The Pentucket Regional School District, located in northern Essex County, comprises the three towns of Merrimac, Groveland and West Newbury. The School Committee oversees the schools in these towns. The district’s schools include four elementary schools (grades pre-K through 6), a middle school (grades 7 and 8), and a high school (grades 9-12).
The committee consists of nine members, three from each town. They are elected within the towns for staggered 3-year terms. In addition and in accordance with Massachusetts law, a high school student advisory member is an ex officio, non-voting member of the committee.
SCHOOL COMMITTEE GOALS
1. Budget/Fiscal Responsibility: Work with the Superintendent and Business Manager throughout the year to develop a successful budget for FY 24-25 that meets the needs of all students. Additionally, support the Superintendent in his proactive efforts to collaborate with legislators to address the serious Chapter 70 problems facing regional school district communities, particularly in the areas of Special Education and transportation costs.
2. Building Project and Capital Plan: The School Committee will support the successful completion of all punch-list and other ongoing items relating to the Middle-High School Building Project, as well as the continued development of policies and practices that maximize its effective use while ensuring its preservation and maintenance. Committee members will continue to take an active role in developing a long-term capital plan to ensure the investment of stakeholders is maximized.
3. Professional Development/Curriculum: The School Committee will continue to support district implementation of best teaching practices - including adequate professional development time for staff to further develop their skills, assess data, and make adjustments to curriculum and practice - and highly effective curriculum. In these efforts, the Committee will place special emphasis on how best to support Superintendent's Goals 2 and 3 and high academic achievement opportunities for all students.
4. Governance/Professional Practice: Relying on the contributions of every member across all three member communities, the School Committee will continue to expand its work developing positive, communicative relationships with stakeholders as a means of successful advocacy - with meaningful outcomes - for all students.
BENCHMARKS | ACTIONS
1. School Committee members may meet with stakeholders and attend Finance Committee and Selectboard meetings throughout the year to present information and answer questions in all three towns. Members will collaborate with the Superintendent to determine key points to deliver a consistent message. Committee members may meet with legislators to advance the understanding of the impacts of the Chapter 70 formula, special education funding and other state-based budgetary matters on our district, and hopefully work toward legislation on the topic to provide some fiscal relief in this area.
2. School Committee members will participate in Building Committee meetings on an ongoing basis and report back to the Committee as a whole as needed. The Committee will request updates on the long-term facilities plan and current usage from the Executive Director of Operations. The School Committee will work with the Business Manager to ensure adequate funding is being allocated/planned for to address facilities systems training and future upkeep of the building.
3. The School Committee will prioritize funding of curriculum resources and professional development in future budget development. The School Committee as a whole, as well as relevant subcommittees, will request regular updates on student achievement and any needed resources to support deficits. The Committee (and subcommittees) will also ask for regular updates on adjustments to learning pathways, dual enrollment, and grading practices to stay informed about the progress at the Middle/High School.
4. The School Committee will continue to hold subcommittee meetings that address community liaison and communications needs. All committee members will take some responsibility for attending at least one community meeting in order to build relationships and foster two-way communication with stakeholders.