Superintendent's Report - June 23, 2015

posted Jun 24, 2015, 10:04 PM by Hps Webmaster
Leadership Team Update
Data-Based Decision Making
This summer, the Leadership Team will be focusing our learning and growth on the use of data for making educational decisions. We will all be reading the book “Driven by Data” to form a common knowledge base. We will then be engaged in many activities, to further our understanding, during our four-day summer retreat.
Educator Evaluation
As the school year closes, the work of the Leadership Team will be focused on the calibration of the Massachusetts Educator Evaluation System. With several different administrators acting as evaluators, it is important that we act in concert with our core beliefs of:

Learning & Growth           High Expectations           Accountability           Consistency

The calibration of the feedback that we provide to teachers so that they may grow in their professional practice is essential. We will examine several artifacts that represent the feedback that was provided to teachers and determine what constitutes the best of our professional practice so that we may develop exemplars. This will help the District to continue on its forward trajectory.

Budget Recommendations
The Leadership Team also worked diligently to make recommendations to the School Committee Budget Subcommittee regarding necessary, yet unfortunate, cuts that needed to be made to the FY16 budget.
Mulready Principal

I am happy to let the Committee know that I have begun contract negotiations with Ms. Kelly Whitmore to be the next principal of the J.L. Mulready Elementary School. Ms. Whitmore is currently the Assistant Principal at the Freeman Kennedy Elementary School and the K-6 Science and Math Curriculum Director in the Town of Norfolk, MA.

Ms. Whitmore’s educational philosophy is that every student has the capacity to learn and that it is the responsibility of an entire community to create clear and consistent expectations that promote a safe, curious and challenging learning environment as we prepare them for the future.

Ms. Whitmore is a certified reading specialist and also teaches an early literacy course at Framingham State University. Data analysis is a strength of Ms. Whitmore’s and this skill will benefit the District greatly as we implement the first year of our District Improvement Plan.

She identifies the guiding principles that have steered her life in the professional and personal domains as: “empathy, curiosity and integrity”.  I am excited to have Ms. Whitmore join the Hudson Public School’s Team.


Finance and Operations

Lunch Notices
In lieu of report cards, students with lunch balances over the cap set by School Committee policy and students with outstanding debts at the High School will receive a notice telling them that their report cards, schedules, and class assignments will be withheld until their debt is paid to the District. This is the result of the newly enacted School Committee Policy EDGA.
Budget

On Wednesday, June 10, 2015, Mrs. Lange and I were informed by Town Executive Assistant, Mr. Moses, that the District could not anticipate the continued receipt of any increase Chapter 70 funds, from the previous year’s receipts. You may recall that this is what was traditionally the 60-40 split that has frequently been discussed. These funds are traditionally allocated during the November Town meeting. The assumption by Mr. Moses was that this had been clearly communicated to Mrs. Lange, the Committee and me through the budget process. We did not share the same understanding as Mr. Moses. As a result, we had to cut an additional amount of almost $250,000 from the FY16 budget. We were anticipating this money based on the past practice of looking at the increase in Chapter 70 funding only and sharing it with the Town. These additional cuts were on top of the approximately $513,000 cuts that we knew we had to make. Below is an outline of the necessary cuts:

·         Reduction in the amount of full-time equivalency of elementary specialists. This means that a teacher may have been full time prior to the cut, but their position was cut to a fraction of what it was. The impact on students is that we will no longer have arts integration time and there will no longer be fourth grade band. 

·         Reduction of an elementary special education position

·         Reduction of a high school special education teacher

·         Reduction of an ELL teacher at the Middle School (new, needed position)

·         We will not be hiring a full-time clinical psychologist at the High School. We will be contracting with a provider at a lesser amount.

·         Reduction of 6 para-educator positions

This is the human impact of the cuts we needed to make. In addition to these painful cuts, we have also had to deny requests for items such as math textbooks, instructional technology and technology infrastructure. Prior to recommending cuts to the School Committee all aspects of our educational program were evaluated. The necessary cuts were made with the best interests of the students and the strategic direction of the District in mind. On April 29, 2015, the District’s potential budget gap was $1,040,660. Through continued austerity measures and responsible spending, the estimated gap had been further reduced to $513,456. This figure was the figure we were working from prior to June 10th. This was a difference of approximately $1,466,100 from the original budget gap of $1,979,557 presented in November. There is a presentation detailing how the District realized these savings available for the community on the District website.

It is important that the community has full knowledge of the financial position of the District and the implemented budget cuts. Those employees directly impacted by the cuts were informed on Friday, June 12, 2015. The District is committed to keeping the community informed as new information comes to light and decisions are made.

Curriculum and Instruction Update
Math Data

Karen Martin will be presenting the Committee with an update regarding the data from the mid and end of the year math assessments.

Superintendent’s Items of Interest
ELL End of the Year Celebration

I attended the ELL End of Year Celebration at Hudson High School. This is such a powerful night where our English Language Learners showcase their talents, knowledge and growth. I eagerly anticipate this event every year. The planning team of Emily Smith, Caitlin O’Neil, Ana Pimentel and Erin Goldstein manage to outdo themselves every year. Congratulations to our wonderful students on all that you have learned.

Guest Speaker ELD Classroom

The day after the end of the year ceremony, I was able to connect on a more personal level with some of our English Language Learners when I was a guest speaker in their classroom. I was impressed with their thoughtful questions and curiosity about my role in the District, as well as who I was as a person. The time I spent in that classroom was a highlight of the past week.

Closing of the School Year

This afternoon marked the end of the 2014-2015 school year. I still cannot believe that the year is over for students. This afternoon, we had our closing ceremony for teachers where the following awards were presented:

Retirees

     Margarida Bairos      22 years of service

     Doreen Bove            29 years of service

     Paula Setser            35 years of service

     Robert Van Buren     8 years of service

     Debra Fateiger         32 years of service

Years of Service

Paula Setser            35 years of service

Maureen Parker        30 years of service

Philip Marchegiani     30 years of service

          Paul D'Alessandro    30 years of service

Teacher Leadership Award

Educators are teachers, scholars, professionals, and life-long learners. This award is meant to recognize educators who have instructional responsibilities that seek out and take advantage of opportunities for professional, personal, and scholarly advancement in order to enhance their knowledge and skills. These educators develop materials and methods that can be replicated, shared and used by colleagues to advance the professional learning of colleagues and enhance the learning of students.

Recipient:      Kevin Hava

Growth Mindset Award

The Growth Mindset Award is meant to honor educators that embody the idea of a growth mindset.  Educators that hold a growth mindset believe that they never stop learning and growing. They believe that there is always a way to improve their practice. Individuals that embody this mindset persist despite setbacks and view those same setbacks as challenges to improve. They are drawn to challenges and persevere through them. They are resilient and motivated. Educators with this mindset instill this belief in their students as well.

Recipients:    Farley Grade 4 Team

                   Leah Vivirito

Curriculum and Instruction Award

The Curriculum and Instruction Award is meant to recognize educators who have demonstrated outstanding professional practice while implementing a department, school or District initiative. This award may also recognize an educator that took a professional risk that resulted in improved learning outcomes for a group, class, department, grade, or school.

Recipients:    Elementary Math Specialists

                   Grade 5 Science Teachers

                   Anibal Serra

Darcia Constantine Award for Paraeducator Excellence

The 5th Annual Darcia Constantine Award for Paraeducator Excellence recognizes an individual who consistently demonstrates outstanding paraprofessional practices.

Recipient:      Marianne Thompson

Enrollment 

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.

 

 

Aug. 26th 

Sept. 9th

Sept. 23rd

Oct. 7th

Oct. 21st

Nov. 4th

Nov. 18th

Dec. 9th

Hudson High School

 1,027

 

    1,016

1,001

1,000

999

995

995

993

Quinn Middle School

687

689

687

684

683

683

683

683

Farley Elementary School

 

506

511

511

512

511

511

513

511

Forest Avenue Elementary School

 

317

318

316

315

317

317

317

319

Mulready Elementary School

 277

278

280

280

279

279

279

280

HHS Preschool

94

93

92

90

91

89

89

91

 District Total

 2,908

2,905

 2,887

 2,881

 2,880

 2,874

 2,876

 2,877

 

 

 

 

Dec.

 9th

Jan. 13th

Jan.

23rd

Feb.

 5th

Feb. 20th

March 6th

March 20th

April 10th

HHS

993

 992

 

992

988

991

988

984

986

QMS

 

683

685

684

683

683

682

679

679

Farley

 511

 511

512

512

511

513

514

513

Forest

319

 321

322

322

322

323

324

325

Mul

280

282

281

279

279

279

279

280

HHS PreK

91

 93

95

95

95

94

93

93

 District Total

 2,877

 2,884

2,886

 2,879

 2,881

 2,879

 2,873

 2,876


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 10th

May 8th

 

June 19th

 

 

 

 

 

 

HHS

986

973

790

 

 

 

 

 

QMS

 

679

677

676

 

 

 

 

 

Farley

513

513

513

 

 

 

 

 

Forest

325

325

324

 

 

 

 

 

Mul

280

279

279

 

 

 

 

 

HHS PreK

93

95

95

 

 

 

 

 

 District Total

2,876

2,862

2,677

 

 

 

 

 

 

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