At the 2/5/19 School Committee meeting, discussion items included a report from the NHS Student Advisory; a presentation of the new Broadmeadow School Improvement Plan by Principal Emily Gaberman; and a first reading of two new School Committee policies: 1) JFABC Assignment of Elementary Students to Schools, and 2) IKE Promotion and Retention of Elementary Students.
Report from the NHS Student Advisory
NHS Student Council representatives for each of the four classes reported on various successful fall/winter fundraisers and upcoming spring events. The students discussed issues of concern to the entire student body like enforcement of a “no eating in the hallways” rule, the availability of microwaves for student use in the cafeteria, and planning a respectful way to mark the first anniversary of the deaths of Talia Newfield and Adrienne Garrido on February 10th. Students also remarked on the ongoing efforts of Students Advocating for Equity (“SAFE”) to promote discussions of race among upperclassmen and faculty. The hope is that the upperclassmen will then moderate similar discussions with underclassmen.
Broadmeadow School Improvement Plan
Principal Gaberman presented Broadmeadow Elementary’s new School Improvement Plan, which contains three action steps/goals for advancing academics while also developing social, emotional, wellness and citizenship skills. In addition, the plan ensures that infrastructure will support student learning for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years.
Additional details are available in the School Committee packet.
First Reading of Two New School Committee Policies
Two new policies were submitted by the Policy Subcommittee for first reading and discussion:
JFABC Assignment of Elementary Students to Schools This clarifies circumstances under which the district superintendent may assign a family to an elementary school outside their residential area (e.g., due to overcrowding, under-enrollment, development of new residential areas, etc.). Also discusses potential “buffer zones,” a defined area in which resident families could be assigned to 1 of 2 potential elementary schools.
IKE Promotion and Retention of Elementary Students This codifies an existing (but previously unwritten) practice where students progress annually unless their teacher determines that retention is in the student’s best interest. Retention of a student requires notification and explanation to the parents/guardians. The school principal is the final authority under these circumstances.
The School Committee approved the proposed changes to the 2019-2020 Middle School Program of Studies as presented by Principals Tamatha Bibbo and Jessica Downey during the January 22nd School Committee meeting. The School Committee also approved the FY20 Revolving Fund Budgets as recommended by Superintendent Gutekanst.
SC Chair Aaron Pressman noted the generous contribution of Analog Devices, Inc. of Norwood, MA to benefit the Needham High School Robotics Team.