Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Worcester School Committee meets Thursday

Sorry, late posting on this
The Thursday agenda (back, note, to its regular 7 pm time) is mostly a Finance and Operations-related agenda, even setting aside the F&O report from the meeting today at 5.

Today's F&O meeting has the final account summary for FY18, an excruciatingly literal referral of page 415 of the budget book (on indirect costs), and a single page response to a list of queries from Miss Biancheria regarding facilities.
There is also an extensive update on summer work. There is A LOT (and this includes an update on South High construction!). Of concern: note in particular the list of failed boilers that have had to bump other projects; I'm counting Flagg, Wawecus, and Tatnuck Magnet as either failed or "of concern," which, along with the Claremont controls project, are bumping boiler replacement at Chandler Mag, Rice Square, Lincoln Street, and Burncoat Middle. Also, we're replacing boilers at Doherty and Burncoat High, too? And I imagine we' maxed out our accelerated repair projects or something, so these aren't split with MSBA? There is a LOT there; go look at it!

On Thursday's agenda, there are some recognitions. There is NO report of the superintendent. There's a posting of a non-specific executive session.

A series of reports are back, cleaning up from the budget:
There is a response on the reduction of outside vendors (specifically looking at applied behavioral analysis).
There is a (much less extensive) response on summer work PLUS a note on Harlow Street School.
There is a response on snow removal (in sum, it's in more than one acccount because it needs to be).

There is a response to an item on tutors which summarizes all action stemming from the final FY19 budget being larger than the House budget (THIS IS WORTH REVIEWING), and including a nice little summary of where we're at on FBRC. This also notes that the district budget isn't really done until the city sets the tax rate in the fall.

There's a list of which positions are funded how in the Teaching and Learning section of central admin.
There's a past year's positions list in the maintenance department.
And there's a list of where there are security personnel.

There's a somewhat vague update on Doherty High: design firm to be selected in November, then review process with community (hey school committee members: INSIST ON SEVERAL PUBLIC MEETINGS! Make the process more like Nelson Place and less like South). The exact same backup accompanies the following item on Burncoat.

Apparently, the Committee is discussing the "Cultures of Innovations" section of the strategic plan. I hadn't realized this--had anyone?--but apparently they were discussing each section (quickly) during the summer. The plan is to adopt the whole thing Thursday night as well. What connection this has with having referred the plan for review to subcommittees, I don't know. Clearly, someone just wants to get it through without an extensive review process.

For reasons that are unclear, the administration is proposing what it is calling a policy on absence, though it appears to me to be language that pushes a notion of truancy. The administration's worrying focus on bringing back draconian (and unsupported) language, and, one supposes, action, around student absences I imagine stems from the state's change in the accountability system. It strikes me, though, that this is going to do nothing more than run more families (what to guess which ones?) into state oversight, more students into conflict with the school system, and won't actually keep more kids in schools.

There is a suggestion for a Municipal Government Day.
There is a request on for an update on the CPR training.
There is a request for an update on South High (which if someone is paying attention, will be filed, since they got one).

Finally, reading between the lines on administrative requests: TRANSPORTATION:

gb #8-259 - Administration (August 28, 2018)
To authorize the Administration to enter into contracts for the lease of property for a term of up to twenty years for the operation of student transportation for a contract term to begin in June 2020.
gb #8-260 - Administration (August 28, 2018)
To authorize the Administration to enter into contracts for the lease of school buses, special education school buses, and wheelchair buses for a term of up to five years for the operation of student transportation for a contract term to begin in June 2020.

Leasing buses and finding space for them...this is bringing transportation back in house!

No promises on live blog. 


Gordon T. Davis said...

Is the ruancy language proposal now available for review?

Tracy Novick said...

Yes, it's a back up on the agenda: