This week we provided a detailed briefing to the School Committee on our school security efforts. Since SY2012-2013, we have made significant progress to improve our preparedness, while not detracting from the type of teaching and learning environment we want to maintain throughout the District. Much of the recent conversation within the community has been focused on the type of training we are providing at each of our schools, which I’d like to touch on briefly.
As you know, our approach has been to focus first on our staff. Beginning with our adoption of the A.L.I.C.E. approach following the Newtown tragedy, the Wellesley Police Department started working with our staff annually on the basics of A.L.I.C.E., which are far more dynamic than a traditional lockdown. We also updated all of our school crisis plans and medical emergency plans. Last spring, all administrators participated in realistic active-shooter training to further develop our skills and prepare for this work, rolling out to staff at each of our schools, which occurred this fall.
With staff preparation in place, we have been planning our student training, which has already begun to be implemented. A big shout-out to the staff at Schofield, particularly Principal Gerardo Martinez, for piloting our first elementary training for students. Rather than defining this work as active-shooter training, these emergency drills include instructions on how to make our classrooms safe, as well as how to leave the building quickly from egress points out into the surrounding neighborhoods. By grounding this work in the context of safety preparation already familiar to students, we believe we can increase their preparedness while not increasing their anxiety. This same template, along with the continued support and direction of the Wellesley Police and Fire Departments, is now moving to all schools.
Going forward, school safety will remain a standing focus for our District as evidenced by our significant building security upgrades and our ongoing training. What cannot be lost or overlooked, however, is the work we do each day to build caring, trusting relationships with our students and their families. That, above all else, will help ensure that we know our students well, that we are supporting them through struggles, and that we are building their capacity—and sense of responsibility—to take care of each other. That’s an approach to security that I remain proud to support and that I believe reflects our Core Values.
3/26/18 – Annual Town Meeting Begins – 7 pm – WMS
3/28/18 – SC Meeting – 6:30 pm – Town Hall
Last week’s Bulletin omitted one of our 25 Year honorees, Leonie Nakayama. The following is her narrative. Congratulations to Leonie and apologies for the omission!
Leonie started her career as a fifth grade teacher at Schofield School and is now teaching fourth grade. She remembers the days when the ‘cutting and pasting’ narrative for progress reports, meant just that . . . .cutting out the typewritten narrative and pasting it on the progress report paper! Over the years she has traveled to China, through primary source and WEF, and to Columbia University, to enrich her knowledge of content.
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 2018-19 school year, please click registrar. The Application and Letter of Intent Deadline is May 1, 2018.
Graduate Course Reimbursement
Course reimbursement funding of $30,000 is available to distribute in FY19 among qualified teachers. This funding is for graduate course work done as part of a master’s degree program to fulfill a teacher’s obligations for the Massachusetts Educators Professional License and for course work required to achieve the next stage of licensure culminating in a professional license and/or when a specialist teacher’s immediate supervisor, subject to the approval of the Assistant Superintendent, verifies that there are no further in-district courses available for recertification in that specialist’s field, that specialist may apply for tuition reimbursement. Any Unit A member for whom no DESE license exists, including but not limited to occupational and physical therapists, so long as that member maintains appropriate certification and/or licensure required to perform his or her duties, shall be eligible to apply for tuition reimbursement. To apply for this course reimbursement, please send, by no later June 1, 2018 the completed spruillv. You will be notified of the amount awarded to you sometime prior to the first paycheck in September 2018. Please note: all information must be received by June 1, 2018 or you will be disqualified for reimbursement. All courses must have occurred in the summer of 2017, fall of 2017 and spring of 2018 and have been completed by June 1, 2018. Any courses taken prior to the summer of 2017 will not be considered 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.