Thursday, May 16, 2013

Policy handbook

Mr. Monfredo reporting out

Boone: chronic absenteeism group convened for work on reducing truancy
"impact of attendance on student achievement"
voluntary control policy...."don't reflect the intent of the work that has been done"
T&G annual report on deisolation: school committee asked that it be looked at
worked with City Solicitor and DESE on that
"not abandoning the deisolation policy...that requirement had relevance when the true integration of schools was not occurring in a meaningful way"
only 65% of children are children of color
very difficult to meet those standards based on demographics of students enrollment
recognize that we have to seek diversity in our schools
"reformatting and using the current language in vetting what it takes for voluntary transfer"
"exact same options are available by all school transfers"
"students assigned by student address...process by which we would be moving away from deisolation if we were to move away from those boundaries"
magnet schools
"what we're proposing creates greater opportunities for students in the system...fewer schools that enroll majority white schools"
"opening up school available by grade level by a particular seat"
transfers due to school choice recognizes special needs and circumstances...may be recinded "practice"
"very clear, very transparent...there are stipulation related to attendance and following the code of student conduct"
currently exists in practices ('though not for 'better support student outcomes')
principals submit recommendation for revocation to Quadrant office..."certainly want to work with (family)"
Mayor expresses a concern that the handbook won't be translated in time if we have multiple concerns
O'Connell: contract that we have with the state
"very specific numerical guidelines"
90% reimbursement for our schools for new schools, due to our compliance with a deisolation agreement
"nothing has been done to abrogate it, nothing has been done to change"
"Can't make those changes unilaterally...still are the heart of our obligation to the state"
keep policy as it is, refer superintendent's thoughts to subcom, work to change for next year
"would be an illegal act on the part of the School Committee"
Mayor asks if we are in violation of a written agreement
Boone: We didn't do this in isolation without legal counsel
David Coyne: "my first political involvement in this city was to get a deisolation policy approved by the School Committee, and let's be clear: the School Committee did not want to approve a deisolation policy."
...that agreement was the basis was for our qualifying for higher rates of reimbursement
to walk away from that agreement without sitting down with the state
there was no way for people to know that this was happening
"would undermine public confidence" to move forward without public notice
"our ability to deisolate is exactly the same as it was" (it's just different than it was)
urge to postpone action on this item...have hearing on this item
Boone: never any intention to
can keep it as it is, formally write the Commissioner for change: MOTION PASSES

p. 3: Eliminate new proposed line “Permission to attend a magnet school may be rescinded whenever the Quadrant Manager or designee determines that the district school would more likely better support student outcomes than the magnet school.”

Likewise, eliminate the proposed new line
“Permission to attend a school outside of district lines (School Transfer) may be rescinded whenever the Quadrant Manager or designee determines that the district school would more likely better support student outcomes than the out-of-district  school.”

p. 18 Add  to the end of paragraph one: “Students whose parents opt them out of state or district standardized assessments will not be academically penalized or face disciplinary action except as prohibited by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

Add to the second paragraph: “Student data, with or without student identification, will not be posted in any school hallway, classroom, office, or other facility.”

p. 21 Change first sentence to read “ For concerns related to testing procedures and security or for information on your child’s performance or participation in testing....”

p. 34 Eliminate cell phone paragraph

Colorio: requesting that parents be notified that they can opt out (and be given a chance to) the BMI measurement
Biancheria: concern about removing tardiness and removing demerits
language says "can be suspended" ...students don't have to be suspended
if eliminated, need to be looked out FIRST as a concern for a student
Foley: making certain that we're fine: "have to find a way to deal with these issues"
tardiness "felt was redundant"
don't have demerits
Petty comments that he's never seen anything like this on Council
Monfredo suspending students for tardiness doesn't make reduce school suspension
O'Connell: major policy changes have been introduced through language changes in the policy handbook: that normally takes a period of months
"That is a problem and that will continue when there isn't more time given to the Committee to review and nurture policy"

Petty asks for a Friday letter for the administration to report on these; will be voted on the June 6 meeting.

No comments: