Thursday, September 19, 2013

Opening of School Report

Boone: thanks all those who did work throughout the summer and those who came back in August for "a very successful school opening"
to put it all in one place to address what it takes to open the schools
posting as we go: report here

introduction of Al Ganem first night here as Manager of Staff Development
also several other central admin staffing changes:
Bertha‐Elena Rojas, Manager of English Language Learners and Supplemental Services
Albert Ganem, Manager of Staff Development
Laurie Kuczka, Acting Director of Head Start
Kathleen Desmarais, Assistant Director of Special Education
Yuisa Perez, Director of Supplemental Academic Programs and Services
Suzanne Brady, Counseling, Psychology and Community Outreach Liaison
Timmary Leary, Visual Arts Liaison

new building principals:
Margaret Doyle, Principal, Quinsigamond School
Lisa Dyer, Principal, North High School
Kathleen Lee, Principal, Thorndyke Road School
Monica Poitras, Principal, Nelson Place School
Joany Santa, Principal, Elm Park Community School
Mary Sealey, Principal, Canterbury Street Magnet Computer‐Based School
Patricia Gaudette, Acting, City View Discovery School

PRELIMINARY enrollment projections: 23,744, which is up 516 from last year October
growth more at elementary this year (different from last year)
net increase of 1.4% at high school, with highest growth at North (with 4.5%)
good growth but reasonable
middle schools: Burncoat Middle is up 3%
WEMS added 6th grade this year (so their growth is 13.9%)
elementary schools: largest change from last year
Columbus Park is up 14.1% (51 additional students)
Vernon Hill 10.3% (45 additional students)
Chandler Elem 9.2% (37 additional students; we added space at the Y for them)
declines are largest at Goddard, Roosevelt, Clark Street, Flagg, Lake View
ten to fifteen students in a year is not that significant
21.5 students to classroom teacher (TEACHER): added 8 teachers to do so
20.3 student to adult ratio
14 to 1 student to adult ratio in kindergarten
"this is the district average...we have some challenges with space. In some buildings, we're not able to add teachers as we're out of space."
46 classrooms that are 27-30 students in elementary schools; none over 30
continue to monitor these numbers; "it has caused this to level off...this really becomes a story of our facilities capacity."
class size by class level chart (we have 587 classrooms in K-6 elementary)
after October 1, we'll have the school by class breakdown

this summer, HR and payroll processed 211 new hires; plus 2378 payroll changes

"our major function is educating children"
sixth grade at Worcester East Middle
this year: AVID launched at Columbus Park, Goddard, Chandler Magnet, City View
new graduation requirements for this year's 9th graders
16 new courses districtwide
22 AP courses
ABA services expanded for students with autism
expanded transition services
3 new full-time nurses added to the districts
curriculum mapping for the district completed
pilot program for 9th grade dually licensed teachers in core content and ESL
working on a district literacy plan: to be completed in December
PD for 9th grade teachers, for IAs, on Fundations, and ABA training for ABA IA's

NUTRITION! as the Superintendent comments, everyone's favorite part
12,000 breakfasts and 15,900 lunches served EVERY DAY!
75% free and reduced lunch qualified students
21 elementary schools have universal breakfast in the classroom
13 schools on the fruit and vegetable grant
preference for LOCALLY GROWN and SEASONAL

summer meals through our new mobile feeding unit: nearly 5000 meals
66,000 meals served in school locations

Transportation: 96 large buses, 124 special education and out-of-district vehicles
11,618 students every day
10,000 miles a day; 1.8 million miles per school year

Grants: 66 grants last year totaling $39.4 million
21 competitive, 34 continuation, 11 entitlement

MSBA Summer facilities projects: Caradonio New Citizens New Windows and Boiler; May Street windows going in, bathroom renovations, masonry work complete; Lake View windows going in, bathroom renovations nearly done, masonry complete; Jacob Hiatt new boiler; Chandler Magnet windows started, ADA upgrades completed, more work to be done next summer

Other projects: contract awarded on Worcester East Middle
Contract awarded on the Heard Street roof
repair to exterior masonry of Vernon Hill is done
additional ESCo work done districtwide

"last year we had some things that tested our fire suppression system and they were working really well" (testing them is part of getting ready for the year)

Technology: iPads now total over 1000 districtwide, most in classroom sets
recycled over 60 tons of electronics waste with an e-Steward certified vendor
designed and launched new SAGE student information system
fully implemented online paystub system
replaced over 500 computers and monitors

public results on the MCAS is not yet available
"yesterday we received the information that Union Hill is exiting Level 4 status and entering Level 3"
"we're excited today"
Governor Patrick in classrooms today (and to have cake with the students)
Chandler Elementary "has made substantial progress, substantial progress"
14 schools leveled exited Level 4, 15 schools remain Level 4, 4 schools are going into Level 5
Schools in Level 4 have made substantial progress in some cases: that is what Chandler Elementary
"I feel certain that this time next year we will be celebrating with Chandler Elementary"
other schools staying Level 4 either need to make substantial changes in their plans, or are stuck

Boone: MCAS results made public tomorrow "or at least that's what we were told by the state earlier today"
Based on preliminary data, 30 schools on or above target in ELA MCAS results
28 schools on or above target for growth in mathematics

budget: T&G editorial from three years ago that we would not survive loss of stimulus funds
Brian Allen receiving Distinguished Eagle from ASBO in Boston on October 26
ACE award to WPS on "sharing values of the community"

"schools are open and open well in Worcester this year"

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