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.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Collaborative PTO's and Great School Partners: 10/18 Citywide PTO

Quick visit with Supt. Taymore since she had another obligation, so the focus was on calendar sharing and our guest, Melrose Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lauren Grymeck.

Chamber Info
·               The Chamber wants to work more closely with the schools and recognizes how hard the PTO’s work. They know that the schools don’t always want to ask for support, but are doing good work and need their support. Perhaps another subset of City Wide PTO representatives and business owners could collaborate to partner as they did in the past. The schools should have a sense of what level of interest/capability different businesses have in terms of donations.
·               Reflection on and evolution of Victorian Fair: working towards more family-friendly environment.
·               Upcoming Chamber events: Trick or Treat on Main Street (10/28) and Home for the Holidays (12/2-3).

Birth to Five
In collaboration with Supt. Taymore, they are working with realtors to provide some highlights of our schools. We brainstormed ideas: “most improved” designation; five foreign languages at middle and high school plus immersion trips; Advanced Placement offerings and success; music and arts programming; elementary after school programming; free full-day K; before/after care; ECC; equity across all the elementary schools; Competency Based Education initiative; Melrose Education Foundation; Melrose Grad Night; Late Start initiative; high school learning pathways.

Melrose Education Foundation
Parent University is scheduled for November 19th. For more information click on http://melroseedfoundation.org/communityforums/. There will be three workshop sessions (a larger first session followed by two to three smaller sessions). Check-in will be from 8:00-8:30 a.m. and speakers will continue through noon with the event ending at 12:30. There will be childcare for elementary-aged children and they are working on arranging childcare for pre-K. Location is the MHS Learning Commons. Registration coming soon.

City Wide Band Night
…was held on October 19th. It’s an annual event and a way to generate interest in band for younger students. The kids bring their instruments, and are then grouped and matched with a high school facilitator who helps them learn a musical piece and march together under the lights – all in one hour!

News from the Middle School
·               MVMMS is “copying” MHS with a parent coffee on November 17th from 7:45-8:30.
·               MHS Interim Principal Jason Merrill will be meeting soon with 7th and 8th grade parents so they can learn more about MHS.
·               Tarzan is coming the week before Thanksgiving – another great musical production from our talented students and staff. More info here: https://melrosedrama.wordpress.com/shows/tarzan/. It’s helpful to buy tickets in advance to avoid waiting in line.

Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC)
The first general meeting is Thursday, October 27th at the ECC at 6:30. All are welcome! For more information, click on http://melrosesepac.weebly.com/.

Election Info
·               Bake sales will be held in many schools, and volunteers should be aware that they must not wear political paraphernalia as it is against election laws.
·               The MHS AP Government class is organizing a school wide mock election coordinated by teacher Mr. Daly on Monday, November 7th.

Bridge Volunteers
…are over 1000 strong with registrations coming in every day. At the next City Wide meeting, we’ll hear about the K volunteer training sessions for those volunteers who will help support K classrooms in the absence of five of the original 15 para positions.

Next meeting: Tuesday, November 15th at 8:45 a.m. in the Supt’s Conference Room