Wednesday, June 9, 2010

School Committee - discussion only items - part 1

3. Discussion Only Items

  • Facilities MOU
  • Foreign Language
MOU - memorandum of understanding
covers the agreement for the Town providing the maintenance of the school buildings and grounds
only significant change is term of agreement, proposing to go out five years
still maintains a yearly review with an option for either side to come back and re-do the agreement

Foreign Language
exploring changes to the program
Elementary (K-5) has been cut each year since 2005
eliminate K-5 Spanish and replace with additional programs on health/wellness
students would have PE/Health twice a week
pilot programs with YMCA on food and nutritional items
i.e. addressing the bullying and increase the physical activities
data from MetroWest Foundation reports show need for more foundational work in this area
The "Let's Be Honest" programs held this year were well received

teaching kids about good decision making
start small and gradually develop a full K-5 program
Open Circle would still continue, it is a reactive program, a problem resolution system
we would be adding an instructional piece to enhance that

Yes, we are loosing something. What we are putting back is not what we had sometime ago
It saddens us to make these choices

The Kennedy students who came earlier and showed what they were doing with food, that is a result from the grant work with the Y

We used to say "we are really proud of the Spanish program", now it is all gone

I didn't feel it was responsible for us to take data without providing some guidance to the students on the choices they can make

Middle School foreign language
proposing to eliminate Latin as a foreign language
we have struggled to find certified and qualified teachers in this area
we have had 8 teachers in 4 years, we have looked at different areas to bring the best qualified teachers
maybe this is the time to focus on the high school Latin program and just have Spanish at the middle schools
we tried to work it with one Latin teacher across the Middle schools and the schedule just doesn't work
of the nine applications we found, only three we would bring in for interviews
elementary Spanish teachers would transfer into other positions in the elementary schools

This is a slippery slope that we have been going down with the foreign language programs
The top 10 percent of students were the ones qualifying for the Level 2
It was not a great situation for anyone involved

Maybe an after school or summer school but trying to do it piecemeal wouldn't get real gains from it

I think we need a meeting on the foreign language program as there are pieces flying away
Maybe the meeting wouldn't help us, it is a big change and deserves more attention

We had dropped French to put Latin because it helped in other areas
There is difficulty in finding qualified and certified Latin teachers especially in the middle school area
We would still prefer to have Latin but we can find the right folks to provide the service

230 Latin students in 6th and 7th grade would go into next year as a first year in Spanish?
How to handle them remains to be detailed.

Franklin, MA

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