Friday, November 27, 2015

We have an IB coordinator!

We've just received the following from Dr. Rodrigues:

It is my pleasure to announce the hiring of Grace Howard-Donlin, Director of the Advanced High School Academy. Ms. Howard-Donlin is joining the Worcester Public Schools after successfully launching the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program at Abby Kelley Foster Charter School (AKFCS). Ms. Howard-Donlin was the IB Coordinator at AKFCS for four years. She is extremely knowledgeable of IB practices, curriculum, and program development. Please join me in welcoming Grace Howard-Donlin to the Worcester Public Schools. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015

What isn't being mentioned about Tuesday's Board of Ed vote

First of all, here's the language the Board of Ed voted in on Tuesday:

Notes via reporter Amelia Pak-Harvey from Rhoda Schneider, DESE legal counsel. 
 What's gotten reported is that the amendment was voted in 7-4, while the whole item was adopted 8-3. That's true, but it misses something crucial that happened: only four members voted 'yes' on both: Vice-Chair James Morton, Margaret McKenna, Penny Noyce, and Roland Fryer.

On the amendment to hold schools harmless in 2016 and 2017 "for any negative changes in their school and district accountability levels based on test scores," proposed by Margaret McKenna, the votes opposed were Chair Sagan, Secretary Peyser, Katherine Craven, and Michael Moriarty.

On the full item on testing, as I mentioned, the votes against were Mary Ann Stewart, Donald Willyard, and Ed Doherty. As mentioned elsewhere, that's be parent rep, the student rep, and the labor rep (a former teacher).

Thus there was a huge swing in votes between those who supported the extension of the hold harmless provision, and those who supported the Commissioner's proposal (as amended).

RFP for space for the IB academy

The RPF for space for the IB school has been posted. It calls for:

Summary of Space Needs 
 This RFP provides bidders the options of proposing space to accommodate: 
  •  Classrooms 8-10 minimum 850sf each Total 8,500 sf 
  •  Science Labs 2 minimum 1440 sf each Total 2,880 sf 
  • Administrative Office* 5 minimum 300sf each Total 1,500 sf 
  •  Conference Room 1 minimum 450 sf each Total 450 sf 
  •  Cafeteria 1 minimum 2250 sf each Total 2,250 sf 
  • Kitchen 1 minimum 1300 sf each Total 1,300 sf 
  • Assembly Space 1 minimum 1700 sf each Total 1,700 sf 
  • Media Center/Library 1 minimum 1900 sf each Total 1,900 sf 
  • Approximately 5,000 indoor space for recreation Total 5,000 sf 
  •  Total Interior Square Footage: 25,480 
  •  Parking for 75 vehicles 
 * Two of the administrative office spaces must be contiguous in order to be allocated as school nurse exam room and office space.

It's preferred that it be within 2 miles of  299 Highland Street (Doherty's address) and it's for occupancy July 1, 2016

Thursday, November 19, 2015

rebid RFP search firm

Petty: second largest city, third largest school district in Massachusetts we should have more than two response
was unfortunate that City Manager search didn't have many
send back out to get more
O'Connell: support rebid
surprised we didn't get more, due to size of district
suggest contacting some of the firms
unanimously support for rebid (and reconsideration fails)
In other words, the request for proposals will go back out and do so immediately

Report on MASC

in lieu of notes, here's what I sent out when I got back:

school space: RFP for Chandler Elementary

Biancheria asks about space for other schools, too
Allen: only before the Committee because administration is looking to do up to five years (which requires SC approval; otherwise not needed)
think that would be more cost effective for us
Biancheria: only one site?
Allen: continuing renting external space as is already being done
Novick: where are we at with Facilities Master Plan?
Allen: recent discussions with city, bringing in outside agencies to talk about what master plan would look like