BevCam has been running an interview with Marie Galinski that provides a good introduction into the thinking of Beverly's new superintendent.
The interview starts off discussing the challenges we face in the current fiscal environment, and the impact of reduced state aid both in the form of Chapter 70 funding, as well as the reduced reimbursement rate for exceptional special education expenses. She also talks about the strategic plan for the district that she plans to undertake with the School Committee (see previous post).
But the interview moves on to cover some of the more positive elements of Beverly's school system as well. Galinski says that while our MCAS scores are only about average for the state, she considers our overall academic program strong.
She points to several areas including the arts, literacy programs, and advanced placement courses at the high school as areas of strength, and says that students from other communities even choice into Beverly for these programs.
Galinski goes on to discuss the new high school in considerable detail. The interview was taped before the recent controversy over the one-to-one laptop program, but Galinski discusses the thinking behind that program, and explains how it integrates with the district's overall goal of infusing technology into everyday learning.
It's an informative hour, and, for those of us who have been immersed in the budget proceedings for the past few months, a glimpse at some of the more positive, and even progressive, aspects of our school system.
The interview schedule for the next couple weeks is at follows:
Sunday 6/13 at 7:30 PM
Monday 6/14 at 1:00 PM
Tuesday 6/15 at 7:00 PM
Sunday 6/20 at 7:30 PM
Monday 6/21 at 1:00 PM
Tuesday 6/22 at 7:00 PM
Sunday 6/13 at 4:07 PM
Tuesday 6/15 at 6:00 PM
Wednesday 6/16 at 1:30 PM
Wednesday 6/16 at 8:05 PM
You can find the schedule for future showings on the BevCam website.
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.