Wednesday, June 27, 2007

ONE WAY TO HELP THE CENTRAL 7 SCHOOL DISTRICT

I have heard reports that the Central 7 School district is considering reducing the hours of the fitness center at Woodlands. This may be done because of the recent school budget defeat. This fitness center, which is open to residents of the Central 7 School district, is world class -- one of the best fitness centers around. Non students can use the fitness facilities after hours.
I have written to the school district asking if they would be interested in having the town take over the operation after hours. The fitness center would then be open to all residents of unincorporated Greenburgh - not just residents of Central 7.
Central 7 has wonderful facilities -- it's important that they be used.

68 comments:

Green Burgher said...

Please think this through completely BEFORE doing anything. The very first question you should ask is whether it is legal for the School District to rent out this facility to anyone. Then ask the following questions and prepare meaningful answers:
Who will carry the additional insurance necessary?
Who will provide the additional staffing necessary?
Who will provide the additional security necessary.
Who will provide the additional equipment maintenance necessary?
Will students have priority use of the facility?
Where will non-school district visitors park?
Please do not just toss off another incomplete thought - and then wonder why everyone is so upset when it doesn't work out. The preliminary approach to the School District should have been made BEFORE you went public with the idea. When you deliver an attractive idea but later discover it is illegal, immoral or too fattening, people become upset and the idea becomes an albatross. Don't do it again. Especially don't do it again and put children in the middle of a political pissing contest. It's not a good long term career strategy.

Anonymous said...

The commentor is right .With all the fitness facilities that have opened in Greenburgh we do not need one in a failing school. The right thing to do is let the scholl board solve their own problems. THey are supposed to be professionals who know not what they are doing. You do need a change on that school board.If they cannot come up with a good answer how to educate our children, close the school and with the money received with a sale we could bus our children to other schools.We paid school taxes right along what happened to the money.We cannot afford more than what we are paying. Some one blames the parents for this failing school,I beg to differ with them. Living here in Greenburgh both parents have to work to make ends meet.Yes maybe some do receive assistance, but I know I don't and it is difficult .A fittness center will not do nothing for our children, .It may cause more problems,in the long run. Adults mixing with children in todays world may and will not work out. Secutity ,insurance,special staff,and many more incidentals.
Paul put this plan to rest and off the blog. We cannot get involed in a failing situation.

Anonymous said...

Here we go again. Its feel good time in Greenburgh. Focus on Town government and let the school district focus on education.

Anonymous said...

The school has a fitness center. the community has been using the center after hours. It's great!

Anonymous said...

And the "community" of Central 7 taxpayers said no to funding it.

By what authority does Feiner think he can require Greenburgh's unincorporated area taxpayers, including those in Central 7, to pay for the cost of operating a Central 7 facility that Central 7's taxpayers said no to paying for?

Unincorporated area taxpayers are already footing the bill for fitness centers at the Theodore Young Community Center and at Rumbrook Park. Both facilities, incidently, are open to all town residents, including those in the villages.

There's been no showing that these fitness centers are overcrowded or otherwise incapable of serving the "community."

That being the case, Feiner's proposal is simply to have town taxpayers in the unincorporated area subsidize Central 7.

Feiner's already been told this year he acted illegally in giving away town revenues to Valhalla because it was improper to use town revenues to subsidize school district expenses.

He must be a slow learner.

Anonymous said...

Actually he's ADHD.

Anonymous said...

The fitness center at central 7 adds to quality of life just like our parks do. Greenburgh has a fitness center at Rumbrook. It's inadequate. Having use of the fitness facilities at Woodlands can only help property values. Does it make any sense to lock the doors when we have a facility around that people enjoy using?

Green Burgher said...

To Anonymous at 1:20 -
BEFORE embarking on this venture we taxpayers should know whether this "quality of life" enhancement is legal (given the required arms-length nature of the relationship of Central 7 and the Town) and how much it will cost.
Direct, honest answers to those questions will then enable us to make a wise decision, not an emotional one.

Anonymous said...

Why is the Rumbrook facility inadequate? What about the Young facility? ARe these facilities inadequate becuase of too many residents -- WHY ARE VILLAGE RESIDENTS ALLOWED TO USE THEM?

I strongly urge the village residents (who are the majority of the voters in the Town) to carefully consider that even if Mr. Feiner says this will not be charged to the village residents, that may be litigated.

Anonymous said...

As soon as I read the title, I had a vibe that this would be just another of Mr. Feiner's brain-farts. Thank you, Green Burgher and others, for summarizing the exact feelings of myself and so many others.

Also, the CEO needs to begin to demonstrate that he can manage the operations managers of routine Town departments (i.e. roadway maintenance) before I'd be open to considering any new, optional initiative.

By the way, the school district's name is "Greenburgh Central." The "7" has been eliminated by the State.

Anonymous said...

If this fitness center is for the school then the public SHOULD NOT be allowed in the facility. With the drugs and gangs in Greenburgh we need to be very careful about involving greenburgh residents access to the schools fitness center.

Paul we need to clean up Greenburgh first, if you want my vote let me know how your going to do that.

Anonymous said...

Other than to vote, how many posters here have actually set foot in Woodlands or would ever voluntarily do so - even for a free gym facility?

Anonymous said...

I think the supervisor has been spending too much time watching the Welcome to Weebleville DVD. As we should be accustomed to by now, he usually comes up with poorly thought out suggestions like this in an attempt to divert attention from big issues.

(Also, I agree with 4:21. This town's lack of cleanliness is embarrassing in so many areas, and it gets worse and worse each year.)

Anonymous said...

To 1:20 (aka Mr. Feiner*) - Please read Green Burgher's 9:09 post. That fully addresses your question.

(*Sorry man, but your writing gives you away. I used to get a kick out of the posts when you'd pretend to be an old lady!)

Anonymous said...

Now tht we've spent all this time on the fitness center, isn't anyone writing about the schools themselves and the fact that town residents don't use the schools, no less the fitness center. that's the real issue here. isn't there a plan to make the schools safe and rigorous so that residents can use them. Where is the plan for the high school level IB program that might actually lure residents back to the school? were is the plan for fiscal responsibility? how can we create a school within a school on the secondary level to bring back college bound students. I think all of us would feel better about funding the schools if they were better run. the fitness center is a smoke screen for the real issues that aren't being addressed. In fact, this is the first time there is a spot to even talk about education.

Anonymous said...

Mr. finer what is your opinion of the districts failing schools? The homeowners, paying taxes would like to know.

Green Burgher said...

Dear Mr. Feiner -
Twentyfour hours have passed since I posted several questions I thought should be answered if the community is to have an intelligent discussion of an idea you presented.
My neighbors tell me you are extremely responsive and have been a terrific supervisor. A signle call to you gets the streets plowed or the garbage picked up. As such a dynamo of public service, I would have expected immediate intelligent answers, not silence.
Are you unwilling or unable to provide the answers - or just too busy running for re-election to bother answering pesky questions from a new member of the community?

Anonymous said...

When people talk about failing schools, that is mostly cover for racist double speak. White people in Greenburgh simply don't want to send their children to Greenburgh Central for a variety of socio-economic/racial issues. Certainly the elementary schools are fine - check the testing numbers! It took me 5 minutes to track down some numbers easily found by a google search. Using the 2000 Census numbers and last year's NYS school's numbers of children under the age of 18 living in the Greenburgh Central district, 14% of white children were enrolled (1493/204) in Greenburgh Central and 64% of black/hispanic children were enrolled in the schools (2117/1354). Now, granted these numbers aren't exact, b/c children under 4 aren't in school anyway, and also since the 2000 census there has been a definite growth in the Latin population in Greenburgh, but I'm sure they are fairly accurate. Can we just stop the "code words" and admit that, like everywhere else in America, white people who can afford alternatives just don't want to send their children to schools with significant minority populations.

Anonymous said...

And that is another reason why we need a BOE that wants everyone to send their kids to Central 7, including the white ones. The BOE is now learning that they wont get budgets passed. It would be nice if they cared about all children succeeding in a multicultural enviornment.

Anonymous said...

i understand that often, comments on urban schools are code for racist sentiments. however, sometimes, they're not, and when they're not, they're actual comments on the quality of the schools, which are more than a testing profile. what do middle class parents - of all races want - beyond and above schools that meet adequate yearly progress as a minimum - high expenditures on library books, gifted and talented programs for children in the early grades, professional development for staff in junior great books, inquiry based learning and other strategies to meet encourage high achievement, a stable district with a k through 12 conduit, so that parents don't have to scramble to find a safe and enriched secondary experience for their children, a district where funding is available for an early strings program and/or artistically talented component. greenburgh offers a bare-bones elementary program. That's why parents of all races send their children to private school... but also let them play in our wonderful racially mixed parks and programs... use the racially mixed pool facility... live in racially diverse neighborhoods. blaming racism is a simplistic answer to the challenge of urban education and graeenburgh schools' issues.

you'll note that 36% of black parents - more than 1/3 - send their children to private school. are they racist also, or can they afford better schools and do they want the best for their children? perhaps it is a class issue - those who can give their children more do - but it does not appear to be racist, other than to note that in our country more white people earn enough money for private schools.

Anonymous said...

Ghee whiz. The GC gym is a wonderful place for all Greenburgh residents to enjoy. The lovely man employed to manage it is devoted, kind and very helpful. I have used the gym often as do many older people in the community.

The shame (sham?) is that the BOE is cutting the hours from approx. 25 per week down to 10. There are no other operating costs involved except for the wages paid to the man managing it. How much money did the BOE save in cutting this? $100? $200? $300? dollars per week??

I can't help but feel this is cut is nothing but a poke or gab to the community.

Regardless,it's SD business. Not the Town's.

Anonymous said...

Let's send all the kids, no matter what nationality they are to private schoos for $16,000 and save $9,000 for each student and we can receive a TAX BREAK for a change. close the all the schools for good!!!

Anonymous said...

The Supreme Court just issued a decision that race can not be used as afactor in a school district assigning children to a school. This opens a door for Greenburgh 7 to turn the two elemenatary schools into neighborhood schools, thereby cutting down on bus costs, increasing parental involvement with schools and hopefully increasing the number of people who will vote yes on budgets.

Or the BOE can continue managing the downward spiral.

Anonymous said...

Maybe desegregation of Greenburgh should be enforced by a court order uniting the adjoining Greenburgh and Edgemont (97% white and asian) school districts? Of course this will never happen, but it is amusing just to throw this out there!

Anonymous said...

Any fear of that with the recent decisions by the supremes -- hahaha

Anonymous said...

6/29/2007 11:42 AM Don't forget Mayfair Knollwood, I think the rest of Valhalla would be glad to get rid of them.

Anonymous said...

A great ideaa

Anonymous said...

good for property values

Anonymous said...

we need to all work harder to make hartsdale a place people want to move to. a good fitness center owned by the school district and used by the public is a good starting point

Anonymous said...

regarding the "districts failing schools"

Greenburgh Central is far from failing. True, I wouldn't send my children there because I prefer higher quality, but the district nor any of its schools are nowhere near failing.

Check for yourself:
https://www.nystart.gov/publicweb/

Anonymous said...

"Are you unwilling or unable to provide the answers ..."

Yes, it is odd that he posts topics on this blog and then doesn't participate or even respond to specific questions.

Anonymous said...

The idea by 1:36am to close the schools is silly, but s/he does make a good observation - The per student cost of education at Greenburgh Central is a whole lot higher than private schools and high-performing public school systems in the area, and that is just ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

To 11:42am: The Hartsdale area chose to secede from the Edgemont School District. And now that Edgemont has grown, there's no space for any additional students. The Hartsdale section of Greenburgh dug its own grave.

Anonymous said...

"a good fitness center owned by the school district and used by the public is a good starting point"

No, Mr. Feiner, the fitness center is the most unwise starting point. Haven't you ever taken a basic management/organizational behavior course?! Wow, I can't even be bothered to get into it. Suffice it to say that such childish, unprofessional, narrow ideas for improving organizational systems will be a main cause for your loss in the upcoming election. (Another example: a litter committee to divert attention from DPW systems mismanagement.)

Anonymous said...

How about school vouchers issued to parents that want to go elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

School vouchers could not even be considered since student achievement is good in each of the district's schools.

Anonymous said...

the fitness center is good for property values. The naysayers say no to anything feiner wants

Anonymous said...

Feiner's idea of using town tax dollars to supplement Greenburgh Central's school budget is against the law and bad policy to boot.

In making this proposal, Feiner is pandering to Greenburgh Central voters in the same way, in giving away $6.5 million of town revenues to the Valhalla schools, he's pandered to them.

If Feiner and his running mates are elected this fall, you can be sure that Feiner will send millions of dollars of town revenues to Valhalla and Greenburgh Central schools -- in violation of the law and of the rights of all other taxpayers in Greenburgh -- and with Feiner controlling a majority of votes on the town council, the rest of us would only have the state comptroller and the courts to protect us.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 9:59

You forgot about Taxter Ridge, being acquired to protect the Irvington School District.

Does anyone know when we will see a simple reconciliation of what monies the Town received from the County for Westhelp, what interest it earned, if any, and what and to whom expenditures were made.

No ones pocketbook is safe with Paul in charge.

Anonymous said...

Those reconciliations will be available (by FOIL request) as soon as the votes in the election for Supervisor have been counted.

Green Burgher said...

Perhaps the most important way to help Greenburgh Central would be for ALL the politicians to stop trying to "improve" the district. Here's more things you can do to help:
Don't make promises you can't keep.
Don't grandstand.
Don't buck and shuffle.
Don't make excuses.
Don't justify illegal acts by telling us it's the intent which matters.
Don't ever forget you are dealing with our children - and nothing is more important or precious.

Anonymous said...

Have Sonya Brown apply for superintendant of schools instead of running for Town Board. She can make more money that way.

Anonymous said...

"our children?" - will all readers of this blog who have had children enrolled in Greenburgh Central in the last 20 years please raise their hands?

Anonymous said...

Mine went to private schools

Anonymous said...

*raises hand* Pulled out.

and.......

Bloods! Crips! After spending the last 10 hours with a 12 year old girl in GC my head is spinning. Poor thing is afraid for her life to on into Woodlands. She's white and has had her share of problems for just being so. She's very afraid.

so......

Say what you will but I'll never, ever think of putting my kids back in. EVER.

Anonymous said...

When I moved here, I had a choice between two similar houses at about the same price - one in Edgemont and one in Hartsdale. I chose Edgemont because of the schools; not because of race but because of student achievement data. Student achievement at GC is fine but not stellar, and I think that's where GC's focus needs to be - quality of instruction. I'd actually rather send my kids to more racially diverse schools, but not at the expense of quality instruction.

Anonymous said...

GC has "quality instruction". The problem is a very simple issue.

There is a class of parents that do not believe that educational instruction begins and ends when the bell rings at school. They reinforce the learning experience in the home. Their children enter school with some basic reading and writing skills and they continue to teach in the household. As their kids get older, they teach them the importance of educational success and support their children towards success all along the way. When their kids flounder, they look in their own backyard to see where improvements can be made. The parents and the children work very hard.

Then there is a class of parents who believe that any and all learning should be provided by their schools. When the kids are floundering, they point fingers at teachers and administration. They do not assist in the learning experience. They do not reinforce the importance of academic success. They do not hold their children or themselves accountable for failure. They do not question themselves as to what more, they as parents, can be doing. They blame, blame, blame and criticize everyone. They will not work hard towards success.

Attending GC students families fall into the latter. More and more money is spent trying to teach in 5 hours a day what needs to be taught 24 hours a day, in the home. It's impossible to do.

Anonymous said...

GC doesn't have poor quality instruction, but it's just not to the standards of any of the other school districts serving Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

6:09 anony: you had a choice between similar house in Hartsdale and Edgemont at similar prices? The prices of houses in Edgemont SD are at least 33 to 50% higher than in GC SD, with simlar differences in property taxes. How is this possible?

Anonymous said...

you can say it's a race issue, thats just an excuse. it's actually a poor, middle class issue; renters against home owners. Greenburgh is in such a situation because of low income housing. We need to clean up Greenburgh by getting all the low income housing people jobs and off of welfare. Welfare should be temporary like unemployment. Thats how you stop the vicious cycle of poor people from one generation to another.

Anonymous said...

Lets face it the older generation has put us in a tough spot because they wanted less taxes instead of joining edgemont when they had a chance. Thanks 60 and up for what you have created.

Dan said...

If it's true that Hartsdale's SD had a chance to join Edgemont in the past an gave that up, that's an astounding decision. Up there with the Red Sox selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees! When did this happen? If anyone can refer me to a source, I'ld love to research this. I think it would make a fascinating magazine article to follow the different paths taken by Edgemont and Hartsdale - adjoining school districts in the same town - over the last 50 or so years.

Anonymous said...

It is definitely a fact that the Hartsdale area was part of the Edgemont school district, and that they somehow seceded and transfered to Greenburgh Central. I don't know the details; I'm guessing that it was in the 1950s or 1960s, prior to Edgemont Junior-Senior High School being built, which was the contention. (The district school used to be just in one building, Seely Place.) Perhaps there's some history at one of the districts' sites or someone at one of the district offices who knows the specifics.

Anonymous said...

Hartsdale was originally its own district. Edgemont was Greenburgh 6, Hartsdale was Greenburgh 7 and then there was G8 also. Hartsdale had an elemtary school, and then sent students to Seely Place for education up to grade 10. Then the Hartsdale and Edgemont students went to Scarsdale. Bill Greenwalt attended Hartsdale schools at that time, then went to Seely Place and then Scarsdale high. In the 60s with increasing enrollments, Scarsdale notified Edgemont and Hartsdale that it would no longer be taking out of district students. Hartsdale conducted studies, etc. and decided to join what was then Greenburgh 8, as the Warburg campus had just been donated, which would allow location of a new high school. In 1967, Hartsdale (then G7) and G8 both voted in favor of the merger. Edgemont had to go it alone and buy land.

After the Hartsdale/G8 merger, the newly formed district changed the format of the elemantary schools, so that there would no longer be neighborhood schools, but instead by grade. I dont think the Hartsdale residents expected that.

Anonymous said...

To 1:43 ... The Hartsdale house was better maintained/updated. But we chose our Edgemont home primarily because of the schools, despite the higher taxes. There's actually a variety of houses in Edgemont; most Edgemont residents don't live in the high-priced, vocal "Old Edgemont" area.

Anonymous said...

When Hartsdale chose to do the GC7-GC8 merge, I remember that GC6 (Edgemont) was basically left to fend for itself. They've done an impressive job developing a top-notch school system.

Anonymous said...

I was made to understand by one of the old timers, that Edgemont had a Hartsdale post office address, and the people fought to have it changed to Scarsdale.

Anonymous said...

I dont know about change of postal code. I do know that even now one part of Edgmonet has a Hartsdale zip code.

As to houses in Edgemont, even not in old Edgemont, being in close in price to Hartsdale, I find that difficult to beleive. I guess part of this equation is just how extensive this updating/maintenance difference was.

Anonymous said...

Getting the "best" zipcode was a huge politically fueled (and racial/socioeconomic) thing back in the day.

Anonymous said...

I have no knowledge that the zipcode was changed.

Can you send me to any proof of it?

And parts of Ardsley have a scarsdale PO -- i think this is historical -- not that someone had it changed.

Anonymous said...

I have no knowledge that the zipcode was changed.

Can you send me to any proof of it?

And parts of Ardsley have a scarsdale PO -- i think this is historical -- not that someone had it changed.

Anonymous said...

No, no part of Ardsley has a Scarsdale ZIP code. (You may be confused with what is Ardsley and what are southern unincorporated Greenburgh streets that are in the Ardsley school district and have an Ardsley ZIP code.)

Much of the history of local ZIP codes is not documented. A good amount of the decision making back in the day was under the table. Follow the 10530/10607 boundary line, and you can see why it's not documented. And the deal for most of southern unincorporated Greenburgh (Edgemont) and some specific houses/streets in Yonkers (Beech Hill) to get the coveted Scarsdale 10583 designation would also not be documented, but is well known by those of us who have been around here for many decades.

Similar decision making was made back in the day regarding unincorporated Greenburgh's school district lines. What was deemed of great importance, at the time, was to make clear that Greenbirgh 10607 was called White Plains and that it had a separate school district (Greenburgh Central 8).

Times have changed, of course, and none of this would be legal nowadays.

Dan said...

Fascinating discussion! Thanks for all the information from the veterans of the area. Am i correct that the implication here seems to be that Hartsdale (G7) merged with G8 to take advantage of the Warburg bequest and, thereby save money in the short run? At that time, was G8 coterminus with 10607 and largely minority back then? A google search turns up some studies from the early 1960s presenting Greenburgh/Hartsdale SD as a model of successful integration! Some posters suggest that Edgemont was (serendipitously) left out in the cold by this merger. Was that really the case, or was it more a pro-active decision by Edgemont residents to be folded into G7/G8 -for a variety of reasons? In either case, the Edgemont residents of the 50s/60s were amazingly foresighted!

Anonymous said...

Yes, Hartsdale merged with G8 to save money. Dont know if Edgemont was invited or left in cold. Or the Edgemont people thought the Warburg campus was too far. As to foresight, the only thing I would draw from this is that Edgemont wanted to control their own destiny, even if it cost money.

I tend to think that G8 was largely minority, even then, but it may have been middle class (Gordon Parks, etc.). In any event G7 had the ability to join Edgemont. They didnt want to.

I dont know what you mean by successful integration, but when I was looking for a house in the 70s, the brokers told me I would be better off in White Plains than G7.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Yonkers, Beech Hill next to the Old Edgemont area. I was a kid and I don't know the whole story, but I remember that people were OUTRAGED that some of the neighborhood cut some deal to get that almighty Scarsdale ZIP code so they wouldn't have to claim that they lived in Yonkers. Having the Scarsdale address does actually up the selling price for those specific Yonkers houses.

Something similar happened in New Rochelle back in the day. The Wykagyl neighborhood didn't want New Rochelle as their address, so "somehow" they got their own ZIP code and can address their mail as Wykagyl NY, still to this day actually.

Anonymous said...

Hartsdale was not invited to join Edgemont. Edgemont declined joining C7 and willing went it alone not wanting to be part of the integration, These are the facts.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 1:41.

You are wrong. Edgemont was willing to include Hartsdale students in its new High School. But Hartsdale would have had to pay. Hartsdale did a number of surveys and found the cost was an issue.

As to why Edgemont was not willing to join C7 (if in fact it was offered, please offer a link, etc.), you are making a quantam leap here. There are mnay reasons why Egemont may not have wanted to join -- lack of local control, distance to Warburg, concerns re academic standards.

But this doesnt really matter. Edgemont and Hartsdale made there decisions and will live wit them.

Anonymous said...

Yes, 1:41 is definitely wrong. Hartsdale (GC7 at the time) took the initiative to join with GC8. At the time, GC6 (Edgemont) was left to fend for itself (which turned out to be a good thing for them).