Report on School Committee Meeting
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Full agenda and materials available at: http://lps.lexingtonma.org/cms/lib2/MA01001631/Centricity/Domain/231/28Apr15SCAgendaPacket.pdf
Several important items were discussed at the School Committee meeting on April 28, 2015.
- Permanent building committee looking for members: The school committee has the opportunity to appoint members to this committee to focus specifically on the large school building projects. A letter is available on the Lexington Public Schools website (http://lps.lexingtonma.org/cms/lib2/MA01001631/Centricity/Domain/4/PBC%20Invitation%20to%20Apply.pdf). Please consider applying if you are interested in contributing to this important (and time-consuming) process!
- Update on building planning, including Hastings:
- The process has begun in earnest to implement the planning process approved at special town meeting. The same architect and project manager used for the Estabrook project have been hired. The architect has already met with various stakeholders at each school and presented their initial thoughts to Dr. Ash and the central office staff. The architect is starting to consider different options and determine what is feasible. One initial finding is that it would be feasible to build a Hastings School that includes a preschool on the existing Hastings land, but it is possible this would mean losing the baseball field. Dr. Ash emphasized that all of these explorations are in the early stages.
- A series of three meetings with the public will be held to continue the exploration process. These meetings will be part of the process leading to a more substantial report at the June 16 School Committee meeting.
- May 4, 7pm @ Clarke MS: To focus on the middle schools
- May 5, 7pm @ Fiske: To focus on Fiske, Bowman, and Bridge
- May 12, 7pm @ Hastings: To focus on Hastings
- Hill & Co., the project manager, will manage a website about the project. This will be linked by next week to the Lexington Public Schools site and is expected to be updated every two weeks.
- Roundtable about Lexington Youth: Roundtable about Lexington youth to be held on June 2. This will be an opportunity for multiple town committees to join together to discuss goals regarding young people that might take multiple perspectives. This roundtable might lead to the creation of a Lexington Youth Commission.
- Discussion of 2016-2017 school calendar: The committee voted to start school before Labor Day in 2016. (This is also the plan for next school year, 2015-2016. The calendar for the upcoming school year was previously approved and is available at: http://lps.lexingtonma.org/cms/lib2/MA01001631/Centricity/Domain/4/1516Calendar27may14.pdf)
- Technical report on redistricting: The School Committee was presented with a technical report about redistricting approaches. This was not intended to be used for any immediate action but was to start gathering information. Using GIS software and conversations with other local districts, the report focuses on three approaches to redistricting, including their pros and cons. The committee and superintendent emphasize that this is merely to inform discussions. The report is available at: http://lps.lexingtonma.org/cms/lib2/MA01001631/Centricity/Domain/231/28Apr15SCAgendaPacket.pdf
- Decision made to address Fiske overcrowding in 2015-16 school year: The committee unanimously approved converting an art classroom into a general education classroom for next year. This was chosen over the option of assigning incoming kindergarten students without an older sibling at Fiske to Estabrook. The Fiske PTO, superintendent, and principal all supported this option.