Northampton Public Schools Superintendent Blog

May 4, 2012 Weekly Musings

Posted on: May 7, 2012

Photo: digitalart

We had a NEASC whirlwind this week and it went very well thanks to the contributions of everyone. Teachers, students, parents, administrators and School Committee showed enthusiastic support for our high school and, of course, it all came together through the extraordinary coordination of Principal Nancy Athas. It was the culmination of two years of preparation from our faculty committees and their work was spectacular. Now, we will wait for the final written report in the next two months.

It was an honor to attend my first Grinspoon Teacher award ceremony this past Wednesday.  Well deserving teachers received acknowledgement and reward for their commitment to, and success in, the classroom. Yet, the best part for me was being able to enjoy conversation with our teachers at the dinner table and learn more about them and their families.

I want to thank Mark Prince and our Bridge Street Principal Search Committee for their work, thoughtfulness, and time commitment this week supporting my selection of our next educational leader.  I met with the first candidate yesterday and will meet our second candidate later today.  I will have a decision to share next week.

During a Wednesday after school meeting, we continued our work with Clarke School and Leeds.  The transition continues as teachers learn more about the students who will be attending, the plans for the remodeling, and each other’s expectations.  There are many more dates planned where Clarke School teachers will meet Leeds teachers, Clark students will visit the school this spring, and a community information session will be held.  Principal Joseph Smith has done a very nice job of establishing dates and communicating these events with the Leeds School community.

I attended the JFK math parent night on Thursday.  Our teachers and administrators prepared an excellent presentation of information; they explained the rationale and the years of thinking and planning that went into this proposal.  Parents shared a mix of support and concern, while all had a chance to voice their comments and questions in the forum that went from 7:00 until 8:20 with some staying longer with individual conversations.

This morning, I was honored to escort Nicole Markel to the Administrative Assistant Breakfast with the Connecticut Valley Superintendents group.  On Wednesday, our central office administrators also treated the secretarial group to lunch in honor of Administrative Assistant Appreciation Day.

From our Director of Health Services, Education and Safety, Karen Jarvis-Vance: National School Nurse Day is next Wednesday, May 9th.  So far this school year, the nurses in NPS, including Smith Vocational, have managed 36,381 visits by students and staff.  Of these:

*18,662 were for routine first aid, illness care or preventative care.  Of those, we returned 16,791 back to class for a 90% return to class rate (a measurement collected by DESE).

*Nurses saw 162 students for immunizations, 9,718 for medications, 3,891 for procedures and 3,948 for screenings.

*We have sent 7 students via ambulance for emergency care.

Please keep these numbers in mind when you see your school nurse and contemplate who in your building would be handling all these issues without a professional school nurse.  Please take the time to honor and recognize your school nurse every day, but especially on May 9th!

Don’t forget National Teacher Appreciation Day on May 8th.  School PTO’s, principals, and office staff are busy planning activities at each school.

1 Response to "May 4, 2012 Weekly Musings"

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