Press "Enter" to skip to content

12 Takeaways From the Nov. 15 School Committee Meeting

The indoor track will reopen to the public on Nov. 27; dozens of volunteers helped out at the annual fashion show

1. Tonight Allison Luppi was recognized as the MIAA Girls Volleyball Coach of the Year. Luppi was nominated by TMHS Athletics Director Ron Drouin, who was at the meeting to introduce her. Drouin shared that Luppi is a former Tewksbury athlete and now a coach who is a fantastic role model.

The daughters of former Heath Brook principal Rosamond Dorrance have generously donated up to $4,000 for the Heath Brook to install Calming Corners for kindergarten and first grade in memory of their mother. Dorrance spent 27 years as an educator,15 of which were in Tewksbury. Current Heath Brook Principal Terry Gerrish shard that a Calming Corner is a designated space for children to have a safe space in the school when emotions are running too high. It will a spot where kids will have a comfy seat, and they may be given books, fidgets or weighted stuffed animals to help them calm down.

The Dorrance Family and Heath Brook staff

James Sullivan, DECA staff advisor; TMHS Principal Andy Long; and Lee McCarthy, Meghan’s mother, were present to talk about the DECA contributions to the Megan McCarthy Charity. DECA runs a fashion show fundraiser every year and to-date has donated just over $150,000 to the Megan McCarthy Charity, which itself has now raised over $1 million. For more information see our previous reporting here.

2. Rania Elouahi’s Student Council Representative Report began with a sports update. The fall sports season is ending, and winter sports signups are starting. The football team has made it to the final 4 and will play November 18. The TMHS Theater Company will perform High School Musical this weekend, November 17, 18 and 19. The Interact club had their first blood drive. Environmental club has been collecting recycling around the building and will be participating in the Winter Tree walk. Students council went to a conference where they participated in workshops to learn leadership skills.

3. Assistant Superintendent Lori McDermott gave an MCAS update for the 2022-2023 school year. Some of the major takeaways were that accountability percentiles remain constant, student growth percentiles are typical, achievement levels need to improve and chronic absenteeism is improving. You can read our breakdown of Tewksbury’s MCAS results here.

4. Superintendent Brenda Regan thanked the committee for allowing herself and the assistant superintendent to attend the MASC conference. She thinks its was the best one she’s attended. Elementary students send hundreds of cards to veteran’s to celebrate Veteran’s Day. Eighth grade families got a letter about the academic options at TMHS recently, and 8th grade students toured TMHS today.

First quarter report cards will be out on the Nov. 27. And last, the indoor walking track will again be accessible to the public. It will be open from Nov. 27 through the end of March, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m., when school is in session.

5. Assistant Superintendent Lori McDermott shared information about a PSA poster contest put on by the Massachusetts Partnership for Youth; details can be found here. A standards-based report cards information session was held, and though there were not a lot of attendees, there was a good conversation with great questions asked.

6. Dave Libby had an update on the HVAC project at the Wynn and Ryan. The bid process started on November 1, and today they opened electrical subcontractor bids. Next Wednesday they’ll open general contractor bids. After that the district will have a better cost estimate. As for the ongoing cleanup from the flooding issue at the Heath Brook, the district is working on getting three quotes for design and engineering.

Tewksbury Transit now has enough yellow bus drivers for the 23 buses currently running. They also have two more drivers in training.

7. School Committee Member Reports

  • Tewksbury SEPAC – They had a meeting on October 19, which was well attended. Discussed were family engagement, the visit to the Tewksbury Fire Department, upcoming library and bank visits, sibling supports and transitions in school. There will be an admin meet and greet on Jan. 18. And there are upcoming parent support meetings that will fluctuate between in-person and Zoom to better accommodate families.
  • Wellness Advisory Council – They have not meet since the last school committee meeting. Rich Russo anticipates the next meeting will focus on goals for the committee.  

8. Policy Sub Committee (changes can be found starting on page 28 of the packet)

  • Informal Reading: Polices reviewed and recommended to revise:
    • KBDA – Notices to Parents/Guardians
    • KBE – Relations with Parent Advisory Councils & Booster Organizations
    • KCD – Public Gifts to Schools
    • KDB – Public’s Right to Know
    • KDD – News Media Relations/News Release
    • KE – Public Complaints
  • First Reading: Polices reviewed and recommended to revise:
    • KB – Facilities Planning
    • HB – Negotiations Legal Status
    • HF – School Committee Negotiating Agents
    • KA – School/Community Relations Goals
    • KBA – School/Parents Relations Goals
    • LBC – Relations with Home Schools
  • Second and Final Reading: Policy reviewed and recommended to revise:
    • FA  – Facilities Development Goals
    • HA – Negotiations Goals
  • First and Final Reading: Policy reviewed and recommended to approve with no changes:
    • KCB – Community Involvement in Decision Making

9. Enrollment as of October

10. The committee again took up discussion of the transfer of the North St. School. Currently it is only being used for cheer practice and the occasional police training session. Dave Libby stressed that it’s not good for a building to sit empty; there have already been roof and pipe leaks when heat was turned on. Maintenance still needs to be done even though no one is in there most of the time. There was a discussion of moving cheer to the Center Elementary. The committee opted to postpone the vote to transfer ownership until February for now, since it can’t be formally transferred until May’s Town Meeting, unless costs to maintain the building become too much.

11. School Committee Members Matters of Interest. All members spoke highly of the MASC conference they attended. Russo added a good luck to football and drama this weekend. Katie Anderson enjoyed the Dewing/Center Elementary School trunk or treat. Kayla Biagioni-Smith thought the recent unified basketball game was one of the best events she’s attended. She also shared that she and Bridget Garabedian attended the new Dewing playground and communication board ribbon cutting and thanked the Wynn and TMHS staff who coordinated the drama trip to see Frozen in Boston.

12. Upcoming Meetings:

  • 11/30 – TSEPAC Business Meeting
  • 12/6 – Regular School Committee Meeting
  • 12/6 – Wellness Advisory Committee
  • 1/10 – Regular School Committee Meeting
  • 1/24 – Budget Workshop
  • 2/14 – Public Hearing on Budget & Regular School Committee Meeting

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply