Thursday, December 10, 2020

Superintendent's Report to SC 12.9.20

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee

December 9, 2020

  • Middle School and High School Scheduling Study

    • Kick-off meeting with District Management Group (DMG) - November 20th

    • Project Goals

      • Conduct a detailed review of course offerings and staffing through a thorough analysis of current schedules and interviews with key stakeholders.

      • Guide school and district leaders through a vision setting process to create scheduling priorities.

      • Review and revise the current scheduling process to create a more efficient and effective schedule creation process.

      • Provide training to school-based and central office staff in best practices for scheduling.

    • Target completion with recommendations - March-April 2021

    • Ms. Sybert will lead this work as potential budget implications

  • METCO Leadership Retreat

    • Approximately 85 participants/district leaders (Mrs. Raymond & I attended)

    • Develop shared METCO Program mission, vision, and core values

    • Sharpen understanding of what it means to be a METCO district

    • Equity Audit - METCO has partnered with Beloved Community to offer an Equity Audit, valued between $3,000 and $40,000, FREE to any partner school district interested in assessing and improving their equity practices. This is part of a research project that Beloved is conducting to compile policy recommendations, resources, and best practices from across the country. Participants access an audit process that requires eight hours total to complete (by March 1, 2021), and is followed by a detailed report within one month of completion.

    • Equity Audit Research Project

  • Hybrid Model Update

    • The district is beginning to face challenges of in-person learning even in this model right now with the number of positive cases and close contacts rising tremendously.  Staffing issues are becoming a concern and might see a time when one school or another will call a “remote day” due to absences.

    • Additionally, we are monitoring the classroom temperatures and our Director of Facilities is examining those classroom spaces where the temperature is extremely low even with the heat on and the windows only opened minimally.

    • Extremely cold days - might have to call a “remote” day because of potential classroom temperatures. 

    • Outdoor tents will likely be taken down next week and stored for the winter months.  Please have your students dress appropriately for the weather. 

    • January is when our mid-year assessments are given and if changes are going to be made to our model, it really needs to occur with the data behind it.

    • Will we see growth with the instruction we are delivering currently because 4 hours of in-person learning is intense compared to “normal times.”

    • What can we do until that time?

      • Look at capacity in each classroom (Cohorts A and B) and bring in high needs kids on more days to give more in-person instruction.

      • More in-person time for the students that are really struggling with remote learning and identify students that are not meeting academic progress 

      • Work toward extending the school day for high needs students into the afternoon (K-8) on Cohort A and B days

      • Add interventions/tutoring/guidance check-ins for mental health

      • Look at data in January - are we closing the gaps for most kids?

      1. If yes, continue with the hybrid model

      2. In no, radical reorganization to prioritize in-person learning for highest-needs students, and split staffing to support in-person or remote students.

  • Open Letter From Parents:

    • “Other appropriate available spaces” - Requirements:

      • Teachers, ESPs, tutors, (not a larger pool)

      • Busses, bus monitors, 

      • Nurses, administrators

      • Custodians

      • Cleaning supplies and equipment

      • Crisis Plans including evacuation sites 

      • Ventilation studies for those sites?

  • “Decided not to seek to procure and install portable classrooms”

    • Our senior leadership team has experience with portable classroom projects.  In our experience, procuring and installing portable classrooms with utilities has an estimated timeframe of 1 -1.5 years from start to finish. 

  • Remote Learners

    • There is no doubt we need to find a solution for our youngest remote learners and we are working toward that end. Phase V Committee has already met twice to plan and offer an improvement to our current model. 


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