School Committee Plans for the Year Ahead

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The School Committee met Monday, July 14th to discuss multiple budget, policy, and evaluation matters pertinent to the upcoming school year.

At the start of the meeting, Tim Kearnan presented to the committee as the new principal of Hopkins school. Mr. Kearnan gave his background and stated his goals for the upcoming school year. Superintendent MacLeod updated the committee on a grant for new LED lighting around the schools, and Ralph Dumas updated the committee on the RFP process and the exciting new allocation of funds in that area.

The Committee then moved to new business. First, they heard requests for travel for the Model UN and Varsity Field Hockey teams; concern was raised that the houses the students stayed at should have some sort of liability terms drawn up, but otherwise the committee approved. They then moved to the technology plan, where they decided that decisions about technology should be treated similarly to textbooks, and this process could perhaps be transferred out of the Committee's jurisdiction.

The School Committee then worked on plans for the upcoming year, voting various members as representatives in other committees like the Youth Commission and Planning Board. They set the calendar and times for the next year, and set the budget process. The Committee also addressed a growing concern around email notification for parents, and brainstormed ways to prevent parents from missing email while avoiding a spam-like flood of unnecessary notification.

Superintendent MacLeod was then at the forefront, leading the discussion on her evaluation reports for the 2013-2014 school year. The Committee agreed that there should be a better way to evaluate MacLeod, and that the current system is too numeric and formulaic. MacLeod then set her goals for the 2014-2015 school year with guidance from the Committee.

Finally, the Committee approved several donations to the schools and appropriately allocated the funds.

The School Committee meets on Monday, August 18th at 6pm in the administrative conference room.