The Reading School Committee (SC) of Reading Public Schools (RPS) is meeting on Monday September 18, 2023 (a switch this week from the typical Thursday meetings). The meeting is being held at 7pm at the Reading Memorial High School (RMHS) library and will be broadcast by RCTV and will be accessible via zoom. Links to watch are listed below.
New Leadership Into & Entry Plans
(packet pages 17-29)
The Superintendent will introduce several new RPS leaders across the district, including some of the new assistant principals, and several of these leaders will be presenting their entry plans, including the following leaders
- New Director of R.I.S.E., Ms. Kerry Wilcox (entry plan on pages 18-23 of packet)
- Her plan has 4 phases and includes multiple listening session with staff and families (which constitute first two phases and took place over summer) as well as in-class observation of students (taking place now)
- Priorities include identifying strengths of RISE program, identifying systems/practices currently in place in RISE that should be maintained or changed, and identifying areas of growth for RISE program
- New principal of Killam Elementary School, Ms. Lindsey Fulton (entry plan on pages 24-29 of packet)
- Ms. Fulton’s plan has three phases and, like the RISE plan, the initial phase took place over the summer. Her plan focuses on understanding & highlighting strengths of Killam community, learning the traditions and systems in place, and identifying areas of strength and growthLike the RISE director’s plan, Ms. Fulton’s plan included summer listening sessions with staff and families, as well as visiting classrooms, meetings with other elementary principals, the PTO, and meeting with the project management team for the Killam feasibility studyIn the current phase (“phase 2”), the focus is to “build and grow trusting relationships with the Killam community”. Thus, Ms. Fulton includes in her plan, having lunch with students, establishing weekly communications with families, and connecting with subgroups to identify interventions and supports.
- For the final phase, Ms. Fulton will be “analyzing data and practices to improve instruction and culture” at Killam, which will include conducting a needs-based assessment of Killam and sharing findings with staff and families, looking at Killam data regarding instruction, and assessing use of curriculum materials.
- Interim RMHS Principal, Ms. Jessica Callanan, will also share her broad goals for leadership in the 2023-2024 school year. At the time of this writing, nothing is in the packet relating to this.
- New Director of Finance and Operations, Dr. Derek Pinto, will give a brief overview of his goals as a new member of the district leadership team. At the time of this writing, nothing is provided in the packet relating to this.
District Strategic Plan
For 2023 – 2026 (p. 31-34 of packet).
The meeting will include an overview and key information from the 2023-2026 District Strategic Plan, as well as discussion and vote on this plan. The includes overall, hyperlinked summaries of the 2023-2026 District strategic plan (full plan with hyperlinks to even more information is at this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lM6dlc3XnQR8nOHFMloCoc5uLuFH-H2a/edit ). Note that this plan had been discussed in previous SC meetings.
The information at the hyperlinks is too extensive to discuss in this article, and it may be easiest to go into packet and click on the links for further information.
The overall District strategic objectives are listed on p. 22 of the packet, , including those individuals who helped to develop the goals and some sub tasks,, going back to April 2023. These high-level goals are repeated below. Note that not all personnel who helped to develop goals are RPS employees.
Strategic Objective 1: Supportive, Equitable, and Safe Learning Environment (Leads: Jen Stys, Sarah Marchant, Allison Wright, Emma Costigan, Lynna Williams, Mary Giuliana, Ally Sarno, Ann Ozanian)
Strategic Objective 2: Coherent Instructional Systems (Leads: Sarah Hardy, Caitlin Shelburne, Mary Anne Lynn, Erin Burchill, Jess Callanan, Liam Loscalzo)
Strategic Objective 3: School Operations (Leads: Derek Pinto)
Strategic Objective 4: Family and Community Engagement (Leads: Alissa Gallegos, Theresa Wiggins, Barbara Best, Erica McNamara, Jessica Callanan, Karen Hall, Lisa Egan, Lynna Williams, Sarah Hardy)
Update Draft (p. 36-42 of packet)
This discussion will include covering so-called “focus indicators” for the 2023-2025 superintendent goals, as well as several content updates to previously discussed superintendent goals. These are some of the primary modifications:
- In Goal 1, “By the end of the 2023-2024 school year, with data provided to the district in September of 2024, meet 80% of DESE-determined MCAS achievement and growth targets at school and district levels”, the “80%” is a change from the previous goal of “100%”, which the superintendent states was done to “reflect a more realistic target”.
- In Goal 3, the superintendent added in a key action and benchmark related to early literacy screenings. In particular, he adds a key action to “Prioritize, empower, and support the creation of a centralized, documented, repeatable, and executed process for conducting Early Literacy screenings, including the post-screening data-driven analysis, best-practice research for instructional supports, and family communication for students that register as “At Risk” on the screener in alignment with newly enacted regulation 603 CMR 28.03(f)”
- In Goal 4, the superintendent added a key action relating to developing new assistant principals, which is to “Pilot structure to provide coaching, support, and development for new district assistant principals”
How to Watch this Meeting
The RCTV YouTube live stream link is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FaiGejc8I8
You can also watch via Xfinity channel 6 (“local 3”) or Verizon channel 32.
In addition, you can join the meeting (or watch) via the Zoom link here:
Meeting ID: 836 5702 1146
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