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.
The Sudbury Public School Committee is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Anne Wilson as Superintendent of the Sudbury Public Schools, effective July 1, 2011, pending the successful negotiation of an employment agreement. The committee is looking forward to beginning the transition process with Dr. Wilson.
Throughout the superintendent search process, Dr. Wilson distinguished herself as an experienced, thoughtful leader who brings creative solutions and a well-balanced perspective to her current role as an assistant superintendent in Brookline Public Schools. The SPS School Committee members described Dr. Wilson’s breadth of experience as a teacher, principal and central office administrator as one of the many qualifications that will benefit the SPS community. Early in her career, Dr. Wilson was a middle school math teacher and later served as a middle school principal. In Brookline , she has had a wide range of responsibilities as assistant superintendent, which will serve her well as she steps into the superintendent position.
The school committee thanks everyone who participated in the search process. Students, teachers, parents, staff members, principals, and administrators were all instrumental in the successful culmination of the search for the next Superintendent for Sudbury Public Schools.
The Sudbury Public School Committee
On Wednesday, March 2, the Sudbury Public School Committee held a special meeting to prepare for the second round of interviews and finalist visits to SPS in the superintendent search.
The schedule for the finalists’ full-day site visits to SPS was discussed. The visits were planned to include a forum for teachers and staff, a parent forum, a meeting with the administrative leadership team, a meeting with Dr. Brackett and a tour of each elementary school and the middle school. In the evening, the school committee planned to interview the candidate, beginning at 7:30pm. Upon conclusion of the interviews, the committee would decide whether to visit the school districts of some or all of the finalists.
The school committee also addressed the topic of regionalization in terms of how best to respond to potential questions from candidates. Below are some points that were discussed.
- Any change in the current model requires a change in the regional agreement between Sudbury and Lincoln . The regional agreement can be changed only by the approval of both towns at their respective Town Meetings.
- Lincoln has decided to appoint a study committee, or possibly three committees, to review the budget situation at LS, to analyze other alternatives to the regional agreement, and to consider the potential for revising the regional agreement with Sudbury . The work of these committees is expected to require a few years to complete.
- Upon the initiative of the Sudbury Board of Selectmen, Selectman Haarde met with one of the Lincoln selectmen during the Fall of 2010 to discuss the potential for changing the regional agreement. The school committee has not been informed of the results of these efforts other than hearing that Lincoln has established committees to examine the issue.
- The school committee has previously addressed various models of consolidation and regionalization.
- The committee again emphasized that the model of a superintendent joint-hire without any change in the oversight structure, a model which neither school committee (LS and SPS) supports, would not provide a sound oversight model and would be unlikely to provide meaningful cost savings.
- The school committee would consider other models of consolidation if there are advantages to the students. Such models might be similar to ones in the Acton-Boxborough (A-B) and Concord-Carlisle (C-C) school districts. However, moving to one of these models would not necessarily reduce costs, given that SPS and LS collectively have fewer administrators overall as compared to these integrated systems. Under state law, SPS and LS cannot combine to form one school district. Another model to consider would be full regionalization, merging the three districts (SPS, LS, and Lincoln K-8) into one K-12 district.
- Any regionalization, whether it is an integrated system model such as the one used by A-B or C-C or a full regionalization of SPS, LS, and Lincoln K-8, requires approval from both Lincoln and Sudbury . Given the facts stated above, regionalization is most likely not an option in the next few years.
Please contact us with your questions, concerns and comments at
. You can also find this and other important information on the SPS website. To access updates from the Lincoln-Sudbury School Committee, visit the LSRHS website.
As the School Committee is in the process of considering the finalist candidates for appointment as the new Superintendent, we provide this update and reminder of candidate visits in the next few days.
The School Committee had invited four finalists to our district for site visits and interviews. Dr. Jonathan Landman, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning of Randolph Public Schools, has since withdrawn from consideration, as he has been offered the position of Superintendent for the Hopkinton Public Schools.
Last Thursday, March 3, the School Committee interviewed Dr. Anne Wilson, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources for the Public Schools of Brookline, following her visit to our schools throughout the day.
In the next two days, the School Committee will interview two candidates:
Monday, March 7: Lauren Gilbert, Assistant Superintendent/Director of Student Services of Natick Public Schools
Tuesday, March 8: Glenn Brand, Principal of Pollard Middle School in Needham
On each of these days, the candidate will visit and tour all five schools and meet with parents, staff, and administrators.
· We invite all parents to attend a forum scheduled for each of these days from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. in the Curtis cafeteria to meet the finalist candidates. This forum will involve an informal question and answer session with the candidate. We will provide a brief questionnaire for you to complete to provide feedback about each candidate.
· Each candidate then will have a final interview with the School Committee at 7:30 p.m. in the Curtis library on the day of the visit. This meeting is open to the public, although those who attend will not have the opportunity for comments or questions for the candidates. The feedback form will be available also for those who attend the evening candidate interviews.
Subsequent to the interviews, the School Committee will then determine the next steps in the search process, including possible visits to the candidates' current districts. We will provide further information as the search process continues.
Please feel free to contact the School Committee with any questions or comments at
On Wednesday, February 16, the Sudbury Public School Committee held a regularly scheduled meeting. The main topics of discussion included:
(1) Discussion of FY12 Budget
(2) Aspirations Program
(3) Superintendent Search
DISCUSSION OF FY12 BUDGET
Dr. Brackett, members of the administration and the school committee discussed the Non-override Budget that was presented to Fincom on Feb 14. This budget reflects 2 scenarios: one with a 5% cut in Chapter 70 aid and one with a 10% cut in Chapter 70 aid.
Both budgets include Circuit Breaker funding for Special Education at 40%. Circuit Breaker funding only begins once a certain threshold of expenditures (an amount 4 times greater than the average per pupil expenditure for the district) is met. Upon reaching that threshold, the reimbursement is calculated at 40% of the remaining costs and is not reimbursed until the following fiscal year.
In the past three years, the SPS budget has been cut by $1.3 Million. This has required laying off the equivalent of 29.55 full-time equivalent teachers, assistants, staff and administrators.
For FY12, if there is a 5% cut in Chapter 70 aid, SPS will have to reduce current expenditures by $409,000 to include critical needs that can no longer be ignored.
The non-override scenario:
The deficit created by a projected 5% cut in Chapter 70 would mean a $214,192 deficit for SPS. If this is addressed only in terms of teacher layoffs, this would equate to 4 teachers. However, certain critical jobs are not currently staffed, and the school district is experiencing extreme stress in certain areas that must be addressed in this budgeting season. The funding for the most critical of these positions requires $195,000, and brings the deficit to $409,000. If this amount is addressed only in terms of teacher layoffs, this equates to 8 teachers.
The critical needs are as follows:
1. One Curtis House Administrator was cut for FY11 after the failed override. With an inadequate number of administrators at the middle school, safety, supervision, student needs, and responsiveness to parents has been unacceptably compromised.
2. SPS has an equity issue at Haynes, where one administrator is responsible for a school approximately equivalent in size to other schools that have assistant principals. This situation can no longer continue if safety, supervision, teacher evaluations and attention to students and parents are to be delivered at the level that the community, the administration and the school committee expect.
3. As highlighted by information gathered in preparing for the Noyes Green Repair Project, it has become obvious that the Town of Sudbury is in need of a Facilities Director position that should be shared by SPS and the town. It is important that the buildings are properly cared for with their needs anticipated, in order to maintain them properly and extend their lives for as long as they are required.
4. Other critical needs that exist but are not included in the non-override budget are:
(a) an English Language Arts Curriculum Leader. Over the years, great effort was dedicated to enhancing literacy. A new Common Core Curriculum, mandated by the state, has to be implemented in the years ahead. As a result of not being able to retain this position in FY11, SPS will not be able to maintain the same level of progress as in the past.
(b) Elementary Math tutors are needed to support Math instruction as well as students who are struggling in this subject.
(c) a Social Studies Curriculum Leader is needed to address requirements of the social studies curriculum as defined by the Common Core Curriculum.
(d) Administrative staff is needed to manage additional federal and state regulations, such as the Common Core Standards to be implemented in FY12. As a result of the frequency and number of new mandates, more and more of these are filtering down to the teachers, who must spend time addressing these regulations in addition to remaining focused on student learning.
What has been done to address costs in SPS?
1. Savings derived from the collective bargaining of FY09 have saved SPS over $4 Million in costs.
2. For FY12, savings from health benefits are expected to be in excess of $990,000 (due to changes in the health care plans, contribution adjustments, and lower headcount) vs. the status quo as projected in FY09 based on Fincom assumptions. Active employees (who were employed by SPS no later than FY09) will pay 20% of their health insurance premiums in FY12. Employees hired after FY09 contribute 30% to their premiums.
3. Teachers gave up their tuition reimbursements for FY12, and this funded a 1% increase in the top step.
4. Special Education costs will increase in FY12 but the increase will be $322,000 lower vs. FY11 as some students move to the high school or move from town.
5. As a result of energy savings measures implemented over the past few years, utilities costs are not projected to increase vs. FY11.
6. Automation of the substitute teacher system will reduce costs by $15,000.
7. The Green Repair Project at Noyes will save an estimated $45,000-$75,000 in annual utilities costs.
Whenever the administration and school committee consider the cuts that are necessary to meet a non-override budget, attention is first focused on the well-being of students. With the failed override of FY11, it was necessary to raise class sizes in 4th and 5th grades in Loring, Nixon, Noyes and Haynes to a level beyond what is considered educationally desirable. With 26-30 students in a classroom, space is extremely limited and teachers lose the ability to reach each learner, let alone differentiate education. The Education Jobs Fund from the Federal Government aided our 4th grades at Loring and Nixon by allowing us to hire one more teacher for each school. Haynes and Noyes were able to hire an assistant for the 5th grade classes of 26 and 27 students. Curtis was able to hire some administrative assistance. This money is not available in FY12. In determining how to allocate limited funds with a non-override budget, the administration and school committee will work to balance classroom and administrative needs.
Two years ago, the administration recognized the need for our students on the autism spectrum to have greater access to recreational and social opportunities. SPS was the fortunate recipient of a generous donation from the Jack and Mae Rosenberg Charitable Trust. These funds support what is known as the Aspirations Program, held outside of the school day, which focuses on individual life skills, team sports, social interaction, and Art and Music. With a portion of the funds, SPS was able to hire Susan Iacono as the program coordinator. Susan came to SPS with a wealth of knowledge and experience working with autistic children. While she has been at SPS, she has developed programs, hired staff, done fundraising to augment the grant funding, and is in the process of expanding the program.
Susan attended the school committee meeting to give a presentation of the Aspirations Program. She highlighted the goals of the program, which are: health and fitness, social skills, Music and Art, and having fun. Programs are offered to students in Sudbury’s elementary schools, middle school and high school. With support and assistance from Longfellow Club and Sudbury Park and Recreation, the program is able to offer swimming, tennis, and fitness activities. Other activities that are available and are providing benefits to these children are horseback riding (horse therapy), basketball, hockey, soccer, Taekwondo, Art and Music sessions. Through their participation in Aspirations, the children are gaining social skills, learning fitness routines and relaxation strategies, and are able to expand their experiences. Another important benefit of this program is the ability for the children to join groups similar to their peers. They have fun and spend time with friends. Through the Jack and Mae Rosenberg Charitable Trust’s generosity and Susan Iacono’s commitment and innovation, the Aspirations Program thrives and continues to offer opportunities to enhance children’s lives.
Interviews of the candidates who were chosen as finalists in the superintendent search and site visits in SPS facilities with staff and parents will take place between March 3 and 9.
Dr. Brackett recognized the following individuals for their service and dedication to Sudbury Public Schools:
1. Cindy Kennelly for her ongoing promotion of the students and her leadership and creativity in ensuring the success of Dancing With The Staff at Curtis Middle School. Proceeds from this fundraiser will help to fund the 7th and 8th Grade band and chorus trip to New York City.
2. Laurence Baize for her time, talent and dedication in the development of the new Sudbury Public Schools website.
3. Jeff Beeler for his tireless efforts in analyzing, explaining, and gaining support for the Noyes Green Repair Project.
Please contact us with your questions, concerns and comments at
SPS website. To access updates from the Lincoln-Sudbury School Committee, visit the LSRHS website.
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05.29.2013 7:30 pm - 10:30 pmSchool Committee Mtg
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06.26.2013 7:30 pm - 10:30 pmSchool Committee Mtg
Sudbury Public Schools ~ 40 Fairbank Road ~ Sudbury, MA 01776ph: 978-443-1058 ~ fax: 978-443-9001Office hours: 8:00am - 4:30pm