Short-Term Elementary Space Plan/Capital Subcommittee Public Hearing
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 22:03
I recently sent a letter to all Brookline parents and guardians regarding the upcoming Capital Subcommittee Public Hearing and the short-term elementary space plan. You can read this letter here. The Capital Subcommittee is scheduled for this Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. in the Walsh School Committee Room (5th Floor, Town Hall.)
Superintendent's Report for February 27, 2014
Thursday, 27 February 2014 22:38
The Superintendent's Report to the School Committee for February 27, 2014 is available here. This report includes BHS sports highlights from the winter tournaments and upcoming Superintendent's Forums.
Superintendent's Budget Message
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 22:21
I am pleased to share the FY2015 Superintendent's Budget Message, which was presented to the School Committee on Tuesday, February 11, 2014. A copy of the slides used at that presentation is available here. We will provide an update to this message, as well as the full budget proposal, at the March 13th School Committee meeting.
Superintendent Report for February 11, 2014
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 21:53
The Superintendent's Report to the School Committee for February 11, 2014 is available here. This report includes the recent announcement that Monica Crowley, Vice Principal at Lawrence School, was named Principal of the Old Lincoln School, effective July 1, 2014.
Principal Named for Old Lincoln School
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 14:29
I am pleased to announce that Monica Crowley, Vice Principal of the Lawrence School, has been named Principal for the Old Lincoln School (OLS), effective July 1, 2014. Monica joined the Public Schools of Brookline in 2008 and has 18 years of experience teaching at the middle school level. As Lawrence Vice Principal, Monica works closely with Principal Rick Rogers in several aspects of school leadership, including working with an active PTO and developing school improvement plans with the School Council.
Monica's leadership, commitment and experience make her a logical choice to lead the OLS for the next four years. I have every confidence that she will be an exceptional Principal and work closely with staff to create a community for her students. You can read more about Monica and her new position as OLS Principal here.
Update on Short-Term Elementary Space Recommendations
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 17:21
On Thursday, January 23, 2014, I presented my short-term elementary space recommendations to the School Committee's Capital Subcommittee. In short, I suggested that the Old Lincoln School (OLS) be used as a Transition Elementary School from September, 2015 through June, 2018 for students in grades 6-8 from Devotion and a second population of students in grades 6-8 yet to be determined. Earlier today, I wrote to all Brookline parents and guardians with an update on two recent developments with respect to this issue.
First, the Public Hearing scheduled for Thursday, February 6, 2014 has been postponed until the week of March 3rd. We recently learned that the hearing conflicted with the Devotion/Driscoll Strings Concert for Grades 4-8. We opted to postpone the Hearing so all interested parents and guardians can attend. We will publish an exact date prior to February vacation.
Second, after a great deal of terrific work by Jennifer Flewelling, Devotion School Principal, and Mark Nacht, K-8 Director of Special Education, we are proposing a change to the original Devotion School plan. Simply put, I will now recommend that only the 7th and 8th grade be relocated to OLS for 2015-2016 and the 6th grade join them for both the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years.
You can read my letter, including the detailed list of recommendations, here.
Brookline Curriculum Coordinator Selected as NSTA Curator
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 17:11
Janet MacNeil, Brookline’s K-8 Science Coordinator, has been selected as an NGSS@NSTA Curator by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). As a Curator, Janet will serve on an expert team identifying resources in support of the Next Generation Science Standards, new K-12 science standards. Read more about Janet's achievement and the NSTA here.
Superintendent Report for January 30, 2014
Friday, 31 January 2014 10:38
The Superintendent's Report to the School Committee for January 30, 2014 is available here. This report includes an update on the PARCC field testing, student and staff recognition and an overview of Commissioner Mitchell Chester's visit to Brookline on Friday, January 24, 2014.
Thursday, 30 January 2014 10:09
I am pleased to announce that GiAnna “Gigi” Gray has been selected as a Posse Scholar and will receive a full scholarship to attend Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. Posse is a highly selective college access and leadership development program that offers four-year, full- tuition scholarships to participating students. You can read more about Gigi and this tremendous accomplishment here.
Short-Term Elementary Space Recommendations
Sunday, 26 January 2014 17:17
In September, 2013, the School Committee adopted the "Proposal for School Expansion to Meet Enrollment Growth," a plan to deal with our enrollment growth at the elementary (K-8) and high school levels. Based on this long-term plan, the administration has been charged with creating a set of short-term elementary space recommendations, designed to create capacity within the system while these renovations and additions take place, while ensuring that students are provided with a quality education and school experience.
Recommendations to the Capital Subcommittee
On Thursday, January 23, 2014, I presented these recommendations to the School Committee’s Capital Subcommittee. While I have provided a brief summary of my recommendations below, I encourage you to read the draft document available here for additional detail and rationale.
In short, I am recommending that the Old Lincoln School (OLS) be used as a Transition Elementary School from September of 2015 to June of 2018, for students in grades 6-8 from Devotion and a second population of students in grades 6-8 yet to be determined. Details are as follows:
Recommendation #1: Designate the use of the OLS as “swing” space for a Transition Elementary School for 2015-2016, 2016-2017 and 2017-2018.
Recommendation #2: Designate OLS as some combination of grades 6-8 during this time frame.
Recommendation #3: Include Devotion students in grades 6, 7 and 8 as part of the transition school, given the need to create space at that school for the renovation and expansion project.
Recommendation #4: Permit the administration to hire a Principal for the OLS on or before April 2014. Although the OLS would not house students until the 2015-2016 school year, the new Principal would be available to work with the building department, architect and contractors, develop transition plans for staff and students, organize transportation and meet with family and community members.
The Capital Subcommittee voted unanimously to endorse Recommendation #4 to the School Committee. I anticipate that the Committee will act on this item at their meeting of Thursday, January 30, 2014 to permit us to begin the hiring process for an OLS principal.
Recommendation #5: Direct the administration to formulate the options for the use of OLS for Brookline High School on or before January 2015. While we know that OLS will need to be used as transition space for Brookline High School beginning in 2018-2019, we do not yet know the specifics of that use. While some options do not work because of available space at OLS (i.e., using the building as a 9th grade campus), other options will need to be explored and discussed.
Additional Options for Consideration
In addition, we recommended that a second population of students be included with Devotion at OLS during the specified time frame. We are presently examining four (4) options for a potential recommendation, which I hope to make before the end of the 2013-2014 school year:
1. Relocate grades 6, 7, and 8 from the Driscoll School to OLS for the 2015-2016, 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years;
2. Relocate grades 6, 7, and 8 from the Lawrence School to OLS for the 2015-2016, 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years;
3. Relocate grades 6, 7, and 8 from the Pierce School to OLS for the 2015-2016, 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years; or
4. Relocate grade levels from multiple elementary schools according to the needs of those particular school(s) in a given year.
Remember, these are options, each requiring more information and further consideration before a recommendation is advanced. More detailed information on these options is included in the draft document available here.
The Capital Subcommittee will hold a Public Hearing on the five (5) recommendations outlined above on Thursday, February 6, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. Location has yet to be determined but we will share that information when available. Again, our hope is to finalize analysis of the additional options outlined here for possible consideration before the end of this school year.
The next several years will no doubt present many challenges associated with our physical space, but we will work together to ensure a quality education experience for all students, as well as to provide you with timely information regarding recommendation, options, and the decision-making process.
Education Commissioner Visits Brookline
Friday, 24 January 2014 17:48
On Friday, January 24th I had the pleasure of welcoming Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Mitchell Chester to the Public Schools of Brookline. Commissioner Chester spent the morning visiting classrooms at the Devotion and Lawrence Schools with Principals Jennifer Flewelling and Rick Rogers, then joined a group of Brookline educators, administrators and School Committee members Susan Wolf Ditkoff and Rebecca Stone to discuss our K-12 literacy initiatives.
Below are some photos from the Commissioner's visit.
Steps to Success on WBZ-TV
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 15:53
On Tuesday, January 21st, WBZ-TV's "Eye on Education" featured a great story about Brookline's Steps to Success program. You can watch the interview with WBZ's Paula Ebben here.
- Short-Term Facilities Recommendations
- Override Study Committee Public Hearing
- Superintendent Report for January 16, 2014
- Update on PARCC Field Testing
- Superintendent Report for December 19, 2013
- Superintendent Report for December 5, 2013
- Gifts to School Staff
- 2014-2015 School Calendar
- Override Study Committee Presentation
- Weather Alert Reminder
- Superintendent Report for November 14, 2013
- Technology Presentation
- Override Study Committee Presentation
- Superintendent Report for November 7, 2014
- Superintendent Report for October 24, 2013
- Override Study Committee Presentation
- Superintendent Report for September 26, 2013
- Steps to Success
- Accountability and Assistance Levels
- Robert I. Sperber Award
- Superintendent Report for September 19, 2013
- Steps to Success Program Director
- Educator Evaluation
- Superintendent Report for September 12, 2013
- Brookline High School Interim Dean
- Brookline High School Interim Associate Dean
- Opportunity for Change Program Coordinator
- Out-of-District Coordinator
- Brookline High School Associate Dean
- Karen Shmukler
- Director of Guidance and Clinical Services (PK-12)
- Director of Special Education (PK-8)
- Director of Special Education (PK-8)
- Brookline High School Dean of Students
- Homework and Religious/Cultural Celebrations
- Early Education Classrooms (2013-2014)
- Merit Scholarship Winners
- Ernest R. Caverly Awards
- Thayer Award
- MATSOL Teacher of the Year
- FY2014 Budget Addendum #1.1
- Events of the Past Week
- FY2014 Budget Addendum #2
- METCO and Materials Fee
- FY2014 Budget Addendum
- Budget Forums
- School Security
- Superintendent's Budget Message
- 2012-2013 School Calendar
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