Northampton Public Schools Superintendent Blog

March 29, 2013 Weekly musings:

Posted on: April 1, 2013




Monday and Tuesday our team worked to reallocate the $450,000 that Mayor Narkewicz assigned to the schools from the savings in our health care costs. This new draft presented last evening to the School Committee and community reinstates some of the services left out of our previous draft: busing students K-8 only, bringing back classroom teachers to Leeds, Jackson, JFK, and restoring some of the electives to the high school.  Of course, we are still reducing our budget by $775,000 which has deep effects on our programs and services, but this is the budget we are preparing for our final presentation on April 11.

It was a dramatic week for the High School and Leeds Elementary with the announcements from Principal Athas and Principal Smith. These two veteran educators will be greatly missed by our leadership team and their school communities.  We wish them both the very best on the next stage of their life journey.  The positions are posted and we are in the process of designing two more search committees. I rely on committees for applicant selection, first round interviews, and involvement in site visits when appropriate. Finalist interviews and appointments are made by me with consideration of the input gathered from the committee and parent/faculty forums.

Thursday, I was with the MASS New Superintendent Induction Program for our full-day workshop with colleagues and coaches.  Two major topics were discussed: Current status of implementation of the Educator Evaluation Tool and the new District-Determined Measures (DDM) regulation coming for September 2013. DDM’s play a key role in the new evaluation system in that district teams will identify or develop measures for assessing student learning for educators in all grades and subject areas.  Then, teachers build their work toward these measures into their SMART goals for the evaluation. The outcome is that educators district wide will broaden the range of what knowledge and skills we assess and how we assess the learning.  Our evaluation team leaders will begin working on this in April.  These DDM’s will, of course, be in line with our district improvement plan.

Brian L. Salzer

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