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.

Friday, March 10, 2017

3 School Committee Meetings: 1 Post

The School Committee met on January 24th, February 14th, and February 28th and well, wow, that time flew! So here’s a quick update on each before a more substantive post on this past Tuesday’s meeting. As always, edits / errors / opinions mine so check meeting minutes for the official synopsis.

January 24th
·               The MPS received a $10K grant for Safe and Supportive Schools that will be used by MVMMS staff to develop an action plan related to student behavioral health.
·               The Middlesex Supts. group (twelve districts) received a one-time, $40K grant from Lahey to underwrite a new version of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey allowing for sharing and comparing among districts, and asking some questions specific to each district.
·               An MPS app is in the works that will allow submission of anonymous tips, and access to school calendars as well as FB and Twitter pages.
·               An elementary summer program will be offered but likely not by the schools.
·               Subcommittee Chairmen presented their intentions for the year within Education Programs and Personnel, Finance and Facilities, and Policy and Planning.
·               The Supt. presented her Budget Narrative, speaking to priorities social emotional learning, inclusive practices, instructional technology, and enrollments.

February 14th
·               Kindergarten online pre-registration counted 272 enrollments.
·               The Supt. was authorized to begin the process for procuring a vendor for elementary summer programming.
·               The Elementary Instrumental Music Working Group presented their final report.
·               FY18 fees were proposed by Supt. Taymore, including a proposal to form a working group on athletic fees.
·               Two policies: Drug and Alcohol Use by Students and Teaching About Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco, were reviewed.
·               Jess Dugan and Jaime McAllister-Grande spoke to their intentions around a School Committee Communication Plan and asked for ideas from Committee members for discussion at a later date.

February 28th
·               Two teams of Roosevelt School students presented their STEM Scope projects, sharing division of duties, providing a demonstration, and addressing Committee questions.
·               Student Rep Conlan Cesar reported on the D3-winning MHS Wrestling Team, and the state record breaking performance of Kevin Wheelock in the 1 mile and 2 mile.
·               Hiring of the new Assistant City Solicitor for Schools and Labor, Amy Lindquist, was announced. Her office will be in Central Administration and she will focus on collective bargaining, civil rights and other investigations, open meeting/public records law, etc.
·               ECC registration enrollments are at 304 (a high for this time of year).
·               Supt. Taymore will attend the invitation-only National Summit on K-12 Competency Education as their invited guest.
·               School Improvement Plan updates are now posted on school web sites.
·               Athletic and co-curricular enrollments were presented by sport, and level (Freshman, JV, Varsity). There were 51 more total participants in FY16 vs. FY15 with 1076 total (not unique) participants in FY16.
·               The Committee authorized the Supt. to finalize a contract with AlphaBest for an FY17 K-Grade 4 summer program. AlphaBest will provide an information session for parents on Monday, March 13th from 7-8 p.m. at MVMMS.
·               Fee discussions continued with intent to vote on March 7th.