Superintendent's Update

December 2014

Be Good to Yourself

At the start of the New Year our office will be sending you information from Blue Cross Blue Shield with reminders and resources about how to support your own good health. If you are working in education you are working hard and pushing yourself daily. I want to encourage you to do whatever it takes to be healthy and keep a balance in your life. Additionally, the lower our claims are the better our insurance rates are and ultimately, we all benefit from that.

We will be introducing you to options through BCBS including* and an option for Weight Watchers at work (a 15-18 week session). If you are interested in joining a weight watchers group after the holiday break, please email by December 22nd to indicate your interest just so we will have an idea of the number of possible participants.

*Healthy Lifestyles has the online tools, resources and support you need to set personal goals and keep track of your progress. You’ll even be rewarded for your hard work. Our rewards system lets you get great gear such as gym bags, headphones, fitness accessories and more. Healthy Lifestyles has so much to offer. Check it out on-line during the break if you have time.

Show me the Money

As an administrative team we are well into the budget process and will be moving towards collectively prioritizing our individually submitted priorities. I would like our budget to be a reflection of our goals and our vision and while these areas are being more fully developed we will work together to submit the most responsible budget possible. I have asked your administrators to encourage you to take time to really inventory what materials and supplies exist so that we are not ordering things we already have and seeing whether there are items we have that others could use. When your building or department administrator encourages you to do this, know that I put them up to it. Also, I am asking you to take a look at your individual use of paper. Please work together as office staff, teams, or grade levels to do whatever you can to reduce your paper use. I appreciate anything you can do to contribute to a more deliberate and responsible use of all of our resources.

Boots on the Ground

In case you were wondering, the process of making decisions related to weather is truly a team event. I talk with two different groups of Superintendents (about 10 people) due to our location so I have an idea of the weather implications around us. Additionally, I am on the phone early with Rob Francis who is out and about early and in constant contact with the road crews from both of our communities. Additionally, I am in touch with Ron and he is in touch with the bus company. Our initial contact begins shortly after 4:30 a.m, and we continue to talk even after I’ve made the call, to monitor the weather, bus, and road conditions. Our collective priority is safety, and it never gets easier to make the hard call.

Utilization Study

Wednesday night at the Board of Education meeting Bob Fulton presented the final copy of the Utilization Study to the full board. The study is a comprehensive review of our school facilities, an enrollment study encompassing the next 10 years, and possible options for reconfiguration. The report is available in our office, at the public libraries in Durham and Middlefield, and the executive summary and cover letter are available on-line. There is an email address for the Utilization Committee, so please send any questions or ideas you have after reading the report to them. With the enrollment in our district predicted to decline by over 500 students in the next 10 years, clearly we have to accurately assess our facilities needs and resource allocations. The next steps as the committee moves towards making a final recommendation include doing a comprehensive cost analysis and strategic planning/educational visioning for the future of our district. I anticipate much excitement amidst the challenges in the work that lies before us.