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  • Jenny Graham

Jenny on Budget Meeting #6

We held a Committee of the Whole dedicated to budget planning for the 2020/2021 academic year on May 4th. In this meeting, we heard from the following departments:

  • Special Education

  • English Learners


Each department provided a narrative description of the critical activities, aggregated staffing, accomplishments, and essential initiatives for the upcoming year. If you missed my update on the plans for this year's budget and some general commentary, you could find it here. Generally, departments have been providing a narrative description of the department, which includes critical expenses and answers to the 'wish list' question.

Department Reviews

In addition to the same funding requests from last year, the department heads highlighted the following items on their respective 'Wish Lists.'

Special Education

  • Due to an increase in enrollment an additional Kindergarten Classroom is needed for the Roberts Elementary Connections program. This includes a special education teacher, and two paraprofessionals. The teacher was discussed as a critical item while the paraprofessionals were presented as more of a ‘high wish.’

  • Joan Bowen echoed the elementary school principals and added 4 Behavior Specialists to her wish lists.

  • 1.5 additional Adjustment Counselors across 3 of our 4 elementary schools.

  • Special Education teacher at the high School due to increased enrollment

  • 1 Speech Language Pathologist to support preK and elementary needs. We currently only have 1 person in this role to address all our students with needs.

  • Job Coach for the Project Transition program for our 18-22 year old students with special needs.

  • Orton-Gillingham Training for Kindergarten and 1st grade teachers

  • Autism specialist

  • Vehicle for Curtis-Tufts school to allow students to participate in assemblies with peers at Medford High School.

  • Unified Sports stipend to promote team athletics opportunities for our students with disabilities to participate on our sports teams

  • Registered Behavior Therapy Training for 85 Paraprofessionals

English Learners

  • An additional teacher at Medford High due to increased enrollment, slower reclassification of current students to Former English Learners due to school closures, and the creation of an additional classification level supporting students not ready to transition out of our EL programming.

Full Schedule of Budget Meetings

Beginning on February 24th, the School Committee started holding budget meetings with every department. The department heads will present a narrative of their department along with their budget requests for the upcoming year. I've also included the recording links in the full list below Here is the schedule:

Completed meetings

  • MONDAY, FEBRUARY 24TH, 2020 – Guidance, English Language Arts, Social Studies, Mathematics, Science, and World Languages The session was recorded and is available here. The budget presentations spilled over into our regularly scheduled School Committee meeting as well which is available here.

  • MONDAY, MARCH 9TH, 2020 – Elementary Schools. The session was recorded and is available here.

  • MONDAY, APRIL 6TH, 2020 – Art, Physical Education, Library/Media, Health Services, and Athletics. The session was recorded and is available here.

  • MONDAY, APRIL 20TH, 2020 – Middle Schools, High School, Vocational Technical Education, and Student Activities/Programs; School Committee, Finance/Business, Districtwide Expenses, and Districtwide The session was recorded and is available here.

  • MONDAY, MAY 4TH, 2020 – English Learners and Special Education. The session was recorded and is available here.

Schedule of Upcoming Meetings

  • MONDAY, MAY 18TH, 2020 – Transportation, Security and Building, Grounds and Custodial

  • MONDAY, JUNE 1ST, 2020 – Reserved if an additional meeting is needed

  • MONDAY, JUNE 15TH, 2020 – Budget Hearing Presentation at last School Committee Meeting of the school year.

Your call to action: Take the time to watch the 4/28/20 special School Committee meeting. Our city auditor provides the first input we've received on the impacts of COVID-19 on city budget planning here or read my update on this meeting. Please reach out if you'd like to meet. Please also share this blog with friends and neighbors who want to be informed about our schools. Subscribing to the newsletter will ensure you receive these updates as I post them.

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