Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Superintendent's Report to SC 5.9.24 - NOT GIVEN

 Please note that this prepared statement was not read or given



TO: Swampscott School Committee

FROM: Superintendent Angelakis

DATE:  May 9, 2024

RE:  Superintendent’s Report 

FY 25 Budget Update

The budget is one of the worst parts of my job. It is an annual struggle to fight for the district's needs while being reminded we are a town department and ensuring we don't take the entire "pie." 

Everyone across the Commonwealth feels our pressures and issues; look at Andover or Gloucester. North Andover has a $3 million deficit this year and problems going into FY25.  

Please know that I hear and understand how you feel, but we must ensure we are utilizing our resources most efficiently and effectively.  We do not take these decisions lightly; much thought, conversations, and meetings have happened around this budget.  

We had 22 internal meetings with the leadership team this year as we knew this would be a difficult budget cycle with the opening of the new school, which has increased costs associated with it.  

We knew that being in one building would create staff efficiencies with the new school. We have always been committed to looking at the district's overall budget cycle to ensure we are staffed appropriately at all levels.  

While much of this focus is on reductions, we have added positions this year as we continue to determine what serves the students best in this changing environment.  

No longer having ESSER funding to fund positions created pressure on our budget, and we had to look hard at the positions. Some needed to move into

our appropriated budget to continue supporting MTSS and some of the other district priorities.  

The positions we added for FY25 are:

  • One full-time career counselor at the HS

  • Increase the FTE for the librarian at the Elementary school

  • Added a reading implementation specialist

  • Fully funded the after-dark program

  • Added a science teacher at the HS (HS now has eight)

  • Added a Math Interventionist

  • Funded a new literacy curriculum for elementary

  • Added the kindergarten aides to our budget

We have always kept the reductions away from teaching and core positions except when enrollment and class sizes dictate how we staff teacher positions.  

Support staffing goes with the students. As a student’s needs change or go out of the district, the support staff is either transferred to where there is another need, if possible or eliminated.

I also feel it’s essential to revisit last year’s budget cycle. We reduced the number of positions by 24, and only two were teacher positions - 1 general education teacher and one science teacher. 

Other positions that were eliminated

  • Administrative Assistant in MS

  • Assist. Principal at HS

  • Maintenance & Operations position

  • SEL

  • Reduced Business office position by 5 hours

  • Part-time Technology Assistant

  • Facilities position split with the Town (HVAC)

It’s important to me that the community understands the process and the work that goes into developing our budget annually. 

I'm unsure if our community knows our town’s financial policy and determines what we will get for an annual budget increase. The policy states, "2% plus new growth." The new growth amount can vary from year to year. 

We work within that number once the town tells us our percentage increase for the next fiscal year. 

The community must understand that we do not begin our annual budget by using the previous year’s budget as a baseline; instead, we build our budget from the bottom up every year, called zero-based budgeting.

We have made multiple budget presentations at Finance Committee and School Committee meetings. Through these meetings and work, we received a budget allocation exceeding the town's financial policy because the Finance Committee,

The town Administrator, and the Select Board recognized the district's additional financial pressures and needs. 

We analyze student needs, enrollment, class sizes, and programs from K-12. Then the Assistant Superintendents, Director of HR, and I meet repeatedly with building and department leaders to ask for recommendations for reductions that can be made to close the gap between the town allocation and what our budget looks like, factoring in the changes to Collective Bargaining Agreements and COLAs for union and non-union personnel and other annual increases across the district.

A school district budget is fluid. So, the budget voted by the School Committee on January 25th is a moment-in-time budget. Three and a half months later, needs continue to shift and change as we look ahead to the next school year. The one thing that hasn’t changed is how much we will receive for our budget. We must stay within that number. It is a give-and-take as we make additional decisions to stay within the budget we have been given. 

I recognize that any staffing reduction is hard on everyone, and I want you to know that it is not easy for me or anyone in the district to make these difficult decisions.  

Superintendent's Report to SC 4.11.24



TO: Swampscott School Committee

FROM:  Superintendent Angelakis

DATE:  April 11, 2024

RE:  Superintendent’s Report 

METCO Program Update

  • METCO Director Search

    • The first round of interviews has concluded.

    • Candidates are being selected to move to the second round of interviews.

  • METCO New Student Meet ‘n Greet (Temi & Krista)


    • Heritage Festival - May 17th - 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Town Hall

    • Juneteenth Celebration - June 12th - 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Town Hall

    • Lots of student involvement, new ideas, and activities! Thank you, Temi & Krista!

  • METCO Program Annual Update 

    • At the May 23rd School Committee Meeting

Swampscott Elementary School (SES)

  • The last elementary teacher tour was today, April  11th.

  • We continue to work with our traffic consultants to establish protocols and procedures for drop-off and pick-up at SES.

  • At this time, we have secured a 4th bus, which potentially allows students living 1.8 miles to utilize bus transportation. 

  • ONLY ELIGIBLE FAMILIES have been sent a survey to try to calculate a true sense of how many eligible students will be utilizing the bus. 

  • A huge thank you to Ms. Mackey Knowles for developing an internal webpage for the transition to the new school for faculty and staff only:  https://sites.google.com/swampscott.k12.ma.us/sestransition/home

Spring School Committee Presentations

  • This Evening - April 11th 

    • State of Student Services - Assistant Superintendent Raymond

    • State of SEL & Mental Health Services - Director Harris

  • April 25th 

    • Budget - Fy24 - Q3 Projection

    • Budget - FY25 Update

    • Professional Development Update - Director Dr. Bacon

  • May 9th 

    • Technology Update - Director Mackey 

    • SHS School Counseling Annual Report - Principal Kohut & Dept. Chair Sturma

  • May 23rd

    • METCO Program Annual Update - Interim Co-Directors - Mr. Bailey and Ms. Lynch

  • June 13th 

    • School Improvement Plan Presentations - Principals/Asst. Principals

Friday, March 15, 2024

Superintendent's Report to SC 03.14.24



TO: Swampscott School Committee

FROM:  Superintendent Angelakis

DATE:  March 14, 2024

RE:  Superintendent’s Report 

METCO Program Update

  • METCO Director Search

    • We have 18 applicants for our METCO Director position.

    • There will be three rounds of interviews

    • The screening of applicants has narrowed the first round of interview candidates to 9

    • The first-round team will consist of the Director of HR, the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, and three METCO parents.

    • The second-round team will include the Director of HR, the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, Principals, and Students.

    • Final Interviews will be conducted with the Superintendent,  Director of HR, and Asst. Superintendent of Student Services.

  • Mr. Temi Bailey and Ms. Krista Lynch have been appointed interim co-directors. 

  • We have hired an Academic Tutor to assist with the student tutoring Salvatore Barbagallo

  • Temi & Krista have a strong partnership and are doing an outstanding job.

  • I meet with them biweekly, and they meet with the principals regularly.

  • They have worked closely with METCO, Inc. regarding enrollment procedures, and we will look at student applications shortly.

Swampscott Elementary School (SES)

  • On Friday, March 1st, Ms. Sanborn and I traveled to Gardner, Massachusetts, to visit their new elementary school, which opened in 2022. 

  • It is Pre-K-4 with approximately 1,000 students, which is comparable to our school, which was built for 900 students.  

  • Principal Earl Martin and Superintendent Mark Pellegrino greeted us warmly, gave us an extensive tour of the school, and shared valuable information about their administrative structure, drop-off/pick-up procedures, and daily schedule.  

  • The elementary administrative team met with all general education teachers last week and shared plans for teams and classroom placements. 

SHS Guest Speaker Matthew Bocchi

  • The Jauron Family Foundation and Swampscott High School will host speaker Matthew Bocchi to present on opioid awareness.  (High School Health Teacher -  Hadley Woodfin)

  • There was a student presentation on Monday morning, March 11th, and then an evening presentation for our community from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm.

  • Matt discussed his journey through the loss of his father on 9/11, his battles with addiction, and the road to recovery and healing. 

  • I was incredibly proud of our student body for their attentiveness and engagement.

  • Ms. Woodfin collected some student data following the presentation:

  • Counselors are available to support students in need due to this assembly.

  • If you’d like to learn more, Matt Bocchi Flyer 

Calendar for SY 2024-2025

  • We’re a little late with the calendar this year as we continue to have a few discussions about the opening of SES.

  • I hope to have it on the agenda for March 28th. 

  • Here is a preview of concrete dates:

    • Wednesday, August 28th - PK & Grades 1-12 Student's First Day

    • Kindergarten Screening - August 28th, 29th, and September 3rd

    • Friday, August 30th - No School 

    • Monday, September 2nd - No School - Labor Day

    • Kindergarten Visitation Day - Wednesday, September 4th

    • Thursday, September 5th - Kindergarten Student's First Day - Start Time 8:30 am and Kindergarten early dismissal at 11:30 am

    • Thursday, October 3rd & Friday, October 4th - No School - Rosh Hashanah

    • Monday, October 14th - No School - Indigenous Peoples' Day

    • Monday, November 11th - No School - Veterans' Day

    • Thursday, November 28th & Friday, November 29th - No School - Thanksgiving Break

    • Monday, December 23rd - Wednesday, January 1st - No School - Holiday Break

    • Monday, January 20th - No School - MLK Jr. Day

    • Monday, February 17th - Friday, February 21st - No School - February Break

    • Friday, April 18th - No School - Good Friday

    • Monday, April 21st - Friday, April 25th - No School - April Break

    • Monday, May 26th - No School - Memorial Day

    • Monday, June 16th - Last Day of School/Day 180 (if there are no snow days)