Tuesday, June 28, 2016

UPDATED! Fox C-6 Pay Scales and Raises Explained by Fox CFO

ARTICLE UPDATED at 6:00PM with information provided by Fox CFO John Brazeal

This evening, I received an email from Fox CFO John Brazeal informing me that my original article was inaccurate. Mr. Brazeal provided the following explanation so I could correct my inaccuracies informing me that I had been fooled by vocabulary word choices.

Thank you to Mr. Brazeal for providing the following detailed explanation as to how our district's pay scales work and what is currently being done to align our district's pay scale as our school district moves forward.

"There are 2 types of pay increases: (1) step increases, meaning moving up one step on the pay scale, and (2) cost-of-living increases, meaning adjusting all the wage or salary amounts on the pay scale.
The complaint of the person that sent you the email is not that she didn’t receive a step increase in pay rate, but rather that a cost-of-living adjustment was not applied to the pay schedule so that classified employees would receive both a step increase along with a cost-of-living increase. And yes, I did state that cost-of-living adjustment to the pay schedules are unlikely as long as there is no growth in district revenue. It was stated that eligible employees would continue to receive step increases. 
You should know that all employee groups are treated in similar fashion. For 2016-2017, none of the pay plans or pay schedules for any employee groups received a cost-of-living adjustment. In other words, the same pay schedules for 2015-2016 were renewed for 2016-2017 with the exception of a few changes, such as a decrease in the range for certain administrative positions and an increase in the pay range for school nurses. With the same pay plans in place, the following procedures applied to step increase movements for 2016-2017: 
Teachers that are not at top-of-scale on the teacher pay schedule will receive a step increase in pay in a range between 2.4% and 2.5% for 2016-2017. Teachers at the top-of-scale or above the top-of-scale on the teacher pay schedule will not have an increase in pay. 
Classified staff that are not at top-of-scale on the classified pay schedule will receive a step increase in pay. The classified staff within the first 15 steps of the schedule will receive an increase in pay ranging between 2.2% and 3.2%. Classified staff within the last 10 steps of the schedule will receive pay increases in the range of 0.5%. Classified staff at the top-of-scale or above the top-of-scale on the classified pay schedule will not have an increase in pay. 
Administrators that are within the first half of the pay range for their position received a 2.0% increase in pay. Administrators that are within the second half of the pay range for their position received a 1.0% increase in pay. Administrators that are at the top-of-scale or above the top-of-scale of the pay range for their position will not receive an increase in pay."

[Original Article Below Posted]
Concerns were brought to the attention of the school board, local news stations, the Leader, myself and JeffCo Penknife over the weekend via email regarding pay freezes for classified staff at Fox C-6.

Classified employees were told that they would not see a cost of living raise until the district gains back its integrity with the community at which that time the district would ask for tax money from the taxpayers to then be able to reward classified employees with a cost of living raise.

Facing a pay freeze and and increasing health insurance costs has been a concern for our district's classified employees (bus drivers, food service, maintenance workers, aides, etc.).

The concern from the employee / taxpayer to the Fox C-6 Board of Education was the fact that the Fox C-6 Board of Education voted to approve raises for administrators at the February 16, 2016 school board meeting for the 2016-2017 school year while classified employees (who make the lowest wages) in the district are on a pay freeze.

The board meeting agenda item 7.1 Administrator Contracts from the February 16, 2016 school board meeting has the 2016-2017 Administrator Salaries listed in the Administrator Modifications PDF document for the school board to approve.

From a transparency standpoint, the Administrator Modifications report that was provided to the school board and the public did not include the 2015-2016 administrator salaries. The Administrator Modifications report only listed the new salaries that become effective on July 1, 2016.

In the past, I recall seeing salary modifications reports provided to the school board that listed current salary and the new salary. It certainly makes it much easier to compare the amount of raises being given.

You can view the BoardDocs Agenda Item 7. 1 for Administrator Contracts from the February 16, 2016 BOE meeting and the Administrator Salary Modifications report using the links below.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Arnold-Imperial Leader Article titled "Bad bonds" about Fox's Bond Issue Fiasco!

An article in this week's Arnold-Imperial Leader covers the $18.5 million dollar bond issue that was approved by voters in August 2012 and documented as a serious problem in the May 2016 State Auditor's report.

The state auditor's report claims that Fox C-6 will spend an additional $5.6 million dollars in interest because of how the bonds were sold.

The article references former Fox C-6 Superintendent Dianne Critchlow's letter that explained how "all the stars aligned for the school district" when the district "earned" an extra $4.2 million dollars on our bond sale.

Voters approved an $18.5 million dollar bond issue in 2012, not a $22.7 million dollar bond issue.

On January 13, 2013, I wrote an article about a letter from former Fox C-6 Superintendent Dianne Critchlow that contained some of the phrases that were referenced in today's Arnold-Imperial Leader article about the 2012 Bond Issue.

Critchlow wrote in her letter that,
"the district earned almost 2.5 million dollars more than anticipated. This was fantastic news for our district. So much so, that we asked the building principals to put together additional lists of wants and needs for their respective schools due to the extra funding."

She went on to explain how it occurred. She wrote that,
"As much as we would like to predict the market, we can't. However, all the stars aligned (and the market) for the school district."

The letter was referenced in an alert that was posted on the district website letting the community know that plans to move the administration office have ceased.

You can read Critchlow's entire letter to the community using the link below:

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Breaking News! Fox C-6 State Audit to be Reviewed at June 14, 2016 School Board Meeting

Breaking News!

Tuesday June 14, 2016 Fox C-6 School Board Meeting will include a Review of the
May 2016 State Audit Report

The Fox C-6 School Board Meeting agenda for Tuesday June 14, 2016 was updated today to include a review of the May 2016 State Audit Report. The links below go to the Fox C-6 School District BoardDocs pages for the agenda items.

Fox C-6 received a rating of "POOR" on the May 2016 State Audit Report which is the lowest rating given by the state auditor's office.

A draft budget for the 2016-2017 school year is also included on the agenda.

Public Comments
Anyone wishing to make a Public Comment at the June 14, 2016 meeting must submit an outline of your remarks on the Public Comments Information form by 6:45PM.

A link to the policy for making Public Comments can be found on the Patrons Comments Agenda Item below or download the Public Comments Information form directly using the second link:

Friday, June 10, 2016

Former Superintendent Critchlow Asked Her Cabinet To Post Positive Comments About the District on TOPIX

Recently, I posted the handwritten notes former Fox C-6 assistant superintendents Tim Crutchley and Todd Scott wrote after their conversation with former Fox C-6 superintendent Dianne Critchlow in which she told them that her husband Jamie Critchlow had been posting comments on the TOPIX.COM website. As I mentioned in that post, getting the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth from some of Fox's former school district administrators had been a huge problem for years.

According to Tim Crutchley's deposition, former superintendent Dianne Critchlow had been concerned with comments that were being posted on TOPIX.COM for quite some time. Mr. Crutchley stated that comments on TOPIX were discussed quite often in their "cabinet" (assistant superintendent) meetings. In fact, she asked her "cabinet" (the assistant superintendents) to post positive comments on TOPIX about the school district in response to the comments that were critical of the district.

Former superintendent Dianne Critchlow's directive lead to some administrators posting comments on TOPIX.COM during the school day as well as at home. Not all of the comments posted were positive as you can see by reading the ones listed in the exhibits in the lawsuit that was filed with Jefferson County courts in November 2014.

Comments Posted On TOPIX from Fox's IP Address Date Back to 2010
Some of the earliest posts made on TOPIX that came from the school district's IP address date back to October 2010. They were made by a user named "Bullwinkle" who responded to a post that I had made on Topix regarding my concerns about the school district's open District Wide Compliance Review.

Former superintendent Dianne Brown was not happy that we had filed an OCR complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights in August 2008. And then in March 2010, Washington D.C. Office of Civil Rights informed superintendent Brown that her school district would be undergoing a District Wide Compliance Review adding insult to injury.

Making the public aware of the District Wide Compliance Review was something that former superintendent Dianne Brown didn't want. When I would ask the school board about it during public comments, Dianne would respond saying that it couldn't be discussed due to litigation. But, there was no litigation related to the Compliance Review. Stating that there was ongoing litigation was a simple way to make everyone believe that it couldn't be discussed. It was simply another tactic used to keep people from questioning things in the district. The District Wide Compliance Review was an investigation of the school district's Section 504 practices.

So, when a comment was posted on TOPIX by Bullwinkle referencing the recent Due Process decision for the OCR complaint, it was very obvious to me as to who would have posted that online comment. I just couldn't prove at the time that the comment came from a school district computer.

Dianne Brown and former assistant superintendent and Section 504 Coordinator, Dan Baker, had both been involved with the OCR complaint and Due Process Hearing as well as the District Wide Compliance Review in 2010 and were aware of the recent ruling.

So, when it was confirmed that Bullwinkle's comment that was posted on TOPIX.COM on November 16, 2010 came from a the school district's IP address, it helped validate my suspicions.

Below is part of Bullwinkle's comment that was posted on TOPIX. The comment seems to have a bit of an attitude resonating from it: 
"Channel person. You must be the disgruntled parents over the OCR case. get over it! you lost."
The Due Process Hearing ruling had made by an attorney who was hired by the school district and who just happened to be a former law associate in two different law firms of the attorney who represented the school district during the Due Process Hearing. The attorney hired by the district to hear the Due Process Hearing was supposed to be "Fair and Impartial" but that was not the case. That's just how the game has been played in our state for a very long time.

Bullwinkle also responded to another comment in which I had talked about speaking to Fox's school board president in 2008 about speaking to the school board and superintendent Brown blocked the school board from speaking to me. When superintendent Brown arrived at the meeting, she told me that the school board had already decided not to speak with me.

However, the board president at the time wasn't aware of this decision as we were already speaking about getting on next months agenda since he had forgotten to put me on the agenda for that evening. Apparently, superintendent Brown forgot to tell him that "he" had already decided not to speak with me. Superintendent Brown seemed to be the only person who knew that the school board had decided not to speak with me.

Bullwinkle didn't catch that my comment was about speaking with the board president in the fall of 2008. I guess being angered by information being posted in a public forum that had been kept quiet for so long was causing unrest in the upper ranks. My comment related to this incident caused Bullwinkle to post the following comment on TOPIX.COM:

11/16/2010 - 08:10AM
"The school board president is a female and has been president since early last spring you dip stick. 
Mr Critchlow, I will call you and we can start our own campaign against these crazy parents.. LOL Perhaps we can find them something to do at your school... hahahaaa"
Bullwinkle posted 5 comments on TOPIX.COM during October and November 2010. Several of Bullwinkle's online posts made "positive" comments about superintendent Brown and the school district. Bullwinkle certainly wanted to make sure that the community was aware of the great job that superintendent Brown was doing for our school district.

What helped confirm my suspicions that Bullwinkle was most likely superintendent Brown, was that the language and writing style used by Bullwinkle was strikingly similar to that found in the Superintendent Messages written by Superintendent Dianne Brown that she posted on the district website and also published in The Rock newspaper.

There was no doubt in my mind as to who Bullwinkle was who was posting on TOPIX defending superintendent Brown and responding to criticisms that were made on the Fox High School Superintendent thread.

Even though Bullwinkle didn't post that many messages, the phrases and keywords used by Bullwinkle gave you the impression that you were reading comments written by superintendent Dianne Brown herself.

Here are some of the phrases and keywords that stood out in Bullwinkle's comments. Compare the phrases to those used in Dianne Brown-Critchlow's Superintendent Messages from 2010 to 2013:
  • Kudos to you
  • second to none
  • I applaud
  • I'm proud of
  • positive attitude
Below are the comments posted on TOPIX by Bullwinkle in 2010 from the school district's IP address with the dates and local time that they were posted:

10/19/2010 - 9:51AM
This is obsurd. Those of you who are relishing in these rumors are worse than the rumors theirselves. Complete rubbish. I have two kids that graduated from the district. Couldnt be more impressed with their experience and education. I applaud the superintendent and all her efforts. Her personal life is exactly what it is. Hers...not yours! Get a life people!

In 2010 when the message above was posted, Dianne Brown did have two kids that had already graduated from the district.

11/05/2010 - 11:19AM
Who here has been divorced or has had a close friend or relative get divorced? Because your not a public figure does that give all of us the right to judge you/her? Nope dont think so. One thing thats a common factor here is about the kids. Do you think your children would be proud of you guys posting negative remarks about their teachers and administration? Think about that... 
I love humans nowadays. Collectively forming a cyber‐subpar lynch mob with nothing to do other than try to tear people down. 
As you judge others always keep in mind you too will be judged when your time comes. 
Im proud of the school district. Its teachers, faculty, administration and staff are second to none. Kudos to you guys!!! I know your doing everything you can to help our children succeed.
The next comment posted by Bullwinkle was quite intent on defending superintendent Brown who had been getting criticized online about her close relationship with Jamie Critchlow.

11/08/2010 - 10:33AM
"Dear unknowing fellow constituents,... 
I am amazed that any of you morality, podium pounding blabber‐mouths feel you have any right to judge. Do you know the superintendant or any of the people being accused on here? What are your facts? I'm sure you caught wind of a rumor and you took it to the highest level without knowing a damn bit of whats going on. Have you lived in her house? Have you been in her former marriage? Have you had her confide in you why she got a divorce? NO... you have not and don't kid yourself if you think you have a clue. This is where the term "hypocrite" applies. 

I know the parents and board hold her in high regard and have nothing but the utmost respect for her. And my opinion still remains the same. Get a life and find a positive place in your head to venture to. The world is crappy enough without this rubbish and your nonsense. Be a parent with a positive attitude...not a bad one."

11/16/2010 - 8:10AM
The school board president is a female and has been president since early last spring you dip stick. Again...more lies to harm others. 
Mr Critchlow, I will call you and we can start our own campaign against these crazy parents..LOL Perhaps we can find them something to do at your school...hahahaaa

Below is the complete post that was made by Bullwinkle in response to my comment about the District Wide Compliance Review being conducted by OCR. In that same post, Bullwinkle also responded to another person who used the screen name "Please" which was not me:

11/16/2010 - 10:03AM
Channel person. You must be the disgruntled parents over the OCR case. get over it! you lost. 
"Please" You are correct in that affairs in the work place are frowned upon and Im sure Paul would agree with you. However, making accusations without proof is slander and you, my friend, are crossing the line repetitely. You lose. get over it! 
Put your name out there like Mr Critchlow did. Hes being ripped on here too and I applaud him for his righteousness.

Bullwinkle certainly thought highly of former Fox C-6 superintendent Dianne Brown back then and also thought that the school board held "her in high regard". Bullwinkle's comments certainly had a familiar ring to them.

I wrote an article about this in July 2014 titled:

What Got Our Educators Riled Enough To Write Defamatory Comments?

Comments Posted From District and Home Computers and Cell Phones
If you read through the exhibits in the publicly available lawsuit, you will see date / time stamps and an IP address recorded for each post. The school districts IP address was documented by MOREnet. Other IP addresses that were traced back to individual homes and cell phones were verified by the respective Internet Service Providers.

You'll probably notice that not all of the posts made on TOPIX that were traced back to the school district or to the homes or phones of school district administrators were "positive" posts.

The dates and times in the exhibits from TOPIX.COM are in Pacific Standard Time. So, you must to add 2 hours to the times that are documented in military time in the exhibits. The text of the lawsuit didn't properly document the times when they were converted from the exhibits into the lawsuit text.

Did Jamie Critchlow Use a School District Computer to post comments?
In Tim Crutchley's notes of his conversation with Jamie Critchlow, Mr. Crutchley documented that Mr. Critchlow didn't use any district computers when he posted comments on TOPIX.COM, "We asked if he used personal or district computers and he said he used personal computer."

Did Mr. Critchlow tell the truth when he told Mr. Crutchley that he didn't use a district computer?

On November 16, 2010 at 7:49AM, there was a comment posted on TOPIX by someone using the screen name, "Jamie Matthew Critchlow". The online post was removed from TOPIX long ago but was provided by TOPIX when subpoenaed since it originated from the school district's IP address.

The original comment posted by the screen name, Jamie Matthew Critchlow was as follows except that I redacted part of the phone number that was made in the original online post and in the lawsuit exhibits:
Public...let me introduce myself. I am Jamie Critchlow. Principal of the Bridges program at Fox C‐6. I have been made aware of this website and rumors as of late. I am on here to speak to you as a concerned parent. I am truly apathetic for anyone who finds comfort in these negative words. Dr Brown and I are great friends who have found solitude in each others friendship through difficult times. The light in which both she and i have been shed on this website is at best ridiculous. If you have any questions you would like to ask please call my personal cell at 314‐775‐XXXX.
Read through the TOPIX.COM posts that are documented in the lawsuit that was filed electronically in the Jefferson County courts in November 2014. You can see just how many comments were made on TOPIX from the school district's IP address. The district said they were unable to trace which specific computers the posts came from when asked to do so. However, there's a definite pattern in the content that goes along with certain screen names in many of the online comments.

Hopefully reading through the online comments will give everyone a little more perspective as to why I've put so much time and effort into documenting what was going on in our school district. It's important to get the facts and the truth to the public so this type of behavior never happens again in our school district.

Fox's former superintendent, Dianne Brown/Critchlow invested a lot of time and effort into hiding information from the public for years. That allowed her to get away with a lot of things that never should have happened. It's very well documented in my emails to board members and administrators as well as audio recordings that I made when I attended school board meetings as to what was going on.

It's extremely hard for anyone to even imagine that this sort of harassment could or would occur especially since it was being done by some of the top administrators in our school district.

It's even harder to imagine that our Fox C-6 school board members did nothing to stop it. I repeatedly spoke to them and emailed them about this harassment for years.

In 2014 after obtaining IP addresses, we provided the lawsuit information to the Office of Civil Rights since this sort of behavior would surely be considered retaliation under Section 504 Law. However, the Office for Civil Rights told us they couldn't do anything until there was a court ruling. We also spoke to the Department of Justice as well.

There's a huge problem with the system and the people involved when this type of harassment cannot be stopped. Perhaps this will be a lesson that everyone will learn from.

The following document contains all of the online posts that were submitted in the original lawsuit along with the locations that the online posts were made from. Reading through the online comments that were posted and from where shows is a very sad example of how desperate people were to keep their jobs as I brought my concerns to our school board that our superintendent did not appreciate.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

May 27, 2014 - Critchlow Tells Crutchley and Scott That Her Husband Was Posting on TOPIX.COM

I'm glad to see that the Fox C-6 community is finally questioning all of those denials of wrong doing over the years by former Fox C-6 superintendent Dianne Brown-Critchlow.

Telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth was a huge problem for some of Fox's school district during the Dianne Brown / Dianne Critchlow Era of our school district.

Seeing some of the comments posted by parents, taxpayers and students on some of the news sites and Facebook helps validate years of work spent chasing down and documenting the corruption going on in our district as school board members turned a blind eye.

Below is a link to a few pages of notes written by former assistant superintendent Tim Crutchley and former assistant superintendent Todd Scott on May 25, 2014 soon after Dianne Critchlow informed them that she knew that her husband Jamie Critchlow had been making posts on TOPIX.COM. Dianne met with Tim Crutchley and Todd Scott shortly after the Post Dispatch newspaper published a story about the internet scandal lawsuit.

Their notes aren't very detailed. But, I thought it would be helpful for the community to get a glimpse at some of the things that were going on behind the scenes two years ago.

It's hard to believe that it's already been two years since the internet scandal broke things loose for the school district. It wasn't long after the internet scandal, that the credit card spending scandal hit the news. What a crazy time it was!

While Dianne Brown-Critchlow was touting Fox as being a National District of Character, she was busy padding her pockets and using district credit cards to pay for red light tickets and meals as well as purchase logging tongs, cameras and softball equipment on Amazon.com.

As documented in Tim Crutchley's hand written notes, Dianne Critchlow asked Tim Crutchley and Todd Scott to tell the board  "about her wanting to to retire right away and that she has gotten bad health news and was going on FMLA right away. She also wanted us to get board to move Jamie's retirement up right away because of her health concerns."

I'm betting that Dianne Critchlow didn't feel too well after being contacted by her Internet Service Provider and being told that their IP information was being requested for a lawsuit.