Saturday, July 16, 2022

Do we have an agenda for you!

 The Worcester School Committee meets twice during the summer--once in July, once in August--with our July meeting being this Thursday. You can find the agenda online here. 

This is of course Dr. Monárrez's first meeting as superintendent, and thus the report of the superintendent is her entry plan, which is linked through the banner on the district website. It's set up with lots of listening in chapters:

That plus item gb 2-206 and following are those I think are the most important on the agenda. Dr. Monárrez proposes the following: 

To consider and approve a proposed reorganization of Central Administration positions to include the establishment of the positions of: 1.) Deputy Superintendent, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer; and 2.) Assistant Superintendent, Teaching and Learning; and to approve the proposed Job Descriptions for those positions.

The superintendent can organize her administration as she sees fit, but position descriptions are approved by the School Committee, and appointments to positions of deputy/assistant/etc superintendent PLUS business official positions are all subject to School Committee approval (and business official contracts are actually with the School Committee).
Thus we also have the following recommendations:

  • To consider appointing Brian Allen to the position of Deputy Superintendent, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, subject to contract negotiations.
  • To consider appointing Marie Morse to the position of Assistant Superintendent, Teaching and Learning, subject to contract negotiations.
From the position descriptions, this would put all operational functions under Mr. Allen, in addition to those he already oversees, as well as day-to-day operations ("builds and leads daily operations of the district office"); Dr. Morse would be overseeing the offices having (as the title names) to do with teaching and learning (thus special education, social-emotional learning, multi-lingual). 
I (of course) have to save my comments on this for Thursday, but, as I noted previously, superintendents putting together administrative reorganizations is common practice. Note that these are two longstanding Worcester Public School administrators.

Other things on the agenda:
  • TLSS is reporting out on a meeting that including summer school, tutoring, and sex ed.
  • F&O is reporting out on a meeting on transportation. Note that Vice Chair Johnson has also filed a few items on transportation regarding late buses, so expect those to be discussed.
  • Included in this month's donations is over $38K in donations from UMass Med; scroll to the next page to see the grants those are supporting. 
  • Remember we held three positions pending Dr. Monárrez's taking office? They're on this agenda. (I heard that some were told the building-based subs were cut; no, they just didn't have a position description, and we held all new ones until we can find out what the new person in charge thinks.)
  • Member Mailman is asking that we look at childcare options for educators in geographic proximity to schools, as well as getting the city IT department out of Worcester Tech so Worcester Tech can use the space.
  • Member Kamara is requesting that the School Committee receive reports on "timely reports on filed racism, sexual harassment and discrimination complaints from staff and educators in the district" (an HR function) and also "To implore the administration to launch a “Positivity Campaign” during the new academic year to last all through the school year. All WPS teachers and staff to take a stance on the usage of supportive words/language to boost students’ self-awareness, gift, passion, sense of self, confidence in their education and more."
The Committee is meeting in public session first, then moving to executive session, which has two grievances and successor bargaining with two bargaining units.

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