Margaret Raymond Driscoll is a nine-year Melrose School Committee member who is passionate about excellent teaching and learning for all public school students, and considers it a privilege to collaborate with others who share that passion. You can also follow her on Twitter at @MargaretDrisc. Just to be clear - opinions expressed here do not represent those of the Melrose Public Schools, the Melrose School Committee, or the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials - they are hers alone.

Friday, October 26, 2012

School Committee Meeting Notes of October 23, 2012

A beautiful day today, and hoping that Sandy decides to skip our neck of the woods next week! Looking back to this past week, we had an information-filled School Committee meeting on Tuesday. Check the minutes for the official version, but below are the highlights from my perspective. (Remember – the page numbers in red are those associated with documents from the 10/23 agenda packet in the IQM2 portal on the School Committee page of our web site.)

Report of the Student Representatives
We said good-bye to our Italian students after a wonderful exchange! Dates to note: 10/28 – MAAV Walk and Candlelight Vigil (http://maav.org/home/maavs-17th-annual-walk-candlelight-vigil/information-on-maav-walk-2012/); 10/29 – Senior Halloween Dance at the KofC; 10/29 – “They Don’t Call it “Dating” Anymore: A Parent’s Guide to Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships” (http://www.melroseschools.com/mhs/pto.cfm); 10/30 – MHS delayed opening; 11/1 – 8th Grade Parent Info Night at MHS Resource Center; 11/1 – MCAS retakes; 11/2 – Q1 closes; 11/8 – MHS blood drive.

Announcements of the Superintendent
Supt. Taymore enthusiastically welcomed Winthrop School Interim Principal Cynthia Santosuosso, an experienced Lincoln School teacher and Head Teacher. With equal enthusiasm she welcomed our new Business Manager, Jay Piccone.

Announcements of the Chair: Ms. Thorp referred to the updated Rolling 3 Month Agenda (p. 3)

Consent Agenda
We ultimately approved the School Committee minutes of 10/9/12 (pp. 4-8), second votes required on Policy #4122: Non-Union Salary Schedules, Repeal of Policy #4213: Professional Staff Salary Schedules, Repeal of Policy #4305: Support Staff Salary Schedule, and Amendment and Renaming of Policy #4304: Support Staff Contracts and Compensation Plans (pp. 9-12); MHS Field Trip Requests to Costa Rica, Denmark, NY (for Spanish Exchange students), and Model UN in Providence (pp. 13-16); and warrants (pp. 17-70).

Policy and Planning
Lincoln Principal Brent Conway and Site Council Co-Chair (and PTO President) Annalise Conti presented their 2013 School Improvement Plan (SIP) (pp. 71-90) after which MVMMS Principal Tom Brow and Site Council Co-Chair Kristen Harvey presented the 2013 MVMMS SIP (pp. 91-117). *Enrollments for the district as of October 1st, as required to be reported to the state, were presented (p. 118). * The School Committee By Laws were changed to support the posting of meeting documents 24 hours in advance of meetings rather than the day of meetings (p. 119).

Educational Programs and Personnel
METCO Director Doreen Ward offered an update on student enrollment, successes, and challenges of the program in Melrose (pp. 120-125). * Athletic Director Pat Ruggiero presented a review of the athletics program, including participation numbers by sport and season, status of fields, and concussion statistics as reported to the state (pp. 126-128).

Finance and Facilities
City of Melrose Chief Information Officer Jorge Pazos reviewed his MPS Technology Overview, including staffing, projects, challenges (with recommendations), and a district computer inventory (pp. 129-137). * Ms. Casatelli announced that the School Committee would begin a Facebook page soon.

As the weather folks speculate on Sandy, hope you are able to get out and enjoy tomorrow’s fall beauty and spend some time with the special people in your life. And thanks (as always) for sharing your time and talents with some of the special people in our lives – our fantastic students.