You are on page 1of 110
OFFICE OF SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS MEMORANDUM. Department of - Education Done. Haier, Cmrcetor DATE: March 9, 2012 Mine Bet Genel Cons TO: Candace R. McLaren 7 Director CCandceR.MeLaren Deer Ccaritphers.0aten “FROM: ~=—-Raymond Garcia, Kara Hughes Depa ier Confidential Investigators Norte W. Kroner SUBJECT: Lynn Passarella, Principal, File # ‘Associ Dele Marilyn Arroyo, school aide, SS 225X, District 10 OSI Case # 10-7581 ORIGIN OF COMPLAINT On October 28, 2010, the Office of Special Investigations (“OSI”) received a referral from the Special Commissioner of Investigation (*SCI”) concerning the conduct of Lynn Passarella, Principal, Theatre Arts Production Company School (“TAPCo”), In an unsigned letter, dated ‘August 10, 2010, a group of anonymous complainants wrote District 10 Superintendent Elena Papaliberios, lodging upwards of eight allegations against Ms, Passarella, A supplemental email was sent to Ms. Papaliberios and Irma Zardoya, Executive Director of Children’s First Intensive, on October 12, 2010. Between these two anonymous missives, eleven allegations were made against Ms. Passarella; during the course of this investigation, an additional eight allegations, all pled against Ms. Passarella, were also identified, All nineteen allegations are as follows: 1) Student attendance data is altered by the Principal 2), TAPCo does not maintain accurate staff attendance data 3) Wellness classes are offered for PE credits 4) Teachers are assigned to teach and assign grades in courses outside of their teaching license 5) Non-pedagogs are assigned to teach and assign course grades 6) Students are passing courses that they do not attend OSI Case # 10-7581 7) There has been ongoing falsification of student transcript data! 8) Teachers were, and continue to be, pressured into altering, classroom grades 9) ‘Teachers were, and continue to be, pressured into altering Regents scores 10) There has been a battern of misuse of DOE money 12) There has been a falsification of parent, student, and teacher surveys 13)Ms, Passarella failed to adhere to DOE standards when hiring non-pedagogic staff 14) TAPCo’s partnership with the Children’s Aid Society (“CAS”) is questionable 15) Marilyn Arroyo is excessively absent and often comes to work Tate 16) Marilyn Arroyo’s boyfriend, who is not a DOE employee, has ‘completed custodial work at the school 17) Thete is a discernable deterioration among Ms. Passarella’s relationshin with hi service nersonnel 19) There is a high attrition rate at TAPCo due to Ms, Passarella’s intimidation BACKGROUND. for taking classes called “Wellness,” “Advisory,” and “Skills,” in addition to issues evaluated relevant to jane? A and ‘Chucei's Ono of Spex nvstgetns (65 Com Stet-RoamS72»Broatgn, NY 11201 ‘obbone 718985380; Fae 718938 3081 2 OSI Case # 10-7581 LICENSE HISTORY? ADMINISTRATORS (ordered by title) Principal Lynn Passare Ms. Passarella received her School Administrator/Supervisor Certificate 2005: her ligense to teach pre-kindergarten (“pre-K”), kindergarten and grades 1-6 expired in 2000.' issistant Principal Monika Fisher Ms, Fisher received her Schoo] Administrator/Supervisor Certificate in 1984: she is presently licensed to teach nursery school, kindergarten, and grades 1-6, Assistant Principal Demetr! Nicolopoul Mr. Nicolopoulos received his School Administrator/Supervisor Certificate in 2005. He holds a Business and Distributive Education Permanent Certificate, issued in 2002, and his Mathematics 7-12 Permanent Certificate was issued in 2006, Teacher xr Assistant Principal William Naedler Mr. Naedler received his School Administrator/Supervisor Certificate in 2003 and his Educational Technology Specialist Certificate in 2004: he is presently licensed to teach 7-12 Social Studies. CURRENT and PAST TAPCo STAFF MEMBERS (alphabetical order) Janice Acosta (teacher) Saas eect oi ‘Ms, Acosta received her English 7-12 Permanent issued a School Administrator/Supervisor Provisional Certificate in 2006; it expired at the end of August 2011. She is not licensed to teach PE. Jiaz Akhtar (teacher! ‘Mr. Akhtar earned his Physics 7-12 Permanent Certificate in 2007; he also holds a Mathematics 7-12 Initial Certificate, which expires in January 2012. Marilyn Arroyo (school aide) Between 2008 and 2011, Ms. Arroyo worked for both TAPCo and the Children’s Aid Society (“CAS”).> 5 Copies of all teacher certifications are enclosed in this case file for reference, “Ms. Passarella began working at TAPCo as the school’s “Director” in 1997, when TAPCo was only a middle school. In 2005, the schoo! had grown into a high school; by 2006 Ms. Passerella had become Principal, Chain’ i of Speci sens (5 CourtSet-Room 2 Broo, NY 11201 OSI Case # 10-7581 Leonare (teacher) Mr. Baquero eamed his Math 5-9 Certificate in 2008, and his Professional Theatre Certificate in September 2010, He is not licensed to teach PE. Jane Bells: (-time social worker) Ms. Bellsey obtained her School Social Worker Provisional Certificate in 2008, Michael Berkowitz (teacher! He first obtained his Students With Disabilities - Grades 7-12 — Social Studies, Internship Certificate in 2004; his Initial Certificate was obtained in 2007. Samuel Buchbinder (teacher) Mr. Buchbinder obtained his Social Studies grades 7-12 Transitional B Certificate in September 2008, and his Initial Certificate in 2010. He is not licensed to teach PE. Peter Casper (teacher) ‘Mr. Casper eamed his Childhood Education (Grades 1-6) Initial Certificate in 2004 and his Childhood Education Professional Certificate in 2009, Addi effective February 2007, Mr. Casper holds a School Administrator/Supervisor Provisional Certificate as well as a School District Administrator Permanent Certificate. ‘He is not licensed to teach PE. Herman Colon (teacher) Mr. Colon received his Social Studies 7-12 Initial Certificate on September 1, 2010. He is not licensed to teach PE. Kimberly Delorme (teacher) Ms. Delorme eamed her Mathematics, Grades 5-9 Transitional B Certificate in September 2008; it expired on August 31,2011.° She is not licensed to teach PE. Jessica Dolan (former TAPCo family worker) Ms. Dolan earned her BA from State University of New York-Purchase in January 2011. She does not have a teaching license. Merydel Entenza (teacher) Ms. Entenza obtained her Chemistry 7-12 Provisional Certificate in 2003; she has been ‘granted ‘two separate time extensions, the latter of which runs through August 31, 2011.” She is not licensed to teach PE. > According to their website, CAS “partners” with organizations and schools, including TAPCo, withthe aim to “help youngsters improve interpersonal communications skills, self-esteem and teamwork, enhance academic skill, spark intellectual curiosity, and encourage them to explore their interests and expand their worldview.” Ms, Delorme resigned from the DOE on September 6, 2011. 7 According to Ms. Helen Herman, Clerical Associate, Office of Licensing, Ms. Entenza has until June 2012 to “Telephone 718 935 360, Fan 7189383931 4 OSI Case # 10-7581 Sameh Fakouri (former TAPCo teacher) Mr. Fakouri’s Mathematics 7-12 Transitional B Certificate was first issued in 2007. co-op student worker) worked as a student worker between 2009 and the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year. Roberto Fernandez (guidance counselor) Mr. Fernandez received School Counselor Certificate in 1999. Andy Feliciano (school aide) Mr. Feliciano has worked as a TAPCo school aide since 1997, Diane Foster (former school aide Ms. Foster worked as a TAPCo school aide between 2007 and mid-way through the 2010-2011 school year. Raul Garcia (former TAPCo guidance counselor Mr. Garcia obtained his Bilingual Education Provisional Certificate in 2009. Valerie Garcia (paraprofessional Ms. Garcia has worked as a TAPCo paraprofessional since 2003. Mss. Garcia does not have a teaching license. lith (Dic rnandez (teacher; Ms. Hernandez received her Initial Dance Certificate in 2007. She is not licensed to teach PE. Dorian Herron (former TAPCo UFT Chapter eae Mr. Herron received his English 7-12 Provisional Certificate in 2007 and his Permanent Certificate in 2007. For a time, he was also licensed to teach pre-k, kindergarten and grades 1-6. He is not licensed to teach History. Ed Hou (former TAPCo teacher) Mr. Hou received his Mathematics 7-12 Transitional B Certificate in 2008 and his Initial Certificate in 2010, He also holds a Students With Disabilities, Grades 7-12 Certificate, which he earned in 2010, He is not licensed to teach Science, foreign language, or PE, Anastasiva Kornyeyeva (teacher) Ms. Kornyeyeva earned her Mathematics 7-12 Permanent Certificate in 2005, She is not licensed to teach PE. Eric Krakauer (current UFT Chapter Chair and teacher) Chass’ Ofc Spec Invesigations (SCout Set - Room 922» Brskyn, NY 11201 ‘ebpoe: 76935580, Fae 7185385931 5 ~~ Simone Rose (teacher) OSI Case # 10-7581 Mr. Krakauer obtained his English Language Arts 7-12 Transitional B Certificate in 2004, and his ELA Initial Certificate in 2007. He is not licensed to teach PE, Erica Laurent (teacher) Ms. Laurent eamed her Biology 7-12 Transitional B Certificate in February 2010. It appears that Ms, Laurent did not hold a valid teaching license for the first six months of her employment. Carol McSherry, (former TAPCo secretary) Ms. McSherry was TAPCo’s secretary from 1998 to 2011, Chris. wmer TAPCo teacher) ‘Mr. Murphy earned his Social Studies 7-12 Temporary License in 2001, and his Permanent Certificate in 2006. He is not licensed to teach PE. Robert O'Conner (custodian! Mr. O'Conner has acted as TAPCo’s custodian for as long as the school has been in operation, with the exception of a period of time between May and September 2008 when he was not working. Adam Pagan (teacher) Mr. Pagan obtained his Childhood Education (Grades 1-6), Transitional B Certificate in 2005, Transitional Certificate expired in August 2008 and he did not cam his Initial Certificate until September 2010. He obtained his Social Studies 7-12 Initial Certificate in June 2009. As such, it appears that ~ despite beginning his employ at ‘TAPCo in August 2008 — Mr. Pagan did not hold a valid teaching license between August 2008 and June 2009. He is not licensed to teach PE. Ms. Rose earned her English Language Arts 7-12 Transitional B Certificate in February 2007; her Initial Certificate was earned in 2008. Ms. Rose also obtained a School Building Leader Initial Certificate in 2011. Ms. Rose did not hold a valid teaching license for the first seven months of her employ. Myriam (Mimi) Santana (family worker/parent coordinator/teacher). Ms. Santana eamed her Students With Disabilities (Grades 5-9), Generalist, Transitional B Certificate in September 2010. She is not licensed to teach high school and, at the time that she taught Advisory, she was not licensed to teach in any classroom, Mark Schaudt (teacher/community coordinator! ‘Mr. Schaudt received his pre-k, kindergarten and grades 1-6 teaching certificate in 2006, his School Building Leader Initial Certificate in September 2010, and his School District Leader Professional Certificate in January 2011. He is not licensed to teach PE. (Canes Oc of Spec! avesigatons (65 Cot Steet -Room $22» Broke, NY 1120) ‘ekg: 118 35380; Fax, 7189353931 6 OSI Case # 10-7581 Paugh Shadow (former TAPCo teacher) Mr. Shadow earned his Chemistry and General Science 7-12 in 2001, and his Biology and General Science 7-12 Provisional Certificate in 2002. A Permanent Extension was given for each license in 2008, Melissa Shafion (former TAPCo teacher) ‘Ms, Shafton eamed her English Language Arts 7-12 Initial Certificate in 2007. She is not licensed to teach PE. Ernest Thorpe (teacher! ‘Mr. Thorpe earned his Social Studies 7-12 Temporary License in 1997; his current Certificate was earned in 2007. Likewise, he earned Provisional Speech Certificate in 2002, and his current Certificate in 2006. He is not licensed to teach Science or PE. Claudio Viery (tec Mr. Viery obtained his Mathematics 7-12 Temporary License in 1998; his current Certificate was earned in 2004. He is not licensed to teach PE. Lit it unity assistant) Ms, Whitson has worked as a TAPCo community assistant since 2008. She has not taught any classes at the school. Jan Wold (teacher) Mr. Wold earned his English Language Arts 7-12 Initial Certificate in 2006; it expires on August 31, 2011.' He is not licensed to teach PE. NON-DOE STAFF Sam Egge (DOE vendor and TAPCo theatre consultant) Mr. Egge is employed by School Professionals, which is an approved DOE vendor. Mr. Egge began working at TAPCo at the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year. He is not a licensed teacher. ichard Negron (Director of Community Schools, Children's Aid Societ Mr. Negron and CAS began working with TAPCo in 2006; as of the beginning of ‘the 2011-2012 school year, there will no longer be a Children’s Aid office in TAPCo’s building. Andrey Tarnarutskiy (consultant) ‘Mr, Tamarutskiy began working at TAPCo in January 2011. He is not a licensed teacher. Karen Torbjornsen (consultant) " According to Ms, Herman, Mr. Wold has until June 2012 to renew his license, (tanste's Ow of Speci! nertgtins cout Suet - Room 22 Hooyn, NY 2D) een: 718985340; Po: 718 5853531 7 OSI Case # 10-7581 According to the DOE’s Office of Personnel Investigations, Ms. Torbjomsen was hired at TAPCo in January 2006; she continued to receive assignments at TAPCo until the-end of the 2009-2010 school year. She is not a licensed teacher. CURRENT and GRADUATED TAPCo STUDENTS Note: a copy of each student's transcript is enclosed in this case file for reference. Student A, year-old, male, graduate: Student A graduated with a Regents diploma on July 1, 2010, having attended ‘TAPCo from 2006-2010. Student B, year-old, female, 12" grade: Student B graduated with a Regents diploma on July 1, 2011, having entered ‘TAPCo as an 11” grader in November 2009. ‘Student C, year-old, male, 12" grade: Student C graduated with an Advanced Regents diploma on July 1, 2011. Student D,__-year- le, 12" grade: Student D graduated with an Advanced Regents diploma on July 1, 2011. Student E, year-old, male, 10" grade: Student E, Marilyn Arroyo's son, transferred to TAPCo from Wildcats High School in January 2010. ‘Student F,__year-old, female, 12" grade: Student G, year-old, male, 12" grade: Student G graduated with a Regents diploma on July 1, 2011 ‘Student H,_-year-old, female, 12" grade: ‘Student H graduated with a Regents diploma on July 1, 2011. ‘Student 1 year-old, female, 12" grade: ‘Student I graduated with a Regents diploma on July 1, 2011. ‘Student J, year-old, female, 12" grade: Student J is presently a senior at TAPCo. ‘Student K, year-old, female, 12" grade: Student K graduated with a Regents diploma on July 1, 2011. ° Wildcat isan alternative high school located within Harry S. Truman High School. (Canela fe of Spel vegan (6 Coun Set -Room 522 Brolga, NY 11201 ‘ebghone: 718935380; Fax: 718935 3901 8g OSI Case # 10-7581 RESULTS OF INVESTIGATION I, Falsification of Attendance d: ()Student attendance data is altered by the Principal Carol McSherry, former TAPCo secretary:” Ms. McSherry stated that, beginning in October 2010, Ms. Passarella requested ‘hat she fulfill the role of a pupil accounting secretary. Ms. McSherry received assistance from Valerie Garcia and ‘was responsible for “going room to room” to collect attendance data from teachers, At approximately 12:30 or 1:00 PM, ‘would then bring the data to Ms. MeSherry. Ms, McSherry and Ms. Garcia would then tally the data — including °s records, student signatures in the “late book,” and “call-ins” from parents — to determine ‘what percentage of the student body was present."' If fewer than 92% of the students were at school, Ms. McSherry was required to call and inform Ms. Passarella. According to Ms. McSherry, Ms. Passarella would then “take and review the bubble sheets” in her presence, commenting on the recorded data, Ms. McSherry stated that Ms. Passarella ‘would often say things like, “Oh, I saw that student,” before “changing” the bubble sheet to reflect that a student who had been marked absent was, indeed, present. On occasions ‘when Ms, Passarella did not personally change the attendance data, she would “take the bubble sheets and give them to a staff member,” requesting that the individual confirm the accuracy of the data, (On average, Ms. McSherry would submit attendance data at 3:00 PM. Sees Ms. McSherry told the undersigned investigators her recollection that “as soon as ‘SCI [investigators] came in [to TAPCo] she no longer changed data, But she'd still review it” if it the percent-present fell below 92%. Ms, McSherry acknowledged that student attendance at TAPCo was usually “pretty high” as “kids loved coming to TAPCo because they could do whatever they wanted. They would come in, they'd just come late.” erie '? Ms. MeSherry was interviewed at her Bronx home on September 19, 2011; as she retired from the DOB effective July 1, 2011, no union representative was present for her interview, '" Ms. MeSherry stated that Mr. Feliciano was responsible for having late students sign the “ate book.” Ms, Garcia was fist interviewed by the undersigned investigators on March 15, 2011; she was late re- interviewed by Investigator Garcia on June 28, 2011. Both interviews were conducted in the presence of Margaret Borrelli, UFT Representative. Chasers Ofer of Sei venigtons 65 Cor Svat -Room 972 Brcty, NY 1291 “Teepe: 718935 260, Py 7189353931 9 OSI Case # 10-7581 Ms. Garcia stated that she assumed responsibility for obtaining student attendance data beginning in 2007; school aide Joann Feaster had previously been responsible for the task, Ms, Garcia clarified that she collected student attendance data up until the 2010- 2011 school year. She was responsible for collecting both the “attendance sheets” and the “late sheets,” after which she would “bubble in” the late students so that they could be marked present on the attendance sheets, As per Ms. Passarella, Ms. Garcia would then calculate the percentage of students who were present. If 90% or more high schoo! students were present, Ms. Garcia would scan the attendance without making any notifications. In the event that high school attendance fell below 90-92%, Ms. Garcia was required to inform Ms. Passarella of the exact percentage. Ms. Passarella would then instruct Ms. Garcia to “go around to classes and make sure” that those students who had been marked absent were, indeed, absent. ‘Ms. Garcia admitted that she has observed Ms. Passarella change attendance sheets by marking students present when they had been previously marked absent by their teachers. On such occasions, Ms, Passarella would often acknowledge that she was ‘making such changes “from memory” or she would remark that “she had [personally] ‘seen the student.” Ms. Garcia confirmed that Ms. Passarella made such changes “a number of times, whenever the attendance [fell] below 90%.” Ms, Garcia also acknowledged that Ms. Passarella had, on multiple occasions, instructed her to change attendance records to increase the percentage of high school students marked present. ‘Ms. Garcia stated that she took attendance in this manner from 2007 up until 2010-2011, when Ms, Passarella assigned the duty to Ms. MeSherry and co-op student ‘As of her June 2011 OSI interview, Ms, Garcia stated that the present attendance system requires to personally deliver attendance sheets to teachers, and to “[walk] around the building” to determine whether students who had. ‘been marked absent were actually present in school. Ms. Garcia admitted that she does not know if Ms. McSherry and follow the same system that she was made to follow with regard to notifying Ms. Passarella when high school attendance drops below 90%. co-op student worker: stated that, during the 2010-2011 school year, he has been responsible for obtaining daily student attendance data, In order to do so, he first “distributes attendance sheets to all teachers,” and then he “waits until teachers take attendance” before collecting the attendance sheets, clarified that, before submitting high school attendance data to Ms. McSherry, per Ms. Passarella, he reports to the cafeteria during lunch time “to see if the students who were marked absent [by their classroom teachers] are present.” When appropriate, _ will update the attendance data to mark those students whom he sees at lunch as “present.” He stated that, because he is a resent gadvate, he “knows a majority of the students” enrolled in TAPCo’s high school. ‘was interviewed by Investigator Garcia on June 28, 2011 ‘Chmeirs Offs pes nvenipans (5 Cau Set -Room $22 Broakyn, NY 11201 Telephone 718 95:00, Fax 7189383931 10 OSI Case # 10-7581 Once he has amended the attendance data, at approximately 12:30 or 1:00 PM. each day, gives the attendance data to Ms. McSherry, who then “compares the absentees with the late students.” According to itis only after this comparison is made that the attendance is scanned and formally submitted to the DOE. When questioned, __ Clarified that he was not asked to visit the cafeteria during middle school lunch and was not instructed to amend or update middle school attendance data in the same fashion that he updates high school attendance records, Andy Feliciano, school aide:'S ‘Mr. Feliciano confirmed that he is involved with the collection of student attendance data, as, during the 2010-2011 school year, he was responsible for handing out late passes and maintaining TAPCo's “late book.” According to the attendance: procedures created by Ms. Passarella, at roughly 10:45 or 11:00 AM, Mr. Feliciano ‘would tally the list of late students and provide Ms. McSherry with the “late sheet,” Ms. McSherry would then give the late sheet to who “[went] around looking for kids” who had not yet been accounted for. Mr. Feliciano acknowledged that the system is “bound to fail” as “there are no consequences for being late.” He told the undersigned investigators that he generally compiled an “average [of] two pages of daily Iatenesses [sic],” which he estimated reflected between 100 and 120 student names. Mr. Feliciano stated that his list was seldom exhaustive as “even more students were late, but would just walk by [him], refusing to provide their names. He stated that his efforts to talk to Ms. Passarella and Ms, Fisher about the glitches in the school’s attendance policy were met with no response. Moni “Garcia, ‘and Carol MeShenry are — instrumental in running the school-wide policy concerning student attendance; she supervises the first two staff members in question. According to Ms. Fisher, during both the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 school years, Mr. has been responsible for “taking all TAPCo student attendance” by “going around” the school at both 10:00 AM and later “at lunch.”"7 After lunch, Mr. submits the attendance records to Ms. McSherry; she and Ms. Garcia then tally the results and “run statistics” reflecting what percent of *° On july 11, 2011, Mr. Feliciano appeared at OSI and was interviewed in the presence of Lorean Ellis, DC-37 Representative, Qn June 23, 2011, Ms, Fisher appeared at OSI and was interviewed in the presence of Carol Atkins, Council of School Supervisors & Administrators (“CSA”). Al interviews were conducted by both Investigator Garcia and Hughes unless otherwise noted 7 Ms, Fisher stated her belief that, prior to Mr. Feeney’s hire, Ms. Garcia was responsible for “collecting student attendance from teachers.” She also added that, prior to _ "sinvolvement in atendance-taking, “teachers ‘weren't taking proper attendance.” According to Ms. Fisher, during the 2010-2011 school year, between 515 and 525 students were enrolled at TAPCo. Canc of Spi Ivestetoos (5 Cont et Roo 922» Bk NY 11201 Telephone 71893830 Fan 189353991 u OSI Case # 10-7581 students present, Depending on the results, the attendance data is either submitted directly to the DOE, or brought to Ms. Passarella’s attention, According to Ms. Fisher, “If [the tally] was 90% or above, the Principal would say to scan [and submit the records}... Principal Passarella only checked with teachers to see if absent kids were present if the percent [present] was below 92%.” According to Ms. Fisher, on days when the percent of those present dipped below 92%, Ms. Passarella would either personally “check with teachers” to determine whether any students marked absent were, indeed, present, or “she'd send Ms, Garcia to go back to [classrooms to complete said] check.” Ms. Fisher admitted that she has personally observed Ms. Pessarella “change bubbles” reflecting absences “if [Ms Passarella] knew she saw a student” who had be been marked absent. Ms. Fisher estimated that Ms. Passarella made such changes in her presence “a few times, Lk ion of Attend: (Q)TAPCo does not maintain accurate staff attendance data”® Monika Fisher, Assistant Principal; ‘When asked how staff attendance is accounted for, Ms. Fisher indicated that staff members do not use timecards to “punch in or out,” but rather must write their names in a sign-in logbook. She described that staff members’ names are listed alphabetically in the book, and that each individual is to “sign or initial” when they arrive at school. Ms, ‘McSherry is responsible for writing “absent” next to the staff members who are known to be out for the day, Ms. Fisher stated that she is not required to sign in, and she further clarified that no staff members are required to sign-out, Demetri Nicolopoulos, Assistant Principal: Mr. Nicolopoulos explained that TAPCo staff members must sign-in “as soon as [they] come in to school.” He verified that the sign-in log is organized alphabetically ard, because there are no time eards to punch, the onus is on each staff member to record +his or her time accurately. If a staff member is going to be late or absent, he or she is to contact either Carol McSherry or Mark Schaudt; it is one of Ms, McSherry’s responsibilities to make a note in the sign-in book if someone Carol McSherry, former TAPCo secretary: Ms. McSherry stated that she was responsible for acting as TAPCo’s payroll seoretary since her hire in 1998, The school had always used a timekeeping system that ‘was reliant on staff members signing-in when they arrived at work in the morning, ‘There were no timecards, ‘Copies of the staff attendance log, dated August 28, 2008 through June 30, 2010, are enclosed in this case fle for reference. °° Mr, Nicolopoulos was interviewed on June 21, 201 1; the interview was conducted at CSA's office in the presence cof Robert Reich, CSA Director. For clarification it should be noted that TAPCo staff refer to Mr, Nicolopoulos as both “Demetri” and “‘immy.” hoes ies f Spel menace 65 Coot Stet-Ront 922 -Dioyn NY 1121 “elon: 1893530; Fa 118938551 12 OSI Case # 10-7581 According to Ms. Passarella's timekeeping guidelines, fa staff member was late ‘of was going to be absent, “The Principal insisted everyone who was absent call her.” In addition to calling Ms. Passarella, staff members were also asked to call Mr. Naedler or, after “he got moved to the second floor,” to notify Mr. Nicolopoulos of their absences.> ‘Ms, McSherry stated that she would assist Mr. Naedler in providing coverages for teachers who were late and/or absent. Ms. McSherry admitted, “Often times, staff ‘members would call Ms. Passarella {to report their absence] and she’d forget to tell us. ‘They also knew that we wouldn’t [often] get the message.” As a result, staff members got into the habit of calling either Ms. McSherry or Mr. Naedler directly; during the 2010-2011 school year, they would call either Ms, McSherry or Mr. Schaudt. From the onset of her career, Ms, McSherry worked from a desk located on ‘TAPCo's fourth floor, where the main entrance to the school is located. However, following the 2008-2009 school year, Ms, Passarella moved her to the second floor, where it was “difficult as a timekeeper, because people were signing-in on the fourth floor.” Andy Feliciano, schoo! aide: Mr. Feliciano began working at TAPCo in 1997. He stated that, since this time, the school has “never” required him to clock in and out; rather, he and his colleagues have maintained their hours worked by singing in a log-book. Herman Colon, teacher:”" Mr. Colon stated that TAPCo staff attendance is recorded in a “sign-in” book; no time-cards are used to record hours worked. Marilyn Arroyo, school aide: Ms. Arroyo confirmed that, per schoo] policy, she signed the attendance book When she arrived at school. When asked whom she was to notify in the event that she _ ‘was late to work, Ms. Arroyo provided three different answers - “[three people:] Lynn [Passarella], Ms, Fisher, and Mr. Schaudt,” “Carol [McSherry];” and “I can’t remember.” ‘When asked, she was unable to reconcile which answer was accurate, She told the undersigned investigators, “Sometimes | didn’t call [when I was absent or late]. She also maintained that, if she “forgot to sign, [she] wouldn’t get paid.” br Operations, Administration Payri On September 29, 2011, the undersigned investigators spoke with Mr. Siu, who stated that the DOE requires non-pedagogs, including school aides, to log their hours by clocking in and out. He further stated that no substitutions ~ including having aides sign in a log book like that maintained by TAPCo — are permissible, 2" Ms, McSherry estimated that Mr. Naedler was moved to the second floor in 2009. 2! Mr. Colon was interviewed on January 24, 2011, in the presence of David Kazansky, UFT Representative, He ‘yas re-interviewed on March 15, 2011, in the presence of Ms, Borrelli. On May 2, 2011, Ms. Arroyo appeared at OSI and was interviewed in the presence of Ms. Ellis, Cascellr’s fon of Ses! nveipatns (6 cue Steet -Room 522» Booty, NY 1120 ‘Telephone: 71895 300, Fax 7189353951 B OSI Case # 10-7581 Donald Conyers, Senior Supervising Superintendent: ‘On October 3, 2011, Mr. Conyers spoke with the undersigned investigators via telephone, at which time he answered questions regarding TAPCo’s timekeeping system. According to Mr. Conyers, based on the current UFT contract, union members are not required to clock in or to clock out in order to log their hours worked. However, if an employee fails to adhere the timekeeping system designed by the school, a Principal can instruct that employee to begin clocking in and out. 11, Falsification of Student Transcript Data (3) Wellness classes are offered for PE credits (QTeachers are assigned to teach and assign grades in courses outside of their teaching license (3) Non-pedagogs are assigned to teach and assign course grades (6) Students are passing courses that they do not attend (There has been ongoing falsification of student transcript data Student A, __..male, Tad ‘Student A explained that “Wellness” courses were classes that involved physical activity; he recalled that students were given the option as to what Wellness class they wanted to take; choices included yoga and “bodies in motion.” Student A could not recall whether he took a traditional gym course at TAPCo; and could likewise not recall whether he had taken a tradition PE course taught by one of his regular subject teachers, Upon request, Student A explained that he considered Advisory “to be like a study hall.” According to Student A, whenever he had difficulties with a course, he would seek appropriate help during his Advisory class. Student A did not recall having cither William Naedler or Raul Garcia as his Advisory teachers. The only Advisory teacher Student A recalled having was Mr. Buchbinder, who was his-11® grade Advisory teacher. Forreference, it should be noted that Student A’s transcript lists Mr. Naedler as his Advisory teacher during both the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 school years; Mr. Raul Garcia is listed as having taught him Advisory during his senior year, in 2009-20102" ‘When asked about an article, published in the New York Times on January 19, 2011, that quoted him as saying that he took “most of the classes that [appear] on [his} transcript,” Student A admitted to having spoken with the reporter about TAPCo, but denied suggesting that his transcript contained courses that he had never taken. Student B, female, 12" grade: ‘Student B stated that she took both PE and Wellness at TAPCo. She detailed that, during the 2009-2010 school year, she took a PE with Diayna Hemandez, dance teacher; the class was held on Fridays in the school's weight room.”” ® itshould be noted thatthe undersigned investigators did not disclose the name of the school in question, and likewise, did not share Ms, Passarella or Ms. Papaliberios’ names. > Seudent A was interviewed on January 31, 2011. > A copy of Student A's transcript is enclosed inthis investigative file for reference. ® student B was interviewed on February 4, 2011, inthe presence of Lourdes Carmone, Network Leader Canon Oe of pc! om: (5 Cour Suet Room 522 oon, NY 1201 “oepone: 718 935380; Fax: 7189383931 14 OSI Case # 10-7581 Student B’s Wellness class, which focused on volleyball, was taught by special education teacher Mr, Michael Berkowitz, and was held on Thursdays.* Student B recalled that the Wellness class was cancelled in 2009, shortly after she began at TAPCo, causing volleyball to be held during the latter half of her lunch period. According to Student B, once Wellness was cancelled, all students were given new schedules reflecting their new shortened lunch periods. She stated that, after the schedule change, the students “didn’t get to do volleyball that much,” because Wellness was held for only 20 minutes during students” lunch period. Mr, Adam Pagan, history teacher, became her Wellness teacher at that time.” Student B admitted that she Student C, __male, 12 grade: Student C stated that, from September 2010 to December 2010, he took a PE class that was taught by science teacher Mr. Mark Schaudt; Student C clarified that dance ‘teacher Ms. Hernandez would occasionally “assist” Mr. Schaudt. Student C explained that, while in the 11° grade, he took a Wellness class; he admitted that he did not fully understand “what Wellness involved.” Student C stated thet, prior to students enrolling in Wellness, Ms. Passarella had held a meeting in the auditorium to “try to explain Wellness;” following this, students were asked to select an activity that would then dictate the scope of their Wellness class. According to Student C, some of the selections were: book club, music club, yoga club, wrestling club, and game club. Student C said that he chose the game club, which involved playing board games such as Uno, Connect Four, and Chess. Student C stated that Mr. Ijaz Akhtar served as his Wellness teacher; he recalled being graded and passing the class. Student C did not know whether Wellness was an elective; there is no class described as “Wellness” on his transcript. Student C acknowledged that, after all’ TAPCo students received new schedules — during December 2010, PE was combined with lunch, such that PE was taught for the first 25 minutes of lunch, after which students were given 20 minutes to eat. Following this schedule change, Student C was also assigned a class with Ms. Hemandez, during, which he studied yoga, and a “weightlifting” class with Mr. Schaudt.”” Student C told the undersigned investigators that, around the time of this school-wide schedule change, Ms. Passarella explained to students during an assembly that they had “options” with regard to how they spent their PE/lunch period: they could change into their gym clothes and participate; stay in the cafeteria and not participate; or remain in their stroet-clothes but still “go outside” for the period? 2 As will be discussed in more detail lter inthis report, Ms. Hemandez is not a certified PE teacher, 2% As will be discussed in more detail leter inthis report, Mr. Berkowitz is nota certified PE teacher. ® As will be discussed in more detail lter inthis report, Mr. Pagan is not a licensed physical education teacher. > Student C was interviewed on February 4, 2011, inthe presence of Lourdes Carmona, Network Leader, >" Student C did not know what kind of credit he earned for these classes ~ specifically, he was uncertain whether they eamed him PE credits, * Student C could not reall where or under what circumstances Ms, Passarella relayed this information. ‘Chas Ofer of Spi avetignoat (5Cout Stet -Room'22 Brin, NY 1201 “aaghout 71893 380, Fa: 7189353951 15 OSI Case # 10-7581 Student C was provided with a copy of his transcript in order to view the names of those listed as having been his PE teachers, According to Student C, neither Mr. Naedler nor Ms. Hernandez acted as his gym teachers, Student C confirmed that he was in Mr, Sam Egge’s Voice and Speech class. Further, Student C confirmed that Ms, Karen ‘Torbjomsen was his teacher for an arts class, which appears on his transcript as “CAPPSEM.” Student C stated that, while in the 9" grade, Mr. Ian Wold served as his Advisory teacher, He recalled that his time in his Advisory class was spent “discussing political articles.” In the 10" grade, Ms. Merydel Entenza served as his Advisory teacher. According to Student C, Advisory with Ms, Entenza involved “doing homework” and ‘completing “worksheets regarding college.” In the 11"" and 12" grades, Mr. Akhtar served as his Advisory teacher. According to Student C, Mr. Akhtar’s Advisory class operated like “a study period.” During his OSI interview, Student C further described that TAPCo students also took courses that are considered “Skills” classes, According to Student C, Skills classes are subject-specific, but smaller in size than a standard English, Geometry, or Global History class. He stated that the purpose of a Skills class was to provide students the opportunity to spend extra time learning about classroom materials that were giving them trouble. He detailed that that, during one semester, his English, Geometry, and Global History class met three times a week, while, on the other two days, the teacher taught Skills. Skills classes were taught by subject teachers: for instance, Mr. Baquero taught Student C’s Geometry class and his Geometry Skills class, When Teviewing his transcript, Student C acknowledged that those classes listed as “Sem” — seemingly for “Seminar” — were his Skills classes. Student C confirmed that, while he earned one credit for his subject courses like Geometry or Global History, he only received half a credit for the related Skills classes, _ ‘Student D, male, 12th grad Stuaent D explained that, at the time of his OSI interview, Wellness classes had replaced the PE classes that were previously held on Mondays through Thursdays. Student D stated that, when this alteration to the schedules was made, the students were siven a variety of Wellness activities from which to choose, including game club (students played board games), Karate club, book club, and video club. Student D said that he chose the video club, which was taught by Mr. Akhtar and Ms. Entenza, Student D stated that he did not “learn anything” in Wellness and instead spent the period doing his homework for other classes; he did not indicate what, if anything, his classmates did during Wellness, At the time of his interview, he was unaware whether Wellness was going to be graded and, if so, whether he would earn a numeric or pass/fail (“P/F”) grade. Student D stated that, at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year, PE and lunch were combined. According to Student D, during the combination lunch/PE period, he played football outside with the other students as Mr. Andy Feliciano, school aide, * Student D was -wed on February 4, 2011, in the presence of Lourdes Carmona, Network Leader. Chics Ofc of pei esiantoas Coon Sat -Rava 922 Broke, NY 11201 “Teer: 7165383800, Fe TES 3691 16 OSI Case # 10-7581 watched them; to Student D's knowledge, no student attendance was taken at any point during the period. It was Student D's belief that TAPCo administrators changed the PE lass schedule mid-way through the first semester, during November 2010, due to student complaints regarding the combined gymvlunch periods. At the time of his February 2011 OS1 interview, Student D's PE class was held on Fridays with Ms, Hemandez: he Specified that the class, held in the weight room, is 45 minutes long, ‘When asked who, in addition to Ms, Hemandez, has served as his PE teacher, Student D stated that he had previously eamed PE credits by playing on school sports teams. Specifically, he stated that he did not have a PE class during his 9th, 10th, or 11th grade years because he played after-school sports. According to Student D, in the 9th grade, he was on the football team; Mr. Shaudt was his coach. In the 10th and 1 Ith grades, he was on the baseball team; Mr. Wold coached his 9th grade team and Mr. Steven Goldman coached the 10th grade team, Student D said that baseball practices and games were all held after school hours.** Student D stated that he is presently taking an Advisory class taught by Ms. Garcia, and clarified that he has taken an Advisory course every year of his high school at TAPCo. He also recalled taking a “College Seminar” class with Jessica Dolan and Susan Donovan; however he was unable to state when he was enrolled in said class.2° Upon request, Student D confirmed that he took a Voice and Speech class with Mr. Egge as his teacher.” According to Student D, this was a Skills class in which a majority of class time was spent reviewing outside class materials with which students were having difficulty.”” Further, Student D recalled taking an after-school Culinary class with “Mr. Antwan” and “Mr. Gary,” both of whom he believed worked for the Children’s Aid Society."* Student D stated that “Mr. Gary” was also the individual who served as the athletic director in Mr. Schaudt’s absence. Student D said that Jesse Perez taught the Video Production and Documentary class. Student male, 10 grade:” Student E recalled that, when he started at TAPCo in January 2010, he did not have a PE class. At an undetermined point in time, Student E's schedule was changed, and, as of the time of his OS! interview, he was enrolled in a PE “weightlifting” class With Mr. Schaudt. The PE class meets three times a week, “after lunch.” However, Student E confirmed that he docs not attend regularly. Student E also stated that he took * As will be discussed later in this report, relevant tothe information provided by Lisa Anaalone, Director, Office of Postsecondary Readiness, certain circumstances must be met in order for a student to receive PE eredit for participating in an after-school sports program, an Donovan is Children’s Aid Society college counselor. 2, Student D stated that Mr, Egge was the only one to teach thi class. + According to his transcript, Student D received a passing grade from Mr. Egge, and 50 credit. A copy of Student Ds transcript is enclosed in tis investigative file, 2 According to Student D's transcript, Mr. Needler was Student D's Culinary Arts teacher: “Mr. Antwan’ hos been ‘gentified as Antwan Knox; “Mr. Gary” remains unidentified, tn Aldsough Jesse Perez appears on the TAPCo organizational sheet, he is a Children's Aid Society employee, °° Student E was interviewed on February 4, 2011, inthe presence of Lourdes Carmona, Network Lender. Charla Otis of Spc investgntons 65 Cat Ses - Root 92 Brey, NY 1201 "lepton 718535300, Fn 718035 331 17 OSI Case # 10-7581 a yoga class with an unknown teacher; however, he also failed to attend that class regularly and could not recall when he was assigned to said class. Student E stated that, in the beginning of the 2010-201 school year, he had a Wellness class that was taught by an unknown female teacher. According to Student E, the students spoke about their feelings in class; he described the class as being similar to a support group. Student E said that he was not sure whether he had obtained a grade for the class. ‘Student E stated that, at the time of his OSI interview, he was currently enrolled inan Advisory class with an unknown female teacher; the class meets in the mornings. Student E acknowledged that he does not attend the class regularly because he is usually late or simply chooses not to do so. s omale, 12th grade:*t ‘With regard to PE, Student F stated that, at the start of the 2010-2011 school year, she was enrolled in “basketball and baseball” as taught by Mr. Schaudt. However, she ‘would often ‘sit down and not participate” during class. At an undetermined point in time early in that school year, Student F's class schedule was changed, such that her PE class was combined with her lunch period. Student F acknowledged that she would often. “just go to lunch until the [whole] period was over.” When asked whether she had been enrolled in a Wellness class, Student F acknowledged that she had, under the title of “Psychodrama,” which was taught by Ms. Dolan. Student F stated that she is enrolled in an Advisory class; Mr. Krakauer is her teacher. Student F conveyed that she spends the Advisory period “doing homework” and “talking to students,” she compared Advisory to being in a study hall. -___ When details of her transcript were provided to Student F, she confirmed that she took a Culinary Arts class, recalling that it was taught after school, Student F had no independent recollection of the year in which the class was offered, and likewise could not recall her Culinary Arts teacher’s name; when asked if Mr. William (Bill) Naedler taught the course she stated, “The name does not sound familiar.” Student Gt male, 12" ie Student G told the undersigned investigators that he took a Wellness course during the 2010-2011 school year; when students were given the option to choose their class, he elected to take board games. He recalled basketball, volleyball, and reading club were also available to eam credit. During Mr. Akhtar’s Wellness course, Student G and his classmates play board games like Life and Monopoly; Student G clarified that, if students had questions or need help with the games, Mr. Akhtar provided assistance, »wed on February 4, 2011, in the presence of Lourdes Carmona, Network Leader. “ Student G was interviewed on February 4, 2011, in the presence of Lourdes Carmona, Network Leader. Cheers Off Sil avetintns 6 Coe Stet-Room32 Baka, NY 1201 “elobabe: 718555309; Fe 718935 293, 18 OSI Case # 10-7581 With regard to Advisory, Student G confirmed that he has taken an Advisory ‘course every year during high school. According to Student G, Advisory is “early in the morning,” and is a time for students to “sit around and discuss different things.” ‘When asked whether he recognized Mr. Naedler’s name ~ as Student G’s ‘transcript lists Mr. Naedler as his PE teacher during the entire 2007-2008 school year — Student G indicated that he was unfamiliar with the name, He could not recall ever having taken a gym class while in high school; he only remembered taking gym as a 6" and 7" grader, but could not recall who taught said classes, As his transcript lists him as having taken Spanish classes ~ but does not designate who taught said Spanish classes — Student G was asked to name his Spanish teachers. Student G responded that he had never taken a Spanish class at TAPCo, but that, instead, he had taken Latin, When presented with a copy of his transcript, Student G reiterated that he had never taken a Spanish class at TAPCo. Student H, female, 12" grade: Student H confirmed that she has taken a PE class at TAPCo, recalling that Mr. Schaudt was her gym teacher. Since September 2010, Mr. Schaudt has taught her weightlifting. When asked, Student H stated that she has never had Mr, Naedler or Ms. Hernandez for PE.** Student H described Wellness classes as “diary-type classes,” where students sit ina circle and talk about personal topics, including “how their day is going.” Student H said that she did not have any Wellness classes during the 2010-201 school year, but did recall having Ms. Dolan as her Wellness teacher in the 11" grade, and Ms. Acosta during 10” grade. Student H specified that her Wellness class with Ms. Acosta was like “book club,” which she had chosen over “yoga” and “game club,” two other activities that were offered as Wellness options. Upon request, Student H explained that Valerie Garcia, paraprofessional, was her 12" grade Advisory teacher. She clarified that everyone assigned to Ms. Garcia's Advisory class was on the student council. Student H could not recall which teacher taught her 11", 10" or 9" grade Advisory classes; upon consideration, she could only recall that Mr. [Michael] Berkowitz was her 11" grade Advisory teacher, ** ‘When asked about Skills classes, Student H explained that Skills classes are taken on alternating days from “regular” classes; she further explained that Skills classes relate to one of the core classes offered at TAPCo. She recalled taking one Skills class, “College World,” with Mr. Wold where students were asked to review their coursework asan SAT prep: discussions were held “about college life,” as well as about personal statements and SAT vocabulary words. ‘© Student H was interviewed on February 4, 2011, inthe presence of Lourdes Carmona, Network Leader, “ Student Hs transcript indicates that Mr. ler was her PE tegcher in 2008, and Ms, Hemandez was her gym “© Mr, Akhtar or Mr. Berkowitz are each listed on Student H’s transcript as having taught her Advisory classes. ‘Chaceter's Of of Spec! evens 65 Court Steet -Room922-Brcta, NY 11201 Telephone 718935300; Fa, 714935 3991 19 OSI Case # 10-7581 ‘When her transcript was reviewed at a greater length, Student H confirmed that Mr. Egge was her acting teacher. She clarified that Ms. Passarella would “sometimes” ‘appear and observe in Mr. Egge’s class, but that the Principal did not teach or co-teach the class. ident I, 1 * grade: Student I stated that, in September 2009, she was assigned to a class that was “divided” into PE, “College Prep,” and Advisory; the day of the week determined the subject matter covered. On Mondays, Mr. Schaudt taught her weightlifting; on Tuesdays, she reported to her “College Prep” class; and on Wednesdays, she took Advisory. According to Student |, after the winter break, one of TAPCo's Assistant Principals announced that students’ class schedules were going to change, Following winter break, Student I said that she was enrolled in a class that was “divided” between weightlifting and lunch. She clarified, “PE is on [my] program card but [instead of going to PE] we go to lunch.” As Ms. Hemandez appears on Student I’s transcript as having taught her PE during 2007 and 2009, Student I was asked if Ms. Hernandez. had ever been her gym teacher. In response, Student | asserted that she has never had Ms. Hernandez as teacher — for PE or otherwise. Student I said that she reports to her Advisory class every day of the week. At the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year, Mr. Hou was her Advisory teacher; at an undetermined point in time, he was replaced by Mr. Krakauer. Student I recalled that, when she was in 11" grade, Ms, Entenza was her Advisory teacher; she could not recall the names of her 10" or 9" grade Advisory teachers. When asked whether Mr. Naedler, ‘who appears on her transcript as her 2007 and 2008 Advisory teacher, ever taught her Advisory, Student | replied that she didn’t “know who Mr. Naedler is,” and likewise has never had him as a teacher. ~~ Student T stated that Mr. Eege was her theatre arts teacher; she specifically recalled taking his “Voice and Speech” class. According to Student I, Mr. Egge taught “Voice and Speech” without the assistance of any additional teachers or administrators. Student J, 18-year-old, female, 12" grade: ‘Student J was shown her transcript and acknowledged that it indicates that she has taken and passed five semesters of PE at TAPCo. Student J stated that she has never taken a PE class at TAPCo. She further clarified that PE “was always listed on her program card,” but she never went; the last PE class she recalled attending was in middle school, Student J stated that she has never had Mr. Naedler as a teacher, nor has she had aclass with Ms, Hernandez."* ‘Student I was interviewed on February 4, 2011, inthe presence of Lourdes Carmona, Network Leader. ‘© Student J was interviewed on February 4, 2011, inthe presence of Lourdes Carmona, Network Leader. “ Student J's transcript lists Mr, Naedler as her Advisory teacher from 2007-2008, as wel as her gym tetcher in 2008. Ms, Hemandez appears as Student J's gym teacher for the 2009 school year. Chaat of pc tvesiatons (Cont Sue Rao 22 -Beoskg, NY 1121 “eepoce: 18935380, Fa: 189353991 20 OSI Case # 10-7581 Regarding her Wellness classes, Student J stated that students were given options as to which Wellness class they wanted to take; she chose volleyball as taught by History teacher Mr. Buchbinder. However, Student J stated that she later switched her Wellness class from volleyball to “hangout” with Science teacher Erica Laurent, According to Student J, the “hangout” class allowed students to sit in the hallway and “hang out.” Ms. Laurent took the students attendance and gave a P/F grade.” Student J confirmed that she took an Advisory class every. year during high school. She could not recall the names of any of her Advisory teachers, aside from Ms, Entenza, who has been her Advisory teacher during the 2010-2011 school year. With regard to her theatre arts classes, Student J recalled that Mr. Egge taught several of her acting classes; she did not recall him team-teaching with any instructor. She described that Mr, Egge’s “Speech and Voice” class “felt more like a theatre class than an English class,” as the students were all required to practice giving speeches aloud. They did not generate any original content. Student Ki, 1 At the time of her OSI interview, Student K stated that she was not enrolled in a PE class, but did take a morning weightlifting class with Ms. Schaudt during the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year. Student K said that the weightlifting class was cancelled when her class schedule changed; she estimated that TAPCo administrators implemented a high school-wide schedule change “before or after” the New Year. ‘Student K stated that she presently is on TAPCo’s basketball team, as coached by Mr. Casper. ‘The team plays on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM, Student K clarified that she has been on TAPCo’s basketball team during all four of her years at the high school. According to her transcript, Student K received credit during two separate semesters for her participation on the basketball team; Mr. Peter Casper and Mr. Jessie Perez appear as the instructor of record. When asked, Student K stated that she has never had Ms. Hemandez.— who appears on her transcript as teaching her PE during three oe ers=asaPE teacher. ae Student K stated that she only took Wellness as an 11" grader. She clarified that Ms, Entenza had been her Advisory teacher, and they had spent the class discussing current events, feelings, and personal issues. Student K confirmed that she has taken Advisory courses every year during high school. When questioned, she stated that she has never had Mr. Naedier as an Advisory teacher. ‘When the contents of her transcript were reviewed with her, Student K confirmed that she took a “sex ed” Health class as a TAPCo 9" grader; while she could not recall ‘2Ms. Laurent's ume does not appear anywhere on Student J's transcrip 3 Student K was interviewed on February 4, 2011, in the presence of Lourdes Carmona, Network Leader * Mr, Naedler is listed in Student K's transcript as having been her Advisory teacher in 2007 and 2008, Cass Offce of pei nveigont (8 Cue Sut Ronn 922 rok, NY 1121 ‘Taupo: 185383800, Fax 789383991, 21 ould be PE or Advisory.” According to Mr. Fernandez, Wellness was “cancelled” mid- OSI Case # 10-7581 the name of the instructor, she described the teacher as “a random person from another school.” Lyon. a, Prinei In an email dated October 29, 2010, sent from Ms. Passarella to Jessica Dolan, Demetri Nicolopoulos, and Carol McSherry, Ms, Passarella wrote: “Wellness in Tapco [sic] is recess. We create other activities so kids are in smaller groups.”? R wnandez, guidance counselor:S* Mr. Fernandez stated that he began working at TAPCo in September 2010. As he began to familiarize himself with TAPCo student transcripts, he discovered that approximately 40 students, set to graduate in June 2011, were “missing PE credits.” He clarified that “most” of these were students were “missing only one credit,” and further stated that these were students “were not involved in dance or after-school sports.” When he approached Ms. Passarella about this discovery, the Principal told Mr. Fernandez that the students could “make up” the missing credits “during or after school.” Mr. Femandez later told Investigator Garcia that TAPCo students received PE credit for participating in flag football, basketball, softball, and baseball that was played after-school in a program afliliated with the Children’s Aid Society. With regard to Wellness, Mr. Femandez indicated that the Wellness program began in September 2010. He recalled, Ms. Passarella “told me to set up a meeting [for the staff)” but clarified that he was not present when Wellness was described to TAPCo staff. When asked to describe Wellness, Mr. Fernandez detailed that the course was “between a PE and mental component.” Upon further questioning, Mr. Fernandez admitted that he “did not know what Wellness courses were,” but stated that, to his knowledge, Wellness had no written curriculum, adding, “I think it was considered a gym credit” and “might have” included elements of a “health curriculum.” When asked how “Wellness” appeared on student transcripts, he remarked, “It’s not labeled as Wellness. It way through the 2010-2011 school year, and was not offered during the spring semester. Mr. Fernandez defined Advisory as a class during which students “talk about ‘issues in their school and personal life.” He stated that, prior to his hire, students who took Advisory earned an elective credit. Mr. Fernandez told Investigator Garcia that a half-hour Advisory class was “possibly” given for credit during the first semester of the 2010-2011 school year, but that he was confident that “no credit was given” and likewise no grades were issued during the second semester, Mr. Feandez stated that he does not * On June 22, 2011, Mr, Reich informed Investigator Raymond Garcia that Lynn Passarella did not wish to participate in an OSI interview. A written record of Ms, Passarella’s refusal to appear is included in this case file for reference, 2 A copy of said email is enclosed in this case file for reference. * Mir. Femandez was initially interviewed on January 24, 2011, inthe presence of Mr. Kazansky; he was re- interviewed by Investigator Garcia inthe presence of Ms. Borrelli on June 28, 2011. * Mr. Fernandez could not recall the name of the individual — a male ~ who helped Ms, Passarella design Wellness. ‘Cancels ie of Spi vests 92+ skye NY 1201 “Teephane. 18935300, Pax 7189353931 22 OSI Case # 10-7581 teach “any classes,” and, as such, does not teach an Advisory class. Therefore, he “didn't know what went on” inside of Advisory classrooms. Mr. Fernandez also told Investigator Garcia that, when it was discovered that three senior students were each missing one credit of Health, At Ms, Passarella’s request, he “taught a project-based” Health course so that the students could graduate, Mr, Femandez did not meet with the students as a class, and instead worked individually with the seniors as they completed independent study.°” Mr. Femandez stated that, when he first joined TAPCo, he used the DOE?s automated High School Scheduling and Transcripts (“HSST”) system to create student schedules based on information provided by either Ms. Passarella or Demetri Nicolopoulos, Assistant Principal; Ms. (Iessica) Dolan, Ms. (Valeric) Garcia, and Ms. (Myriam) Santana were all programmed as teachers based on the information that he was provided. He clarified that, because he was new to the school, he was unaware that Ms. Dolan, Ms. Garcia, and Ms. Santana were not certified teachers. Raul. fe ‘APCo guidance coi . Garcia stated that, during the only year he worked at TAPCo ~ 2009-2010 — the school schedule was divided into two semesters.” The first was held between September and January, while the second stretched between February and June, According to Mr. Garcia, each semester was then divided into three marking periods: the first two marking periods reflected unique grades, while the value of the third marking period reflected an average of the first two grades. He clarified that “no unique grade” ‘was eared during the third marking period of each semester. According to Mr. Garcia, Wellness “was started by Ms. Passarella” and involved “different classes,” including game club as well as “playing basketball and volleyball, and doing yoga.” He recalled that, during the 2009-2010 school year, the gymnasium was being renovated, and, as such, all physical activities had to take place outside. "Wellness classes were “shorter” than average TA PCo classes, as they were held during students’ lunch periods. When asked, Mr. Garcia admitted that he had been unaware whether the teachers who had submitted P/F Wellness grades were licensed to teach PE. Mr, Garcia told the undersigned investigators that he “was given one Advisory group” to teach during his year at TAPCo. He stated that this Advisory session was “not enough time to do group work;” therefore, he held one-on-one sessions with the students in his class, during which they discussed personal and academic “issues.” Mtr. Femandez described the health class that he taught as being “project-based” as opposed to requiring the students to regularly meet together ina classroom setting, ® Mr. Fernandez could not recall the names of the thee students in question. °% Mr. Garcia was imterviewed at 251X in the presence of Kerry Eck, the school’s UFT Chapter Chair. ® Mr. Garcia wes TAPCo’s fist guidance counselor: as will be outlined later inthis report, SED 100.2() ii requires that high schools have a licensed counselor. Coes’ fs of Spc! ne 5 Coun Se -Raom 522i, NY 1201 Telos 7838300, Fu 7185052501 23 OSI Case # 10-7581 Dorian Herron, former TAPCo teacher and UFT Chapter Chair: During the 2008-2009 school year, Ms. Passarella created a “Wellness” program; Mr. Herron described Wellness as a “nebulous term used to cover a PE class.” Mr. Herron explained that students took Wellness “because, due or construction [in the building,] there weren't enough official gym classes.” According to Mr, Herron, teacher Mark Schaudt was the “only PE” teacher during the 2007-2008 school year; Mr. ‘Schaudt then left TAPCo, and, when he returned to the school as an administrative intern in 2010, he did not teach — PE or otherwise." When asked, Mr. Herron confirmed that, because there were no pedagogs to teach PE classes, all of the instructors who taught, Wellness and/or PE were teaching out of license. No grievances were filed by any TAPCo staff members regarding this issue. Mr. Herron did not teach a Wellness class, However, in addition to his ELA and History classes, he did teach an Advisory class for which he assigned P/F grades. Mr. Herron acknowledged that, based on his experience teaching Advisory at other schools, TAPCo's practice of assigning grades was “atypical.” When asked what occurred during Advisory, Mr. Herron remarked, “Not much.” He clarified that Advisory was a “short{er] period” than other TAPCo class periods, like ELA or History. He further stated that there was no set curriculum for Advisory, and describe his role as an Advisory teachers as that of a “grade advisor.” With regard to whether non-pedagogs taught courses at TAPCo, Mr. Herron. indicated that Sam Egge, a “non-UFT, non-DOE” instructor, and Jessica Dolan, whose “non-UFT” title he was admittedly unaware of, were both alone with students, and, to his knowledge, responsible for assigning grades." To Mr. Herron’s knowledge, Mr. Egge taught “theater/acting” classes, while Ms. Dolan “covered classes and taught Wellness.” Erie cher and UFT Chapter Chair: With regard to TAPCo’s PE curriculum, Mr. Krakauer stated that there are several teachers whose schedules reflect their having taught PE when, in fact, they never taught a PE course. According to Mr. Krakauer, this is not uncommon at TAPCo. He asserted © Mr, Herron appéared at OSI on February 3, 2011, and was interviewed inthe presence of Klaus Borneman, UFT Representative. © Mir. Schaucl is not licensed to teach PE, According to UFT Representative Klaus Bornemann, a non-licensed teacher can teach such a course provided that hisher Principal sends a letter to relevant students" parents, informing them of the staffing choice; the letter must be sent within 30 days of the teacher's first day teaching out of license. © Mir, Herron stated that, at both 18218 and Urban Assembly, he did not assign grades to any of his Advisory students, “Per DOE policy, a vendor or family worker can be present in a classroom, but must work in conjunction with a licensed DOE teacher or administrator. Chancellor's Regulation C-205 (6) probibits vendors from teaching courses that should be staffed by licensed individuals. © Mr. Krakauer was frst interviewed by Investigator Garcia on December 14, 2010; he was later re-interviewed by Investigators Garcia and Hughes on January 24,2011. David Kazansky, UFT Representative, was present for both interviews. Specifically, Mr. Krakauer stated that Mr. Pagan and Mr. Bacquero are cach listed on student transcripts as PE. teachers, despite the fact that they do not, and have not, taught PE classes at TAPCo, Mr. Krakauer further added that his name “might” eppeat on student transcripts as u PE teacher; he was unable to specify the names of the students in question. Mr. Krakauer did provide the undersigned investigators with copies ofthe 2010-2011 teacher programs, which reflect that “PE” appears on teacher schedules. Chants Oi of eel nears ‘Cou Stet Room 922 Beolyy NY 130) “elepene:718 935380, Fs 7188383931 24 OSI Case # 10-7581 that teachers commonly teach out of license. Related, Mr. Krakauer told the undersigned investigators that his girlfriend, Jessica Dolan, TAPCo family worker, has taught and graded PE classes despite the fact that she is not a licensed teacher. He further asserted that Diayna Hernandez is a “dance teacher who might be licensed to teach PE,” According to Mr. Krakauer, after being hired at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year, TAPCo guidance counselor Robert Fernandez created after-school PE. classes in order for select, unnamed seniors to “make up missing PE credits.” Mr. Krakauer confirmed that he taught Wellness, and recalled that his particular Wellness class focused on “yoga.” He explained that the teachers who taught Wellness could “teach whatever they wanted,” even if only loosely based on the Wellness topics suggested by Ms, Passarella, h ‘Upon questioning, Mr. Baquero confirmed, “Yes, 1 have been assigned to teach gym,” and stated that he had done so during the 2009-2010 school year, He clarified that it was a “mid-year assignment,” spanning from approximately February to June 2010. He recalled that Mr. Nicolopoulos had requested that he assume the PE teacher responsibilities as “[Mr. Nicolopoulos) usually talks to teachers about these kinds of scheduling issues.” Mr. Baquero was “not sure” why he was asked to teach PE, but recalled that dodge ball was “all [he] taught.” He assigned his PE students P/F grades. Atno time did he express concem to administrators or the UFT about being asked to teach and grade students in a subject that falls outside of his license. With regard to Wellness, Mr, Baquero stated that “everyone was assigned [to teach] Wellness.” He clarified that TAPCo “had it during the 2009-2010 year, but [he] didn’t teach it.” He did teach Wellness during 2010-201 1, although he explained that, at some point during the school year, “Wellness switched to Advisory.” Mr. Baquero could not recall what he taught during Wellness, but stated that, during Advisory, he ran “family groups" that were “kind of like guidance.” "He explained that he and his students would talk about their respective weekends, and about applying for jobs and to college. Advisory was a graded course: his students received P/F grades. ficated that, based upon the needs and requests of administrators, she taught PE. According to Ms. Hemandez, a week before her. January 2011 OSI interview, Mr. Schaudt asked her to teach PE after-school, inquiring, “What can you do that could count for PE?” In response, Ms. Hemandez told Mr. Schaudt that she could teach ‘yoga or body conditioning.” Ms. Hemandez stated that, soon after she was approached by Mr. Schaudt, Mr. Femandez, the guidance counselor, also asked her about teaching a gym class. Ms. Hemandez, acknowledged that she did not know whether © Mr, Baquero was interviewed on January 24, 2011, inthe presence of David Kazansky, UFT Special Representative Ms, Hemandez was interviewed on January 24, 2011 in the presence of Mr. Kazansky; she was r-interviewed on March 15, 2011 in the presence of Ms. Borrelli ‘Chests Ofer of ei avexiaont 5 Cont Set -Roomd22 “Bray, NY 1201 “elepane: 70859538, Fe 7185353931 25 OSI Case # 10-7581 “yoga or body conditioning” class would be offered for PE credit, but she “assumed so. since the transcript person (Mr. Femandez] was involved.” Prior to January 2011, Ms. Hernandez taught PE to “groups” of students, describing her classes as “PE but in a dance capacity.” She could not recall whether she assigned grades when she taught this course during the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 school years; upon consideration, she “guessed” that, if grades were assigned, they were P/F, ‘When asked, Ms. Hernandez confirmed that she has taught a “body conditioning” ‘Wellness course ‘for the past three years.” Wellness, based on Ms, Hernandez’s understanding, was a school-wide program which teachers instructed based on their “special skill{s].” She recalled taking attendance in her Wellness classes, but said that no grades were given. She stated that Wellness was “phased out” after Thanksgiving 2010, hy, former TAPCo teacher: Mr. Murphy stated that he did not teach a Wellness class while at TAPCo. He did, however, teach PE classes; he recalled Mark Schaudt being the Athletic Director uring that time. According to Mr, Murphy, he taught “karate” after-school during the 2006-2006 school year. He indicated that his students met two hours per week, and, per Ms, Passarella, they were assigned P/F grades. Mr. Murphy told Investigators Garcia and Hughes that he also served as TAPCo’s basketball coach for three years, a position that he received upon request; attendance was not taken and grades were not given to those students who were on TAPCo’s basketball team.” Ch Mr. Murphy confirmed that he taught Advisory while at TAPCo, He described the class as “just talking,” and stated that “it met four times per week, for between 30 and 40 minutes.” He could not recall whether he assigned any grades to his Advisory students, Ernest (Bud) Thorpe, teacher:”! ‘When asked whether he has taught Wellness at TAPCo, Mr. Thorpe replied, “No, but I've possibly taught PE.” He explained that, during an unnamed school year, he was responsible for “bringing classes to the gym.” He further clarified that, once the students arrived at the gymnasium, he was “responsible for them.” The male students generally played basketball, while the females either played basketball or “just sat and talked.” The students did not change clothés to participate and often “played in socks.” Mr. Thorpe ‘was not certain whether “PE” appeared on the students? transcripts; he likewise could not recall whether he assigned the students grades, although he did say that, if their work was graded, “it was probably [with a] P/F.” When asked whether Mr. Schaudt was ever a ? Mr. Murphy was interviewed at 221X on January 26, 2011; he stated that he did not need or wish to have a UFT Representative present during his OSI interview. ” As various TAPCo students indicated that they had received PE credit for having joined after-school sports teams, the undersigned investigators took efforts to establish whether teachers who acted a8 after-school coaches were srading their players. " Mr. Thorpe was interviewed on January 26, 2011; based on his stated preference, no UFT Representative was present, CCnclr’s Of of pc nvestipons 65 Cout set - Room 522 Brea, NY 11201 “ego 74555 340; Fa 7145353821 26 OSI Case # 10-7581 TAPCo PE teacher, Mr. Thorpe said that Mr. Schaudt “is the only staff member [he] knows to have taught gym,” Mr. Thorpe confirmed that consultants Sam Egge and “Mr. T” teach courses in theater — his previous atea of instruction.” He stated that he has “collaborated” with Mr. Egge as a theater director, but not during the course of the regular school day.”? Mr, Thorpe offered his belief that “there is no teacher” in the classroom while Mr. Egge, a hired vendor, works with students; Mr. Thorpe was uncertain whether Mr. Egge has assigned students grades. Mr. Thorpe stated that Mr, Ege was not the only unlicensed individual permitted to teach unassisted at TAPCo. He stated that Mr. Ege was a “private consultant” and not hired in relation to the Children’s Aid Society, who employs both Susan Donovan and Jessica Dolan, neither of whom are licensed DOE teacher.” Mark Schaudt, current TAPCo commu inator ier TAP Mr. Schaudt stated that, as community coordinator, he was not required to teach any Wellness classes. He remarked, “I [have been] sort of, limited, My job was to see if we could get gym space.” Mr. Schaudt explained that he was somewhat familiar with the ‘Wellness program because he was present when Ms. Passarella met with two Children’s Aid Society employees, “Vince” and “Claire,” to develop TAPCo’s Wellness curriculum. ‘When asked about the timing of said meeting, Mr. Schaudt indicated, “It must have been in September 2010.” Mr. Schaudt stated his belief that Wellness was developed as “a way [for students] to get physical release from the academic day.” He stated that there was a written curriculum, although he could not recall ever having seen a hard copy. He admitted that, even after his attendance at the development meetings, he was “not equipped to explain Wellness” to staff members. He further confided that other _ employees asked him about the program “because [that which they were supposed to instruct] was unclear.” Mr. Schaudt stated that he was uncertain whether students received credit for their participation in Wellness, and informed the undersigned investigators that, in his opinion, Wellness “didn’t work. It wasn’t successful because the ids blew it off.” 7 "Mr, T” has been identified as Andrey Tarnarutskiy; as wil be discussed later in this report, Mr. Temaruiskiy is nota certified teacher, 7, Mr. Thorpe clarified that he has collaborated with Mr. Egge on after-schoo! theater productions. ™ According to Mr. Thorpe, Ms, Donovan is Ms. Passarella's sister law, a fact that was addressed and {gubstantated by SCI under Case #2010-5238. (Mr. Schaudt was frst interviewed on January 24,2011, inthe presence of Mr. Kuzansky; he was r-interviewed in the presence of Ms. Borrelli on March 15, 2011 and spoke with Investigator Hughes, via telephone, on August 4, 2011, Vince has been identified as Vince Canziani, Director of Children's Aid Society's Wagon Road camp; Claire's last name and full identity remain unknown, seer’ Ofc of Speci retains (Cont Suet - Roam 922+ Brooke, NY 1120, Teephaze: 718935380, Par: 718 9353921, 27