Northampton Public Schools Superintendent Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Student Information System

hand.hand.ID-10065993 Our principal team is nearly complete. Sal Canata is the preferred candidate for Leeds Elementary School. A team will conduct a site visit with Sal on Wednesday of next week and then plan to offer a contract.  There have been so many people involved in these three hiring committees, panels, and open forums that I can only send a general “thank you” to the hundreds of people who contributed to our principal selections.

On Monday, I had the privilege of participating on a committee at DESE to review MA principal licensure. Our group reviewed drafts and created categories for training principals for an initial MA license. This conversation was perfect timing for me as I have been spending so much time screening and hiring candidates.  There are many facets to the job of principal and it is a critical position to the health and direction of a school. We should all stop and thank our principals regularly for the work we see them do and the incredible amount of work we do not see them do, yet we know must happen behind the scenes to lead the dynamic institutions they lead everyday.

NHS students and parents enjoyed two scholarship nights this week. Our community is very generous in their commitment to our graduates and these ceremonies are a nice way to honor the years of dedication of our students.

Angelo Rota and the IT team have been working hard training faculty and staff on Google Chrome, gmail, and the beginning stages of our new student information system Aspen.

High School Late Start information update: I’d like to advance this conversation another step. The current status is that we have cut bussing to the high school for next year’s budget.  Our bus contract is currently “out for bid” for a two-tier system for the elementary students and JFK. Those start times remain unchanged.  With this, a high school start time of 8:15 is possible without transportation conflict.

If the override passes, we would like to restore bussing for the high school students and then the system works in the morning, but not in the afternoon. So, we may consider bussing the students to school, but not home at the end of the day.  Students could walk, ride share with neighbors, or use public transportation where possible and it will be in the afternoon when it is light and warmer.

This would mean a three-tier system in the morning and a two-tier system in the afternoon which would help control the overall cost of transportation for next year.  I’m going to take this idea to ALT on Tuesday for further discussion.


Brian Salzer

By: Gwen Agna

By: Gwen Agna

After months of study, review, and evaluation of a variety of student information systems, we have purchased the Aspen (X2) system and will begin training within the next three weeks.  This system replaces our current Groupwise software which will sunset on June 30th.  Aspen will be up and running with all of our data transferred prior to this date.

Last evening the School Committee voted to pass the proposed budget for FY14.  This budget now moves forward to become one piece of the Mayor’s City Budget. As mentioned, the proposition 2 ½ override campaign is underway with the vote scheduled for June 25th.  Our ALT meeting on Tuesday will involve the generation of a priority list of services and personnel we will seek to restore if the override passes.

In addition, the School Committee voted to use the services of NESDEC in leading the Superintendent Search process to begin as soon as possible.

The R. K. Finn Ryan Road Principal search began this week.  We had a total of thirty six applicants; the committee reviewed applications and selected six candidates for an interview slated for April 23 and 24.  This committee will then choose two or three finalists to return for second round interviews on April 30th.  These finalists will have open forum time with faculty, parents, and community members, followed by a tour of the school, and then an in-depth interview with me prior to appointment.

On Wednesday, we were honored to host a group of 14 Pakistani Public Administrators at the high school.  Our visitors observed classrooms and learned about our public school system.  Their comments included: being overwhelmed by the fine facility and technology being used the classroom; being impressed with the casual relationship among teachers and students that invites questions and risk-taking in learning; and praising the independence of students learning in small groups and individually.

I wish everyone and safe and enjoyable April break.

Brian L. Salzer

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