Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

School Committee, February 29, 2024

Corrected: $3.8 million, not billion, in first item. 

Contractual Obligations and Salary Adjustments

The Arlington Public Schools (APS) is set to spend $3.8 million more on contractual obligations and as a result of salary adjustments in FY25 compared to FY24. There is an allocation of $1,699,000 for collective bargaining with Unit A, and a net increase of $344,457 for Unit D, adjusted for the $400,000 already allocated to FY24. Additionally, there is a $436,000 allocation to support utility increases and adjustments for departmental budgets.

SR3 Assessment

From the SR3 funds, APS has decided to maintain certain roles while eliminating others. It will keep the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Specialist, the Director of Research, Data and Accountability, and parts of the Communication Specialist role. It will terminate the position for the Director of Leadership Development and Onboarding, the Family Liaison role at Gibbs, and partly reduce the Communication Specialist role.

Commitments and Additions

APS is sustaining a series of commitments made in previous budgets, including additional positions for Arlington High School and the middle schools due to increasing enrollments. New additions for FY25 include a classroom teacher and specialized support at Menotomy Preschool, an inclusion specialist at Thompson, and various other paraprofessional, tutoring, and custodial roles. Possible future additions if funds become available could include clerical support for special education, additional special education liaisons or service providers, elementary librarians, custodial support, and additional social workers and reading intervention support.

Enrollment Trends and Focal Groups

Enrollment projections show a slight decrease compared to previous projections, with long-term trends moving upwards and beginning to level out. APS has been experiencing steadily growing populations of high-needs students, including BIPOC students, English learners, and students with IEPs. The funding needs to continue to support these focal groups, as recognized in the five-year strategic plan, are increasing.

Kindergarten Registration

As of February 27, there are 152 approved kindergarten registrations and 148 pending, with 300 total in the queue for the next school year. Buffer zone assignments will be provided shortly.

Administrative Searches

The search for new administrators is ongoing, with principal finalists identified for Hardy School and upcoming searches for a K-12 Math Director, METCO Director, and Interim CFO/Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations.

Consent Agenda

The School Committee approved all items on the consent agenda, including a warrant for over $547,000, and minutes from the February 9, 2023 meeting.

Subcommittee and Liaison Reports

  • Budget: Discussions on the budget book and upcoming meetings were noted.
  • Community Relations: Recent school committee chat was well attended, with the next one scheduled for April 6.
  • Facilities: No report.
  • Policies and Procedures: No report.
  • Arlington High School Building Committee: Next meeting is scheduled for the following Tuesday.
  • Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and Accountability: Meeting scheduled for Monday, March 18.

Executive Session

The committee entered into an executive session for negotiations and will not return to public session.



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