Northampton Public Schools Superintendent Blog

May 24, 2013 Weekly musings:

Posted on: May 24, 2013

hand.hand.ID-10065993 Our principal team is nearly complete. Sal Canata is the preferred candidate for Leeds Elementary School. A team will conduct a site visit with Sal on Wednesday of next week and then plan to offer a contract.  There have been so many people involved in these three hiring committees, panels, and open forums that I can only send a general “thank you” to the hundreds of people who contributed to our principal selections.

On Monday, I had the privilege of participating on a committee at DESE to review MA principal licensure. Our group reviewed drafts and created categories for training principals for an initial MA license. This conversation was perfect timing for me as I have been spending so much time screening and hiring candidates.  There are many facets to the job of principal and it is a critical position to the health and direction of a school. We should all stop and thank our principals regularly for the work we see them do and the incredible amount of work we do not see them do, yet we know must happen behind the scenes to lead the dynamic institutions they lead everyday.

NHS students and parents enjoyed two scholarship nights this week. Our community is very generous in their commitment to our graduates and these ceremonies are a nice way to honor the years of dedication of our students.

Angelo Rota and the IT team have been working hard training faculty and staff on Google Chrome, gmail, and the beginning stages of our new student information system Aspen.

High School Late Start information update: I’d like to advance this conversation another step. The current status is that we have cut bussing to the high school for next year’s budget.  Our bus contract is currently “out for bid” for a two-tier system for the elementary students and JFK. Those start times remain unchanged.  With this, a high school start time of 8:15 is possible without transportation conflict.

If the override passes, we would like to restore bussing for the high school students and then the system works in the morning, but not in the afternoon. So, we may consider bussing the students to school, but not home at the end of the day.  Students could walk, ride share with neighbors, or use public transportation where possible and it will be in the afternoon when it is light and warmer.

This would mean a three-tier system in the morning and a two-tier system in the afternoon which would help control the overall cost of transportation for next year.  I’m going to take this idea to ALT on Tuesday for further discussion.

Sincerely,

Brian Salzer

2 Responses to "May 24, 2013 Weekly musings:"

The high school busing idea sounds like a very reasonable compromise. The afternoon buses are seldom used, so if we can save money there, it’s the way to go.

Regarding starting the high school at 8:15 a.m. and ending 2:35 a.m. Providing busing to the high school but not back home, when there is very low ridership (perhaps a total 50 students) is a creative compromise of ensuring students have a ride to school and restoring teacher positions by saving money on the bus contract. This 45 minutes of more sleep in the morning is a huge step in the right direction to provide high school students the critical sleep they need for their health and education. Thank you for moving this forward and advancing the discussion.

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