YourArlington



             Arlington businesses: Advertise before rates rise



SEE IT! DO IT!

Easter Week events at Park Avenue Congregational, elsewhere

Easter logo

Regent: URO to benefit OneFund Saturday

Regent logo

Work days at Spy Pond Park begin Saturday

Spy Pond Friends logo

LexFarm stand to open Saturday

Busa blooming

Olivio's to celebrate Italian-style Easter

Olivio logo

April Vacation Arts Camp at ACA

ACA logo

Multi-Chamber networking Tuesday

Chamber of Commerce logo

Patriots Day parade set for Monday

Patriots Day logo

Read, walk Arlington’s cultural heights Tuesday

Arlington Cultural Heights

Workshop on Afghanistan Tuesday

Islam image

Interpretive Alewife walk April 24

FAR logo

'Reciprocal' at 13Forest; talk April 25

13Forest logo

Drum Connection beats this spring

Drum logo

National Drug Take-Back Day April 26

APD logo

Bikeway cleanup April 26

ALT logo

EulipiaJazz to launch concert series April 26

Scptt Samenfeld

Arlington-Nagaokakyo host families get ready for April

Japan image

Chorale, philharmonic concert April 27

Ju Hyun Lee

Historical Society: Our veterans April 29

Arlington Historical Society logo

AFD Theatre presents 'A Little Night Music' May 2-18

AFD Theatre presents 'A Little Night Music' May 2-18

Tryst serves new dinner menu

Paul Turano

Arlington Cultural Commission calendar

Arts/Ideas logo

Fourth international film festival seeking entries, lists partners

AIFF logo/ by Susan Green

Historical talk, reception at May 3 Old Schwamb Mill

Mill workers image at Old Schwamb

For 2014-15, AFD Theatre seeks music, stage directors, choreographers

Arlington Friends opf the Drama logo

All that's jazz: AHS Pops Concert May 3

Jazz logo

A first: Art to rock Menotomy starting May 4

Arlington Public Arts logo

May 7 conversation: Can junk food end obesity?

Arlington Community Education logo

Foundation's tech showcase May 5

AEF logo

A cappella joy in Mudville May 10

There is joy in Mudville

Community Collection Day May 10

Recycle logo

Astronomy Nights continue at Robbins Farm May 31

Astronomy Nights logo

Community Card for 2013-14 aiding Thompson available

Thompson Community Card

Soap-box derby participants get ready for June

Derby logo

Farmers' market to open 16th season June 11

Farmer

16th Feast of the East set for June 14

Feast of the East, 2008

Conversations about diversity conclude June 9: 'Many Social Classes'

Diverse family logo
Paid advertisement

OPEN MIC

Open mic logo

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.

ENTERTAINMENT

Regent logo

The Regent Theatre on Medford Street is Arlington's showplace of stars.
For an up-to-date listing to know what's on stage what's coming, go to www.regenttheatre.com.

YOUR SPORTS

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...
marathon-3314Campbell The Boston Marathon has expanded to 36,000 runners this year, and as of April 15, 78 Arlington residents will be among those hitting the...
 Thursday April 17, 2014 |  4:23:40 p.m.

Failed special-ed search sparks more questions -- and an appeal to consider limited pool

User Rating:  / 0
PoorBest 

School Committee logo

SEPAC logo, 2011

As a special-education group says Arlington is missing out because its search for a top administrator has failed, Superintendent Kathleen Bodie expressed frustration about the limited pool of candidates squeezed by 17 districts seeking heads of special ed.

"Regarding the recent search yielding no recommendation to hire from among the three finalists," Jerri Newman, who was speaking for SEPAC as its cochair, said during public participation Thursday, April 26, "we are disappointed and are concerned that there are flaws in the screening, search, and interview process which resulted in three finalists being selected and none found both suitable from the Superintendent's perspective, and willing to continue, from the finalist's perspective."

Newman asked the School Committee to appoint a neutral party to look into the process.

Bodie commented on a series of administrative positions that must be filled and three of the key searches that have not borne fruit but have had to be reopened.

As for the search for a director of special education, she said it began in December, initially drew few applications and was extended a month.

She noted that the three finalists had toured the schools in March and met the public. Their names have not been released.

Before deciding to reopen the search at a later time and have Kathleen Lockyer continue as interim director for another year, Bodie said a highly regarded applicant withdrew, a second had a contract renewed and the third was not made an offer.

Bodie said 17 districts in the region are seeking directors of special education.

Speaking about applicants for administrative jobs in general, Bodie said the "pool of people for these positions is not wide." She cited tightness in the market for school administrators that is expected to continue for the next five years.

Member Jeff Thielman asked whether a consultant may be need to aid in the current searches.

Bodie said one may be needed for the position of special-education director.

Committee members did not say whether they would follow up on Newman's suggestion for a neutral part to review school searches.

SEPAC cochair comments

The full text of Newman's comments:

"Regarding the status of the search for the director of special education, we have seen improvements in special education administration and team dynamics under the interim leadership of Ms. Lockyer, and speaking for myself personally here, I am very grateful for her leadership of the department. At the same time, SEPAC would have liked to have been able to move forward with several initiatives, which have been postponed in light of the lack of a permanent director of special education.

"Most recently we forfeited the spot reserved for parent leaders and two special-ed administrators from our district, to participate in a workshop offered by the Federation for Children with Special Needs, with support from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, on learning and applying collaborative leadership skills. In addition, we have not acted on an offer made almost a year ago for mediation and guidance from the Harvard Negotiating Team.

"Both of these valuable opportunities were offered to SEPAC and or the district free of charge.

"Regarding the recent search yielding no recommendation to hire from among the three finalists, we are disappointed and are concerned that there are flaws in the screening, search, and interview process which resulted in three finalists being selected and none found both suitable from the Superintendent's perspective, and willing to continue, from the finalist's perspective.

"This is the second screening and hiring effort which has resulted in no candidate among finalists, after many hours expended by staff and parents, at a time when we can ill afford to spend time that is not productive. We appreciate the Superintendent's efforts to include all stakeholders, but believe that the failure of these searches warrants careful analysis of the process to produce recommendations for changes moving forward.

"We respectfully request that the School Committee appoint neutral a party or parties, to be directed to solicit feedback from participants in the search and the meet and greet sessions, including parents and staff, and to solicit feedback from the finalists on the interview process, to expose any problems with the process that might have cost our district so much effort without producing a suitable candidate whom the Superintendent could present to the Committee.
Thank vou."

Updates about other searches

As for other searches, Bodie provided these updates:

-- AHS principal: Before calling off the search in February after it was extended a month and continuing Mary Villano as interim, she said the committee had no one it could recommend.

-- Stratton principal: Robert Spiegel, head of human resources, said 50 had applied. Among three finalists, Maureen Devlin, the top choice, was made an offer, which she considered and then said she had an offer from a private school in another state (here statements to parents is below). The search was reopened, and an ad was published in the Globe April 29. Bodie said she would appoint interim if this search is unsuccessful.

-- Assistant superintendent: The last of five finalists will meet the public April 30. A recommendation for one of those five is expected by May 4.

-- Director of math: Interviews of candidates continue.

-- Metco director: Steve Perreira is retiring in June after more than 30 years, and the School Committee voted, 6-0, in favor of a new job description.

Member Jud Pierce whether time after work hours could be arranged to meet candidates for any of these positions. Available times had been scheduled in the afternoon during work hours.

Spiegel called the request reasonable and said it is challenging to schedule times convenient for candidates and for the public.

"There are so few nights," Bodie said. "If interviews occurred at night, that would spread out the process." She expressed disappointment that few teachers had attended the sessions for assistant superintendent candidates.

In a statement to parents and guardians April 26, Bodie wrote:

"The result of the Stratton Elementary Principal search is that the position was offered to Maureen Devlin, whom we felt would be an excellent choice for Stratton.  Unfortunately, Ms. Devlin has informed us that she has chosen to accept an offer from a private school in another state and  I do not plan to offer the position to one of the other candidates.

"After much thought about what is in the best interest of Stratton, I have decided to re-open the search. My reason for re-opening the search is to be consistent with the way we conducted earlier searches this year, as well as to minimize administrative transitions. We extended the search time for another month both for the High School Principal and Director of Special Education. Unfortunately, the extra time did not result in a successful search, which may be the case for the reopened Stratton Principal search, though we hope for a different outcome.  Should we not find the right candidate for the position in this new search, my plan will be to appoint an Interim Principal for next year.

"The reopened Stratton position will be advertised in The Globe and other venues.  I hope that the members of the Search Committee will agree to continue their service on the Committee.  Should there be any openings, I will invite applications to participate on the Search Committee.

"My goal, as well as your goal, is to find the best person to lead Stratton Elementary School in the years ahead." 


This story was first published Sunday, April 29, 2012.

Paid advertisement

Paid advertisement

Paid advertisement

POLL: PRESERVATION ACT

YOUR VIEW: This site's only blog

  • Dollar image

    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 ...

  • William Hayner

    School Committee reminded of its standards

    School Committee: Norms and Standards (policy BDA-E) We, the Arlington School Committee, acknowledge that a School Committee meeting is a meeting of School Committee members that is held in public and not a public meeting and that we will make every effort to ensure that meetings are effective and efficient. To that end, we acknowledge the importance of subcommittees and we and the superintendent agree to utilize them to focus on specific topics in-depth and to prepare for presentation, deliberation, and possible action by the School Committee.  We, the Arlington School Committee, set forth these Standards and Norms that we will all commit to abide by as individuals and as a committee:     1. Represent the needs and interests of all students in the district.     2. Exercise leadership in vision, planning, policy making, evaluation, and advocacy on behalf of the students and district, not in managing the day-to-day operations of the district. &n ...

  • Dollar image

    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 ...

  • Open Space image

    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 ...

  • Metco image

    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. ...

  • Arlington Avocado image

    Avocado slices, dices town election

    Kurt Fusaris, who writes The Arlington Avocado blog, takes his political knife to the April 5 town election. He takes a look at how his forecasts turned out. He also takes a close read of the results and makes some conjectures as to what happened and why. See his detailed post here >> Kurt is not curt. This blog link was published Wednesday, April 9, 2014. ...

  • Simulator for Distractology Tour

    What are you doing to distract your driving?

    According to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nationwide in 2012, more than 3,328 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers, and approximately 421,000 people were injured. Massachusetts law makes it illegal for any operator of a motor vehicle to use a mobile telephone, or any handheld device capable of accessing the internet, to manually compose, send or read an electronic message while operating a motor vehicle. Fines start at $100 and can be as high as $500 for subsequent offenses. Drivers younger than 18 are also subject to license or permit suspension for as long as one year. "All motorists need to know that Massachusetts is serious about stopping this deadly behavior," Ryan said. "Driving and texting has reached epidemic levels, and enforcing the law is part of the cure." This news release was published Tuesday, April 8, 2014. ...

  • An old-fashioned reporter

    OPINION, NEWS, TIPS: Let us know what you think

    The annual town election has passed, and life in Arlington continues. If you have a letter about any subject related to our town, or news you want residents to know, send it to YourArlington. Here's how: -- Your opinion and news should be related Arlington, Mass. (News about neighboring communities is welcome, but can be published as the publisher's time allows.) -- If your news is an event, you must provide the name of the sponsor (and a way to contact them), what the event is, where it is to take place, when it will happen, why it is taking place and any further information helpful to understand your report. -- There is no restriction on length for your letter or for news, but you should understand that if you go on too long, you run the risk of losing readers. -- Email letters and news as plain text (no formatting, no Word docs). -- If you have a photo, attach it to the email. -- Email [email protected]          -- Or send it dire ...

  • Bob Sprague

    Vote steers Arlington clear of change

    Contrary to my general opinion that the outcome of the election reflects fear, fresh-face Jennifer Susse was elected to the School Committee with the highest vote total. Stephen Gilligan was reelected treasurer by 139 votes, hardly an endorsement. Still, overall, I think voters -- the few (20.08 percent) who decided to delay 15 minutes of shopping and turn out -- erred on the side of caution and cast votes for what they knew. The same cautious attitude may have lurked behind Precinct 7 voters' rejection of two outspoken incumbent Town Meeting members -- Chris Loreti and Mark Kaepplein. Loreti, a close follower of town business, was dropped from the Redevelopment Board in 2011. His often-technical arguments on the floor of Town Meeting are well known. Kaepplein is a longtime critic of the Mass. Ave. Corridor project and is noted for his anticycling views. Unlike Loreti, his public opinions often seem scattershot. I do not place both men in the same boat exactly, but I think Town ...

  • Douglass T. Davidoff

    Two modest proposals for after the election

    Suggestions for renaming First: Let’s rename the Board of Selectmen to the "Select Board." Second: Let’s rename the Town Meeting to "Representative Town Meeting." As a relatively new resident of Arlington, having moved here only four years ago, I don’t know if these two ideas that gnaw at me have been debated before in the town. If they have, it’s a marvel that the Arlington I have come to know wouldn’t have moved sooner to address deficiencies I see in naming our chief town governance structures. The New England tradition of town meetings and "select men" elected to manage town affairs between meetings of the town citizenry is well documented. From Maine to Connecticut, town meetings and select men have run affairs of New England towns for centuries. But in Connecticut, where I grew up, the towns that grew in population and abandoned the town meeting because it became unwieldy often replaced it with elected leaders who sit in what’s usually a "Representative Town Meeting." My h ...

View more featured blog entries

LEADERS & METERS

Paid advertisement

MEETINGS, AGENDAS

To participate in Vision 2020, contact Joey Glushko...
See selectmen on cable The Board of Selectmen...
  Two scheduled meetings remain for...
See the School Committee on cable The School...
The Arlington Park and Recreation Commission is...

DAILY, TOTAL TRAFFIC

Today1581
Total8359552

Visitor Info : Unknown - Unknown Thursday, 17 April 2014 17:23

Guests : 278 guests online
Powered by CoalaWeb

QUANTCAST MEASURES MARKET

Repost This

CONTACT THE EDITOR