– PART 32 –

The Bare Minimums – Grade 2/3 Math
Timeline: September 09, 2021 – September 20, 2021

32.1 On September 9, 2021 the applicant came home from school and told his parents that his new homeroom teacher, Kevin Maddalena, ” was okay with assigning homework.”

.

To: Kevin Maddalena Kevin.Maddalena@dsbn.org
Dated: September 09, 2021

Good morning sir, our son explained that you were okay with assigning homework. Can you assign a little bit of work each day be it Math, English, Science, Geography ect. That would be perfect in keeping him up to pace with what is being taught.

Also please send home all completed work, test and assignment so I can see where he is at and see what he is doing in current time.

From: Kevin Maddalena Kevin.Maddalena@dsbn.org
Dated: September 09, 2021

Hello , Thank you for the email. I will try to get some homework for your son. I feel that reading would be a good start, so will give him a book to keep, and read at home. As for school work, when it is complete and marked and returned to him, I will communicate with him that he is to bring it home for you to see. Thanks for your support in his education.

To: Kevin Maddalena Kevin.Maddalena@dsbn.org
Dated: September 09, 2021

Good morning, Much appreciated

32.2 As you can see on September 9, 2021 Kevin Maddalena states that “I will try to get some homework for your son. I feel that reading would be a good start, so will give him a book to keep, and read at home. As for school work, when it is complete and marked and returned to him, I will communicate with him that he is to bring it home for you to see.”

32.3 A week later on September 15, 2021. Kevin Maddalena gives the applicant an Encyclopedia book about sharks and instructs him to read it at home as extra work. Keep in mind that Kevin Maddalena also promised to provide the applicant additional work in Math, English, Science, Geography ect. And instead of following through with giving him actual work. He takes some random Encyclopedia off the class shelf and tells the applicant to read it.

32.4 Why? Because the lazy Kevin Maddalena found it much easier to just hand the application an off the shelf encyclopedia instead of sitting down and preparing some work related to what they are doing in class at the time.

32.5 Kevin Maddalena could not even bother to ask that the applicant submit a straightforward simple book report/summary for him to review.

32.6 The following day on September 16, 2021, the parents asked that their son to show them some of his school works that he had completed for that week in his note books. Their son replied “We don’t write anything down in books, everything is done on the whiteboard.”

32.7 The parents were taken aback while asked their son to explain. How is it possible that the DSBN and Kevin Maddalena do not comprehend the advantages of students;

  • See It,
  • Say It,
  • Hear It, and
  • Write It.

32.8 The parents were baffled as to why Kevin Maddalena was doing everything on a whiteboard, thereby removing a wide variety of teaching methods. That when children;

32.9 So it appeared that the DSBN and Kevin Maddalena were unable to comprehend the significance of these 4 learning styles.

32.10 It also appeared that Kevin Maddalena was a lazy teacher because the applicant explained to his parents that the class was studying content that is covered in Grades 2 and 3 in Ontario schools. This type of work and material that was being taught to the applicant’s grade 7/8 class is taught in Ontario schools in Grade 2/3.

View Government of Ontario PDF file – Page 143

32.11 The parents starting to piece things together;

  • The parents ask “Can you assign a little bit of work each day to our son?” And after 9 days, Kevin Maddalena finally sends home an Encyclopedia about sharks for their son to read. Kevin Maddalena does not provided or requires their son to answer questions on the material or even write a simple book report/summary.
  • Kevin Maddalena states that “I feel that reading would be a good start, so will give him a book to keep, and read at home”
  • Kevin Maddalena entire grade 7/8 class is doing grade 2/3 math.
  • Kevin Maddalena does everything on a white board in class. Resulting in him not having to give out actual physical work for the students to do.
  • In return now he does NOT have to physical sit down and check the work the students would have handed in to see if it is being done correctly.

32.12 It appears that Kevin Maddalena’s propensity to select the simplest solution for teaching, resulting in the least amount of work and effort being done on his end in every situation, seemed to be becoming a pattern in his classroom.

32.13 The parents email Kevin Maddalena and questioned his choices and abilities.

To: Kevin Maddalena Kevin.Maddalena@dsbn.org
Dated: September 16, 2021

Hello, question…. our son explained to me that he is not doing actual work on paper but on a white board. So how am I actually suppose to know what he is doing and how he is doing when there is no material coming home after 2 weeks?

Also when do you anticipate you are going to start doing some real math in class? Maybe start some Algebra? From my understanding the school is still doing 10’s, 100’s 1000’s blocks. This was stuff that should have been covered and done at least grade 2 at worse.

Why are we doing this childish work when in these kids are in Grade 7 and 8 and are facing high school next year and in 2 years? And this is why I home schooled my children.
Do you anticipate anytime soon or do I need to pull him out and homeschool him so he is prepared for high school?

32.14 After waiting three days for a reply from Kevin Maddalena, the parents sent him a follow-up email that was certain to capture his attention and elicit a response.

To: Kevin Maddalena Kevin.Maddalena@dsbn.org
Dated: September 19, 2021

Hello, I have explained to our son he is no longer going to be using the white board for any work. I want to be able to see what he is doing in school and where he is going wrong and having a hard time understanding. He will be bringing all work home that he does each day so I can stay on top of what is being done.

32.15 After less than two hours of the second email being sent, and after ignoring the parent’s previous email for three days. The lazy Kevin Maddalena replied back with a simple cut-and-paste statement that he copied from a DSBN document or webpage.

From: Kevin Maddalena Kevin.Maddalena@dsbn.org
Dated: September 20, 2021

Good Morning, Thank you for your email and sharing your concerns about your son’s education. We always welcome parent feedback.

The Ontario Mathematics Program encompasses the whole child, including social emotional learning skills. Students in all grades will explore with manipulative how to express their thinking and to prove their conjectures. Your son has already shown growth in these areas and we will continue to enhance his learning in math through collaboration when problem solving, practice with implementing strategies, reviewing previous concepts and skill based assessments.
At times, these aspects of the Ontario Mathematics Program involve using paper and pencil to express thinking, whiteboards/technology to make discoveries and test out theories, unit tests/quizzes and sharing or presenting our math thinking.

Assessment takes place during all of these math moments. The DSBN follows a Math Scope and Sequence which lays out the timeframe and order of math concepts for the year. This month, we are focusing on Patterning and I am happy to share with you that we will dive into how Algebra and Patterning are connected. Keep an eye out for your son’s work on algebraic expressions for linear growing patterns.

We enjoy your son’s contributions in the classroom and he has made a great addition this year.

If you continue to feel strongly about the opportunity to Homeschool the applicant this year, we will support you in this choice. If you have any questions about the process involved in switching to Homeschooling, please reach out to the office at (905) 682-6609.

32.16 The eagerness and emphasizing by Kevin Maddalena to underline the potential possibility that the parents may be home schooling their son is the most surprising feature of this lengthy cut and paste response. Kevin Maddalena did not even try to persuade the parents that his classroom and the system works and that homeschooling should only be a last choice WHEN NECESSARY! So why then are the DSBN and Kevin Maddalena so ready to endorse this idea of home schooling?

32.17 Similar to Marcus, no additional follow-up investigation into Jacqueline Ravazzolo’s racist acts would be possible because the applicant would now be transferred totally out of DSBN school system and not attending all together.

32.18 Additionally, after the applicant is in home-schooling. Kevin Maddalena is now unrestricted in continuing to be a lazy teacher without fear of parental repercussions from those who might presumably have too many questions and want too many answers. That would seem to be an excellent argument for Kevin Maddalena to urge the applicant’s parents to homeschool their child. You are aware of the Nudge, Nudge, Hint Hint technique!

32.19 In response to the cut and paste email by Kevin Maddalena that he sent to the parents, the parents sent a follow-up email.

To: Kevin Maddalena Kevin.Maddalena@dsbn.org
Dated: September 20, 2021

Hello, I have made clear what I expect from the DSBN and your classroom. Let us get out of this grade 2 work and start teaching these kids some actual use math.

If the system continues to disappoint the children and ridiculous amounts continue to fail EQAO every year. I can only assume that our son is also falling behind. As I have no work or proof that he is not. Hence why he will not be using the whiteboard anymore. All work will be completed by pen/pencil and paper so I can review and help him at home each night.

As you can probably tell, I am not a fan of the Ontario School system, and I hold it to the highest standard possible, despite the ever-lowering of these standards over the decades.

This is not personal between you and me, and I hope it stays that way! I would expect nothing less than fair treatment and a conscious bias attitude and behavior towards our son.

You may not like my tone or words, that is unfortunate, but again my goal is to make sure MY SON is learning and not falling through the cracks. Just like you wouldn’t expect your children to do. That also means that our son is not just learning the bare minimum to obtain a low-level pass.

Our son’s goal is the same as his sisters this past June, and that is to be accepted in St. George’s University – Caribbean Medical School straight from high school. And honestly, without parent evolvement, this is just not obtainable by children due to our school system’s current state here in Ontario.

As I said, this is not personal between us. But when you tell me, you will send our son’s work home with him and then decided to have students do everything on a whiteboard. It tells me that again, I was being misguided with false impressions that individuals care or that you were just going through the motions and saying what I want to hear to keep me happy. Either way, I sat here for two weeks waiting for work from our son to make it home, and nothing showed up. Nobody bothered to reach out to explain why this was happening, and again it was left up to me to do the follow-up.

With that said, I hope that this year will be a productive one for our son. I will continue to work with him to learn what is being taught and more. I would expect nothing less than your full cooperation and assistance in helping our son achieve outstanding marks and a positive attitude towards his education.

As a side note, if you treat our son any differently than you do other students, our son WILL PICK IT UP, and it is at that point that everyone’s school year becomes a lot longer and stressful. Our son will push back and will voice his displeasure of the situation. This is not something I wish to deal with again this year. I want to go through the year with our son liking school and his teacher. Let us work together, so this is possible.

Our son has always been a good student, and he drives for success. The teacher always creates friction in their relationship due to their inability to treat him fairly and recognize their bias towards him. So please stay conscious of your interactions with him and other students. I am not saying that you would willfully do anything, but unconscious bias is a real problem within the Ontario School system, and it is children like our son who get swept up into it.

There is absolutely no need to respond to this email, as I anticipate that we will have a great year and that our son will be more than happy to achieve the goals you set for him and more. And when they are achieved, then you will not hear anything from his mom and me.

Thanks for your time, and do not take the above text personally. I am expressing to you my frustrations with the system from the past 23 years combined. And I am going into this year AGAIN with a positive attitude and hopeful spirit. Please do not let our son or me down.

32.20 There was no response from Kevin Maddalena in regards to the email. Total silence, crickets!

32.21 Kevin Maddalena took “There is absolutely no need to respond to this email” to heart and utilized it as an opening not to reassert and assure the parents his desire to see their son succeed and that racism would not exist in his classroom. Instead Kevin Maddalena chose to remain silent as it’s clear that he was upset at being called out on his lies and lazy teaching techniques.