From students reportedly being forced to attend class in vermin-infested “temporary classrooms” that “smell like urine” to Principal Marcella Sills, 48, apparently being a frequent no-show, public school (PS) 106 in Far Rockaway, N.Y., is a “school of no,” according to the New York Post.
The students don’t get gym or art classes, one source said. Instead, many are put in front of a television and watch movies all day.
“The kids have seen more movies than Siskel and Ebert,” a source said.
The school nurse’s office is woefully underequipped (no cot and no sink) and the library is a total wreck.
“Nothing’s in order,” said a source. “It’s a junk room.”
The school doesn’t bother with substitute teachers, temporary classrooms are reportedly infested with vermin and “smell of urine,” students with learning disabilities don’t have their required special-education co-teacher and, again, the principal, who joined about nine years ago, is a frequent no-show.
“Sills did not come to school last Monday. On Tuesday, she showed up at 3:30 p.m. On Wednesday, The Post found her at home in Westbury, LI, all day before emerging at 2:50 p.m. — school dismissal time. Wearing a fur coat, she took her BMW for a spin,” the report reads. “She showed up at school Thursday, but not Friday.”
Sources said that on the rare occasion Sillis shows up for work, it’s usually after 11:00 a.m.
Keep in mind Sills earns roughly $128,207 per year.
“She strolls in whenever she wants,” a source said.
“A Department of Education spokesman said Sills was required to report her absences and tardiness to District 27 Superintendent Michelle Lloyd-Bey but would not say whether Sills did so last week,” the Post report adds.
Amazingly enough, Sill’s pocketed nearly $2,900 for 83 hours of overtime pay in 2011.
“This school is a complete s- -thole, but nobody in a position of power comes to investigate. No one cares,” a community member said.
Hurricane Sandy in 2012 badly damaged part of the school building, forcing the school’s administrators to move two kindergarten classes into “temporary classroom units” in the yard.
A school spokesman denied reports that the “temporary classroom units” are infested with vermin.
Many students are forced to share classrooms, some are squeezed into storage rooms and the pre-K students are placed in the school’s auditorium.
The parts of the building that were damaged in the hurricane still haven’t been repaired.
Students in several grades told the Post that they spent most of last week watching “Fat Albert,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “Monsters, Inc.”
But they say they didn’t enjoy it.
“I like gym. I like to draw,” one student said, adding that her classmates are similarly restless. “They’re always making noise, and there’s nothing entertaining going on. No art, no gym, no music class.”
Further, despite the fact that they’re five months into the school year, teachers still haven’t received the most recent books or teacher’s guides.
“They have no reading program, no math program,” one source said.
Sills reportedly blames outside forces for failing to send the relevant material.
Teachers cope by finding the material online and printing out lessons on paper they purchased themselves.
The Post report adds that the school staff is afraid to speak up for fear of retaliation from Sills or the school union.
And here’s another important note from the report: “PS 106 is allocated $2.9 million to serve a low-income population with 98 percent of its students eligible for free lunches. As a Title 1 school, it gets extra federal funds, but community members say they’ve never seen a budget tracking the income and spending.”
Luckily, after reading the report on Sunday, Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina assigned a deputy to check out the school on Monday.
“What was reported … is unacceptable, and if true will be immediately addressed,” Farina said in prepared statement.
Farina then dispatched Deputy Chancellor Dorita Gibson to look investigate the school’s conditions.
Sills managed Monday to show up at around 7:30 a.m., something a source said she hadn’t done in nearly seven years.
“We are very concerned about what is going on in this school. Our children deserve to have quality education. Today we are here to make sure that our children are not being cheated from learning. We want to make sure that they can succeed,” Queens City Councilman Donovan Richards said Monday.
Richards was scheduled to meet with Gibson after her investigation to discuss her findings.
“We will see what the new administration that has come in is going to do with this,” said Richards, who met with angry parents at the school before classes Monday morning.
“I think that based on what I’ve heard today there’s a lot of work to be done,” he said.
A PS 106 spokesperson did not immediately respond to TheBlaze’s request for comment.
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