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.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Enrollments, Class Rank, and Events: 6/14 City Wide PTO

Yesterday’s City Wide PTO featured a brief appearance by Supt. Taymore who would be headed to the School Building Committee meeting upon her departure, as they planned to vote to recommend the best possible configuration of instructional program solution to the School Committee at our evening meeting. She explained that as of this fall, there is no more room [at the elementary level] based on current projections. Her staffing goal is to keep teachers and she accomplished that [within the context of this year’s budget], but administration suffered. We have no “backbench” [for administrative succession planning] and the new administrative organization chart helps accomplish that. She’s in the process of filling those positions. She’s posted for the AD position [and since then, current MHS Asst. Principal Fogarty has been appointed: http://jgpr.net/2016/06/14/mhs-assistant-principal-stephan-fogerty-appointed-director-co-curricular-physical-education-health-wellness/]. A City Wide attendee noted that a dearth of new teachers is expected in the coming years. The Supt. acknowledged that, indicating that she has partnered with four colleges (Salem State, UMass Boston, Gordon, and Mass. College of Art) in part so that interns will be placed in Melrose. She hopes that it will help graduates “think of us first,” and it also allows us to “have a say in how teachers are prepared.” Regarding open MHS positions, if Principal Farrell is appointed to the Director of Finance position, she will post for that spot as it is a contractual obligation.

Attendees brought up the fact that Melrose did not name a valedictorian this year. Supt. Taymore said that this kind of action is reviewed periodically and we’ll do that in this case. It’s important for us to think about student aspirations as well as parent aspirations. She said that there should be academic recognition and she recognizes the need for cultural change around academics. The MHS and MVMMS PTO’s can play active and important roles in this effort.

·               The Roosevelt Green Team is engaging in a new recycling program with Terracycle (https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/). One of Terracycle’s reps will come to City Wide PTO in September to talk about their work, which could involve fundraising opportunities for other PTO’s too.
·               Melrose Energy Challenge is well under way and there is a benefit to PTO Inc. if parents note that they are Melrose PTO members when they schedule. More here: http://homeworksenergy.com/melrose-pto/.
·               Rockland Trust’s community softball game benefiting the Melrose Education Foundation (MEF) has been rescheduled from Memorial Day weekend to August 14th. For more information, contact Branch Manager Will Sullivan at 781.665.3300 or e-mail him at William.Sullivan@RocklandTrust.com.
·               The MEF annual fundraiser at the Beebe Estate is September 24th.
·               Parent University (co-sponsored by MEF and the Melrose Public Schools) is expected to be the second or third Saturday in November. (Flyer from last year’s event here: http://melroseedfoundation.org/2015/10/12/save-the-date-melrose-parent-university-sat-nov-14-2015/). There will be childcare offered again this year.

If you are a Bridge volunteer, a pilot program will begin at the start of the next fiscal year (July 1st) whereby volunteers who have a current CORI on file will automatically be re-registered for the coming year. You will need to re-register if your CORI needs to be renewed and/or your volunteer location is transitional (e.g. moving from ECC to elementary, elementary to middle, middle to high school). Bridge Director Jennifer McAllister will provide this information in an e-mail to volunteers. New volunteers are always welcome.

Congratulations to the parents who are moving onward and upward and we’ll welcome new members in the fall. Next meeting is September 13th. Have a great summer!