Sunday, March 17, 2019

Worcester School Committee meets Thursday

The agenda is here. There are retirements, thanks, and such.

The report of the superintendent is on English learning. There's a lot to consider here, and I see some flags around partnering with families and perhaps a lack of historical context. Also there's a grant cited here that I can't find

Finance and Operations comes back with their second quarter report (including transfers) and their transportation items (no backup on the agenda). If you haven't been in touch with the committee on whatever bus concerns you may have, it would be important to contact them before Thursday.

There is a report back regarding an online gradebook creation: for outside bidders, it would be one time start-up costs of $125,000 plus $185,000. As that's more than one staff person, one has to ask: did anyone look at doing this in-house, as WPS runs most of its data systems in-house at substantial cost savings?

The request for a report on AP's to "include student/parent feedback" is back with two pages of courses, the test costs, the dates students are required to attend...and that's it. No details, no feedback, no plans for it.
It also still leaves out the part where the test is required.

On the other hand, there's a whole four pages on implementation Read Across America Day.
There is a recommendation coming back on a Claremont Academy catchement area.

There a request for reports/reviews on: the 100 Males to College Program; the Doherty building plan; the bus yard at Fremont Street (that would be WPS buses), and bus arrival times (I can't tell if that backup is for schools or for parents); A/C and water in buildings; the MOU with the Worcester Police Department; feminine hygiene products being available free (they are, at the nurse); DEP action at Bright Cleaners (next to Gates Lane); prioritizing homeless students; biweekly listening sessions; strengthening site councils; incorporating more diversity (racial, ethnic and around sexual identity) in history (required under the new state standards); balancing arts/history/etc in early grades; ethics; arts education; a racial equity study; a homebuyer program; a program for IAs to become teachers; increasing recess (admin says they can't go beyond the 30 minutes already required); specific preschool grant funding (already a response: not eligible); and makerspace in school libraries. The last fifteen of those, which is more items than that, are all from Mr. Comparetto. On one agenda.

There's a request the School Committee accept the following donations:
– $25,000.00 from The Hanover Insurance Group Foundation to The Hanover Insurance Academy for the Arts at Burncoat Middle School (I think this is the first one that has come through?)
– $20,000.00 from Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU) to the Worcester Public Schools to be used as scholarships to graduating seniors.

There's an executive session for a grievance, two employee lawsuits, and the lawsuit of the Jane Doe V. Worcester Public Schools (which I might be this case (?), which hasn't gotten a great deal of local press).

No blogging from me: I have a meeting that night! 

No comments: