Statement from School Committee Candidate Kelly Knight

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One of the state mandated goals for a School Committee is to review and approve the school budget. Doing this right requires extensive discussion and prioritization among the administrators, superintendent, and the School Committee, leading up to the Annual Town Meeting vote. So how do we get there?

Our budgeting process must be open to the public and offer multiple opportunities for input. This requires an engaged and trusting community.

Hopkinton’s Superintendent, Dr. MacLeod, has demonstrated that she welcomes community input, but this is just a first step. Next, the School Committee needs to adopt a revised Strategic Plan with long-range goals. This will minimize surprises, allow for multi-year budgeting, and build trust.

Each goal must then be aligned to prioritized initiatives, implementation strategies, and measurements of success. Following approval, every School Improvement Plan, budget item, and technology request should align to the Strategic Plan. As long as the School Committee maintains its focus, owns the plan, and keeps it relevant, Dr. MacLeod’s leadership team is well equipped to manage the “how.”

The “how” will require money, but it should be anticipated, planned and predictable. This does not ensure that the entire community will agree, but it will allow us to engage in higher level discussions.

If elected I will promote this level of pro-active community engagement. While communications have been greatly improved this year (community forums, office hours, online presentations, open-door policy of our Superintendent) misinformation continues to exist and voices appear to be left unheard. I will make a concerted effort to minimize the amount of PULL the people in town must do to gain insight into the decisions being made so that our community remains informed and ready to engage.

I respectfully request your support and your vote at the town election on Monday, May 19th.