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Did SPS Allow the Teachers' Union President's Son to Enroll After the Posted Deadline?

The Sudbury Education Association President said he didn't apply until the last week of school in June. SPS rules state applications needed to be in by March 1 absent 'extenuating circumstances.'

"We didn’t apply until the last week of school in June. (My wife and I) talked about it for years. It's not like I’m special. We decided after a meeting with Framingham Public Schools to pull out on June 12, which was long after the hearings and other stuff with it."

Those were the words of Robert Mealey, the Sudbury Education Association president who represented former first-grade teacher Janice Donahue the day she was told by attorney Elizabeth Valerio to decide whether to resign or be fired.

But according to the Sudbury Public School's website, Mealey, a Framingham resident, shouldn't have been allowed to have his son entered into the system by the superintendent unless there were "extenuating circumstances."

Section B of the Procedure for Enrollment states:

  • Requests for admission must be made to the Superintendent of the Sudbury Schools by March 1 of the school year preceding the September in which enrollment is desired. All non-resident admissions will commence in September of the academic year. The Superintendent may waive this date under extenuating circumstances.

Mealey was asked whether he believed there was a conflict of interest in defending Donahue against Superintendent Anne Wilson and Noyes Principal Annette Doyle. He wanted to have his son enrolled in SPS, and he was also negotiating a new teachers' contract with Wilson.

"I don’t think it was a conflict of interest," he said.

Mealey declined comment Wednesday night.

Wilson and the Sudbury Public Schools Committee have said repeatedly they are not at liberty to discuss the incident, citing legal issues.

She recently signed a settlement, but is unable to discuss the amount. Noyes parent Christine Hogan recently made a public records request to Wilson to have that settlement made public.

Below is the SPS policy around enrollment of non-resident faculty students:

4.2.4.3 Enrollment of Children of Non-Resident Employees

The Sudbury Public Schools provide a quality education to all of its students. It is a sign of confidence and support for our programs if employees wish to enroll  their children in the Sudbury Schools. It is also an indication of appreciation of the staff for the Sudbury School Committee to approve the enrollment in our  schools of the children of non-resident employees. This enrollment extends the benefits of our educational program to the children of those people whose  efforts create the fine programs of the Sudbury Schools.

PROCEDURE FOR ENROLLMENT

A. Any non-resident employee desiring to enroll a child(ren) within the Sudbury Schools or Lincoln/Sudbury Regional High School will write a letter requesting this admission to the Superintendent of the Sudbury Schools.
B. Requests for admission must be made to the Superintendent of the Sudbury Schools by March 1 of the school year preceding the September in which  enrollment is desired. All non-resident admissions will commence in September of the academic year. The Superintendent may waive this date under  extenuating circumstances.
C. Along with the request for admission, the employee will include copies of educational records and information, if available.
D. The Superintendent will communicate his/her decision regarding enrollment no later than June 30 following the receipt of the request for admission.
E. This enrollment will continue so long as the employee is employed by the Sudbury Schools or the Lincoln/Sudbury Regional High School. It will  continue, even though the non-resident employee is on an approved leave of absence. 
F. Once enrollment is approved, the child(ren) of a non-resident employee will be considered a Sudbury school pupil until the completion of the eighth  grade year, with access to all Sudbury school programs as outlined in this document. 
G. Once the enrollment is approved by the Superintendent, the employee will complete all formal registration procedures.
H. The non-resident employee will be responsible for the transportation of his/her child(ren) to and from school. 
I. All school rules, regulations, and fee requirements will apply equally to the child(ren) of a non-resident staff member.
J. A student whose parent leaves the employ of the Sudbury Schools or the may continue to attend the Sudbury Schools for the balance of the year.

CRITERIA FOR ENROLLMENT

A. The School Committee reserves the right to deny admissions to pupils based on space constraints of the district.
B. The Superintendent of the Sudbury Schools will determine the school in which the child(ren) will be enrolled. All efforts will be made to place the child(ren) in the same school building where his/her parent is employed, but space constraints and grade assignment may dictate a different assignment. Once a school assignment has been determined, it will change only due to progress through the grades or school re-organization.

Let's Open our eyes August 30, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Wow! So glad you guys are on the case! Don't you people have a life? Do you hear/read your own rants? Every single thread of activity in Town is NOT a conspiracy. The deadline appears to have been missed. And as Mike H. correctly asks, past the deadline has the Superintendent usurped authority that cannot be granted (i.e. to grant an exception beyond the deadline), what else is at issue here? Where is there a conflict of interest a WTH does this have to do with Ms. Donahue?! And Skim3% - stop acting dopey. First, "go back to Framingham where you belong"?! Obviously we have bad apples in Sudbury as well, but that is no way to speak to anyone in our schools. Hope your kids don't read the Patch - or do you not have kids in SPS? Second, to assume we can get 100% of the required teacher pool to populate our school systems is ludicrous, and even if we could, we stand a far better chance of increasing the talent level by casting a wider net. Stick to the facts or ask questions. Don't act like a jerk and toss around baseless conjecture and speculation. Grow up - put some effort behind your passion and go bring us some new - evidenced - information!
Edward Stark August 30, 2012 at 08:51 PM
Hey Closed Eyes do you have spell check on your computer? I would like to respond but I don't even know where to begin comprehending your rant.
Let's Open our eyes August 30, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Nice try Ed, but afraid there are no spelling errors! Which word over 2 syllables do you need me to define?
Sudbury September 02, 2012 at 12:40 PM
As a longtime employee of the Framingham PUblic Schools with relatives who live in Framingham, I take offense to your obviously demoralizing comment about Framingham. At least we have a superintendent who cares about kids!!
Sudbury September 02, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Once again...special treatment for the administrators in Sudbury......And, by the way: Bob Mealey caused such horrific trouble with the Framingham Public Schools that it is a good thing that his kid is gone.

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