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Newton Schools Superintendent Punished for…

Five Things You Missed at the Dec. 12 School Committee Meeting

There was a lengthy and important SPED discussion, but what else did the committee talk about?

, but the School Committee also had a few other important bits of information to share and vote on. Here are some items you may have missed:

1. Superintendent David Fleishman informed the committee that two principal searches are underway for Lincoln-Eliot and Zervas Elementary Schools. Both Lincoln-Eliot Interim Principal Greg Hurray and Zervas Principal Stephen Griffin retiring this year, Fleishman said. 

Faculty and staff at Lincoln-Eliot have recently met with parents to talk about the process and a similar meeting was held at Zervas last night. Fleishman said the principal-hiring process is "incredibly thorough" and involves several stages of interviews and walk-throughs.


2. Deputy Superintendent/Chief Administrative Officer Sandy Guryan said Monday night the district has collected about 50 percent of the fees they had planned on collecting this year. Right now, Guryan says the district could be $200,000 short of the $2.7 million it expected to collect in fees for student activities, sports and transportation. 

While the transportation, athletic and music fees are coming along fine, the student activity fees are not coming in at the same rate. Guryan said the district will start to take a firmer approach to collecting these fees.

"I’m optimistic that we will certainly collect a good amount of it, Guryan said. "If it looks as if we’re not going to be successful with it, we’ll revisit it."


3. Guryan also updated the committee on the modular classroom installation at Burr, Hoarace Mann and Zervas Elementary Schools. The classrooms at and will be ready for occupancy by the end of December vacation, Guryan said, and will be ready two weeks later in mid-January. 

Meanwhile, Guryan noted that the have passed through the Design Review Committee and the Public Facilities Committee and will head to the full board for approval on Dec. 19. Once the design is approved, the city and School Department can work on putting the project out to bid. 


4. After some edits were made to the document, the School Committee approved its . Some of the adjustments include the amount the district is losing in federal jobs money ($877,000 instead of $860,000). A copy of the second draft of the budget guidelines can be found in the .pdf section to the right. 


5. The committee said goodbye to Reenie Murphy, Kurt Kusiak and Susan Rosenbaum, who had their last committee meeting Monday night. Murphy (Ward 2) has reached her term limit, Kusiak (Ward 3) did not run for re-election and Rosenbaum (Ward 5) was beat in the Nov. 8 election by Steve Siegel. 

Committee Chair Claire Sokoloff and Mayor Setti Warren shared kind words for the departing committee members as they celebrated with cupcakes and a toast sparkling grape juice.

"We've been through two of the toughest budget cycles that Newton has seen in a long time and having Kurt, Sue and Reenie as partners with me on the city side has been extraordinary," Warren said. "The discussions that we've had, the focus that each one of you had as to where we need to be as a school system...has been outstanding."

"You all have been great colleagues and friends," he added. "Thank you for serving our community in the nature that you have."


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