School Committee‎ > ‎

School Committee Monthly Updates

Acton-Boxborough Regional School Committee (ABRSC)

Monthly Update – March 2017


Increasing awareness of and involvement in issues affecting our schools and towns



The School Committee generally meets the first and third Thursdays of each month in the RJ Grey Junior High Library.  Our meetings are open to the public and broadcast on Actontv.org.  Our next regularly scheduled meetings are Thursday, April 27th and Thursday, May 18th starting at 7 p.m.  This reduced schedule is due to accommodating Acton Town Meeting (which begins April 3rd) and Boxborough Town Meeting (which begins May 8th).


Some of our recent and upcoming discussions include:


FY ’18 Budget Update

  • The final decision on the school budget is made when citizens vote on their town’s assessment at the Acton and Boxborough Town Meetings.  

  • Please save the date and plan to attend, depending on your residence:

    • Acton, Monday April 3rd and Boxborough, Monday, May 8th.

  • Presentation slides and supporting materials can be found at http://www.abschools.org/school-committee/meetings-agendas-packets-and-minutes


Acton-Boxborough Regional School District (ABRSD) Master Planning Process

  • The School Committee has begun soliciting feedback from the public regarding the final Master Plan report, specifically on seven possible building options. The District Master Plan Review Committee, a group of committee and community members in charge of this effort can be reached at ABBuilding@abschools.org.  

  • A number of community meetings are being held during March and April in both Acton and Boxborough, leading up to a presentation at the School Committee meeting on June 8, 2017 and Special Town Meetings in both towns tentatively scheduled for December 4, 2017 to vote on design feasibility funding.

  • Please plan to attend to learn more and share your feedback! See upcoming forums listed below.

  • http://www.abschools.org/district/school-capital-and-space-planning


Annual Town Elections

  • If you are a registered voter, please support your elected officials and participate in these important elections.


  • Acton town elections are Tuesday, March 28th; four people are running for three School Committee positions, including three incumbents.

  • Boxborough town elections are May 16th.



FOR YOUR CALENDAR:


Tuesday, March 28 - polls open 7AM – 8PM

Acton Town Elections


Wednesday, March 29, 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Public Forum for Input on the Potential School Building Options

R.J. Grey Junior High School Library


Monday, April 3, 7:00 PM (Acton Registered Voters)

Acton Town Meeting begins

AB Regional High School Auditorium

Presentation and vote on next year’s school budget assessments and other town business

(Boxborough Town Meeting begins May 8th)


Wednesday, April 5, 7:00 - 8:30 PM 

Presenter: Dr. David Miele

Topic: Academic Mindsets: Their Role in Learning, Parenting, and Teaching

Audience: Grades PK-12

Location: RJ Grey Auditorium


Monday, April 10, 1:00 – 2:30 PM

Public Forum for Input on the Potential School Building Options

Acton Memorial Library


Wednesday, April 12, 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Public Forum for Input on the Potential School Building Options (Preschool/K focus)

R.J. Grey Junior High School Library


Tuesday, April 25, 1:00 – 2:30 PM

Public Forum for Input on the Potential School Building Options

Sargent Memorial Library



Acton-Boxborough Regional School Committee (ABRSC)

Monthly Update – February 2017


Increasing awareness of and involvement in issues affecting our schools and towns


The School Committee generally meets the first and third Thursdays of each month in the RJ Grey Junior High Library.  Our meetings are open to the public and broadcast on Actontv.org.  Our next regularly scheduled meetings are Thursday, March 16th and April 27th at 7 p.m. (due to Acton Town Meeting starting April 3rd).


Some of our recent and upcoming discussions include:


Elementary Thursday Early Release Schedule for Next Year

  • On February 2nd a schedule with an elementary early release every Thursday starting September 2017 was approved.

  • In addition to these early release days, with teachers required to work every Thursday afternoon, the school day will start 20 minutes earlier every day.  Current dismissal times would remain the same.

  • See 2017-18 calendar:  http://www.abschools.org/district/calendar


FY ’18 Budget Update

  • At the Annual School Budget Hearing on February 16th, the School Committee voted to approve the $86 million budget for next year.

  • Key areas of interest for this budget include:

    • The need to resurface Leary Field;

    • Additional English language learner and psychologist support at the Elementary level, and a planned expansion of the strings ensemble to 4th grade;  

    • A restructuring of the Junior High Leadership Team; and

    • The gradual addition of assistant coaches for varsity athletic teams and additional social worker support at the high school.

  • Presentation slides and supporting materials can be found at http://www.abschools.org/school-committee/meetings-agendas-packets-and-minutes

  • The final decision on the school budget is made when citizens vote on their town’s assessment at the Acton and Boxborough Town Meetings.  Please save the date, depending on your residence:  Acton, Monday April 3rd and  Boxborough, Monday, May 8th.


Challenge Success and School Schedules & Start Times

  • As a part of the district’s ongoing work with the Stanford-based organization Challenge Success, our High School is continuing its efforts in evaluating various schedule options for the future.

    • A modified schedule with fewer, longer class periods per day could prove beneficial in reducing student transitions within the day, and longer class periods could allow for more project-based work and alternative assessments.  In addition, students would be less likely to have homework in every subject each night, and faculty would have additional time for collaboration.

    • A presentation by Principal JoAnn Campbell covering work done to date and plans leading up to a pilot year in 2018-19 can be found in the February 16th school committee packet at:  http://www.abschools.org/school-committee/meetings-agendas-packets-and-minutes.  


Aligning Mathematics Teaching and Learning

  • District Mathematics Leaders presented their plans for “Aligning Mathematics Teaching and Learning” to the Committee on February 16th.

  • Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, two changes will be implemented:

    • The test to “place out” of 7th grade mathematics will be eliminated,

    • Mathematics and science at grade 9 will now be “decoupled,” meaning that high school placement in leveled science courses can occur independently of placement in leveled mathematics courses.

  • A detailed presentation describing the rationale for these decisions can be found in the February 16th school committee packet at: http://www.abschools.org/school-committee/meetings-agendas-packets-and-minutes


Acton-Boxborough Regional School District (ABRSD) Master Planning Process

  • The School Committee has begun the process of soliciting feedback from the public regarding the final Master Plan report, and specifically on 7 possible building options. The District Master Plan Review Committee, a group of committee and community members, has been formed and can be reached at ABBuilding@abschools.org.  

  • The District was recently notified that the Douglas School has been invited into the MA School Building Authority’s Eligibility Period for potential financial support from the State for a building project.


Annual Town Elections

  • Acton town elections are March 28th; four people are running for three open School Committee positions, including three incumbents.

  • Boxborough town elections are May 16th.


Acton-Boxborough Regional School Committee (ABRSC)

Monthly Update – January 2017 

Increasing awareness of and involvement in issues affecting our schools and towns

The School Committee generally meets the first and third Thursdays of each month in the RJ Grey Junior High Library.  Our meetings are open to the public and broadcast on Actontv.org.  Some of our recent and upcoming discussions include:

Elementary Schools’ Thursday Early Release Schedule Update

  • ·         On January 12th a proposal was shared to move to an elementary early release every Thursday starting next school year. Teachers will be required to stay at school on Thursday afternoons for scheduled activities.
  • ·         In addition to moving to every Thursday as an early release day. the school day would start 20 minutes earlier every day.  Current dismissal times would remain the same.
  • ·         Why this change?

o   Parents and staff have expressed ongoing concern with the logistical difficulties of our current inconsistent schedule (alternating Thursday early release, plus additional days for conferences).

o   We are not currently meeting MA state time on learning requirements. 

o   Current time available for teacher professional learning is inadequate; substitutes are often needed to cover for programs held during the school day.

  • ·         Benefits of this proposal include:

o   A consistent schedule of early release days on Thursdays

o   An additional 34 hours of time on learning, allowing us to meet the state requirement

o   The consistent implementation of fall and spring conferences across all of our elementary schools

o   More time for professional development for our teachers:

§  10 Thursdays for building-based grade level teams

§  7 Thursdays for building-based professional learning

§  6 or more Thursdays for fall and spring conferences and end of year progress reports

§  The remaining Thursdays will be used for district-wide professional development or grade level meetings

o   Teachers will spend more time with their students, as these additional Thursdays will provide opportunities for meetings and professional development currently happening during the school day.

  • ·         This proposal will be voted on by the School Committee at their meeting on February 2nd.

FY ’18 Budget Planning

o   The need to resurface Leary Field;

o   Additional special education, English language learner and psychologist support at the Elementary level, and a planned expansion of the strings ensemble to 4th grade; 

o   A restructuring of the Junior High Leadership Team; and

o   The addition of assistant coaches for varsity athletic teams and additional social worker support at the high school.

  • ·         Presentation slides and supporting materials can be found at http://www.abschools.org/school-committee/meetings-agendas-packets-and-minutes
  • ·         The School Committee held a preliminary vote on January 21st to support the budget as recommended.
  • ·         The required Annual School Budget Hearing will be at the School Committee meeting on February 16th at 7:00 p.m. in the Jr High Library.
  • ·         The final decision on the school budget is made when citizens vote their town’s assessment at the Acton and Boxborough Town Meetings in April and May.

2017-2018 School District Calendar

  • ·         The School Committee voted to approve the 2017-2018 district calendar on December 15th.  School will start for students on September 5, 2017 and there will no school on Rosh Hashanah and Good Friday.  The calendar can be found online at http://www.abschools.org/district/calendar

Acton-Boxborough Regional School District (ABRSD) Master Planning Process

·         The School Committee has begun the process of soliciting feedback to the final Master Plan report through the formation of the District Master Plan Review Committee, a group of school committee and community members. This group can be emailed at ABBuilding@abschools.org   

·         Stay tuned for ways for your voice to be heard.  We will need to gauge community support in the coming months of various proposed options, some of which would necessitate a change to our current grade configuration and/or number and/or location of our schools.

·         For more information, visit:

http://www.abschools.org/district/school-capital-and-space-planning 

Any questions?  Please contact Kristina Rychlik, krychlik@abschools.org



Acton-Boxborough Regional School Committee (ABRSC) 

Monthly Update - November 2016 

Increasing awareness of and involvement in issues affecting our schools and towns

  

The School Committee generally meets the first and third Thursdays of each month in the RJ Grey Junior High Library.  Our meetings are open to the public and broadcast on ActonTV.org.  Some of our ongoing discussions include:

 

2017-2018 School District Calendar

  • ·         The school start date and religious holidays will be discussed at the School Committee meetings on December 1st and 15th, with plans to vote to approve a calendar on the 15th.
  • ·         Options being considered include starting before or after Labor Day 2017, with and without days off for Rosh Hashanah and Good Friday. (Yom Kippur is on a Saturday in 2017.)
  • ·         Supporting information can be found in the packet for the December 1st school committee meeting here
  • ·         Please check the online meeting agenda at abschools.org the day of the meeting for an approximate time for the discussion.

 

Acton-Boxborough Regional School District (ABRSD) Master Planning Process

·         Community presentation of the District Master Plan Study Report, Thursday, December 8 from 7:30-9:00 p.m. in the RJ Grey Junior High School Library.

·         Multiple options for future school building and/or renovation projects will be presented, including some that may change our current grade configurations and number of schools and/or buildings.

·         For more information, visit: http://www.abschools.org/district/school-capital-and-space-planning

 

Enrollment Update

  • ·         The School Committee was presented with an updated Student Enrollment Report on November 3rd.  A key finding presented is that while enrollment is still projected to decline in the near future from recent historical highs, the new projection is a more modest decline than originally expected.

 

Minuteman Technical High School Update

  • ·         As the town of Boxborough has voted to withdraw from the Minuteman District, students from Acton and Boxborough considering a technical high school will have somewhat different options available to them. 
  • ·         Details will be provided to those students and families during the 8th grade at RJ Grey Junior High School. 

Any questions?  Please contact Kristina Rychlik, krychlik@abschools.org




Acton-Boxborough Regional School Committee (ABRSC)

Monthly Update - October 2016

 

Increasing awareness of and involvement in issues affecting our schools and towns 

The School Committee generally meets the first and third Thursdays of each month in the RJ Grey Junior High Library.  Our meetings are open to the public and broadcast on actontv.org.  Some of our ongoing discussions include:

 

What is Challenge Success?

·         Challenge Success is an organization out of Stanford University that provides resources for schools to organize efforts to mitigate school-related stress.  The goal is to reduce unhealthy pressures on our students and champion a broader definition of success within our schools and communities.  Challenge Success is not a pre-packaged program that a school district adopts or implements.  

·         Challenge Success is helping connect us with best practices and new initiatives around the country that other similar school districts are implementing in such areas as school schedules and homework.

·         A large part of this effort involves families!  Please come learn more as Challenge Success Co-founder Denise Pope, Ph.D. presents “The Well-Balanced Student,”  Tuesday, November 8th from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Acton Boxborough Regional High School Auditorium. https://www.smore.com/uwc2w

·         AB has a new website dedicated to student wellness:  http://abschoolswellness.weebly.com

 

Acton-Boxborough Regional School District (ABRSD) Master Planning Process

Please note new date!  Community Presentation of the District Master Plan Study Report, Thursday, December 8 from 7:30-9:00 p.m. in the RJ Grey Junior High School Library. For more information, visit:

http://www.abschools.org/district/school-capital-and-space-planning

 

ABRSD Long Range Strategic Plan: Setting District-Wide Goals & Priorities

On October 6th and 20th, the School Committee discussed the new ABRSD Long Range Strategic Plan in order to provide feedback in the plan’s final stages.  The goal is to vote to accept a new plan on November 17th. Find out more at: http://www.abschools.org/school-committee/meetings-agendas-packets-and-minutes

 

ABRSD Policy Update

·         The School Committee’s policy subcommittee recently reviewed policies JJIF: Head Injury Management and GBEA: Staff Ethics/Conflict of Interest

o   These will be up for a first read at our November 3rd meeting.

·         We'd like to highlight policy GBEBC: Gifts to and Solicitations by Staff:

o   State Ethics Laws limit the gifts that staff, teachers and coaches are allowed to accept. We do not want staff, teachers or coaches to be put into a position where they cannot or should not accept gifts of value from well-intended grateful families. Gifts from individual families to staff may not exceed $50 in value for the school year. Gifts from a class or team to an employee may not exceed a total value of $150 for the school year.

·         The policy subcommittee meets twice monthly.  All policies are found at http://www.abschools.org/school-committee/policies

  

Any questions?  Please contact Kristina Rychlik, krychlik@abschools.org





Acton-Boxborough Regional School Committee (ABRSC)

 Monthly Update

September 2016

 

Through monthly updates, the ABRSC hopes to increase awareness of what we do and how families and community members can get involved in issues affecting our schools and towns moving forward.  The Committee meets regularly the first and third Thursdays of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the RJ Grey Junior High Library.  Our meetings are open to the public and broadcast on actontv.org.  We invite you to join us!

 

Acton-Boxborough Regional School District (ABRSD) Master Planning Process

  • Last year, the district hired the firm of Dore & Whittier to help us begin the process of addressing long-delayed capital needs by documenting the current condition of our nine school buildings and other facilities, as well as addressing educational space planning needs in the future. 
  • The first part of the study was completed last spring, and documented in great detail the physical condition of all of our buildings, finding significant needs at three of our elementary schools in particular.

o   The second part of the study is nearly complete, with the final district master plan options to be presented at a community meeting on Wednesday, November 9th at 7:00 p.m. in the RJ Grey Junior High auditorium.  Please mark your calendar!

o   You are welcome to join us for a preview of this presentation at the School Committee meeting on Thursday, October 6th in the RJ Grey Junior High Library 6th from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

For more information, visit http://www.abschools.org/district/school-capital-and-space-planning

 

School Start Times Update

  • The Superintendent’s Wellness Committee spent the 2015-2016 school year examining the issues of adolescent sleep needs and school start times, and how they affect the health and well being of our students.  On June 9, 2016, that group presented its findings to the AB Regional School Committee.
  • The School Committee then asked Superintendent Glenn Brand to work to see how a change in start times may be implemented in our district.  That work has begun and will be presented to the Committee during the spring of 2017. We will keep you informed as this important discussion continues.
  • To watch the video of the June 9th presentation, view the slides, or read the Wellness Committee’s full report, visit http://www.abschools.org/district/school-start-times
  • On September 21st, the district’s Family Learning Series kicked off with Dr. Kirsty Kerin presenting, “The Science of Sleep.”  You can view the video of that presentation here http://www.abschools.org/families/family-learning

 

2016-2017 School Committee Goals


School Safety and Security

 

ABRSD Policy Update

  • The School Committee’s policy subcommittee recently reviewed safety and security policies.
  • Upcoming policies scheduled for review include Head Injury Management Policy and Protocols, File: JJIF and Staff Ethics/Conflict of Interest, File: GBEA.
  • The policy subcommittee meets twice monthly.  All policies are found at http://www.abschools.org/school-committee/policies

 

Any questions?  Please contact Kristina Rychlik, krychlik@abschools.org

Comments