School Committee Reports on Professional Development, Job Vacancies

The Winthrop School Committee met briefly on Monday, Oct. 4, where it announced plans for the upcoming professional development day and for procuring a new crossing guard.

Committee members met in the Harvey Hearing Room of Town Hall, and the public was invited to attend in person and over Zoom.

Supt. Lisa Howard was not present, but sent along a list of updates to be announced at the meeting.

Professional Development Day

On Oct. 6, the schools let out early so teachers could participate in mandatory professional development.

Teachers at the Fort Banks School focused on a new phonics program designed to help beginning readers.

The Cummings School staff trained in a new math program, Illustrative Mathematics, which features an online component.

The Winthrop Middle School reviewed its Star 360 data from last year and the beginning of this year. It also reviewed its MCAS data to assess strengths and weaknesses and created an action plan based on their findings.

The Winthrop High School focused on the Understanding by Design (UBD) curriculum, and continued to map all of its written curricula.

Crossing Guards Needed

Three crossing guards were employed by the district at various high-traffic locations. On Oct. 4, one of them resigned after just one day on the job. The district is looking to fill the vacancy as soon as possible.

Committee Chairman Brian Perrin recommended that Supt. Howard reach out to the Winthrop Transportation Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC) to schedule a meeting.

“We’re constantly looking for crossing guards for these high-traffic areas,” he said. “But it would be helpful if TSAC could weigh on strategies to make it safer.”

General Updates

In addition to a crossing guard, the district is currently looking to hire winter sports coaches, a junior custodian, a speech and language pathologist, a long-term special education substitute teacher, as well as several other positions.

The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) began its accreditation assessment of the high school. On Oct. 4, they met with Supt. Howard as well as a number of teachers. NEASC representatives also met with the curriculum subcommittee on Oct. 5. They will be releasing their findings at a date as yet undetermined. School committee members were provided with a schedule for their visit.

The School Committee approved the application of a ninth grader to be homeschooled. They join the already 20 Winthrop students who are on homeschool plans this school year.

The committee announced the retirement of physical education teacher Marie Finn and technology education teacher Maura Sullivan.

Chairman Perrin appointed School Committee Member Suzanne Swope to the board of the Shore Educational Collaborative.

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