February 1, 2013 Weekly Musings
Posted February 1, 2013on:
I understand that some people feel compelled to weigh in on the recent controversy regarding the student pledge and I believe everyone has a right to share their thoughts, letters, and comments; however, it is important to keep perspective. The pledge issue is over; please know we have moved on. Bryan is an important and valued member of our leadership team and we are all effectively working together to lead and manage our schools. We have many important educational initiatives, student learning goals, and now, budget work to do. In a system as complex as a public school system, one issue should not distract from the many. Our team is intact and moving forward.
We made great progress on Tuesday morning during our ALT meeting as we drafted SMART goals for our proposed two-year District Improvement Plan. Our plan adds “Core Values” in place of “Vision” and contains three strands of goals related to Student Learning, Quality Instruction, and Instructional Technology. Our team will complete the draft next Tuesday morning and then present our goals to the School Committee Tuesday evening in a meeting at JFK from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
On Wednesday, our new Late High School Start time committee met for the first time to begin an intense schedule of gathering information and forming a proposal for the School Committee. The goal is to have the recommendation ready by April 1st. I attended the first meeting and have great confidence in this very committed and ambitious group of people.
On Thursday at our joint City Council and School Committee meeting, Mayor Narkewicz presented the city budget information for FY14. Using a thorough presentation of revenue, expenses, and trends of our city finances, he explained how we are looking at a possible city budget gap of around $500,000. Understandably, the outlook for our school allocation is likely to be less than level funding. We do not have a final dollar amount for next year, but began working on Friday morning in preparation for significant budget reductions for next school year. We will be making these decisions and building our draft budget over the next two weeks.
Brian L. Salzer, Ed.S.