LPS Middle Schools: I hope you are aware that the Longmeadow School Committee is actively working with the Select Board and other stakeholders to ensure that Longmeadow middle schools’ substantial facility needs are addressed cost effectively and in a manner that provides future students with safe, up-to-date learning environments. To this end, the District is preparing Statements of Interest (“SOIs”) under the MA School Building Authority’s core program. Successful applications to the MSBA’s core program provide partial funding for extensive repairs, renovations, addition/renovations, and new school construction. Our plan is to complete the application over the next two weeks in time for the School Committee’s consideration at a special afternoon meeting on and in preparation for the School Committee’s joint meeting with the Select Board on Monday, January 23. If you are interested in learning more about the needs of our Middle Schools and the SOI process, you are invited to our next informational session on Wednesday, January 11 at 9:00 a.m. in Center School’s Community Room.
Blueberry Hill Elementary School Principal Search Process
Task of the Screening Committee:
· identify the desirable qualifications and skills of the next principal
· review application materials, develop interview questions
· conduct the initial round of interviews
· narrow the pool of applicants and provide critical feedback on the candidates.
· If necessary and applicable, a handful of members of the Screening Committee would also conduct site visitations to the finalists’ schools.
· January 10 to February 6: position advertised
· January 9: letter to parents and staff soliciting screening committee membership
· January 13: deadline to submit interest in serving on Screening Committee
· January 16-20: selection of Screening Committee by Superintendent
· January 26: organizational afternoon meeting of the Screening Committee to:
§ review duties,
§ fine-tune the timeline
§ begin to develop questions for the candidates.
· February 6: deadline to receive application materials
· February 8 and 9: afternoon screening committee meeting to
§ finalize questions
§ paper screen
§ select candidates to be interviewed.
· February 15 and 16: interviews in late afternoon and early evening.
· February 28: feedback on candidates due
· Beginning March 6: site visits
§ by candidates to Blueberry
§ by a subset of the screening committee to candidates’ schools
· March 7 and 8: finalist(s) meet with Administrative team
· March 10: Superintendent decision
· March 14: presentation of final candidate to the School Committee.
· July 1: first day of employment
Composition of the Screening Committee to be as follows:
· 3-4 teachers – PTS teachers preferred; seeking a representative sample
· 2 non-Unit A staff members
· 2-3 parents – 1 chosen from the Blueberry School Council; 2 chosen by PTO
· 1 district level admin
· 1 School Committee member
· 2 principals or administrators
Due to the weather conditions, the Longmeadow Public Schools will have a two-hour delayed opening, Monday, December12, 2016.
District Report Card: In the same way that we issue report cards to our students, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issues reports to schools and districts. Attached to this email and linked here is an overview of our district report card . It answers important questions about our District’s overall performance and contains specific information about student enrollment and teacher qualifications, student achievement, accountability, our performance relative to other districts and the state, and the progress we have made toward narrowing proficiency gaps for different groups of students. A complete version of the District Report Card is linked here. Next week, each Longmeadow school will issue their individual school report cards.
Superintendent, Marty O'Shea and Asst. Superintendent for Learning, Susan Bertrand, recently provided the School Committee with the annual MCAS Report. Below is a link to MCAS Presentation recorded by LCTV.
All parents are invited to join us on in the Longmeadow High School Auditorium at for the second our 2016-2017 Special Programs Speaker Series. Dr. Anthony Rao, a child psychology expert and bestselling author, will speak on "The Way of Boys: Promoting the Social and Emotional Development of Young Boys." Please reserve your free seating in advance at http://lhsanthonyrao.eventbrite.com. " There will be a book signing immediately afterwards. Books may be purchased in advance at Kiddly Winks and on the evening of the presentation. Please see the attached flyer for more information.
The School Committee held Public Forums on October 18th and 19th to collect input from the community regarding the substantial facility needs of the middle schools. A link to the video from October 19th can be found here. Below is the Power Point presentation shown by Superintendent O'Shea.
October 21, 2016
Dear Longmeadow Staff and Families,
You may be aware that Longmeadow Public Schools recently volunteered to participate in a water testing program. This program involved testing school taps and water fountains for lead and copper levels. The testing was conducted in collaboration with the Longmeadow Department of Public Works (DPW) and the MA Department of Environmental Protection(MassDEP). This was a proactive measure to ensure that our district, along with hundreds of other districts, took the necessary steps to guard against elevated exposure to these contaminants.
The sampling was extensive. Over 600 samples were drawn with taps being tested upon opening and again after a 30-second flush. As the table below indicates some water taps at four of our schools exceeded the Massachusetts Action Levels for lead and copper. These taps were found at: Blueberry Hill, Center, Williams and Glenbrook. Wolf Swamp tests did not exceed action levels. We have not yet received the results for LHS.
For reference, the Massachusetts Action Level for lead in drinking water is 0.015 milligrams per liter (also known as parts per million). The Massachusetts and federal Action Level for copper in drinking water is 1.3 milligrams per liter (also known as parts per million).
Officials from the DPW and the Department of Public Health (DPH) who have reviewed the results are confident that this is not a public health threat and that lead and copper are not elevated in our public water supply. As we anticipated, the results do provide us with valuable information about where to replace fixtures and plumbing connections that are causing elevated levels. The Longmeadow Board of Health has indicated “that the drinking water from school fixtures is much less significant source of lead for children than lead paint and lead dust in the home environment, lead in soils or airborne lead. The testing of the school fixtures is a very pro-active initiative to identify low level exposure sources. The School Department has conscientiously followed DEP protocol to inactivate or replace the fixtures whose tests indicate lead concentration that exceed the standard to safeguard the health of the students and staff of the Longmeadow Public Schools.”
The following statement relating to lead and copper exposure was provided to us from the MassDEP:
Exposure to lead is a concern because lead is a toxic metal that has a range of adverse health effects. Copper is a necessary micronutrient and is needed in small “trace” amounts for good health but too much copper in the diet or in drinking water may cause adverse health effects. Some people who consume drinking water with copper in excess of the EPA action level may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. However, most people are unlikely to experience health problems from exposure to modestly elevated copper levels in drinking water because the human body has a natural mechanism for maintaining the proper level of copper in it. People with Wilson's disease, children less than one year old, and individuals with liver disease cannot eliminate excess copper from their bodies as well and are more likely to experience negative health effects on the liver and kidney from short‐term exposure to copper levels that exceed the EPA’s action level. See the MassDEP Fact Sheet on copper and your health at http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dep/water/drinking/alpha/a‐thru‐h/copperfs.pdf.
Please be assured that we are doing everything that we can, as quickly as we can, to address these issues. We are working collaboratively with the Longmeadow DPW, the Longmeadow DPH and MassDEP to safeguard the health of the students, faculty and staff.
The following corrective actions are currently being taken:
As always, if you have questions or concerns do not hesitate to contact my office at 565-4200, the Longmeadow Board of Health at 565-4140 or the Longmeadow DPW at 567-3400.
Superintendent of Schools
Additional Information posted below:
Longmeadow has launched CLOSE Community, a coalition effort to reduce substance use disorders in our community. CLOSE Community will work collaboratively with community stakeholders to identify, initiate, and sustain efforts promoting prevention, treatment and recovery. We are interested in your opinions. Please click on the following link to take our community survey. This will help us to better understand where to focus our efforts in order to best address these issues as a community. All responses are anonymous. Thank you!