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.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Elementary Enrichment, E-camp, Construction, Capacity Study, FY17 Budget: 4/12 Citywide PTO

The monthly meeting of City Wide PTO was held this morning. Supt. Taymore updated the group on the following:

·               Enrichment: In the interest of aligning elementary enrichment programs more closely to the curriculum, she was curious to know if City Wide representatives would be interested in engaging at least one program at all five schools in the coming year (or the following year, depending on booking schedules of vendors). She noted that there would likely be cost efficiencies, which would support PTO budgets. City Wide representatives agreed to support a meeting among all elementary principals and enrichment coordinators to discuss this possibility.
·               E-camp: Next year, students will attend e-camp after April vacation. All will attend for three days using the same vendor (Nature’s Classroom) although the actual locations will vary. Supt. Taymore noted that the “spike in price next year is considerable and concerning” as one reason for the alignment, as well as providing an equitable experience for all students.
·               Construction: The Learning Commons work continues at a fast pace with plastering beginning soon, and with the Administrative Suites beginning construction at the end of May. The new Hoover windows have been ordered with the expectation that they will be delivered on time. (The construction schedule is very tight.)
·               Capacity Study: In order to add class space at the elementary level, administrators, in collaboration with the fire chief, building inspector, and others, reviewed all building options. Next year we are out of space (should we need to add even more classes) and current space is already compromised.
·               FY17 Budget: Draft 2 is online for consideration by the Committee and the community. The difference between what the city can afford and what the schools require has been reduced from over a $1M delta to $471K.

Event-sharing included:
·               Roosevelt online auction continues. More info here: https://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/item/browse.action?auctionId=257968374&grouping=ONLINE.
·               Healthy Melrose Fair will be held on May 7th. More info here: http://www.healthymelrose.com/.
·               Rockland Trust’s Will Sullivan shared his company’s sponsorship of the Melrose Education Foundation Charitable Softball Tournament, scheduled for Sunday, May 29th with all proceeds going to the Foundation. Teams are forming now (high school aged students and adults only please). Their goal is to have 8-10 teams (10-15 people on each). Donations can be made to sponsor teams or to donate to the event. For more info, call Will at 781.665.3300 or e-mail at William.Sullivan@RocklandTrust.com.

o   Will also shared that he has spoken with Supt. Taymore and MHS Principal Farrell about encouraging accounting students to apply for a Rockland Trust scholarship that provides 4 years of free tuition to New England College of Business while working at the bank. Application due date is soon.