EWSD Board Takeaways - 2.5.19

The Essex Westford School Board met on February 5th, 2019. Highlights of the meeting included:

  • The EWSD Board welcomed the EHS Diversity Club, who came with a request to fly the Black Lives Matter flag through the end of the scheduled school year in front of EHS.

    This is the second year in a row that the EWSD Board has received this request, as our policy states that we receive a new submission each year.

    Members of the Diversity Club cite the importance of the flag as a clear display of our school's efforts as inclusiveness and activity regarding race issues within the community. This comes in addition to the club's plan to hang posters and form group discussions to provide education on why the flag itself is so important to our minority populations in the school.

    The board voted unanimously to approve this request.

  • The Director of CTE - Essex, Bob Travers, presented his budget for the FY 20 school year. The full budget presentation materials can be found HERE. (Link to: https://bit.ly/2GsirKb)

    As a reminder, CTE is the only school in our district that is funded primarily by the tuition of its student population based off a six semester rolling average. Since this can fluctuate the Center must always be responding to the needs of students and program offerings that will draw enough interest to encourage enrollment within the Center.

    At present, this population includes over 400 students from 9 different sending schools and for the first time in multiple years, CTE is proposing a slight increase to tuition costs, up 0.80% to 17,000 a year. This increase only impacts our district's taxpayers insofar as Essex High sends the most number of students to the CTE programs. The presence of CTE within our community is a huge boon to local businesses and as an additional educational pathway EWSD learners can take advantage of.

    Tech teachers work closely with their academic counterparts to fine tune the curriculum each year as our Tech Ed students come from so many districts with their own styles of educational practices and EWSD appreciates all the work Bob and his staff do to accommodate all their students. 
  • The EWSD Administration presented their latest updates surrounding transportation within the district and those materials can be found HERE. (Link to: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bilKOc__KrqMxHyBJAn6TgwiAtQwIGUN/view) This update includes potential contingency routes to serve K-8 riders within the Junction if ridership is low enough though the primary focus would be on the introduction of K-5 busing.

    As with previous updates, the lack of drivers statewide continues to be the primary bottleneck for additional services and the Board encourages our Administration to continue to communicate to the full community as often and as early as possible regarding any proposed changes.

    We need to make it clear that going forward, with such difficult driver recruitment, further transportation services may be in jeopardy. 

  • Finally, the Board received our FY '19 second quarter financial report. The specifics can be found HERE (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JQnq-434mxGvH8bdNW7xq617lb7CpHj3/view) and we received highlights in both revenues and expenditures as part of this presentation.

    As it is number specific we strongly encourage review at the displayed link and via our RETN video feed.