National Teacher Appreciation Day!…..and stuff

“Teachers are true heroes in our communities, who through their dedication to children, work millions of small miracles every day. And the vast majority of teachers in the United States are proud to be advocates for children, public education, and their profession.

The origins of Teacher Day are murky. Around 1944 Arkansas teacher Mattye Whyte Woodridge began corresponding with political and education leaders about the need for a national day to honor teachers and show teacher appreciation. Woodbridge wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt who in 1953 persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day that would serve to the purpose of celebrating teacher appreciation across the nation.”

Make sure you are a good teacher today! Oh and if you feel the puppet strings tugging, don’t you dare tug back or even worse cut them like I did! You were warned…

In other news….

Today is yet another School Leadership Team meeting. If you have been following my saga, then you will know that these meetings played an important role in me being removed. I am in hot water for bringing up the goals and budget at these meetings. In any case I felt that I was merely reassigned physically and since I am still on the IS 49 Payroll and Galaxy Budget that I can still serve on the SLT. So I sent the following email yesterday after my work day was over:

Dear SLT Chairperson Susanne Abramowitz,

I would like to attend tomorrow’s IS 49 SLT meeting at school. As I have been told I am still a staff member, registered on the Galaxy Budget Allocations and payroll. My commitment and dedication to Berta Dreyfus has not wavered at all since my reassignment and I do not see why I would not be able to participate. If my physical presence in the school is a problem then perhaps we can use advanced technology and conference call me in. I would like to say that I already do not approve of the April 3rd minutes and am confused as to how they were made public prior to being accepted at our May 8th meeting. That is in violation of our By Laws Article III Section 5. I would also request a retraction of section V. Open Agenda of the March 20, 2012 minutes. It contains false information about me that Principal Linda Hill stated she approved.

Agenda items to be added:

  1. The new PS 71 K-8 school that will be opening up 1.6 miles from Berta Dreyfus next year. I know we spoke about it before we knew it was definitely a K-8. However with our current population of about 848 students, we need a plan that will retain and bring in more students to our school.
  2. Clarity on rumors that on April 20, 2012 an assistant principal took a phone from a student, prior to her passing through scanning and then handed it right back to her after scanning. This is in violation of Chancellor’s Regulation A-412 School Safety Section V.- Vouchering and Confiscation of Contraband subsection D and E.

I apologize for the large amount of members copied, but I included the SLT, DLT, my attorney and the Executive Director of Employee Relations.


-Mr. Portelos


After I sent it, I packed my things and went up to the Children First Network (CFN 211) office to say goodbye. Apparently, in the time I packed up and took an elevator 3 floors this email was read and a call was made to Laura Kaiser (Director of Operations). As I walked in to the open floor cubicle space I heard her say to someone on the phone “What No…he is not on the SLT. He is not a member of the school. This is harassment…He is harassing you.”

I could not leave without speaking to her as it struck me that I had met her in my classroom over a year ago and I needed an explanation. Ms. Hill had brought guests in to my classroom and as they were leaving she saw me writing on a painted wall I was projecting on. She came over and inquired how I was doing it. I explained I used a Nintendo Wii remote, a special pen and some software I bought. It was like a 105 inch Smartboard and it only cost $100. She shook my hand and told me I would be hearing from her. I never did again until now.

Frog dissectionwith infrared pen and some software. My resourcefulness comes in handy in the rubber room.

I said “I’m not a bad guy and I have been put in a tough situation.” She said “yes you are in a situation but legal will take care of it”. (She mentioned legal more than once). She then proceeded to explain that I am no longer a part of IS 49 and I cannot do per session or get paid for after school activities. I told her I do not want to get paid and I would do it and be part of the team for free. I asked “Isn’t the Network here to support the school I need support.” Ms. Kaiser responded “The network supportstheschool nottheindividual. Speak to your union” Then I shook her hand, said thank you and left.

I still received no response to the email. Does that email look like harassment to anyone

I found it very interesting that when a question comes up on what to do, she immediately called Ms. Kaiser within minutes. For those of you reading back at Berta Dreyfus…imagine all thepeoplethat come in and visit our school to talk aboutsafety, check our bulletin boards, visit classrooms, and give PD’s. Well they are all there. I even had the honor of meeting Jean Mckeon, our network leader. She seemed like a very nice woman, and I am still waiting for a response to an email I sent last week. I’m sure she is busy.

This adds some missing pieces to this ugly puzzle we are putting together. A principal who needs 4 assistant principals for 840 students isapparentlygetting additional guidance fromsomewhere. Who had the brilliant idea of sending me to the Network at 8201 Rockaway Blvd That is like sending Jason Bourne (The Bourne Identity) to Langley CIA headquarters after they wronged him.

Happy Teacher Day!

About Francesco Portelos

Parent and Educator fighting for the student and the teacher.
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  1. Thank for exposing the underbelly of the DOE. Very few understand how these people operate. Any inkling of justice will take time (on their timetable) and require a strong foundation. Much of what they will or can do, is to break you down. Because you are doing this in public, they will be very careful on how they handle you.

  2. “Once harm has been done, even a fool understands it”.
    – Homer
    Hope and pray no more harm will be done…but then, there are so many fools, [crooks],
    especially in the Department of Education in New York City…and the UFT!
    Is ANYONE listening

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