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Waltham Public Schools

When is something going to be done about the morale at Waltham schools? It is at an all time low. We desperately need a change at the top.  
Mary Coyne February 08, 2014 at 12:52 PM
@Bill, I am definitely not a Graceffa fan and I'm not dumping it all on the superintendent. As I have said the problems are systemic but as the leader the superintendent sets the tone and is the person who should be held accountable. She is also the person that needs to have a plan for some meaningful change. I haven't seen any plans...have you? I heard lots of excuses during the last school committee meeting including not feeling well and being in China (whose choice was that?) Teachers have not been able to have meaningful professional development in years. As I said before, look at the surrounding communities and the amount of in-house and out-of-district professional development available and ENCOURAGED. This is not the case in Waltham and if we want our teachers to be the best we need to put some resources into professional development. You are right there are teachers acting as bathroom monitors, the bathrooms are locked. Schools that have been promised new equipment and technology are still going without. Many of the schools computers are so old that they cannot support many of the newer programs available for students to use. There have been several staff resignations both at the teacher and administrative levels this year. I think it is time to ask why and time to do something about it!
Bill L February 08, 2014 at 03:03 PM
Mary, you and I agree more than we disagree. But look at the department heads who treat the schools as a social experiment (Hello unleveled math classes) or are on auto pilot (hello history). To make system changes takes either time or a person who is not afraid to fire. Our high school principal got the job as it was "his turn", our police chief as it was "his turn", and our committee and council and mayor argue over foolishness. Just read the school committee meeting minutes, very little talk of the students, lots of talk on editing the policy manual. The teachers union just rolls over as the SC gets nice new ipads and talks about adult ed GED programs.
lizhm February 12, 2014 at 11:17 AM
Great points @Mary and good discussion. Wonder if it makes sense to put a position statement together and to present it AT the public part of the SC meeting? Then follow up. Or at least keep nagging SC here and in News Trib!
Mary Coyne February 12, 2014 at 10:45 PM
I think that bringing this in front of the SC would be a great idea. Unfortunately, as I would be concerned about my job security I would not feel comfortable starting such a process but would applaud anyone else willing to do so!
Tim Hill February 13, 2014 at 01:10 PM
Mary, I think it would benefit the commentators if you would provide some insight regarding how professional development credits work and how some are transferrable out of the district while others are not. Teachers understand this very well, but most non-teachers do not. Also, while you said that you would not feel comfortable starting the process of a position paper, I think you would be doing yourself a disservice if you do not find a way to communicate the basis for your feelings to someone who is willing to do something. Consider an intermediary.

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