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My name is Tom Wise and I am a candidate for one of the three-year seats on the Reading School Committee. I have been a resident of Reading for the past 13 years and have two children in the school system. Both are currently at Parker with one moving to RMHS next year. Professionally, I am the Head of Enterprise Data for an Asset Management firm in Boston. I have a great deal of experience in data analysis, budget management, and strategic vs. tactical decision making.
I am running for a position on the School Committee after carefully considering it for the last few years. I have been an active follower of the Schools and the performance therein. I want to see improvements in Policy, a tighter analysis of the Budget and stronger, SMART Goals to be used for the Review of our Superintendent. As those are the three statutory roles of a School Committee, my candidacy will focus on them.
On the Policy front, I am looking to improve our Special Education via a Policy aimed at Early Intervention for Dyslexia students. This policy, I expect, to have a short term investment but long-term reward on the Budget. Additionally, I am looking to bring about improved communication and transparency with the constituents via a Proactive Social Media Policy. Finally, I would like to improve the Bullying and Harassment policy via the implementation of Key Metrics to measure the success of our programs.
On the Budget front, I am closely monitoring the Accommodated Costs, especially those due to Out of District placements for our Special Education students. While some are required due to the lack of in-district services to support the needs, others happen after years of frustration and lack of growth in district. I aim to focus on improving the later to improve the experience for students, teachers, and families while helping the bottom line of the Schools and the Town.
From a Goals/Review perspective, I am looking to bring the SMART goal concept to both the strategic, three-year goals and the immediate, one-year goals via the Superintendent Goal Process. Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound goals bring further objectivity to the process and improves constituent confidence.
The Budget has another large topic that is looming on the horizon – the renovation, remediation or new construction required for Killam. That project could be a large one and I am committed to evaluating all of our options with the goal of delivering the most cost-effective solution for our greater community while balancing the Federal and State mandated requirements of our Schools.