Monday, July 1, 2019

Superintendent's Report to SC 6.26.19

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee
June 26, 2019

End of Year Celebrations
  • SHS Graduation
  • Middle School Moving On
  • Elementary Moving On ceremonies
Other Personnel Changes
  • We have hired the Clarke School Principal who will begin on July 1st as well.
  • Mrs. Hunt will graciously spend some time transitioning with the new principal.
  • Director of Teaching and Learning, Jean Bacon’s office will be moving to the High School along with Donna McHugh her administrative assistant.
  • Ms. Martha Raymond has been named Assistant Superintendent of Student Services
Summer Facilities Projects
  • District Crisis Team - Safety and Security
    • Install and repair common area speakers at the elementary schools
    • Swipe cards at the elementary schools
    • Security window film in various places at various schools
    • Continue to install windows in principal and counselor interior doors
    • Security camera work (replacement and repairs) continues at the middle and high schools
  • Boiler Replacement RFQ 
  • Various painting projects
  • Various classroom moves
  • Office build at Stanley
  • Phase 3 of High School Gym Sprinklers
  • Gym duct cleaning and duct connector replacement at SMS
  • Cogenerator Elbow and Glycol replacement at HS
June 7th - Statehouse Recognition
On June 7th we were recognized at a ceremony with Commissioner Riley for our National Blue Ribbon Award.

Curriculum Update
  • Summer Curriculum Work
    • 11 proposals spanning grades K-12 were submitted for approval
    • 9 have been approved, waiting on two to respond to questions
    • Work includes MS and HS social studies with new standards, developing modules for mandatory health training, SEI, Growth Mindset, Swift/Harbor
  • Pilots and Text Reviews 
    • K-5 Math In Focus Pilot
    • Spanish Texts - 7-12 - One class set and online - 6 years
    • Grade 3 Social Studies texts - Massachusetts Our Home
    • Grade 4 Social Studies texts - Regions of Our Country
    • K-4 Science and Math online digital subscriptions - 1-year extensions

Superintendent's Report to SC 5.22.19

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee
May 22, 2019

High School Administrative Team
  • I have named the current Dean of Students, Colleen Cull-Finn the new Assistant Principal at Swampscott High School beginning July 1, 2019.
  • Colleen demonstrates the leadership skills of an Assistant Principal and will be a great mentor to any new Dean who fills her current position.
  • She is student-centered, has great relationships with both students and staff, she is a hard worker and puts in long hours.
  • They will be posting the Dean of Students position.

Clarke School Principal
  • The posting closes next Tuesday.
  • We currently have 25 candidates
  • Communication has been sent to parents, staff, and administrators inviting them, if interested, to be a member of the interview committee. When the posting closes, we will be selecting members.

Budget Decisions for FY20 at the High School
  • There has been some misinformation out there regarding the HS teachers and budget decisions for FY20 so I would like to take a moment to clarify.
  • A high school science teacher resigned to work for a non-profit
  • The high school library/media specialist POSITION was eliminated. I want to reiterate, the position not the person. This position is no longer a requirement for NEASC Accreditation as it was 7 or so years ago, with the last go round.
  • Another HS science teacher was reduced from a 1.0 to a .6 FTE. This was simply due to teaching caseload.
  • A .6 HS English teacher was eliminated, again due to teaching caseload and class size.

MASC/MASS Joint Conference
  • This year’s conference is being held in Hyannis November 6-9th
  • Lytania and I have submitted two proposals for breakout sessions:
  • Thanks for the Feedback: Using Google Forms to quickly solicit feedback and generate data
  • Leveraging Technology for collaborative and effective meetings
  • If one or both of our proposals are accepted, we will be looking for at least two School Committee members to join us at the conference

Using Social Media to Encourage Summer Reading at SMS

Launch of Governor’s Public Awareness Campaign: RESPECTfully
  • Promote healthy relationships among middle and high schoolers
  • Launching next week: the week of May 26th
  • Increase awareness of what constitutes a healthy relationship, emphasizes the need for respect in relationships and helps teens identify the escalating behaviors that may lead to unhealthy and unsafe relationships.
  • Short videos, modern animations, via social media platforms
  • Directed at youth between the ages of 12-18, as well as their parents and caregivers.

Superintendent's Report to SC 5.8.19

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee
May 8, 2019

Director of Teaching & Learning

  • I am pleased to announce that I have appointed Ms. Jean Bacon, a 27-year educator from Western Massachusetts and Vermont, as the new Director of Teaching & Learning who will begin with us on July 1, 2019.
  • The position was formerly known as Director of Curriculum and Instruction and has been vacant since November 2018.
  • Ms. Bacon, who has served as principal of Pioneer Valley Regional School District in Northfield, Mass. since 2016, served as administrator for teaching and learning in North Adams Public Schools from 2004-16. She also taught math and science in North Adams. Jean was an assistant professor of sociology at Williams College from 1992-2001.
  • In her role, Jean’s primary focus will be K-12 curriculum ensuring that the district is aligned with Massachusetts frameworks. She will also oversee professional development.
  • Jean brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this critical position. She believes in a collaborative approach that will serve her well.

High School Assistant Principal Search

  • Yielded two finalists
  • Neither accepted the position
  • We have reopened the position

Clarke School Principal

  • Earlier this week, Mrs. Hunt accepted a principal position in the Andover Public Schools
  • We posted this position yesterday afternoon and already have 10 applicants
  • I anticipate forming an interview committee composed of teachers/staff, parents, and administrators.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Superintendent's Report to SC 3.27.19

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee
March 27, 2019

Director of Teaching & Learning
  • Position posted January 3, 2019
  • Posting closed this January 24th
  • A total of 39 applicants
  • Interview Committee: Julie DiLillo (HR Director), Lytania Mackey (Director of Digital Learning), Martha Raymond (Director of Student Services)
  • Approximately, 10 candidates - phone screenings still happening
  • First Round of Interviews: February 28th & March 4th
  • 11 candidates were interviewed in Round 1
  • Of those 11 candidates, 4 were moved on to Round 2
  • Interview Committee for Round 2: Lytania Mackey (Director of Digital Learning), Dennis Kohut (Future High School Principal), Jason Calichman (Middle School Principal), Debi Ardon (Teacher, Literacy, Content Lead), Catie Porter (Teacher/STEM & SMS Content leader - Clarke/SMS/PD), Susan Sheehan (Grade 1 Teacher/Content Lead) 
  • Interviews took place on March 22nd
  • Final candidates will be moved forward to final interviews with me
High School Assistant Principal
  • Current interview committee consists of 2 students, 2 parents, 4 teachers (1 union rep, 1 content leader, 1 regular ed teacher, and 1 special ed teacher), METCO Director, Dean of Students
  • 51 applicants - Human Resources conducting phone screening interviews
  • Will be approximately 10 candidates forward to the committee
  • Timeline: March 27, 2019 - Organizational meeting for the committee
  • April 1, 3, & 5 - Round 1 interviews
  • Week of April 8 - 12 - Final interviews with Mr. Murphy and Mr. Kohut
Annual Report
  • We are required by the By-Laws to send an Annual Report to the Town
  • Sharing 2017-2018 report with you
School & Classroom Visits

Middle School
  • Scavenger Hunt with Ms. Moltz in library class
  • Online catalog search with students in teams
  • Reinforcement of genres while also exploring their locations in the MS library
Clarke School
  • Read Across America Day
  • Grade 2, Mrs. Bruhm
Middle School
  • Mrs. Moore’s 5th Grade Science Class (80) - research project presentations
  • A person or organization that is having a positive impact on the environment
  • Students went above and beyond - slideshows, wrote to companies
High School Weather Station Named for Joe Tribendis
  • The Joe Tribendis Weather and Climate Center features a weather station on the roof of SHS that serves as a valuable resource for not only students but also the community at large. The weather station will collect data in real time, providing a database and forecasting function that can be used by students in weather and climate class, or even the athletic director in trying to determine whether an outdoor contest should be postponed.
  • The platform that will be used is WeatherSTEM, which will also give teachers the tools to incorporate weather data into lesson plans and align them with relevant educational standards, including Common Core.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Superintendent's Report to SC 2.13.19

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee
February 13, 2019

PFLAG - Greater Boston Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays

  • Staff training - January 24th Professional Development Day
  • Community Forum - Wednesday, February 6th @ 6:30 pm at SHS in the Auditorium. Approximately 20 people in attendance including a few children. Three guest speakers were phenomenal.

Director of Teaching & Learning (formerly Director of Curriculum & Instruction)

  • Position posted January 3, 2019
  • Posting closed this January 24th
  • A total of 39 applicants
  • Interview Committee: Julie DiLillo (HR Director), Lytania Mackey (Director of Digital Learning), Martha Raymond (Director of Student Services)
  • Approximately, 10 candidates - phone screenings still happening
  • First Round of Interviews: February 28th & March 4th

National Blue Ribbon Award Celebration & Reception
  • Thursday, February 7th.
  •  Congratulations and a big thank you to the high school team of students and faculty that put this celebration together.
  • A proud moment for the district and the community

REACH Arts Open House/Tea
  • Took place Thursday, January 31st from 3 pm - 5 p
  • Great event to see the spaces available

Kindergarten Information Night
  • Took place on Tuesday, January 29th
  • Very well attended
  • A reminder that Kindergarten Registration is in-person, in the Superintendent’s Conference Room at the Middle School on Monday & Tuesday, March 18th & 19th from 7:30 am - 11:30 am
Stanley School - New Principal

  • I am naming the Hadley School interim principal Mrs. Kathleen Huntley as the next permanent Stanley School principal. 
  • This appointment will take effect on March 18. 
  • Last October when we were interviewing for Ms. Ilana Bebchick’s maternity leave we formed an interview committee with myself and the following members: Mrs. Jennifer Hunt – Clarke School Principal, Ms. Ilana Bebchick – Hadley School Principal, Mrs. Julie DeLillo – Director of Human Resources, Mrs. Martha Raymond – Director of Student Services, Mrs. Carin Marshall – School Committee Member
  • At the conclusion of the interview process, Mrs. Huntley was unanimously appointed the interim principal for Ms. Bebchick’s leave. 
  • In essence, Mrs. Huntley has been interviewing for the Stanley School principal position for the last 3-months, the longest interview I have ever conducted.
  • Prior to coming to Swampscott, Kathleen served as principal at the Abbot School, a grade 3-5 school in Westford, from 2015-18. Prior to that, she was assistant principal at the Abbot and Nabnasset schools, grades K-2 from 2013-18. Before becoming an administrator, she taught science in at all levels, including as an adjunct professor at Merrimack College.
  •  Ms. Bebchick is scheduled to return from maternity leave on March 4. Mrs. Huntley will work at both Hadley and Stanley during the week of March 4 and take over Stanley as of March 18. 
  • I am truly thrilled to have someone with Kathleen’s level of experience leading Stanley School.