I hope you each had a restful April vacation and a productive first week back in school. It’s hard to believe there are only seven weeks of the school year left!
I want to give thanks to our colleagues at Wellesley High School for all of their work to transition to full, in-person schedules this week. This completes a month-long process of making this transition across all grade levels and has represented an extraordinary level of planning and coordination. Thanks to all of our staff and community partners who have helped make this happen.
This week we also had good news in that our budget for FY22 was approved on the second night of Annual Town Meeting (ATM). Many of the questions I fielded this year at ATM were related to release last week of the U.S. News and World Report Rankings of High Schools. Wellesley High School was ranked #26 in the state, a point of great concern for some members of our community. Each year, it seems, these and other rankings receive a significant amount of attention as they are perceived as quality indicators of our district’s work. As I have written in this space more than once over the years, these media outlet rankings only assess the particular set of indicators selected by the source and can vary quite significantly depending on which set of rankings are being reviewed. For example, Niche.com currently ranks WPS as the #4 district in the state and WHS as the #8 high school. We go from being a peacock in one set of rankings to a feather-duster in another. The bottom line is that no ranking system of which I am aware is a true measure of the breadth of what we are trying to accomplish in schools. Each year I am affirmed that our approach is the right one by the feedback we receive from graduates who regularly report how prepared they feel for their lives in college and beyond. I also know that our success should not be measured by the progress of our advanced students only. Success must be measured by the progress of ALL students. And on that point, we still have a great deal of work to do to address issues of disproportionality within our district. We certainly have room to grow, but I can’t imagine traveling down this road of improvement with a better set of colleagues.
Thanks for all that you do for our students and for each other. Enjoy the weekend.
4/30/21 – Deadline for WPS Enrollment of Faculty Children
5/05/21 – Open Enrollment for Employee Benefits Ends
5/11/21 – SC Meeting 6:30 pm
5/19/21 – Return to School Listening Session: 6:00 – 7:30 pm
5/31/21 – Memorial Day – No School
06/1/21 – Deadline for Course Reimbursement Submissions
Teacher Leadership Opportunity: Equity Facilitator
The Offices of DE&I and Professional Development are seeking teacher leaders to join the District’s cohort of Equity Facilitators for Fall 2021. One opening exists at each of the following schools: WHS, Bates, Hardy, Hunnewell, Schofield, Upham and P.A.W.S. An overview of the responsibilities and expectations of the role are available here. This stipended opportunity will be posted on School Spring, and interested internal candidates may apply there.
Return to School Listening Session
The Wellesley Public Schools will host a listening session to gather the opinions, beliefs and attitudes about the reopening of schools this spring, and later in the fall, and the impacts of COVID19 on community members. We value the voices of all community members in the District’s ongoing decision-making. Please join us on 5/19/2021, 6:00- 7:30 p.m., via Zoom. You may register here.
Employee Benefit Open Enrollment Has Officially Started!
If you haven’t received your open enrollment letter in the mail, you can access the same information HERE!
The online benefit tool makes it fast and easy to enroll and/or make changes to your benefits. Click here for directions on how to gain access to your benefits in the tool.
PLEASE NOTE: Everyone who is benefit eligible must go into the tool to confirm what they do or do not want. If you do not complete enrollment through the online tool, all of your current benefit elections will roll over with the exception of Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and/or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA). If you do not re-enroll in HSA or FSA for the benefit year starting on 7/1/2021, your current deduction will stop on 6/30/2021.
The Town Human Resources Office (not WPS HR) is available for questions via phone or email only. Due to COVID, there will be no in-person sessions. If you have any questions about open enrollment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 781-431-1019, ext. 2248. Emails will be answered in the order they are received.
Faculty Graduate Course Reimbursement Information:
Course reimbursement funding of $30,000 is available to distribute in FY21 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 course reimbursement, please send no later than June 1, 2021, the completed reimbursement form, along with 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, email@example.com. Please note: all information must be received by June 1, 2021. Late materials will not be accepted. All courses must have occurred during the summer 2020, fall 2020 and spring 2021 and have been completed by June 1, 2021. Any courses taken prior to the summer of 2020 will not count for reimbursement.
Timeline for WPS Enrollment of Faculty Children
Children of Units A and B members 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 and B Contract). Below is the timeline for submitting applications:
- March 1st: Interested applicants can submit a letter of intent with the one-page application to Asya Kibko, District Registrar, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note: You must be logged into a @wellesleyps.org google account in order to complete the form. You will receive a confirmation email with a copy of your response. The application will be available on the District website starting on March 1st.
- Forms are accepted from March 1st until April 30th. Late applications will not be accepted.
- Placement decisions will be made at the end of May. Once notified of a determination, applicants will be provided an enrollment packet to be completed and submitted to the District Registrar.
If there are any questions, please reach out to Asya Kibko, District Registrar, at email@example.com.
Salary Lane Change Process Reminder
Effective November 1, 2020, a teacher must submit a Course Approval Form (CAF) if: 1) a course may lead to a lane change; or 2) a course is paid by District funds. Forms should be submitted at least 30 days in advance of the expected start date of the course. Course approvals are active from the date of approval through June 30th of the following school year (e.g., approved 1/20/2021 for a course starting 3/1/2021 would be active through 6/30/2022). Approvals are based on the course title and course description and cannot be exchanged for another course without prior written approval of the Superintendent or designee. A teacher has until June 30th of the following school year from the course completion date to submit the transcripts (e.g., course ended 4/1/2021 transcript must be submitted by 6/30/2022).
Human Relations Services
The Human Relation Services (HRS) can help. Wellesley Public Schools has contracted with HRS to provide up to ten free counseling visits for you and/or your family members. This program is designed to help you deal with stresses of life and work –including personal and family issues, drug or alcohol problems, and job related tension. It offers prevention and intervention to reduce these stresses and improve coping skills.
HRS is located at 11 Chapel Place in Wellesley and can be reached at 781-235-4950. This is a confidential service. Wellesley Public Schools is not aware of the names of employees or their family members who utilize this service.
Do you have a question for the WPS Human Resources Department? Email AskHR@Wellesleyps.org. The Human Resources Department is happy to assist you.
WPS Internal Job Postings on District Website
For all Internal Job Postings, please go to “Internal Job Postings” under the Faculty tab of the District’s website.