Does Timberlane have a trust issue?

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Does Timberlane have a trust issue?

Postby Rob C » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:28 am

AlfredTwo wrote:As a school board member your choice is to either continue to make sure that I as a voter mistrust the district or to do your best to build trust. Up to you.

SBinRockrimmon wrote:I can honestly say I don't have much if any trust in this school system.

Two very recent quotes from another forum in SOD. I don't believe either one has children in Timberlane. I don't say that as a criticism, only an observation.

I will say part of the reason I ran for SB is because I, at one time, also felt mistrust and I've made an effort to mitigate this for myself and the community at large. These efforts include organizing "An Evening with Timberlane" meetings, the "School Board Notes" newsletter, a continuing effort on a "District Report Card" amongst my own personal efforts to get to know and understand the school system better.

The purpose of this forum is to see if their feeling of mistrust is widespread. As Chair of the Community Relations Committee I think this is a very important issue. If the community doesn't support the School District because they don't trust it then I haven't done my job well as a School Board member and especially as Chair of the CR committee.

Please engage here and let me know how you feel about Timberlane, positive or negative. If you don't trust why? Is it a particular incident, issue or just a feeling you have? How did you come to feel this way? I will say I won't be able to answer all questions because I am bound by statute and/or lack of knowledge but I will take note and hopefully this will help improve things down the road.

I look forward to the discussion!
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Re: Does Timberlane have a trust issue?

Postby JohnH » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:17 am

Rob, next year we will have 3 children in each of the schools and have really enjoyed our experience so far with Timberlane. I have heard many stories from my wife about the schools she has taught in over the last 20 or so years and honestly have not seen any of that from Timberlane. If we have any problems the teachers are all easily contacted by email or phone and we often get responses well after the school day has ended. The same has been true for faculty outside as the classroom as well.

As for your involvement and work with the SB I just want to give you our thanks. We can't think of anyone we could put more trust in to represent our wishes.
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Re: Does Timberlane have a trust issue?

Postby Rob C » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:25 pm

Thank you JohnH! Very much appreciated.

I also received an email from a parent who has had some issues and I have offered to help them work through them.

If anyone wishes to contact me please phone 378-9389 or email robcollins89@gmail.com and I will do what I can. I am more accessible through email.

I will tell you the first thing any of you can do with any issue is to follow the chain of command (Teacher, Principal, Curriculum Coordinator, Superintendent). This often sorts out what can be miscommunication and/or misunderstanding. If this falls apart at any point that's where I'd be happy to step in and try to help resolve an issue.
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Re: Does Timberlane have a trust issue?

Postby Resident » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:52 pm

Rob C wrote:I will tell you the first thing any of you can do with any issue is to follow the chain of command (Teacher, Principal, Curriculum Coordinator, Superintendent). This often sorts out what can be miscommunication and/or misunderstanding. If this falls apart at any point that's where I'd be happy to step in and try to help resolve an issue.

I know from some personal experiences that this system does not work. Could be the circumstances are unique but it has failed the few times I've tried it. I got the run around.

Does Timberlane have a trust issue? Yes
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Re: Does Timberlane have a trust issue?

Postby Rob C » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:03 pm

Resident, I'd be happy to help out. Please get in touch with me via phone or email.
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Re: Does Timberlane have a trust issue?

Postby Resident » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:09 pm

Rob C wrote:Resident, I'd be happy to help out. Please get in touch with me via phone or email.

Thanks but it's too late now.
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Re: Does Timberlane have a trust issue?

Postby AlfredTwo » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:27 pm

My trust issues started when my son was a first grader in the Danville school. The experience was so bad that that was the only year he spent in public schools. That's a long time ago so it is remotely possible that things are better. My trust issues grew over the years in large part because of my experiences as a budget committee member. That made me painfully aware of how tightly administrations were able to control the flow of information to get the results they wanted. On that committee I once abstained from a vote rather than cause additional conflict only to have the vote reported at district meeting as unanimous. While technically true it projected an outcome that was not accurate. I regret that abstention to this day. And I felt betrayed by the way it was handled.

Then there was the case when the budget committee voted to recommend an article not because they thought it was the right thing but because they wanted to make sure the voters could vote on it. This is a technical step as the voters may only approve so much over the budget committee recommendations and had the committee not voted to recommend it the article would not have been allowed. This was an rejection of committee responsibility. I believe this to have happened for political reasons and objected strenuously at the time - from the floor of district meeting.

And then there is the matter of previous athletic field work that was presented as "at no cost to the voters." In fact the private money was not enough and there was a cost to the voters which a reasonable board should have known would happen. Were they just stupid or did they pull one over on the voters? No idea but I'm not sure one is better or worse for building/losing trust.

There is also this persistent pattern of “the Eagle Tribune has it wrong” but you have to just trust us on that because we can’t tell you what really happened that just leaves a bad taste every time it happens.
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Re: Does Timberlane have a trust issue?

Postby Rob C » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:10 pm

AlfredTwo wrote:There is also this persistent pattern of “the Eagle Tribune has it wrong” but you have to just trust us on that because we can’t tell you what really happened that just leaves a bad taste every time it happens.

From what I can tell this is the only issue in the last 5 years.

I will stand by my comments that ET is an unreliable source of information. I don't remember saying anything about them having it wrong persistently. Although, that's not a stretch. :)

A LOT has changed in the last 5 years. For the better I believe. The HS actually has curriculum now, standards based grading has or shortly will be implemented, kindergarten is in full force and effective based on NECAP scores, the MS has been recognized for its excellence, our facilities are top notch from an energy stand point and awarded for it, Sandown North has won a national award and the budget process is light years ahead of what I witnessed 5 years ago. These are the major points off the top of my head. It is difficult to keep up with these improvements unless you are locked in like some of us are. Not having kids in the system I don't blame you for not being so engaged but I would also ask that those who aren't at least inquire before assuming the worst.
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Re: Does Timberlane have a trust issue?

Postby LM » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:17 pm

If anyone wishes to contact me please phone 378-9389 or email robcollins89@gmail.com and I will do what I can. I am more accessible through email


I have contacted Rob at various times regarding school issues and I've found that he replies to emails, he looks into whatever you're asking him about, and is willing to consider what you have to say. While we don't see eye-to-eye on everything, I feel comfortable contacting him with my school concerns because I know he actually listens and tries to work to find solutions.
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Re: Does Timberlane have a trust issue?

Postby dmh » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:54 pm

Trust issue?

We have district administration that is talking about major construction projects when we have kids without books in the classroom, when parents are asked to pay for books used in the classroom.

You want to know about trust, get some kids who are a few years out of HS to get their opinion. My child actually wrote to a few of the teachers and was basically told he was attending a school that was too rigourous. Timberlane does not acknowledge some schools have classes with 3 tests a semester and that is the student's grade. Child is in 3rd year of college and is still waiting to be assigned a poster or a diarama for a class. Student has not been given packets to do during class time, teachers lecture.

Major construction projects cost money. Rob, do you or our other town representative know: How many houses in Danville were foreclosed on last year? Increase or decrease from previous year? How many more families did the town help at Christmas this year? How many more people are going to the town food pantry? What is the unemployment rate? Is there an increase in the unpaid taxes in town? Are there more families who are unable to pay their taxes? Do your counterparts from the other 4 towns know the answers to these questions? Do they care?
"Never write if you can speak; never speak if you can nod; never nod if you can wink." Martin Lomasney
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Re: Does Timberlane have a trust issue?

Postby SBinRockrimmon » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:28 pm

dmh wrote:We have district administration that is talking about major construction projects when we have kids without books in the classroom, when parents are asked to pay for books used in the classroom.


When my oldest was in HS (right around the time the PAC was completed). I ran into the same issues. There wasn't enough books to go around. Many other classroom projects that could not be funded, some that the teachers were either funding themselves or sending letters home asking parents to contribute, but we had a nice new (and way over budget) PAC. To say that I was furious is an understatement. I've seen countless notes/letters come home from teachers will very poor grammar and spelling. I've even found a test or quiz that with incorrect answers from the people that are suppose to be teaching our children. It certainly didn't help build trust. There was also a couple of situations where teachers were using the classroom to spout off their own personal or political beliefs. I won't even get into my disagreement and disgust in the "zero-tolerance" BS that schools today push. Zero tolerance = zero intelligence.

My oldest has not been in the school system since 08, so I suppose it is possible that things could have changed, but somehow I seriously doubt. My youngest will start kindergarten this fall, I will try and keep an open mind and see how things go with him being there for half days. My 1st backup plan is Hampstead Academy, but comes at a cost of over $13k/yr. It sure would be nice to apply my tax contribution to Timberlane and apply it to the school of MY choice. But my only options to avoid Timberlane is to move or pay for Timberlane & private schooling.

There is one area that Timberlane is right on par with all other public school systems....The simple fact that public schools do close to NOTHING to prepare children for life in the real world. I blame that for both parenting as schools often times become the only discipline and structure that many kids receive and I also blame the "no child left behind" programs. Let's face facts; some children should be left behind. Despite kids being told they are all equal, they are not. Some kids/people excel at some things and are poor performers at other things. What those things are will vary from child to child and person to person. The fact that some people should are are left behind is the first step to preparing children for life after school. Stop treating children like they are equal and entitled to the same things as everyone else.
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. - Thomas Jefferson

To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical. - Thomas Jefferson

Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one. - Benjamin Franklin
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Re: Does Timberlane have a trust issue?

Postby LM » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:09 am

dmh wrote:Major construction projects cost money. Rob, do you or our other town representative know: How many houses in Danville were foreclosed on last year? Increase or decrease from previous year? How many more families did the town help at Christmas this year? How many more people are going to the town food pantry? What is the unemployment rate? Is there an increase in the unpaid taxes in town? Are there more families who are unable to pay their taxes? Do your counterparts from the other 4 towns know the answers to these questions? Do they care?


Well said. This is exactly why most people DO NOT favor spending more money on major construction. People are working incredibly hard for salaries that are NOT increasing while everything around them increases in price. I don't know about everyone else on here, but my company has not given raises in 3 years and won't be giving raises anytime in the near future.
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Re: Does Timberlane have a trust issue?

Postby safety frog » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:29 am

We need a warrant article drafted that requires the SAU, administration, and staff to not spend a single dollar or minute promoting, studying, designing, building or politicing for a new high school or a new middle school.
Last edited by safety frog on Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does Timberlane have a trust issue?

Postby michelle_oneil » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:50 am

School Board Policy FA (https://public.timberlane.net/sau/trsb/ ... 0Goals.pdf)
FACILITIES DEVELOPMENT GOALS
As the Board seeks to expand in its physical plant, it will strive to provide new and remodeled facilities that will offer the best possible physical environment for learning and teaching.
The Board aims specifically toward:
1. Facilities that will accommodate organizational and instructional patterns that support the district’s educational philosophy and instructional goals.
2. Meeting all safety requirements through the remodeling of older structures.
3. Providing building renovations to meet requirements on the availability of public school facilities to handicapped persons.
4. Building design and construction that will lend themselves to low maintenance costs and the conservation of energy. These two factors will also be given special consideration in the renovation of buildings.
5. Building design will allow, to the greatest extent possible, for future expansion.

New Hampshire Department of Education Maintenance Plan (http://www.education.nh.gov/program/sch ... enance.htm)
School districts are required to submit a copy of their written maintenance plan along with Form A24M when applying for School Building Aid. The Department of Education has developed a model plan which may be adopted and modified by individual school districts. Districts may submit plans using their own formats as long as the requirements of RSA 198:15-b are met. The model plan was developed for a district which does not utilize a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS). Implementation of a CMMS is strongly encouraged. The size of the written plan for a district that utilizes a CMMS can be much smaller than the model plan.

Why Maintenance is Important
Broken equipment cannot perform its intended function.
Broken or worn items can be a safety hazard and a liability.
Classroom temperature, lighting, acoustics, and air quality affect student and teacher performance.
Clean, healthy buildings reduce absenteeism among students and staff.
Community expects it to be done.
First impressions matter.
Fixing small problems costs less than waiting until they become big problems.
It costs less to maintain your school than it will cost if you don't.
It"s the right thing to do.
Well maintained equipment operates more efficiently and costs less to operate.
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Re: Does Timberlane have a trust issue?

Postby Rob C » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:36 am

dmh wrote:We have district administration that is talking about major construction projects when we have kids without books in the classroom, when parents are asked to pay for books used in the classroom.

I'm not doubting you, just looking for more information. When was the last time you were asked to pay for a book?

dmh wrote:Major construction projects cost money. Rob, do you or our other town representative know: How many houses in Danville were foreclosed on last year? Increase or decrease from previous year? How many more families did the town help at Christmas this year? How many more people are going to the town food pantry? What is the unemployment rate? Is there an increase in the unpaid taxes in town? Are there more families who are unable to pay their taxes? Do your counterparts from the other 4 towns know the answers to these questions? Do they care?

These are all valid questions. I can tell you we did not move this forward lightly. In fact, last year a similar effort was made by Administration that was killed immediately (I made the motion).

In bringing forward something like this a balance needs to be struck. Is this the perfect time? I don't think there ever is a perfect time. Mr. LaSalle has spoken to this in our meetings and he makes very valid points. At this time all indicators point to the economy coming back. We are also at a point in time where construction costs are down because of aggressive bidding, bond rates are down and we really do have a need in the District to improve upon this area in the HS. The impact of article 2 is minimal next year ($.03 per thousand) or $9 for a $300,000 home. The following 5 years it is more significant but equates to around $135 per year (~ $12 per month) for a $300,000 home. This is possible because of the bonding process, this isn't a "one lump sum" project.

Every child moving through the HS will benefit from this project. This space has not been touched significantly since the construction of the HS. It is the only space left that hasn't. It is not compliant with Title IX (equity in athletic space and programs for boys and girls, currently the space is divided 75/25 even though more girls participate in athletics) and it is not ADA compliant. The PE/Health/Wellness curriculum will be expanded as a result of this project. The space will be safer, cleaner and more healthy. I will post more information regarding this over on the forum for the warrant article later. This is a project that is needed and the School Board has a responsibility to improve areas of our schools that are lacking in safety, compliance, health and curriculum while also considering cost and impact to communities. Michelle's post above is evidence of this. I believe we have done this.

We absolutely care about our communities and the financial struggles people face but we also need to balance that with the needs of our schools. Everything taken into consideration we decided to move forward with this. A 3/5 majority is required. Time will tell.

How this relates to trust I'm not sure. Maybe some of you can explain to me how presenting a warrant article for a bond to improve our Schools creates a feeling of mistrust? I'm not sure how more above board this could be done. Maybe I'm missing something...
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