Thursday, January 17, 2019

Superintendent's Report to SC 1.16.19

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee
January 16, 2019

Communications Survey
  • Was sent to parents, students, staff, and town meeting members in late October. The survey closed on November 2nd. 
  • 536 responses
  • 71.6% - parents/guardians, 17.9% - faculty, 9.7% town meeting members, 1 student
  • On a scale from 1 to 5, 53.2% of respondents rated current communication level 4 or 5 in terms of meeting their needs
  • 63.1% responded that my biweekly communication is sufficient
  • The highest ranked types of communications that respondents would like to hear about included School Improvement Plans (84.1%), District Strategy (73.7%), Budget (65.9%), and Personnel Updates (61%) 
  • The most glaring takeaway was that 47 Town Meeting members were interested in receiving communications from me directly, via email. Since late November, I have been sending Town Meeting members the link to this report along with communications related to budget, personnel and other important topics that might be of value to community members without school-aged children, for example, my email to families about how I go about calling a snow day. 

Senior Center Board Meeting
  • On December 11th I attended the Senior Center Board Meeting
  • I spoke about the District Strategy and our priorities
  • Discussion about changing demographics in the school district and the changing demands of education, which led to me touching on the school department budget
  • My final word was about the need for a new elementary school and where we are in this potential building project with the MSBA.
  • I am scheduled to meet with the Friends of the Senior Center to talk more about the school building project in March or April. Date TBD.

An Evening Discussion with the Superintendent
  • Kick Off Meeting
  • 8 people in attendance
  • Presentation on District Strategy, priorities, School Improvement Plans, and district vision
  • Shared my plan of attending one PTO/PTA/PTF Meeting this year. Asked those organization leaders to forward me the topic each school would like me to speak on.

Director of Teaching & Learning (formerly Director of Curriculum & Instruction)
  • Position posted January 3, 2019
  • Posting closes this Thursday, January 24th
  • 23 applicants to date
  • Reviewing/screening applications
  • Interview Committee formation
  • Interview schedule
  • I will be speaking to the High School Principal and Stanley School Principal openings at upcoming meetings

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

National Blue Ribbon Award Celebration & Reception
  • Thursday, February 7th beginning at 9:00 am
  • Invited guests who have confirmed their attendance include the Governor & First Lady, Commissioner Riley, Mark Gelfand, Representative Ehrlich, Sean Fitzgerald, Peter Spellios, Chief Madigan, and Chief Breen
  • The Board of Selectmen have all been invited
  • The program is being developed by the high school team and will include student performances
  • We will also be raising the Blue Ribbon Flag and have a surprise commemoration which will be unveiled as part of the celebration

Student and Alumni News at SHS

North Shore Education Consortium Pilot

  • Through the generous support of the Tower Foundation ($100,000), our district has been one of only six member districts invited to participate in a pilot program from January - June 2019 with no cost to us
  • This NEC Connections has hired a clinician to work with our districts free for this pilot year
  • Through this pilot our district will have access to the following services:
    • Case consultation, including crisis consultation, from an experienced, neutral clinician
    • Referral of approximately 12 cases for intensive short-term case management with a guarantee of at least two open cases at any given time.
  • Case management will include
    • Assessment of the situation by meeting with the school team, observing, meeting with the family, reviewing the record. To include home or community visits. 
    • Short-term counseling with the student and family members
    • Helping family identify and access community-based supports to meet basic or mental health needs
    • Consultation with the student’s team
    • Monitoring the situation
  • Advantages
    • Only buying a portion of a clinician instead of committing to a full or part-time position and no benefits cost
    • Ability to work flexible hours
    • “Neutrality” in high conflict or highly sensitive situations - not a district employee
    • Specialized training and experience in community settings
  • In Year 2 our financial commitment would be approximately $20,000 but with the Tower Foundation’s subsidy, the cost to us for year 2 would be approximately $13,000

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