Superintendent's Report - 12/20/2016

posted Dec 21, 2016, 12:45 PM by Hps Webmaster


12/13/16       Principals’ Team Meeting                    

·         MCAS 2.0 Conference Call

·         School Report Cards

·         Translations

·         Secretary’s Lunch

·         Building Issues

12/13/16       School Committee Budget Meeting                     

·         Focus on Middle School       

12/14/16       DLT                                                                     

·         Focus on Special Education  


I sent the following message to the District on December 9, 2016.

I cannot believe that it is December already and time to provide a first budget update. Unfortunately, the fiscal news is not great but I am committed to being open and honest about what is happening in the budget process so that rumors and uncertainty are alleviated as much as possible. It seems that every year at this stage of budget development, we are discussing cuts. This year is no different. It is still very, very early in the process. I will try to keep the facts at the forefront and communicate as clearly as possible the reality of the situation as it unfolds.  


Here are the facts as they stand today:


·         This early in the year, the 2017-2018 budget is dependent on assumptions and forecasts for which we do not have sufficient financial data from FY17 to back up. Therefore, we create a budget based on our knowledge of what has happened in FY16 and FY15;

·         Each subsequent forecast provides us with better data regarding spending in areas such as utilities, special education, and personnel;

·         The increased accuracy of this information will allow the District to better forecast what the actual revenue/expenditure gap is or if one actually exists;

·         The current revenue/expenditure gap for the FY18 budget is $1,652,797;

·         We generally have an identified revenue/expenditure gap at this time of year. Last year, at this time, looking towards the 2016-2017 budget, we had a gap of $1,274,377;

·         The 2017-2018 budget with this gap will be presented to the Selectmen in January;

·         The total increase from the FY17 budget is 1.59%;

·         Approximately $602,000 of reductions will need to be determined in order to have “only” the $1,652,797 gap identified above; and

·         Over the coming weeks and months, the School Committee and District Leadership Team will be meeting to determine what reductions will be made. During this time, many scenarios will be brainstormed and thought deeply about.


What we are fairly certain of at this point is:

·         There is a strong possibility there will be a need for budget reductions to occur in order to balance the 2017-2018 budget;

·         Rumors will begin and misinformation will circulate. Often these will seem credible;  

·         Your building administrator(s) and I are committed to informing those immediately affected first and the entire HPS professional community soon after that. You will hear it from us first;

·         When final decisions are made, we will be transparent about what those decisions are and the impact that the decisions have on our students, valued educators, and programs;

·         Everyone is committed to ensuring that the cuts have as little impact as possible on the students of the Hudson Public Schools; and

·         Informational updates will be provided to District staff, parents and community members at each decision point.  


I wish that I could eliminate the unsettled feeling and resultant anxiety that budget season causes. Please remember that it is still very early in this process and there are still many unknowns.

District Leadership Team

·         The District Leadership Team met on 12/6/16 and 12/14/16.

·         Leadership Team agendas will continue to be included in your packets so that the Committee is aware of the work that is occurring when the administrators meet.

·         The 12/6/16 meeting focused on the norming of feedback provided to teachers after classroom walkthroughs.

·         We looked at the walkthroughs through the lens of our ATSR class of making claims, supporting claims with evidence and identifying potential impact of the teacher’s instruction.

·         The 12/14/16 meeting was planned and facilitated by Cathy Kilcoyne. The focus of our time together was the changes to available accommodations for the next generation MCAS tests to be administered this spring.

School and District Report Cards

·         The 2016 school and District report cards and report card overviews are now available on the DESE website under Profiles.

·         Districts receiving Title I funds are required to distribute report cards annually to all parents or guardians of students enrolled in all District schools, regardless of Title I status at the school level.

·         The Department asked that Districts distribute report cards to families by the end of December. The Committee can see DESE’s report card website for distribution requirements and sample cover letters.

·         Our Principals will use the template provided on the report card website for their cover letter. This is the most expeditious form to use because the Department has already provided the needed translations. Hudson families will receive this information translated if they have requested translations. The mailing will be sent from Central Office by December 30th.

Drafts of MA Curriculum Frameworks for ELA & Literacy and Math

·         The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education met November 29, 2016 and sent out for public comment new drafts of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for English Language Arts and Literacy and Mathematics.

·         Comments may be made through February 17, 2017 through an online survey.

·         Educators interested in learning more about the proposed changes are encouraged to check out the English Language Arts and Literacy and Math standards review page on ESE's website or sign up for one of ESE's Office Hours sessions during the comment period.

Proposed Amendments to Educator Evaluations

·         The Board also voted to send out for comment proposed amendments to educator evaluations.

·         Public comment on the proposed amendments to educator evaluations will be open through January 27, 2017 and can be sent to

·         The Board will most likely vote on the final draft of the educator evaluation amendments on February 28.

Next Generation MCAS

·         The English Language Arts and Mathematics test designs are now available online.

·         The Department has published a schedule of training opportunities related to the next-generation MCAS.

·         The District intends to take advantage of all available training opportunities that apply to specific roles and responsibilities in test administration.

·         The transition plan to adapt the Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) tests to the new STE standards and to the next-generation MCAS format is online.


All enrollment numbers are up to date as of the writing of this report. They are unofficial numbers. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education collects snapshots of enrollment data three times per year October, March, and June. I will provide you with monthly enrollment numbers so that you can be aware of the amount of fluctuation that may or may not be occurring on a monthly basis.


































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