Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

School Committee, August 18, 2023

Public Comments
The meeting began with a call for public comments. However, no attendees took the opportunity to speak.

Proposal for New Position: Inclusion Specialist
The main discussion of the meeting revolved around the proposal of a new job position, an inclusion specialist, to address the issue of large class sizes at Thompson school, particularly in grades one and two. The school is spatially constrained, and the multipurpose room, currently used for physical education classes, cannot be converted into a classroom without causing disruption. The inclusion specialist would be a dual-licensed professional who would work directly with teachers and students, providing support where and when needed. This could include taking small groups for additional reading or math sessions, providing support in classrooms with particular student needs, and working closely with the Student Support Team to address learning challenges. The role is not intended to be a substitute teacher, but rather a support for teachers on instructional matters. The role had been considered in the past and had been revised based on feedback from the Arlington Education Association.

Approval of the New Position
The committee members asked questions about the class sizes, the daily responsibilities of the inclusion specialist, and the availability of space for small group sessions. After receiving detailed responses to these queries, a motion was made to approve the new position. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously in a roll call vote.

Next Meeting Announcement
The meeting concluded with the announcement of the next meeting date, which is August 30.



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