Dear Winchester Families:
We are enjoying the brisk weather and first snowfall as our schools quickly march towards our December break. Here are some updates on district happenings:
- The School Start Time Study Committee continues to work to define challenges and benefits of the planned move to an 8:00 a.m. start time for grades PreK-5 and an 8:30 a.m. start time for grades 6-12. Thank you to all who participated in the surveys and who attended the forum. Surveys and more research can be found on our webpage at School Start Time Page.
- WHS principal Dennis Mahoney, wellness director Carolyn Troy, and I presented at a Middlesex Partnerships for Youth workshop on the district’s efforts to reduce anxiety. You can see a link to our presentation on the superintendent’s page on our website.
- Planning for Phase I of the McCall expansion project (3 new classrooms) and Phase II (6 new classrooms, expanded cafeteria, and other space modifications) is well underway. While town meeting has approved Phase I funding, the funding for completion of Phase II will require a debt exclusion override in March 2018. Please see our website for more information: McCall Expansion Project.
- You may recall that we submitted Statements of Interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) to ask for funding support to renovate/replace Muraco and Lynch elementary schools. The MSBA has notified us that neither project has been approved for funding in this cycle, but another submission window opens in January 2018 for fall 2018 consideration.
- We are working hard to develop budget recommendations for school committee approval for the 2018-2019 school year. Please stay tuned for a public hearing in March where you can weigh in on this important topic.
- I hope that you and your family have a wonderful holiday season, winter break, and happy and peaceful start to the new year. As always, feel free to contact me directly if you have any ideas to share or questions about the district. My next open superintendent’s chat will be held at Parkhurst School in the school committee room at 6 p.m. on 1/9/18.
Judith A. Evans, Ed.D.