Misappropriate behavior by Stallbrook Elementry School Principle
Posted in the Bellingham Forum
#1 Oct 1, 2009
Anyone hear of a petition meeting tomorrow 10/2/2009 at Barnes and Noble bookstore to discuss Stallbrook Elementry school principle Helen Chamedes?
Aparently the principle, Helen, is on a crusade to punish entire classes at Stallbrook elementry school for underperforming on last years MCAS tests.
It seems unbelievable that entire classes are being denied recess because they underperformed on a state test - when the group scores should refelect more on the teaching staff rather that entire groups of students.
#2 Oct 3, 2009
I am sick and tired of Helen Chamides belittling my son. This has gone on for years and before every one thinks that these accusations are coming to us second or third hand from our children everyone should understand that Helen has been telling us parents, face to face, that our children are "underperformers", "a bad class" and "encouragable".
My Husband works for the Massachusetts correctional institution and the prisoners get treated better than the stallbrook pricipal treats the students.
This situation needs to be corrected immediatly.
#3 Oct 6, 2009
Update - Update.
A new meeting is scheduled this week by Helen Chamides at Stallbrook Elementry school, on Thursday night at 7PM, to set us parents straight on the situation.
"The class of underperformers" (Helen's words) were called in for a speach in the auditorium where they were instructed that the bellitiling speach and denied recess was a misunderstanding on their part.
I wonder... If the priciple's incognito husband will be there for Thursdays parents meeting as he was for last Thursdays meeting at B&N??
#4 Oct 7, 2009
Please provide updates after the meeting, would love to know how this turns out.
#5 Oct 7, 2009
I really hope every parent in the school gets involved. These are our children, more people
need to voice their opinion. Helen bullies everyone in the school. If you sit back and don't say anything than nothing will never change. Look at the test scores they say it all. South and Macey did great, Sorry Helen I think your time is up our children deserve more.
#6 Oct 7, 2009
Can't make Helen's meeting hopefully someone will post how it goes.
#7 Oct 7, 2009
As we are all well aware the internet has become a way of communicating. With that said I would like to take this oportunity to address the current academic status at Stall Brook Elementary in Bellingham. As we all recently received the results of the MCAS scores I know I'm not alone in the disappointment of how our school ranked last in the district and I believe we ranked somewhere around the 700 mark for the state. As parents we need to bring to Superintendent Fischer's attention why is it that Macy and South Elementary ranked better than Stall Brook? What are they doing different than us? Why is it that in some grades the curriculum is not the same across the board. It's understandable that different teachers have a different manner of teaching however shouldn't they be teaching the same curiculum for that grade.
On another note, recent inappropriate behavior by Principal Chamides directed at the fourth grade class where she told the children they were unteachable and belittled them for poor test scores. As we are all well aware this is not the first time she has displayed inappropriate behavior, and it's not just with the students, its with her staff and with parents. It is not a healthy environment.
I for one want change in our school both in academics and in the environment in which our children spend most of their days. In these troubled times we live in our children have so much peer pressure that they deal with that the last thing they need is someone who puts them down and causes them to have low self esteem issues. There is enough bullying going on in the school that nothing is being done about other than students occassionaly loosing recess. People need to be accountable for their actions and know that the choices they make today have consequences tomorrow.
Superintendent Fischer needs to implement change in our school because the days of shoving issues under the rug are over and things need to change for the better not only for our school but our town as well. Because the schools status will reflect poorly on the town also.
Parents the days of doing nothing and hoping they will change or waiting for someone else to do something are over too. We all have a voice we need to band together to advacate for our children because to do nothing I feel we fail as parents.
These are my opinions and I'm sure not everyone may feel the way I do but my hope is that if you do agree please help to make change happen whether you post a blog, attend meetings or write letters to the Superintendent. With a group effort I know we can accomplish what's needed to improve our school.
#8 Oct 8, 2009
I am happy to finally see a forum where the concerned parents and we know who we are can constructively post and the parents that cannot be bothered and you know who you are, can read what is going on! I have been dealing with Helens actions and reactions which have been less than conducive to a positive learning environment for years and personally I am tired of her lame after the fact(when she has been caught or called on because of her actions) so called apologies. Her treatment towards the 4th grade class is and has been abusive since the children were in 1st grade. We as parents have tried to be involved in the school to assist in the classrooms only to have the doors slammed in our face. I am not willing to just sit back and watch what should be a positive last year in elementary school turn out to be a disaster. This is the time to teach and prepare them for the future and build their confidence not tear up the last shred of pride and self esteem.. Thanks to the honesty of our children and the tireless dedication of a group of parents we are finally working together to better the school educationally and socially! These children that Helen so casually calls underachievers, uneducated and incorrigible are the future and deserve better than her and the substandard education they are receiving!
I am going to attend tonights meeting and I am curious to see how Helen addresses this.
I would strongly encourage all parents to attend.
#9 Oct 8, 2009
I believe that Helen should have been asked to leave Stall Brook a very long time ago. She has no business working with kids. It's time for her to move on and I think the Superintendent needs to make that happen. The woman does not have a good reputation so why keep her there? If all of these parents have been complaining about her for years, and the MCAS scores are low, then NOW is the time to do something.
As for the meeting tonight...what is Helen trying to accomplish? The damage is done! She can't go back and fix it.
To all of you 4th grade parents out there...Keep up with the good work!! It is the grades below you that will be thanking you forever!:)
#10 Oct 8, 2009
Finally, it seems that everyone is getting on the same page that it isn't only about the fourth graders of this year but those that have gone one before and are now struggling in middle school and those little ones who are still so impressionable that still have a chance if we make the necessary changes going forward. The time is now let's do this right for all the kids!
#11 Oct 8, 2009
Well Well. I am sure everyone wants to know how it went so where to begin...
In attendance were about 18 concerned parents, Principle Helen Chamides (PHC) and Superintendent David Fischer.
PHC led the meeting off and this is where I must diverge. Some of PHC's comments didn't make much sense so I made some notes and had her statements translated by my Walnut Tree (WNT). Ah yes, you see I sometimes stand out in the cold and rest my weary brow on my WNT hoping for some infinite wisdom, so this is where I had my notes translated.
PHC led off by stating that she was angry when she spoke to the entire fourth grade as a class. PHC stated that "It doesn't matter what I said. What matters is the childrens perception"
WNT transaltion "She's a tough nut but she'll crack"
PHC "I think that the stress in the third grade had a negative affect on the students"
WNT translation "stress will drive you nuts"
PHC "I do math tutoring and recess and lunch duty on Fridays"
WNT translation "she's a well rounded nut"
PHC "stallbrook has a new psychologist this year"
WNT translation "PHC will need this if she is to keep from going nuts"
PHC "we will be bringing in a consultant and using title 1 funds for creative writing IE a retired teacher"
WNT translation "title 1 funds can buy you some more nuts"
PHC "They - the teachers have to address the MCAS data in their professional development"
WNT translation "No shit the woman is nuts take it from the tree. This is the only statement that had an intteligent translation, she was just stating the obvious."
In the end PHC got angry, cracked and stormed out.
Superintendent David Fischer had some encouraging things to say and was overall very inspiring. The parents encouraged him to impart this hopeful wisdom on PHC and the rest of the Stallbrook teaching staff.
#12 Oct 8, 2009
Translation please was anything accomplished other than PHC showing her true colors in front of Superintendent Fischer?
#13 Oct 8, 2009
Please feel free to join this group so we can continue to discuss how we are going to make sure changes are implemented.
It's very important that we make sure parents understand that this is a SCHOOL WIDE issue, not just a 4th grade one. We understand that you might feel nervous speaking out about Mrs. Chamides, but we assure you, we aren't going about this as a "witch hunt", but as a means to make sure that our children are getting the best education possible in a HEALTHY environment. We welcome comments from ALL parents, regardless of whether they are positive or negative feedback.
Please keep in mind, it really does take a village to raise a child and while we are fighting for the best interest of our own children, we're also fighting to make it a better school for future children.
Please...please...please, take an active role in your child's education and in your town by joining the page and sharing your thoughts, concerns or suggestions.
#14 Oct 9, 2009
I find it very interesting that parents are blaming the principal (spelled with an "al" at the end, not "le") and staff for their children doing poorly on MCAS. Just read the previous posts and you will realize why students are doing badly. You will find poor spelling, incorrect grammar usage, and overall ignorant comments from their parents. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, folks. If you want your children to do well in school, make education a priority at home. In addition, Stall Brook led in many MCAS areas prior to last year's 3rd graders taking the test.
#15 Oct 9, 2009
Many of us are not blaming the principal for the poor MCAS scores, in fact, we're blaming the district for the lack of teachers in the elementary schools. This particular group of students have been grouped into two classrooms since their arrival at the school and unfortunately, the class sizes are too large to properly educate the children. Add to this, a few children who have behavior problems, and what you end up with is a large group of children who are not falling through the cracks.
I'm not sure if you're a Stall Brook parent or not, but the other issues that we are dealing with are actually a little more important to most of us at the moment and that would have to be the way that she treats the children, and dare I say, the parents and staff, with a complete and utter lack of respect.
During the meeting last night, this behavior was brought to her attention, and while she admitted that she was wrong to "flip out" on the kids two weeks ago, she also commented that she "rarely ever gets angry", which is a complete lie.
Our children deserve the best education that we can give to them and they need to be around people who are actually interested in teaching them and interacting with them. Helen is NOT that person at this moment.
#16 Oct 9, 2009
*This particular group of students HAS been...
#17 Oct 9, 2009
The approach to this issue is not productive. While I understand that parents are concerned, the way to actually accomplish something is to be on the same team instead of scapegoating a principal, teachers, or parents. We need to work together to help solve the problem of the MCAS, as well as any other issues that might come up. Since it's installment, educators have been forced to teach directly toward passing the MCAS, when children might actually be getting a better education if they did not have to do so. Rather than criticism of the school and school personnel, wouldn't it be more productive to find out what YOU can do to support the school personnel?
Here's a paraphrase of an article in the MTA that might put things into perspective:
After being interviewed by the school administration, the school teacher said, "Let me see if I have this right. You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their t -shirt messages, and instill in them a love for learning. You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self-esteem and personal pride. You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook, and apply for a job. You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behavior, and make sure that they pass all of the exams. You also want me to provide them with an equal education, regardless of all their challenges, and communicate regularly with their parents in English, Spanish, or any other language by letter, telephone, news letter, and report card. You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few big books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps". It goes on, but you get the picture. Educators are not miracle workers. They are fellow human beings doing the best that they can with the resources at their disposal. Be supportive, not cruelly critical. Ask yourself, "Have I done anything besides complain? Are there ways that I could enhance my child's education by my actions?" Remember, it's all about the kids.
#18 Oct 9, 2009
A productive approach to this issue would have occured if it was properly addressed years ago. A similar public meeting was held to address similar concerns with how this class was being treated in 2007, but the labeling of our children as a group persists.
The person being scapegoated is Helen Chamides. Helen is the Principal of Stallbrook elementry school in Bellingham Ma. Helen effectively scapegoated the entire fourth grade class. This had the direct affect of stressing our children out and making them feel as if they did not want to go to school due to the way in which they were being treated by the staff at the Stallbrook Elementry School.
I am a taxpayer in Bellingham and as Superintendant David Fischer stated "you teach children through providing Excellent Instruction". That simply isn't happening with Helen's current behavior.
I hope you find my spelling and prose up to par. I pride myself on Excellent Parenting and academically ecouraging my children. I hope that my childrens ability to see beyond the flaws in the Stallbrook education institution - results in the Apple falling close to the tree. Some mispelling and poor gramar does not make for a bad apple.
#20 Oct 9, 2009
I know some of the bloggers can spell G.E.D.
Some of you need to know what spelling is. Spelling is the writing of a word or words with the necessary letters and diacritics present in an accepted standard order. It is one of the elements of orthography and a prescriptive element of alphabetic languages. Most spellings attempt to approximate a transcribing of the sounds of the language into alphabetic letters; however, completely phonetic spellings are often the exception, due to drifts in pronunciations over time and irregular spellings adopted through common usage.
#21 Oct 9, 2009
I can't believe that parents are acting this way.
This would never happen in Holden.
The blame is with your kids!
Back in 1981 my son came home with a 62 on a test. I punished him & blamed him.
I would never blame a teacher for not doing her job.
All you young parents point the finger and never blame yourself & your kids.
Thank God your not my neighbors..
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