Wednesday, March 2, 2016

March 1, 2016

Superintendent's Blog

Teams from across the district are competing against each other in a new fitness challenge. By wearing Fitbits, each team is able to log the number of steps they take each day and the team totals are easily viewed by all participants to see which team is in the lead. "Witness the Fitness," the administration building team, consists of Sharon Roberts, Donna Boteiri, Steve Bailey, Kerry Beaudry, Patty SanAntonio, Carmella Farrar, Bob Ross and Robin Cerio. Thank you to all who are participating, from every building, to model healthy behaviors for our students!

The annual operating budget for the school department was approved by the School Committee last week. It represents level funding from the previous year, as requested by the Superintendent. This budget includes funding to support expansion of our pre-school program, a full-year foreign language opportunity at the Junior High School, increased teacher assistant support for our youngest classrooms, and additional reading services at Metcalf.   Unfortunately, even a level funded budget is problematic because of reductions to various components of the state aid to education. The School Committee, Exeter Town Council, West Greenwich Town Council, Superintendent and members of the district and school-based administrative teams attended a State House event this past Monday evening, along with representatives of the Bristol-Warren, Foster-Glocester, and Chariho Regional School Disticts and member Town Councils, to address funding issues impacting regional schools. An article summarizing the event was published in the Providence Journal on Tuesday of this week:

On Monday, March 28th, the school department will host the annual public hearing for the school department budget. We are hoping to report on any adjustments made as a result of the joint advocacy of all of the state's regional schools. Please plan to attend and learn more about our progress.
I think it is fair to say that we have all been saddened by the number of recent traffic fatalities in ours, and our neighboring communities. This has been a difficult time for many of our students, their families, and our staff because of the personal and family connections to the individuals who lost their lives. These unfortunate tragedies remind all of us of just how fragile our lives really are. We must all commit to maintaining ongoing communication with our children and our students about the risks involved in driving and the impact that their choices can have on themselves and those who care about them.
Please look for my next blog post, scheduled to be published in mid-March. 

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