Tuesday, February 11, 2020

A few things to watch from last week's Worcester School Committee meeting

I mean, I always tell you to go watch the budget presentation, literally. It starts about 15 minutes in.
  • There was some updating of minutes necessary, but the upshot is that there will be, going forward, a standing item on the Finance and Operations subcommittee agenda on transportation, a form for families and students to fill out to report late and missing buses, and reports on that weekly posted online and sent to the School Committee until we get an app and can report from that. So far, no sign of the form. 
  • ...in the meantime, let us know...
  • This was coming out of Miss McCullough's subcommittee, but, as was noted in the T&G, there's some revision going on around admission to Worcester Tech. Note that there is also a larger state effort around equity in admission that may require further revision. 
  • Mrs. Clancey's item to provide social media updates in multiple languages passed for implementation, so watch for that.
  • I asked for a report on all fees paid by families of Worcester Public School students for classes. When this comes back, I'd appreciate some reflection on if we've missed anything, as we are supposed to be offering a free public education.
  • The dress code is back in Governance, but we've also sent this to the Student Advisory Council. This needs student and family input!
  • My request that we pass a resolution, calling on the City administration to not attribute work on Duffy Field or Foley Stadium's fields stemming from Doherty's construction to the Worcester Public Schools' capital budget passed, 5-2, Monfredo and Biancheria opposing. Here's why that matters: the School Committee does not pass the schools' capital budget. As with all municipal committees, it is passed on the city side. For both North and South, we had to make allowances of various kinds to get athletes to practice space during school construction. For Doherty, it was proposed back at the December meeting that the back field at Foley and Duffy Field (which is a city park) both be astroturfed, to a cost of $5-$7M. As I noted last month, funding this work from the Worcester Public Schools' capital budget of more or less $3M a year would zero our other capital work out for most of two years if not more. We simply cannot afford to have absolutely NO capital work done in our 50 buildings, which have 86% of the delayed maintenance on 60% of the city buildings, for multiple years.
    This was a view shared by most of my colleagues. 

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