Sunday Notes January 3rd 2016

Maybe in 2016 the City of Lowell and the “new” Council could hire a qualified full-time Auditor and the City hire a Health and Human Service Director. After all it’s been six months since the Manager created the position and it’s been since August 28th that the City hasn’t been able to find a qualified person willing to work as Auditor with the current Administration.

Did anyone see the post for an opening on the election commission? A few people contacted me saying it was never posted. I don’t see a big issues, especially since the person who was appointed was a long time poll worker and Republican activist.

Should it have been posted? Maybe but this Manager has created positions, given promotions and filled spots on boards and commissions in the past without any objection from the Council so this isn’t anything new.


Maybe I’m becoming an Old curmudgeon

I appreciate teacher’s being creative and wanting to think “outside” the box but let’s get the fundamentals down first and other more urgent content funded and in place before we hold fundraisers to teach a course that the Administration hasn’t sanctioned.

With possible cuts ahead, with a $1.2 million deficit in place, with more important topics like SIGN Language , Racial diversity and Black History needing to be offered at the High School, when I found a couple of Lowell School employees soliciting money for this on Facebook it just rubbed me the wrong way.

Lowell Teacher’s Marisa Shea and Derek Pelotte running a Go-Fund me Page to create a Class on Climate Change to be taught in Lowell Schools??

From a FB Post in Lowell Live feed

Hi everyone.
I am a teacher at Lowell High School. I am creating curriculum for a climate change class next year at the high school and in order to make this a class the administration can’t refuse, I’m fund raising for all the equipment I think we’ll need.

I think the first step to making Lowell 100% sustainable is demonstrating to our kids why it is important to do so. It would mean a lot if you donated to this fund, or if you know people who would support this please pass this along.
This curriculum will be free for any teacher to use in any school after it is made.

When you click on the link – which I am NOT including, you also see this message:

We’ve raised $625 towards buying equipment for a climate change class at Lowell High School.

Does the Lowell School Department allow individual teacher’s to raise funds without permission from their Headmaster/Principal? Does the Superintendent and/or the Lowell School Committee need to approve or at least be made aware of this type of fundraising? I was under the impression all fundraising had to be approved. Do these people have the right to use the name of Lowell High without approval? Does the Headmaster support this? How is the money being accounted for?

You can also find this message about the teacher’s involved:

These two paths of work, teaching and environmentalism, have begun to blend together. With no formal climate change curriculum at the local or state level, we believe there is no better solution to raising awareness of climate change than to create a class in the high school. Our students are not being given the tools and information to understand the climate future they are inheriting. We want to present them the honest facts, in a highly interactive and relatable way, so that they can discover the confidence to make a difference on a radical scale.

REALLY??? That’s what the goal of public education should be to radicalize students?

After we insure they understand the basics, let’s work on educating them about financing and credit card usage, Opiate addiction, parenting responsibilities, gender equality, diversity in the classroom, workplace and community then maybe we can worry about teaching climate change in a full course.

Why can’t we teach it as a part of our current science curriculum without having to radicalize students? Why can’t we partner with UMass Lowell and offer this through a program they have in place?

Why do these two teachers think they can or that it is appreciate to use the name of Lowell High School for soliciting funds for this course without permission?

Meet Lowell School Dept. incoming CFO Gary Frisch


He has spent his entire career in Illinois and retired from his last school job in education.

Currently he is the Finance Director in Broadview, Illinois a village in Cook County, Illinois, 12 miles west of downtown Chicago. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 7,932.

In 2012 Gary Frisch, CPA was named the new Assistant Superintendent for Business and Operations of D181, effective July 1, Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 2.33.11 PM

He does have experience in Contract negotiations: District 181 and HCHTA Approve New Two-Year Contract

The new agreement is effective May 30, 2014 through June 30, 2016. The contract includes an increase to base salaries in each of the next two years. Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations Gary Frisch notes that the base increases closely align to the latest consumer price indexes for the most recent years (1.75% in 2014-15 and 1.5% in 2015-16). The contract also calls for an increased contribution from teachers for family insurance. “The higher contribution will assist the Board of Education in recouping the increase in insurance costs to the District,” Frisch explains.

Frisch notes that one of the most significant components of the contract is the formation of a new committee that will begin meeting in the fall. The Compensation Review Committee will review the teachers’ salary schedule, continuing education, health insurance, professional development, retirement and other forms of compensation. “A team of representatives from the Board and HCHTA will consider how these contract features should be designed in a 21st century education system,” Frisch says.

In July 2006 he became the chief financial officer in Barrington Community Unit School District 220, a K-12 district with an annual budget of $120 million. District 220 has one high school, two middle school campuses for grades 6-8, eight elementary schools, and one early childhood center. They educate over 9,000 students: pre Kindergarten through Grade 12

His previous experience includes 9.5 years as assistant superintendent for finance at Glenbard Township High School District 87 with an enrollment around 8,292

Other school experience includes 3.5 years as director of business operations and six years as comptroller at Thornton Township High Schools in Harvey. Frisch also serves as an adjunct professor at Aurora and Concordia universities

3 thoughts on “Sunday Notes January 3rd 2016

  1. I would like to comment on one thing mentioned- Sign language ( ASL). I have 2 deaf grandchildren adopted in China. They are bright, funny and so full of love for their “new” family. Their playmates in their neighborhood don’t care about their “disability” . They have found ways to communicate that I never would have thought of. If it is not already offered , perhaps it could be an elective course even at grade school level.

  2. As you recall, by law, the members of the Election Commission must be from the top two organized parties.  It is not open to all, so to speak.  No Unenrolleds, as they are not organized.  No Libertarians, as they are not one of the top two.  No more Democrats than Republicans.  See you tonight.

    Regards  —  Cliff

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