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Showing posts from December, 2014

Wrap Up: Bridge, Bowman, and Estabrook Elementary Schools

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In 2010, the Town of Lexington Public Facilities took advantage of an indoor air quality test offered by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Results revealed that in two schools (Jonas Clarke Middle School and Estabrook Elementary School), concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (known as PCBs) were higher than normal.

Locating the source of PCBs then took considerable sleuthing and further testing. At Clarke, PCBs were found only in window caulking; mitigation was relatively simple to do: remove the caulk, encapsulate the surrounding building masonry, and recaulk windows with non-PCB material.

At Estabrook though, it was an entirely different matter.

Eventually, PCBs were found in all of the floor and ceiling mastic, as well as the window caulk, and in the mastic used to affix both interior and exterior decorative wall panels.

In January of 2012, Lexington voters approved a debt exclusion override to appropriate funds for extraordinary repairs to the Bridge and Bow…

Remembering Summer Learning

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This year, and summer especially, will remain in my memory as one where I explored new methods of learning.

I had already discovered the power of twitter as a personal and professional learning tool, what with various twitter chats in which I began participating in 2011.
Last Spring, I signed up for my first MOOC with coursera. I logged in for the first few days, then, never again. Failure to continue the course was a combination of being somewhat disoriented there, not being as interested in the course as I thought I would be, and a general lack of time.
Undaunted, in July I signed up for an EDx course: The Future of Learning with Professor Richard Elmore. Happily, I found this one to be a topic in which I was not only interested, but engaged in right from the start.

I had been fortunate to attend an introduction to the MOOC on the Harvard campus with Prof Elmore in June. In the course we explored modes of individual and distributed learning and leading through exploration and under…

Addendum to Post on Prioritizing

Proposed Regulations on Time-Out and Restraint were approved by the Board at its Regular Meeting December 16, 2014.

The next FBRC Public Hearing is scheduled for Western MA on January 10, 2015, 11:00 AM. Location: Northampton High School Auditorium, 380 Elm Street, Northampton MA 01060

Prioritizing

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On Tuesday, December 16, 2014 I will attend my fourth regular state Board of Education meeting. Meetings are public, of course, and are recorded, but are not broadcast live, which is different from many School Committee meetings across the Commonwealth.

Following that first regular Board meeting in September, I realized it would be valuable for me to prioritize my time and energy as I become more familiar with this role. I decided to put my energy in three areas:
The Dever School turn-aroundProposed Updates to Regulations on Time-out and Restraint andFY16 Budget/Chapter 701. The Dever School Turn-around.
The Dever School is a K-5 elementary school in Boston,
designated as a Level 5 "chronically underperforming school" (Spring, 2014). This being a new development for the Dever School, the Department of ESE, and a turn-around partner (Blueprint Schools Network), and also co-terminous with my Board appointment, I thought it useful to follow the school's progress until it exits…