EPISD–summer program

This came in from Dan Wever:

When the EPISD Trustees have their Board Meetings the Agenda usually includes a “Consent Agenda.” This Consent agenda has items in it that many times the President of the Board and Superintendent who together make up the Board packet, put items that they do not really want to be brought before the public and discussed. Of course, any Trustee can ask that an item be removed from the Consent Agenda and placed on the regular agenda and discussed. At the April 18th Board meeting, a motion was made to approve the Consent Agenda as written and passed unanimously. This Consent Agenda had a few things in it that I believe the public would have had a great interest in and many questions should have been asked. Let me address the first one.
Purchases Requiring Board Approval

1. Purchase Appleton Summer Labs Learning Program Utilizing ESC Region 19 Allied States Cooperative Contract RFP #16-7200, Consulting, Staff Development and Related – (Budgeted State, Local and Federal Funds – $1,512,000.00)
(Summer Labs functions as a true extension of the school year by engaging students in a variety of educational experiences: application, reinforcement, and extension of skills and concepts taught during the school year; hands-on investigation of STEAM [Science, Technology, Engineering Arts, and Math] concepts; and the development of students’ communication, problem-solving, and teamwork skills)
Information of what this company (Appleton Learning) is going to do below. 
Information on Bid and Appleton Learning Summer Lab Program in EPISD material below. 

You will need to check out these two links as there is just too much information for me to put it all in this post. If we just limit our looking at information that was and is available on the EPISD website and was available in the board packet that all the trustees have at board meetings See if any of this information would have caused you to ask more questions if you had been aware of this Request for Proposal.
I was impressed that during this Summer Labs program “Students become experts on the theme of each week-long STEAM module as they deepen their knowledge through inquiry-based learning and interactive experimentation.” The Backup says that the Program operation timeline is from July 17-28, 2017. I hope we did not pay 1.5 million dollars for 11 days! Prior to this 11-day timeline, Appleton will set up and configure the childcare management software, which includes setting up all user accounts for program management staff and register students for student learning. Appleton will also MARKET their Summer School program to Students and their parents. ARE PARENTS AND STUDENTS BEING CHARGED TO GO TO THESE SCHOOLS? Appleton will hire and train EPISD teachers and other personnel on program management and implementation. The proposed costs of this Summer Labs Program is listed as follows. Notice the Administrative fees are 66% of what the Labor costs are supposed to be.

In the material presented in the EPISD board material by Appleton Learning, there are two options given. One of them pays teachers $35 per hour and the other which the figures below represent and were printed in the acceptance material show the teachers being paid $12 an hour.

Labor costs—————— —– $706,505.66
Administrative fees————- $467,586.72
Profits —————————— $151,200.00
Field Trips ————— ———- $58,800.00
Materials and Curriculum —– $124,980.00
Marketing——————— —— $2,927.60
Total Cost————————-$1,511,999.98

Just the information that was available during and before the EPISD board meeting should have raised enough questions to have a special board meeting, but not a question was asked by this RUBBER STAMP BOARD.

This whole deal looks more like a childcare exercise that anything to help our struggling students in summer school.

As you get away from the information available on EPISD web and go to Appleton Learning web and look at their programs you will find their Summer Labs program and it has many things that would be offensive to El Paso parents.

Example: If students are picked-up from Summer Labs after 12:15 PM (for students enrolled in the half-day morning program) and 6:00 PM (for students enrolled in the full day and half-day afternoon programs), then a late pick-up fee will be added to the account balance. At 12:16 PM and 6:01 PM, a $10 late pick-up fee will be added to the account balance. For every minute after 12:16 PM and 6:01 PM, an additional $1 late pick-up fee will be added to the account balance.

Also, this company handles all payroll and benefits of any employees

So, in conclusion, we are turning over 14 of our schools to a private company that has sold 6 franchises in Houston Texas and are paying them 1.5 million dollars to teach x number of students in their summer school program.
Is this why our board policies on school use were all changed recently to accommodate this company?

I think some questions should have been asked by Trustees!

11 Responses to EPISD–summer program

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hearing this has been cancelled. Can you confirm? If so, what’s happening with the $$$


  2. Dan Wever says:

    Got a call from a teacher today and she said that she was told that she could teach summer school for 3 or 4 weeks for $35 an hour if she would agree to teach for one day at $12 an hour. I told her it was probably this summer school deal from Alabama that we are paying 1.5 million dollars for something that I have no idea what it is. I asked Susie Byrd what was the story but she never got back to me.


    • Grateful Teacher says:

      I am a summer school teacher and will be paid $35 an hour to teach 3 weeks of 2nd Grade Reading and Math camps in June for 8 hours a day. From what I was told, I’ll be paid $11 an hour for setting up my classroom before summer school begins since I won’t actually be teaching students at that time. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me!


    • Of course. With EPISD, the School Board, ALL of THEM, it’s lie, deny, deceive, cover up, lie again . We TAXPAYERS deserve better, but THEY are what WE get. Maybe if WE gave THEM, Cabrera, Fennenbock another BILLION$$$ slush fund, they would feel the OBLIGATION to be more “open”, TRUTHFUL with the “Stupid, ignorant, TAXPAYPER peons”. Then again, probably not……………….Thought Dee Margo, others “Cleaned this up”?? Oh, the corruption is inherent at EPISD, almost forgot.


  3. With BILLIONS$$$$$ in their slush fund, A Superintendent that makes HALF-MILLION$$$ per year in salary, “benefits”, the corruption at EPISD is inherent. THEY do whatever THEY want with OUR money and nothing WE can do about it. The “solution”?? A permanent F.B.I., Texas Ranger Section at the EPISD and weekly arrests, Grand Juries, Indictments. Follow the Contracts, follow the spending, follow the money.


  4. Anon says:

    The names on the Board Agenda item are:
    Carmen Arrieta
    Tamekia Brown
    Troy Byrne
    Lynn Gill
    Diana Pena
    Ron Gatlin

    I think someone as smart as Dan could simply call any of these people and ask for a clarification or explanation or have them explain how things will be set up for this particular summer program. The people listed have phone numbers that are not secret.

    Reading through this material, it looks like this is an enrichment program, not a remediation program. Students that need remediation will probably go into other programs like the summer Kinder programs for ELL students that is required by state law.

    The district has purchased summer enrichment programs for years. I can think of Voyager Learning and the Dreams Academy as an example. These programs are not designed to help struggling students as far as I can tell.

    I think Dan is dealing in hyperbole when he says we are “turning over 14 of our schools.” EPISD didn’t “turn over” schools to the YWCA for the after school programs which lasted decades. They didn’t “turn over” schools to the New Tech network when they became part of the district programs. They didn’t “turn over” schools to Voyager.

    There are 26 awarded vendors on the Region 19 bid that is cited. Are all of them “taking over our schools?” It isn’t just EPISD that uses these vendors in our region.


    • Dan Wever says:

      This link is a Summer school program in Alabama. I am sure most of the rules and policies will remain the same for the EPISD.

      Anon, I see you are still drinking the Koolaid. Don’t you know that the more educator names they put on agenda items the less likely the (not so educated about education) trustees are to question anything about it and if they do they end up accepting the administration’s explanation very quickly?
      But let’s cut to the chase. Is this Summer school program that is costing 1.5 million tax dollars going to be available to all students in the EPISD? Will there be equal opportunity for any child to attend? In order to offer equal opportunity then the problem of transportation needs to be addressed. Will transportation be provided for students that live far away from the schools being used for this program? Is this just a babysitting service with a little STEM thrown in to make it more attractive?
      Why would any of the 1.5 million dollars be used to train EPISD teachers to work in this program when this company will control hiring, paying and benefits for its employees?
      And Anon, if any of the people whose names are on the Agenda item could explain to me what it is all about then maybe they could have explained to the trustees in writing so the public could share in their Transparency.


      • Anon says:

        Not drinking KoolAid at all, simply giving my opinion Dan, just like you. That is what blogs are all about. It’s all about discussion.

        In the time you took to write that big long entry, you could have picked up a phone and called anyone of those people for an answer to all your questions. Then you could have written about that as well.
        You still can call I suppose: I looked up their phones and emails just for you:

        Carmen Arrieta phone: 230-2801 email: carriet2@episd.org
        Tamekia Brown phone: 230-2366 email: tlbrown@episd.org
        Lynn Gill phone:230-2726 email: lagill@episd.org
        Diana Pena phone:230-2342 email: dxpena@episd.org
        Ron Gatlin phone: 230-3110 email: rcgatlin@episd.org

        Like they ask in Ghostbusters Dan, Who Ya Gonna Call?


        • Dan Wever says:

          Anon, you seem to have missed the main point of my post. No information was made available to the Trustees concerning the questions I raised as it was not in any backup material. Then, the agenda item was placed on the Consent Agenda and no information was given to the public about the program as it was OKed unanimously without comment. If the administration and the board president had wanted a complete explanation of the program it would have been presented but was not, therefore I feel they just wanted it to slip through, be paid for, and have another 1.5 million dollars leave El Paso in favour of an Alabama Company. I bet the Chamber of Commerce loves these types of EPISD out of State deals.


          • Reality Checker says:

            Don’t get confused. The Chamber doesn’t care about money leaving town as long as the local inner circle continues to thrive. That’s why you never hear the COC object to contracts going to firms out of town. It’s also why they are okay with local firms recruiting people from out of town when there are qualified candidates already living here.


  5. Common Sense says:

    If it doesn’t make sense, follow the money.


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