Monday, June 3, 2013

Lots going on this week!

There is a LOT going on this week in and around the Worcester Public Schools!
First up, it is GRADUATION WEEK:
  • Burncoat graduates TONIGHT
  • North graduates Tuesday
  • Doherty graduates Wednesday
  • South graduates Friday
  • Tech graduates a week from tonight
All of those are at 6 pm at the DCU Center (downtown motorists, be aware!).

Tomorrow, the Worcester City Council again takes up the Worcester Public Schools budget. As both the mayor and the superintendent have to be at North's graduation at 6, that will be happening right at 4 pm tomorrow. Please join us!

On Wednesday, there are two subcommittee meetings: at 3* pm, there is a Finance and Operations meeting. You can find the agenda here.We're getting the third quarter report, along with the updates on accounts. We've got the report from the Collaborative coming in, a report coming back on the Open Space and Recreation plan (with no backup...hmmm), a claiming review of the Medicaid reimbursements, and AUDITS! Here, here, and here. We also have to consider raising the school lunch price (not that we really have a choice, as it's a federal requirement) to $1.65 for next year

The second subcommittee, meeting at 5 pm, is Teaching, Learning, and Student Supports; you can find the agenda here. There's a review of middle and high school report cards, a request for a middle school ad-hoc committee, a summer program review, a report on admission to middle school honors, and a report on summer reading.
Also, the following courses are being considered for next year:
-     Three Dimensional Design
-          Advanced Three Dimensional Design
-          Photography
-          Digital Media Research
-          African American Studies
-          Financial Literacy
-          Forensics
-          Arts Appreciation & Critique
-          Class Guitar
-          Community Arts Internship
-          Dance for Fitness
-          Introduction of Music Theory
-          Introduction of Music History
-          Introduction to Theatre
-          Percussion Ensemble
-          Songwriting

All of that will be carried over into Thursday's meeting of the Worcester School Committee, for which you can find the agenda here.  PLEASE NOTE: the budget hearing begins at 4 pm. We do not yet have the order of accounts (we usually get that at about 2 pm on the day; I'll post it when I have it). We will go to the REGULAR agenda at 7 pm, after executive session at 6.
On that agenda: we are recognizing the Worcester Tech robotics team for their national victory, and Eftalia Economou who was a prize winner in the statewide "My Ideal School" contest with MSBA. We're also getting all of the above subcommittee reports. We have an alleged Open Meeting Law violation.** 
We've gotten back our proposals for changes in the policy handbook. We've got a few recognitions going out. A few of my colleagues are asking that Councilor O'Brien's white paper on city schools be considered. I'm making my annual "who is at Worcester charter schools?" request. We're being asked (as we are every year) to a) set the annual grant rate and b) give the superintendent authority to allocate funds internally to close the fiscal year. There's also a boatload of things going off for consideration in various directions, including an updated policy manual, and the exam school report (yes, really! Though not up online yet). 

I'll be liveblogging most of the above (well, not the graduations!), so plenty of posts to come. As always, please consider attending the public meetings, and get in touch with comments.

*Yes, that's much earlier than usual. Due to graduations in particular, it's been nearly impossible to get a meeting scheduled. Apologies for those who can't do an afternoon.
**The doors were locked at City Hall during our last meeting. If you follow City Council agendas, you may have seen that this is an ongoing problem; we're told that it's being dealt with.

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