stronger academic requirements for Bartlett students
After a 15-minute delay due to an executive session, the regular meeting of the Webster School Committee got under way with welcome back statements directed toward former school committee member Tina Gorski-Strong. Ms. Strong thanked committee members for their comments and expressed her sentiments about being back on the committee and how it was “refreshing to see the great progress the school system has made.” Ms. Strong replaces Mr. Ted Geotis, who had submitted his resignation.
Ted Avlas of the superintendent’s office stated that “the Webster community had spoken loud and clear” after the previous night’s town meeting, wherein voters unanimously approved the Park Avenue Elementary School building project.” Nearly $30 million in state funds will now be available for the project.
Dr. Steven Dlott, interim principal of Bartlett Jr/Sr High School submitted his report regarding new grading requirements and expectations for students. Dr. Dlott also spoke highly of and with much praise for the teaching staff.
He reviewed the more rigorous academic requirements expected from Bartlett students as well as the advance preparations for the 2014 New England Association of Secondary Schools’ evaluation.
Colleen Nasis of the school’s Climate Committee reviewed a policy to keep students in the educational process through a review of their attendance and academic improvement rate, with the strongest point being that after six unexcused absences, a full 10-point grade deduction would occur. Parental support is key, she said.
School committee member Shawn Collins requested elaboration of the new grade policy and after receiving further explanation, he praised Dr. Dlott for his efforts and leadership. Tina Gorski-Strong also praised Dr. Dlott for his actions improving upon and offering additional advanced placement courses. Dr. Dlott thanked the School Committee members and expressed his thanks to all school assistants, teachers, and parents.
School Committee Chairman Michael Makara then opened the public hearing on student Internet Safety Policy and Superintendent of Schools Gregory Ciardi gave a PowerPoint presentation on appropriate use of the Internet by children in accordance with Federal guidelines, which included access by minors to inappropriate or harmful matter; safety of minors using email, chat rooms, etc.; unauthorized access or unlawful activities by minors online; and unauthorized disclosure, use, or dissemination of personal information regarding minors.
The next agenda item included a public hearing on teacher evaluations, including priorities of the new evaluation framework, which included placing students’ learning at the center of objectives; promoting growth and development; recognizing excellence; setting a higher bar for tenure; and shortening timeliness for teacher improvements. Dr. Ciardi’s overview included a direct comparison to those guidelines currently in place within the Webster school system and also stated that “Webster finds itself in much better shape than other school systems as we have already adopted many of the teacher evaluation criteria and this is a credit to the staff and committee.”
Bartlett Jr/Sr High School received authorization to increase the Social Studies staff to eight individuals; approval of job descriptions was granted for an information specialist, a school adjustment counselor, and an alternate program classroom teacher; and acceptance of a $10,000 Janet Malser Grant Award was given for the digital-media lab. Additionally, pending successful contract negotiations, appointment of a Director of Student Support Services was approved as well as authorization to sign the School Project Scope and Budget Agreement. School Committee Chairman Makara was then unanimously approved and appointed to be the signatory for all upcoming Massachusetts School Building agreements.
- Tuesday, 19 June 2012
- Posted in Categories: : News