Thursday, December 2, 2010

Report from TLSS: Field trips

reporting out from Teaching, Learning, and Student Supports :
  • review of curriculum for alignment with Common Core
  • anti-bullying
  • ad-hoc committee on mathematics to be developed
  • draft foreign and domestic travel policy to be developed by administration, allowing it but minimizing school liability
The committee thus asks, as per usual, for the report (and motions) to be approved.
The mayor clarifies that we are not approving a policy tonight: we are approving the drafting of a policy. (He further notes that Assistant City Solicitor O'Day, who has served the WPS, has retired, and we haven't get gotten ourselves lined up with the Solicitor's office)

Mullaney: "an effort to keep putting that fishing pole in the water in hopes of getting something you didn't get last might all be of the Shakespearean persuasion "Damn the lawyers".." suggests that perhaps we do not need a legal department at all...much more serious if you get hurt in Toyko, San Salvador..."pie in the sky" to minimize liability concerns..."I care about liability." Concern about teachers receiving a free trip from arranging such a group to travel..impermissible...teachers are supposed to work the days before and after vacation..."a way of getting around the teachers' contract". Concern around fundraising, liability for non-Worcester Public Schools students. "you knew this risk, you assumed the're guilty...I don't know why the system we have doesn't work...year after year...this has nothing to do with my never having gotten out of Worcester. I'll never vote for it."

Monfredo: "a very common sense approach to international travel...12 school systems that have planned or gone on trips abroad...are all these systems wrong? "

Novick: remarkable in reading the provided back-up, that any public school district ever goes anywhere..many of our students never go places unless we take them. Part of our job is providing those opportunities for students who'd otherwise never get them.

Foley: WPS students should have the opportunity to travel. "Reaction after 9/11 was too severe." Comparing going to New York City rather than going to Quebec...made no sense..."I understand there's liability; there's liability in everything.." Relation to curriculum..guidelines to give administration latitude to say yes or say no...Everybody should be able to go..."need to be ways to raise dollars..."

back to O'Connell: legal opinion begins the discussion..."a free trip as a not as free"

back to Mullaney: "I can count" but no one has answered why it can't be done the way it has always been done (several sponsored trips can raise funds under school auspicious...curricular reasons..) We can't fix all the problems in the world..."of all the needs that we have..." Motion: presence of someone from the city solitictor's office at subcommittee meeting

Ms. Morrissey: Spanish teacher at Burncoat (has taught for WPS since 1987): "I think we all agree (on the value of international travel)" taking trips without the support of WPS...Goddard Scholars went to Costa Rica and some other trips since 2002..."suddenly, without really knowing why, the approvals's been important...number one priority at all times (is kids being safe)...doing it on my own...not recommended...last trip in February I will take without the approval of the Worcester Public Schools..not a vacation on either way..if things happen, where it's impossible to come back on time, it's important for teachers to feel like they're not going to lose their jobs...encouraging teachers to go on these trips without the fear that I'm going to lose my job...huge professional development opportunity for teachers...need support of employer to go on these trips" Help of companies in travel ..."prohibited from selling candy at schools"

EF Educational manager: on added to their insurance...never had anyone found liabel, never had anyone up for damages

Student rep David Joyce: schools give opportunities that they otherwise wouldn't be able to have..."when you go on a trip sponsored by a school, it seems a lot more legitimate to parents or to a company to appropriate funds.." (David Joyce is from Worcester Tech)

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