Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Few parents attended Wednesday's School Committee meeting when members voted for a new school district map.
The Dedham School Committee unanimously approved a new district map that will move dozens of streets to different elementary schools. It was the committee's second vote on redistricting after parents argued they were not included in the discussion of the first plan, presented in March. The second map added streets both near Dedham Square and near the intersection of Mt. Vernon and Walnut streets. Changes proposed by parents over the past two months of debate include relocating streets like Worthington, Richards and Marsh from the Riverdale Elementary School district to the Avery Elementary School district. "I thought a lot of parents got a chance to get involved in the process," newly elected School Committee member Jennifer Barsamian …
Friday, April 13, 2012
Officials praised the opening of the new Avery Elementary School, and students will move after April vacation.
Principal Clare Sullivan - a 30-year Avery School stalwart - planned to hold a closing ceremony Friday for the current and about to be "old" Avery Elementary School. She'll take down the Avery Pride banners that line the gymnasium and watch as schoolchildren play on a grass-less playground for the final time. In less than 18 months, Avery students went from digging the first dirt to welcoming parents and state officials to their new $21 million school Thursday morning. "I can remember a few short months ago when we gathered at what is now the 50-yard line of the new athletic field to celebrate the setting of a ceremonial beam on this new magnificent structure. At that time the discussion focused on a vision we had for the new Avery …
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Dedham's school policy sub-committee could move several streets, with very little effect for the 2011-12 school year.
Less than a dozen parents met attend a public meeting of the Dedham School Committee's policy sub-committee Wednesday where school officials proposed redistricting several more streets, at the request of some parents. Wednesday's attendance was far less than the more than 60 residents who attended last week's School Committee meeting on the same issue. Sub-committee members suggested moving the following streets to the Avery Elementary School: According to school superintendent June Doe, only one student would be effected heading into the 2011-12 school year. Redistricting, as presently proposed, only effects a student if they are entering first grade and do not have a sibling in an elementary school. The policy sub-committee explained …
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Several parents upset with the superintendent and School Committee for what they called a lack of communication and transparency.
Dedham Public School parents called for more communication and more transparency from the School Committee and superintendent June Doe following what parents have labeled a mishandling of the elementary redistricting issue. Families affected by the changes questioned how the policy sub-committee chose specific streets and made recommendations on how the map could get altered at a School Committee meeting at Dedham High School on Wednesday evening. "This process was insane," said resident Paul Chaplin. "I understand we need to redistrict and I’m not bothered by it, but I am saying we found out about this map by chance." School Committee chairman Kevin Coughlin announced at the beginning of Wednesday's meeting that the committee would not …
Friday, March 23, 2012
Should the School Committee adopted the proposed changes?
The Dedham School Committee postponed a vote on redrawing school district lines on Wednesday, and will hold a public hearing on April 6. The plan would reorganize the town's four elementary schools, and change what school new students on dozens of streets enter into as a first-grade student. Less than 20 families would be impacted for the upcoming school year, committee member said. No student currently at an elementary school would be moved. But, parents and homeowners are decrying the change, as some claimed it would negatively impact home values. What do you think? Answer our poll and expand on your thoughts in the comment section below.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Superintendent June Doe said it was not an emergency.
UPDATE (3:27 p.m.) - Tuesday afternoon's incident at Dedham Middle School involving the receipt of a white powder through the mail did not prompt the school to go into lockdown, the school's principal said in an email to parents. "As classes had just started for Block 6, we informed the teachers that we would hold the students in the classrooms," Principal Debra Gately wrote in the email. "As to not to alarm the students, we did not make an announcement over the loudspeaker. At no time were any students in any type of danger and the school was never on lockdown. The issue was contained to the main office only." Gately added, "From what we have learned, other letters were sent to schools in Massachusetts and Maine. I must emphasize that the…
Friday, February 17, 2012
Officials say the budget maintains current supports and resources, and driven by contracts.
The Dedham School Committee will send a 2013 budget of more than $35 million to Town Administrator William Keegan to consider after unanimously voting to approve the proposal Wednesday evening. The budget, nearly a 5 percent increase over this year's, derives mainly from contracted salary increase for teachers, said Michael LaFrancesca. assistant to the superintendent for business affairs. Salaries represent about 80 percent of the district's proposed budget. "It's something we have very little control over," said Joe Heisler, chair of the budget subcommittee. "Much of this is geared toward maintaining what we already have." The School Committee is currently in negotiations with teachers for a new contract that would begin in the fall. The…
Saturday, February 11, 2012
High school students were given a tour this week of the new Avery Elementary School.
Just a year ago, construction crews were putting up the steel supports for the new Avery Elementary School. And now, Avery Elementary students are a bit more than two months away from their scheduled move from a 1920s building to a new $20 million-plus school that backs up to Dedham High School. As part of a plan to get elementary kids acclimated before arriving, superintendent June Doe has organized tours for the children, given by 17 Dedham High School seniors. The seniors received a tour of their own this week - the first group outside of school and town officials to see the inside of the school - and were blown away by new features such as a cafetorium (cafeteria and auditorium combined), and the school's gymnasium. As school officials…
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Plans are to move the Early Childhood Education Center to the Dexter School.
The Dedham School Committee took another needed step toward relocating the Early Childhood Education Center from the Capen School on Sprague Street to the Dexter School on Rte. 109. The committee unanimously approved a recommendation for Town Meeting to give back about 2 acres of land back to the Dedham School Department four years after the department gave that land to the town for a senior center that never materialized. The department has petitioned the Massachusetts School Building Authority for monetary help with renovating the Dexter School, and the department is still waiting to hear how much the MSBA would contribute. Michael LaFrancesca, who heads the department's business affairs, siad the school would need some interior work …
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Students and parents will have to sit for a training before playing sports or in the band.
Dedham High School athletes and musicians - as well as their parents - will need to go through a concussion training before either can participate in activities next fall. The Dedham School Committee on Wednesday approved an expansion of the district-wide concussion policy that calls for mandatory staff, parent and student training and certification. The policy is aligned with what the state Legislature ordered school districts to do. "All school districts are required not only to have a concussion policy, but to provide training for student-athletes and their parents," said school's superintendent June Doe. "[Our policy] is pretty comprehensive." At the core of the policy is making sure staff, students and parents understand the risk of …