When a new Superintendent enters a school district for the first time, it is important for he or she to provide opportunities during the first six to nine months to meet with all stakeholders of the community, gather data about the school district, and assess what the next steps should be in moving a school district forward. For new Superintendents, this is called an entry plan, but since I have been an educator in the Reading Public Schools for 23 years, I am referring to it as a transition plan as I transition to this new position.
Since July, I have been interviewing stakeholders from the entire Reading Community to gather data for the plan. So far, I have attended 11 neighborhood coffees and have begun meeting with school staff, PTO, School Councils, Town Officials, and community members. In the next several weeks, I will continue to meet with the above groups, as well as, Senior Center attendees, the Reading Clergy Association, students, and other community organizations. In addition, we will be sending out online and paper surveys to the community for those who cannot attend a meeting and would like to still give input. Some of the questions that I will be asking during these sessions include:
- What are you most proud of in the Reading Public Schools?
- What do you want to preserve most in the Reading Public Schools?
- What has gone well in the school system? What are the strengths?
- What does the school system need to work on?
- What do you think must be maintained at all costs?
- What ideas do you have on how to improve the school district?
- What are the key issues that you think the school system must face?
- What issues do you think should be the highest priorities for this school district?
Over the next several months, I will be sharing with you some of my findings on this blog. The information that I gather from these conversations will help me in determining what is working, what we need to change, and what do we need to preserve the most. Moreover, the data provided will help me develop the FY12 Superintendent’s Recommended Budget. My plan is to present a final report to the Reading School Committee in January.
It is important for me to hear all of your voices so that we can continue to move this school district forward in a positive direction. In the meetings that I have already had with staff, parents, and community members, I have appreciated the honest and candid feedback that I received during those meetings.
If you would like to have an individual meeting with me or host a neighborhood coffee, please contact Linda Engelson, administrative assistant to the Superintendent at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reading School Committee Meeting on Monday, September 27 (7:30 p.m.-Barrows)-The next meeting of the Reading School Committee will be on Monday, September 27 at 7:30 p.m. at Barrows. There will not be office hours prior to this meeting.
This year, the Reading School Committee will be holding meetings at least once in each of the schools. As part of each schoool meeting, the school staff will be highlighting a best practice for their school. This week, the Barrows staff will be doing a presentation on their character education program, Shining Stars.
In addition to the school presentation, the School Committee will be reviewing the timeline for accepting and reviewing nominations for the naming of new facilities or places within or on school property, Assistant Superintendent Patty de Garavilla will be giving a presentation on the 2010 MCAS results, and RMHS teachers Joanne Alvarez and Dr. Jeff Ryan will be discussing proposed RMHS trips to Spain and Russia.
Thank You-A special thank you to the Fantasia, Angelou, and Wright families who hosted neighborhood coffees last week.