Friday, May 30, 2014

Here come the marathon meetings: School Committee meets June 5

The first of our two long ones is this coming Thursday, June 5.
Remember that our June meetings are effectively double-headers: budget at 4, regular session at 7.
Thus, beginning at 4pm, we will be considering the FY15 Worcester Public Schools budget, beginning with the School Committee account (for our salaries, set by city charter) and continuing on from there.
We'll break at six for our executive session, and come back at 7pm for the regular agenda.

On the agenda:
  • honoring the teacher of the year and finalists (as announced last night)
  • recognizing the students who are going to the international DECA conference
  • The report of the Superintendent is the mid-cycle report (no back-up as yet...)
  • We have a boatload of recognitions and congratulations on this agenda, so I'd recommend you take a look at them all!
  • And speaking of which, we are being asked to vote acceptance of the donations from EOS for our universal school breakfast programs. 
  • We're being asked to accept the $75,000 state planning grant for Claremont Academy's innovation plan.
  • We're being asked to accept the $51,753 state grant for math and science (which looks like it's for professional development? But I'll ask).
  • We're being asked to accept the $94,292 state grant for academic support and learning (which is for getting kids to pass MCAS? I think?).
  • We have the annual request that the Superintendent be allowed the discretion to transfer funds as needed within the budget to close the fiscal year.
  • Mr. O'Connell wants to review the second grade pedestrian safety training with an eye to expansion (as yet it's a pilot). 
  • He's also, per the opinion received this week from the Mass Association of School Committees that this is a policy decision, suggesting that the Worcester School Committee vote to use the MCAS rather than the PARCC next spring. The early submission deadline on that is June 30.
  • I have three items, all asking that we look at what it would mean to bump back secondary school start times (through the research, through the impact on teaching and learning, and through operations), all heading off to subcommittees.
  • And I've asked for what the calculation would look like if the foundation budget funded actual enrollment of special education, rather than the flat percentage that it does now.

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