[UPDATE] Troubled John Jay Campus Secondary School of Journalism to Rally Wed. Sept 16th

Below is the original post we published on the Secondary School of Journalism. Since then we attended a rally and it was reported on here:

Park Slope High School Is in ‘Chaos’ Amid DOE Mismanagement

DNAinfoSep 17, 2015
PARK SLOPE — A Park Slope high school has started the academic … Families and students from the Secondary School ofJournalism rallied …

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PLEASE JOIN THE SECONDARY SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM COMMUNITY & UFT SOLIDARITY AS WE TRY TO BRING IMMEDIATE AND POSITIVE CHANGE TO THE SCHOOL AND OUR STUDENTS.

2PM WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 16, 2015

237 7 AVENUE BROOKLYN, NY 11215

Contact Annette Renaud tapredhook@yahoo.com and/or Tony Herbert therbert7@gmail.com

The John Jay campus houses both the Secondary School of Journalism and the Secondary School of Law. History shows that there have been issues there before followed by brand new ones and the community is saying “enough!” A rally is being planned outside the campus at 2 PM on Wednesday September 16th.

Viral Post Draws Attention to Plight at a Brooklyn School …The New York Times

Just last month PTA President Annette Renaud forwarded an email sent to Superintendent Karen Watts to Chancellor Carmen Fariña.

____________
I have been informed by Ms. Rosenthal that the DOE intends to merge Journalism and Law at John Jay by making the Law Principal the mentor for the new Journalism IA Principal.  First, this does not look legitimate according to NYS guidelines; given the history of antagonism and collusion between Law and Journalism, there would be a serious conflict of interest to have Law monitoring Journalism.  Given the history of Journalism’s Principals, the vetting procedure has been seriously flawed; we have been given one incompetent administrator after another: two principals removed over three years. IA Principal Radwell failed to provide IEP students the proper services required by law; for example, she created ICT classes that were required to have two teachers: a special ed and a regular teacher, but there was only the regular teacher; as a result, the students regressed. IA Principal Coppola completely failed to supervise the teachers, such as failing to provide science labs that prevented so many students from taking the regents exams. Was the new IA Principal position posted as required?  Second, what consideration has been given to the history of serious gang fights between Law and Journalism students? We have heard that the AP from Law will be our new IA Principal.  After all we have suffered from our administrators over the past three years, we are deeply offended at this closed-door decision that excluded us from the discussion and we have no confidence in the choice of Felicia Holtzman-Otto.
________________

As most recent as August 28 2015, Chancellor Fariña personally responded with:

_________

From: Fariña Carmen CGFarina@schools.nyc.gov>
Date: August 28, 2015 at 12:33:44 PM EDT
To: “‘tapredhook@yahoo.com‘” tapredhook@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: Community Engagement at Secondary School for Journalism

There are NO plans to merge any schools on JJ campus. NONE
_________

To which PTA President Annette Renaud responds:

Dear Chancellor Farina::

Who are you addressing?  I, Annette Renuad, PTA President, SLT Member or ?!  I’m consistent in putting a handle on your name each time I’ve written you!

Also, your working on what situation; 2012-13,  2013-14,  2014-15 and/or 2015-16?

Truly,

Annette Renuad

The Chancellor made it clear there will be no merging of the two schools and the situation will be remedied, however the situation became much, much worse.

PTA President Annette Renaud explains:

Officials, led by the Superintendent Karen Watts, expressed deep sympathy for the sufferings of the cohort R students among others over the past years (two principal on three years) and promised that when SSJ opened in September 2015 everything would be in order and put to rights: ‘these kids have been through quite enough,’ she said.  But of course the Dept of Education policies did not change. The Dept had to figure out how to shift the blame onto the students, their parents, every teacher and the PTA/SLT.

On 9th September this year, the students returned to school for their new year.  All was chaos: the new acting principal, Holtzman-Otto, was incapable of leading the school.  No preparations for the new semester had been made, and so the students arrived to an undefined school without a real principal and without a real class program: their ‘program’ sheets had been filled out arbitrarily, (who signed off on paying that programmer per session from SSJ’s budget?) with 12th-graders assigned to 9th-grade classes, or assigned to classes they had successfully passed years before etc.  And these fraudulent classes weren’t assigned to rooms: students were sent to the auditorium or left to sit in the library, or wherever, without classrooms, teachers, curriculum, or anything else associated with a legitimate school.

And they were given no breakfast and no lunch and no metro-cards to enable them to take transportation home after school.  The new administration refused to issue metro-cards before the students filled out lunch forms so that the school could get Title I money.  Angry calls from the PTA President, Annette Renaud, to the Dept of Education led to the quick reversal of this last cruelty, and the students were issued metro-cards by the end of the first day.  Thank you Ms. Olivia Ellis.

As of today, Friday 11th September, the school has not actually begun.  There are no classes and many students have left the school in disgust. I picked up my son Julio from school today and I will do this every day that the school remains completely non-functioning (at least I’ll give him lunch).

 

The PTA President responded to the Chancellor with:

Dear Chancellor Farina::

Who are you addressing?  I, Annette Renuad, PTA President, SLT Member or ?!  I’m consistent in putting a handle on your name each time I’ve written you!

Also, your working on what situation; 2012-13,  2013-14,  2014-15 and/or 2015-16?

Truly,

Annette Renuad
SSJ PTA PRESIDENT/SLT MEMBER

Chancellor Fariña then responds with:

From: Fariña Carmen CGFarina@schools.nyc.gov>
Date: September 14, 2015 at 9:27:25 AM EDT
To: Annette Renaud tapredhook@yahoo.com>
Cc: Gibson Dorita DGibson2@schools.nyc.gov>
Subject: Re: EDUCATIONAL NEGLECT!

I apologize for not being clearer in my reply.  I, Chancellor, am working with supt. And DC Gibson will be talking to the principal and members of SLT soon.

This last response was from yesterday. After years of trouble, the Secondary School of Journalism as witnessed no assistance from the new “education” Chancellor, nor the new Senior Superintendent of Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Yolanda Torres, nor Superintendent Karen Watts. Teachers and Ms. Renaud have reached out to UFT Solidarity to assist in exposing the many issues above.

It should be noted that Yolanda Torres and Karen Watts are not foreign names to UFT Solidarity. Those two superintendents, under the leadership of Senior Superintendent Laura Feijoo, have been career executioners when it comes to non-tenured teachers who speak up. In fact, Yolanda Torres’ District in the Bronx was one of the lowest performing in the city before she was “promoted,” a long standing practice the DOE uses with defunct administrators.

Teachers have notified UFT Solidarity that bathroom locks have been changed and the Journalism has been illegally merged with School of Law while being split across different floors by Principal Oneatha Swinton, Principal at the John Jay Secondary Law Clicking the link on Swinton will also show she is not stranger to UFT Solidarity.

PLEASE JOIN THE SECONDARY SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM COMMUNITY & UFT SOLIDARITY AS WE TRY TO BRING IMMEDIATE AND POSITIVE CHANGE TO THE SCHOOL AND OUR STUDENTS.

2PM WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 16, 2015

237 7 AVENUE BROOKLYN, NY 11215

Contact Annette Renaud tapredhook@yahoo.com and/or Tony Herbert therbert7@gmail.com

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