• From: Judy Gafa <gafaj@gpschools.com>
    Date: June 17, 2016 at 8:13:08 AM EDT
    To: School Board <SchoolBoard@gpschools.org>
    Cc: "Fenton, Christian" <Christian.Fenton@gpschools.org>, "Dean, Jon" <Michael.Dean@gpschools.org>, "Fannon, Rebecca" <Rebecca.Fannon@gpschools.org>, Lois Valente <valentl@gpschools.com>, "summerb@gpschools.com" <summerb@gpschools.com>, "Niehaus, Gary" <Gary.Niehaus@gpschools.org>, "roesked@gpschools.com" <roesked@gpschools.com>, "weertzm@gpschools.com" <weertzm@gpschools.com>, "ismaila@gpschools.com" <ismaila@gpschools.com>, "pangboc@gpschools.com" <pangboc@gpschools.com>
    Subject: Re: FW: Pangborn Email re: Monday, June 13 Meeting Lack of Quorum/Admin and Gafa Responses

    For clarification, per board by laws when a trustee asks for information, the response is shared with the entire board.

    Thank you

    Judy Gafa

    On Thursday, June 16, 2016, School Board <SchoolBoard@gpschools.org> wrote:

    From: Ahmed Ismail
    Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2016 12:12:36 PM (UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)
    To: School Board
    Cc: Ismail, Ahmed (GPPSS)
    Subject: Pangborn Email re: Monday, June 13 Meeting Lack of Quorum/Admin and Gafa Responses

    Board Members and Administration,

    In my personal opinion, this email chain is a perfect example of one of the many negative unintended consequences of our current email policy.

    Mrs. Pangborn sends an email to the central office administration (copy below).  No problem.  Her personal concerns are between her and the recipients.  Central Office replies to Mrs. Pangborn and copies all Board members (copy below).  No problem.  The response is between the recipients and the board members.

    Mrs. Gafa then replies to Mrs. Pangborn and copies all of the Board members (copy below).  Problem – now Mr. Fenton has to read it to make sure that it can be posted on line per our policy.  Email qualifies under the policy and it gets posted.

    Bigger problem for me personally – Mrs. Gafa’s email leads the casual reader (and in fact, the entire world by virtue of our email policy) to believe that my not being able to attend Monday’s meeting was a surprise to those responsible for building the meeting agenda and that I never told anyone I couldn’t be at the meeting.  In fact, two of the three persons involved with building the agenda were informed via email on June 7th (see email below).  The fact this this information was not shared with Mrs. Gafa by the other two persons involved in building the agenda is a communications issue that isn’t my responsibility.  Its wording will lead those reading her email to believe that I operate in an unprofessional manner, which those who know me know is very, very far from the truth.

    The crime of all of this is that Mrs. Gafa’s email stands on its own out there in Internet-land.  Someone could easily read her email and not read this response, leaving the reading of her email with the opinion that I operated in an inconsiderate, unprofessional manner without regard for my fellow Board members or the community members who took time out of their busy schedules to attend the board meeting.  They will never know that in fact I advised the admin six days prior to the meeting that I had a conflict and would not be able to attend. No amount of Internet explanations by me or apologies by Mrs. Gafa fixes that problem.

    I would be upset if this happened to ANY member of this board.  You all should be upset it happened to me.

    Ahmed Ismail

    Ahmed Ismail, Trustee
    Grosse Pointe Public School System
    313-343-9060 (The Portrait Place, 10am – 5pm)
    313-969-1541 (Cell, 6pm – 11pm)

    Please forgive the fine print to follow.
    Our School Board Policy No. 167.5 requires that I advise you
    what I think you already know, which is:

    The above email and its attachments (if any) express the personal view(s) of the Sender.  If you would like the
    official position of the Board of Education and/or the administration of the Grosse Pointe Public School System
    on an issue, please submit your inquiry to schoolboard@gpschools.org<mailto:schoolboard@gpschools.org>.  Thank you.

    From: Ahmed Ismail [mailto:ahmed@portraitplacegpw.com]
    Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2016 7:24 AM
    To: Sharples, Denise (GPPSS)
    Cc: Niehaus, Gary (GPPSS)
    Subject: Ismail, Ahmed - Prior Commitments as of Today

    Hi Denise,

    It just dawned on me that you had sent an email requesting board member availability for the next few months for MASB training and now for the board vacancy interviews.

    The only times I am not available (as of today at least) are:

    June 9 (after 1pm)
    June 13 (after 1pm)
    June 21 (after 2pm)
    June 30 - July 5
    August 11 (after 2pm)

    As other dates become booked, I will let you know.

    Thank you,


    From: Judy Gafa [mailto:gafaj@gpschools.com]
    Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2016 11:23 AM
    To: Cindy Pangborn
    Cc: gary.niehaus@gpschools.org; Michael.Dean@gpschools.org; Christian.Fenton@gpschools.org; Summerb@gpschools.com; Daniel Roeske; Lois Valente; Margaret Weertz; Ahmed Ismail (GPPSS)
    Subject: Re: Budget

    I was notified several days prior to the meeting by Brian and Cindy due to 8th grade promotions.  Mrs Valente called me several hours before the meeting  to let me know she was unable to attend.
    I personally did not hear from Mr Ismail, that he could not attend
    We had at least 8 Destination Imagination teams that were present to be recognized.  I cannot cancel a board meeting that quickly.
    It is rude to the community and would of been very rude to the students.

    I allowed speakers who were present to comment on action agenda items to comment.

    Moving forward I think best practice is for board members to notify the president of the board when they are not present.  I did not know beforehand that we would not have a quorum. Plus I don't think canceling meetings the day of is a good practice.

    Thank You
    Judy Gafa

    From: Niehaus, Gary [mailto:Gary.Niehaus@gpschools.org]
    Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2016 10:39 AM
    To: 'Cindy Pangborn'
    Cc: Fenton, Christian; Dean, Jon; ahmed@portraitplacegpw.com; Brian Summerfield; Cindy Pangborn; Cindy Pangborn - Grosse Pointe Public School System (pangboc@gpschools.com); Dan Roeske; Ismail, Ahmed (GPPSS); Judy Gafa; Lois Valente; Margaret Weertz
    Subject: RE: Budget


    We are prepared and ready to have a special Board Meeting to discuss the budget.  The board packet has the Power Point that will be the focus.  We are willing to have meetings with individual board members to go through their questions.  You have begun a good list of questions.  Chris should have all of the documentation needed.

    Denise is available to set up a special Board meeting or appointments with those who have questions.

    Denise and Chris are currently looking at Wednesday, June 29, 2016 and Thursday, June 30, 2016 to interview Board candidates for the Board vacancy.  The current venue is Brownell Middle School auditorium.  We need board availability ASAP.

    We had a room full of parents and students for the Destination Imagination. We had less than 24 hour notice.  The BOE meeting needed to go forward with no action items being considered.  The Board of Education has to notify the Board President when they are going to be absent.  We have already cancelled the July 25, 2016 due to a limited attendance by administration and board members.


    From: Cindy Pangborn [mailto:cindypangborn@gmail.com<mailto:cindypangborn@gmail.com>]
    Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2016 9:56 AM
    To: Niehaus, Gary; gafaj@gpschools.com<mailto:gafaj@gpschools.com>; Dean, Jon; Fenton, Christian; Summerb@gpschools.com<mailto:Summerb@gpschools.com>
    Subject: Budget

    I am puzzled by the failure to have a quorum for the Board meeting on June 13.
    I gave notice that I would be late, several days before the meeting. Were you notified by anyone else?  When you became aware that this was happening why wasn't the meeting canceled?  I am very aware that  the students from Destination Imagination would be recognized. When it was obvious that there was not a quorum the meeting should have been cancelled. As students and their families were already in attendance, there should have been an announcement that it was an evening to present the accomplishments of the Destination team by the school system and then the gathering should have been over. The continuation of  the meeting may put us in violation of the open meetings act. I have not had a chance to watch the meeting yet so I maybe will stand corrected depending on the actual words used to begin and end this gathering.
    Has a date been set to discuss the budget?  Please send me the line items of the expenses we have had this year for central office administration including our marketing department. I am also requesting a line by line accounting of our legal expenses, that show an accounting of our PTO expenses...I believe the last two months the PTO legal expenses were over $20,000.00...I would like an accounting of what this covered.
    Thank you, Cindy