Angelucci Town Hall Meeting
Angelucci Town Hall Meeting
Angelucci: I did what's best
Mar 09, 2011 | 58 58 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend
KENNESA...
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by Kathryn Malone
kmalone@mdjonline.com
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Angelucci: I did what's best
by Kathryn Malone
kmalone@mdjonline.com
March 09, 2011 12:00 AM | 7128 views | 58 58 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Angelucci Town Hall Meeting
Angelucci Town Hall Meeting
Cobb County Post 4 School Board member Kathleen Angelucci tries to bring down the tension as she speaks to a mixed crowd of supporters and angry constituents during a town hall meeting in North Cobb High School's media center on Tuesday evening. The balanced school calendar was the hot topic of debate at the meeting.<br>Staff/Mike Jacoby
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KENNESAW - Despite a barrage of protests from angry parents and teachers Tuesday night, Cobb school board member Kathleen Angelucci said she did what she believes is best for the district in voting to revert back to a more traditional calendar for the 2011-12 school year.

Angelucci addressed a crowd of nearly 300 people at North Cobb High School as the guest speaker at an event presented by the North Cobb Education Association.

The crowd, which was largely in favor of the balanced calendar, which starts classes in early August, asked Angelucci a variety of questions regarding why she voted for the more traditional Aug. 15 school start date.

Paul Beck, of Kennesaw, accused Angelucci and board members who voted for the more traditional calendar of blowing off the public's opinion and disregarding the results from a survey the district posted online. That survey concluded that 72 percent of respondents were in favor of the balanced calendar. He also told her it wasn't right of the board to vote to revert to the traditional calendar for next school year with such short notice to the public.

"A lot of people, myself included, have made plans based on that balanced calendar - vacation plans, trips, etc. - that we paid lots of money for and you are going to turn around now, on short notice, less than six months and say, 'Oh, that's out of here now," Beck said. "You guys can't do that. I find that very irresponsible."

Angelucci responded: "We didn't want this to go one more year, so that was the reason for moving immediately. And secondly, it is a personal choice about making vacation plans. This is about education, and that's how we have to make those decisions."

Regarding the survey, Angelucci said she didn't believe the results were accurate because several people she talked to admitted they voted more than once. She also said that more than 14,000 teachers voted on the survey, but the district only has 8,000 teachers.

While the crowd got rowdy at times, snickering and yelling things like, "yeah right" and "says who?" to some of Angelucci's answers, Mayor Mark Mathews of Kennesaw, who helped to moderate the event, managed to rein them in, reminding audience members to give the school board member respect. At one point, after an audience member heckled Angelucci for a response she gave regarding the survey, Mathews said: "We killed the survey issue, I think. We can all debate that all night long."

Donna Boik, of Woodstock, a Barber Middle School food services manager, asked Angelucci how the more traditional calendar would save the district money in August utility bills since the schools still have to be open for teachers, maintenance staff and food services workers for most of the month.

"I'm in food service, we are (at schools) two weeks before school starts up and running. So the schools are running anyway," Boik said.

Angelucci said, "It is not the same as having all of the students and everyone report. And I will tell you that those two weeks, the savings that we do realize are a savings to the district, and that's the way that I'm trying to look at this... There is no preconceived notion that we're trying to do something to thwart the public's right to input."

Angelucci could not say exactly how much the district saves with a later August start date and said she is still waiting on specific utility costs she requested from staff.

The board voted 4-3 on Feb. 17 to revert back to a more traditional school calendar. Angelucci and the other two new board members - Scott Sweeney and Tim Stultz - all campaigned on and voted for the later school start date, along with board Chairwoman Alison Bartlett.

At today's board meeting, the board will consider repealing that vote and again switching back to a more balanced calendar that is currently in place.

Following Tuesday night's forum, Mike Sansone, the president of the North Cobb Education Association, said he believes the meeting was a success and hopes that Angelucci will meet with his group again.

"Tonight went wonderfully," Sansone said. "She stood up here for an hour and a half and answered the questions to the absolute best of her ability, and we could not have asked for anything more from her, whether we agree with her or not."

Sansone said he does not have an opinion either way on the calendar.

Formerly known as the Legacy Park Education Association, the North Cobb Education Association is made up of parent and resident volunteers who are seeking to increase awareness and communication about education throughout the north Cobb community.
Comments
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Not about vacations
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March 14, 2011
This is not about vacations it's about whats best for the academic performance of the children. The balanced calendar did wonders for my 8th grader. He has all A's for the first time since he started middle school. The breaks helped him to unwind and relax and clear his head. He was able to concentrate more while in class and he acctually started to enjoy school knowing that he had some breaks. The board should have left the calendar alojne and instead focus on hiring the best superintendnet that they can find.
Jeff Jacoby
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March 11, 2011
To "Contradiction?"

Are you serious? The only way you can force yourself to believe your logic is if you think the electorate are all morons. Shame on you.

Also, your drivel about "the main concept of the post" is absolute nonsense. If by "more professional," you mean a professional politician, no thanks. I'll take involved citizens over professional politicians any day. And, you have no basis to argue that the new board member do not have the best interest of the school system at heart. I know you think if you keep slinging these platitudes, readers will think you are smart. You aren't; you are simply angry because you didn't get your way.

You have every right to vote for a different candidate at the next election - or better yet, run yourself. Since you have all the answers, you would be the perfect board member.
Contradiction?
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March 10, 2011
to Jeff Jacoby who wrote..."Electing" and "fringe element" are diametrically opposed.

Not a very bright statement. Just because someone is elected to public office doesn't automatically make their positions somehow legitimate and part of the mainstream thought process.

You didn't grasp the main concept of the post which is to find candidates that are more professional and have the best interests of the school system at heart. Obviously we didn't have qualified candidates and that needs to be rectified for the next regular election or recall.
what'd be funny
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March 10, 2011
Is if a group of parents/students at a school(s) just hold all of their kids out for the week that is suppose to be a break in Sept.

What will we do at that school then? Send the teachers home with no pay?

Just would be interesting and funny.
Palisades Princess
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March 09, 2011
Lullwater Resident is right... Sansone is a wannabe. Sees himself as important. He's looking to score points with the good old boys. I don't blame you if you never talk to Legacy Park again.
Well Done
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March 09, 2011
I support Angelucci and am ashamed of the residents of Kennesaw who thought they would scare her off. She showed up, she answered questions from the group that follows Mayor Matthews (who supported her tax evading opposition in the primary).....luckily for us the people of Kennesaw don't always get their way, and those of us outside of the city limits get a vote also. We are tired of Kennesaw government and their shenanigans and guess what we are tired of the Marietta government also. Well Done Kathleen. Oh and as a reminder to those parents, we who don't have kids get to vote also, and I don't want your kids running through the neighborhood those extra times during the year......deal with it ( Oh and I already voted on SPLOST )
just me 56
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March 09, 2011
In my days, (60's and 70's) parents scheduled vacation time around the school year. I cannot believe the bulk of these parents are ticked because this new calendar is cutting into their vacation. And in this time of high gas prices and economy, who has the money to spend on vacation.
SchoolsAreForFish
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March 09, 2011
We home school and have used a balanced calendar for years. The breaks are shorter and come more often so the kids don't get burned out nor do they get bored due to a long break. There is also the issue of retention, where it has been shown that students loose a lot of momentum during the long summer break and need a lot more review time when school starts back up. The balanced calendar addresses the issue of retention so that students and teachers can spend less time on review and more time moving forward with new material.
Here's what I think
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March 09, 2011
...is truly going on is that are a dozen or so summers people that are commenting on this blog with different usernames all with the same argument for the balanced calendar. I come to that conclusion because 95% of the people that I talk to are in favor of the balanced calendar. That percentage is factual based on my own survey conducted scientifically through me!
Hanna64
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March 09, 2011
The only calender year I have ever been part regarding summer vacation for kids ran from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It worked for everyone and never changed, must be a Georgia thing.
young woman
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March 09, 2011
Hey old man - tell that to the "summers people" and the 4 board members that brought on this mess!

You are right, the calendar should have been left alone and more pressing issues should have been discussed.

Sally W
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March 09, 2011
To I agree

You are WRONG - I love the balanced calendar and it has nothing to do with vacations. I didn't take nor do I have any planned for any of the breaks except Spring.

This calendar works best for my kids education - bottom line. They are better rested, more interested, have better grades. I thought I would like it, instead I'm lovin it!

that is what Kathy et al were afraid of, that parents would see that this is a great thing for kids education - for the education of our kids.
Wasting time...
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March 09, 2011
Well - now that we have wasted WEEKS on a calendar issue - what is going on with the Superintendent search? Oh yeah - we need a new one by June... People - put our children's education ahead of vacation plans. Regardless of how you feel about the balanced vs. traditional calendar - the immature behavior that I have seen from both parents AND teachers is embarassing. Your agenda seems to be more of convenience and less of the educating of our children.
gollygoodnessp
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March 09, 2011
The people who were upset were teachers who were driven solely by emotion. There was little critical thought going on, just a lot of anger that vacations for next year would have to be cancelled.

The worst is that they all complain that they need rest, they can't do their jobs without frequent vacations throughout the year. Really? Teachers in other states do just fine. Better, even. You shouldn't admit to not being able to cut it.
Autonomy
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March 09, 2011
So you dont like the calendar decision that the local Board just made.. or the integrated math that the state forced everyone to adopt yrs ago.. guess what?!?! There's a way around it. Why not rally the troops at your school and convert to Charter? I'm a resident in the county and would love to hear if this has come up as a topic of discussion in any schools? Converting to a charter isn't utopia, but it's much better than having to simply accept every decision that is made for you/your school/our kids from someone who knows better than you what is best. If you/we know what is best for our child/our school, convert to charter and stop expending so much energy trying to change a system that you feel isn't capable of knowing what's best for you!
Lullwater Resident
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March 09, 2011
Kathy, I tried to tell you Legacy Park people would turn on you, and they did. You know who I am. The guy who set up the meeting from our subdivision did it deliberately to hang you out to dry. Mayor Mathews as your moderator after he chaired pony boy's campaign against you? Yeah, that's fair and balanced. As a LP resident, please accept my apologies. The guy who set that meeting up has been telling everybody he was going to ambush you. That whole thing was orchestrated as revenge from the mayor and council because they are bitter you beat Bill ponyboy Borden. Hang in there and stay true to your commitments.
eCobb Dad of 3
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March 09, 2011
To all of the probalanced calendar whiners and teachers... The horse is dead. It's time to move on. Don't like the results then address in the next election on a survey that really matters instead of the "Monkey Survey"
Travel Agent
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March 09, 2011
I honestly think there are more important things than this calendar, but to be honest, and I have heard this from my clients - they don't like the calendar because it improves their child's education because they can take vacations when it is less expensive! To Ethics - Kathleen is not in violation of any ethics. She ran on a platform and stuck with it! Third and very important - do you all not realize that is is Holly Cash, Linda Crowder Eagle and David Banks (especially him) who are driving this? They are stirring things up because they are sour grapes and this is the status quo for the old board. For those who question the money - Have you ever tried to get accurate numbers from Sanderson and Dillon? Good luck! They are the ones holding the the numbers so that they can work their spin. Get real. The one thing people are not getting is that the vote was flawed. When you have more teachers voting than there are employed, you have a problem! As for Six Flags get real. To be honest, I am not rich and need my kids to work when they can during the summer, so shortening that summer so they can't work as long really impacts me financially, and I'm sure I'm not alone. Take away the emotion, and look at this whole situation logically and you will see things more differntly.
anonymous
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March 09, 2011
---RE: "A lot of people, myself included, have made plans based on that balanced calendar - vacation plans, trips, etc. - that we paid lots of money for and you are going to turn around now, on short notice, less than six months and say, 'Oh, that's out of here now," Beck said. ---

short notice = six months? The world is really moving FAST for Mr. Beck. I think he has bigger problems than when he can take vacation again.
Jeff Jacoby
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March 09, 2011
To "Best We Can Do?":

Do you not recognize your own contradiction? "Electing" and "fringe element" are diametrically opposed. If these new board members were the fringe, how did they get elected?

On this one SINGLE issue, there is as much sound logic to having a traditional calendar as there is for any other option, so stop trying to pretend that your *preference* is the only thing that makes sense. You are an elitist.

Finally, you have no way of knowing what the "majority opinion" really is. Sad that you would entrust such an important issue to a silly monkey survey.

These new board members are in fact acting in what they believe is the best welfare of our students and the school system as a whole. If they are able to save enough money by returning to a traditional calendar to retain our teachers, I think that's a wise move. Certainly other school systems see it as wise - they are returning to traditional calendars in droves.
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