With the Thanksgiving Holiday and a day out due to illness this is an unusually brief Superintendent’s Report.
Progress Towards Goals and Superintendent’s Professional Growth
In the past two weeks I visited Mulready Elementary School. Dr. McCarthy and I focused the visit on the classrooms of students in Kindergarten and Grade 1. I saw some wonderful literacy activities. In grade 1 we were visiting during Response to Intervention (RtI) time. This is an “all hands on deck” time where students are working either independently or with a teacher in small group on literacy skills that need re-teaching, reinforcement or acceleration. In each room that we were in there were multiple adults actively engaged in meeting student needs.
New Superintendent Induction Program
Our work at this session of the program was to focus on the development of our entry reports. I will be presenting my entry report to the committee at our second meeting in January. I also had the opportunity at further developing my skills using the “5 Whys” protocol as a way of conducting a root cause analysis of issues facing the District. We will be relying on root cause analysis to identify the strategic goals and priorities for our District Improvement Plan.
Finance and Operations and Facilities
The addition of the Director of Human Resources to our support staff has been incredibly valuable. Ms. Fensin has streamlined and semi-automated the hiring process. Part of the new procedures that she has put in place include capitalizing on the automation and efficiency that the SchoolSpring platform affords to us when hiring. Ms. Fensin updated all of the hiring administrators on our new procedures and protocols. All District hiring and posting will now be done exclusively through SchoolSpring.
Parent and Community Groups
Marlborough – Chamber of Commerce
I had the opportunity to speak at the December 4th School to Business Committee of the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce. It was wonderful to share my experiences in Hudson as the new Superintendent. I also had an opportunity to share some of the great work that our Communications Subgroup is undertaking in regards to rebranding. Denise Reid is here to update you a little later on the exciting work that this subcommittee has undertaken.
Personnel and Celebrations
I regretfully inform the committee of the resignation of Mrs. Jenny Gormley, Director of Health, Nursing, and Safety. Jenny’s last day with the District will be February 9, 2015. I will be discussing with the committee options regarding this position at a future date.
I had the opportunity to be in a building where a student was having an emotional outburst. The level of professionalism and empathy that I observed from the school psychologist was outstanding. She calmly entered the situation when she was called away from another task. She worked with the child while having someone call and communicate with the building principal. Once the child had calmed sufficiently so that she could withdraw briefly from the situation she provided information to the principal regarding the psychologists outreach with the student’s parent and outside support agencies. She was also able to answer my questions regarding the students’ current emotional state. She was able to do this with a calmness and professionalism that was admirable. We are so fortunate to have educators in Hudson that look after the needs of the whole child.
Follow-up to School Committee Items of Interest
School to Career Event
Scott Darlington will be at our next meeting, in January, to provide an update on how the School to Career Event went.
School Zone Signage at QMS and HHS
Mr. Davis had previously raised the issue of identifying the School Zones for the Quinn Middle and Hudson High Schools. We brought the attention to the town who then forwarded the information to the Internal Traffic Committee. The ITC deferred to Mr. Marques, DPW Director for the town of Hudson at their 11/21/15 meeting. Mr. Marques reported that all of the other school zones in town were installed and maintained by the school department. He believes that there is grant funding for this purpose. If we choose to place flashing lights at HHS and QMS the cost has been estimated at $20,000 plus due to needed road painting and underground electrical work. The facilities department is examining the possibility of solar powered LED lights to help reduce the electrical costs. Mr. Belli will also research any available grants for this project.
Mr. Belli remains fairly confident that we will find a reasonable solution even if we simply paint the street with appropriate markings and place unlit signs marking the school zone and hours of operation.
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.