Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

School Committee, April 25, 2024

Public Hearing on School Choice

Under the mandate by state law and the inter-district school choice law, MGL 7612, a public hearing was conducted regarding the admission of non-resident students. The School Committee reaffirmed the policy not to admit non-resident students due to a lack of space in the district. The motion to notify the Department of Education that the Arlington Public Schools will not participate in the school choice program passed unanimously with a 5-0 vote.

Public Comment

With no public in the room and no one on Zoom for comments, the public comment was bypassed.

AHS Student Representatives Report

Student representatives reported on various student activities, including the final round of inclusion and diversity workshops, a Mario Kart tournament, ongoing prom dress drive, course and orchestra trip to Carnegie Hall, Junior prom, and an upcoming ecofair on May 10.

Heterogeneous Grouping Presentation

Doctor Jenger presented data on the heterogeneous grouping pilot in English 9, detailing increased participation in honors level curriculum (from under 50% to 76%), steady student grades, and how the process ties into Arlington Public School’s strategic plan and commitment to inclusion and equity. The recommendation was made to continue the practice in the 9th grade and to conduct ongoing evaluations, surveys, and discussions on leveling practices and curriculum challenges. There were further discussions including clarifications and a vote by the committee to support continuing the practice of heterogeneous grouping in English 9 in a non-pilot status.

Superintendent’s Report

Doctor Mona Ford Walker provided the superintendent’s report in Doctor Holman’s absence. Updates included administrative hiring searches, the reception of the teacher diversification grant, school events such as the Bishop schools’ science night, and noteworthy future events including a Carnegie Hall performance, Mean Girls Junior play, prize celebration event, and updated enrollment reports.

Consent Agenda

The consent agenda was approved, including warrant number 24263, school committee meeting minutes, and a field trip approval for the National History Day competition.

Subcommittee and Liaison Reports

  • Budget Subcommittee: A meeting will be scheduled soon.
  • Community Relations Subcommittee: A meeting will be scheduled soon.
  • Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment, and Accountability Subcommittee: A possible meeting is being discussed.
  • Facilities Subcommittee: no updates provided.
  • Policies and Procedures Subcommittee and Arlington High School Building Committee: No updates were provided.

Other Business

A proposal by student Alexandra Lei for a Climate Resilient Schools Coalition project was referred to the Community Relations Subcommittee for further discussion.

Executive Session

The committee entered an executive session to discuss strategy for negotiations with the non-union personnel and collective bargaining. They returned to open session to approve the employment contract for Francis Gorski as the new Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations and authorized the chair to sign the agreement.


The meeting was adjourned following the approval of the employment contract.



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