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Kick Stand Cafe, just off Mass. Ave. in Arlington Center, continues the Jam'n Java open- microphone tradition Friday nights once a month for local entertainers starting in December.

For an up-to-date listing, go to Open Mic.

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The Regent Theatre on Medford Street is Arlington's showplace of stars.
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sox-33914 Hundreds of people came to Town Hall on a rainy evening Saturday, March 29, to pose for pictures with the 2013 Red Sox World Series trophy on a...
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RESTAURANT REVIEWS

 Friday April 18, 2014 |  6:16:36 p.m.

New school calendar passes -- but not without concerns

School calendar logo

The 2013-14 school calendar, continuing the annual exercise in balancing allotted time slots over a year among competing groups, has received a unanimous vote from the School Committee but far from wholesale agreement.

School Committee logo, Jan. 23, 2013

Before the 7-0 vote Thursday, June 13, committee members expressed concerns, some on behalf of parents, and the superintendent expressed her own: more time for teacher support.

"We have heard from elementary parents regarding early release," Superintendent Kathy Bodie said, noting that such days have increased to 13 from 11.

That increase, as well as the times of parent conferences drew discomfort from committee Chairman Jud Pierce and member Kirsi Allison-Ampe, both of whom have children attending the public schools.

"I will vote for this," Allison-Ampe said, "but it puts a burden on families."

Member Bill Hayner urged for more creative ways to address the competing needs.

Pierce agreed with both of his colleagues, expressing a general a general concern "about how we break up our year."

He said it "tough on families" to face a schedule for December parent conferences that have them at 11:15 a.m. on a Friday and at the same time the following Tuesday.


See the 2013-14 calendar here >>


Pierce said he would like to see a survey of teachers about what they want.

He also wanted to know why Arlington High School's graduation has been changed from Sunday to Saturday.

Here is a list of key changes in the calendar for the next school year:

    -- Teachers return before Labor Day, on Aug. 28 and 29. In the past, they have returned after Labor Day.

    -- The first day of school for grades one through 12 is the day after Labor Day, Tuesday, Sept. 3. In the past, the first has been the Thursday after Labor Day, but this year that Thursday is Rosh Hashanah, and schools will be closed.

    -- The first day for kindergarteners is Monday, Sept. 9.

    -- Early release days for elementary end at 1 p.m. on these dates:

        Oct. 8, Nov. 19, Jan. 14, Feb. 25 (lunch will be served)

    -- Early release days at all levels end at 1 p.m. on these dates: 

       Sept. 24, Oct. 22, Jan. 28, March 25, April 8, May 20 (lunch will be served)

    -- Professional-development day (no school), Nov. 1

    -- Arlington High School conferences, 6 to 8 p.m., Nov. 20 and 25

    -- Elementary grades kindergarten through fifth grade conferences, 6 to 8 p.m., Dec. 4 and 12

    -- Ottoson Middle School conferences, 6 to 8 p.m., Dec. 5 and 11 

    -- Early release for elementary and Ottoson conferences, Dec. 6, 11:15 a.m.

    -- Early release for parent conferences at all levels, Dec. 10, 11:15 a.m.

    -- AHS graduation, Saturday, June 7

Legal-services subcommittee continued

In other business, the School Committee voted, 7-0, continue the temporary legal services review subcommittee. There was no discussion.

Member Kirsi Allison-Ampe, subcommittee chair, said she made the motion because the panel's report could not be completed this month, in the light of one scheduled full committee meeting in June.

The motion asked to "continue the temporary Legal Services Review Subcommittee, as allowed by Policy BDE, for the purposes of examining the expenditures on legal services; documenting legal needs around special education disputes; and performing other work as appropriate. Scope of examination is to include the current fiscal year, and as far back in time as the Legal Services Review Subcommittee feels it needs to analyze for useful comparisons. Subcommittee is to deliver a report by the first meeting in October 2013, or earlier."

The subcommittee dates to May 2008 and was formed in part to review the performance of Stoneman Chandler & Miller, the School Committee's longtime law firm, in connection with its advice in the dismissals of Stavroula Bouris, until August 2007 the principal of Ottoson Middle School, and teacher Charles Coughlin. The paired filed a lawsuit in 2010, and the case scheduled for trial this fall.

In October 2010, the School Committee voted unanimously to continue using Stoneman Chandler for some legal services, but with a different attorney than it has long used, and decided to employ a separate lawyer as labor counsel, one who already advises the superintendent.


This story was published Tuesday, June 18, 2013.

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POLL: PRESERVATION ACT

YOUR VIEW: This site's only blog

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    Treasurer gets deputy after urging vote

    "Below please find the date-trail where important actions took place: "• Internal posting - December 12, 2013 "• External posting- December 12, 2013     o Town Website        o Monster.com "• Review of applicant resume's and credentials - January 13, 2014 through February 3, 2014 "• 1st round of interviews- February 6, 2014 and February 13, 2014     o An Excel-based budgetary exercise situation problem was administered to each applicant during the first round of interviews "• 2nd round of interviews-February 21, 2014        o A writing skills exercise containing an investment scenario was administered during the second round of interviews "I am extremely pleased that we were able to attract and obtain a candidate with Mr. Morse's qualifications, skills, experience and passion. Mr. Morse will bring an array of valuable skills and experience to the Deputy Treasurer's position. "I strongly ...

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    Vote *against* Community Preservation Act

    If you can afford it ... The CPA is a good deal for municipalities whose residents can afford it. In exchange for a property tax surcharge of 1 to 3 percent, the state will provide matching money (used to be $1 for $1, is now more on the order of 50 cents state matching on each dollar of local property tax surcharge). At least 10% of the match must be spent on each of 3 categories - open space, historic preservation, and affordable housing; the remaining 70% can be spent on a much wider (but still limited) range of possibilities. Spending is thus on projects which most communities would like to spend money anyway. The state match reduces by half the cost of extra spending. Bottom line is that CPA money is worth spending on, if one can afford it. I suggest that individual support for or opposition against the CPA is based largely on one's personal finances. Those who feel they can afford to pay more have compelling reason to support it; those who feel they can't have compelling rea ...

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    How the Community Preservation Act is good for Arlington

    Surcharge of no miore than 3% Money for the fund is raised through a surcharge of no more than 3 percent on the property-tax levy. Massachusetts has set up a fund that is used to partially offset these charges. On average historically, the reimbursement rate has been about 30 percent of the surcharge. After decades of growth and development, residents from across the state began to realize that their communities were rapidly changing and that they needed to do something to protect the resources that made their home towns unique. Some communities wanted to protect open space, some to preserve historic sites and others wanted to ensure affordable housing for their residents. All petitioned the state government for assistance in planning and funding. With so many worthwhile interests competing for limited resources, it took nearly 20 years of on-and-off debate to complete the legislation now known as the Community Preservation Act. The law does four things. It addresses all of the co ...

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    Long Live Metco, Starks writes

    The reason I co-authored the article with Mr. Foskett was to make sure that as we head into the need for future overrides for our schools that we make sure that we are talking about all of the costs that our public schools are asked to take on and that we as a town decide whether to continue to support them or not. As I had hoped, the discussion that has ensued about Metco has been a positive response to keeping the program going. I will continue to work to get more funding for the program and make sure that our legislators know how woefully underfunded it is. But my stance on Metco needing more funding is not a reflection on whether or not I think it is an important program that has a long future here in Arlington. Education itself is woefully underfunded, but you will not find a more passionate advocate for it than those of us who serve on School Committee. This letter was published Friday, April 11, 2014. ...

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    What are you doing to distract your driving?

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  • Douglass T. Davidoff

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