Joint Meeting Studies Superintendent Goals

On November 17, Old Rochester Regional High School Principal Mike Devoll spoke highly of a recent screening of Screenagers held at the high school, and he praised the staff for putting the screening together.

The movie helps parents understand the impact of the digital age on their children and offers them tips to minimize harmful effects and find balance.

“It was a packed house,” Devoll said, “and as a matter of fact, I still have parents calling me wondering if there will be another showing since they missed the first one. The next question is … Where do we go next with it?”

Assistant Superintendent Elise Frangos gave an overview of the school system’s MCAS and PARCC results. Since the numbers were covered in more detail at each school committee’s individual meeting, she didn’t cover many of the separate grade scores but instead concentrated on the overall scores of each school.

“Center School and Sippican Elementary are both Level 1 schools,” she said, referring to the fact that each school ranks in at least the 80th percentile within the state. “Rochester Memorial is currently a Level 2 school, but this year it’s at the 79th percentile. Its expected growth puts it at Level 1 shortly.”

“The current accountability system will be changing according to the Department of Education,” added Superintendent Doug White. “We don’t know yet what will happen, but keep an eye out for any changes when the new president takes office.”

White next introduced the goals that the Superintendent Evaluation Sub-committee had planned to the faculty and staff ringing the room.

The sub-committee – a joint venture including members from all three school committees – came together to decide on the superintendent’s goals for the 2017-2018 school year. White led the room through what they had come up with. The first goal was to support social and emotional learning for all students.

“I will assist all students and staff to develop and learn more about social and emotional learning opportunities,” he said.

The second goal underlined the need for increased transparency in the school’s budget-forming process.

“I plan to work with school personnel and committees to increase transparency, awareness, participation and engagement in each of the district’s budget processes,” White said.

The third goal introduced the use of technology within the school system. White promised to assist all administrators to ensure the sustainability of technology at all levels.

“We need to make sure that this technology is appropriate for the best interests of all ages learning,” White explained, “but we also need to educate the community on what this technology is and how it can be applied. They need to understand how it can enrich students’ lives and lead to different careers. It encourages us to have a broad definition of technology.”

The sub-committee was a success for its members, said School Committee member Sharon Hartley.

“This is one of the best committee experiences I’ve ever had,” said Hartley.

“This is the first time I walked away feeling like these goals were our goals,” echoed School Committee member Christine Marcolini.

The joint meeting covered new instructional strategies at the end of the meeting.

“We need to support high level instructional strategies which ensure academic rigor for all students,” said Frangos.

“We want high experience for all students, and we’re taking the opportunity to learn as administrators to make sure the best strategies are being used in the classroom,” White added.

The next meeting of the Joint School Committee is scheduled for January 19 at 6:30 pm in the ORRJHS media room.

By Andrea Ray


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