This site aims to inform and mobilize Beverly parents to take an active role in all issues related to the funding and operation of the city's schools. It was launched in the spring of 2008, when the city saw its first-ever override attempt fail, followed by the closure of a nearly-new elementary school. Subsequent years have seen further cuts that have led to larger class sizes across the district. While the opening of an impressive new high school and plans to replace the city's aging middle school give us reason to be optimistic, the school community must be ever vigilant in demanding appropriate school funding by city and state governments, and better community communications from the district and School Committee.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

District Directive on President's Speech

The following has been posted on the district website.

At 12:00 p.m., Eastern Time (ET), September 8, 2009, President Barack Obama will deliver a national address to the students of America. During this special address, the president will speak directly to the nation’s children and youth about persisting and succeeding in school. The president will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning.

The US Department of Education has notified us of this event and provided suggested curriculum materials that teachers can use. Information is available at

As a district, we will not be participating in this event. Occurring during lunchtime and also taking away from instructional time, it would be too disruptive to the school day. Our schools should remain focused on the district’s curriculum and instructional program. However, downloadable video of the speech will be made available at as well as on will also provide archived and "on-demand" viewing options. Parents have these options for their children to view the video on their own. If teachers review the video and materials and feel there is a place in their curriculum to include these elements, they are encouraged to do so.

We hope that this decision was truly made because of the reasons stated, and was not influenced by the strange political storm swirling around the speech. If you would like to express your feelings on this decision. please contact Superintendent Hayes

Sept. 7 UPDATE: Here is the full text of the President's speech.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wrote to Jim Hayes the following:

Just curious as to why the district has caved on the Obama speech.... very sad way to hear this. Does Fox News or Mr. Back have children in our district? We always watched Presidential speeches growing up. My daughter has lunch in the 10 o'clock hour so the iffy excuse on the website is at best a sorry excuse. Perhaps I should suggest children stay home to watch the speech instead?

If you'd like to email him you can reach him at: