School Committee Hears Joshua Eaton Update

The Reading School Committee spent over an hour hearing an update on the Joshua Eaton Elementary School school improvement plan at their meeting on February 27. Mr. Eric Sprung, principal at Joshua Eaton, gave a presentation about specific areas that have been focused on and have seen distinct student improvement in the past year. In the area of literacy, a writing workshop program has been implemented which has helped student writing improve and has connected student writing to reading. A special education teacher has been added to help reduce the workload on the current special education teachers and to allow more individual contact for students who need specific academic support. Also discussed were advances in MCAS preparation and communications from the school. Mr. Sprung extolled the staff and parent community for their fine work in helping continue to improve the school. Mr. Sprung, who has announced his resignation, also read a letter to the School Committee thanking them, Superintendent John Doherty, and the Reading community for the support he has experienced during his eight years in Reading. He will be moving to the Newton School district.

Dr. Doherty presented a plan to the committee for seeking the new Joshua Eaton principal. The position has been posted and twenty-four applications have already been received. A screening committee made up of administrators, teachers, and parents will conduct interviews with the best qualified candidates. This committee will recommend pre-finalists to Dr. Doherty for one-on-one interviews with him. From these interviews the finalists will be announced. The finalists will then have site visits and open microphone discussions with the Joshua Eaton community. A final candidate is expected to be announced by April 10. The School Committee approved this plan.

The meeting concluded with Dr. Doherty presenting a mid-year update on his goals and objectives for the Reading Public Schools for the current year. Most of the presentation focused on the goal process of trying to reduce student achievement gaps through using multi-tiered systems of support as presented in earlier meetings. Citing resource concerns and time constraints, Dr. Doherty suggested that some of the pace and timelines of the goals may need to be extended. The entire meeting can be seen on the RCTV YouTube page.


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