The May 7 School Committee meeting included a presentation from the NHS Advisory to School Committee and Needham's three State Legislative Representatives.
School Committee Comments
Outgoing Chair Aaron Pressman was recognized and thanked for his year of service.
Town Meeting approved the 2019-20 School Budget, including funding for Full Day Kindergarten.
Two Hillside 5th graders were recognized with honorable mentions in NPR's Student Podcast Challenge for their pieces “Clowning” and “Stop Touching My Hair.”
Needham High School Student Advisory to School Committee Report
Representatives spoke about various events and activities that their classes are sponsoring. The senior class gift will honor the two students killed last year. The four bulletin boards have been installed and are being used by each class. There will be no all night graduation party for the first time due to low attendance.
Superintendent's Evaluation Process
Dr. Gutekanst has submitted his goals for the year, and will shortly submit his assessment and reflection in about two weeks. The school committee will reach out to speak with administrators and principals during the evaluation, which should be completed by June.
State Senator Michael Rush, State Senator Rebecca Rausch, and State Representative Denise Garlick spoke about the Chapter 70 Educational funding and the formula used to determine the money a town/city will spend on a student in school. It looks to provide adequacy, equity and progressivity for all students.
There are four areas that need to be re-evaluated because schools with students in certain high-need categories require more money allocated for them than towns/cities are currently being given:
English language learners
students needing health insurance
There are bills on Beacon Hill that could help provide more money for these students if they pass, which will then impact Needham's school budget.
Portrait of a Needham Graduate was approved 7-0-0
Extension of Yellow Bus Contract 9/2019-6/2021 was approved 7-0-0.
Extension of Special Education Transportation (Van Pool) contract 9/2019-8/2021 was approved 7-0-0.
Freshman Trip to Prague/Czech Republic was approved 7-0-0.