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Daily Buzz | School Committee Discusses How to Best Serve DEI Needs
Plus, ideas are floated for BHS building renovation committee
I’m honestly still recovering from yesterday’s long Buzz, and so I’ll get down to brass tacks for today.
School Committee Highlights
DEI and BHS were the main topics of conversation at the School Committee meeting last night. You can watch here and/or read the highlights below.
Several staff members and students spoke during Public Participation to advocate for the reposting of the DEI Director position and to institute school-level supports for DEI. Several students expressed feeling unsafe, unsupported, and uncared-for.
English Learner Director, Kerri Lamprey, made a presentation. Highlights below:
250 BPS students (7%) are English Learners
Top languages - Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic
Top birth countries - US, Guatemala, Brazil
She also spoke about the journey of a student through the English Learner program and some other highlights - like the fact that we have a device that translates meetings for families who prefer listening in a language other than English. Super cool!
There was a discussion with the Committee and Dr. Conti about the feasibility of posting the DEI Director position now.
Dr. Conti expressed that October is not the most productive time to post for an annual contract. He’s not wrong, but…
The Committee ran through a few ideas that might help work with that fact while also recognizing that the lack of DEI support is an urgent issue and giving students and teachers some level of support now. Those ideas included posting for an interim position and/or having school-based DEI positions.
The final big discussion for the evening was how to handle the BHS renovations. We have requested funding from MSBA (the Massachusetts School Building Authority - essentially, the state) for the 11th year running to complete much-needed renovations at the high school, but have heard crickets - and so need to just get moving on our own. It was suggested that we create a committee much like the Fox Hill Building Committee (and it would include many of the same people) so that (a) we can follow a similar process, which seems to be working well, and (b) if MSBA decides to wave their magic wand and accept us into the program, we’ll already have a structure in place and can hit the ground running.
Today in Burlington
Not a lot of municipal events, but there are some cultural and community-building events today!
Meetings and Events
12:00-7:00 PM - Early In-Person Voting - at Town Hall
4:00 PM - Board of Assessors has their regular meeting.
5:30 PM - Community Dinner at the Presbyterian Church. You don’t need to be a church member to attend; these dinners are for residents to get to know their neighbors. Vegetarian and meat options are offered, and there is no charge. However, donations are accepted.
7:00 PM - Burlington Garden Club Program - Discovering the Joys of Bird Feeding, Murray-Kelly Room at 61 Center Street
Sports and Activities
While the girls’ cross country team didn’t quite pull it off, both JV and Varsity Boys won their last meet over Melrose and finished up an undefeated dual meet season! Varsity Boys set six PRs and Rithikh Prakash beat his brother’s course record with a 15:12. JV Boys showed a lot of improvement since Freshman year. Congrats on wrapping a successful season!
JV football is on the calendar, but there’s no location or opponent!
Our volleyball teams are playing Wakefield here at home; JVB/JVA play at 4:15 and Varsity at 5:30.
Girls’ soccer plays Wilmington at home, with JV and Varsity both playing at 4:15.
Boys’ soccer is in Wilmington; JV plays at 4:15 and Varsity at 6:00.
We play Bedford in field hockey. JV plays at 5:30 and Varsity at 7:00.
MSMS Junior Devils football team plays @ Arlington at 7:00.
Something fun I’m trying out is to have a quick poll on some Wednesdays. TBD if they’ll be every week, but I think it’s a fun way to keep folks involved and feeling connected to the Buzz while helping me continue refining my work for our town. Today’s question:
If you have a caveat/condition (Yes, if coffee is served; Yes, if it’s outdoors, Yes, if it’s virtual; etc), please respond in the comments or otherwise contact me and let me know what would motivate you to attend an event sponsored by the Buzz.
That’s all for today. I hope you have a great one!