Thursday, October 25, 2018

Superintendent's Report 10.24.18

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee
October 24, 2018

Academic Tutor for Grade 3 at Stanley:
  • Another round of interviews is being conducted by Mrs. Longin and her teachers. 
  • Update: 10.25.18 - Mrs. Longin and her team have hired an Academic Tutor who will provide general education targeted support and will begin on Tuesday, November 13th. 
School Business Administrator
  • We look forward to welcoming Ms. Martha Sybert to begin on November 7, 2018.
Interim Hadley Principal
  • I am very pleased to announce that Ms. Kathleen Huntley will be the Interim Principal at Hadley School during Ms. Bebchick’s absence. 
  • Ms. Huntley comes to us with five years of elementary administrator experience from the Westford Public Schools. 
  • She has participated and served on committees at the state level including the Massachusetts Educator Evaluation Committee and the Bullying Legislation Committee. 
  • Mrs. Huntley has also served as an elementary science coordinator at a K-5 school, a middle and high school math and science teacher, and a college professor and university supervisor in a teacher certification program. 
  • As of this time, Ms. Huntley’s interim role will be from November 26th through March 4th with up to 7 transition days with Ms. Bebchick prior to her leave and up to 7 transition days upon Ms. Bebchick’s return. 

MSBA Update
  • Last Monday, October 15th, we had a preliminary enrollment meeting with the MSBA Team in Boston.
  • We have been invited back on November 19th prior to the next deliverable of our Enrollment Certification which is due on November 28th.
  • Our School Building Committee has been approved and we are scheduling a meeting with this committee in the next week or so.
  • Ms. Wright and I are attending an all-day seminar on Monday - The Story of a Building.
Tech Tuesdays/Tech Thursdays
  • Tech Tuesdays/Tech Thursdays will run twice a month after school at SHS (or another building). These sessions will be 45 minutes 2:45-3:30, and each week will be different and guided by REQUESTS from the teachers. 
  •  These sessions are open to ALL employees of SPS who can make the sessions, no matter your role.
  • Dates we have scheduled so far: Tuesday, October 23, Thursday, October 25, Tuesday, November 13, Thursday, November 29, Tuesday, December 11, and Thursday, December 13
MassCUE Conference

Friday, October 12, 2018

Superintendent's Report 10.10.18

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee
October 10, 2018

Academic Tutor for Grade 3 at Stanley:
  • There were 13 applicants for the position
  • Only four of the applicants had a background in education
  • All four were interviewed and the classroom teachers were part of the process
  • Mrs. Longin and the teachers were in agreement that unfortunately, they were unable to find a good fit from this pool of candidates
  • We have reposted the position and are widening our search to
  • It should be noted that although this development sets us back on our original timeline, the classroom teachers are feeling confident in how positively the year is going and how important it is to find the right fit so the majority of their time can be spent focused on the students
National Blue Ribbon School
  • Swampscott High School has been named a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, a designation earned by only .2 percent of schools in the country
  • Swampscott High is one of only 349 schools – including 62 high schools -- nationwide to be honored this year, and one of only three schools in Massachusetts. There are approximately 31,000 high schools and 132,000 schools overall in the U.S.
  • Blue Ribbon schools are honored in one of two performance categories, based on metrics including test scores, attendance, and graduation rate: Exemplary High Performing schools and Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing schools. Swampscott was recognized in the latter category
  • The subgroups of students that factor into the achievement gap includes minority (19% of Swampscott students), English not as the primary language (10%), special education (16%) and economically disadvantaged (15%) 
  • This award is a result of the work that has been done over the last 5 years. And although this is an award the high school is receiving, it is really a celebration for the entire faculty and staff of the Swampscott Public Schools

District Crisis Team Meeting
  • As a reminder, each school has their own individual crisis teams made up of members from their schools
  • The District Crisis Team is made up of members from all the schools’ teams as well as town agencies including police, fire, and DPW
  • Our fall meeting was held Monday, October 1st
  • Crisis Response Plans and Medical Emergency Response Plans have been updated and distributed to all members of the District Crisis Team
  • Medical Emergency Response Plans are also submitted to the state on or before September 1st every 3 years but are updated within the district annually
  • Some of our agenda items included: Debrief on the Shelter in Place and Parent Meeting held at Clarke School, continued discussion of bringing Narcan into all schools and the Lead Nurse leading the work for a Narcan protocol for the district sign off by the District Physician Dr. Cheryl D'Souza, and review of our tornado drill
November 6th - Professional Development Day
  • Celebrating Our Differences: Inclusiveness for All
  • Keynote speaker: Chad Hymas - Celebrating Our Differences: Building an Inclusive Community
  • Three breakout sessions with topics including Understanding Bias and Anti-BIas Practices, Understanding Racial Equity, 5 Core Competencies of Social-Emotional Learning, Navigating LBTBQ in the classroom - a student panel, and Culturally based Educational Perspectives - a parent panel to name just a few.
  • School Committee is invited for the Keynote, while we as an entire district navigate these new topics in the breakout sessions.
Interim Hadley Principal
  • We have conducted interviews for the Interim Hadley School Principal in Mrs. Bebchick’s absence
  • Highly qualified candidates
  • Will be making a decision in the next week and hopefully, an announcement at the next School Committee meeting
School Business Administrator
  • We have been working very collaboratively with the general government to collaborate and create efficiencies where possible.
  • We hired Mrs. Julie DeLillo as Director of Human Resources
  • We had hired a Joint Facilities Director whose vacancy we are currently working to fill and we are exploring other areas to create efficiencies
  • One area that we cannot consolidate or create an efficiency is in the position of School Business Administrator 
  • This is a position required by the state and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for school departments
  • There are unique requirements such as licensure and certifications that much be achieved in order to qualify for this position 
  • This position is not a general financial management position. This is a CFO position with highly specific skills distinct to public education which is an extremely demanding and dynamic operation
  • The need for a full-time licensed School Business Administrator who is specially trained in the many content areas where a senior manager needs to be able to support my position 24/7
  • This evening, I bring before you a highly skilled and qualified candidate who I wholeheartedly recommend to you for our next School Business Administrator, Ms. Martha Sybert
  • Ms. Sybert comes to us with over 5 years of school finance experience and over 20 years of progressively challenging accounting, budgeting, and finance experience. Her vast experience includes operational planning, budget development, capital planning, and financial analysis
  • It was a unanimous decision and Ms. Martha Sybert is the new School Business Administrator whose start date is to be determined

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Superintendent's Report 9.26.18

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee
September 26, 2018

Elementary Enrollment Update - Grade 3/Stanley:
  • Mrs. Longin and I met to discuss the needs of the two third grade classrooms at Stanley. 
  • In order to best meet the needs of the students, the best position to support these classrooms would be an Academic Tutor.
  • An Academic Tutor would allow for small instructional groups in the breakout spaces during core subjects such as math and literacy.
  • As of today, we have 12 applicants with a range of educational experience from 2 to 24 years.
  • Mrs. Longin and her staff are conducting interviews.
  • We are still on track to have this targeted support in place in a couple of weeks.

School Business Administrator Search
  • We conducted interviews as scheduled last Thursday, September 20th.
  • We are currently in negotiations with a candidate to bring forward to the Committee.
MSBA Update
  • Following our enrollment submission, we have been invited in to meet with the MSBA on Monday, October 15th. This meeting is proposed for the MSBA to better understand local conditions and any concerns the District may have as part of the enrollment forecast.
  • Mr. Katz, Mrs. Wright, Mrs. Raymond, and I will be attending this meeting.
  • In addition, the MSBA held two slots for our district to attend a one day class called the Story of a Building. It’s going to be held at the Woodland Elementary School in Milford. Mrs. Wright and I are registered to attend where we look forward to learning about topics such as Construction and Building Operations, Lessons Learned, Best Practices regarding IT software and hardware, and furniture, fixtures, and equipment.
MCAS 2018
  • Administrators have been pouring over the preliminary data since late summer.
  • Results are embargoed until 12:01 tonight and will be released to the public tomorrow.
  • They will be arriving in the district on Friday, the 28th and will be sent home on Tuesday, October 2nd, across the district.