Northampton Public Schools Superintendent Blog

June 8, 2012 Weekly Musings

Posted on: June 11, 2012

Photo: Maggie Smith

The school year will be closing soon, yet the effort in our schools among teachers and students remains high.  The spring offers many opportunities for our elementary students to be outdoors engaging in science learning walks with Ted Watts, visiting vernal pools, studying worms and salamanders, and working in the school gardens.  Learning and testing continue through the very last day of school even though we also incorporate annual social activities and “field days” for kids to experience the joy of community.

I have begun my series of listening sessions with faculty and staff at Ryan Road Elementary.  The teachers and support people eagerly shared their thoughts with me on the highlights from the past year and their wants and needs for next school year.  These sessions will continue at the other five schools, one each day, next week.  I will meet people in the faculty break rooms over the lunch period and will use the information I am gathering in my end-of-the-year letter.

I also began the final evaluation meetings with our Administrative Leadership Team.  I truly enjoy these one-on-one conversations about accomplishment, professional growth and challenges, and plans for continual focus on improving student learning.  These too will continue into next week.

Tuesday, I had my final superintendent coaching session for the year with my mentor, Kevin Courtney.  We discussed strategy for next year’s student growth, development of the district improvement plan, and suggestions for work during the summer ALT and ALT/SC retreats. In addition, Kevin advised me on moving forward with the community forums for the high school late start debate.  I shared with him that I feel we are not getting as far with the conversation as I had hoped to be at this point, and he shared some sound advice for navigating this discussion.

Wednesday, I met with the Superintendent Evaluation Subcommittee to continue our work on my annual evaluation.  As I will be piloting the new Educator Evaluation Tool from DESE, I am preparing a self assessment of ten elements of Effective Administrator Leadership Practice.  I will present this information to the School Committee in July and will receive their evaluation feedback in August, which will all be public record.  In addition, we are working on creating a feedback form for ALT and the greater school community.

Thursday evening, Business Manager Mark McLaughlin and I presented the FY13 Proposed Budget to the Budget and Property Subcommittee.  We are very proud of the budget we have built, the data supporting the decisions, and the trends, charts, and tables within.  We are looking forward to addressing the questions asked and sharing the budget with the full committee next Thursday evening.

Finally, I will meet our third and final candidate for the Bridge Street principal position later this afternoon.  I will select one candidate, verify references, visit the candidate’s school and share my decision on Thursday evening during the School Committee meeting.

Sincerely,

Brian L. Salzer, Ed.S.
Superintendent
Northampton Public Schools

 

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