Saturday, December 07, 2013

This is what double-talk looks like. Or, it is a lesson on how NOT to compete, kids of PPS

Hi Dr. Lane,

It is Saturday morning at 8 am and I posted this to the PPS Facebook wall. About 3 hours ago I had already sent out the alerts to my team at Obama Academy that the swim practice slated today at Westinghouse was called off by PPS because of snow.

Posted to Pittsburgh Public Schools thread, as ALL ACTIVITIES except DANCES, SAT TESTING and DRAMA at CAPA are called off for Saturday.

Today there are about 150 kids from all over the Northeast including prep schools such as Andover who will assemble to practice water polo at Pitt. They will show up, train 8 hours in the pool over 2 days, be coached, stay out of trouble, grow as friends for life, problem solve, and model excellent TEAMWORK and PROCESSES replicated around the world with Olympic Development Program Athletes. One kid from the city will be in their company, BTW. Meanwhile, no kid from Homewood nor East Liberty nor Bloomfield can swim a Saturday practice at Westinghouse. Funny thing, some will show up anyway. I bet they all don't get the message that their school district has already canceled their life opportunities for them so as to make it impossible for them to compete with the rest of the world. PS... The roads are not bad at all. ... What about "Showing UP" and attendance?, If you are nor too busy being LAZY for other people come by Trees Swim Pool , Linda Lane, any time today or Sunday, yep even Sunday to witness what you are robbing PPS kids from doing.

  • Mark Rauterkus Saturday Pool A Pool B
    11:30am-1:30pm 8th Grade Girls 8th Grade Boys
    1:00pm-3:00pm 10th Grade Girls 10th Grade Boys
    2:30pm-4:30pm 12th Grade Girls 12th Grade Boys
    4:00pm-6:00pm 8th Grade Girls 8th Grade Boys
    5:30pm-7:30pm 10th Grade Girls 10th Grade Boys
    7:00pm-9:00pm 12th Grade Girls 12th Grade Boys

    Sunday Pool A Pool B
    7:45am-9:30am 8th Grade Girls 8th Grade Boys
    9:00am-11:00am 10th Grade Girls 10th Grade Boys
    10:30am-12:30am 12th Grade Girls 12th Grade Boys
    12:00pm-2:00pm 8th Grade Girls 8th Grade Boys
    1:30pm-3:30pm 10th Grade Girls 10th Grade Boys
    3:00pm-5:00pm 12th Grade Girls 12th Grade Boys
  • Mark Rauterkus That, above, is the practice schedule so people can come on in and check it out.
  • Mark Rauterkus Or, you can just watch my FB page for updates this weekend.

You and the United Way got a lot of buzz with the message about showing up and how attendance was important. 

Do you realize that in the first two weeks of our swim season at Obama we had three practices called off by school officials. There was the snow night before Thanksgiving and the 2 hour delay (2) and the first day of practice we could not have sports at the school because there was a CABARET dress rehearsal in the school gym. Go figure.

At the end of the 2nd week, we had a practice swim meet with Shaler and Deer Lakes. Shaler had already conducted 100 practices this season and our PPS kids had 6. 

Our team was slated to hold its practice at Westinghouse HS because we are NEVER allowed to hold practices on SATURDAYS at our school because the custodians say the pool needs to be cleaned that day. 

When you spoke at the State of the District talk and said an A/B cleaning schedule would be possible, I giggled. The custodians are lucky to ever go and clean the pool -- unless they do a "retaliation cleaning" by squirting the locker room floor down while our kids are in the water at 6:30 am practice some morning. And yes, our kids clothing is all around the locker room at that time. Go figure. 

On Saturday, I'll be in the stands at Pitt's Trees Hall, ready to talk about what we can do together in terms of cooperation so we are a district of first choice from:

1-3 pm on Saturday, 
5:30 to 7:30 on Saturday


9-11 am on Sunday,
1:30 to 3:30 on Sunday, too.

If you get this email on Monday, I'll be at the pool at Obama every day next week from 6 am to 7:15 AM. 

We need to talk without emails and without mine time limited to 3 minutes at public comment. I asked to meet with you since November 2012. My patience is about to evaporate as goes another 1,000 kids in an outward migration from PPS with the talk of "fewer sports."

With crisis comes opportunity. 

Finally, this is NOT about money. Three years ago I told Dr. Walters, my school principal, that I'd be able to give Obama $50,000 per year. That would more than sustain the swim and water polo programs at our school and have lots of money left over for other sports, PTO or whatever he wanted. So, money is not the issue. 

It is a slam dunk for me to make $50,000 a year for PPS. Golly, I did way more than that in the 80s.

Have a good weekend. Go Steelers.

Mark Rauterkus    
PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim and Water Polo Camp Head Coach
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team
412 298 3432 = cell

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