UPDATE: Several parents and stakeholders addressed the Board of Education during the public comment period. They express their concerns regarding this situation.
UPDATE: Principal sends out generic robocall regarding PTA meeting scheduled for Thursday, November 3 2011. As indicated below, this is a special meeting that was scheduled to address questions and concerns regarding the Assistant Principal situation at Trinity Elementary School.
UPDATE:The New Rochelle Board of Education will meet tonight at 7 PM at City Hall where the Illegal Hiring of the Trinity Assistant Principal will be addressed.
This weekend, a group of Trinity Elementary School Stakeholders met to discuss the recent recent letter drafted by the Superintendent of Schools, Richard Organisciak and the President of the Board of Education regarding the issue of the Assistant Principal at Trinity Elementary School. This group believes that it is important for as many Trinity stakeholders as possible to let the members of the New Rochelle Board of Education know how dissatisfied they are with what has transpired the past week.
Important Update 10/31/2011:
From: Trinity School PTA <firstname.lastname@example.org>Subject: Special Trinity PTA Meeting on Nov. 3–Reunión especial de la PTA de Trinity el 3 de nov.Date: October 31, 2011 10:18:29 PM EDTTo: undisclosed-recipients: ;Dear Trinity Families:
There will be special general PTA meeting this Thursday, November 3 at 7pm at Trinity School to address questions and concerns regarding the recent resignation of Mrs. Nadine Pacheco. A number of parents have expressed that they still have questions and have requested a meeting from the Board of Education and the Superintendent of Schools. Both, the Board of Education President, Chrisanne Petrone and Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Jeffrey Korostoff, will be at the meeting to address questions and concerns.
We also would like to remind you that there will be a Board of Education meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 at 7:00 PM at City Hall. You may also address the full Board of Education and the Superintendent of Schools during the public comment session of this meeting.
Estimadas Familias de Trinity:
Este jueves 3 de noviembre a las 7pm habrá una reunión especial de la PTA para discutir las preguntas y preocupaciones que tengan sobre la reciente renuncia de la Sra. Nadine Pacheco. Varios padres han expresado que aún tienen preguntas y han solicitado una reunión con la Junta Directiva y el Superintendente de Escuelas. Ambos, Chrisanne Petrone, presidenta de la Junta Directiva y el Dr. Jeffrey Korostoff, Asistente Superintendente estarán presentes en la reunión para contestar sus preguntas y preocupaciones.
También queremos recordarles que mañana, martes 1 de noviembre a las 7pm habrá una reunión de la Junta Directiva en City Hall. Usted también puede asistir a esta reunión y hablar frente a la Junta Directiva y el Superintendente de Escuelas durante la sesión de comentarios públicos de esta reunión.
—Sincerely/Atentamente,Trinity School PTA
Letter from Board President and Superintendent of School:
October 28, 2011
To the Members of the Trinity School Community:
We apologize for the manner in which the recent resignation of the Assistant Principal at Trinity Elementary School was communicated. We hope that this letter will clarify and address any remaining concerns.
We have recently learned that, in the fall of 2009, Assistant Principal, Nadine Pacheco, realized and indicated to our Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources that her provisional School Administrator and Supervisor (SAS) administrative certificate had expired. Mrs. Pacheco was advised that as long as she enrolled in a School Building Leader (SBL) certification program, she would be able to continue in her position. We now understand that this advice was not correct.
In early October, recently appointed Assistant to the Superintendent for Human Resources, Reza Kolahifar, was made aware of the fact that Mrs. Pacheco’s provisional certificate had expired and that being enrolled in a SBL program was not sufficient. Mr. Kolahifar immediately brought it to the attention of the Superintendent of Schools.
Mr. Organisciak met with Mr. Kolahifar, Principal Rolando Briceno, and Mrs. Pacheco and, after again verifying that she lacked the current certification, requested her resignation as Assistant Principal. Within two days, she delivered her resignation letter. It is our belief that Mrs. Pacheco’s performance in a school leadership role over the past four years and maintaining administrative stability should be the major determinants in how best to proceed. Accordingly, it has been recommended to the Board that they accept Mrs. Pacheco’s resignation as the Assistant Principal of Trinity School. It has also been recommended that Mrs. Pacheco be able to continue to serve at Trinity School in a teacher role, for which she possesses permanent certification, and temporarily maintain those leadership functions which she can be assigned in the capacity of a teacher. These would include: program development, providing professional development support to staff, student management, and handling matters related to students and their families. Without appropriate administrative certification, Mrs. Pacheco cannot formally observe and evaluate staff and, as a result, additional supervisory support will be needed. In the coming weeks, we will decide how best to provide this support and further discuss this temporary course of action.
Finally, we believe it is important to mention that until the Board of Education and administration had the opportunity to review this matter, specific details could not be discussed. We hope this answers your questions and provides a measure of reassurance of our commitment to the Trinity School community. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Superintendent directly at 914-576-4200 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Chrisanne M. Petrone Richard Organisciak President of the Board of Education Superintendent of Schools
Responses from stakeholders: Although omitted for posting purposes, all correspondence was signed by their authors.
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October 30, 2011
Dear Ms. Petrone and Mr. Organisciak,
On October 24th, the Trinity Community was hastily notified of the resignation of the Assistant Principal for personal reasons, as well as the fact that she would be continuing on at the school in a teaching capacity. Many concerned parents have communicated their displeasure with the situation, as well as the fact that they were aware of the misrepresentations of the notification. During this time, it would appear that Mrs. Pacheco was continuing to perform the same duties she had prior to her resignation and reassignment. Our concerns were not immediately addressed and – in fact – on at least one occasion, the building was left without an administrator on site for at least an hour. When questioned about who was in charge of the building in case of an emergency situation, no staff member had been made aware of a contingency plan.
On Friday, October 28th, Trinity parents received an additional message from Principal Briceño, directing us to the school website for the district’s response. This response failed to add clarity to the situation concerning the resignation of former Assistant Principal, Nadine Pacheco. Moreover, it has created an entirely new set of questions and concerns. In the interest of transparency, we would like responses to the following questions:
● Who was involved and had direct knowledge of the conversation in which Mrs. Pacheco was advised that as long as she enrolled in a School Building Leader (SBL) certification program, she would be able to continue in her position?
● Was the New York State Education Department contacted to verify the accuracy of this advice? When? Since school districts are required to submit Basic Educational Data Systems (BEDS) annual reports verifying certification status of school employees, what has been reported on Mrs. Pacheco’s BEDS form since 2007?
● Who made Mr. Kolahifar aware of the fact that Mrs. Pacheco’s provisional SAS certificate had expired and that being enrolled in a SBL program was not sufficient? On what exact date was he made aware? Are there supporting documents to this effect?
● Who was involved in the decision to hire Mrs. Pacheco in 2007 and subsequently promote her to Assistant Principal in 2009? Can the school district produce a copy of Mrs. Pacheco expired certification?
● How does the New Rochelle School District typically verify administrative/ teacher credentials? What has happened to other employees who have been deficient in their certifications?
● The letter from Mrs. Petrone and Mr. Organisciak states that Mrs. Pacheco offered her resignation two days after the meeting with her and the superintendent of schools, Richard Organisciak. According to the board resolution 12-153-4, Mrs. Pacheco’s resignation was effective as of October 14, 2011. Parents received a call from the Trinity building principal informing them of said resignation on the evening of October 24th. Why did it take over 10 days for parents to be informed about the resignation? If the Board of Education was not ready to address the issue properly, why was the resignation misrepresented as a “personal matter” rather than “personnel issue?” Why did it take an additional week for the district to respond to the communities’ concerns?
● Since Trinity has been without an Assistant Principal for the past two weeks, what plan has been put in place to address the supervisory duties that the former assistant principal is not certified to perform?
● The letter states that in the coming weeks a decision will be made about supervisory support. Why is it taking weeks to decide how best to provide a temporary course of action? Why was this not an ongoing discussion since the realization of the situation and the request for Mrs. Pacheco’s resignation?
● In your letter you state, until the Board of Education and Administration had the opportunity to review this matter, specific details could not be discussed. When exactly did the Board of Education and Administration meet to review this matter?
● Would the Board of Education and Mr. Organisciak be willing to meet with members of the Trinity School community to openly address the lingering questions and concerns?
This matter continues to be of utmost importance to the families of Trinity School. We as adults still have questions and our children are asking questions of their own, many that we do not have the information to adequately respond to. We ask that you evaluate the inadequacy of your response and rectify the situation as soon as possible. The stability of Trinity School depends upon open communication and honesty by this administration and the Board.
Sent: Sunday, October 30, 2011 9:07 PM To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com Subject: Mrs. Nadine Pacheco
Dear Principal Rolando Briceno, Superintendent Richard Organisciak, President of Board of Education Chrisanne Petrone,
I’m writing because I am a Mother at Trinity Elementary School and I am very concerned by what I have learned of Mrs. Nadine Pacheco. I hope Mrs. Pacheco is ok. I was originally so worried she might be ill. Mrs. Pacheco has always been good to the children. I’m writing to you because you are on the letters. I do not understand what has happened? I received your telephone call Mr. Briceno but I mistakenly kept going to the district website, my apologies. How can it happen that an Administrator does not have their proper certification? Did anyone check? Did you know about this Mr. Briceno before you left your earlier message that Mrs. Pacheco was resigning because of personal matters. My family and I were very worried for her. Thank you Superintendent Organisciak and President Petrone for your letters. I still have questions. Will you be at the next PTA meeting to help parents with questions?
On another note, Mr. Briecno it was very sad to see that you could not be the cat at our Halloween party. My children always look forward to seeing the cat at the party. I hope the cat can be at our next party.
Date: Sun, Oct 30, 2011 at 8:15 PM Subject: Trinity Elementary School in New Rochelle Administration Certificates To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, LatimeG@assembly.state.ny.us, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Principal Briceno, Superintendent Dr. Organisciak, and the Board of Education:
On Friday evening at 7:30PM, Principal Briceno sent a connect ed message instructing families to go to the NRED website, the wrong website (and a seeming misleading intent), with the expectation to find, download, and read letters from School Superintendent Dr. Organisciak, President of the Board of Education Mrs. Petrone, and Former Assistant Principal Mrs. Pacheco. This process caused difficulty in finding the letters and was confusing. Also, the telephone call came during the Fall Festival, which many families attended, ensuring people did not get the call. Once the letters were correctly located, at the trinity.nred.org site, they brought up more questions than answers.
The letter from Superintendent Dr. Organisciak and President of the Board of Education indicates that recent retiree, former Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, is to blame for improper advice to former Assistant Principal Mrs. Pacheco. Is there documentation to support this? Mrs. Pacheco mentioned in her letter that “she had no recollection her license had expired and in a conversation with Principal Mr. Briceno in the Fall of 2009 questioned why she had not received the same certificate that he had received.” Did Principal Briceno follow through with proper channels checking to see if his employee was properly certified? Yearly, school districts must submit Basic Educational Data Systems reports verifying certificate status of school employees. Who is responsible for the filing? Does the Principal receive a copy? Yearly, what has been reported on former Assistant Principal Mrs. Pacheco’s report?
The letter from Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Organisciak and President of the Board of Education mentions additional supervisory support is needed at Trinity. Does this mean there will be a posting for the position of Assistant Principal? Also, there was mention that, “In the coming weeks, we will decide how best to provide this support and further discuss this temporary course of action.” Is it the intent to fill the Assistant Principal position in a temporary capacity giving former Assistant Principal time to get properly certified? Have certifications for other Administrators/Teachers expired in the past? If so, what was the district policy then? What happened to anyone involved?
Why did Principal Briceno mislead the Trinity Community through his initial connect ed message that stated former Assistant Principal, Mrs. Pacheco was resigning due to a personal matter? This was completely false. Teacher/Administrators Certification is a matter of public record. With that said, what did the Board of Education and the Administration have to review and why could details of a matter that is public record not be discuss with the Community? When can the community expect transparency? When will open meeting been set where the community can ask questions and get answers?
Dear Commissioner King:
I am a parent at Trinity Elementary School in New Rochelle, NY. The School Administrator and School Officials are not being truthful with the Trinity Community in regard to the resignation of Ms. Nadine Pacheco, former Assistant Principal. Please address the situation.
Date: Sun, Oct 30, 2011 at 1:51 PM Subject: Fw: Re: Untruthful Resignation of former Assistant Principal, Nadine Pacheco, Trinity Elementary School To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, LatimeG@assembly.state.ny.us, email@example.com
Dear Members of the Board of Education, Dr. Organisciak, Dr. Korostoff and Mr. Briceno:
My family and I received a connect ed message at 7:30 PM Friday evening from Principal Briceno. The message instructed families to go to the Trinity website to read letters from Dr. Organisaciak, Superintendent of Schools, Mrs. Petrone, President of the Board of Education, and Mrs. Pacheco, Former Assistant Principal. The manner in which information has been disseminated to the Community has created more questions. The letters speak of clarity and addressing remaining concerns however it lacks answers to questions. FACTS: Person Inquiry
NADINE A PACHECO Certificates
Description Effective Begin Date Effective End Date Status Date of Certificate Action Pre Kindergarten, Kindergarten And Grades 1-6 Permanent Certificate 09/01/2000 Issued Pre Kindergarten, Kindergarten And Grades 1-6 Provisional Certificate 09/01/1996 08/31/2001 Expired School Administrator/Supervisor Provisional Certificate 09/01/2000 08/31/2005 Expired Pre Kindergarten, Kindergarten And Grades 1-6 CQ 02/01/1995 01/31/2000 Expired As seen here Mrs. Pacheco’s Certifications for School Administrator/Supervisor Provisional Certificates has been expired since August, 2005 and her Pre Kindergarten, Kindergarten And Grades 1-6 CQ has been expired since January 2000. Mrs. Pacheco began her employment at Trinity Elementary in 2007. Mrs. Pacheco began her employment at Trinity in an Administrative role. While employed at Trinity Elementary Mrs. Pacheco has never been properly certified.
Questions Still Left Unanswered as well as New Questions: During the hiring process of Mrs. Pacheco for Trinity Elementary School 5 years ago, did Mrs. Pacheco indicate on her job application, resume, or during the interview process that she was properly certified? What individuals interviewed Mrs. Pacheco? Who during the hiring process verified her credentials? What are the procedures for verifying credentials? Back in 2009, upon the district acquiring this knowledge, why wasn’t the Community made aware of the facts? According to the letter written by Dr. Organisciak, Superintendent of Schools and Mrs. Petrone, President of the Board of Education, Mrs. Pacheco learned in the Fall of 2009 her provisional School Administrator and Supervisor Administrative Certificate had expired and she told the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources. In the Fall of 2009, who else was made aware Mrs. Pacheco’s Certificate had expired? Is the Principal kept abreast of all employee status? Is the Principal responsible for knowing all building employees are in good status? What are the procedures and protocol upon discovering proper Certificates have expired? Who is contacted and alerted and in what order? Has this happened to other Administrators/Teachers in the past? If so, what was the outcome? According to the same letter; “Without appropriate administrative certification, Mrs. Pacheco cannot formally…. and, as a result, additional supervisory support will be needed.” Will there be a posting for the job of Assistant Principal? Will a new Assistant Principal been named? Again, according to the same letter, Dr. Organisciak, Superintendent of Schools and Mrs. Petrone, President of the Board of Education felt it was important to mention that until the Board of Education and administration had the opportunity to review this matter, specific details could not be discussed.
What did the Board of Education and the Superintendent need to review before alerting the Community? Why did you choose to disseminate this information via a letter posted on a website versus a open meeting with the entire community? The Trinity community is known for being mostly working parents without computers. Is there a plan for a open meeting where the community can ask the questions they have and answers are given? Why have you chosen to wait until Friday to make information public that you have had for weeks, if not years? Back in 2009, are we to believe that Principal Mr. Briceno, Superintendent Dr. Organisciak, and/or the Board of Education were not made aware of the facts discovered by Mrs. Pacheco and the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources? Finally, Superintendent Dr. Organisciak and President of the Board of Education Mrs. Petrone speak of hopes of this letter answering questions and provides a measure of reassurance our your commitment to the Trinity Community. Why was the Community mislead from the start? The matter of Mrs. Pacheco’s and any other Administrator/Teacher certificates is one of Public Record. Mr. Briceno stating Mrs. Pacheco’s resignation was a personal matter is nothing short of misleading. The Communities initial belief was one of concern that Mrs. Pacheco might be ill and in need of our help. Are Prinicpal Briceno, as well as Superintendent Dr. Organisciak, and the entire Board of Education able to display transparency? Thank you,
Date: Sun, Oct 30, 2011 at 10:04 PM Subject: Message from Principal Briceno Regarding Mrs. Nadine Pacheco To: “firstname.lastname@example.org” , “email@example.com” , “firstname.lastname@example.org”
Dear Mr. Briceno, Mrs. Pacheco, Mrs. Patrone, and Mr. Organisciak,
Thank you so much for letting my family know what is going on at our school. It was so good to read your letters and know Mrs. Pacheco is good. My family has been praying for Mrs. Pacheco. Mr. Briceno, I hope you are fine, as I was at the fall party I was passing by your door and overheard you requesting security out of the building. I hope you are feeling better. I am a bit confused as to what happened with Mrs. Pacheco certifications. My boys adore Mrs. Pacheco. Will you Mr. Organisciak and Mrs. Petrone come to Trinity and explain what has happened? I’m not sure how this has happened and we need to help Mrs. Pacheco and parents with the proper answers.