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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Is anybody buying Vitti's principal switch excuse. What the beep is going on?

First the paper reported two principal switches but there were three. The principal at Alden Road who I am told was dumped there by the district and didn't want to be there in the first place also was replaced. Maybe since the school just serves special needs children the media doesn't think it is worth reporting.

Second I think it is important we remember that Vitti has been on the job for less than two years and he's still feeling his way. I try and think about this every time he does something that makes me slap my head and groan, which lately has been happening with greater and greater frequently.

Okay with all that out of the way does anybody buy his excuses for moving the two principals just seven weeks into the school year? 

From the Times Union: Duval Superintendent Nikolai Vitti on Monday reassigned the principals at two low-performing schools and appointed new administrators to head the schools.

Shilene Singleton, principal of Jefferson Davis Middle School for about six years, was reassigned to be an assistant principal at Mandarin Middle School.

Jeff Royal, principal at Hyde Grove Elementary, became an assistant principal at Beauclerc Elementary.

Nidia Ashby, a vice principal at Miami-Dade’s Northwestern Senior High, was introduced to Jefferson Davis’ staff as the new principal Monday. Contrina Isidore, an assistant principal at Gregory Drive Elementary, will take the helm at Hyde Grove.

When asked why he made the move now, after the school year had started, Vitti pointed to school report card data from recent years.

Hyde Grove has had two consecutive F’s in the past two years, Vitti said, and the state has asked him why he retained the principal.

Royal, Vitti said, is a relatively young principal and Hyde Grove was the first school he ran. But turning it around may have been too difficult for someone with his experience level, Vitti said.

Isidore was instrumental in moving Gregory Drive’s grades from a low D in 2012-13 to a “solid C” in the 2013-14 school year, Vitti said.

Um didn't he know about those things before the start of the school year? Did a piece a paper fall under his desk that he just discovered and he was like, oh man I have to do something quick?

Also what's up with bringing in a lady in from Miami? Is she better than EVERYBODY else we have in the district? What's that say about what he thinks about all the APs in the district. 
It's my bet she called him up and asked, hey Nikolai, do you have anything in the district, and the next thing you know she's on a slow train from Miami.

And if the district really cared anything about climate surveys how is Brennan at First Coast high still employed. As bad as these two may have been they have to junior league when compared to him.

Then as bad as all that it gets even worse!

Also from the Times Union: Shilene Singleton, principal of Jefferson Davis Middle School for about six years, was reassigned to be an assistant principal at Mandarin Middle School.

Jefferson Davis has had steady declines in grades and enrollment since 2008-09, when the school had a B. It fell to an F.

The school also went from 1,426 students enrolled in 2008 to 809 students now. Many were able to transfer to better performing schools because of the F, Vitti said.

Well does that sound familiar to anyone? I have two words for you, Iranetta Wright! 

Their records are practically identical but Wright is now running the QEA schools making well over six figures while Singleton is the AP at a middle school. Mrs. Wright please tell me where the bodies are buried so I can get a promotion too!!!!

Now please excuse me as I go slap my head and moan!


  1. There's a lot of crazy stuff going on! Landmark Middle and Ft. Caroline Middle were just forced to swap AP's. LMS principal is not happy, but has no say!? How are schools supposed to adapt to such abrupt changes without a negative ripple effect? Seriously, they told the LMS AP at 11:00 on Monday to report to FCM on Wednesday. Is this all just some giant chessboard? I think there are many more changes than have been reported.

    1. I hesitate to write this, as I hope it isn't so. Could this be a petty powerplay? David Gilmore is one of the best school-based admins.with very little competition. He and LMS's AP have worked together for years, moving LMS from a C to a B last year. He's one of the few who doesn't micromanage his teachers and staff. He questions everyone, including the downtown powers. Is is possible that this was a jab at a competent and respected leader who has had the nerve to question those in power?

    2. Unfortunately, this seems like a very plausible explanation. Very disturbing, but hard to ignore these observations. He does indeed provide great leadership at LMS. He has a very clear vision of what he wants the school to be and how to get there. Not only did the school grade improve, but enrollment increased, even bringing students back from the "choice" schools. So, why? Power play is the only answer.

    3. That was the first time LMS ever had a C.....under his watch.....That school was a steady A for years...... there's more to that story....keep digging...

  2. What is happening at Beauclerc Elementary? You have a principal that was an AP for 9 months but was promoted to principal because she is bilingual. However the school is in shambles and both AP's were moved to different schools. How can he pick and choose who he is moving? This school has had 3 different principals in 5 years. This superintendent is the worst in Duval County in the past 20 years. This is only a fourth of the crap that's going on with DCPS. At least school boards in the past would have spoken up and called out the superintendent for this mess.

    1. So the entire leadership team is new?

    2. Yes. The 2 AP's were new to the school. One was a demoted principal and the other came San Jose. The school is in shambles. Until last Tuesday, the demoted principal was running the school while no one listened to the principal. This is due to her lack of experienced-9 months as an AP. Now, the 2 AP's have been moved to other schools and replaced with another demoted principal-Hyde Grove and AP from Alimicani. This school has moved from an A to C in 3 years with 3 different principals. Kornblum, Manabat and now Mangual.

    3. So the principal has limited experience? Do you know what it is? You can e-mail me at if you want. I am intrigued.

    4. I rather stay anonymous. I know too much. Literally 9 months. This past summer at the June board meeting Ashley Suarez vouched for her. "It would be a good idea". It will promote the Dual Language program. Remember she was not the 1st choice. The 1st choice was from out of town and had dual language experience. Once she backed away from the offer, Mangual was selected. How can she have the skill set to be a
      principal after 9 months as an AP? Before that she was a district Math Coach for 2 years.
      She is the laughing stock of the district in many circles

  3. Hyde Grove's principal was moved due to behavior of students. Cagel was concerned that he didn't have control which is why the move was made. The next moves are to take place in December.

  4. People, with a steady decline in discipline there will be a corresponding decline in schools' grades. For example, my child tells me about the frequency of the use of the F..k-word in her 6th grade class at Arlington Middle School, by quite a few female students. Incidentally, I hear quite a lot, myself, from some students walking side of the fence (mostly 7th graders and 8th graders) as I queue in the car line to enter the school yard to pick up my child. The longer we wait to tackle the problems of vulgarity and indiscipline in our schools, the harder they will be to solve.

    So, it starts with us parents; work diligently with your own kids regarding their academics and their social affiliations. Educate YOUR children about who to associate with and who not to. Talk to your children everyday, and I mean everyday! Engage them! Ask them about their associations! Ask them about the behavior of other students in their class! And advise them accordingly!

    There are a lot of bad apples out there and its your God-given duty to protect your child! Don't let your child be sullied! Otherwise, Providence will turn away from yours just as It has turned from theirs, and yours will cease to be a delight to you!

    Principals, cannot stem the falling tide. They are not the Christ, neither are they magicians. I have known Stephanie Manabat, for instance for many years. She is very dedicated and a workhorse. But, she is not a miracle maker. These Jacksonville Schools are mirroring the schools in the PROJECTS. So why the GREAT PRETENTION. Soon Vitti will convince himself that he cannot perform the miracles asked of him and he will go back to wherever he belongs. Then, when he finds his Conscience he will have to answer to It for all the administrators and teachers he petulantly crushed on his chessboard.