This week, Wellesley’s Annual Town Meeting convened for its first two nights. (For those who don’t know, Wellesley has a representative town meeting format with 240 elected Town Meeting Members representing eight precincts.) After presenting our budget for FY2018 on the first night, I fielded a range of questions on the second night. One important topic that came up was why WPS doesn’t have a gifted and talented program. In my response, I noted our desire to have rigor in all classrooms and acknowledged some anxiety about creating an exclusive program only open to select students and its impact on expectations for all children. (I did not get into the details of how difficult it would be to manage the screening alone of such a program.) At the same time, I believe our approach to differentiating our practice to meet the needs of all learners should include support for advanced students. There are many examples of this approach already in place throughout the district and I want to challenge us to continue thinking of pathways that are responsive to students at every point along the achievement continuum.
Another topic that came up at Town Meeting was the District’s technology budget and the choices we are making on devices. There was a (failed) motion to remove approximately one million dollars from our budget, predicated on the District ceasing to purchase any more Apple products and converting to Chromebooks for next year. The cost and longevity of our investments in technology are certainly legitimate questions. In response, I reminded the audience of a few important points of context. First, we piloted Chromebooks several years ago and there were a number of problems with their durability. Additionally, Chromebooks won’t support any Java-based utilities and are not compatible with our printers, Apple TVs and the interactive features of our classroom SmartBoards. In short, the digital ecosystem that is present in our schools and that we have built curricula around, cannot be changed in a single year. We are not married to Apple products in perpetuity, and in fact our high school approach starting next year is to allow students to bring the laptop of their choice to school. I appreciate the great work of our Technology Department to stay on top of these issues as the field continues to move incredibly fast.
Finally, I want to give a huge shout-out to Kalise Wornum, who successfully defended her dissertation recently and will be receiving her doctorate later this spring. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Wornum on this terrific achievement during a year in which her leadership has been invaluable to our district.
Thanks to each of you for all that you do for our students each day and I hope you have a great weekend.
04/03 & 04/04/17 – Annual Town Meeting – 7 pm WMS Auditorium
04/12/17 – Footnotes Dance Performance – 7 pm WHS Auditorium
04/14 – 04/21/17 – School Vacation Week
04/25/17 – SC Meeting – 7 pm Town Hall
Support summer reading for METCO students and books for the school libraries
Wellesley Books is hosting a spring book fair, April 5-8, in honor of METCO’s 50th Anniversary with 20 percent of the proceeds going to Friends of Wellesley METCO Inc (FWMI). FWMI will use these funds toward the summer reading program, in which books are given/mailed to all METCO students to read over the summer. This program was started at Bates, and has been expanded throughout the district. FWMI would also like to offer the summer reading titles to each school library so they are available to all students year-round.
We hope you will have the chance to stop into Wellesley Books during this time (Wednesday – Saturday, 9am-9pm) and use the attached coupon. Thank you!
The Moving Company presents Footnotes Dance Performance
Wednesday, April 12th @ 7PM – Katherine L Babson Jr Auditorium at Wellesley High School.
“Footnotes” is a dance performance collaborative featuring both professional dance companies and local schools. Performances range from Jazz to Contemporary Ballet to African and Contemporary Modern, just to name a few. Student choreographed pieces will be showcased by the Moving Company. In addition to the Moving Company, Footnotes includes performances from WHS Step Squad, Dana Hall, Cambridge School of Weston, Rhode Island College, the WMS Moving Company, the Mini Movers and an award winning Chinese folk dance troupe.
Tickets: $10 adults, $5 students K-12, free for seniors. Available online or at the door.
Teach at P.A.W.S. this Summer!
We are looking for instructors to teach the summer preschool program at P.A.W.S. for preschoolers with and without identified special needs, ages 3-5. Staff can opt to teach for 2.5 hours a day or 4.5 hours a day, Monday-Thursday, July 5- August 8. Click here for additional information on schedule and salary. Applications are due by April 7, 2017
2017 Summer Special Education Program
Elementary, Middle and High School Positions Available
We are looking for lead teachers, paraprofessionals, teaching assistants, and related service providers to teach WPS summer programs for Elementary School, Middle School and High School. Teaching experience and license within content, or related service area required. Familiarity with WPS learning goals preferred. Applicants for positions within academic strands must state their preferred grade level and content area. Times and days may vary based on programming. For information and an application for Elementary positions, please click here. For information and applications for the Middle and High School Positions, please click here.
Apply Now to Enroll Children of Non-Resident WTA Members in Wellesley Public Schools
Children of teachers or nurses residing outside of Wellesley shall be entitled to attend Wellesley Public Schools without charge for tuition on a space-available basis (Article 12, WTA Unit A Contract). If you are interested in this benefit for the 2017-18 school year, please click here to access the form. Once complete, please return the form, along with a letter of intent, to District Registrar Nancy Costigliola in Central Office or email it back to her at email@example.com. The Application and Letter of Intent Deadline is May 1, 2017.
Graduate Course Reimbursement Guidelines/Deadline
Course reimbursement funding of $30,000 is available to distribute in FY18 among qualified teachers. This funding is for graduate course work done to obtain a master’s degree and/or a teacher’s professional license. Newly added benefits this year allow course reimbursement for specialists including physical therapists and occupational therapists to recertify their professional or allied health license. The Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning must verify in advance that there are no further in-district specialist courses available in order for the specialists to apply for course reimbursement. To apply for this course reimbursement, please send by no later June 1, 2017, your name, evidence of your enrollment in an applicable master/doctoral degree program, name and description of the course, evidence of course cost (a billing statement), proof of payment (i.e. credit card statement, canceled check or receipt of payment), and transcript to Valerie Spruill, Administrative Assistant to the Director of Human Resources, spruillv. You will be notified of the amount awarded to you some time prior to the first paycheck in September 2017. Please note: all information must be received by June 1, 2017 or you will be disqualified for reimbursement. All courses must have occurred in the summer of 2016, fall of 2016 and spring of 2017 and have been completed by June 1, 2017. Any courses taken prior to the summer of 2016 will not count for reimbursement.
Insurance Benefits Information
Health and Dental Insurance Benefits information is handled by the Town Hall Benefits Office. Inquiries should be directed to Joanne Liburd at JLiburd or by calling 781-431-1019 extension 2244.
WPS Internal Job Postings on District Website
Please be aware that we added a new feature called “Internal Job Postings” under the Faculty tab of the District’s website. We will post all of our internal jobs under this website tab. Therefore, you will no longer see internal job postings in the bulletin. This new way of posting will allow us to post internal positions any day of the week.