Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Worcester Public Schools superintendent search: public session 2

blogging from North High tonight; about twenty people here thus far...posting as we go...only Biancheria and McCullough present tonight; Foley, O'Connell, and Monfredo in the audience

"ask that you stay within the realm of the skills and qualities"
ask for 1-2 minutes speaking time

Zalauskas: appreciate that you're having these meetings, many qualities a superintendent needs
"a leader that people are willing to follow"
people are willing to rally around, people are part of a group, and not that it's us against them
many different things that go on in the system
smart, compassionate, go the extra mile, love children
very important that we all remember that we're here for the kids of the City of Worcester
most important thing that the city of Worcester does

Melissa Brady, parent, CPPAC co-chair
"one that can engage the community, have great communication skills"
partner with city side of the house
"somebody that has a strong background in the finances and how to navigate that"
community engagement is very important
"we'd asked for a seat at the table and were not responded to"

and my comments are here
That's it for those who signed up

Michael Angelini: create best urban school system in the country
compete with Wellesleys and Westons

Sue Mailman (after a back and forth over if she lives in Worcester--she doesn't, yet--and can speak)
expanded opportunity for vocational education
hurts opportunity for our kids
share best practices
hope will consider a two year contract
disappointed in no national search

Anthony Severes (sp?) new resident of Worcester
"more consistent basis of punishment and rule enforcement across the board"
"much more open communication between school and parents"
and he's going into details over something that happened to his son

Jane McKeaugh (sp?) parent
"important for me to know that the new superintendent will care" for every child
will require someone with communication skills
"across socio-economic and cultural boundaries"
"courage to reach out to kids and parents"
"experience working...with all children, whether their needs are special or average"
reaching out "to the constellation of resources" available to help them to succeed
willing to listen to parents and teachers and most of all students

no idea...missed that name
product of WPS, work for LEI
"I think the most important thing for our needs to be someone who can work for every single child, every single culture, every single parent"
"not these kids, those kids, it's our kids"

"this idea of access of resources...human resources of young people"
value of mentorship
outcomes for ELL students

David Judkins, student
"someone who recognizes the diversity we have in the Worcester Public Schools"
"make it a symbol that we're recognized for"
"will work tireless for the cause of helping the students"
those "that may fall through the cracks in other systems"

grandmother of a second grader in dual language
"it's urban, it's going to become even more urban"
"understand the needs of the children in this community"

And that's it
Continuing with the job description subcommittee meeting

And hey! They've moved certified or certifiable to required!

O'Connell, Monfredo, and Foley here
O'Connell: job description "draws on best of the public hearings" from past searches
opens the mic to public comment
"your advice would really be helpful to us"

Foley: "chief executive officer and advisor, while providing the vision and direction necessary to ensure that students attending the Worcester Public Schools receive a quality education"...he's quoting opening paragraph "key of what we're looking for"
"the rest is an awful lot of 'responsible for'"
recommend the second line add "all students"
superintendent appointing team, there are exceptions to that, school committee may provide approval or vision; should be clarified
move certified or certifiable move to 'required'

Monfredo: key words are "in accordance with state law" on certification

O'Connell: support Foley's recommendations; passes

Benito Vega: nothing about a team that's diversified and reflective of the student population
O'Connell comments that it's somewhat covered by "principal responsibilities"

job application now being considered
question regarding letters of reference: should specify what sort, and would recommend a letter of recommendation from a current student in the school system additionally
Foley suggests a former student so that there isn't a power dynamic
Monfredo agrees

Brady requests clarification on the "certifiable": how do they prove it?
O'Connell: it would need to be explained
"as long as they are certifiable, and the Department can confirm that to us...that would be enough"

evaluation form goes back to Garvey
added diversity
financial skills as raised earlier
experience in urban setting
Foley: "change" is vague "ability to achieve positive change"
"fiscal planner" doesn't capture what we're looking for
"fiscal expertise, acumen"
Monfredo: what about goals?
O'Connell says "articulated vision"
member of public "collaboration with" community and youth development agencies
another: "support of" professional development is "somewhat weak"
"what programs are out there for teachers and other school employees"
O'Connell "strategic knowledge of opportunities for staff development"
"comprehensive plan for staff development"

comment from crowd that "positive change" is too vague
O'Connell "we don't know what kind of change people may bring us"
invites crowd to come to public interviews to hear what people may say

suggestion of how they'd work with things that were difficult for community to embrace
"really pulls out their personality" and notions of success
approval of evaluation form as amended


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