A productive meeting, and the last with our current (and fantastic!) student representatives. Here are some highlights:
* Due to savings realized by the retirement of one staff member and the departure of a long-term substitute, a Chair for the Department of Visual and Performing Arts (K-12) will be hired. (The position is posted here: http://www.schoolspring.com/jobs/job.cfm?jid=805852&status=20,30.)
* Revenue generated from four School Choice students (students who pay to come to Melrose schools from other districts) will allow the district to move a teacher from part-time to full-time.
* The METCO program is deeply embedded and important to our community, supporting 125 Boston-based students. While the district is improving its ability to provide quality academic services to these (and all) students, there is work that needs to be done to ensure that METCO families feel welcomed and a full part of the school community.
* New Bridge Director Jennifer McAllister is working hard to fill the big shoes left by Emily Rubenstein. She's off to a great start and has continued the many great programs that allow students and teachers to receive a wide variety of support services.
* The foreign language exchange with Soverato, Italy was approved. Ciao students!
* The Elementary Handbook was approved for 2014-2015 and changes in language were made around K-1 recess, absences, etc.
* Policy updates were proposed in the areas of fiscal management, Bullying/Teen Dating Prevention, Background Checks/Fingerprinting, and School Enrollment.
* The Committee discussed whether to offer middle school students the option to participate in international school-sponsored field trips. It was agreed that trips would be considered on a case-by-case basis.
If you'd like to see the documents related to any of these topics (and others not reflected here, like the warrants and past meeting minutes), please click on "IQM2" under School Committee on the melroseschools.com page. Hope you are enjoying these beautiful spring days and it won't be long before we all say ciao for the summer!
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.