School Committee Meeting 1/11/16

The School Committee, composed of new and returning members, met for the first time this year on Monday, Jan. 11, 2016.  The majority of the meeting was focused reflecting on the progress made in Malden, which is continuing to be made, as 2015 came to a close. As always, the public was allowed to address the committee.

First, teachers from the Ferryway School in Malden addressed the committee on behalf of their previous requests. The exponentially increasing number of students in the Malden Public Schools system produces larger class sizes, which can become overwhelming for teachers, especially in the elementary grades.The city has worked towards finding both short and long term solutions to this problem that is evident in all of the schools, not only Ferryway.

Superintendent David DeRuosi discussed the interview process that occurred over winter break for these extra positions. Even though seven people have committed, the city is still on the lookout for more new hires. The schools need as much help as they can get, and “as fast as [DeRuosi gets] them, [he’s] plugging them [into]” the schools. Next year, the city and committee hopes to “work towards budgeting [the extra positions], and putting the information out early on…pulling people in earlier than December.”

Next, Principal Carol Keenan of the Salemwood School in Malden addressed the committee on behalf of the sixth grade’s annual Nature’s Classroom trip. This is the thirteenth year students will be attending the camp, and this year they will travel to Maine for a week of outdoor learning. The goal of Nature’s Classroom is “to meet the common core sixth grade curriculum through an outdoor classroom setting,” explained Keenan. An eighth grade student present reflected on her experience at the camp, saying that it taught everyone to interact with “people [they] wouldn’t interact with in school usually.” As always, the committee approved the trip.

Keenan was also present to address Project 351, which allows her to bring two students who show an “exemplary ethic of service, and the values of kindness, compassion, humility, and gratitude” to Boston to partake in a day of community service. Examples of community service organizations the project partners with are Cradles to Crayons and the Boston Food Bank. Keenan describes Project 351 as a “wealth of experience” for the students in attendance. This is Keenan’s fifth year bringing students to participate in Project 351. The first student she ever took still comes back to this day to talk about how enriching the experience was. This was also approved by the committee.

Finally, DeRuosi addressed the Malden High School principal search. Before winter break, the search committee narrowed down the candidates to two. After further interviews, they have decided to bring Edward Lombardi in for a more in depth conversation about what the role of principal at MHS entails. The committee will soon be making a decision, which will be announced to the community once it is made.

DeRuosi also brought up a few accomplishments the school system has recently made. This year alone, the Salemwood band has quadrupled in size due to the hard work of director Matthew Tavares. Also, four students at MHS were honored with the Posse Scholarship, which is a full tuition ride to a select four year college or university. Erin Craven, MHS’s Posse liaison, was recognized by the Superintendent for her dedication to the scholarship and its process.

The committee agreed that the community of Malden is doing well, especially in the school system at the moment as they wrapped up the meeting. The next meeting will take place on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016 at 6pm in the Council Chamber, and is open to the public.

Related Posts