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SC Meeting: October 15, 2019

At the 10/15/19 School Committee meeting, discussion items included a report from the NHS Student Advisory; a presentation of the 2019-2020 Human Resources Report by Assistant Superintendent of Schools Alexandra McNeill; and a review of Superintendent Gutekanst’s Goals for the 2019-2020 academic year. 

Report from the NHS Student Advisory

NHS Student Council representatives for each of the four classes reported on fall fundraisers and upcoming fall events including the NHS Trick or Treat event hosted by the Class of 2021, a homecoming dance, and a bonfire to raise school spirit prior to the Thanksgiving Day football game against the Wellesley Raiders. Students also discussed the anti-semitic graffiti incidents that occurred in September, the school’s response, and the possibility that Students Advocating for Equity (“SAFE”) work with other social justice and activism clubs to facilitate internal discussions on important issues like religious freedom. 

2019-2020 Human Resources Report

Dr. Alexandra McNeill, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, presented the 2019-2020 Human Resources Report, which outlines the district’s efforts to attract more diverse candidates and ultimately achieve a more diverse workforce. The report evidenced the district’s improved recruitment of diverse candidates through its participation in the Massachusetts Partnership for Diversity in Education and job fairs targeting candidates of color. In the last two years, 28 of the 38 new professional hires (including teachers and teaching assistants) are people of color. Dr. McNeill also discussed the alignment of district Human Resource policies and practices with the Portrait of a Needham Graduate (POG) framework.

Superintendent’s Goals 2019-2020

Superintendent Dan Gutekanst submitted his proposed goals for the 2019-2020 academic year to the School Committee and requested feedback from Committee Members at the next meeting on Tuesday, October 29th. His eight goals aligned with the State’s requirements and with NPS’ strategic plan around POG, and its continued work with regard to equity and inclusion. 

Action Items:

  • The School Committee approved the FY 2021-2025 Capital Improvement Plan Requests as recommended by Superintendent Gutekanst.

  • The School Committee also established an NHS Bird’s Hill Pharmacy Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 per the recommendation of the superintendent. 


  • The George Bennett Distinguished Career Awards will be held at NHS on Friday, October 25th. 

  • The Select Board will host a public hearing at Powers Hall on the Green Communities Act on Wednesday, October 16th.


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