explanation of why you should vote Yes for Proposition 123: trust the Governing Board to do what’s right.
How the money is spent is left to local control–that means your locally elected school board. That is a plus! Who better to make that decision than locally -elected leaders who know the needs of the district, who can listen to input from the community, and who can be held accountable by voters for their decisions?
Okay, pick yourself up off the floor again and wipe that grin off your face. Silly Jilly was being *serious* in response to comments and questions about why GPS has been silent about how the district will use funds from Proposition 123, if it passes. Some of what Silly Jilly wanted to answer include:
** Other districts are putting the bulk of Prop 123 potential funds into salaries/additional teacher hires. Our board’s been mum.
** If GPS is getting $8 million from Prop 123, why are employees only getting $500?
** How many employees are there in the district? Even if it’s 4,000 that’s only $2 million at $500 per employee, and that’s only if student attendance stabilizes.
Here’s another example of your tax money being frittered away on Silly Jilly’s watch: GPS paid Heinfeld and Meech, the BFF district auditors, $242.76 for “reproduction of CAFR.” In other words, GPS paid more money for making copies of a report that GPS had already paid Heinfeld and Meech a sweet five-figure fee to write; apparently, each member of the governing board, plus some very important members of the GPS administration (we presume) needed a personal paper copy of this basically indecipherable financial report to toss into the *circular file.* In addition, GPS paid Heinfeld and Meech a bunch of money for application fees, for what appear to be MORE awards, which GPS seems to receive each year. AASBO Application Fee, $1,285.00. GFOA Application Fee, $725.00.
The GFOA website is all agog over their next conference, which is where public entities like Gilbert Public Schools pay astronomical amounts for what is basically an all-expense paid boondoggle for the same public employees year after year at swanky hotels in various resort locations:
Don’t delay – register today for GFOA’s 110th Annual Conference! Join thousands of your peers in Toronto for the largest gathering of public finance professionals in North America. The GFOA conference provides a great opportunity to network, attend sessions, visit with exhibitors, and enjoy Toronto.
After a busy couple of days, relax and have fun in downtown Toronto! Enjoy an evening filled with food and entertainment at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts before heading back to your home town. An event headlined by Dennis DeYoung and the music of Styx.*
The AASBO website is dedicated to their upcoming conference, as well, featuring their golf tournament … which we’re sure helps educate students. <snark> AASBO’s theme of “Release Your Inner Super Hero” sounds like something Silly Jilly thought up. Oh wait, she did, at one point, or she was parroting someone else, but … never mind. AASBO very helpfully wrote down the criteria for awarding the awards the organization invited folks to apply for, including such professional attributes as attend a conference, write an article for our special-interest magazine or take a class. Yeppers, those awards are awesome, aren’t they, Irene?
Answers MIGHT be forthcoming at the GPS work-study session on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. Yes, we know it’s difficult for citizens, parents and even teachers to attend this meeting due to rampant scheduling conflicts with other GPS activities, which probably is why the district wrote the agenda to include discussion of Proposition 123 fund spending, hoping for little or no public scrutiny. Since Christina Kishimoto has been Superintendent of Gilbert Public Schools, avoiding public scrutiny has become the primary objective of governance. Take a look at the latest GPS spending plans by clicking here. As usual, if Proposition 123 passes, Christina Kishimoto wants more people working in the White Castle doing heaven-knows-what with more new software and technology, all at taxpayer expense, while she attends meeting after catered meeting.
Some of the GPS spending that defies logic, but sounds just fine to Silly Jilly Humpherys, is all that catering for the Top Dogs in the district, including the Governing Board, of which Silly Jilly is not only a member, she’s in charge of reviewing GPS expenditures each month. We’ll be reporting at length on some of these expensively catered meals.
We’ll share information about GPS spending as it becomes available. We know you can hardly wait. Especially you teachers … you’re either delighted to be leaving or feeling duped into another year of watching GPS Top Dogs, the superintendent and her board members being gluttons in the Third Circle of Hell. While teachers still wait to be fairly compensated for their work. And support staffers wait to be paid … literally. Sheeesh. What a district!
Big Fat Asterisk: Westie adores Styx. Even back in 7th grade, DWestie had no doubt that her classmate Tommy Shaw and his guitar were a phenomenal pair. (Yes, Tommy’s guitar went to school.) Tommy Shaw is now a Super Hero in Montgomery, Alabama … has the keys to the city, too. For your enjoyment, watch Jimmy Fallon and Paul Rudd replicate a Styx performance.
As the unintended wildfires relating to the decision to give Gilbert Classical Academy a new location at the expense of a neighborhood junior high school were being tamped down, the good people of Gilbert, Arizona were told that there will be two new *academies* in the school district. Mesquite Junior High School will become an academy sharing a facility (with multi-million dollar improvements!) with Gilbert Classical Academy, and Gilbert Junior High School also will become an academy of some sort. So sayeth Superintendent Christina Kishimoto, who apparently didn’t completely communicate all of her plans to the GPS Governing Board beforehand. Once again, GPS is reliving the old Cool Hand Luke aphorism, “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” Once again, failure to communicate is creating unintended consequences and controversies.
We’ve already shared Christina Kishimoto’s letter – the letter that came out of nowhere stating that Gilbert Junior High School also will become an *academy.* Good people who fought so hard for their schools, Mesquite Junior High School and Gilbert Junior High School, are striving mightily to put lipstick on that pig, but the fact remains: Christina Kishimoto makes plans she doesn’t bother to reveal to her bosses, the elected members of the GPS Governing Board. The community is left wondering who is in charge of Gilbert Public Schools when things like this happen.
For some unfathomable reason, board clerk Jill Humpherys has become the information maven of this latest GPS fiasco. She went to Mesquite Junior High School to lay down the law about the board’s decision to make Mesquite Junior High an academy, with uniforms, capped enrollment and a sports medicine focus. There was such an uproar from the community that Dan Johnson, the principal of Mesquite Junior High School, sent out a letter to MJHS parents walking back the main contentions. “Never mind,” he says. There won’t be uniforms unless WE want them: “That is not a planned requirement for MJHS…” He went on to say sweet nothings such as the school design won’t be sports medicine; we’ll decide together. No enrollment cap. Collaborate. Yeah, sure. The good people who worked so hard to save their school (and by extension, their neighborhood high school, Mesquite High School, for which MJHS is the only *feeder* school), are not amused. Read on, Dan Johnson: your one-sided *collaboration* on behalf of MJHS already is being dismantled by your BFF, Dan Hood at GCA. (Click here for a larger version of the letter below.)
Remember what Westie told you, Mesquite Junior High School parents: GCA wants the whole enchilada. Apparently word came down from on high (GPS Chief of Staff Alexander Nardone, most likely) telling GCA to cool it. We’re sure Nardone’s words were accompanied by a wink, wink, nod, nod. “Just get us through until summer,” he must have pleaded. “That’s when the board will do all the dirty deeds we have requested … while no one is watching.”
Nardone’s pleas would have fallen on deaf ears, because these GCA parents, administrators, teachers and students suffer from Special Snowflake Syndrome, and they don’t want to play ball unless they can change the rules in the middle of the game. If that brings to mind Christina Kishimoto’s request that the board suspend a regulation because she already violated the reg, the policy and the law, well … GPS history repeats itself at every opportunity for failure.
Special Snowflake Syndrome is a malady wherein the afflicted will demand special treatment, conduct themselves with a ludicrous, unfounded sense of entitlement, and generally make the lives of everyone around them that much more miserable. This condition, if left untreated, can radically alter the carrier’s demeanor, to include any of the following: a complete devolution to child-like behavior, temper tantrums, and/or fits of narcissistic rage.
GCA parents, administrators, teachers and students will not cool their jets or suddenly become reasonable. It’s not in their DNA. Exhibit number one: GCA principal Dan Hood’s follow-on letter to GCA parents about their victory over Mesquite Junior High. Principal Dan’s communication emphasizes, “We are going to do our very best to make sure we are the same school but with a new address.” Yeppers, they’re going to “preserve The GCA Way.”
To hell with all that touchy-feely collaboration! Dan Hood and his GCA Snowflake NarcissistsBS already “discussed uniforms for both academies.” Dan Hood told GCA parents the two schools going to *share* certain appealing activities as long as they can *take advantage of them.* Dan Hood also is telling Mesquite Junior High School that he has decreed they will wear uniforms … so his GCA snowflakes feel better about wearing their silly khakis. [It’s a harder sell every year, isn’t it, Dan Hood? Those ridiculous *uniforms* from the 1990s on today’s nerdy kids. Sheeeesh.]
The reason *academy* is a four-letter word in GPS is because, as Jill Humpherys explained, “The word academy just means a school with less than 1,000 students that has some innovative programming.” If you believe that, Westie has a bridge to sell you. To understand what is about to happen to Gilbert Public schools, all you have to do is review Christina Kishimoto’s history of *school design.* As Yogi Berra said, “It’s deja vu all over again.”
Watch Christina Kishimoto discuss the four schools she *redesigned* in Hartford. “First, all of the adults in the building leave.” Christina Kishimoto thinks it’s just *uncomfortable.* Notice that she redesigned a school into “Latino Studies Academy.” It’s worth spending five minutes of your life to see the truth issue forth from Christina Kishimoto’s mouth. Be very afraid, GPS communities. Especially later in the summer when Christina Kishimoto and Her Three Votes think no one will be watching them as they finish dismantling neighborhood schools by *redesigning* them.
Think about what Christina Kishimoto has already done, for example, giving Gilbert Junior High School a new principal before she entered into any communication with the GJHS community. The “To hell with all that touchy-feely collaboration!” attitude starts at the top. The reality is all buzzwords and made-up metrics: “Ten per cent improvement” means that what got *measured* improved. How it was *measured* is irrelevant. You must accept this as true because Christina Kishimioto said so.
Jill Humpherys thinks it’s all just great. She self-confessed she “doesn’t do numbers very well.” Who needs numbers when you can just make something up as you pull it out of your nether regions? All you folks who are getting recruited by or are applying to GPS for jobs, pay attention! There’s a reason the *mass exodus* of employees continues.
Bringing you up to date on the newest antics of the Gilbert Public Schools Superintendent and her captive Governing Board: Christina Kishimoto obviously had it all worked out to move Gilbert Classical Academy to Mesquite Junior High School to form a School Within a School. The audience was stunned at the swift saber strike that destroyed a neighborhood junior high school for the benefit of ungrateful students at GCA who demanded the entire school be dedicated exclusively to them.
The Governing Board was eerily quiet. President Lily Tram appeared by phone; since she is running again for a seat on the board, there probably was no way she was going to preside over this particular atrocity. There was a truly disgusting maneuver by Jill Humpherys to prevent audience members from speaking about GPS Special Education retribution against defenseless students. We’ll go into great detail on that issue in the future, which included despicable antics on the dais, including Christina Kishimoto’s call for Security when someone yielded their public comment time to persons who turned out to be Ryken’s parents. Unbelievable.
The vote was 4-1. Discussion was simply regurgitation of some talking points and disputed *facts* related to what GPS Superintendent Christina Kishimoto had already decided to do. You can watch the Livestream video to see the obviously choreographed dance, with board member strings pulled by Christina Kishimoto, who didn’t even attempt to disguise her *coaching* that was needed to get Jill Humpherys through the meeting. Be sure to read some of the almost 800 viewer comments under the video, which has already been viewed close to 2,000 times. The kids from GCA commenting during that board meeting have shown their true faces to the world. A few adults tried to tamp down some of the more egregious comments by crass GCA students; for their efforts, they got called out by other adults and more boorish GCA kids. Sheeeesh.
Gilbert Public Schools decided not to close a school, but what the people who tried to save Mesquite Junior High School are learning is that their neighborhood school has been destroyed anyway. Birdies chirped that Jill Humpherys joined Mesquite Junior High principal Dan Johnson in explaining to parents and staff just what will happen. Mesquite Junior High will become an academy, whatever that means – we all know this is what Christina Kishimoto calls *reform.* Kishimoto’s letter to the community outlining this *reform* is here (click this link to view).
Be very worried, Mesquite Junior High: GCA kids say, “Screw this. We’ll take over the whole school.” They mean it, and the table has already been set by Christina Kishimoto and her captive board. News flash: you GCA malcontents were never worthy of all the money GPS has poured into indulging your expensive proclivities and you have shown you are not worthy of the millions of dollars Christina Kishimoto is going to lavish on your new campus.
These are some of the scant details that have been revealed thus far:
** Mesquite Junior High School ACADEMY attendance will be capped at ~300-400 students.
** Mesquite Junior High School ACADEMY will specialize in sports medicine.
** Mesquite Junior High School ACADEMY students will be required to wear uniforms. [Bet they’re purple: Spartangs. Bow down before GCA.]
** If a student chooses NOT to attend Mesquite Junior High School ACADEMY, maybe they can be accepted at a regular GPS junior high school; no details are yet available.
** Gilbert Junior High School also will become an ACADEMY; no details are yet available.
** Transportation issues have not been addressed.
** Attendance boundaries for Mesquite Junior High School ACADEMY and the rest of GPS have not been addressed.
Be very worried, Mesquite Junior High teachers and support staff: there never was a promise that your jobs, even if transferred elsewhere in the district, would be safe. Given that there’s a big election on May 17, 2016 about Proposition 123, funding for schools, your jobs were never secure. There’s also the matter of *current year funding* which the educartel says will reduce state money to districts like GPS. As always, GPS employees are the last priority in any GPS budget, despite the lip service of the unscrupulous jerks who set up and pulled off this massive deception on the GPS community.
GPS still has no friggin’ clue why students and families do not choose GPS. They’re having another highly paid consultant do a survey, but apparently, those consultants will call only people whose phone numbers are supplied by GPS, according to the GPS website. Sure, they’ll get reliable data with this approach <sarcasm>. If GPS doesn’t like the data, they’ll just ignore it or lie about it, like they did with the demographic data.
WestGroup Research of Phoenix has been commissioned by GPS to conduct a telephone survey with current parents of children attending District schools, parents who have recently withdrawn their children from a GPS school, and parents who live in the District but send their children to non-GPS schools. The purpose of the study is to measure attitudes toward the District and its schools, as well as factors that influence school choice.
Finally, Mesquite Junior High School community, employees and students, did you know that your principal Dan Johnson was in on this from the beginning? He agreed to every bit of this deal that destroys your neighborhood school. He was one of Christina Kishimioto’s first hires back in 2014, and he always will do his master’s bidding. Otherwise, he’ll end up like (_fill in the blank, it’s no secret_) who apparently did not agree to betray his own school. BTW, GCA principal Dan Hood was hired in that same group; his letters to GCA parents show that he misled them about what he had already agreed to for GCA.
Gilbert Classical Academy students, you should be ashamed. Those comments on the Livestream video absolutely, without a doubt, are proof that your attitude of entitlement is repulsive. Now you have almost everything you wanted, and you’re still unhappy. GCA students who were taught to be unique and exclusive snowflakes have proven that the negative community perceptions about you were right on target and well deserved.
The Governing Board of Gilbert Public Schools has a board meeting tonight, where they will vote on giving into the raucous demands of the unique and exclusive Snowflakes at Gilbert Classical Academy: “We deserve it!” Isn’t it wonderful when Karma steps in and kicks those Snowflakes in the asterisk? The ratings from US News and World Report are out, and the
Snowflake School GCA experienced a precipitous fall in the *national* ratings. They’re #71. We’re sure they’re bragging now. <snark>
Imagine this…. You drop 61 places in the national rankings, you lose 50% of your enrollment every year and then you ask for a blank check to move into someone else’s school. Nice, GCA. Real Nice. We can’t post anything more on point than the video below, which shows the demands GCA has made. Will the GPS Governing Board continue to give GCA students more resources than any other students in the district?
Imagine more…. $200,000. That is the amount GPS will be spending per kid currently attending GCA if they spend the $8 million on them from the bond. $200,000 per kid. Some kids are more worthy than others? We’ll know after the GPS Governing Board vote tonight.
The three options on the table — to close either Gilbert or Mesquite junior highs and repurpose the building for GCA; or to cram GCA into Mesquite, along with a second academy for Mesquite students — aren’t good options. Pretty much everyone agrees on that.
So, how do we solve the problem? By choosing not to solve it. Not on Tuesday, at least.
Citizens are still speaking out. Will the GPS Governing Board listen to them?
Before the vote occurs on April 26th, I ask you to think of one, simple question: will the vote I make benefit the ENTIRE district of 36,000 students, or will only a small handful realize any significant gain?
I am not speaking of the cost. We all know that the GCA move will encompass the greater part of the $8,000,000 that’s been set aside. I am speaking of the students having a direct betterment of their educational goals. Will the majority of the 36,000 realize this move as an asset to them?
If you cannot speak to the larger gain for the district, then you must support a motion to table the GCA move, and truly listen to the community’s ideas. Because unless the movement of GCA is a boon to the district as a whole, it is irresponsible of the board and administration to continue to push the Gilbert Unified School District community to accept it.
The community has come together and is unified in the fact that the data, your data, does not support this closure. It is absolutely wrong to close a junior high in our district at this time. It is morally wrong, it is ethically wrong, and it is substantively wrong. You should absolutely not push this through to meet some unvetted priority list of an immensely unpopular superintendent. The timelines are arbitrary and the vote to close does not have to happen.
The community has spoken, even shouted at you to listen to them. There are hundreds of varied career specialties within the community who have taken the time to comb through and analyze the data and have seen that an eviction notice to one of two west Gilbert junior highs is completely unwarranted. You are elected officials who represent the voters who put you in office. How long will you ignore them? How long will you continue to press forward on a path that the community doesn’t want?
This isn’t about a community not accepting change — you mustn’t be so arrogant. There are more sources of ideas for good direction for the school district than the superintendent and her loaded committees. Committees who were made entirely of individuals who stood to benefit in one way or another from this outlandish plan. This is about a community in an uproar against an educational force that is pushing the wrong thing.
Surely you remember the pushback from an attempted school closure last time? Certainly EJ Anderson and Blake Sacha remember. You have to know you have angered now two communities and hundreds of others who are affected and sympathize with the cause to save a school. Our community needs to come back together.
You threatened a school closure if you didn’t get a bond and override passed and yet here you are, trying to close a school with all that money in your coffers. Go back to the drawing board. There are other unexplored options for GCA that do not involve imperialistic tactics. You have a chance to do this right. I’m sure you don’t want this debacle to be what you’re remembered for.
There is only one way this community outrage goes away and that’s to cast your vote so that no school closes.
Dear Mrs. Humpherys,
I am writing to ask you two pointed questions regarding the upcoming vote to close a Junior High School at the next Board meeting.
I want to know why, as a Governing Board Member, you have not spoken out publicly – not even once – in the last two months to correct the erroneous and deceptive information provided to the public by the Superintendent?
I have seen no updated material from the District, received no emails with corrected information, nor heard comments during official Board meetings that offered up corrected, factual information. As a member of the Surplus Space committee you are already aware of the error of using the SFB capacity numbers that were used to calculate and communicate to the public the current utilization of both Gilbert Junior High School and Mesquite Junior High School. This was done deliberately and intentionally to deceive the public into thinking that the schools are less utilized than they actually are. Also, at the first Community Forum in February, the Superintendent quoted new utilization numbers that were a complete and total fabrication – both schools being less than 50% utilized, when the actual District numbers are 69% and 70%, even based on mid-year attendance.
This deception and lie were meant to mislead the public, and as a Governing Board member, I would have expected you to correct this misinformation. You were made aware of it several months ago. Your lack of response can only mean that you are on board with the lie. Do you not want the public to know the truth? A decision that requires deception to persuade the public is a bad decision, period. A Governing Board member who refuses to correct the missteps of a Superintendent who has clearly lied to the public is unworthy of the public trust. The superintendent works for YOU. The buck stops with the Governing Board. Your silence speaks volumes about your ethics, and your commitment to transparency and truth in GPS.
Why did you vote in February to suspend the Board Regulation JC-R that clearly had been violated?
You used the justification that “…life isn’t perfect, I’m ready to move forward…” and best of all, “…work to make really good decisions for kids, that will give them good education, THAT WILL GIVE THE COMMUNITY AN OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK, AND BELIEVE ME, I’M LISTENING…” to suspend a policy that would actually give the community…well, you know…an ACTUAL OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK.
Your justification that the end justifies the means, and that hard work and a difficult decision negate the Board’s obligation to follow its own policies and regulations is again another breach of public trust. If you vote (and you did) to change the rules in the middle of the game to make a decision, then the decision isn’t capable of standing on its own.
How do you reconcile these two actions with the guiding principle of dealing honestly with your fellow men in the Gilbert Unified School District? It’s OK for someone else to tell a lie if you (as a leader) just stay quiet? And the end justifies the means? Is that what GPS under this Board has come to?
Additionally, after hearing the Superintendent’s off-the-cuff estimate of “several hundreds of thousands of dollars” to send out notifications, and Mr. Nardone’s outlandish claim on only being able to handle a small amount of postcards at a time, I can only say, “Seriously?” Several Board members and everyone at the meeting knew that answer was another whopper of a lie. It literally only took seconds of thought to debunk that claim. There are only ~190,000 households in GPS, and this decision only affects half of them at best, call it 100,000 at the very uppermost, likely far, far less. For you to fall in line with the cost estimate of over two dollars per notification is preposterous. I understand that you are obsessed with cost control, and that is good, but there are good expenses and bad expenses. Public notification is an example of a good expense. Catered lunches for District executives and staff that are continually approved by you is an example of a bad expense.
The data do not support closing any Junior High School. That was made evident by the updated demographics study. Instead of overcrowding less than 500 students, you will be overcrowding a thousand or more, while leaving the new GCA campus significantly under capacity. How on earth is that a “good decision?” Even the most pessimistic Trend Capture projections predict growth at Gilbert Junior High School and Mesquite Junior High School in the next five years. And the consultant said the truth was likely in between the Stable and Trend capture rates (@59:25 on 4/12/16 WS), likely adding several hundred students to a campus that will be instantly overcrowded by this decision.
The fact that the Superintendent has to lie and deceive the public in an attempt to sway public opinion further demonstrates that this is a bad decision. Will you be on board with it?
There ARE other options for GCA. How this Board got this far down this specific path is indeed bizarre. There isn’t, and never was, space at a Junior High School for GCA. It was a promise that Mr. Allison should never have made. The data don’t support it.
It’s a matter of public record: Why students leave GCA has nothing to do with their current campus. These new demands are made because GCA knows that Superintendent Christina Kishimoto thinks GCA will be a feather in her cap when she finally gets that national reputation she obsesses over. Maybe now that GCA is not quite as highly ranked, this will fall by the wayside.
Gasp – could it be that GCA is now a FAILING school??? Or is it just falling? It’s certainly not what the citizens of Gilbert, Arizona want.
Westie yields the blog. Will the Governing Board listen?
Please tell me we’re all wrong about a few things. That maybe we’re just not hearing you right.
Because, literally none of this makes any sense.
Please tell me you weren’t going to ask the GPS school board to vote on a proposed school closure before you actually have a policy in place to guide that process.
Please tell me I’m reading this wrong.
Voting on something, before developing the policy that regulates that “something.”
Please tell me you weren’t really going to do that. Policy is just about the only tool the community has to hold the district accountable for its actions. Policy is why we questioned you when you asked the governing board to suspend rules that regulated how parents need to be notified of a proposed school closure, after you failed to notify them properly earlier this year.
It didn’t look good when you tried to change the rules midstream. So, tell me you aren’t going to make them up as you go along on this one. Trust me. It won’t look good, again. And, it’s wrong.
Please tell me you’re not considering spending possibly millions of dollars to close one campus, relocate its students and move a specialty school in, as you face the bleak projection of a multi-million-dollar loss due to student turnover next year. Please tell me we’re wrong on that one.
Because, it certainly looks like you’re doing that. Your own budget proposals for the upcoming year assumes a 1,000 to 1,500 student loss. That equates to a more than $5 million deficit, compared to this year, should 1,500 students leave. Given the way you’ve handled this school relocation debacle, it’s not an entirely outlandish projection.
But, it’s more outlandish to spend money when you’re being told, right now, that money might be going out the back door at the same time.
Please tell me you didn’t commission a second demographics report, at a cost of about $15,000, with hopes it would tell you something different than the one you did a year ago. The first report projected growth?—?the second report projects growth. Neither of the reports provide data that supports a school closure, as confirmed by your own demographics contractor. On tape.
Gilbert’s housing market is noted as “vibrant,” so why contract?
In fact, the most recent report highlights how well Gilbert’s housing market is doing, and emphasizes the need for boundary realignment and instructional space at the junior high and high school levels. In case you missed it, your contractor who handled the report emphasized that the population of school-age children is on the increase in Gilbert. It’s your job to build up schools and communities in a way that attracts students, not runs them off.
The school-age population is increasing.
Perhaps most nauseating, please tell me you aren’t already moving forward with plans to build an auditorium at Gilbert Junior High School. Three sources have confirmed it. You aren’t, right? Because if you are, that would be wildly underhanded. Just crazy deceptive. And, I feel like it might even teeter on the edge of what’s legal, but I’m no attorney. I just know that if you are moving forward with plans to renovate the cafeteria to create more space for an additional music room, outlined on the blueprints that have been created, it means you know the outcome of a vote that hasn’t happened — and that community input, given in heart-wrenching fashion at community forums and through letters written to the board, meant nothing. Tell me you aren’t doing this.
Where the new auditorium is planned for GJHS, according to blueprints.
Please tell me you don’t plan to move ahead with closing a campus without a detailed cost analysis. I mean, how could you? Round numbers mean nothing in this case.
Please tell me you have specific answers to the still unanswered cost questions, including but not limited to:
- What does $500,000 get you? Heck, what does $2 million get you?
- What does it cost to build an auditorium?
- What will it cost to upgrade science labs?
- What will transportation adjustments cost?
- How much do you need to shell out for fire lanes?
- What will it cost to prepare one junior high for the arrival of another junior high student body?
- What is the cost of a new paint job, across the campus?
- How much will it cost to upgrade the track at Gilbert Junior?
- What will it cost to hang nets on the baseball fields at Gilbert Junior? What about lights?
- How much do you plan to spend on a new digital sign for GCA?
- What will it cost to renovate the cafeteria and build a new music room?
- How much will it be to repave the gravel lot, demo the tennis courts, and prepare softball fields for the construction of an auditorium?
- What will you spend to market GCA, since the entire community would expect growth and retention if it costs us a school, overcrowding and most of all, money?
Do you have answers to any of these things? Please tell me you won’t move forward unless you do. Although, if you do, and you decided not to share it with the public, that’s wrong, too. How can we truly know the whole picture if numbers aren’t attached?
Based on what we’ve seen to date, costs are certainly on an upward sliding scale. First it was $500,00 to close a junior high. Then it went to $1–2 million. And now you’re well on your way to $5 million (with a $5 million projected budget loss) by adding in a new auditorium and all of GCA’s other campus requirements. That’s a $10 million swing, just like that. And, that doesn’t even factor in the loss the district takes every year by educating out-of-district kids at GCA, since the cost to educated GCA students is greater than what the state gives the district in funding. Wow.
Please tell me you’re open to other possibilities. That you understand a school closure doesn’t HAVE to happen — and further, shouldn’t happen, based on the facts.
A “school within a school” is still a viable option, although it appears to have an inflated price tag attached to it. But, who would know without a cost analysis? Tell me you recognize that there is an opportunity to build up the western side of the district while also saving two schools and their communities. Look no further than town leaders who made a conscious decision to rejuvenate downtown Gilbert rather than abandon it.
Imagine this: Drop GCA in at Mesquite High and the students have access to all of the amenities, Mesquite’s enrollment issues are solved, and GCA has prime real estate on the edge of the district. If you don’t want to co-mingle junior high with high school, offer GCA’s junior high space at Mesquite Junior and have the program feed into Mesquite High.
And the possibilities don’t end there. That was just a mash-up of brilliance offered by fellow community members. Boundary adjustments, as the demographics report suggested, would do wonders for enrollment.
Even your contractors say boundaries need to be adjusted for balance.
Please tell me you own a calendar. And if you do, please tell me you actually look at it. Please tell me you understand the timing that comes with enrollment cycles. Tell me you understand that parents and students in sixth grade attended “welcome nights” at Mesquite and Gilbert Junior weeks ago, anticipating that big jump to seventh grade. Tell me you understand that you have injected another dose of crippling uncertainty into two communities that have already told sixth graders to choose their school.
Closing a junior high, ever — but especially this late in the year — with the benign information you have, is wrong. In fact, last time we did this dance, your former superintendent insisted that it was too late in the year to move forward — and that was in January. School’s out in a few weeks.
Junior high generally stinks. Most people can attest to it. Why make that transition harder for your students and your parents, many of whom trusted you a few months ago and supported a heavily-advertised bond and override?
Please tell me you have thoroughly thought through the very real consequences of decreasing instructional space in the district, and what kind of precedent that sets. What will our district do, when in the very near future, it is at capacity — or worse — beyond capacity? I’ll tell you what you won’t be able to do — ask the School Facilities Board, or the public, for cash. Not after you pull something as unjustified as this.
Please tell me you’ve looked at this. All of this. Please tell me you’ve asked these questions, and that you have these answers. Tell me you’ll share those answers. The real answers.
Please tell me you’ll do the right thing. Please tell me you won’t make up the rules as you go along, you haven’t moved forward with plans for an auditorium, you won’t spend unnecessarily, you won’t ignore future growth, you won’t disregard very real traffic and safety concerns, and you won’t make decisions without a detailed cost analysis.
Please tell me you won’t close a school. Please tell me you understand the facts don’t support it. Tell me you understand the community doesn’t support it. Please tell me you recognize that all of this is wrong.
Tell me you heard us.
When Westie wondered if Paul Holland’s presence on the GCA committee was a set-up giving cover for the GPS governing board to close a neighborhood school for the benefit of the unique and exclusive snowflakes that attend Gilbert Classical Academy, we never expected what some very tenacious members of the community turned up against all odds: an email exchange between Paul Holland, HDA Architects, and Alexander Nardone, Gilbert Public Schools Chief of Staff, an exchange that originated with Mike Pilkington, a Preconstruction Assistant Project Manager at Core Construction, and copied to Todd Steffen, the Director of Preconstruction Services at Core Construction. See how the dots connect? Right back to GPS Superintendent Christina Kishimoto, who is grabbing as much power as she can to shut out the public and the governing board as she dismantles what once was an A-rated school district.
Just so you know: the new auditorium at Gilbert Junior High School will cost $8.2Million to $8.4Million. The email is shown below. There’s not much of anything more to say about how Christina Kishimoto and her equally corrupt minions have been colluding with contractors who will make millions of dollars while she is superintendent of Gilbert Public Schools. After all, voters gave Kishimoto $18.6 Million annually for 5 years as an override, plus a $98 Million bond, and she’s in a hurry to spend it all before she’s out the door!
Please take three minutes to view the Youtube video below the email. Will the Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board actually govern? We’ll know on April 26, 2016.
If you thought it was odd that Gilbert Public Schools superintendent Christina Kishimoto put a local architect as a *community member* on the Gilbert Classical Academy Takeover Committee, you’re in good company. We’ve scratched our heads about what nefarious plan was underway since we saw the name of Paul Holland on that GCA committee. Paul Holland is an architect with HDA Architects:
Paul’s specialty is the development and implementation of “prototype” educational facilities. These prototypes utilize a standard floor plan and incorporate customized features for each particular district’s needs. Paul has completed numerous prototype schools for districts such as Gilbert Public Schools…
Now we learn that there’s an architectural rendering of a planned auditorium for the campus of Gilbert Junior High School. Maybe all that talk about how GCA lusted for Mesquite Junior High School was a feint to throw off the public. Otherwise, Paul Holland and his company, HDA Architects, would not get a contract for a new auditorium at Gilbert Junior High School, because Mesquite Junior High School already has an auditorium. After all, in the past twenty years, HDA Architects has $53,186,508 of experience in Middle and Junior High School Additions and Renovations, out of $1.5 billion worth of educational construction completed and/or in the design or construction phases. More: 85% of the company’s work is in the educational sector. Sleazy, isn’t it? Actually, it’s much worse than that. But we digress.
The light bulb comes on: Was Paul Holland on the GCA committee just as a member of the community? Answer: This is GPS. Do you doubt for a minute that this was another setup? But if we give Paul Holland the benefit of the doubt, perhaps he was there to get a head start on the design/build contract that Christina Kishimoto always intended to offer to HDA Architects. Paul Holland was just as *genuine* as the superintendent’s *alleged* boyfriend was; we have learned that Charles Stevin Smith, former Executive Director of Technology, was the mastermind for the whole kit and kaboodle. Sleazy Steve Smith even pretended to be *just a GCA parent* when he told the Governing Board to get on with the voting.
Citizens asked for public records indicating what GPS plans to do to accommodate the ever-increasing *needs* that GCA loudmouths are screaming they must have for their snowflakes. Thus far, the reaction from GPS has been something along the lines of “there are no auditorium plans” and “repurposing GJHS would not build a new auditorium.” Sure… that’s exactly why Christina Kishimoto created a *Superintendent’s Committee* to do all the planning for GCA. That keeps everything *off the books* until GPS is ready to start building. We predict that date to be on or about May 1, 2016, after the GPS Governing Board votes on April 26, 2016. We’re sure there will be a slight delay *to be kind.*
Apparently, Christina Kishimoto never expected ANY information to come to light about this nefarious closing of a neighborhood school for the benefit of GCA. Nope, Christina Kishimoto expected it to be a done deal at the February 23, 2016 board meeting. By then, her plans were so completely off track, students had already registered for next year at the junior high schools being considered for closing, and there was an Arizona statute looming over the shambles of Christina Kishimoto’s great plans for GCA. She had successfully conned Her Three Votes into doing everything else she wanted, so why would Christina Kishimoto doubt for a minute that the GPS Governing Board would just roll over and do her bidding once again? Thank goodness Charlie Santa Cruz saw the light and refused to play the *Suspend the Regulation* game.
Nonetheless, real actual people have seen the plans. The drawing below shows where the auditorium will be located, according to those plans. All that blather about GCA needing more athletic fields was just a ruse, since the new auditorium will take up the space now occupied by one of those fields:
Never mind that the GCA Permanent Facilities Report dated December 1, 2015 shows a lot of blueprints depicting changes that will be made to Gilbert Junior High School. Never mind that GPS demolished the community swimming pool on the Gilbert Junior High School campus last year, GCA will need more parking spaces. Never mind that GPS says there are no plans to build an auditorium for GCA: “No, no, there’s nothing to see here, move along.” From community members:
So when I asked the board specifically not about “capacity” numbers but actual numbers of empty classrooms the information always was there in the GCA report. Even so, GPS said they did not know. Since when is it okay to lie to the public?
Plans show that GCA will have 2 teacher work rooms, teacher lounge, 4 computer classrooms, exercise room, 2 health rooms, choir room, orchestra room, band room, career center room, large elective room, gym, stage and all fields needed. It must be okay for the rest of the GPS kids to be in classrooms with 35+ other kids and/or in portables on the fields.
I call the GCA folks greedy! What person in their right mind says…”I urge the board to look past the number of families impacted” ? GCA wants what they want and they want it NOW!
I have been at this since 2012, along with a lot of the people in my neighborhood. The only people that are probably more tired of all of this than I am are the staff at Gilbert Junior High School. Imagine what going to work every day must be like for them.
Secrecy. Refusing to listen to the community. Balls to the Wall and Damn the Torpedos, Full Speed Ahead to give GCA a new home by closing a neighborhood junior high school in an area projected for growth by the district’s own consultants. It’s part of the dangers of inflexibility and self-importance. *I’m a Lighthouse* illustrates Christina Kishimoto’s arrogance:
This is the transcript of a radio conversation of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October, 1995. Radio conversation released by the Chief of Naval Operations 10-10-95.*
Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a Collision.
Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.
Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.
Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.
Americans: This is the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln, the second largest ship in the United States’ Atlantic fleet. We are accompanied by three destroyers, three cruisers and numerous support vessels. I demand that YOU change your course 15 degrees north, that’s one five degrees north, or countermeasures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship.
Canadians: I’m a lighthouse. Your call.
*Big Fat Asterisk: In the spirit of being *Authentic and Informative,* we have to confess that the transcript is a joke. A famous joke. The *faux* transcript supposedly was released by the Navy Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Mike Boorda. We served with Admiral Boorda. He could always take a joke, or make one. The photo at the top of this post is real: the Costa Concordia ran aground off the coast of Italy in January 2012.