My Goal in Blogging

I started this blog in May of 2008, shortly after my election to the School Committee, because I believed it was very important to both provide the community with an opportunity to share their thoughts with me about our schools and to provide me with an opportunity for me to ask questions and share my thoughts and reasoning. I have found the conversation generated on my blog to be extremely helpful to me in learning community views on many issues. I appreciate the many people who have taken the time to share their views. I believe it is critical to the quality of our public schools to have a public discussion of our community priorities, concerns and aspirations.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

January 6, 2009, Regional Meeting

This was a pretty short meeting because most of it was spent in Executive Session (choosing semi-finalists for the Superindents position). The public comment consisted entirely of questions from parents about the middle school pool closing -- and it seems like many other districts have chosen to keep the pools open while working on a solution (and have parents of those on tehe swim team sign a waiver). I suggested we talk to our lawyer about this as an option -- the risk of death from the drain in our pool seems to be zero, and we could certainly fix the problem AND do necessary pool repairs later this spring/summer, after the team's season ends in February.

I also asked a question about when we were going to have an update on the evaluation of the 9th grade science program -- as has been promised repeatedly yet never shows up on an agenda. As I've written about before, the evaluation that occurred last spring (only after my election and then my insisting that something was done) was very incomplete and cursory, and thus won't allow us to evaluate the impact (positive OR negative) of the new required 9th grade science curriculum. I really hope the Superintendents and School Committee members will take the role of evaluating this unprecedented new curriculum seriously -- and it is disappointing to me that I seem to be the only one who actually would like to know whether this new science curriculum is effective.

I can't blog about things that occurred during Executive Session, but I will say that I think we have a great set of semi-finalists to interview, and I'm confident that we will be able to bring several strong finalists to town to meet with parents, teachers, administrators, students, and community members. Although we are still early in the process so timing could always change, I believe finalists will be coming to town in early February -- and it would be GREAT to have good turn-out at all events so that the School Committee gets a sense of community feelings about each candidate. I will post information about candidate visits as soon as they are available -- and I'm sure this information will also be widely distributed in the press, on the ARPS website, and through the schools.

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