Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Worcester School Committee meets January 21

The first regular meeting of the Worcester School Committee is this Thursday, January 21. You can find the agenda here and here.
There is an executive session at 6: to discuss the special education director's contract (one of the few done with the school committee) and to review the superintendent search submissions, as recommended by Finance and Operations subcommittee back in December.

On the regular agenda (which is a long one, as there hasn't been a meeting in a month), there is no report of the superintendent.
There are a number of midyear retirements, resignations, and new hires.
The rest of this is NOT in order; I'm going to start with "heads up" and list the rest.

For consideration: as noted earlier, to limit the superintendent search to an "internal" search managed by the mayor and finished by the first week of March.

Also, Mayor Petty wants to consider making South a vocational school or expanding vocational offerings there. 

The Committee is also being asked to forward school building priorities for MSBA

And Mr. O'Connell is requesting that the Committee review the ALICE program ("Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate") (you've seen this written up as the one where kids throw things at active shooters).

Recognitions (consolidated here): Councilors Rushton and Palmieri; Treasurer Goldberg; Paula Harrity; South High teachers Erin Morrissey-Hendricks, Mary Sebring and Tara Vaidya; this year's Posse scholars; Worcester Tech senior  Edward Boamah; Josh Thibodeau Helping Hearts Foundation;  Rachel Dao, a 12 grader at North High School and Shamus Flynn, a 10th grader at South High Community School; the winners of the annual MLK essay and poetry contest and community service award; the Worcester County Superintendents' Scholars.

Requests to review: HD 4338, An Act to Modernize Municipal Finance and Government (possible impact on regional transporation; none on districts like Worcester)Kindergarten Entrance Age Policy (currently it's age 5 by December 31);  the Every Student Succeeds Act (bring a snack; it's 1006 pages!); Worcester Regional Research Bureau and the Worcester Education Collaborative report on the superintendent search.

Requests for reports on: the wraparound programs; if there are other buildings that should be put on the National Register of Historic Places; to look at a pilot program developed by Playworks ("that train staff and volunteers to run recess sessions that include positive play, greater levels of exercise and better utilization of limited recreational space"); Drug and Alcohol Educational Programs and assemblies scheduled for the 6th, 7th and 8th grade students;  a list of assessments that were administered to kindergarteners (covered at CPPAC last week); the most recent results of the Teacher Climate Survey; the implementation of the Common Core State Standards; the Professional Development training for teachers on the implementation of the Common Core; whether sufficient student interest exists to form gymnastics teams; a chart indicating the number of school behavior referrals, by school; something about addressing violent students (?); activities in February, March and April for the STEM Program; the number of consultants that are paid by grant funding or taxpayer dollars.

Mr. Monfredo suggests preparing items for the MASC Delegates' Assembly.

Mr. O'Connell suggests a three member committee to review policy (this was happening for a bit in Governance, but has fallen off).

They're also being asked to decrease the mileage rate (this is set by the IRS); accept a grant for STARS residency at South High for $1800; accept $250 from Saint-Gobain for WAMS; and accept donations of $500 each for Heard Street, Jacob Hiatt Magnet, West Tatnuck and University Park Campus schools.

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