SCHOOL COMMITTEE NEWS: 5 Things That Happened At Last Week’s Meeting

WILMINGTON, MA — Below are five things that happened at the Wilmington School Committee Meeting on Wednesday, February 13, 2019:

#1) DONATIONS ACCEPTED: The Wilmington School Committee accepted three donations to the Wilmington High School Athletics Department:

  • The Sons of Italy donated $4,000 toward the Wilmington Sons of Italy Holiday Invitational Wrestling Tournament.
  • The Penalty Box Girls’ Ice Hockey Booster Group donated uniforms to the Wilmington High School Girls Hockey Team, in the approximate amount of $4,000
  • The Wilmington Knights of Columbus donated $500 to the Wilmington Boys & Girls Basketball teams for team t-shirts.

#2) SUPERINTENDENT EVALUATION: The Wilmington School Committee decided to conduct its annual evaluation of Superintendent Dr. Glenn Brand PRIOR to the April 27 Town Election, rather than wait until the end of the school year. Julie Broussard and Tom Talbot are not seeking re-election, while incumbent Jo Newhouse may face a contested race. Committee members felt it was important that Brand be evaluated by the existing committee — those who have worked closely with him over his first year. The Committee also voted to have a subcommittee pull each member’s individual evaluations into a final report.

#3) CONTRACTS ONLINE: The Wilmington School Committee once again discussed the Finance Committee’s request to post the district’s employment contracts online. Committee members support placing the Superintendent’s contract and the system’s collective bargaining agreements online, but oppose putting other individuals’ contracts online. Committee members previously noted the documents are public records and can be attained via a request. Before placing the agreed upon contracts online, however, the Committee would like its Policy Subcommittee to develop a policy on the matter.

#4) POLICY SUBCOMMITTEE: At the suggestion of Superintendent Brand, the School Committee’s Policy Subcommittee will reconvene after a break to begin reviewing the district’s policy.  The Policy Subcommittee consists of Vice Chair Jennifer Bryson, Steve Bjork and David Ragsdale, with MJ Byrnes as the alternate.

“It’s good practice to have a regular and systematic review of policies. It’s my understanding that some of our policies require revision or updating,” said Brand. “I would recommend to restart the policy subcommittee and to meet to identify a plan moving forward for next school year…. There are some policies that can jump to the forefront.”

#5) OPEN SEATS: Outgoing School Committee member Tom Talbot noted at the end of the meeting that there are three School Committee seats up for grabs in April’s election, but – so far – only two candidates (incumbent Jo Newhouse & challenger Jesse Fennelly) have stepped forward. Nomination papers to get on the ballot are available at the Town Clerk’s Office. The papers, with at least 50 signatures from registered Wilmington voters, need to be returned by Friday, March 8.

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