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.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Funding, Communications Focus of Survey

The district has posted what it calls a climate survey that it says "is part of an overall comprehensive plan to engage the Beverly community."

The survey, in many ways, seems to be leading to a new conversation about the level of financial support for the schools from the city. Some examples:
  • Increased funding to ensure quality education is important to me.
  • I understand that property values depend on the reputation of our schools.
  • Are you aware that more students are choosing to stay in Beverly schools for middle and high school. In 6th grade there are about 30 more students than in 7th or 8th grade. In 9th grade, there are 60 more students than in grades 10 to 12. More teachers will need to be hired to prevent increasing class sizes.
The survey then asks point-blank if you believe "the current funding level is adequate to meet this community's education needs."

The survey also asks about how well certain changes that were made over the past year were communicated to the public. Some examples:
  • The high school schedule was changed to a 4x4 Block.  Students take 4 classes on one day and 4 different classes on the next day.  This allows for more uninterrupted instructional time for each class. 
  • All 9th grade students now participate in a Freshman Academy.  This arranges students in teams like at the middle school to help them be successful in their first year in high school.
  • Food Services will continue to be provided in house.  Turning food services over to another provider would not have resulted in sufficient cost savings.
Please take the time to complete the survey, and if you get much of your information about the schools from this website, please give us a write-in vote in that category.

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