The students at Lincoln-Sudbury deserve a highly talented replacement for Bella Wong, who will continue to raise the bar on academic performance while improving communication with parents and the L-S community.
I support the attention the L-S School Committee has given to re-examining the combined role of the Superintendent/Principal. In practice, a district Superintendent and Principal perform very different functions. The search provides an opportunity for a broader review of whether this position is meeting student and parental needs.
However, I feel strongly that the Superintendent search and any review of the combined position must be done through an open, transparent, and inclusive process. It should allow for ample input from students, teachers, the administration, and our broader communities in Lincoln, Sudbury and Boston.
Reviewing and working on the L-S budget is one of the most important roles of the School Committee. The budget must balance the interests of taxpayers and teachers while prioritizing the needs of our students.
I believe that:
The recent Lincoln-Sudbury and Sudbury Public Schools bus contract included an over 20% increase in transportation costs. While some increase was necessary given inflation, the cost of doing business with outside vendors is being dramatically increased by the lack of competition. There was only a single bid in response to the RFP (request for proposal).
While our state legislators look at solutions to the lack of competition on a state level, the L-S School Committee should closely examine the feasibility of the district taking over the bus fleet. This has worked effectively in neighboring communities such as Concord-Carlisle and Acton-Boxborough to decrease operating costs while improving service.
Openess and transparency in decision-making and ease of access to information should be the standard. Parents should expect regular communication from the L-S administration and the L-S School Committee, including on social media.
For example, many community members have felt that the current Superintendent Search process has been difficult to follow at times because of a lack of notice for listening sessions and community input.
Rep. Gentile and I host regular monthly office hours that are often well attended, which is a standard practice for many other local leaders. I would commit to hosting office hours every two weeks to listen and get community feedback, even when I'm not asking for your vote.
Lincoln and Sudbury both pulled out of Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School in 2016, amid concerns over the cost that construction of a new school would place on taxpayers. At the time, there was an expectation that our towns would join another vocational school such as Nashoba Valley or Keefe Tech.
Since then, students who want to pursue a vocational education have been out of luck. With demand for vocational education soaring in the state, and severe shortages of workers in the trades, we should be making it easier, not harder for students to pick a vocational option. Currently, our students cannot get placements unless our communities join a district.