Archived Monthly Updates 2017-2018

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 3 and Boxborough, Monday, May 8

  • Presentation slides and supporting materials can be found at Meetings, Agendas and Packets

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.

  • 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:  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 Meetings, Agendas, Packets & 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: Meetings, Agendas, Packets & 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: Meetings, Agendas, Packets & 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.

  • A number of community meetings will be 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 Fall Town Meetings in both towns.

  • School Capital/Space Planning


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 Meetings, Agendas, Packets & 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 the 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:

School Capital/Space Planning 

 

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


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