CITY OF WORCESTER

Education Committee Meeting

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Levi Lincoln (North) Chamber

Convened: 5:49 P.M.

Adjourned: 7:49 P.M.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

 

Clerk of the City Council
Nikolin Vangjeli

Committee Members

Chairperson Morris A Bergman
Vice Chairperson Khrystian E King
Councilor Gary Rosen
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


Present Were:Chairperson Councilor Morris A Bergman Councilor Khrystian E King Councilor Gary Rosen
 
Also:School Committee Member Jack Foley School Committee Member Molly McCullough School Committee Member Dianna Biancheria School Committee Member Tracy OíConnell Novick Superintendent of Public Schools Maureen Binienda Deputy Superintendent of Public Schools Dr. Susan OíNeil WPS Chief Financial Officer Brian Allen School Safety Director Robert Pezzella Information Technology Officer Bob Walton Manager of Instructional Technology and Digital Learning Sarah Kyriazis Manager for Instruction and Schoo
 
1.

Approval of the Minutes

1a.

Order- That the City Council Standing Committee of Education hereby approves the minutes of the Education Committee meeting on May 5, 2018.

View Agenda

Chairperson Councilor Bergman moved for a roll call vote to adopt the item. Order adopted on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays.

2.

Public Participation

2a.

In order to ensure the continuation of active public engagement, the City of Worcester will now use a phone conference line for members of the public to participate in all public meetings. To participate during the public participation phase of City Council, you may call the direct line indicated: Levi Lincoln Chamber - 415-655-0001 (Access Code: 173 417 0619) or enter the below URL into your web browser. If you would like to raise your hand when in the meeting as a call-in user during public participation you may dial *3. https://cowevents.webex.com/cowevents/onstage/g.php?MTID=e1abcbbb8174d0e41e10b835bb46ad51a

Attachments

No speakers were recognized during this portion of the meeting.

3.

Discussion Item - To be discussed jointly with the School Committee's Standing Committee on Finance and Operations

3a.

Discussion concerning the 2020-21 Educational Plan entitled Fall 2020 - Return to School Guidance.

Attachments

Chairperson School Committee Member Foley and Chairperson Councilor Bergman both made opening statements relative to meeting jointly from time to time to discuss matters that pertain to both the School Committee and City Council, including the reopening plan for schools.

Chairperson School Committee Member Foley recognized the WPS Chief Financial and Operations Officer, the Manager for Instruction and School Leadership, the Manager for Instructional Technology and Digital Learning and the School Safety Director, who collectively gave a presentation relative to the reopening of schools, providing information concerning items such as a facility capacity analysis, transportation capacity analysis, back-to-school models, technology support, school safety and an update on the FY21 Budget.

Chairperson School Committee Member Foley spoke to the presentation, stating that it had already been provided to the School Committee, and turned to Chairperson Councilor Bergman for questions.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman recognized Councilor King, who discussed whether the buildings are ready for reopening, the plans for collaborative schools and collaborative students, funding needs for technological equipment, and diversity hiring goals and practices with WPS Chief Financial and Operations Officer and Superintendent of Public Schools.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman recognized Councilor Rosen, who discussed feedback received from teachers and students relative to the remote teaching and learning experience, as well as whether the Worcester Public Schools were still on a traditional grading system with the Superintendent of Public Schools and the Manager for Instructional Technology and Digital Learning.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman discussed the impact of virtual learning on snow days, whether there would be efforts to hire more nurses within the schools, the way bathrooms would be monitored during COVID-19, whether temperature checking would be utilized, how furloughs would impact the school system, feedback from WPS teachers and employee concerning the current plans, and how additional costs and savings during the year were monitored with the Superintendent of Worcester Public Schools and the WPS Chief Financial and Operations Officer.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman recognized Councilor King, who discussed whether there was planning occurring as it relates to allowing sports with the Superintendent of Public Schools.

Chairperson School Committee Member Foley recognized School Committee Member Biancheria, who discussed any changes associated with cohort learning and bus services for the students, what circumstances would force entirely remote learning, shipments associated with Chromebooks and reopening training for teachers with the Superintendent of Public Schools, the Manager for Instructional Technology and Digital Learning, the Information Technology Officer, and the School Safety Director.

Chairperson School Committee Member Foley made two (2) motions for the School Committee Standing Committee on Finance and Operations relative to 1) a report concerning the Chromebooks coming in for WPS staff and; 2) a report concerning the current status of ventilation and other safety considerations in the buildings and the status of teaching and learning with the collaborative schools. Further, the report is to be shared with the Education Committee and City Council.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager provide City Council with the report concerning the current status of ventilation and other safety considerations in the school buildings and the status of teaching and learning with the collaborative schools, as prepared by the Worcester School Departmentís administrative staff.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman recognized Councilor King, who discussed the possibility of the Human Resources Department providing assistance to the School Department in relation to meeting diversity hiring goals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager make the cityís Chief Diversity Officer available to the Superintendent of Public Schools for any assistance that might be requested.

Chairperson Councilor Bergman and Chairperson School Committee Member Foley both made closing statements relative to meeting jointly from time to time to discuss matters that pertain to both the School Committee and City Council.

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager provide City Council with the report concerning the current status of ventilation and other safety considerations in the school buildings and the status of teaching and learning with the collaborative schools, as prepared by the Worcester School Departmentís administrative staff.

Request City Manager make the cityís Chief Diversity Officer available to the Superintendent of Public Schools for any assistance that might be requested.