The 2013-14 school year continues as what the School Committees in both Acton and Boxborough are calling a “transitional year," a year in which all the planning related to expanding our school district to include both Acton and Boxborough from Pre-K through grade 12 is underway. Here, we continue monthly updates of the issues being addressed that relate to this transition. If you have any comments or concerns regarding this update, please contact Kristina Rychlik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At our October 3rd School Committee meeting, JD Head, our Director of Facilities and Transportation, presented a first look at possible student transportation options as we move into a single PreK-12 school district. The School Committee asked him to continue to study transportation and he will present options and recommendations during our Transitional School Committee meeting on December 5th.
Principal Search Process/Blanchard Elementary
The Blanchard Principal search committee reviewed 35 applications, selected eight candidates to interview, and determined four finalists from the candidates interviewed. Each finalist will spend a day visiting Blanchard in December. Superintendent Mills will announce his appointment by the end of December.
The four finalists for the Blanchard Principal Visit will each be scheduled to visit for a day. Days scheduled for visits:
- Wednesday December 4
- Monday December 9
- Tuesday December 10
- Thursday December 12
Staff are welcome to attend the staff sessions (8:00-8:30 am) and parents are welcome to attend the parent sessions (2:00-2:45 pm) for each of the finalists. Staff and parents are welcome to send their thoughts to Dr. Mills at email@example.com anytime between the site visits and December 17th.
School Calendar Review Process
At the November 7th Transitional School Committee meeting, the Committee voted to approve the 2014-15 school calendar to include no school days on Rosh Hashanah and Good Friday. Yom Kippur occurs on a Saturday in 2014. Labor Day is early in 2014 so school will begin after Labor Day, on Wednesday, September 3rd for students in grades K-6, 7 and 9. School will start on Thursday, September 4th for students in grades 8, 10, 11 and 12. The full calendar is posted at the district website at www.ab.mec.edu.
Elementary Enrollment Report/Class Size Guidelines Update
Currently, the policies referring to Elementary class size guidelines are slightly different in Acton and Boxborough. Acton recommends no more than 22 students in grades K-3, with no more than 25 students in grades 4-6. Boxborough recommends no more than 20 students in Kindergarten and grade 1, no more than 22 students in grades 2 through 4 and no more than 24 students in grades 5 and 6.
On November 22nd, a discussion began regarding reconciling the differences in these policies and the financial implications that different options may have on future budgets. It was agreed that the discussion will continue at the December 5th School Committee Meeting, and a vote will be taken to decide on the recommended class size guidelines for our expanded region moving forward.
Track Renovation Project
At their November 21st meeting, the district was presented with a check for $450,000 from the Richard E. Dow Track Fundraising Committee/Friends of Leary Field group. That, combined with $150,000 from the District, will pay to fund the replacement and improvement of our track. Construction has begun! Many thanks to the hard work of all in the community and administration who have been involved to get us to this point, and to those working to ensure the project’s success moving forward.
ABRSD Superintendent Search Committee Update
The search process continues with progress in many regards. On November 21st, Future Management Systems presented the Transitional School Committee with an update of their work to date. They have synthesized their findings from a series of community focus groups, telephone interviews and an online survey to develop a leadership profile. This profile is intended to guide the search committee as they review applications and interview applicants for the position. To view this profile go to, http://ab.mec.edu/about/packets13-14/11-21-13-JT-SC-packet.pdf; the profile begins on page 10.
To date, we have received a number of applications for the position, with more expected before the deadline of December 3rd. For more information, please see www.absuptsearch.com; specific dates and milestones for the process are outlined under the “apply” section of the site.