Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Board of Education: update on Southbridge

backups for this is here

Dr. Jessica Huizenga, receiver, presenting
Chester: plan is to have a receiver come to each Board meeting this year
"very excited about the leadership and energy"
remarkable visit to Southbridge
last year "too often treated students as disposable, as creatures to be controlled"
had lunch with students, how things have changed culturally in that building
respect among students, between students and adults, deescalation in discipline
"instructional program has a long way to go"
"getting culture right allows for that occur"
Huizenga: been six months, seems much longer
released the turnaround plan: five core areas
first six weeks of school: focus on academic and instructional improvement; family and community engagement; social and emotional learning
"went undercover boss...made it to fourth period before they figured it out"
"got to see Southbridge through the eyes of a student"
Academic and Instructional: district-wide to develop systems necessary "evidence based literacy practices in tiered instruction"
action plan for district literacy
K-12 math curriculum mapped; common assessments on a computer platform with immediate results
teachers on cumulative assessment as well
gathering data on instructional quality: developing well-structured lessons and use of assessments (including common formative assessments)
bimonthly walk-through; beginning instructional rounds
overhauled teacher instruction
virtual mentors for staff through Better Lesson; doing case study on virtual v in-district lessons
Sagan asks how this works (is it a real person?): connection with a person online
one to one model in sixth grade
partnership with AeroVenture Institute: 26 students taking part in aviation science
credit recovery for 9 students; 4 now on track to graduate
Family and Community Engagement: families at home; library, community
"lots of hope and optimism" as well as what had gone off track
superintendent's roundtable: work with receiver to determine core values, determine progress
PTO at middle school, school councils forming
Rotary presentation
Quinsigamond Community College for dual enrollment
You Inc, Harrington Hospital, the Y partnering
Social and Emotional: strong systems of support for all students
breakfast in the classroom: won an ASSA for one school; EoS for two more schools
32% participation last year; 90% this year at West Street School
breakfast at middle school as part of middle school advisory
Sagan: sustainable?
Huizenga: grant for materials
McKenna: pays for itself; federal reimbursed
Climate and culture committees for all schools
district wellness committee; family resource committees in process
behavioral screener
Mass EDCO grant to add a guidance counselor for college and career planning
developing systems to improve processes: meeting with town meeting weekly
control of POs up to $10,000
did ALICE training with PD and FD
new district student information system for accurate data
increase technology infrastructure: none in elementary schools, coming next week
IDing ELL students; 14% last year, now 19% and not yet done IDing students
"so you can imagine how many students were not provided services"
community committee for dual language immersion at one of the elementary schools; going K-12, graduating bilingual
updated website, weekly blog
concern with sustainability: ensuring how those things will stay in place over time and be owed by the community
clarity around what good educational practice is
accountability with reciprocity: expect much more from you, but more more support
collaborate with multiple stakeholders
"have to build capacity" largest challenge
turned over 60 staff; "we're never going to sustain what we do if we continually turn over staff"
Sagan: on turnover: how much was choice versus involuntary
Huizenga: majority of staff "that we turned over was at the middle school" issues with classroom management
also adding many new positions
60 higher than usual
embarking next on receiver's review: gathering data on key areas
to staff: intent is meet standards, to have a high quality teacher in every classroom
a lot of professional development, voluntary for them to take if they're on receiver's review
"regaining the staff's trust"
being in the classroom, support
gotten feedback on that at superintendent's roundtable
Moriarty on dual language: ELL director leading community group
action plan: work to enlist support from community to understand what community is
launch in K and 1, adding a grade every year: 60/40 (Spanish/English) with native speakers 50/50
seen as a way of bridging cultural divides in the community
would love to see this K-12, connected to a global studies diploma with other opportunities for students
Fryer: engage faith community?
has met with, have gone back to churches and followed up
Fryer: any not engaging?
Huizenga: school committee hasn't really engaged; "in the long term, I'm going to have to shift my focus and attention back to" that
civic participation in last election was 9%; have to engage all participants after we're gone
Stewart: poverty lack of access as well as lack of resources
Morton: encourage look at Teach Western Mass

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