News of interest to the Sudbury Public School community and relevant to the Sudbury Public Schools submitted by the SPS School Committee. Also summary of the discussions and topics held at the most recent SPS School Committee meeting.
May 2, 2013
SCHOOL COMMITTEE UPDATE
On Wednesday, April 24, the Sudbury School Committee held a regularly scheduled meeting. The main topics of discussion were:
Math Common Core Implementation Update
Math Curriculum Coordinator Maggie McGinty and Math Coaches Stephanie Rousseau and Carolyn Royce updated the Committee on the implementation of the math Common Core Curriculum. The District's main focus has been on four elements:
The Committee engaged in a new evaluation process this year under the new Massachusetts educator evaluation system, which calls for every educator to be evaluated using common standards and a common rubric. The new system prioritizes student learning, sets a high bar for educator performance, promotes growth, and shortens the timelines for improving practice where standards are not met. For superintendents, school committee members individually assess the superintendent's progress toward goals, rate the superintendent's performance against the state standards, and rate the superintendent's overall performance based on performance on the individual standards and attainment of goals. The individual ratings are then compiled into a Summative Evaluation Report, which is presented and discussed at a public meeting. In assessing progress toward goals, the committee chooses among the following ratings: Did Not Meet, Some Progress, Significant Progress, Met, and Exceeded. On the performance standards and overall performance, the rating categories are: Unsatisfactory, Needs Improvement, Proficient, and Exemplary. According to the DESE, a rating of proficient "is understood to be fully satisfactory. This is the rigorous expected level of performance."
The Committee discussed and unanimously approved the Summative Evaluation Report of Dr. Wilson. In that report, the Committee found that Dr. Wilson had Met all four of her goals for the current school year and rated her as follows on the Performance Standards:
Standard I: Instructional Leadership -- Exemplary
Standard II: Management and Operations -- Proficient
Standard III: Family and Community Engagement -- Proficient
Standard IV: Professional Culture -- Proficient.
Based on these ratings, the Committee gave Dr. Wilson an overall Summative Performance Rating of Proficient. The Committee noted that "Dr. Wilson has maintained high professional standards and a consistent and continual focus on what is best for students . . . She is dedicated to student development and growth and has established practices that promote a high degree of instructional effectiveness." The Committee also found that Dr. Wilson has "worked diligently over the past year" to address some community concerns over communications and management style and highlighted her adept handling of the student safety issue that arose unexpectedly this winter. Overall, the Committee found that "Dr. Wilson has established herself as an effective educational leader for the Sudbury Public Schools."
Approval of Contracts for Directors of Business & Finance and Student Services
The Committee voted to reappoint Director of Business and Finance Mary Will and Director of Student Services Debbie Dixson for three year terms effective July 1, 2013.
Dr. Wilson recognized and thanked the Sudbury students, staff, and parents who, in conjunction with Sudbury Angels, collected more than 6000 books for the Fitchburg Public Schools.
Dr. Wilson recognized Loring first grade teacher Dawn McNair, who will be featured in a DESE video project entitled, "Amazing Educators Teach, Lead, & Inspire."
Finally, Dr. Wilson thanked the all the staff members and parents who planned, organized, and volunteered at the Haynes 5th grade science festival sponsored by the Haynes Organization of Parents. Students were tremendously engaged and clearly enjoyed all the science activities.
Please contact us with your questions, concerns, and comments at
. You can also find this update and other important information on the SPS website.
Ellen Winer Joachim
Sudbury School Committee
The school committee of the Sudbury Public Schools (preK-8) has been working on various venues to communicate to our residents around what is happening in our district. We have decided to create a monthly cable show through our very own SudburyTV (sudburytv.org). Our mission for "Be in the Know About SPS" is to further communicate to you by showcasing various administrators and staff, giving residents a chance to hear more in depth about what we are doing for our children and to keep viewers better informed.
In our first show in March, our host, School Committee Member Lucie St. George, interviewed Superintendent Dr. Anne Wilson. Besides hearing more about the vision for SPS, viewers will become more familiar with state mandated goals and strategic objectives and will hear more in layman terms about the realigning of staff to meet these needs and what happens during Professional Development and Early Release Days. Also hear how we compare to other districts and where we are focusing our energies for the next budget year and most importantly why. Dr. Wilson also speaks about the importance of Core Values and student interconnectedness, enhanced communication, and technology in the classrooms.
In our second recently taped show, Lucie St. George interviews Assistant Superintendent Dr. Todd Curtis. Have you wondered what is the role of the Assistant Superintendent? Tune in to become "in the know" about the happenings behind the scenes: more in depth ELA (English Language Arts) and Math Common Core history and standards, professional development successes and challenges, coaches, technology, and more.
To view our new show go to sudburytv.pegcentral.com , the SudburyTV website's on demand video site and click on "All Folders" and then click on
"Be in the Know About SPS". Also check the SPS website (School Committee) or the calendar viewing times for your local channel.
Tune in the end of May as we plan a more in depth focus on technology. Future subjects may include Science, Special Education, METCO, our curriculum coaches and much more.
March 21, 2013
On Wednesday, February 27 and Wednesday March 13, the Sudbury School Committee held regularly scheduled meetings. The main topics of discussion were:
2. Superintendent's Report
3. EDCO Overview
4. METCO Overview
5. Odyssey Trip Approval
6. Superintendent Mid-Cycle Report
7. FY14 Budget Update
Superintendent Dr. Anne Wilson recognized the Curtis students who received Scholastic Art Awards this year. Dr. Wilson also thanked Joe Kupczewski, Jim Kelly, the Sudbury DPW, and the Sudbury Police Department for all their work in getting the schools ready to open after recent snow storms.
Dr. Wilson announced that, for the third year in a row, Sudbury won the League of Women Voters Annual Civics Bee between Sudbury, Wayland, and Weston and recognized the Curtis students who participated: Emmett Alkasab, Matt Bowen, Aiden Merrill-Skoloff, Dylan Quirk, and Abby Wight. Dr. Wilson also recognized Curtis 8th Grader Ben Short and Loring 5th Grader Jason Tinkov for qualifying for the State Finals in the Geography Bee to be held on April 5.
Dr. Wilson thanked the Sudbury Education Resource Fund (SERF) for its recent award of mini-grants to fund various SPS projects that will support students and teachers.
The Superintendent congratulated Loring 2nd Grade Teacher Joe Dinmore, his students, and their student teacher for their outstanding work related to the study of Native Americans.
And finally, Dr. Wilson congratulated two current SPS teachers who have been selected to fill open building administrator positions. Beginning in August 2013, Loring 4th Grade Teacher Sara Zawadzkas will be the Loring Assistant Principal and Curtis Technology Education and Engineering Teacher David Jurewicz will be a Curtis House Administrator.
Dr. Wilson updated the Committee on security matters. The District has contracted with Johnson Controls to install buzzers and cameras at the entrances of each of the schools for a cost of approximately $53,000. The timeline associated with the donation that was initially offered to fund these security devices for the elementary schools was in conflict with the time necessary to comply with State regulations relative to the procurement process. Despite inquiries by the Administration regarding an exception to the stringent procurement regulations, SPS was required to abide by the State's process. The timeline for the donation that was offered did not meet the timeline of the procurement requirements, and, therefore, the donation was withdrawn. The District anticipates work to be completed on the cameras and buzzers by early April. In addition, SPS is purchasing equipment to make identification badges, which will be worn by all staff, substitutes, volunteers, and other visitors in the buildings.
Dr. Wilson also updated the Committee on food services. The District is extremely pleased with District food service vendor Whitsons' response to the undercooked chicken that was served recently at Noyes. Whitsons immediately responded to the incident by (1) adding additional oversight from both the District Manager and a Vice President, (2) requiring enhanced training for all Whitsons' employees working in the Sudbury Schools, and (3) implementing spot checks and enhanced ServSafe monitoring at all SPS schools. In addition, Director of Business and Finance Mary Will now receives daily food temperature logs from Whitsons.
SPS is a member of EDCO, an educational collaborative which provides the District with rich professional development opportunities for SPS staff and leadership roundtables for administrators and school committee members.
Janine Dailey, the shared LS/SPS METCO Director, presented an overview of the SPS METCO program. Ms. Dailey spends 40% of her time with SPS and the rest with LS. METCO, established in 1965, is a grant program funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its purpose is to expand educational opportunities, increase diversity, and reduce racial isolation while bringing communities together. Currently 37 Massachusetts school districts and 3326 students participate in the program. There are more than 8000 students on the waiting list. SPS has 70 Boston students (Lincoln and LS each have 91, Weston has 178, and Newton has 422). Students are admitted to SPS on a space-available basis.
In 2010, the SPS METCO program was restructured to align student academic needs with the resources provided by the METCO grant. At that time, LS and SPS combined two director positions into one director who would serve both school districts. SPS utilizes the METCO grant to fund all of the following aspects of the SPS METCO program: .4 FTE Director position; salaries of academic tutors; after-school programs; bus monitors; supplies (including technology); out-of-school activities; and all transportation costs. The FY13 grant totaled $406,791. As is the case with SPS students who reside in Sudbury, SPS receives Chapter 70 funding for the SPS Boston students as well.
Odyssey Trip Approval
The Committee approved the 2013 Odyssey trip for Sudbury 4th graders. Students will once again stay at Camp Bauercrest and participate in a variety of educational activities. The District had to increase the fees for the trip this year in order to cover increased costs. As always, financial scholarships are available.
Superintendent Mid-Cycle Report
In keeping with the new educator evaluation system the District is implementing this year, Dr. Wilson presented the Committee with her mid-cycle report. Dr. Wilson highlighted each of her goals for the year and the progress she has made with respect to each one and the activities she will continue for the remainder of the school year. Dr. Wilson's goals for the year, in brief, are to reduce proficiency gaps in mathematics for all students, increase communication with the parent community, implement the new Educator Evaluation System, and ensure that the annual budget is based upon the Instructional Core needs, sustains excellence, and enhances the effective and efficient use of limited resources to the greatest extent possible. Dr. Wilson discussed the evidence that she will provide to demonstrate her work on these goals. The next step in the evaluation process will be Dr. Wilson's summative evaluation in April. The evaluation process for this year is on a shortened timeline. Next year, the Committee will approve Dr. Wilson's goals in June, discuss the mid-cycle report in December, and complete the summative evaluation in April.
FY14 Budget Update
Dr. Wilson reported that the Group Insurance Commission rates have been set for FY14 and will increase by 3.5%. SPS and the Town conservatively budgeted for a 7% increase. SPS will adjust the amount budgeted for health benefits after Open Enrollment ends in May. Any difference will be used to fund additional needs that were presented in the SPS Level Staff Plus budget, including:
- 1 Psychologist at Curtis
- 1 Literacy and Intervention Teacher at Curtis
- 1 Elementary School Math Coach
- 3.15 FTE Monitors for the new security devices.
These needs are not included in the Non-Override budget that was recommended by the Finance Committee to the Board of Selectmen (BOS) at the BOS meeting on Tuesday, March 12.
Please contact us with your questions, concerns, and comments at
Lisa Gutch and Ellen Joachim
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06.26.2013 7:30 pm - 10:30 pmSchool Committee Mtg
07.24.2013 7:30 pm - 10:00 pmSchool Committee Mtg
08.21.2013 7:30 pm - 10:00 pmSchool Committee Mtg
09.11.2013 7:30 pm - 10:00 pmSchool Committee Mtg
09.25.2013 7:30 pm - 10:00 pmSchool Committee Mtg
Sudbury Public Schools ~ 40 Fairbank Road ~ Sudbury, MA 01776ph: 978-443-1058 ~ fax: 978-443-9001Office hours: 8:00am - 4:30pm