Draft School Calendar for Next Year

At the February 7 School Committee meeting, Dr Hiersche presented the first draft of the school calendar for 2013-14. Click here to view the DRAFT Calendar. Dr Hiersche made some changes from the typical Hopkinton calendar, such as moving Early Release Days to Fridays. The fall Early Release dates, typically used for Parent-Teacher Conferences, have been clustered together in November, with no Early Release dates in September or December and only one Early Release date in October. Many of the Spring Early Release dates are paired with a three-day weekend. The School Committee is expected to vote on the final calendar at either their March 7 or March 21 regular meeting. If you would like to give feedback on these changes, please email your comments and questions to Dr Hiersche and the School Committee by March 5:
shiersche@hopkinton.k12.ma.us, hpsschoolcommittee@hopkinton.k12.ma.us

View the DRAFT 2013-14 Calendar

Hopkinton Teachers Blogging from Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands during Vacation Week

Several Hopkinton educators have been participating in a professional development study tour program since November. This month, they are ready to set off for the on-tour component of this program and Asst. Superintendent Dr. DeMello invites you to follow them on her blog. Additionally all educators have their own blogs set up for their classes. She will feature some of their posts in her Go Global-Teach Global blog: http://hpsecuadorstudytour.blogspot.com. She hopes you will enjoy learning along with the teachers as they strive to expand their global perspective, in an effort to become more knowledgeable and effective global educators. Please note that teachers pay for their own travel expenses for this program. Here are some of their recent posts:

 

DISC 25% Design Approved by Selectmen

At their February 5 meeting, the Board of Selectmen unanimously accepted the 25% design plan for the Downtown Corridor Project by the Downtown Initiative Steering Committee and the Town Engineer and authorized the Town Manager to submit it to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Once submitted, the Mass DOT will review the project, which takes about 3-6 months. Once approved by Mass DOT, Hopkinton will get in line for state funding, which may take about 3-4 years.

Related DISC Documents:

Recent Articles:

Cathy MacLeod Selected as Superintendent

At its January 30 Working Session, the Hopkinton School Committee voted to enter into contract negotiations with Ms. Cathy MacLeod, for the position of Superintendent of Schools. MacLeod is currently the Assistant Superintendent in Easton. The decision was reached after interviews, site visits to each of the three candidates’ districts, reference checks, as well as calls with counterparts and key contacts in ALL of the other districts listed on ALL of the candidates applications.

Watch the HCAM-TV News Summary of the School Committee’s Interview with Cathy MacLeod from January 7:
http://www.hcam.tv/videos/superintendent-interview-ms-cathy-macleod

Continue reading Cathy MacLeod Selected as Superintendent

Budget Update: Grade 7 Class Size, Fees and more

At its January 31 Working Session, the School Committee voted to submit a 2013-14 budget to the Town Manager, which represents a 4.4% increase over the current year’s budget. Key changes from the budget originally presented by Dr Hiersche in December include:

  • 10% Reduction in bus fees, parking fees and athletic fees.
  • Addition of two dual-certified teachers for Grade 7 to decrease class size to an average of 22 per class next year.

Important School Budget Documents:

Supporting Budget Documents:

Teacher Evaluations – New State Mandate

You may have noticed a budget line item of $271,000 in Hopkinton’s 2013-14 budget for Educator Supervision and Evaluation. This is due to the new state regulations requiring more frequent and more detailed teacher evaluations. Although the new system is expected to produce better results, it is also very time-consuming for principals, assistant principals and department heads. BaselineEdge has estimated that for a principal to evaluate 30 teachers under the new guidelines, it will take 315 hours per year, or 15-20% of their total school year time. In Hopkinton this will mean additional staff to be hired next year and new software to be purchased to help with this time-consuming task. Here is the breakdown in the budget:

  • +$83,500 (approx.) for an Additional 1.0 FTE Assistant Principal at the Elementary Level. Currently Elmwood and Hopkins SHARE an Assistant Principal and Center has NO Assistant Principal. With this addition there would be a total of 2.0 Assistant Principals shared between our three Elementary Schools.
  • +$83,500 (approx.) for an Additional 1.0 FTE Assistant Principal at the Middle School. The Middle School currently has one Assistant Principal, they would now have two.
  • +$84,000 (approx.) to reduce the course loads of High School curricular leaders and department heads. This would give them more time to do the new teacher evaluations and observations.
  • $20,000 (approx.) Teacher Evaluation Software Package. Several packages are being considered, the exact software package has not been selected yet. 
  • Read more in the Supervision/Evaluation Budget Summary on the School Committee website.

Continue reading Teacher Evaluations – New State Mandate

Town Election Season has Begun – Save the Dates

Many seats are open for our local town election coming up on May 20, 2013. The following is a list of positions on the ballot as well as important upcoming election dates. To become a candidate a person must be a registered voter in Hopkinton and either obtain and submit nomination papers by securing the signatures of 50 Hopkinton registered voters; or a person may qualify by being the top vote getter in one of the town political party caucuses; or a combination of both. For more information, contact the Town Clerk’s office at 508-497-9710 or  annc@hopkintonma.gov. Read more: http://www.hopkintonma.gov/home/government/departments/clerk/election

OFFICES ON THE MAY 20 BALLOT

  • SELECTMEN, For 3 years, Vote for 2
  • TOWN MODERATOR, For 3 years, Vote for 1
  • TOWN CLERK, For 3 years, Vote for 1
  • BOARD OF ASSESSORS, For 3 years, Vote for 1
  • BOARD OF HEALTH, For 3 years, Vote for 1
  • BOARD OF LIBRARY TRUSTEES, For 3 years, Vote for 2
  • CEMETERY COMMISSIONER, For 3 years, Vote for 1
  • COMMISSIONER OF TRUST FUND, For 3 years, Vote for 1
  • CONSTABLES, For 3 years, Vote for 3
  • HOUSING AUTHORITY, Unexpired Term 2016, Vote for 1
  • PARKS & RECREATION COMMISSION, For 3 years, Vote for 1
  • PLANNING BOARD, For 5 years, Vote for 2
  • SCHOOL COMMITTEE, For 3 years, Vote for 1

IMPORTANT ELECTION DATES:

  • Last day to file nomination papers for Town Election: Mon, April 1
  • Last day to register to vote for the Special State Primary: Wed, April 10
  • Last day to register to vote for Annual Town Meeting and Annual Town Election: Tues, April 16
  • Special State Primary: Tues, April 30
  • Annual Town Meeting begins: Mon, May 6 at 7:00pm
  • Annual Town Election: Mon, May 20, 7:00am-8:00pm
  • Last day to register to vote for Special State Election: Wed, June 5
  • Special State Election: Tues, June 25