Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

School Committee, April 11, 2024

Student Representative Update

Inclusion Workshops and Student Activities at AHS

The student representative reported on recent activities at Arlington High School (AHS). There have been inclusion workshops that were well-received by the students. Additionally, AHS students have participated in events including the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association and witnessing a solar eclipse. The science department provided solar glasses for safe viewing of the eclipse.

Field Trip Discussion and Possible Approval

Proposed Trip to Italy for Latin and Italian Students

Cassandra Mia, a Latin teacher at AHS, proposed a second trip to Italy scheduled for April of next year. This nine-day trip is primarily intended for Latin students, but Italian students are welcome as well. The goal is to enrich the students’ understanding of Roman history by visiting significant sites. The trip is facilitated by the tour group Prometour, which has a track record of organizing similar trips for the school. The committee expressed support for the trip. Dr. Allison Ampe raised a concern regarding Italy’s COVID-19 quarantine requirements and the necessity for sufficient chaperones in case a student tests positive. Cassandra confirmed that they meet the chaperone requirements and have contingency plans. The school committee approved the trip with a 6-0-1 vote, with Ms. Morgan abstaining due to her request for a broader strategy around international travel access and support.

June School Committee Meeting Discussion

Proposal to Move the June School Committee Meeting Date

Dr. Homan, the superintendent, suggested rescheduling the June 6 school committee meeting due to a conflict with the lab program graduation event that committee members and the superintendent attend. The intention was to combine the June meeting agendas, potentially eliminating the need for the last meeting in June. After considering other commitments, the committee postponed the decision to identify a suitable new date.

Superintendent’s Update

Activities and Achievements

  • Students participated in inclusion workshops with a keynote address by Reverend Matthew Thompson. They engaged in creative and inspiring activities.
  • AHS’s student-produced musical “Twelfth Night” was successful, highlighting student involvement in various production aspects.
  • OMS students attended the Ideas Middle School conference for discussions on racial equity.
  • Seventeen OMS students and five AHS students will compete at National History Day in Maryland.
  • Three APS staff members have achieved their Doctor of Education degrees.
  • Several administrator positions are being filled or have searches underway.

Enrollment and Facility Updates

  • Current kindergarten enrollment numbers were presented.
  • The Menotomy PreK playground will be completed after the break.

Upcoming Discussions and Issues

  • A future meeting will address the continuation of 9th-grade inclusive grouping at AHS and considerations for broader educational strategies.
  • Draft district goals will be presented in early May.
  • The need for adjustments to buffer zones and school boundaries will be explored, especially concerning Thompson’s increasing student numbers and limited space. The process will be gradual, affecting new enrollments, and current students will not be required to change schools.

Other Business

Approvals and Announcements

  • The committee consented to various routine items, including meeting minutes and financial warrants.
  • The committee will need to review and renew appointments to the Permanent Town Building Committee, considering the upcoming expiration of current member terms.

The meeting concluded with a notice that members would enter an executive session for negotiation strategies and would not return to the public session. Subsequent to the executive session, the meeting would adjourn.



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