Superintendent's Update April 12, 2015

Post date: Apr 12, 2015 9:29:22 PM

Superintendent’s Update April 12, 2015

I want to acknowledge all the students who spent several days over the last couple of weeks in MCAS. The principals reported that the students took the assessments very seriously and demonstrated commitment to doing their best work. Educators across the district have done their job providing instruction to students that not only includes, but goes beyond, the demands of this particular test. When I spoke with students they expressed confidence and told me they felt prepared for the MCAS. They entered this assessment period with positive, can-do attitudes. Parents and educators helped manage test anxiety by encouraging students to work hard and do their best.

Diversity Advisory Appointed

A sincere thank you is expressed to all of the new members that were appointed to the Diversity Advisory Committee during the school committee meeting on 4-1-15. The following members were appointed: Ms. Julianna Hanscom, Dr. Gregory Berthiaume, Mr. Richard Beardmore, Ms. Charlene Stephens, Mr. Barry Charbonneau, Mr. Paul Menard, Mr. Winston Burrell, Mr. Michael Battle, Ms. Lynn Radford, Ms. Peggy Proctor, and Mr. Luis Lozano-Melendez. This advisory will ensure that all students, regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin, limited English proficiency, sexual orientation, disability, or housing status, have equal access to all programs, including athletics and other extracurricular activities, will promote social justice activities and provide opportunities for students to learn about different cultures and perspectives, and will seek financial support for students. We appreciate their willingness to serve on this important advisory group.

Join Us at the PTO Meeting Monday Evening, April 13, 2015 7:00

The meeting will be held at the Thomas C. Passios Building in room #13. The agenda includes Ms. Sandy Laserte sharing information and an update on the work of the District Wellness Advisory and an update on the FY16 Budget from me. The PTO has a wonderful group of dedicated volunteers who make a positive difference in our schools. Everyone is welcome. Membership does make a difference. Please consider joining us on Monday evening and becoming part of this important group.

FY16 Budget Update

Posted at our website is an updated version of the presentation made at the School Budget Hearing on April 1, 2015. In this updated document, I have included additional information in response to questions. The meeting was televised and will be rebroadcast, check the local cable for time and or view on line at YouTube. Budget information can be found at:

The recommended level of funding from the Finance Committee at this time is still $190,000 less than that of level service. Over half of that gap can be closed by eliminating the $100,000 in the budget that was reserved for unanticipated costs related to special education tuitions. Removing this from the budget requires the district to make reductions during the school year or obtain additional funds from the Town when a new placement occurs. I am currently working with the building administrators to identify where the remainder of the reductions will be taken. The reductions under consideration will be reported to the School Committee at their meeting on April 30, 2015. At that time I will also make recommendations to the Committee regarding how we proceed in lowering class sizes in grades where the enrollment is 130+ and class sizes are 26-28. This is of vital importance to our students. In 2009 we put in place a plan to address lower enrollment. We now need to determine how to address increasing enrollment without additional funding.

Upcoming Events

LHS Hunger Task Force Fundraiser - Bring your friends and family to Ixtapa restaurant on Monday, April 13th and the restaurant will donate 10% of all food proceeds to the Hunger Task Force.

April Break – April 20-24, No School. Extended Day is open but parents need to pre-register.

Topping Off Ceremony – Beams are being painted and placed at each of the schools next week for students to be able to sign. These beams will then be part of the formal Toping Off Ceremony that is tentatively scheduled for April 28th in the morning. Our intent is to have all students present for the ceremony. The community is welcome too. Final arrangements are underway. The event is weather dependent and additional information with be forthcoming.

Annual Town Meeting - May 2nd 9:00 a.m. in the LHS Auditorium

Buddy Bench Dedication - May 3rd 2:00 p.m. Please join the Primary School Student Council at this dedication in memory of Mr. Robert Meek-LaVeck.

Empty Bowls- May 7th Support the 3rd Grade students in their work against hunger. The event will be held at the Turkey Hill Middle School from 5:00-8:00 p.m.

“Guys and Dolls” - Musical theatre production by LHS students. It promises to be a great performance. There will be two evening performances on May 8th and 9th in the LHS auditorium at 7:00 p.m. and a matinee performance on May 9th at 2:00 p.m.

POPS Concert May 15th at 7:00 p.m. A Lunenburg tradition you don’t want to miss!


Superintendent Calmes

Lunenburg Public Schools

1025 Mass. Ave.

Lunenburg, MA 01462

978-582-4100 X 210 (Office Phone)

978-582-4103 (Fax)