Northampton Public Schools Superintendent Blog

November 16, 2012 Weekly musings:

Posted on: November 16, 2012

By: Sura Nualpradid

Director of Innovative Instruction and Technology Angelo Rota and I visited with the President and Vice President of People’s Bank this week. We are continuing our goal of building stronger relationships with community businesses while also soliciting support for technology for our schools.  We had a great conversational exchange about the quality of our schools, building the capacity of our staff, involving staff in meaningful decision-making, and evolving our organizations through continual performance improvements.  Our proposal is being reviewed by their donations committee and we are hopeful we will have good news soon.

During our ALT meetings we are continuing our own PLC around the strategies in Peter Senge’s book Schools That Learn.  This week we discussed the concepts of systems thinking, teamwork, and defining problems through root cause analysis prior to posing a solution.  This is challenging work and is a wonderful bonding experience as our group learns together.

Tuesday evening Bridge Street Principal Beth Choquette hosted a parent meeting focused on the issue of supporting our students and families as we support the transgender transitioning of one of our students.  My confidence in our thoughtful, intelligent, and supportive community continued to grow as parents contributed, questioned, and made suggestions of strategies for the next steps in this journey.

We are experiencing a challenge with our calling system company, Blackboard Connect. Mark McLaughlin, Susan Wright, and Joe Cook were all working on the contractual issues this week as the company has disconnected us from their system.  Currently, we are unable to use the electronic calling system. We will try to resolve this over the next week and, in the event of an emergency closing, we will have to temporarily resort back to the phone tree and/or television and radio public communication.

This week NHS and JFK successfully held their annual lockdown drills.

All the things I planned to share this week were paled by my sadness over the death of Pallav Parakh this week. Pallav is the man who was struck by a car on Halloween evening while crossing New South Street very near to our office.    Pallav was 35, a physician at Bay State Medical, and leaves a wife and six year old daughter behind.  As this is a crosswalk I often use and also drive across, this tragedy has affected me.  I have been reflecting about the fragility of life, the pace of life, and how momentary carelessness can dramatically impact a community.  I will be even more aware of traffic while crossing downtown streets; I will be patient, observant, and extra careful while driving across the pedestrian crossings. I hope you will be too.


Brian L. Salzer, Ed.S.

1 Response to "November 16, 2012 Weekly musings:"

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