Showing posts with label Peoria Park District. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peoria Park District. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The magic of Carl Cannon

The biggest problem that many who comment on this blog seem to have with District 150, is that they roll out programs so fast that they don’t check back to make sure that the administrative procedure is in place to implement it; or they don’t check to make sure it’s working before they start boasting about it. The ELITE Program is just the latest example of this dysfunction.

It would appear that Grenita Lathan’s way of rolling out a program is not conducive with the way Peoria Park District President, Bonnie Noble rolls out a program. As a result, expanding the ELITE Program into another District 150 school has been tabled until the Board can talk to Carl Cannon and Bonnie Noble about the issues of the licensing agreement.

Superintendent Lathan doesn’t appear to appreciate the fact that the Park District actually has the final say in how the program is expanded, is now threatening to reopen and renegotiate the contract and it's fees.

What’s wrong with the contract and the fees? If there were issues with it – why was it on the Board Agenda to be renewed? Additionally, why was it on the Board Agenda, when they hadn't even talked to Cannon or Noble about the expansion or seen results?

What I find MOST interesting, is the fact that this School Board entered into three contracts, totaling $365,000 a year,  in the first place, without even knowing who owns the program. Before signing the next contract, they may want to look further than Carl Cannon as to who really owns the ELITE Program, from what I am hearing somebody else actually owns it and Carl is limited as to how far he can actually take it.

Plans to expand ELITE program hit snag at District 150 board meeting
Peoria School District 150's plans to expand the highly praised ELITE program from Trewyn Middle School to Harrison Community Learning Center have hit a snag over questions about the total cost of the program - almost $1 million over three years for one school - and who has the right to authorize an expansion, ELITE founder Carl Cannon or Cannon's employer, Peoria Park District.

Three different contracts, totaling about $365,000 a year, govern the school district's use of the ELITE program, according to District 150 treasurer Dave Kinney. Two are with the park district, including one that pays for salaries of several ELITE program workers. While the park district pays Cannon's salary, District 150 also has an $80,000 licensing agreement with him for use of the ELITE program, which is his intellectual property.

Concerns about the program came out when the board was scheduled to vote on renewing the licensing agreement with Cannon.

"The question I keep trying to settle in my mind is how much we're paying at one school and what we're paying for," board member Linda Butler said.

Her question resonated with most of her colleagues, who voted 5-1 to table adopting the licensing agreement until they could talk to Cannon and Peoria Park District Director Bonnie Noble. Martha Ross voted no and Rick Cloyd abstained.

District 150 Superintendent Grenita Lathan said she initially was under the impression Cannon had the right to make decisions on when and how to expand the ELITE program to other schools.

Earlier Monday, Noble said The park district wants to see results from ELITE's experience at Trewyn before spreading the program to other schools.

"I don't know if we're talking about expanding," Noble said. "I want us to be positive that we don't do it too fast and that we do it right. I want to make sure there's data that shows the school has stabilized."

Noble said the park district also wants to be sure ELITE can sustain itself without Cannon.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Is you is, or is you ain't...

Just yesterday, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, praised Superintendent Grenita Lathan for working with different sectors of the community.

At just about the same time that LaHood was co-signing Dr. Lathan's $10,000 bonus, other members of the community were saying and feeling just the opposite...

Groups Want to Connect With Dist. 150
Despite a busy first year on the job some members of the local community say they feel a disconnect with District 150 Superintendent Grenita Lathan. They say collaboration with the administration has taken a backseat.

Peoria Park District Board Vice President Robert Johnson says neighborhood children were denied access to basketball courts over the summer at Glen Oak and Harrison schools after the basketball rims were taken off the backboards He says young people pack the courts to play pick up games but now cannot do so. Johnson says after a conversation with Dr. Lathan he was told the maintenance workers were tied up at another school and that union issues had to be worked out before the rims could be replaced.
"I don't understand the reasoning, we should be trying to engage our young people so that they can have active things to do and that's basically what it is and all of us would have a good quality of life in our city," Johnson said.
East Bluff Serenity Neighborhood Association President Jim Combs says he was thrilled about Glen Oak Learning Center which was built on some property his family once owned. Combs says a year after the school's opening he's disappointed.
"That building and the grounds around that building were supposed to be shared by the community and I got the feeling and I think a lot of us do in leadership around here feel that that isn't the case," he said.
Combs is talking about space that was supposed to be reserved inside the school for a community learning center for adults where computer or G-E-D classes could be held or other neighborhood programs, a vision he says was shared by former District 150 school superintendent Ken Hinton.

Superintendent Grenita Lathan was not available for an interview, but a district 150 spokesman says budgetary constraints, staffing and other educational issues have taken priority for the administration.

Combs says he understands that more pressing challenges may be the focus for the district. But says with similar goals in mind of strengthening families and communities partnerships with the administration are important.

"It's sort of a sadness, it's like a dissolution on our part. We thought something was going to happen that didn't," he said.

But combs says that won't stop his group from finding another location for their community center. He just hopes the school district will be a partner. Source