Happy 2016!

Today is my first day back at work. With the holidays behind us, I felt it time to do a bit of a news dump. Please forgive the conversational style of this post, as this will be more of an information dump than a more formal review or write-up.

Back-to-School! Welcome back to school, MPS students. All students return today and as such, normal school activities resume. I will endeavor to list an agenda of dates of interest around the district on a monthly basis. The current calendar is at the end of this post. If there are corrections or missing items, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Inauguration and State of the City Address in Jan. 11th at 7:00 PM at Memorial Hall. Among other things, I will be sworn in there, and officially become a member of the Melrose School Committee. Just in time for…

My first official School Committee meeting will be on Jan. 12th at 7:00 PM. I don’t think I am breaking any rules by announcing I have been assigned to the Finance and Facilities subcommittee. It would seem I have my work cut out for me, as we have union contracts up for negotiation and the budget process both looming in the very near future.

Other School Committee News:

  • Superintendent Taymore issued a press release on the OCR Resolution Agreement for the first OCR investigation. You can find the text of it here. I am withholding comment until I discuss the outcome with the Superintendent directly.
  • Start School Later news. At the December 8th meeting the MSC passed a Kristin Thorpe proposal to explore the impact of moving the school start times back 20 minutes. It is evident that more discussion and action needs to be done before any final vote happens on this issue. I look forward to these discussions. Among the more interesting items learned was a possible review by our State Legislature on this topic as discussions appear to be happening on Beacon Hill. A change in MGL would have great impact on what we do in MPS.
  • Competency Based Education or Learning news. There was a lightly attended public forum on this topic in early December. I have been remiss in not uploading my notes from the presentation. Look for them later this week. In the meantime, the MSC approved Superintendent Taymore’s recommendation that a task force be formed to research the who, how, what and when questions relating to this topic. I am keen to learn more about this as I feel it is a positive program and can greatly improve education for our students, though many roadblocks and challenges are present.
  • Open house announced for incoming Pre-K at Franklin ECC. The tl;dr is Franklin will host open houses on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 from 6:30 – 8:00 PM and Friday, January 15, 2016 – 9:30 – 11:00 AM. Pre-registration opens ONLINE at 12:00 noon on Saturday, January 16th and closes at 11:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 24th. For more info: http://childhoodcenter.melroseschools.com/2015/12/2016-2017-franklin-ecc-registration-information-new-families/


Around the District: Dates of Interest

  • 4 Jan, 6:30 PM – MHS PTO meeting in room 112
  • 5 Jan, 9:05 AM – City-wide PTO in Superintendent’s Conference room
  • 5 Jan, 7:30 PM – Melrose Human Rights Committee meeting in Mayor’s Conference room in City Hall
  • 6 Jan, 7:00 PM – MVMMS PTO meeting in 2nd floor project room
  • 6 Jan, 7:00 PM – Franklin ECC PTO meeting
  • 8 Jan, 7:45 AM – MVMMS Geography Bee in MVMMS Auditorium
  • 11 Jan through 26 Jan – MVMMS 2nd quarter term exams
  • 11 Jan, 7:00 PM – City of Melrose Inauguration of newly elected School Committee and Board of Aldermen Members at Memorial Hall
  • 12 Jan, 7:00 PM – School Committee meeting in City Hall
  • 12 Jan, 7:00 PM – Horace Mann PTO meeting
  • 12 Jan, 7:00 PM – Lincoln PTO meeting
  • 12 Jan, 7:00 PM – Hoover PTO meeting
  • 13 Jan, 12:22 PM – District wide Early Release
  • 18 Jan – No School in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
  • 18 Jan, time TBD – MHRC MLK Day Potluck Dinner and presentation. Location TBD
  • 19 Jan – MHS Staff Development Day – No Students
  • 20 Jan through 25 Jan – MHS Mid-term exams
  • 20 Jan, 6:30 PM – Roosevelt PTO meeting
  • 25 Jan – MHS 2nd quarter term closes
  • 26 Jan, 7:00 PM – School Committee meeting in City Hall
  • 29 Jan – MHS 2nd quarter term grades due

Again- do not hesitate to contact me with information, corrections, comments or suggestions.