Daily Buzz | School Committee Recap and an Apology to your Inbox
Also, the results of the investigation into threatening online language
I hope you got a chance to read the profiles for our three School Committee candidates yesterday. Sorry you got all those emails, though. I forgot to uncheck a (very important) box when I scheduled them to post. I’ll be sure to turn off emails next time. I hope your inbox can forgive me. Speaking of which, yesterday I interviewed the first of three candidates for the Board of Health’s two open seats. Look out for those profiles next week!
Also in Burlington, the police learned the identity of the person who used “potentially threatening” language online in reference to our community member, Mr. Porch. According to BCAT, officers “conducted a threat assessment that determined there is no immediate threat.” Charges will not be filed, and so the identity of the person behind the social media profile was not released. This incident was referenced at the School Committee meeting last night; Superintendent Eric Conti apologized to Mr. Porch and acknowledged the ripple effect from such comments - they affect more community members than the recipient, including our young people. More from the School Committee Meeting below.
I’d also like to acknowledge the passing of long-time and much-loved Burlington resident, Don Flaherty. A friend called him “Mr. Burlington,” and it sounds like the title fits. I never met Don, but I want to pass on my condolences to his many friends and family members in the community.
The School Committee met last night. Below are a few takeaways from the meeting. As always, you can watch on BCAT’s Government Coverage Facebook page.
Carl Foss, School Committee member and a member of the Select Board’s DEI Committee, spoke to mark the moment with respect to last Monday’s Select Board meeting. He reinforced that this work is - just that - work, and that it’s going to take some effort to begin to understand and feel comfortable.
We have some amazing artists in BPS, and some of their work will be displayed at an exhibit in Lexington until March 20! We also have a beautiful new mural at Francis Wyman, created by artist-in-residence Bren Bataclan. And, a one-day field trip to a New York art museum was approved for BHS students.
School choice was approved in a limited capacity for high school - this applies in the case that, for example, a student begins school in Burlington but their family moves. That student would be able to finish out school in Burlington if desired.
Dr. Conti previewed with the Committee that kindergarten numbers are looking kind of high at Fox Hill and Francis Wyman for next year. It’s early, so we don’t know for sure what’s going to shake out, but he wanted it to be on the radar.
Equity update: The next Let’s Talk About It session will be 3/16 from 7-8:30. This is a space to talk openly and ask questions, and to get comfortable having conversations about race and equity. There’s also a community forum this Thursday from 6:30-9. Everyone is welcome.
The Equity Audit is getting underway. The Committee emphasized it has nothing to do with teacher evaluation process; instead, it’s to help the organization learn blind spots and address them. The essential question for this work will be: Where are we thriving and where can we do better?
COVID cases in schools were 19 the week before break and 22 the week after.
Tiered social-emotional supports are happening and students are self-reporting when they’re struggling with their mental health.
We need to cross some Ts and dot some Is on the paperwork for the Fox Hill project so the Massachusetts School Building Association can consider it for the April or May meeting.
I had to knock off before the very end, as the budget was being presented, so hopefully nothing scandalous happened in the last few minutes! 😂
Today in Burlington:
2:30PM - Shawsheen Tech School Council meets to vote on School Council remote participation and discuss the School Improvement Plan and some proposed changes to the Student Handbook.
4:00PM - Council on Aging meets to review some reports and talk about marketing, logos, and brochures. (Join via Webex)
6:00PM - Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Committee meets to discuss next steps following the presentation of their quarterly report to the Select Board last week. (Join via Webex)
6:30PM - Zoning Bylaw Review Committee meets to review some articles for May Town Meeting and some possible amendments for September Town Meeting. (Join Via Zoom)
7:00PM - Ways and Means comes together to review some of the budgets that were examined during subcommittee meetings earlier in the week. (Join via Webex)
That’s it for today. See you tomorrow, Burlington.