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.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

E-camp, Food Service, Legal Counsel, Data Requests, and More: December 13th Committee Meeting

Wrapping up 2016 now that 2017 is well underway! The final School Committee meeting of the year was held on December 13th. Here’s a quick look at the highlights; check the minutes for the official account!

·               The Horace Mann Huskies came and brought their Husky Pride, explaining their school-wide philosophy of respect, responsibility and safety. Great job students and staff!
·               E-camp field trip requests were approved. This is the first time that all elementary students will attend e-camp at the same time (April 26th-28th), for the same duration (three days), and engage in essentially the same curriculum (applying the philosophy of equity across the district).
·               Appreciation to our MPS donors was expressed for their kindness and generosity.
·               Chartwells continues to run our food service program ahead of budget.
·               Caps were re-affirmed for the middle school and high school checking accounts (which allows principals flexibility to run programs, but provides a check-and-balance by the Committee).
·               Internet safety policies were re-affirmed (which is an annual practice).
·               All subcommittee chairmen provided end of year reports.
·               The Committee engaged in its annual self-evaluation in order to continue to improve our practice in 2017.
·               20+ year counsel Atty. Mary Jo Hollender is retiring and we agreed to seek an individual to work three days/week in-house to provide labor and negotiation services as well as act as the Title IX, bullying/harassment officer. We expressed great appreciation to Atty. Hollender for her excellent service to the Committee and the district.
·               We elected the 2017 Chair (me) and Vice-Chair (Chris Casatelli) for 2017. (It’s been a privilege to serve and I greatly look forward to carrying on this work!)
·               We agreed on the data requests we would make from Supt. Taymore in the coming year, so that she can work with her team to prepare the information that supports our decision-making in a comprehensive and timely manner. We also noted that there is a great deal of information provided on the DESE web site (and listed some of those items.)

We are so grateful to our community at large as well as the staff for sharing their time, talent, and treasure with our school family!

Next meeting: January 10th at 7:00 in the Aldermanic Chamber of City Hall.