Agenda #5 May 30, 2012

School Committee
Committee Members
Brian A. O'Connell - Chairman
John F. Monfredo - Vice-chairman
Dianna L. Biancheria
Administrative Representative
Jeffrey J. Mulqueen, Ed.D

OFFICE OF THE
CLERK OF THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE
WORCESTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS
20 IRVING STREET
WORCESTER, MA 01609


AGENDA #5


The Standing Committee on TEACHING, LEARNING AND STUDENT SUPPORTS will hold a meeting:
        on:       Wednesday, May 30, 2012
        at:        5:30 p.m.
in:        Room 410, Durkin Administration Building
ORDER OF BUSINESS
ANNEX

I.      CALL TO ORDER – REGULAR MEETING

II.     ROLL CALL

III.    GENERAL BUSINESS

gb #7-31 - Mr. Monfredo/Mr. O’Connell (February 6, 2007)
 
To consider requiring that children reach their fifth birthday by August 31 in order to enroll in kindergarten in the Worcester Public Schools, and to review, in discussing this proposal: 
  • the number of referrals for special education evaluation of students with late birthdays categorized by gender and by month of birth
  • the data compiled in a previous study of this topic as to children retained in an elementary school grade, categorized by their age on entering kindergarten
  • the budgetary and space impact of such a decision, and
  • any current guidelines or practices as to retention of children in kindergarten for maturity/academic progress reasons.
gb #0-137  -   Mr. O’Connell/Miss Biancheria (April 30, 2010)
 
To consider development of a student satisfaction survey.
 
gb #0-242 - Mr. Foley (August 25, 2010)
 
Request that the Administration review the district’s ADA self-evaluation and transition plan.
gb #0-289 - Mr. Monfredo (October 24, 2010)
 
Request that the Administration update the School Committee on the extent of Service Learning in the Worcester Public Schools.
gb #0-308  - Miss Biancheria/Mr. O’Connell/Mr. Monfredo (November 10, 2010)
 
Request that the Administration consider offering courses in computer game design and computer game development and programming.
gb #0-309 - Administration (November 10, 2010)
 
To consider discussion regarding foreign field trips.
gb #0-322 - Miss Biancheria/Mr. O’Connell (November 24, 2010)
 
Request that the Administration provide a report regarding the process for placing a student on an IEP at the elementary and secondary levels and the process and timeframe for access and review by all classroom staff associated with the student.
c&p #1-3 - Clerk (March 30, 2011)
 
To consider a communication from a citizen regarding a program entitled, “Challenge Day” which would address issues of bullying.
ros #1-7 - Administration (May 11, 2011)
 
FINDINGS OF THE SPECIAL EDUCATION REVIEW TEAM
 
 
c&p #1-10 -   Clerk   (October 26, 2011)
 
To consider a communication from a citizen regarding the State of the Schools Address.
gb #1-37 - Mayor O’Brien (January 19, 2011)
 
Request that the Administration discuss with local area educational directors the feasibility of regionalization of special education services for Worcester and surrounding communities.
gb #1-55 -     Mr. O’Connell/Miss Biancheria/Mr. Foley/Mr. Monfredo (January 31, 2011)
 
To consider allowing high school students to fulfill the requirement for physical education, in whole or in part, through participating as team members in their school's interscholastic sports programs.
gb #1-78 - Ms. Novick/Mr. O’Connell (March 4, 2011)
 
Request that the Administration provide a report on admissions’ policies at vocational technical schools throughout the state.
gb #1-99 - Mr. O’Connell (March 23, 2011)
 
To review the curriculum entitled "Peacemaking: Building a Culture of Nonviolence," with a view to its possible use in appropriate Worcester public schools.
gb #1-131 - Miss Biancheria/Mr. Monfredo/Ms. Novick/Mr. O’Connell   (April 20, 2011)
 
Request that the Administration seek from the City Manager information regarding the replacement of the Assistant City Solicitor who handles the school suspensions hearings and other relevant business.
 
 
gb #1-151 - Ms. Novick (May 9, 2011)
 
Request that the Administration consider working with Quinsigamond Community College and the Worcester Youth Center on closing the gap for students entering QCC with a diploma or GED who are not prepared for freshman-level coursework.
gb #1-152 - Ms. Novick (May 9, 2011)
 
Request that the Administration petition the federal Department of Education for a waiver of the No Child Left Behind Act, as did the McPherson District in Kansas, pending reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
gb #1-159 - Miss Biancheria/Mr. Monfredo/Ms. Novick/Mr. O’Connell (May 11, 2011)
 
Request that the Administration consider revising the elementary and middle school report cards to mirror those that were revised as part of the Innovation Plans.
gb #1-172 - Miss Biancheria/Ms. Novick/Mr. O’Connell (May 25, 2011)
 
Request that the Administration survey principals in the elementary and middle schools regarding the timeframe for student lunches and the lunchroom policies/ procedures.
gb #1-183 - Miss Biancheria/Mr. O’Connell/Mr. Monfredo        (June 7, 2011)
 
Request that the Administration establish an Ad Hoc committee to develop middle school initiatives of engagement for family and community partners.
gb #1-200 -   Mr. Monfredo (July 11, 2011)
 
Request that the Administration study the feasibility of implementing in the Worcester Public Schools, Thrive in 5, a community developed Boston plan, which has as its goal to ensure that all children succeed in the first five years of life.
gb #1-204 - Ms. Novick/Miss Biancheria/Mr. O'Connell (July 13, 2011)
 
To consider the summer reading assignments.
The Administration will be prepared to speak to the item.
gb #1-215 -   Mr. Monfredo/Miss Biancheria/Mr. O'Connell (July 18, 2011)
 
Request that the Administration review strategies that will be employed after completion of reading assessments of students in K-2 to bring them up to grade level and to determine what professional development should be provided to the primary grade teachers to assist them in their instruction.
 
gb #1-231 -   Mr. O'Connell/Mr. Foley/Miss Biancheria/Mr. Monfredo (August 11, 2011)
 
To invite veteran Worcester Public Schools' teachers to apply to participate in the Eagle Hill School's Institute for Teacher Induction, and to explore funding sources and programmatic options which will enable them to do so.
gb #1-235 -   Ms. Novick/Mr. Monfredo (August 15, 2011)
 
Request that the Administration provide for the regular medical needs of summer school students.
gb #1-237 -   Ms. Novick/Miss Biancheria/Mr. Monfredo (August 15, 2011)
 
Request that the Administration report on the current operating magnet programs, with reference to the programs offered, and the balance of neighborhood/out of neighborhood students enrolled.
gb #1-252 - Mr. O'Connell/Miss Biancheria (September 7, 2011)
 
To review the Long-term Suspension Reports contained in memoranda of Robert F. Pezzella to Dr. Melinda J. Boone and to consider trends in suspensions, violations, and other disciplinary impacts as detailed in the reports.
gb #1-258 - Mr. O'Connell/Miss Biancheria   (September 20, 2011)
 
To consider the inclusion of humane education topics, including those featured by the Kids Consortium of Auburn, Maine, and the "Unleashed" program of New York City, into character education initiatives in the Worcester Public Schools.
gb #1-259 - Mr. Monfredo/Mr. O'Connell (September 21, 2011)
 
Request that the Administration review the Family Handbook to determine if it needs to be updated and to share the document with parent organizations.
gb #1-271 -   Mr. O'Connell/Ms. Novick/Mr. Monfredo   (September 30, 2011)
 
To review the report entitled "Creating the Will: A Community Roadmap to Achieving Educational Excellence for Latino Students in Worcester," and to discuss implementation of the goals and related recommendations detailed in it.
 
gb #1-300 -   Ms. Novick/Mr. Monfredo    (November 21, 2011)
 
Request that the Administration coordinate student after school needs, particularly regarding transportation, with Youth Connect.
gb #1-306 -   Mr. O'Connell/Miss Biancheria/Mr. Monfredo (November 21, 2011)
 
To consider implementation of the News Literacy Project in the Worcester Public Schools.
gb #1-307 -   Mr. O'Connell/Miss Biancheria/Mr. Monfredo (November 21, 2011)
 
To investigate options for enhancing civics instruction in the Worcester Public Schools.
gb #1-308 -   Mr. O'Connell/Miss Biancheria/Mr. Monfredo (November 21, 2011)
 
To review the Administration’s plan, and timeline, for improvement of science MCAS scores in the Worcester Public Schools.
gb #1-311 -   Mr. O'Connell/Miss Biancheria/Mr. Monfredo (November 21, 2011)
 
To review the policy of the Worcester Public Schools as to “Athletes and Participants in School-Related Activities," and to determine, with the advice of secondary school principals and interested staff, the impact of the policy on school teams, on school attendance, on athlete academic performance, and on dropout prevention initiatives.
gb #1-312 -   Mr. O'Connell/Miss Biancheria/Mr. Monfredo (November 21, 2011)
 
To consider increasing the number of Mathematics credits required for graduation from the Worcester high schools from 3 to 4, insofar as feasible.
gb #1-322 -    Mr. Monfredo/Mr. O'Connell (November 29, 2011)
 
Request that the Administration consider an "early warning system" plan to target students most at risk of dropping out.
 
gb #2-6 - Mr. Monfredo/Miss Biancheria     (December 19, 2011)
 
Request that the Administration collaborate with grant writers from the city and the school administration to look for both private and public funding as well as corporate sponsorships for the RSVP program, since all federal funding will be cut in March of 2012.
gb #2-16 - Mr. O'Connell   (January 11, 2012)
 
To explore options and possible funding sources for expanded preschool programs.
gb #2-30 - Mr. Monfredo/Mr. Foley/Mr. O’Connell (January 23, 2012)
 
Request that the Administration look at long and short range needed resources to achieve the system's goal of having all children able to read on grade level by the end of grade three and also consider developing an age zero to four and pre-k to grade three plans.
Annex A (5 pages)



gb #2-31 - Miss Biancheria/Ms. Novick/Mr. Monfredo/Mr. O’Connell/Mayor Petty (January 23, 2012)
 
Request that the Administration contact Laurie Ross, Co-Director of the Compass Project, to discuss a collaborative program to continue the efforts of preventing and aiding youth homelessness. 
gb #2-36 - Ms. Novick/Mr. O’Connell/Mr. Monfredo (January 25, 2012)
 
To review the status of the curriculum review process.
The Administration will be prepared to speak to the item.
gb #2-46 -     Mr. Monfredo/Ms. Novick/Mr. O'Connell   (February 8, 2012)
 
To partner with the Worcester Public Library to provide library cards for grade 2 students.

Colleen Kelly, district liaison for social studies and library/media, will send an application for a library card to families in the June report card and then again with the Student Handbook in August.
gb #2-47 -     Mr. Monfredo/Ms. Novick/Mr. O'Connell  (February 8, 2012)
 
Request that the Administration forward to the Standing Committee a list of all the writing programs and indicate whether such programs are research based.
Annex A (5 pages)


gb #2-57 - Mr. O'Connell/Ms. Novick/Miss Biancheria   (February 17, 2012)
 
To consider applying to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for a license to operate a Commonwealth Virtual School.
gb #2-60 - Mr. Monfredo/Mr. O’Connell   (February 22, 2012)
 
Request that the Administration consider a home-school incentive recreational reading program such as Books and Beyond in the elementary schools.




Annex A (2 pages)

For the most part, several of our elementary schools have informal home-school recreational reading programs to promote, motivate and increase reading proficiency of all students.
gb #2-66 - Miss Biancheria/Mr. O'Connell   (March 6, 2012)
 
Request that the Administration develop strategies that focus on improving the truancy rate.
gb #2-71 - Mr. O'Connell/Miss Biancheria   (March 7, 2012)
 
To review with the Worcester Police Department any options available to restore the DARE Program in the Worcester Public Schools.
gb #2-75 - Administration   (March 7, 2012)
 
To approve a Band course to be implemented at Sullivan Middle School.
gb #2-76.1 - Administration/Administration   (April 10, 2012)
 
To hold a public hearing on School Choice.
 
gb #2-83 -     Ms. Colorio/Mr. O'Connell (March 16, 2012)
 
Request that the Administration provide a breakdown of the K-2 teachers who are reading specialists.
gb #2-85 -     Ms. Colorio/Mr. O'Connell/Miss Biancheria (March 16, 2012)
 
Request that the Administration provide a report on the way in which teachers are selected to teach Advanced Placement courses.
gb #2-90 -     Mr. Monfredo/Mr. O’Connell (March 19, 2012)
 
Request that the Administration consider adding the following information to the Tobacco Use Policy in the Policies Handbook:
 
“Nicotine delivery products are any manufactured articles or products made wholly or in part of a tobacco substitute or containing nicotine that is expected or intended for human consumption, but not including a tobacco substitute prescribed by a licensed physician or a product that has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for sale as a tobacco use cessation or harm reduction. Nicotine delivery products include, but are not limited to, e-cigarettes.”
gb #2-97 - Mr. Monfredo/Mr. O’Connell (March 26, 2012)
 
To consider proposed additions and revisions to the 2012-13 Policies Handbook.
gb #2-106 - Mayor Petty/Mr. Foley (March 30, 2012)
 
Request that the Administration begin exploring the viability of creating a regional recovery high school that would serve students with substance abuse and dependence problems similar to existing programs in Boston, North Shore, Brockton and Springfield.
gb #2-115 -   Mr. Monfredo/Miss Biancheria/Mr. O'Connell/Mayor Petty (March 30, 2012)
 
Request that the Administration provide an update on progress made regarding the implementation of the Anti-bullying Plan and include the preventive measures that have been implemented to date.
gb #2-124 -   Mr. Monfredo/Mr. O'Connell/Ms. Colorio   (April 9, 2012)
 
Request that the Administration provide a report on the results of the Youth Survey which was conducted in fifteen secondary schools in Worcester County by Dr. McGee, former Commissioner of Public Health in Worcester, to determine what strategies, based on the data, should be implemented in the Worcester Public Schools.
gb #2-133 -   Mr. O'Connell/Miss Biancheria/Ms. Novick   (April 10, 2012)
 
To determine what actions, if any, should be taken, and what investments should be made, at Claremont Academy, to address the concerns expressed by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, as to “the library media service program and services, including staffing levels, and the extent to which they adequately support the school’s curriculum, the instructional needs of teachers, and the learning needs of students”, as set forth in the February 7, 2012 letter of NEASC to Claremont Academy.
gb #2-134 -   Mr. O'Connell/Miss Biancheria    (April 10, 2012)
 
To consider reactivation of the television/media studio, originally installed in the Woodland/Claremont facility.
gb #2-137 -   Mr. O'Connell/Mr. Monfredo/Ms. Colorio   (April 11, 2012)
 
To review the “recovery” programs utilized by and for the dropout students of the Philadelphia Public Schools, including Project U-Turn Reengagement Center, the Excel Accelerated High Schools, and Academy South, to determine whether any of their procedures, instructional programs and practices would be beneficial to similarly situated students in Worcester.
gb #2-138 -   Mr. O'Connell/Mr. Monfredo   (April 11, 2012)
 
To consider development of two-way bilingual programs in French and in Mandarin Chinese, on a pilot basis.
gb #2-139 -   Mr. O'Connell/Mr. Monfredo/Ms. Colorio   (April 11, 2012)
 
To consider development of a partnership with the Boston Debate League to support academic debate teams in high schools in Worcester.
gb #2-140 -   Mr. O'Connell/Mr. Monfredo   (April 11, 2012)
 
To interact with ReadyNation and America’s Promise Alliance as to possible investment in early childhood programs for the children of Worcester.
gb #2-166 -   Ms. Novick/Mr. Monfredo   (April 24, 2012)
 
To consider the "Review of Special Education in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts" recently issued by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
 
motion (gb #1-104.2) - Administration/
Administration (June 16, 2011)
 
Refer the Federal Grant Program document to the Standing Committee on Teaching, Learning and Student Supports.
IV.    ADJOURNMENT
Helen A. Friel, Ed.D.
Clerk of the School Committee

I.      

The Worcester Public Schools is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer/Educational Institution and does not discriminate regardless of race, color, gender, age, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or homelessness. The Worcester Public Schools provides equal access to employment and the full range of general, occupational and vocational education programs. For more information relating to Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action contact Stacey DeBoise Luster, Human Resource Manager, 20 Irving Street, Worcester, MA  01609. 508-799-3020.