This is what I'm sure every member of Ward Melville SciO wishes you came here to discuss. We have been shut out of the competition for something that was completely outside of our control. Yes, our school district should have handled the paperwork processing better, but in the end it was the students that were impacted, permanently and completely. That's why we're fighting for a change in this policy. Administration is administration, and kids doing science are kids doing science. That distinction should be made.I am not here to debate the merits of the policy or the appropriateness of the penalty for missing the registration deadline
A cone of depression occurs when you drop your scoop of ice cream on the ground on a hot summer day.
I think that this^ point is particularly compelling because it raises the question of whether Ward Melville was treated equitably in the situation. If Harold Miller knew immediately upon Ward Melville's disqualification to call Ward Melville's actual coach, why did he not contact that coach earlier, particularly if that coach was listed as Team 1's coach? I believe that a response from the NYSSO board regarding these actions is warranted, to dispel any appearance of impropriety if there is a legitimate explanation. While the NYSSO board uses equitability as the pillar of their insistence to not grant an exception, it appears that NYSSO's own actions were not equitable in the first place. If anything, this inequitable treatment of Ward Melville should be grounds, in and of itself, to make an exception for Ward Melville.Furthermore, our actual coach was contacted immediately upon disqualification. It seems perfectly clear who was the appropriate contact point
We appreciate the response. I know people have already went through each point, but let me give my feedback anyway:First, full disclosure: I am a member of the NYSSO Board of Directors. I am also a current SO Coach (and have been for 17 years), I've been a Regional, State, and National event supervisor, and the New York State Science Olympiad Web Master. I am not here to debate the merits of the policy or the appropriateness of the penalty for missing the registration deadline, but rather to make some observations regarding the discussion of this issue:
I'm not sure why Great Neck South's disqualification didn't get the attention that it deserved. Maybe the team wasn't as aggressive about spreading the information. But I don't really understand what your point is. The fact of the matter is that Ward Melville DID get attention, and rightfully so. We posted here on the forums, on Facebook, spread through word of mouth, etc. It's not only the Ward Melville kids that are complaining, it's kids from all over the state and all over the country. The fact that this happened to last year's state champion might explain why the uproar is significantly higher, but the amount of outrage that was generated in 2011 is irrelevant.1. The policy being discussed was adopted by the Board in June of 2010, and has been posted on the web site since that time (click on the State Policies link and scroll down to June 26, 2010). It was first applied to Great Neck South for the 2011 State Tournament. I find it interesting that when a member of the Great Neck South team posted that the team would not be competing in the Tournament because of a "small" error (see page 38 of the New York thread in the 2011 archive), that post received a grand total of 3 responses (one asking for more information, one stating how sorry the poster was to hear about this, and one stating that the policy was "ridiculous"). If you look through the 72 pages in that thread, you will notice that there were a number of Gelinas and Ward Melville students who were very active in the thread, yet none of the three people who responded to this posting was from either school. Now that Ward Melville has been given the same penalty for the same infraction, the response has been an uproar, requiring two additional threads to contain students' outrage. I just find it interesting that when it was Great Neck South, only one person on the New York thread felt compelled to express his/her outrage over the policy and its implementation, but now that its Ward Melville the response has been so great.
If so few people have had issues with getting registration in, do you really feel that the absurdly harsh penalty is justified then? A penalty of this severity seems like it should only be implemented if absolutely necessary, and the way you describe it, it's not necessary if you have so few problems. The fact that coaches have to personally write out checks in order to meet this deadline suggests to me that there's a problem with the deadline itself, not with the teams. Why should the coaches have to personally write out checks if it is REALLY easy for the teams to get their money in on time? That sounds like a flawed system to me.2. Since the policy was implemented in 2010, 7 deadlines for registration for the State Tournament have passed – 4 at the High School and three at the Middle School (the current B State Tournament is not until April, so that deadline has not yet passed). A total of 323 teams have received invitations to compete in those 7 tournaments. Only three teams – Great Neck South, Bethlehem, and Ward Melville – have failed to meet the registration deadline. In some cases, coaches sent in the registration with their own personal check, which was returned when the District check arrived (the Ward Melville coach knew this was an option and decided not to use it). Whatever you might think of the penalty, there is a REALLY easy way to avoid it – get your registration and check to the State Director on time, and the overwhelming number of New York teams have been able to do so. While you may be unhappy with the Board because of the decision to follow our own policy, I see little anger directed at the people who actually caused the situation. Some people have expressed anger with the auditor. How about the person at the Business Office who was informed of the deadline and told the coach there would be no problem getting the check out? Or the fact that the Business Office never informed the coach that problems on their end would prevent them from mailing the check in time to meet the deadline? Or the coach who never bothered, in the two weeks between the time he dropped off the registration and the deadline, to follow up and make sure the check and registration had actually been mailed?
This is the crux of the argument. The coach that Mr. Miller attempted to contact had been retired for years. She is still a huge help to them and is somewhat of an assistant coach, but she hasn't been the head coach for years. Not since I was in my junior year in 2008. So yes, she helps out frequently, and she was included on a registration form, but you'll notice that she wasn't on the registration form for the team in question. See, Ward Melville brings multiple teams to regionals because we have so many students that are interested in science and engineering. This coach in question was listed as a coach for a team - the B team. Our A team is the one that qualified for states, and for that registration, it was clear that we had two active coaches for this particular team. The coach from the B team should not have been the only contact when you have two active coaches from the A team, the team that actually is going to states. Neither one was contacted.3. Much has been said about the fact that Mr. Miller tried to contact a retired teacher rather than the head coach. While the discussion of this ranges from "she helps out occasionally" to "she hasn't coached in years" the fact is she was included on a registration from Ward Melville as an active coach. The fact that contact information is requested for all coaches listed on the registration should be an indication that these forms will be used when the State Director needs to speak with a coach from the school. The first time the Director would need to speak with any team's coach would be December 15, when the registration cutoff for the number of medals a region will receive to hand out occurs. The next time such contact would need to be made is in February, if there was a problem with the team's registration for the State Tournament. Both of these dates are in the winter, yet it has been stated that this individual spends the winter in Florida, so why would the head coach list a contact person who couldn't be reached on the registration papers? If all of the coaches listed on the three registration papers were legitimate coaches, it wouldn't matter which one Mr. Miller contacted – if he got any of the coaches, I'm sure the information would have been relayed to the appropriate person.
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