Northampton Public Schools Superintendent Blog

March 31, 2012 Weekly Musings

Posted on: April 5, 2012

Photo: digitalart

This week I had the opportunity to tour Smith Campus School and meet with the Director and Principal.  I truly enjoyed visiting the classrooms and touring the facilities.  We stepped into many classrooms to see language lessons, history, art, and botany.  We discussed and agreed to future collaboration on professional development days.  I plan to invite their teachers to join us for our work next year on technology integration and working with students with disabilities in the regular education classroom.

On Monday and Thursday mornings, I continued my work with the MASS New Superintendents cohort group.  We are working on refining our District Improvement Plans and developing our strategy and theory of action for next year.  We have only one more meeting in May which will complete our first year of work together as a team and with our coaches.  During “year two” of this three year program, we will work and meet together six times throughout the year rather than the ten meetings we had this year.

Tuesday, I was able to meet with Principal Nancy Athas and the chairperson of our NEASC accreditation visiting committee.  Nancy and her team of NEASC committee leaders and all the teachers at the high school have done an excellent job completing the self study and preparing for this visit.  Our visiting team will be here the last week in April and we look forward to their assessment of our programs.

Tuesday afternoon I met with David Marks, CEO of the YMCA.  We discussed continuing and building upon our efforts in working with families and students. Currently, we work together providing before and after school programs at our elementary schools.  He also offered his services in providing a low ropes/team building retreat for our ALT.  We will be taking him up on this offer on August 27th in Norwich.

Our ALT meeting on Wednesday gave us the opportunity to continue our work completing our School Improvement Plan goals for the year and preparing to present this work to School Committee in May and June when we will also present the SIP’s for next year.  We began discussing the best structure and protocol for using our new PLC time next year with our two new late start days, we continued our budget discussions, confirmed plans for meeting with faculty in April to present the new Educator Evaluation Tool, and finished the meeting with a discussion of HR practices and procedures with Glenda Stoddard.

I appreciate the opportunity I had to present my thoughts and proposals on next year’s budget during Thursday’s School Committee meeting.  I will stay in contact with Mayor Narkewicz regarding any possible changes while we await our opportunity to speak with City Council on April 19th and on April 26th in our joint meeting.


Brian L. Salzer, Ed.S.


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