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, January 25, 2013

Recent School Committee Meetings

The School Committee wrapped up 2012 and began 2013 with an aggressive agenda for the year and lots to accomplish! At our December 11th meeting we set the winter break for next year’s school calendar. (The last day of school will be Friday, December 20, 2013 and we’ll return on Thursday, January 2, 2014.) Supt. Taymore announced the appointment of Melrose Patrolman James Applegate as the School Resource and Attendance Officer and also presented her revised organizational chart, clarifying the reporting structure.

At our January 8th meeting, we agreed to post documents that will be discussed at meetings on the same day that the Committee receives them (usually the Friday before a Tuesday meeting), and Ms. Thorp announced the subcommittee chair and vice-chair assignments for this year. We heard a presentation from Supt. Taymore’s Library Media Specialist (LMS) Committee, who recommended different staffing-level scenarios based on educational needs combined with available funding. (In that presentation, you will find an interesting comparison between the traditional librarian’s duties and those performed by a 21st century LMS.) We also heard a presentation by Interim MHS Principal Marianne Farrell and newly appointed permanent Assistant Principal Steve Fogarty on the New England Association of Schools and Colleges' (NEASC) two-year follow-up report.  (It addresses the specific concerns that NEASC noted when they performed their full review in 2010.) And we gratefully accepted a donation of funds on behalf of their Melrose customers from Leuder’s Environmental, Inc., a lawn care and plant care company based in Needham.

On January 15th we held a retreat to discuss our roles and responsibilities, the subcommittee structure and process, our relationship with the superintendent and the public, and how the Committee functions as a team. We agreed to hold another retreat to take next steps, including working to develop a clearer vision for the public schools and to develop norms and protocols for working together as a Committee.

So those are the highlights from where I sit. The full agenda and all documents can be found by clicking here: http://melrosecityma.iqm2.com/citizens/default.aspx and selecting the meeting for which you would like documents.

Hope you are staying warm and enjoying some comfort food with your gang, and as always, thank you so much for all you do to help and nurture our fabulous students!