Below you will find a complete listing of up-to-date news items for the Longmeadow Public Schools. Be sure to check back often or subscribe to updates using the RSS subscription link below.
The attached policies regarding Field Trips are posted to solicit public input. Please complete the Policy Impact Form
to provide the School Committee with input about the policies.
The School Committee is considering the two attached, draft, policies. The first policy ADDA - Background Checks updates the policy to be compliant with the new expanded, fingerprint-based background check law.
The second policy is the Social Media policy. The draft attached is an update to our current policy. Both policies will be posted here for 30 days to solicit public input. Please complete the Policy Impact Form
to provide the School Committee with you feedback.
Dear Longmeadow Community:
The Administrative Team has created a newsletter to celebrate the many achievements of our district. Please take time to peruse this publication in order to find our more about Longmeadow's exciting learning experiences. You can click on the image, or download the file attached below.
Longmeadow Public Schools
Technology in Education Showcase
When: May 22nd, 2014
Where: Longmeadow High School
Time: 6:00-8:30 PM
Opening Remarks from Superintendent Marie Doyle
Kevin Warenda, Director of Technology
Auditorium at 6:00 PM
The Longmeadow Public School District will showcase how technology is blended into daily learning experiences at our first Technology in Education Showcase (TIES). Students and teachers will exhibit interactive projects that highlight how technology enhances learning across curriculum areas and across all grade levels. Algebraic Art, QR Codes for Literacy Learning, Green Screen Studio projects, and Math with iPads are just a few samples of the innovative and exciting presentations.
Visitors to TIES will learn about the creative ways that technology enriches learning and enjoy the opportunity to engage with teachers and students as they share their projects. Visitors should bring their own devices for some interactive fun! TIES will highlight a sampling of projects from all schools in the district- students in grades kindergarten through grade twelve will be present! Participants are eager to share their technology talents and innovative learning with members of the Longmeadow community and beyond, so mark your calendars for this engaging showcase! Please note:
Opening remarks are from 6:00-6:15 pm.
Kindergarten presentations are from 6:15-7:00 pm.
Elementary presentations are from 6:15-7:30 pm.
High school presentations are from 6:15-8:30 pm.
Staff presentations are from 6:15-8:30 pm.
Information will be available for you to scan to your own device, so come with an electronic tool. We look forward to our first TIES, so please plan to join us!
Dear Longmeadow Community:
This past year, I worked with the Kindergarten Committee to study the
benefits of a full day kindergarten program, and a recommendation was
made to the School Committee that we provide the opportunity for all
children to attend the full day program in Longmeadow. The lottery
system was abolished and the fee was reduced from over $4000 to $3000
per child. The Committee worked all through the fall and into the
winter before making this recommendation. Time was needed for teachers'
input, parent forums, research and communication. A final report was
written and presented to the School Committee in January of 2014.
Registration was completed by March 1, and it was at this time that we had evidence that we would increase the number of full day classrooms next year, FY 15.
Fund Code 701- the Transition to Full Day Kindergarten Grant- is
designed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
to promote voluntary expansion to full day kindergarten programs. In
November of 2012, the DESE released the funding opportunity for this
competitive grant. It was designed to increase the number of full day
programs- not to supplant the current full day classrooms already in
existence. Since Longmeadow's full day kindergarten had no classrooms
increases in the past years, we were not eligible for the grant.
In addition, the grant clearly states, "Competitive priority will be given to districts with the greatest need as defined by:
• higher percentages of low-income students based on districts that serve
free or reduced lunches to at least 35% of its students;
• higher percentages of students who are English language learners;
and lower Composite Performance Index (CPI) data for the 3rd grade
MCAS assessments in English Language Arts and Mathematics."
Eight districts applied for the grant this past year. Five applicants
received funding in FY 14. They were: Billerica Public Schools
($90,000), Hopkinton Public Schools ($20,000), Mansfield Public Schools
($20,000), Scituate Public Schools ($10,000), and Stoneham Public
Schools ($20,259). The total amount of money allocated and dispersed
for the entire State was $150,529. Three applicants received no
funding; a total of $514,457 was requested by all of the applicants and
only $150,529 was funded by the State. None of the districts that
received funding over the past two years compare to us by the DESE's
qualifications, which they call "like districts". We are compared with
communities such as Wellesley and Wayland for achievement,
socio-economics and ELL populations. The data above shows that the
likelihood of Longmeadow receiving a grant was highly unlikely. In
addition, the deadline for the application was October 15, 2013, and the
Committee, required by the DESE to even apply for the grant, did not
finish our work until January of 2014.
In FY 13, again only five districts, again, distinctly different from
Longmeadow's profile, received funding. They were: Bourne, Hudson,
Mansfield, Mendon- Upton Regional and Scituate. Ms. Jasmin's claims
that our chances of receiving funding were "high" based on FY 12 grants
is inaccurate and misrepresents the facts; if she looks at the actual
grant recipients in FY 13 and FY 14, and the limited funds available,
she will find that no "like districts" received funding because we do
not fit the criteria; districts with lower socio-economic status receive
priority in almost all DESE grants.
In addition, it would cost us over $407,000 more to offer free
kindergarten. Yes, we would receive approximately $81,640 from Chapter
70 funds based on the 130 students projected by Longmeadow's census, but
that would still leave us a deficit of approximately $325,960.
There are other state and federal grants for which we are eligible, we
do apply and we do receive funding. Some of these include: Title I,
IDEA, Race to the Top, Title IIA, Academic Support and Summer Academic
Support. Longmeadow receives approximately $850,000 annually in grants
due to applications submitted by Longmeadow's school administration. We
do not shy away from applying for grants that will bring valued revenue
to this Town as we understand the high tax rate that residents pay in
order to support our school system. We are most grateful.
As we move to full day kindergarten, we may become eligible for other
grants. Please be assured that we will continue to apply for all grants
that we have a chance of receiving. We are aware that every dollar
counts, and we strive to take advantage of all opportunities to bring
funding to Longmeadow when the criteria fits our profile.
Superintendent Marie Doyle
The Superintendent and School Committee partner
with families in highly valuing education.
The transition to offering full day kindergarten is an excellent example
of this commitment.
Longmeadow is not alone in the struggle to fund
free full day Kindergarten. Several of our “like” districts, such as Wellesley,
are seeking overrides to fund similar programs. When preparing the budget, the
School Department follows the guidelines set forth by the Town Manager and
Select Board. At the onset, the directive from the Town Manager was an
allocation of a 2.7% increase with the stipulation that we were to maintain
level services with no new initiatives added.
At follow up sub-committee meetings, the Town Manager and Select Board
representative requested the School Department’s aid in bridging a $400,000
town wide deficit. Understanding the
fiscal realities facing the town, the School Department has worked closely with
the sub-committee and the Town Manager to bridge the gap and cut our original
allocation by $190,000. I am sure that
should the fiscal circumstances of the town improve, the School Committee would
welcome the funding to provide full day Kindergarten at no cost for all
Municipal budgets and state grants are not easy
to read nor are they user friendly. It
is easy to misread information and be led to incorrect conclusions. What
possible benefit is there for Longmeadow Public Schools NOT to apply for state
funding? The School Committee is consistently looking for funding to finance
projects in order to lessen the burden on the residents of Longmeadow. For example, there has been much discussion
about the 702 Transition to Kindergarten grant. Yes, every town is eligible to apply
for this grant, much like most everyone is eligible to apply for a mortgage.
Not every district is eligible for funding, much like not everyone is eligible
for a $5,000,000 mortgage. The primary criteria for this grant is having low
3rd grade MCAS scores, a high percentage of
low income families and a high percentage of English Language
Learners. The small amount of funding
that Longmeadow could possibly receive from this grant subjects our
Kindergarten program to the state’s discretion and requires NAEYC
Contrary to statements that have been made in
various public forums, such as Facebook, Chapter 70 funding for free Full Day
Kindergarten would not be substantial. When communicating with representatives
from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), it was
reported that the maximum the town of Longmeadow could receive would be up to
$628 per student if full day Kindergarten was provided without tuition.
While everyone would like more concrete
numbers, the reality is that state & federal funding is a constantly moving
target. In addition, enrollment numbers still remain uncertain. For example, for the 2013-2014 school year
the District had an increase of 45 students over what the census had predicted
with many of these students enrolling in the last days before the school year
began. This resulted in the hiring of an additional teacher at the last hour.
There are many demands placed on families
today, a few of which include time commitments and financial concerns, and with
that in mind, the School Committee went forward with offering several
opportunities for open communication and dialogue in the attempt to reach all
members of the Longmeadow community.
Please be assured that the new Common Core
curriculum will be presented to all students whether they attended the Half Day
or Full Day Kindergarten programs. The Longmeadow School District has every
confidence in our highly qualified teachers that the students will receive the
foundation needed to succeed in first grade.
I would like to reassure all families that the
decision that was made regarding full day Kindergarten was reached only after
significant thoughtful analysis. While the School Department is unable to fully
fund Full Day Kindergarten at this time, we will continue to explore every
avenue possible along with working with town and state officials to fund full
I would like to take this opportunity to thank
all of our parents for their patience and continued support as we embark on
this new exciting chapter in education.
I appreciate the open dialogue and look forward to continuing to work
with you to assure a positive Kindergarten experience for your child. As always I am committed to providing the
highest quality education for every child in Longmeadow.
More information about Kindergarten screening
& orientation will be sent to parents next week. We are looking forward to
meeting our newest students, the class of 2027.
Our last early Release Day for students is scheduled for Monday, April 7.
Elementary School students will be released at 1:40 pm.
Middle School students will be released at 1:30 pm.
High School students will be released at 1:10 pm.
The Longmeadow School Committee is seeking input on Policy IJOA - Field Trips, and the regulation which goes along with that Policy IJOA-R - Field Trips. The policy and regulation are posted below.
Please complete a policy input
statement to provide your feedback about these revised policies.