Thursday, June 6, 2013
School board supports Sullivan's proposed changes to Doret's draft.
The Westborough public schools' chemical health policy changed Wednesday night to a "compromise" between two proposals: "clarifications" offered by the school board's chemical health policy subcommittee, and a document drafted by Vice Chairman Stephen Doret. The school board approved the compromise policy offered by member Nicole Sullivan by a 3-1-1 vote. Sullivan, Doret and Chairman Ilyse Levine-Kanji voted for it. Member Bruce Tretter voted against it. Member Jody Hensley abstained. The revised policy sets school penalties for Westborough students found "knowingly in the presence of" alcohol or drugs -- only at school-sponsored functions, and only if they don't use Westborough's PAL program (or a successor) to leave. "These students are …
Friday, May 10, 2013
The school committee voted the move Wednesday night.
Westborough's school rental fees won't change during the next school year, the school committee decided Wednesday night. District Director of Finance and Administration Irene Oliver recommended this decision. She also recommended the board revisit the topic in the fall, with any changes then applying to the following year.
Facility renters issue their pamphlets in February, Oliver said. Chairman Ilyse Levine-Kanji said facility renters had asked her and Oliver if the fees would be increasing. Oliver said this year's data is not complete.
She compared this year's data to the past two years' for the same period: fiscal 2011, $37,678; fiscal 2012, $34,136; fiscal 2013, $31,823. "We're dropping down slightly, but we're still around the same …
Thursday, May 9, 2013
The school committee voted this decision Wednesday night.
The Westborough public schools will not accept students from other school districts through Massachusetts' School Choice program. The school committee voted Wednesday night for Westborough not to participate in School Choice. School Superintendent Marianne O'Connor recommended the vote, which came during a public hearing at the Forbes Municipal Building. "We're filled to capacity right now at our K to 3 schools. Mill Pond sixth grade, the numbers are significantly high," O'Connor said. The schools also have "already received a group of students" from Toll Brothers' new Westborough Village, a 276-unit residential project at 15 Gleason St., near the Westborough commuter rail station, she said.
The union requested the move.
The Westborough School Committee will open contract negotiations with the school administrators' union. The board voted the move Wednesday night. School Superintendent Marianne O'Connor said the union requested it. "Their contract is up. Their salary schedule is up at the end of this year," she explained.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
The board met Wednesday night.
The Westborough School Committee on Wednesday night observed a moment of silence for those affected by the Boston Marathon tragedy. School Superintendent Marianne O'Connor said "I think our schools dealt very, very well" with the tragedy "in a variety of ways" when classes resumed Monday after the April vacation. "Everything was pretty much age appropriate to the schools." The schools opened Monday with a moment of silence, O'Connor told Westborough Patch earlier this week. The district's crisis team was ready to support students and staff, she said.
Several parents attended Wednesday night's school committee meeting.
If Westborough students are found "knowingly in the presence of" alcohol or drugs at "unsupervised, underage gatherings," should school officials prohibit them from participating in school-related events? Wednesday night, the school committee and a number of parents debated clarifications to the school district's chemical health policy proposed by the board's policy subcommittee. Parent Michael Donovan said the term "knowingly in the presence of" penalized --by "guilt by association" -- students who attend such functions but do not use drugs or alcohol. Several parents agreed. In contrast, Westborough High School Assistant Principal Brian Callaghan called the policy "an improvement on our former policy." He added that "something we cannot …
Sunday, April 21, 2013
The schools return from spring break on Monday.
The Westborough public schools' crisis team is ready to support students and staff regarding the Boston Marathon tragedy, School Superintendent Marianne O'Connor said today. The schools will start Monday with a moment of silence, she added. Monday is Westborough's first day of school since the tragedy. The schools were on their annual spring break last week. "Many in our community may have been personally affected by the Boston Marathon tragedy, and all of us have been impacted by the proximity of the week's events so close to home," O'Connor told families and staff in an e-mail this morning, which she also sent to Westborough Patch. "Regardless of where you were last week, you could not have avoided the disturbing scenes played over and …
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Fairness cited in vote.
Citing fairness, the Westborough School Committee affirmed and enforced its entrance age policy Wednesday night. The unanimous vote leaves the 13 Westborough families who sent their children to Kindergarten in Worcester, which has a younger entrance age, this year with two options for next fall, Assistant School Superintendent Daniel Mayer said: enroll in Westborough's Kindergarten program, either the half-day or full-day sessions; or attend first grade in Worcester, continuing there through Massachusetts' school choice program. The Westborough public schools require students be five by Sept. 1 to enter Kindergarten, and six by that date to enter first grade. The children affected by Wednesday night's vote did not meet that Kindergarten …
Thursday, March 28, 2013
The school committee approved the change Wednesday night.
Westborough students will have a half-day of school this Friday -- Good Friday -- to avoid shortening summer vacation by a Monday this June. The school committee voted Wednesday night to change this Friday's scheduled day off. School Superintendent Marianne O'Connor recommended the change, citing Westborough having used five snow days this winter. The school board’s vote makes the last day of school Friday, June 21 rather than Monday, June 24. “Our camp programs in town begin on that day. People have already pre-paid for many of the events that have taken place. We have faculty that are taking course work that week. We have faculty that have summer jobs, that start their job that day. We have families that are traveling,” O’Connor said. “…
Monday, March 25, 2013
O'Connor will ask school board for OK on Wednesday.
Westborough students could find themselves in school on Good Friday -- for a half day -- due to this winter's five snow days. School Superintendent Marianne O'Connor will ask the school committee this Wednesday night to approve the calendar change "due to the unusual number of weather related missed school days," she told families and staff on a letter distributed in last Thursday's Virtual Backpacks. No school is scheduled for this Friday, which is Good Friday. "I understand that this is a late notice for those who have already made plans. However, this will allow for additional time for missed instruction as we prepare students for MCAS and other course assessments," O'Connor wrote. "This change in our current school calendar will also …