Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

School Committee, May 23, 2024

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Arlington School Committee Meeting

Executive Session

The committee entered an executive session for a joyful yet unspecified reason related to collective bargaining and litigation. Attendees who were not participating were required to log out and were invited to rejoin after the executive session. The session was necessary to discuss strategies that might be negatively affected if done in an open meeting. Roll call confirmed unanimous agreement to enter executive session.

Successor Agreement Approval

Post-executive session, the committee voted to approve the successor agreement with the Arlington Education Association and authorized the chair to sign on the committee’s behalf. The negotiation process was highlighted for its collaborative and respectful approach, with thanks extended to those involved, including school committee representatives, the negotiating team, and the AEA. There was acknowledgment of the town’s overriding vote, which facilitated increased compensation. Further, the agreement was termed historic, with extensive benefits relating to parental leave, accountability standards, attendance incentives, and well-strategized meeting structure.

AEA President Julie Keyes expressed gratitude to the Arlington community for their support in passing the override, stating it allowed educators to be better compensated and feel respected, making Arlington a place where they want to work and can afford to.

Summer Programming Report

Discussion on summer programs included details on the programs for literacy, math, MLL (multilingual learner), and ES (extended school year). Programs were designed with certain focuses such as phonemic awareness, fluency, mathematical reasoning, and academic language for newcomers. There was mention of a particular emphasis on access and transportation for participants in the multilingual learner programs.

Updates on high school summer programming detailed various course offerings, including online courses and in-person credit recovery. Mention was made of an effort to provide enrichment opportunities that could help mitigate summer learning loss, with a plan to update the APS website with related information.

District Goals for 24-25

The committee discussed the process for submitting district goals for the following year, with plans to present a more organized proposal in a slide deck format at the next meeting for more straightforward adoption and dissemination.

Superintendent’s Updates

Superintendent updates covered various topics, including recognition of student achievements in the Macy program, acknowledgments in athletics, issues encountered with the red gym at the high school due to water damage, and a note about the upcoming high school graduation ceremony.

In terms of administrative searches, updates were provided on several roles, including the upcoming interim role for the Ottoson Middle School Principal alongside the updates on the current hiring searches for various administrative positions.

Resolutions to Masc Delegate Assembly

The committee approved the advancement of three resolutions for submission to the Masc delegate assembly.

First Read on Policies

The first read was conducted on several policies, which dealt with diverse topics like the relationship with the Superintendent, child find policy, and zero emission vehicle first policy.

Consent Agenda

Approval of the May 9, 2024, school committee meeting minutes was unanimous.

A summary of various subcommittee and liaison reports, announcements, and future agenda items followed. There was a mention of the possible organization of a retreat for better alignment and teamwork between the superintendent and the school committee.



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