June 1 Board of Education Meeting

Mike+McGovern+presents+the+Community+Conversation+to+the+Board+members+%7C+Photo+by+Natasha+Gabbay

Mike McGovern presents the Community Conversation to the Board members | Photo by Natasha Gabbay

Natasha Gabbay
Managing Editor

In the Staples High School cafeteria on June 1, 2009, the weekly Board of Education meeting was held.

Mike McGovern presents the Community Conversation to the Board members | Photo by Natasha Gabbay
Mike McGovern presents the Community Conversation to the Board members | Photo by Natasha Gabbay '10

The meeting started with a brief period for non-agenda items to be discussed which was dominated by a group of elementary school teachers. 

The teacher’s union representative Ed Hydic “beg[ged] the board” to listen to the teachers and try and resolve an issue of “equity between the schools” that was brought about because the elementary schools are the only schools having a full day on the last scheduled day of school.

After five elementary school teachers took the podium, Superintendent Elliot Landon put an end to the conversation by stating his rational for why he felt there was no such inequity in the situation.

“I did not say all teachers would be treated like teachers at the high school… I think the decision was a fair and equitable one,” said Landon.

The meeting proceeded with a presentation by Mike McGovern and Steven Olmstead about a Community Conversation that took place in Westport on May 21, 2009.

The Community Conversation utilized a private grant which the Vice Principal of Kings Highway Elementary School, Anne Nesbit, applied for. The conversation was attended by a diverse group of Westport residents who were selected by a special committee.

The group discussed questions such as “What life and career skills are critical in the 21st century and how can we best prepare our students for success,” and “What must our students learn in order to have fulfilling personal life in the 21st century?” The answers the participants came up with are meant to be worked into the Westport schools’ curriculum.

The annual report on the Tools for Schools Program (TFS), the program that regulates air quality at all eight schools in the district, followed the community conversation presentation.

TFS Coordinator JoAnn Duncan described some of the steps the group is taking to monitor the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), such as doing a “walk through” at each school as well as offer surveys for the teachers to fill out.

The meeting was finished after a discussion about what money should be allocated to which school to make improvements necessary for improving the IAQ.