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School Committee Notes, Sept. 10

Here is a recap of the issues discussed at the last School Committee meeting.

School Committee Notes, Sept. 10

The following is a recap of the issues discussed at the Medfield School Committee's meeting on Sept. 10.

First Day of School

Director of Finance and Operations, Charles Kellner, reported that the first day of school went off well including the bus schedule.

"It's been far and away the least problems I've experienced in the nine years I've been here," Kellner said.

Superintendent's Goals

Supt. Bob Maguire discussed his goals for the upcoming school year.  Goals include technology (specifically the 8th Grade iPad initiative); the Dale Street School facility and bringing it up to date; issues around globalization such as world language at the elementary level (in place this year at Dale Street); and a new teacher evaluation system.

"Last I saw, 56 school districts had adopted it just the way it is," said Maguire of a suggested teacher evaluation rubric which includes more visits to a teacher's classroom.  "Frankly, it's going to be a challenge for the principals." 

Public Participation

There were no questions from the audience.

Fiscal Year 2013-2014 Budget 

The School Committee approved the budget timeline for FY13-14.

Information Sharing

Dale Street Music Schedule

Member Maryanne Sullivan expressed concern over scheduling at Dale Street, noting that some students will have to be pulled out of a class to take music lessons. Sullivan said she heard from other parents who were concerned with that practice.  

Maguire explained the schedule "is probably the most complex issue" a principal has to deal with. 

New Dale Street Building?

Member Tim Bonfatti said the Capital Building Committee (on which he serves) continues to discuss the public safety complex on Dale Street which would include renovations to Dale Street School.

"I think you're going to start seeing more about that; public meetings will be coming up," he said.

Lightbulb Donation

Charles Kellner reported the district received 6,000 flourescent light bulbs, worth $12,000, at no cost from MassSave with the help of a school employee. Kellner said the operating savings would be nill because the bulbs are similar to what the district uses now, but the district will save $12,000 it would have otherwise had to pay for lightbulbs.

EEE and WNV

Maguire explained that some extra-curricular game times have been moved because of the EEE scare.  

Maguire also said the district is working with Norfolk County Mosquito Control to spray the areas around all five schools to reduce the risk of EEE and West Nile Virus.

"Given the concern that we have about the seriousness of the disease, we believe this is a prudent action," Maguire said. 

Learned the Medfield Park and Recreation department sprayed McCarthy Park the previous week. 

Mandarin Program

Foreign exchange students from China are arriving this week and will stay for the full school year.  Maguire said they will be arriving late (Sept. 22) because their visas were rejected twice.  

They are now set to arrive on Sept. 22.  

Maguire said MHS Principal Robert Parga has been invited to Shanghai to discuss Medfield's successful Mandarin project. 

On October 1, a group of 30 teachers and administrators will observe how MHS teachers operate. 

"We're excited that they're interested in coming to little Medfield," said Maguire. "They're not visiting any other public school while they're here, we're the only public school." 

The meeting adjourned at 8:33 p.m. 

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