Do you believe Wareham's current financial allocation toward the schools serves the community, and, if not, how would you seek to change it?
At this time the school district is getting the bare minimum for funding. It would be in the community's best interest to support and fund the schools appropriately to ensure all students have the tools and resources to be successful. Having a community who supports their schools will encourage more families to move to Wareham which will bring more revenue to the town.
The first thing I would cut is the IB program. Although it is a great program it is also a huge expense to the district. There are IB classes at the high school where there are only three to four students in them. This should be happening at the elementary level where interventions are essential for helping students become successful in school. High achieving students will still have opportunities with honors classes, AP classes and dual enrollment. At this time most colleges weigh AP and IB classes the same. The last thing that I would cut would be the focus on early literacy. Building early literacy skills in students make it more likely that they will have a successful academic career. If Wareham schools had a surplus of money I would focus on the following:
I currently work as a special education supervisor where I am consistently receiving training on curriculum and instruction, as well as new state regulations.
I know that Wareham has tried and continues to try various ways to promote family support (i.e., parent conferences, school events, workshops etc). One thing that hasn't been tried is doing monthly home visits...especially in the early years (pre-k to 3) If we are able to engage parents then it is more likely they will continue to engage throughout their child's schooling.
I think that it may be helpful to send out a survey to parents to ask them why they chose to leave the district. This will show that we care and want to know how we can improve things. I would also support a committee of representatives from each school to meet monthly to share their discipline data and consequences to get feedback on the effectiveness, as well as input for improvement. Meeting and discussing discipline across the district should allow for more consistency, as well as problem solving solutions. Sharing effective outcomes from the committee with the public will show the progress we are making with the problem and how we are collaborating about it across the district.
This should not be happening in the schools. This is why having a public day school and alternative school is essential to the district. Most students who are assaulting staff will be more successful in a smaller setting where they receive more supports.
Bringing back the public day school k-12 will not only allow students to stay in their own community, but will also save the district money. It cost the district approximately 100,000 to send a student out of district due to tuition and transportation. It would also allow for the students to have opportunities to gradually transition back to their regular school when they are ready.