Sunday, June 12, 2016

Worcester School Committee meets Thursday, June 16

You can find the agenda here.
Apologies, incidentally, for the the skipped first week of June!
The School Committee starts at 4 with budget; the reports coming back from the previous budget session are:
If you're following at home, the sequence of accounts is here, my notes from last time are here, and they left off with School Committee salaries passing, so they should be picking up with administration.

In the meeting at 7--following executive session for collective bargaining for teachers, and drivers and monitors (who share a contract) and for litigation--the regular session opens with some recognitions. There is no report of the superintendent.

Teaching, Learning, and Student Support met and is reporting out; they've approved three new courses and talked about the report card, it appears.
Governance also met to revise the cell phone language, which is as follows: 
Rule 13. – Cell Phones, Electronic Devices, and Laser Pointing Devices 
While on school premises or at a school sponsored event, a student shall not, without expressed permission of appropriate school personnel, use any cell phone, smart phone, tablet, camera or any other type of electronic device which may potentially be disruptive of school activities or a distraction to students. Electronic devices shall include any cell phone, smart phone, tablet or anything powered by electricity and is suitable for communicating any oral, voice, audio or text messages or postings or for recording or communicating any audio, voice, picture, image or video imagery. Students are not permitted to have their cell phones or electronic devices powered while in school. 
(it would seem that the final line here reverses the entire preceding paragraph)
Use of such devices in violation of this rule may result in disciplinary action including, but not limited to, out-of-school suspension time. The School Administration reserves the right to confiscate cellular phones or other electronic devices when a student is believed to be violating this rule. 
A student shall not use or possess a laser pointing device of any type on school premises or at a school sponsored event, unless such device is distributed by a teacher or its use is authorized by a teacher in connection with school work. Use of a laser pointing device against the face, eyes, or head of another individual may be considered a weapon for disciplinary purposes including, but not limited to, the possibility of long-term suspension.

Penalties for students found in violation of the policy will be as follows: · 
First offense: Student’s cell phone/electronic device will be confiscated and returned to the student at the end of the school day. · 
Second and subsequent offenses: Student's cell phone/electronic device will be confiscated and returned only to the student’s parents or guardians. Any such parent or guardian may, within five days of any such confiscation, request a hearing to determine the validity of the violation of the code of conduct and resulting confiscation of the cell phone/electronic device. In such event the principal shall designate a hearing officer who shall: 1) give the student and/or his or her parents/guardians an opportunity to present their case; 2) hear or review the incident report from the enforcing person and any other person with relevant information; and, 3) provide a recommendation to the principal as to whether there is a reasonable basis to conclude that the cell phone policy of the code of conduct was violated by the student. Regardless of any request for a hearing, any confiscated cell phone/electronic device shall be returned to the parent/guardian at the first opportunity and shall not be dependent on the scheduling or outcome of any hearing. · Student committing repeated violations of this policy may be subject to additional disciplinary action, consistent with the Worcester Public Schools Code of Conduct up to and including suspension from school.

And let's pause here to recognize how unusual it is for students to have parents who can run over to the school to retrieve cell phones during school hours, how privileged it is to assume that this is possible, and moreover that having and using a cell phone is basic measure of safety for many families. 

There are several donations for Heard Street School.
There is a $4200 donation for the CPR project.
The School Committee is being asked to accept a $5000 grant for Toolbox for Education.Mr. Monfredo wishes to congratulate schools with a "low chronic absentee level."
He also wants the "Chamber of Commerce, Media Outlets, and the Colleges" to create a video about the Worcester Public Schools for sharing with real estate agents.
He wants to recognize the Bravehearts, and Gwen Bui, and Free Fun Fridays.
The administration requests the School Committee accept a donation from the United Way for Chandler Magnet School.>Miss Biancheria wants Belmont Street and City View Schools property "cleared and maintained from summer into fall."The School Committee has its usual review of "items that have been filed with budgetary implications." (There are two.) The July meeting is being moved to July 14 (from the 21. Note that summer meetings are at 4.)

Miss Biancheria wants to hear about new Chapter 74 courses.
And there's a recommendation that the contract of Attorney Paige L. Tobin from Murphy, Lamere and Murphy be extendedfor three years.

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