North Adams Schools Annual Report Surveys ProgramsBy Tammy Daniels
08:30PM / Tuesday, September 04, 2012
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The School Committee was presented with the annual public school report for 2012 at Tuesday's meeting.
The city's principals listen to a discussion at Tuesday night's School Committee meeting.
The comprehensive, 22-page summary compiled by Ellen Sutherland, assistant to the superintendent, outlined highlights over the past year for programming, student achivement and extracurricular activities.
"We have a lot going and this isn't even all of it," said Superintendent of Schools James Montepare. "It kind of boosts your spirit a little bit to see all the hard work that everyone is putting in to this."
Among the highlights:
• Some 89, or 77 percent, the 116 seniors who graduated Drury High School in June have gone on to higher education; five have entered the military and 20 the work force.
• The Drury Drama Team won the $300 prize for theater etiquette with a three-minute film showed at the International Thespian Film Festival; the team marks its 25th year with a production of the "Wizard of Oz" this fall.
• The girls soccer team won the Southern Division Championship; the softball team earned a spot in the Western Mass. Division II final; the boys basketball team went to The Cage for Western Mass. play.
• More than 300 students, staff and parents participated in the public schools volunteer programs; some 1,400 students, or 89 percent of enrollment, particpated in community service learning.
The summary also looked at the use of Student Support Centers, the Community and Adult transition programs, the Positive Options Program, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program (which serves half the children at Greylock, Sullivan and Brayton) and the popular summer programs.
School Committee member Mary Lou Acetta said the report had piqued her interest.
"Reading it made me want to hear from the people who are doing it," she said. "Several things struck me that would be nice to hear about."
She also asked about visiting the sites. Montepare said School Committee members, and parents as well, are welcome the visit the programs.
"They just need a little bit of heads up but they are so used to having people visiting," he said adding that state and education officials and professionals frequently tour the programs. "We bring people around all the time."
The policy is to notify the superintendent's office and make an appointment through the appropriate principal's office. School Committee members' visits are not considered official unless authorized through the School Committee.
Mayor Richard Alcombright, chairman of the School Committee, said presentations could be made to the committee as well, if the members desired.
The committee filed two issues raised last month: delinquent lunch payments and the distribution of fliers.
The administration proffered a possible policy for collections and penalties based on those used at other schools but the mayor felt the process had too much of an affect on the children.
Vice Chairwoman Heather Boulger, who was not at last month's meeting, thought the policy should be simpler and move to small claims court faster. "I think it's kind of overkill for six families out of 1,500," she said.
The superintendent set a policy for distributing fliers once a month with the idea of later looking into a digital posting board for them.
The committee left both issues with the administration.
In other business, the committee:
• Approved the placement of portable toilets at John J. DelNegro Field by the Drury Football Booster Club. Members also discussed the difficulty of elderly and others accessing the field. Montepare said he would look into the use of golf carts.
• Approved the senior class trip to High Meadow Resort in North Granby, Conn., on Friday, May 31, at a cost of $50 per student. Fundraisers have been organized to help defray costs for students. The resort offers food, games, activities and pool.
North Adams Public Schools Annual Report FY 2012