Antecedent site:

For Concord list:

Files – Concord List

Publicly available here

Here you find files that support Concord's primary discussion forum – the Concord list.

The Concord list is hosted at yahoo groups. Because yahoo groups does not make files stored there universally available, this page assures access for all.

Particularly, this page provides access for those who do not have a yahoo login (or who prefer not to login).

Click a file to download it. Or if the file opens in your browser when you click it, right click and select Download.

When you have your file(s), you can go to the Concord list by clicking here.

Files, by date posted here

(note video at Jan 6, 2013 entry)

September 29, 2016

June 9, 2016

An email sent to members of the Regional School Committee and other Concord committees about the failed Town Meeting Article 14 to remediate the closed dump by the old high school.

April 21, 2016

This year's Town Meeting produced prodigiously, starkly so, in comparison with our broken national legislature. A few of the finer moments are captured as video snippets, here on-site. Enjoy, at the link below.

Especialy, there is a tribute to the Town Moderator of the past six years, who is stepping down. That begins with a remarkable skit by two memebers of the Select Board. Then video from discussion of two Articles celebrates – finally – Town Meeting's advising that we look to the High School grounds for at least some of bus management. Even with one moment of humor ... There is also a lesson in the role of neighbors entrusted to be executive for Town Meeting's legislation.

Enjoy!

October 8, 2015

The Belle Hankey case regarding bullying at the high school:

Here find the full court's decision. A reading of this 'Motion and Order' reveals key facts of the case, as well as the law that compelled the decision.

July 21, 2015

School Committee evaluations of Diana Rigby, June 2015:

The Concord-Carlisle Regional District School Committee and the Concord School Committee – that is, those members who were in place for the relevant period – make annual evaluation of the CCRSD Superintendent. Here find the 2015 evaluation – all 87 pages, including separate evaluations by individual Committee members and summative evaluation. There are two versions, one for reading and the other to gather quotations from the evaluations if desired.

The first is the 87 pages as a scan of the document. That is the reliably legible version.

For the second, the scan has gone through optical character recognition, OCR. Quality of the orignal scan can limit both OCR legibility and OCR accuracy. Reference to the scan version can of course confirm and, if necessary, make accurate any quotes from the OCR version. Through community effort, this OCR copy is generally pretty reliable.

April 9, 2015

Regarding two playing fields at the High School, the Doug White turf fields and the renovated lower fields:

Two separate and distinct InterMunicipal agreements, between the Town of Concord and the Concord-Carlisle Regional School District, govern these fields. Those two separate agreements differ markedly re operational policies.

The file linked here compares the two different policies and identifies suggested revisions to the lower fields Community Use Agreement (CUA). Dean Banfield provided the file.

June 2, 2014

Regarding student fees for curriculum based events and field trips:

Citizens have now confirmed that Diana Rigby, the School Superintendent, proceeded beyond DOE regulations – after Rigby was told on May 20 by the Department of Education that fees could not be required for curriculum related events.

DOE has said they told CPS there could not be charges for curriculum-based events; there could be 'voluntary contributions' only. After nonetheless first requiring involuntary payments, the Superintendent now seeks to declare them 'voluntary,' well after money was collected. Apparently, she expects the School Committee to vote to accept these as 'donations' at the June 10 School Committee meeting and keep the money in CPS coffers.

The pdf at the link lays out detail.

June 1, 2014

Regarding student fees: Two series of email exchanges with the Massachusetts Department of Education.

May 26, 2014

The School’s use of high-price attorneys – when there are quality alternatives for a fraction of the cost – played a part, apparently, in Town Meeting’s recent rejection of the School’s request for an additional $200K. Miguel Echavarri has now written in significant detail on the matter to the School Committee.

In the letter, linked below, you now have the benefit of extensive review, to shine a clear light. You can learn among others the professional specialties of individual attorneys involved, have an opportunity to assess the fit with our schools, particularly compared with specified alternatives. Including also dollar amounts, even legal time spent at Town Meeting.

This precedes questions put directly to the School Committee.

May 19, 2014

At Town Meeting, John Boynton commented that, of the citizens with objections, he had seen 'only one' attending the CC at Play meetings. Dean Banfield was that individual, and here are Dean's detailed suggestions on how the design of the fields renovation plan could have been improved.

May 3, 2014

An article regarding the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, Article 39, is on the Warrant and will come up at Town Meeting. Town Meeting begins tomorrow, Sunday May 4. The file here intends to clear up mis-perceptions about the article.

At the link is a concise statement of facts about Article 39 from the petition author, Sharon McGregor. This appeared in the May 1 Concord Journal as a guest opinion, alongside the opponent’s guest opinion.

May 1, 2014

The fields renovation project proposed for the CCHS campus does not appear to benefit all sports interests. In fact based on the information provided in the diagrams linked below, the plan appears to be deleterious to multiple uses on the campus by the primary athletic users, the CCHS teams.

This analysis is provided by Dean Banfield.

[Mass Ethics Commission disclaimer - Dean Banfield is an abutter to the CCHS property. He is also a member of the CPC and NRC committees in Concord. In the matter of CC at Play before both of those boards, Banfield is recused to avoid an appearance of conflict of interest. The opinions he expresses here are his alone as an individual and do not represent the positions of either committee, any other organization, or person.]

March 17, 2014

Concord citizens have been resoundingly clear – now at two Town Meetings – that they want the school buses kept in-house.

Two recent documents reflect on the facts underlying.

July 5, 2013

The School Committee has completed its annual review of the Superintendent, Diana Rigby. Click below to find each of the reviews, as written individually by members of the School Committee.

In addition, those reviews are also readable on Google drive.

June 29, 2013

Thanks to Miguel Echavarri, we now have available an in-depth data analysis of Concord's school finances.

Since the schools spend about 70 percent of the taxes that Concord's citizens pay to the town, understanding how those school monies are spent can be revealing. In this first installment, Miguel presents administrative costs per pupil; he also highlights a notable expense item.

For his analysis, see

For his email to the FinCom, transmitting the analysis, see

The Concord Carlisle Regional School District's administration costs are among the highest in Massachusetts. One example of this administrative overspending is markedly excessive legal fees the District pays.

What is more, the School Committee is unclear about its oversight role. Is weak SC oversight a key factor in the District's lack of fiscal restraint?

The files lay out this story with full analytic detail, including charts and tables.

May 10, 2013

TEACHERS MATTER

Next Tuesday, May 14, come support Concord & Concord-Carlisle teachers

  • 4:30 at the Flag Pole / Monument Square
  • 6:30 at the School Committee meeting

Go here for a pdf you can print, to hand out or put in car windows.

March 4, 2013

The School Committee, at their February 26 meeting, presented a 40-page rationalization. They had previously refused to consider a place for the buses somewhere on the 94 acres of District land, where they have sole control. In the February 26 meeting, they attempted to make an elaborate excuse for their ongoing refusal – a refusal even to consider using the land entrusted to them.

Here is an analysis of that lengthy apologia, a penetrating review that reveals the actual facts.

January 11, 2013

Complete dissection of the school response, to the eleven Journal questions

  • The full story (Bill Plummer)
  • A quick look (David Allen – annotations are in comment boxes. In Acrobat, mouse over a box to lift its semi-transparency and make legible. If on Mac opening in Preview, be sure the View menu is toggled to show Notes.)

As described re the video critique immediately below (Jan 6), the school finally produced a lengthy response to the Concord Journal's eleven questions. The two pdf's here reveal just how badly the school failed, in fact, to respond – again.

(Perhaps because of outcry at the Dec 11 meeting, where the school response first appeared, the 'final' form of the school document omitted reference to a letter. Here you have both versions. The 'final' is at the first link, omitting the letter; the original is at the second, including the letter.)

January 6, 2013 – with short VIDEO

Happy New Year! Let it be a year – finally – for some quality in our schools' governance.

As we know, in a headline article around Thanksgiving, the Concord Journal posed eleven questions for our school officials. As reported in the article, this was after repeated attempts by the Journal, to meet with school officials. Finally, some three or so weeks later, December 11, on the document table at a Committee meeting, the School Committee put out a seven-page response.

The Journal has now, in this new year, we learn, begun an eleven-week series. Each week, we learn, will detail one of the questions.

Below, you can preview whether the School Committee, in its belated response, improved any, on its past record of obfuscation. And, you may see why the wish for quality governance, in our new year, is ever poignant.

Here is one person's rip of the response. A rip that boiled up, just reading the piece during the meeting.

As you see, there is both video and a transcript of the video captions.
Mouse over the tabs – Video and Transcript – to open the respective content.

David Allen at SC

(Can't see the Quicktime movie? – go here for the same video in Flash.)

Transcript

Allen [w Salemy supporting]

"David Allen, Heaths Bridge Road here in Concord."

"I am deeply embarrassed to read this '11 questions' document, after the school system themselves were caught out stonewalling the local press. This continues the attempt to spin and spread deceit."

"Let's take a quick little tour.

[ Salemy: Excuse me, you have three minutes, just so you understand that. ]

Excuse me?

[ Salemy: You have three minutes. ]

Oh, I see, when I get to tough words, you want to cut it down, huh?

[ Salemy: No, three minutes is our policy. ]"

"Oh, I see."

"Let's take a quick tour anyway. We'll start the three minutes, now."

"Question #3, about the so-called Flahive consultancy, which didn't produce any more than outsourcing options. Observe the long paragraph of words afterwards, which does not answer that question. Huh?"

"Let's go to question #4, the Plummer proposal. The answer is factually - answer is factually incorrect. Plummer's been documented; it was not studied. In fact, Durlacher finally admitted and got together with Plummer, to finally address it. It was not."

"Let's go to Question #1. The Keleher letter has already been pointed out. I have a report of a conversation with Keleher after publication of the letter. He was appalled to find out the actual facts. His letter he agrees was incorrect. And you are putting it in here? Huh?"

"Let's go to Question #5, the Model School business. The supposed Durlacher study showing $15 million overage was [ inaudible ] and fallacious. And it's been documented ad infinitum. Bill Plummer, sitting beside me, produced a quite long document, item, after item, after item."

"Finally, Question #6. It begins, your answer: "Residents are getting the building they voted for." They can't get the building they voted for! The building shown costs $7.5 million more than the budget that they also voted. Fallacious, on its face."

"If you are not embarrassed, as a School Committee, to have your name associated with this ... huh? Well, I suggest you consider some of Paul Horwitz' suggestions."

"You might want to strap your seat belt tight for the rocky road that lies ahead in public opinion."

"We make the three minutes, Mr Salemy?

[ Salemy: Yep, thank you very much. ]"

"Thank you very much.
I hope you get it straight for a change."

November 25, 2012

Stan Durlacher recently compared the cost of his OMR school project with what he believes an MSBA model school would cost. Herewith is a critical review of his analysis.

  • Go here for the critical review with its transmittal letter, dated today, November 25.

November 17, 2012

What really happened at the Atkins meeting, October 24 2012

Rep. Atkins convened, apparently with Steve Grossman, State Treasurer, also responsible for the MSBA, a meeting about Concord's suspended MSBA funding. About two weeks later, the local press published an account, which was later noted to have originated from the convener's office.

Some of those present at the meeting indicated the published account omitted, even glossed over, key information. One participant has now received a transcript as compiled by the MSBA.

Citizens who were present indicate that this account has some little errors, but is pretty good. So we now can see with approaching reasonable accuracy what in fact transpired in the discussion.

(Most of the participants named in the transcript are familiar to readers here. For the others, Bill Fink is Chair, Carlisle's School Committee; Tim Hult and Peter Scavongelli (Chair) are Carlisle Selectmen; Mary Pichetti is Director of Capital Planning, MSBA.)

  • Go here for the transcript.

November 2, 2012

Letter to the Board of Selectmen and FinCom (dated October 31 2012)

October 12, 2012

Letter to MSBA (dated October 9 2012), about

  • OMR Architects
  • Costs missing from the MSBA budget
  • Consideration of a Model School option

September 20, 2012

Now with introductory letters:

The citizen's Report Card and the citizen's appraisal, immediately below, now each include introductory letters. These are the cover letters sent originally.

September 19, 2012

These letters, to the Massachusetts School Building Authority, are:

1 - A citizen's Report Card, occasioned by the MSBA letter to the Concord-Carlisle School District, dated August 21.

(For reference, that MSBA letter is accessible, as of a file posting here, dated August 23, below.)

2 - A citizen's appraisal of the District's reply, to that MSBA letter.

(For reference, that District reply, dated September 14, is accessible by going here.)

Of course, click the two links above, to read the Report Card and the appraisal. [Now, also with introductory letters for each.]

September 9, 2012

MSBA, Facilities Assessment Subcommittee (FAS), meeting August 29 2012 – audio with text, final 7+ minutes

Discussion at the MSBA FAS meeting brought to light key facts about the CCHS building project.

--> Particularly, the timeline presents, textually, the key points to emerge. Listening of course confirms.

In the timeline file, you find a table of scrub points for the audio. Each line identifies the speaker, at 'minutes:seconds' (scrub points), and outlines comments.

You can download the .mp3 audio file, or listen directly with the audio player. To go to a scrub point, 'scrub' (drag on) the timeline, to that minute:second.

This audio segment is the fourth and final (comprising together the full meeting of course) – this last is 7 minutes 42 seconds. Obviously, proportionate discussion came before; this discussion builds on and is to-the-point.

Download file, or listen directly:

  • Audio file – fourth / final segment of the meeting (.mp3 – 7 minutes 42 seconds)

August 31, 2012

These seven files compare, in significant detail, the changes in the high school building project, from:

  • the Schematic Design phase, to
  • Design Development as it stood in March, to
  • the present (well, almost).

Bringing these files forward are Concord concerned citizens performing outreach. (Outreach might have been done from the beginning, by the Building Committee – for instance in preparation for the August 22 forum, with wide public distribution. But that didn't happen, so here we are.)

These details go to core choices that Concord and Carlisle – their citizens – can consider. These details present, roughly, the plan now proposed, after the order of 25 percent has been cut, along the way, one way or another, in costs and in features. (At least that is the figure to emerge from public meetings so far. When there is more accurate disclosure of events in a 'badly broken process,' we can further hone magnitudes.)

Since the budget is effectively fixed, we will go with these cuts, or others of like size. Here we have comparison with the initial plan, to frame choices.

These files are dated July 12 and came via a request that had to be made to the MSBA, since the school folk were not forthcoming with them at the time.

There exist files dated a couple weeks later, July 26; those went with the school submission around that date. In a later tranche of files to be added here, via public records requests, we will provide those slightly newer files. (The differences between the July 12 and July 26 files apparently are minimal.)

In the meantime, Concord can, and indeed needs to, immediately begin considering how the school building plan has changed. Time is indeed money. Here is a useful place to start, now, and understand the choice that is before Concord, and Carlisle.

1 Overall Design Vision - Feasibility Study vs SD to MSBA vs DD June estimate
2 Value Engineering - Site Plan - SD to MSBA vs DD March baseline estimate vs DD June estimate
3A Value Engineering - Systems - SD to MSBA vs DD March baseline estimate vs DD June estimate
3B Cost Estimate Summary - SD vs DD March
4 Re DESE Approval of SPED Spaces - SD to MSBA vs DESE approved January vs DD June estimate
5A Space Summary Comparison - High Level - SD vs DD March baseline vs DD Current vs MSBA Guidelines
5B Space Summary Comparison - Detail - SD Aug 2011 vs DD baseline Mar 2012 vs DD Revised current

At a later point we trust the school will provide final comparisons. With the files here as a start, we in Concord and Carlisile can begin to explore more carefully the choices we will make.

August 26, 2012

Guest Commentary, the Concord Journal, August 23 2012 issue – by Bill Plummer

  • Commentary: There is no requirement to move the bus transportation facilities, for the new high school – details.
  • Plots of the new high school: Before, and after, a quite minor change to the ring road, to pass by the buildings.

August 23, 2012

MSBA letter to the Regional School District, requesting a written response in 21 days (dated August 21 2012)

Referencing communications from citizens in Concord who have expressed concern, a response re:

  • Analysis and conclusion to demolish three transportation buildings
  • District's approval of changes to original building layout
  • Resident's concerns about transparency and communication

August 17, 2012

The Massachusetts Open Meeting Law that applies to all meetings of Town and School committees and subcommittees and other public bodies

The Project Funding Agreement between the Massachussets School Building Authority and the Concord Carlisle Regional School District, for state reimbursement of the new high school construction costs (2.6 MB file)

  • This copy is annotated.  If the transportation buildings are not preserved, there may be additional costs to duplicate their function.  Provisions relevant to such increased cost, in the PFA, are highlighted (see covering note).

August 14, 2012

Lissa and Chris McKinney letter emailed to Diana Rigby: Cease and desist (dated August 6 2012)

  • Cease and desist from false statements that "we are opposed to the high school building project."

August 6, 2012

Bill Plummer letter emailed to the MSBA, with 21 cc's (dated August 5 2012)

  • At the August 1 Building Committee meeting, OMR Architects said they 'slid the building forward.' But the building plot they presented shows the existing transportation facility is still clear by 60 yards. So it can still be preserved.

July 29, 2012

Bill Plummer letter to the MSBA, re the transportation facility (dated July 25 2012)

Lissa and Chris McKinney letter, with 47 co-signers, to Diana Rigby, with 12 cc's (dated July 27 2012)

recent draft minutes, School and Building Committees – not otherwise publicly available