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SC Meeting: May 21, 2019

Discussion items at the 5/21/19 meeting included the Eliot School Improvement Plan and a presentation by SEPAC, plus a presentation of awards to eleven students.

Superintendent’s Comments

  • Superintendent Dan Gutekanst presented awards to eleven students for representing the districts core values: Scholarship, Citizenship, Community & Personal Growth.

Eliot School Improvement Plan

Principal Karen Bourn, along with math and literacy coaches and students, presented Eliot's School Improvement Plan. Highlights include:

  • Increased professional development for teachers to incorporate additional skills in areas such as alleviating stress and anxiety around literacy.

  • Enhancing curriculum night by adding an additional night thereby allowing parents to meet more teachers and specialists.

  • Ensuring that the library is equitable and representative of all cultures.

  • Providing better communication to parents about how math is taught with the implementation of a math night.

  • Eliot received a three year grant to roll out a Spacial Temporal Math program to all grades and to provide a language based disabilities classroom

SEPAC Update

SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) co-chairs Mira Tamir Spiegel and Christianne Bayliss presented information on a successful school year and their future goals. Currently approximately 1000 children and their families are part of the district's special education community. SEPAC provides education, input and networking opportunities through their website, newsletter, public and private FB pages, and meetings. Their goal is to make meetings specialized but useful to all parents interested in topics such as social opportunities, stress and anxiety management.

SEPAC’s focus during the 2018/2019 school year was to increase outreach: they attended the Needham Diversity Summit, provided a workshop at the middle school parent conference, and also met with NEF and Parks & Recreation. SEPAC goals for the next year include:

  • create “Friends of Needham SEPAC" entity that will be a registered 501(c)3 organization to fundSEPAC events and speakers

  • create a recreation subcommittee

  • create an additional factsheet on Extended School Year (ESY) services

  • promote equity, inclusion, and acceptance for students with special needs

  • strengthen their relationship with NEF and have SEPAC representation on the board

Action Item

  • Based on the Superintendent's recommendation, the board unanimously voted to appoint Dan Gutekanst as School Committee Representative to ACCEPT Education Collaborative Board of Directors

School Committee Comments

  • Aaron Pressman advised that, based on a student initiative, compostable lunch trays will be implemented throughout the district.

  • Michael Greis and Dan Gutekanst attended a celebration of KASE in which present and former community members came together the celebrate the wonderful program.

  • NEF recognized this year's grant recipients at a reception on Monday. To date the NEF has awarded over $3 million in grants.


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