Northampton Public Schools Superintendent Blog

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

CONTACT:

Brian L. Salzer, Ed.S., Superintendent of Schools

Telephone:  413-587-1329

STATEMENT OF THE NORTHAMPTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

The Northampton Public Schools announced that the process for the Principal search at Northampton High School is complete.  After reflective consideration of the feedback from the questionnaires, emails, references and Search Committee recommendations, Superintendent Salzer is honored to appoint Mr. Bryan Lombardi as the Principal of Northampton High School.  Mr. Lombardi has the position and will take the helm on July 1st. Mr. Lombardi joins us from his post as Associate Principal of Northampton High School where he has successfully served for the past six years.  Mr. Lombardi has expressed excitement about working with the Northampton High School community in this capacity.  Please join us in welcoming him to this position.

We’d like to thank the faculty and community for their participation, enthusiasm, input and support for Northampton High School.  It was clearly evident during this process that the parents and staff are vested in supporting a quality education for our students.  We are confident that the appointment of Mr. Lombardi will allow NorthamptonHigh School to grow and continue on the path of excellence.

 

By: educared

By: educared

The biggest news items of the week are the principal searches at the high school and Leeds elementary.  Yesterday afternoon, our three high school finalists participated in their second round interviews that included a building tour while classes were in session, a formal interview, and open forum meetings with faculty and then with students and also with parents and community members.  Feedback forms were collected from all and we are collating and processing these today.  The preferred candidate will be notified and the name will be released on Monday.  A contract will be offered pending a successful site visit next Wednesday.

Over at Leeds, I met with the selection committee on Wednesday and have established the second round interview schedule for these two candidates on Thursday, May 23rd.   Our preferred candidate will be announced on Friday, May 24th with a site visit scheduled for Wednesday, May 29th.

Regarding our next superintendent search, on Tuesday, the School Committee met with Dr. Joseph Wood, the NESDEC search consultant.  Advertising for the position will begin soon and further timelines will be released within the next two weeks.

MCAS testing was completed this week except for make-up testing scheduled for next week.

Wednesday evening, Marisa Hebble and Karen Jarvis Vance along with members of the Northampton Prevention Coalition hosted a successful forum for parents, youth, and educators.  I was able to attend this discussion on School Connectedness and Teen Wellness. High School students from the improv group Caught Off Guard performed, Dr. Chris Overtree offered research and suggestions for supporting student engagement, and finally, we worked in small breakout groups to discuss ideas we can put into action in our schools. Overall, the message was that a positive school climate comes from engaged and empowered students who actively take ownership in shaping their schools. As adults, we are challenged to create systems supportive of this level of student ownership.

Sincerely,

Brian  Salzer

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

National Teacher Appreciation Day is today. Teaching is one of the most important professions in our society.  Everyday you work with students to challenge their thinking, open their world view, and teach them the skills to learn how to learn. This challenging job is fulfilled in Northampton Public Schools by all of you, our talented, caring, and committed educators who understand individual learning needs, offer creative lessons, assign challenging projects, and lead students through curriculum to develop college ready graduates who receive top-tier university admission, enter community college programs, and become valuable members of our community. The Northampton Community is special because of the people you interact with, motivate, and shape throughout your careers. Thank you teachers, we are who we are because of you.

Sincerely,

Brian L. Salzer, Superintendent

Colorful_spring_gardenThe R.K. Finn Ryan Road principal search committee recommended Sarah Madden for appointment and a small group of us conducted a very successful site visit Thursday afternoon.  Sarah has accepted our offer and we are all very excited to collaborate with our new colleague.

The high school principal first round interviews began yesterday afternoon and continue today.  Leeds principal first round interviews will be conducted next Monday and Wednesday.  Further information regarding finalists and public forums will be offered soon.

Our ALT team completed work on the priority list of personnel and programs available for restoration following a successful override vote.  The draft was shared with Mayor Narkewicz this week.  We will work on finalizing this list and possibly present it to the School Committee next Thursday.

Jennifer Towler and I conducted the School Choice lottery this week.  We opened 56 spaces and selected 51 students.  The families will be notified starting today.

In our continued efforts to provide a safe and secure high school environment, new internal and external cameras have been added to the current camera system.  Effective immediately we have a total of 30 cameras in use inside and outside of the building.  Of course, these cameras play an important role in our overall plans and procedures for school safety, yet continual communication among students, families, and faculty will always be our best protection and prevention.  We are thankful for the Northampton Police Department who donated these cameras for our use.

At Bridge Street School, Craig Murdock (PE teacher/head teacher), Carol Ruyffelaert (special education teacher), and Principal Beth Choquette have been accepted into the Harvard University: School Turnaround Leaders program. The team will be attending June 3-7. Together with Harvard faculty, expert practitioners and a cohort of fellow school turnaround leaders, this team will analyze elements critical to the school’s turnaround plan.  They will develop a theory of action, gain key leadership skills, and learn strategies for success.

Sincerely,

Brian Salzer

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

CONTACT:

Brian L. Salzer, Ed.S., Superintendent of Schools

Telephone:  413-587-1329

STATEMENT OF THE NORTHAMPTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

The Northampton Public Schools announced that that the process for the Principal Search at RK Finn Ryan Road Elementary is complete.  After reflective consideration of the feedback from the questionnaires, emails, references and Search Committee recommendations, Superintendent Salzer has appointed Ms. Sarah Madden as the Principal of RK Finn Ryan Road Street Elementary School.   Ms. Madden has accepted the position and will be joining our Administrative Team on July 1st. Ms. Madden joins us from her post as Principal of the Brayton Elementary  School in North Adams, Massachusetts where she has successfully served for the past three years.  Ms. Madden has expressed excitement about working with the Ryan Road community and the Northampton Public Schools. Please join us in welcoming her to our district.

We’d like to thank the faculty and community for their participation, enthusiasm, input and support for RK Finn Ryan Road Elementary School.  It was clearly evident during this process that the parents and staff are vested in supporting a quality education for our students.  We are confident that the appointment of Ms. Madden will allow Ryan Road School to grow and continue on the path of excellence.

By: Arvind Balaraman

By: Arvind Balaraman

The R.K. Finn Ryan Road principal search committee completed the first round of interviews and recommended three finalists who will interview on April 30th.  David Potter, Principal of Patrick E. Bowe Elementary School in Chicopee; Sarah Madden, Principal of Brayton Elementary School in North Adams; and Maureen Ryan, Principal of Newton School in Greenfield.  Times will be posted for parent and community meetings, faculty meetings, and the final interview.

Our ALT team began the exciting work of creating our priority list of personnel and programs we will be able to build back into the budget following a successful override vote.  The draft is nearly ready to be released and is scheduled to go the Mayor on Wednesday, May 1st.

Thursday evening we enjoyed the banquet honoring our four Excellence in Teaching (Grinspoon) Award winners.  Catherine Smith, Andrea James, Michele Andrews, and Sue Crago were joined by family, principals, colleagues, and loved ones for dinner and ceremony at the Log Cabin Restaurant.

Angelo Rota, Director of Innovative Instruction and Technology, sends congratulations to the winners of the “iPad for the classroom” contest and to all teachers who participated in this contest.  Teachers showcased the use of technology in classroom instruction and these are the winning submissions:

Barbara Bitgood: Multimedia presentations on clothing of the French-speaking world.  She included very entertaining student-created videos as well as other multimedia presentations.  Her work demonstrated excellent use of differentiated instruction techniques and outstanding teacher/student interaction.

Dinah Mack: Created a comprehensive lesson of the European Union. She offered extensive supporting material using Prezi, PowerPoints, Websites, and student reflections demonstrating differentiation to engage all levels of learners. Ms. Mack included many extra artifacts incorporating dynamic instruction, learning, and interaction.

Beth Brady: Created a unit on science and writing. Based upon the students’ experiences from a walk in the woods with Mr. Ted, she submitted student narrations and reflective  multimedia pieces.  A booklet produced by students completed the entire class experience.

Sincerely,

Brian Salzer

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