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Direct Link To This Post Topic: No books, no clue at citys worst school (2-part
    Posted: Jan 14 2014 at 5:08am
My question is how much were the parents involved in the matter of attending school meetings and such?


No books, no clue at city’s worst school

By Susan Edelman

January 12, 2014 | 4:03am

This principal runs a school of “no.”

Students at PS 106 in Far Rockaway, Queens, have gotten no math or reading and writing books for the rigorous Common Core curriculum, whistleblowers say.

The 234 kids get no gym or art classes. Instead, they watch movies every day.

“The kids have seen more movies than Siskel and Ebert,” a source said.

The school nurse has no office equipped with a sink, refrigerator or cot.

The library is a mess: “Nothing’s in order,” said a source. “It’s a junk room.”

No substitutes are hired when a teacher is absent — students are divvied up among other classes.

A classroom that includes learning-disabled kids doesn’t have the required special-ed co-teacher.

About 40 kindergartners have no room in the three-story brick building. They sit all day in dilapidated trailers that reek of “animal urine,” a parent said; rats and squirrels noisily scamper in the walls and ceiling.

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NO GYM OR ART: With no phys-ed or art classes, students are left to watch movies, including “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “Fat Albert.”

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NO SPACE: Without enough space in the main brick building, kindergartners are taught in what sources say are rat-infested trailers.

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Principal Marcella Sills is a frequent no-show; The Post found she missed every day of school last week but one.Photo: J.C. Rice

And the principal — Marcella Sills, who joined PS 106 nine years ago — is a frequent no-show, sources say.

Sills did not come to school last Monday. On Tuesday, she showed up at 3:30 p.m.

On Wednesday, The Post found her at home in Westbury, LI, all day before emerging at 2:50 p.m. — school dismissal time. Wearing a fur coat, she took her BMW for a spin.

She showed up at school Thursday, but not Friday.

When Sills, 48, does go to work, it’s rarely before 11 a.m. — and often hours later, say sources familiar with her schedule.

“She strolls in whenever she wants,” one said.

The school hasn’t had a payroll secretary in years.

A Department of Education spokesman said Sills was required to report her absences and tardiness to District 27 Superintendent Michelle Lloyd-Bey but would not say whether Sills did so last week.

Lloyd-Bey did not return a call. Sills hung up on a reporter.

When she is out, an assistant principal is left in charge. Yet Sills, who gets a $128,207 salary, also pockets overtime pay — $2,900 for 83 hours in 2011, the latest available records show.

“This school is a complete s- -thole, but nobody in a position of power comes to investigate. No one cares,” a community member said.

PS 106 families hope their cries for attention bring newly installed Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to the rescue, saying they can’t recall any prior DOE leader visiting the remote school.

She would find it sinking, they say.

The isolated building sits a block and a half from the beach, surrounded by vacant, weed-choked lots, the road behind it strewn with trash bags and broken TVs.

The floods of Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 wrecked a hangar-like annex, called the Early Childhood Academy, which housed pre-K, kindergarten and first and second grades. It has not been repaired.

Two kindergarten classes moved into “temporary classroom units” in the yard. The other children moved into the main building, forcing some classes to squeeze into small offices and storage rooms. The pre-K class sits in the auditorium, but has to move to the cafeteria during the movies.

Kids in several grades said that last week they watched “Fat Albert,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “Monsters, Inc.,” but did not relish the downtime.

“I like gym. I like to draw,” said Charm Russell, 10, who added her peers are too restless and bored to watch the screen. “They’re always making noise, and there’s nothing entertaining going on. No art, no gym, no music class.”

More alarming, the teachers have gotten no curricula since Sandy. Last February, the DOE announced several new options, including “Go Math” for grades K-5, and “ReadyGen” or the state Education Department’s “Core Knowledge” for English language arts. The books cover the Common Core standards, skills that kids should master at each level.

But five months into the school year, PS 106 classes still don’t have the books or teacher’s guides.

“They have no reading program, no math program,” a source said, adding Sills blames outside administrators for not sending materials.

Teachers muddle through by printing out worksheets they find online, buying their own copy paper.

The DOE gave no explanation for the missing curricula but said it’s “working with the school to provide students with physical education.”

A spokesman denied the trailers are rat-infested.

Staffers won’t speak up or even file a grievance with their union because Sills will retaliate, a source said.

Parents wonder if higher-ups know what’s going on.

“Why don’t they get on them? I don’t understand that,” said Michael Moore, father of a second-grader.

Another father, Roland Legions, added. “They’re not doing right by the kids.”

One mom said she couldn’t get a meeting with Sills to discuss concerns. Another said Sills is “just not professional.”

“She should be here,” the mom said. “How is she going to run the school if she’s not here?”

PS 106 is allocated $2.9 million to serve a low-income population with 98 percent of its students eligible for free lunches. As a Title 1 school, it gets extra federal funds, but community members say they’ve never seen a budget tracking the income and spending.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 14 2014 at 5:09am

Worst principal finally shows up on time as probers descend

By Susan Edelman, Kevin Sheehan and Leonard Greene

January 13, 2014 | 12:15pm

“School of No” Principal Marcella Sills finally dragged herself into class on time Monday — sauntering through the doors at 7:30 a.m. in a bid to look good for investigators probing her failing and dilapidated PS 106.

“She hasn’t shown up that early in six or seven years,” a source said of the fur-clad boss of the Far Rockaway, Queens, school.

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Under fire for allegedly abandoning the school she’s supposed to run, principal Marcella Sills chose to wear an expensive fur coat on a day she knew investigators would be visiting.Photo: Wayne Carrington

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Deputy Schools Chancellor Dorita Gibson leaves PS 106 Monday, after a vist prompted by Post exposes documenting conditions there.Photo: Ellis Kaplan

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The school, located in Far Rockaway, has no art or gym classes, and students are frequently plopped in front of movie screens instead of learning.

Sills appeared to be scrambling like a failing student at finals time to put on a show for the city Department of Education probers who showed up following a series of Post exposés.

PS 106 earned its “School of No” moniker because, numerous school sources say, it has no gym, no art classes, kindergarten trailers that smell like animal urine and no reading, writing or math books for the rigorous Common Core curriculum.

Despite the squalor, Sills still forces parents — many of whom live below the poverty line — to cough up more than $200 to attend a bizarre, end-of-year prom in which fifth-graders must dress up like brides and grooms.

Also, sources say Sills frequently fails to attend work.

But on Monday, outraged insiders said she got to school early and staged a rare art class for visitors — and even managed to buy books at the last minute.

It’s not clear how well the principal’s last-minute whitewashing worked — but hours after the inspection the DOE’s new head issued a statement saying her office would be keeping a close eye on the school.

“There is significant room for organizational improvement,” Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña said. “But [Deputy Chancellor Dorita Gibson reported] that classrooms are orderly, teachers are dedicated, and students are learning. Going forward, I will have field staff at the school weekly to make sure those organizational changes occur.”

A school source said that during the visit, Sills looked “happy, like she doesn’t think there are any problems.”

After the school day ended, she left the building with her lawyer.

Dressed in a fur coat, sunglasses, a revealing short skirt and funky fur boots she looked as if she were headed to a nightclub as she climbed into her shiny red BMW X3 — which goes for a base price of $40,000 — and drove off.

“My client has no comment at this time,” her lawyer said.

PS 106’s terrible conditions drew a response from City Hall.

“The allegations in the paper were deeply troubling, and we’re not going to see our children not get the finest education,” Mayor de Blasio said. “Every school has to provide the best possible education.

So we’re going to take this investigation very seriously and then make decisions based on that.”

Additional reporting by Yoav Gonenand Bob Fredericks

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 14 2014 at 5:16am
Questioning the parents wouldn't be my first line of thought.
Though parents play a great part in the education of their children.
But no school should be like this no matter how terrible the parents are.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 14 2014 at 5:19am
I question any parent who drops their children off to that place.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 14 2014 at 8:29am

Principal Marcella Sills is a frequent no-show; The Post found she missed every day of school last week but one.Photo: J.C. Rice
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 14 2014 at 8:42am
What the hell. SMH.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 14 2014 at 10:47am
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 14 2014 at 10:48am
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 14 2014 at 10:50am

WTF!?

 

Worst principal forced poor kids to pay for bizarre bash

By Susan Edelman and Sean Piccoli

January 13, 2014 | 5:24am

Kids at Queens’ notorious “School of No” have been forced to pay for a bizarre fifth-grade party at which their principal makes them dress up as little brides and grooms, The Post has learned — as the DOE announced that it would probe conditions at the school.

PS 106’s fur-clad principal, Marcella Sills — who is known for frequently being absent — has for at least the past three years orchestrated an annual prom at a posh rental hall.

She has required parents to pay more than $110 per child for the shindig.

The girls must wear white wedding-type dresses, and the boys rent tuxedos with tails, sources told The Post.

The kids, many of whom live below the poverty line, must foot the bill for the strange get-ups, which Sills personally picks out at stores such as Men’s Wearhouse and David’s Bridal, parents and ex-teachers said.

Sills, meanwhile, sets herself up as the belle of the ball — donning her own long, white bridal-type gown for the event, which was held last June at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach. Last year’s strapless outfit came with elbow-length white gloves, photos show.

“It’s absurd,” said one former teacher at the crumbling Far Rockaway school.

“This is a school where children are given a free breakfast and free lunch, and you’re asking them to pay money for a lavish, unnecessary event.”

As the school put on a yearly formal ball, kids don’t have basic school necessities. “Some children didn’t have materials because their parents couldn’t afford them,” a former teacher said. “It was a struggle and a fight to get crayons, pencils and a notebook.”

Sills could not be reached for comment.

The school struggles to provide basic classroom supplies and actual instruction, said former teachers and students.

It became known as the “School of No” because it provides no gym, no art classes, no textbooks covering the Common Core standards and no proper nurse’s office.

Sources described PS 106 as dysfunctional, with rat-infested trailers for kindergarten classrooms and movies playing daily for all grades.

Sills often doesn’t show up, and is hours late when she does come in. Last week, she missed every school day but one. Nevertheless, she manages through fear and retaliation, sources said.

She cuts quite a figure, when she does appear. She arrives in a BMW wearing expensive fur coats. She makes a base $128,000 salary. “She’s evil,” former PS 106 teacher Patricia Walsh said. “She finds pleasure in ruining people’s lives.”

“She’s been getting away with it for years,” said Silaka Cox, an NYU freshman who graduated from PS 106 on Sills’ watch.

After reading The Post’s report on the school, schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña on Sunday announced an investigation into what she called “deeply troubling” revelations.

Fariña said she is sending her second-in-command, Deputy Chancellor Dorita Gibson, to the school Monday morning “to review the situation at PS 106 and determine what is going on there.”

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 14 2014 at 10:56am
I hope she pays for her crimes. She failed these kids. The teachers said thy feared retaliation from the principal. How did she become a principal? This is all insane.

Edited by GG - Jan 14 2014 at 11:05am
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