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SPRINGFIELD PUBLIC SCHOOLS SPRINGFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS MINUTES OF THE WORKING SESSION OF THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2008 MEETING HELD IN THE BOARD ROOM OF THE SCHOOL DEPARTMENT, 195 STATE STREET, SPRINGFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS MEETING CALLED TO ORDER AT 6:08 P.M. PRESENT: Atty. Marjorie Hurst, Mr. Thomas Ashe, Mrs. Antonette Pepe, Atty. Kenneth Shea (arrived at 7 p.m.), and Mayor Domenic Sarno ABSENT: Mr. Christopher Collins and Mr. Michael Rodgers ALSO PRESENT: Dr. Alan Ingram, Superintendent of Schools The first item on the agenda was Defining District Success Donna Boivin did a power-point presentation on developing the Springfield Public Schools' Accountability System: Defining Success (attached). The School Department received a $100,000 grant last year to begin implementing a data warehouse and received another $100,000 this year to continue the work. Work is being done with the Academic Directors. Mayor Sarno thought this would help red-flag any issues at the beginning of the year. Denise Pagan-Vega continued the presentation with the Score Card Draft (attached). This information will include Springfield's standards not just NCLB or MCAS and will include longitudinal and AYP data. Some reports will be done monthly, some quarterly and some yearly. Attendance will be done on a monthly basis. We have been working with Citi-Stat and Paul Foster, on a monthly basis, as is every other major department in the city. We have directed them as to what we want looked at. We are driving the data. This data will help in the evaluation of the Superintendent. People will be asked to complete a survey about the work that is being done. This survey will be completed by the Superintendent, the School Committee, teachers, etc. Mrs. Pepe asked about data and if it will be broken down by school so we can track progress of students in middle schools and what elementary schools they came from.

-2MINUTES OF THE SEPTEMBER 25, 2008 SCHOOL COMMITTEE WORKING SESSION It will be broken down by school, by zone, by teacher, by class, by teacher areas. Attendance will be defined for each school with very specific goals as to what we want attendance to be in the city, including principals and teachers. Every school will have their targets to meet by certain dates. Even though the state rate is 92%, we want Springfield's rate to be higher. Mrs. Pepe was concerned that we have some severe special education students in some of our schools and we have to look at their attendance differently because of their complicated medical needs. It was indicated by the Superintendent that we are doing that. The definition of a truant is established by the State. Dr. Ingram and Mr. Warwick will be meeting with every school principal individually and the School Improvement Officer for that school and provide the proper support. But we can't let schools flounder without consequences. Everyone will have very specific goals to meet. Chief Communications Officer The recent audit done by the Broad Foundation recommended that a Chief Communications Officer be hired for the School Department. The Superintendent indicated that there were 30 applicants for the job. That number was reduced to 8 candidates that were to be interviewed by a team of 4 people (Mr. Allfrey, Director of Human Resources; Dr. Denise Pagan-Vega, Chief Accountability Officer; Dr. Ann Southworth, Chief Academic Officer; and Ms. Pat Spradley, Chief of Parent and Community Engagement). This panel interviewed 5 candidates during the initial round on September 18 and second round of three finalists recommended by the panel was interviewed by the Superintendent on September 19. Dr. Ingram recommended the hiring of Azell Cavaan as the Chief Communications Officer. Mrs. Pepe said that we have had a Communications person who worked 12.5 hours a week at a salary of $65,000 a year. There is a budgeted item of $80,000. It is important that the word get out about what our schools are doing especially things like the IB program. Mayor Sarno indicated that we need to get good news about our school system out to the public. He has availed the services of Azell Cavaan to the Superintendent. Dr. Ingram said that the process was fair. Mr. Ashe said that he would have liked all members of the School Committee present for the vote, but he is satisfied with the recommendation. On a motion by Mrs. Pepe and seconded by Mr. Ashe, it was voted to approve Azell Cavaan as Chief Communications Officer.

-3MINUTES OF THE SEPTEMBER 25, 2008 SCHOOL COMMITTEE WORKING SESSION Roll Call Atty. Hurst Mr. Collins Mr. Ashe Mr. Rodgers Yes Absent Yes Absent Mrs. Pepe Atty. Shea Mayor Sarno Yes Absent Yes

Kevin McCaskill and his staff at Putnam were acknowledged for their accomplishments on the MCAS. Liberty School came off the list of schools needing improvement. Mayor Sarno said the School Committee needed to take a stand on Question 1. If the question passes it would completely dismantle cities and towns. It would be penny-wise and pound foolish. Mrs. Pepe wanted the public to be aware of what it takes to get into Putnam. You have to get a particular score which includes grades and attendance. It is not a dumping ground. She also commended Tony Hill, former principal of Liberty School, since he had a lot to do with the turnaround at that school. We need to take a unified stand on Question 1 and it was suggested that the item be placed on the October 16 School Committee so that the entire School Committee can vote on it. On a motion by Atty. Shea and seconded by Mr. Ashe, it was voted to be steadfastly opposed to Question 1. Mr. Ashe said that he met earlier in the evening with the School Safety Committee. Mr. Hogan will be working on recommendations for use of the school attendance officers during major safety concerns. Right now they are involved in only attendance issues. Atty. Hurst applauded the work of City Councilors Bud Williams and Steve Lisauskas, Executive Director of the Control Board, to work on obtaining the additional money to complete the project for DeBerry School. An additional $115,000 is needed to complete the work. The community is trying to raise $25,000 on their own. On a motion by Mr. Ashe and seconded by Atty. Shea, it was voted to adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 7:15 p.m. ROSEMARY N. SHEA Secretary to the School Committee APPROVED BY THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE / /


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