Worcester schools meetings this week

Cross-posted from Tracy’s blog.

The Worcester School Committee meets on Thursday, March 16; you can find the agenda here.

The report of the superintendent this week is on drinking water quality (as an aside: that’s been uploaded as the actual PDF, which I haven’t seen happen on a school committee backup). The EAW is rallying ahead of Thursday’s meeting for healthy schools, something which began with the PCB issue and has now expanded to air and water quality. Note that the report on Thursday is Worcester’s part of the larger statewide testing in schools of water for lead and copper, as this is well beyond being a Worcester issue.

(I’ve been intending to do a larger facilities post at some point; I hope to get to that this week.)

There are a number of recognitions.

There are subcommittee reports from TLSS and from Governance. Note that TLSS apparently discussed the Burncoat academy (TM), in the only place I’ve been able to find that actually describes admission requirements–at least an advanced/proficient on 5th grade testing–and its “enriched” course of study. It is procedurally fascinating/problematic that this meeting took place after both the announcement and the first parent meeting; both parent meetings are taking place prior to any action by the full school committee. Also, the request to approve those courses appeared on the school committee agenda without detail prior to any discussion as to where they were going. 

In Governance, after a several years abeyance, it appears as though the subcommittee is doing a policy review!

The Administration is responding to a request for an update on dual enrollment.

They are also responding to a request regarding a Main South soccer team (no backup to link to).

There is a request that the committee accept a STARS residency grant for Elm Park ($4400 for Asian myths and storytelling).

There is a request that the committee accept a$37,292 Mass Commended Schools grant, which is going to the former Level 4 schools to share best practices during summer professional development.
There is a request that the committee accept a donation to Tatnuck Magnet.

There is a request that the committee accept a donation to Lakeview.

Miss Biancheria is requesting an update on the career and technical education grant; an update on summer school; and the enrollment report which the committee received at their January 19 meeting.
While it is not a report of the superintendent, Superintendent Binienda is also sharing her (draft until approved by the committee) goals (which are…vague?). Paraphrased:

  • professional practice goal: to complete the first year of superintendent training
  • student learning goal: by September, to provide intervention for 3rd, 6th, and 10th graders at high risk and not meeting test scores
  • 1 on instructional leadership: to create and sustain excellent instruction through 1) continually evaluating data; 2) adding AP capstone and continuing SAT, PSAT, and college application day; 3) enhancing current literary initiatives
  • 2 on management and operations: a supportive, safe, orderly learning environment through 1) a chronic absenteeism plan; 2) all teachers on the state evaluation system; 3) “implement and monitor strategies to ensure a safe, welcoming learning environment”
  • 3 on family and community engagement: “engage responsively with families and higher education, business and community partners” through: 1) attending community events; 2) “deepen community support for ‘Compact for Public Education in Worcester’ by partnering with community businesses, agencies, and higher education” to quote; 3) opportunities for family engagement
  • 4 on professional culture: “enhance professional collaborative culture that promote strong ethical leadership and scholarship” through: 1) providing high quality professional development; 2) providing targeted intervention including central admin support for lowest performing schools by monitoring turnaround schools; 3) assist schools in using data

The committee is also being asked to review and approve changes to the Collaborative’s agreement; this appears to be a name change throughout (from “Central Massachusettts Special Education Collaborative” to “Central Massachusetts Collaborative”); there are no substantive changes.

And there is a request that the committee approve the AP Capstone Program; there is no backup on this, so I would assume it is going to subcommittee…? 

The Committee is also scheduled for an executive session at 6 on negotiations with the teachers’ union and with custodians; and a grievance for an HVAC technician.

There also is a Legislative breakfast on Friday morning at 9 am at Worcester Tech; on the agenda is the FY18 budget and a visit to the new Nelson Place. It also appears they want to have another legislative meeting on March 30 to discuss the new academy, AP test funding, MSBA projects, and the Adopt-a-School program.

 

no liveblog at the meeting; I’ll see about the Legislative breakfast. Maybe. 

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