Northampton Public Schools Superintendent Blog

May 10, 2013 Weekly musings:

Posted on: May 10, 2013

By: Landlake

By: Landlake

This week we continued to draft the priority list of personnel and services we could return to our schools following a successful override vote.  Details will be released in the near future and will include the restoration of some services including art and music at JFK and the high school, classroom supply budgets at all levels, some new programs and services for students with disabilities and those who are English language learners, as well as the addition of a financial reserve to sustain these services for the next three to four years.

Our administrators and teachers are entering the end-of-year evaluation phase. This is the true test of our pilot year with these new strategies and documents. All of us have been learning and practicing what we learn throughout the year and flexibility has been the key to navigating this process.  In fall, we will have 100% of our faculty on board with the new process and, with many people then going through it for the second time, we will be in great shape moving forward with consistency in observing and analyzing our teaching practices.

National School Nurse’s Day was Wednesday, May 8th.  I know I speak for many families when I offer a heartfelt “thank you” to our treasured nurses for everything they do to help our students stay in school and ready to learn.  Last year 82% of our students, district-wide, saw a school nurse at least once during the school year and currently, our health offices have a 93% return-to-class rate.  This means that for the majority of our students, the school nurse makes a big difference in keeping them healthy and engaged in learning.  Daily, our nurses demonstrate their knowledge, skill, and compassion and we are all grateful for their support in our schools.

Thursday morning, NHS hosted the area Special Olympic Games.  Students, staff and community volunteers from across the Pioneer Valley gathered for a healthy morning of exercise and competition.  The smiles were contagious.

During School Committee last evening, we covered a lot of ground once again. Highlights from the evening were: a visit from the NHS robotics team and robot, a generous gift from Peoples Bank for the purchase of technology, the presentation from the Ad Hoc Committeethat reviewed the High School Late Start and the scheduling of a vote on this topic set for June 13, approval of the District Improvement Plan along with the presentation of School Improvement Plans from Ryan Road, Leeds and NHS, and finally, an A+ report on the Technology Plan from Angelo Rota.

Sincerely,

Brian Salzer

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