SPS Committee Approves Concussion Policy
(EDITOR'S NOTE: The following was submitted by Sudbury Public Schools.)
On Wednesday, June 20, the Sudbury School Committee held a regularly scheduled meeting. The main topics of discussion were the following:
1) Concussion Policy Presentation and Approval
2) MSBA Nixon Roof Repair Project
3) Budget to Actual Expenditures
4) Adoption of FY13 Draft Goals and Strategies
5) Open Forum
8) Superintendent's Statement
9) School Committee Statement
Concussion Policy Presentation and Approval
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Judith Malone-Neville and School Committee Member Ellen Joachim presented a Concussion and Head Injury Policy whose intent is to ensure the safety and health of Sudbury Public School students who are involved in extracurricular athletic activities at Curtis Middle School. The policy reflects the requirements of state regulations (MA 105 CMR 201.000 Head Injuries and Concussions in Extracurricular Athletic Activities) and stipulates necessary: education (of students, parents, and school personnel); documentation; reporting; and followup procedures relative to preventing and managing head injuries. The School Committee voted in favor of adopting the policy.
MSBA Nixon Roof Repair Project
Sudbury Public Schools has been invited to participate in the Accelerated Repair Program of the
Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) for the repair/replacement of the Nixon School roof. In the coming months, more information regarding this project and the approval process will be forthcoming. Permanent Building Committee (PBC) Co-Chair Mike Melnick presented to the Committee the initial MSBA requirements that, if met, will allow the project to progress in the approval process. He reviewed some general information including the total cost of the roof repair/replacement (projected to be $705,000) and the expectation that the MSBA will potentially fund up to 37 percent of the cost of the project.
During this meeting, the School Committee voted to authorize Superintendent Dr. Anne Wilson and School Committee Chair Rich Robison to:
- Execute the MSBA's Initial Compliance Certification for the Nixon roof repair project
- Execute any future documents related to the project
The Committee also authorized the Permanent Building Committee to fund the Feasibility Study for the Nixon roof repair project with money that has been set aside for school construction and renovation projects.
During the summer of 2011, the Noyes School's roof, boiler, and windows were replaced. This project, which was also managed by Mr. Melnick, was completed under budget and received over $700,000 in State funding from the MSBA's Green Repair Program.
Budget to Actual Expenditures
Director of Business and Finance Mary Will reported to the Committee on Budget projections versus Actual expenditures for FY12. This is the final such quarterly report for the fiscal year. Individual school budgets have been frozen since January in order to conserve funds and remain within the overall budget for the year. Out Of District placements for Special Education were almost $475,000 over budget for FY12. This increase was partially offset by an increase in Circuit Breaker funding and a pre-payment of the assessment from the Concord Area Special Education (CASE) Collaborative.
Sudbury Public Schools is closing the year with a balance that will allow us to pre-pay some FY13 Special Education tuitions, purchase some needed curriculum supplies, fund work on the Common Core Curriculum alignment, and continue to apply utility savings to the maintenance of facilities.
Adoption of FY13 Draft Goals and Strategies
Following the meeting of June 6, the draft goals and strategies for FY13 were sent to all district staff for comment. The final draft that includes staff input was approved by the School Committee at this meeting. The next step is the development of action plans for each initiative to include timelines, steps to be taken to accomplish each initiative, assignment of responsible personnel, and methods to assess progress toward achieving goals. The Goals and Strategies can be accessed on the Sudbury Public Schools website (see Improving on Excellence under Presentations and Plans on the School Committee page).
Approximately 70 Sudbury residents and others attended the meeting, some of whom wished to address the School Committee about a personnel matter at Noyes School. A petition requesting that the School Committee consider removing Superintendent Dr. Wilson from her position was read by a parent. The School Committee listened to comments but could not address the specifics of the personnel matter. Parents requested that Dr. Wilson work with them to address how communication could be improved in the future. Dr. Wilson mentioned that she had scheduled a meeting with parents of the first graders from Room 15 to continue this conversation. This meeting has been scheduled for July 9, 2012 at 10 a.m.
Dr. Wilson and the School Committee wish to express our sincere gratitude to the Jack and Mae Rosenberg Charitable Trust for its donation of $50,000 for the Aspirations Program.
Dr. Wilson recognized 5th Grade Noyes teacher Michelle Archambault who was a semifinalist as a Massachusetts Teacher of the Year. Ms. Archambault was instrumental in establishing a Math Professional Learning Community at Noyes School. She is also a data coach for Grade 5 and serves on the Noyes School Council.
Dr. Wilson also recognized the Curtis Emerald Team's teachers (Barbara Ryan, Liz Kerrigan, and Kristen McCarthy) and students for their June Finale, in which the students presented their science websites, famous African Americans book projects, and original poetry.
And finally, Dr. Wilson, having attended the Moving On Ceremonies at Haynes and Nixon, recognized the staff, students, and parents for these wonderful sendoffs.
The following statement was read by Dr. Wilson:
As superintendent, my 1st priority is to ensure the education, safety and well-being of all students in the Sudbury Public Schools. We have high standards for every adult in our system and we are fortunate to have so many dedicated and highly effective professionals who meet and exceed these high standards, every day, in every class, for every child.
Recently there has been media attention, rumors and statements, and tonight a petition from members of our school community as a result of a personnel matter. As I have previously stated, school administrators are required to protect the confidentiality of personnel matters and cannot, by law disclose these matters or any circumstances surrounding them. We also cannot correct misinformation about a personnel matter in the media or in the public in general.
As the superintendent of schools, I have and always will place the best interests of students first. When the school district receives a complaint about the conduct of an employee, we take immediate steps to ensure the safety and well-being of students and we do a thorough investigation into the reported conduct. I will always take immediate and corrective action when a report is brought to my attention that impacts the safety or well-being of students. When it comes to the safety and well-being of our students, no one is exempted from meeting the high standards of conduct that we have in Sudbury. Although it may be easier or less controversial to lower standards or take minimal action where student safety/well-being is concerned, I will never lower our standards or put the best interests of students below any other interest in the system.
Concern has been expressed regarding a teacher's ability to break up a fight. No teacher has been or will be disciplined for breaking up a fight. And to clarify, again, there was no fight between students and no report of a fight between students was made to the administration.
It is admirable and understandable that there is so much support for employees who have served our district for many years - this is very much deserved. This support is welcomed and appreciated by me and the SPS administration. However, all employees are expected to maintain our high standards for compliance with policies and standards of conduct whether a first year teacher or a veteran of many years. Every child deserves to be in a classroom where our high standards are maintained every day and we as a district are fortunate to have so many excellent educators who meet these standards every day for every child.
School Committee Statement
The following statement was approved unanimously by the School Committee:
The Sudbury Public School Committee wishes to express its unreserved support for Dr. Anne Wilson as Superintendent of the Sudbury Public Schools. Recent developments at the Noyes School have resulted in a petition being circulated in the local media which contains partial, misleading information and does not paint a complete or accurate picture of all events surrounding Dr. Wilson's job performance.
In April 2012, the SPS Committee completed its annual review of Dr. Wilson's first year as Superintendent of SPS and concluded that Sudbury Public Schools is fortunate to have Dr. Wilson as its leader. We stand by that statement. While recent events have been difficult for many, Dr. Wilson has in our opinion discharged her duties in good faith, according to the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and in a professional manner. We are committed to working with Dr. Wilson to move our district forward.
Any questions concerning this matter may be referred to Richard Robison, Chairperson Sudbury School Committee.