The City Council has a rule allowing roundtables should be televised, city councillor Nadeem Mazen noted during a budget talk with the School Committee, which has no such rule. “Is there any reason why we think that citizens don’t want to see this meeting?”
Free food for all students, new schools in the Alewife and NorthPoint neighborhoods and a debate over whether the city or schools department would lead on universal preschool were among the topics at a meeting of the School Committee and City Council.
A students’ proposal reacting to recent hate speech gave heft to a School Committee meeting otherwise light on policy Tuesday, concerning a motion to “ensure the safety and feeling of belonging for all groups in our schools.”
Progress on two long-standing committee goals and reports that the city has offered to increase property tax revenues, adding money to the school district, left School Committee members energized at a budget update.
The public hearing and budget subcommittee meeting held Thursday were added to the existing budget calendar as recently as Jan. 17, after a request to meet with city councillors on the same date, and not without causing some tension.
School Committee members listed their priorities in round robin-style Thursday, immediately after a public hearing. The topics were varied but often focused on providing stronger staff supports to students in and out of the classroom.
The case against world language was made Thursday – this time by educators and parents who cited “innovation fatigue” and an already insufficient amount of time to spend on core content areas in a six-hour school day.
Assistant Superintendent for Student Services Victoria Greer is set to leave, becoming the new superintendent of schools in the town of Sharon, some 30 miles south of Cambridge, the school committee there announced.
Acknowledging that some staff still feel “discouraged from speaking,” union head Dan Monahan said he is working with the School Committee and administration to make the budget process “both safe and deeply engaging for educators.”
CRLS staff is moving ahead on a plan to “detrack” English Language Arts classes for all first-year students. Gone will be the split between honors and the more basic “college prep” courses, giving more students a path to higher academic achievement.