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Prescott LSC Meeting June 9 Expected to Host Large Turnout. Teachers and parents plan picket at school prior to the meeting.

The Prescott Elementary School Local School Council (LSC) meeting to be held next Tuesday (June 9, 2009) at 5:30 p.m. is expected to see a larger turnout that at the controversial May meeting as a result of a month's organizing by opponents of the school's controversial principal, Erin Roche, and some of the policies of the majority on the LSC. The small elementary school is located at 1632 W. Wrightwood in Chicago, part of what some call the western end of the "Lincoln Park" community.

A large turnout is expected for the June 9 meeting of the Prescott Elementary School Local School Council, following another month of suspensions and other attacks on veteran teachers at the school by the school's controversial principal, Erin Roche. The school, located at 16732 W. Wrightwood in Chicago, has experienced a tumultuous year, following a number of controversial changes instituted by the principal with the support of some of the members of the Local School Council. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Teachers and parents have told Substance they plan on picketing outside the school prior to the June 9 LSC meeting.

The May LSC meeting was controversial after the principal and "co-chair" of the LSC announced that they would not listen to public participation. Seven teachers, a parent, and two students had shown up to the meeting to speak out in criticism of some of the policies of the principal and the LSC.

A full report on the situation at Prescott was published in the May print edition of Substance and on line. The report, and more than 100 comments in the SubstanceNews blog "Commnents" section, can be accessed on line by going to www.substancenews.net, then going to "Back Issues" and then to "May 2009."

Prescott is one of several Chicago public schools where the dictatorial policies of principals have collided with parents, community, students and teachers. At most of those, the principals seem to have been trained to get rid of veteran tenured teachers. According to Prescott teachers, Principal Erin Roche has told the community it is necessary to "flush out" old staff from a school in order to make change, which is invoked like a mantra to mean "good".

At the May 2009 meeting of the Prescott LSC (above), principal Roche and LSC co-chair Jennifer Lister (facing camera, left to right, above) announced at the beginning of the meeting that the LSC would not hear public comment prior to meeting. The LSC then went immediately into executive session, while more than a dozen people who had attended the meeting were asked to leave the room. One of two teacher representatives on the LSC was not seated until after the May meeting, while the second teacher rep did not defend the right of her colleagues to speak out at the LSC against the policies and practices of the new school administration. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Roche had previously served as pirncipal of Chicago's Ravenswood Elementary School, where he was removed after a tumultuous term and major confrontations with members of the LSC and staff.

Above, some of the Prescott teachers who attended the May LSC meeting and were told they would not be allowed to voice their concerns to the council. Since he arrived at the school, principal Erin Roche has suspended a majority of the school's veteran teachers on various pretexts. His suspensions have resulted in Prescott (with fewer than 300 students) having a higher number of staff suspensions without pay that most of the city's largest high schools (schools like Curie and Lane Tech, which have more than 3,000 students). Staff have told Substance that the Chicago Board of Education's Office of Labor relations simply "rubber stamps" every action taken by the school's controversial principal. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Two teachers who spoke about problems at Prescott at the May 27 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education returned to the school on May 28 to be told that they were being suspended without pay for two days. Substance will continue to cover this story on line and in print as it develops.



Comments:

June 4, 2009 at 6:16 PM

By: Sick at Heart

No Surprise

LSC meeting for June has been cancelled. The Prescott Parents meeting at Jennifer Lister's house has been moved to June 9 from June 2. Democracy at work, thanks to E. Roche.

June 4, 2009 at 7:01 PM

By: R

He'll Be Gone Soon

Prescott Parents website has the following quote:

"Did You Know? Alderman Waguespack

and State Rep Fritchey remain active supporters of our effort. By keeping them abreast of what we are working on, we can be confident in their continued support."

I bet they are overjoyed to have their names linked to the most tyrannical administration Prescott has ever known. How about it Rep. Fritchey and Alderman Waguespack, where in your next campaign literature are you going to brag about the health problems, career damage, and theft of finances that Roche is causing at Prescott and Prescott Parents are underwriting?

His "style of leadership" involves the inane and the incredulous with an emphasis on the hilarious. Try this experiment. Challenge even one statement that Roche makes in his litany of pomposity and see how fast he changes into Dorian Gray.

June 4, 2009 at 7:48 PM

By: Mayor's Office!

Let's Spread the Word About Prescott!

I would encourage everyone to flood the Mayor's office with your concerns about the situation at Prescott school! Go to www.cityofchicago.org, look for the "contact us" link, and there is an area to write about something that concerns you. The drop down menu has a complaint field to use. You can either use your name or not! Let's use this option to request the Mayor listen to our concerns about Prescott!

June 5, 2009 at 4:15 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

A public meeting at a private home? That's covered by the Open Meetings Act.

I someone verifies that a member of a local school council is hosting a meeting at the person's home, it's a meeting under the Open Meetings Act. It must be announced 48 hours in advance. It must comply with other provisions of the Open Meetings Act (including being open to the public, except for explicit exceptions for closed session, such as personnel matters, pending litigation, and possible sale of real estate). The Law Department has informed all LSC members about these facts, so if the LSC wants to postpone a meeting for two days and change its location, that's fine, but if the members of the LSC are gathering, they have created a public meeting.

The teacher representatives must be informed.

Just make sure the address and time are accurate.

If the principal chooses not to attend, that's his problem.

June 5, 2009 at 7:22 PM

By: Tide is Turning

Prescott Meetings

If you go to Prescott Parents website which is run by Jennifer Lister you will see the following.

"All Prescott Parents meetings are held on the 1st Tuesday of each month at 7:30pm at 2638 N. Hermitage. If you have questions, call 773.871.0571 or 312.848.0570."

Lister is the vice president of the LSC. The meetings are in her home. The principal always goes.

June 6, 2009 at 5:11 PM

By: Jim Vail

LSC Meeting Cancelled

I understand the cancellation of the next LSC meeting will not deter determined parents and teachers from picketing the school. That is what democracy is all about.

In terms of our politicians - they usually hide behind their mostly unpopular deals when they are not outed.

Because Mr. Roche or Ms. Lister will not speak to Substance, their opinions are not reflected in this serious story on the website where the community seems to be overwhelmingly against the tyranical actions of this principal.

So I would encourage all those who are opposed to this administrator and what he has done to the school to call Alderman Waguespack and State Rep Fritchey's office and voice your concerns. They start to get nervous once the phones start ringing regularly on a single issue goes against the powers that be.

June 6, 2009 at 7:26 PM

By: Numbers

Make the call

There seems to be some confusion as to whether the June 9th LSC meeting has been cancelled. Perhaps this is planned confusion - I don't know. To find out for sure, here are some options: Prescott 773-534-5505 - main office x45505 or option#8, Roche x61781, Blahuta x45507, Clerk x61765, Counter x 61764. I have never known Roche or Blahuta to answer the phone. Lister's # 773-248-2862. I don't have Veronica Vides' number (LSC president) but her e-mail is videsv@gmail.com

Thanks for the suggestion, Jim.

Let's make this easy...

Alderman Scott Waguespack

32nd Ward Service Office

(773)248-1330 Phone

City Hall Office

(312)744-6567

State Rep John Fritchey

Springfield Office:

(217) 782-2458

District Office:

2539 North Southport Avenue

Chicago, IL 60614

(773) 871-4000

June 7, 2009 at 2:30 AM

By: ANNA ROSADO

GRADUATION PREPERATIONS???

FOR THOSE THAT DONT KNOW, THE AUTOGRAPH BOOKS WERE SIGND AT THE OFFICE OF PRESCOTT, AND DISAPPEARED!!! THEY CANT FIND THE BOOKS!!! SO THEY TRIED TO REPLACE IT WITH DOLLAR STORE JOURNALS!!! I BET IF IT WERE LISTERS KID, THEY WOULDNT BE LOST.AND ONGRADUATION DAY MONDAY ALL DRESSED UP CAP AND GOWN ON AND IT WILL BE A RAINY DAY THE 8TH GRADE BOYZ TO CARRY CHAIRS TO THE BANK??? I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF SUCH A DISRESPECTFUL THING TO MAKE TTHEM DO. PREPARE YOUSELVES PARENTS FOR ROYAL RUMBLE AT PRESCOTT SCHOOL AFTER GRADUATION IF THEY DONT COME UP EITHER WITH THE MONEY OR THE AUTOGRAPH BOOKS.... TO ALL OTHER PARENTS THAT WANT TO ENROLL THEIR KIDS , DONT. PUT THEM AT RAVENSWOOD ITS IS A VERY GOOD SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION IS VERY NICE. AND SUBSTANCE NEWS THANKS FOR LISTENING!!! AND TEACHERS CALLL ME!!!!

June 7, 2009 at 2:40 AM

By: ANNA ROSADO

GRADUATION PREPERATION????

IM SORRY I MENT DO NOT REGISTER UR CHILD AT PRESCOTT, I BELIEVE RAVENSWOOD IS A MUCH BETTER PLACE. I WISH ALL THE TEACHERS FROM PRESCOTTT EVEN THE VETERAN TEACHERS, COULD TEACH AT RAVENSWOOD!! YES I PUT MY REAL NAME BECAUSE IM NOT HIDING FROM NOBODY AND TEACHERS PLEASE CALL ME YOU KNOW HOW TO GET IN TOUCH WITH ME

June 7, 2009 at 2:52 AM

By: ANNA ROSADO

LSC MEETING!!

SOMEBODY PLEASE POST WHEN THE JUNE LSC MEETING WILL BE, ALL READERS WANT TO KNOW.

I HEARD IT SUPPOSED TO BE HELD ON JUNE 19TH, AND THAT IT WAS THE DATE AGREED ON BACK IN AUGUST.

AND ERIN ROCHE U RUINED THE GRADUATION YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF!!!!! YOU MADE THEM STUDENTS AND THEE SCHOOL NAME LOOK BAD!! SHAME ON YOU!!!!!

June 7, 2009 at 11:00 AM

By: Parent

To Anna Rosado

I think we should storm the home of Jennifer Lister on June 9. If it's a parent meeting and all parents are supposed to be invited then lets take our questions right to her door. I hope someone can take pictures of the boys walking the chairs down to the bank in the rain. It better not be my son carrying chairs.

June 7, 2009 at 1:38 PM

By: Memories

a blast from the past

Could someone PLEASE get the blog accurate date of the June LSC meeting?

We can't wait to make the grand entrance to see the clock and dagger show! Could someone contact the previous teachers from Prescott and Ravenswood and have them show up so Roche, Blahuta, Lister and her pawns can see everyone!

Shouldn't Roche get written up or suspended without pay for his lack of managerial skills in handling LSC issues? Isn't there a protocol to use? I am sure he would have done this to his over 40 crowd of teachers!

Thank you Anna for the great comments on the blog! Eventually, Good will surpass evil. Mr. Roche are you listening!

June 7, 2009 at 2:00 PM

By: meeting

All welcome!

The revised Faculty Bulletin for the week of June 5th states that the LSC meeting will be on June 9 at 5:30 in Rm 205.

June 8, 2009 at 1:52 AM

By: ANNA ROSADO

TO PARENT

MAYBE WE SHOULD ALSO PICKET IN FRONT OF JEN LISTERINE HOUSE TOO!!!! BUT I HOPE EVERYONE THAT WAS PLANNING ON GOING TO THE LSC MEETING STILL GOES. IM GONNA CALL RAVENSWOOD SCHOOL AND INVITE THEM TO LSC MEETING SO THEY TOO CAN VOICE THIER OPINIONS... LOL

June 8, 2009 at 6:05 PM

By: LL

Transparent As Glass

Since Team Roche is terrified of having his behavior questioned in public, the June LSC meeting has been cancelled. At least that’s the latest reincarnation of the calendar. Team Roche has done everything it can to cloud the issue of when and if the meeting will take place. Maybe they all could quickly put up another mosaic over the front door and pretend the school is an asylum.

Since the one whose name shall never be spoken is on the run from the public, the public will have to make do with his written words. If you go to Prescott Parents, you can find the humble words of the principal:

“Reform efforts contained in the strategic plan have resulted in funds and support beginning to flow to the school. To date, the district has acknowledged these reforms by supporting the school with:

$25,000 to improve and secure the trusses in the school roof

Clearly, the Board of Education wants Prescott School to succeed.”

Clearly, the Board of Education wants to avoid lawsuits from one of those trusses falling on someone’s head. Wrong again, Roche. (Ask the department of Operations how long that request has been on the books.)

Also on Prescott Parents’ website “A Message From the Principal”:

“Student achievement scores do not arrive until July, and we cannot be certain that the positive the results of these changes made at Prescott will be apparent in those results.”

Huh? Looks like someone needs a little emergency writing help from the very excellent teachers that someone hired.

“We may need another full year of working to implement our rigorous curricula at a high level to fully realize expected achievement gains.”

Sincerely,

Mr. Erin Roche

Principal

Why should he get another full year when the inherited teachers he observes don’t even get a full hour of tolerance for their many, many, many instructional weaknesses? Has he even observed the excellent teachers once?

June 8, 2009 at 6:25 PM

By: Curious

JUNE LSC MEETING!

This is from the faculty bulletin that was revised and emailed to the staff.

Tue, Jun 9 9:30-11:30 & 4-6 pm PreK meet & greet; 9:15 2nd Cup of Coffee public tour; 1:30 Kinder Celebration; 5:30 LSC meeting in Rm 205

June 8, 2009 at 8:57 PM

By: observer

June LSC meeting

Picket the, "pre-k meet and greet" and the "cup of coffee public tour". Pass out copies of these comments to people interested in the school. Most would never be interested in this type environment for their children!

June 10, 2009 at 3:44 AM

By: ANNA ROSADO

Teachers, Parents, Students, Community, Media and Board of Education

AGAIN THE LSC MEETING WAS CANCELED!!! I GUESS WE WILL HAVE TO GATHER EVERONE THAT WAS AT PRESCOTT FOR PICKETING, AND REALLY STORM TO JENIFER LISTER'S HOUSE AND PICKET AND PROTEST FOR NOT HOLDING THHE MEETING OF LSC AT THE SCHOOL. SO IF YOU OR ROCHE CANCEL AGAIN THE MEETING WILLL BBE YOUR HOUSE LISTER DO YOU HEAR ..!!!!!!!!!!

June 12, 2009 at 4:48 PM

By: Aracely

Hugo Chavez Sends His Regards

A Roche supporter is criticizing you parents for bringing your kids to picket. Strange concept of democracy she has. Let's keep the kids away from democracy.

Because it embarrasses Roche, his talking head wants to dictate to parents how they raise their kids.

Life in Roche's world.

June 15, 2009 at 5:02 PM

By: To Prescott

?

Someone please tell me how I can see these teachers records for myself?

As a new parent coming to Prescott I want/need to know what type of teachers are working there?!

I'm sure their has been reports filed against them from parents? Co-workers? students?

Please someone help me!!

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