Northampton Public Schools Superintendent Blog

Posts Tagged ‘John M. Greene Hall

By: Tishna

By: Tishna

Our week began on Sunday with another beautiful NHS graduation ceremony.  The tradition of music, song, and speeches make this a very entertaining and meaningful event for the students and families.  On Thursday evening, I attended the Smith Vocational and Agricultural School ceremony also held at John M. Greene Hall.  This ceremony was unique as well; heightened enthusiasm, shouts of support, and celebration set the tone for this group of graduates and their families.  Many students received awards and scholarships prior to the presentation of the diplomas.  It was a wonderful week of closure and transition for the seniors of Northampton Public Schools.

We are beginning our hiring season for teaching positions and I have been signing some incredibly talented people this week.  Both new graduates and experienced teachers, filled with creative energy and excitement, are joining our faculty.  These positions were mostly created due to retirements. We are all anxiously awaiting the override vote and hope to restore many of our positions while also adding some needed services and support.

We welcome our new Director of Maintenance, Greg Kochan. Greg had been serving as Maintenance Foreman and is currently transitioning by working with Mike Diemand until his retirement on July 12th.

In budget news this week, we conducted our bus bid opening yesterday and will present the details at School Committee on Thursday evening.  In a nutshell, we had a K-12 three tier system for the past five years at a remarkably competitive price.  We went to bid for a K-8 two-tier system and realized the cost would increase, but thought the reduction in service would off-set the price increase.  Rather, the lowest bid is actually around $225,000 higher than our budget for this year.  This will create further discussion in ALT and School Committee as we propose how to meet this increase and keep a balanced budget for FY14.

Our Collective Bargaining sessions continued this week and we are making very good progress.  I am interested in wrapping this up before I leave in July, and to do so, would mean ratifying the contract prior to the faculty and staff leaving at the end of June.  So, we will pick up the pace of talks, propose written language changes, and plan to create our three year agreement over the next three weeks.

And finally in the news this week, Mark Prince, our former Director of Academic Effectiveness, has accepted the position of Assistant Superintendent with Framingham Public Schools.  Congratulations Mark!

Sincerely,

Brian L. Salzer

 

 

graduation_classic_It was a big week for our seniors.  Prom on Tuesday at the Log Cabin was well attended. Students enjoyed dinner, dancing, and an overall positive evening together. Thursday evening, seniors enjoyed a very warm senior picnic, and Friday offered time for the senior breakfast and video viewing.  On Sunday, due to the weather forecast of rain, we will be indoors at John M. Greene Hall at Smith College for our graduation ceremony at 3:00 pm.

Our team continues to review possibilities for personnel, programs, and services following the override vote and we are still establishing our position on the High School Late Start options.  So much of this is interconnected; we will discuss the intricacies of budget and bussing during our School Committee meeting on June 13th.  I will have our new bus contract following the bid opening on June 6th and this will have an impact on our planning.

We welcome new VINS coordinator, Ann Schlereth, to our team. Ann replaces Lynn Barclay as coordinator and will continue to build our network of volunteers, communicate needs and successes in our schools, and will review and help place new candidates wishing to volunteer in our schools.

You may be aware that we have several cases of pertussis (whooping cough) in our school community.  Our school nursing staff is working closely with our local public health authorities as well as our state epidemiologist to identify and refer potential cases. We have also been giving staff and families in the affected schools regular updates and are encouraging consultation with their primary care provider for any symptoms or for immunization, if warranted.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:  Please visit the NPS Health Services website at http://healthservices.northampton-k12.us/.  You may also call the Director of Health Services, Karen Jarvis-Vance, at 587-1364 for general questions and/or your child’s school nurse with specific questions regarding your child.

Sincerely,

Brian L. Salzer


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