The Needham School Committee recently adopted the 2014-15 District Goals. Administrators and staff will use the goals to guide our work in the coming year as we collaborate to improve learning. It is an ambitious plan, and one we are proud to share with the community. I encourage students, parents, and community members to become familiar with the plan and ask us about our work along the way.
The document does not describe all of our work nor does it detail each step we propose to take to address a variety of opportunities and challenges. But we believe the goals provide the context, structure, and direction our schools need to move forward and strengthen teaching and learning for all children. Throughout the year the School Committee will receive updates about action steps related to the goals, and in June they will receive a full report about our progress to date.
The School Committee is particularly committed to communicating four key initiatives embedded in the goals:
• Articulate building and renovation needs at Hillside in anticipation of a construction project that will require a debt exclusion and the community’s support.
• Articulate classroom and core space needs at Needham High School in anticipation of a Town Meeting request for both design and construction funds.
• Begin a community discussion and conversation around a pathway to implementation of full day Kindergarten in the Needham Public Schools.
• Ensure the roll out and implementation of the iPad Personalized Learning Initiative at High Rock is successful and shared broadly in an effort to continue to build understanding and support at the middle school level.
You can expect to hear the School Committee discuss and emphasize these initiatives in the year ahead, especially as the community weighs various Town and School building projects as part of the anticipated Facilities Master Plan due out next spring.
The School Committee understands that the Needham community prioritizes education and expects results that demonstrate the commitment and investment parents, citizens, and taxpayers have made to the schools. They also understand that the community must be engaged and participate in a conversation about the needs of the schools if Needham wishes to sustain an educational program that benefits all children and makes Needham an attractive and vibrant town.