Notebook for May 21 School Committee Meeting

End of year check list.

  • Gretchen Stalters of the Norton Embracing Educational Development organization announced that $12,330 in grants has been awarded to five different programs at Norton Public Schools. Those programs include speakers for Kent Taylor’s classroom; books that promote special needs awareness at ; iPods, headphones and downloadable audio books to be used to promote a balanced literary program at Solmonese; two SMART Boards at ; and responsive classroom training for teachers at Solmonese. Tune in tomorrow morning for more on this story.
  • Elizabeth A. LaVerghetta and Kady Ferguson were chosen as the valedictorian and salutatorian respectively for the Class of 2012. 
  • Two books were approved for the World History and American History Through Music courses at Norton High School. Though the history book was approved unanimously, there was a little dissension in approving “Rockin’ in Time” due to some explicit language in the contents. For more on this story check in again this afternoon.
  • All Norton Public Schools went over their School Improvement Plans which contained techniques they’ve implemented to improve excellence in curriculum, school culture and facilities. At the high school level, one goal was to increase MCAS performance by looking at individual test items and improve weak areas. Principal Raymond Dewar also noted that this year between 200 and 300 students are enrolled in AP English, Social Studies, Mathematics, Science and World Language each. In Norton Middle School, extra classes and tutoring has been made available to students to make sure they increase academic achievement. Full inclusion special education students has also been a focus. Plans are in the works to identify at risk students by the first progress report. Once they are identified, they will sit down with teachers to figure out what is going on, how they can improve their grades and check back in four weeks later. At the elementary schools, teachers are focusing on writing prompts to improve literacy skills. Co-teaching has also been a focus so that students can experience two teaching methods.
  • Several changes were made to the high school handbook. The process for summer school will be outlined. The club list was updated, redundant violations were deleted and electronic cigarettes, tobacco and any other nicotine delivery device was prohibited. Students will be allowed make important phone calls in the foyer during lunch and in the classroom when the teacher has instructed to do so. They may not use them during a lockdown. The handbook revisions also remind students to secure valuables in lockers. No major changes were made to the middle school handbook.
  • The first piece of steel for the Norton High School building project has arrived. A ceremony will be held June 7 to commemorate the occasion. The project should start moving along quickly after that.
  • The School Committee will be accepting applications for qualified interim superintendents for another week and a half. Only those with superintendent and assistant superintendent experience will be considered.
  • Student Council members Kady Ferugson and Sara Pisdadian passed the torch as student representatives on the School Committee to Bryce McCarthy and Tyler McNeill. Tune in tomorrow for more on this story.


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