The School Committee voted to elect Chuck Robinson as its new chairperson during its annual reorganization on Monday, June 5. Robinson succeeds Jeanne Borawski who has held the post for the past year. Robinson, who had served as chair in the past, thanked Borawski for her service noting that it had been a “challenging” year. Elaine Webb was elected vice chair and will also serve on the Audit Committee. Borawski and Linda Snow Dockser will remain liaisons to the Recreation Committee and the Human Relations Advisory Committee respectively. Gary Nihan will represent the committee on the board of the Reading Coalition Against Substance Abuse and Nicholas Boivin will be the committee’s selection to serve on the board of Reading Community Television.
To begin the meeting, the committee honored teachers who were reaching significant milestones this year. Teachers and staff with ten, twenty, and thirty years with the Reading Public Schools were recognized as well as those who are retiring. Teachers who have achieved their professional status this year were also honored. The final recognitions were for Assistant Superintendent Craig Martin who received his twenty year pin and Superintendent John Doherty who received his thirty year pin. “We are deeply appreciative for the work you do every day,” Borawski said addressing the crowd, “Kids remember how much you love them and how much you care about them.”
The School Committee also had an update on progress being made at the Joshua Eaton Elementary school. Principal Eric Sprung gave a presentation highlighting several areas including literacy, communications, and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support. Sprung reported that 95% of kindergarteners have moved up two reading levels this year. Ninety-seven percent of first graders, 89% of second graders, and 96% of third graders have done the same. Forty percent of all students in those grades have advanced more than two levels. While these statistics are encouraging, Sprung warned that the advances might not yet be seen in test scores. “We must take a long view,” Sprung suggested, “to ensure the best student outcomes.” The music program shifted this year from having a winter concert to having “informances” where parents were able to experience the curriculum first hand. These “informances” have been positively received, though a few parents miss the annual concert. Sprung also highlighted programs that encourage positive attitudes in the school and the monthly newsletter which has been positively received by 94% of the Eaton parent community. The committee adjourned to executive session at 9:15pm.