Tag Archives: State of the Schools

HPTA “State of the Schools” Conversations with Dr MacLeod


The HPTA Presents Conversations with Dr MacLeod & School Committee Chair, Ellen Scordino:

  • Wed, Feb 10 @ 7:00-9:00pm, Hopkinton High School Library
  • Thurs, Feb 11 @ 10:00-11:00am, Town Hall Room 215/216

The Hopkinton Parent Teacher Association is hosting a forum to offer community members an opportunity to speak with Superintendent, Dr. Cathy MacLeod and School Committee Chair Ellen Scordino about curriculum, FY2016-2017 budget and other important Hopkinton Public School topics. In the past the HPTA has hosted the State of the Schools event as a HCAM call-in show but decided to change the format to allow for a more interactive exchange of ideas. Please join us for a morning or evening of engaging conversation.

This event will not be televised, community members must attend the forum in person to ask questions. Click for contact info for the Superintendent & School Committee.

FY17 Budget Key Takeaways

HPTA State of the Schools

The State of the Schools will air LIVE this week on Monday, January 12 at 7pm on HCAM. (Comcast channel 8; Verizon channel 30). Superintendent, Cathy MacLeod and Chair of the School Committee, Jon Graziano, will be answering questions pertaining to the Hopkinton Public Schools. You can attend in person at HCAM Studios (77 Main Street) or submit any questions that you may have before Monday at 12pm to stateoftheschools@hptaonline.com.
Helpful links:


“State of the Schools” Monday and More Budget Discussions Coming Up


  • Mon Jan 21 @ 7:00pmHPTA Annual State of the Schools Presentation with Superintendent Dr Cathy MacLeod and School Committee Chair Nancy Burdick on HCAM-ED (Comcast 96/Verizon 31). Live Q & A after the presentation. Call in with your questions 508-435-7887 or email them in advance to secretary@hptaonline.com.
  • Thurs Jan 23 @ 7:30pm – School Committee Budget Working Session (No public comment) – Elementary School Budgets (Center, Elmwood and Hopkins Schools)
  • Thurs Jan 30 @ 7:30pm – School Committee Public Hearing on School Budget and adoption by School Committee of Preliminary FY 15 Budget Continue reading “State of the Schools” Monday and More Budget Discussions Coming Up

Upcoming Forums and Meetings

For locations and details visit http://www.educatehopkinton.com/calendar.html. Never attended a meeting and have a question? Contact Amy Ritterbusch at webmaster@educatehopkinton.com.

Wednesday, April 6
@ 7:00 pm Appropriations Committee Meeting
@ 8:00 pm HPTA State of the Schools Forum

Thursday, April 7
@ 7:30pm School Committee Meeting

Friday, April 8
@ 7:45am Center School Council Meeting
@ 5:00pm Republican Town Caucus
@ 7:30pm Democratic Town Caucus

Monday, April 11
@ 7:00pm Appropriations Committee Meeting

Tuesday, April 12
Last Day to Register to Vote (if not already registered) for May Town Meeting and Election!
@ 2:45pm Elmwood School Council Meeting
@ 6:00pm Board of Selectmen

Wednesday, April 13
@ 7:00pm Center School Forum
@ 7:00pm Library Expansion Forum
@ 7:00pm Appropriations Committee Meeting

Saturday, April 16
@ 11:00am Library Expansion Forum

For locations and details visit http://www.educatehopkinton.com/calendar.html. Never attended a meeting and have a question? Contact Amy Ritterbusch at webmaster@educatehopkinton.com.

Save the Dates – Upcoming Public Forums

HPTA State of the Schools Forum
Wednesday, April 6 at 8:00pm
HCAM Studios

The HPTA invites residents to attend this annual forum with the Superintendent of Schools and School Committee Chair at HCAM Studios or watch on TV. If you have any questions or concerns you want Dr.Phelan or Ms.Robak to answer live that night you can call 508-435-7887 during the show or email them to secretary@hptaonline.com in advance or during the show.

Board of Selectmen Public Forum
Wednesday, April 13 at 7:00 pm
Senior Center

The Board of Selectmen in conjunction with the School Committee will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at the Hopkinton Senior Center’s main meeting room at 7PM. The Boards will provide the community a forum to voice opinions and share ideas on how to best move forward with the Center School. Comments or suggestions can be submitted in advance to selectmen@hopkinton.org. If you have any questions, please call the Selectmen’s Office at 508-497-9700.

Public Hearing on the FY11 Budget this Thursday, Candidate Debates coming up and the State of the Schools recap

Appropriations Committee Public Hearing on the FY11 Budget
Thursday, April 22 at 8:00 p.m. at Town Hall/Room 215, 18 Main St

The Selectmen and the School Committee have submitted their budgets. The Appropriations Committee has reviewed them in detail and will now hold a public hearing on the 2010-11 Budget. The public hearing will NOT be televised, but residents are welcome to attend. Residents who are out of town for vacation week or who are otherwise unable to attend should feel free to send their comments and questions on the budget to the appropriate school and town officials by email in advance of the public hearing. The following budget documents are available on the Hopkinton town and school websites:
PDF 2009 Town Report
PDF Fiscal year 2011 Proposed Budget
PDF Annual Town Meeting Warrant May 3, 2010
PDF School Committee’s Preliminary FY 11 Budget Jan 28, 2010
PPT School Committee Public Hearing FY 11 Budget Presentation
PPT Superintendent’s Preliminary FY 11 Budget Presentation

Appropriations Committee:

Ron Eldridge, Chair roneldridge289@msn.com
Joe Karner Karner_joe@emc.com
Stuart Cowart stuart.cowart@vzw.blackberry.net
Mary Lou Haroian mlharoian@comcast.net

Town Manager:
Norman Khumalo nkhumalo@hopkinton.org
Board of Selectmen:
Brian Herr: bherr@hopkinton.org
Matt Zettek: mzettek@hopkinton.org
RJ Dourney: rjdourney@hopkinton.org
Todd Cestari: tcestari@hopkinton.org
Michele Gates: mgates@hopkinton.org

Superintendent of Schools:

Jack Phelan jphelan@hopkinton.k12.ma.us

School Committee:
Nancy Burdick, Chair: nancyb88@hotmail.com
Rebecca Robak: rebeccarobak@aol.com
Richard Demont: rdemont@demontlaw.com
Jean Bertschmann: jeanber65@hotmail.com
Troy Mick: troymick@verizon.net

Save the Date: Candidates Debate Sponsored by the Hopkinton Independent

Wednesday, April 28, 7:00 p.m.

HCAM-TV, 77 Main St, Hopkinton MA 01748
Comcast Channel 8/Verizon Channel 30

Save the Date: Meet the Candidates Night Sponsored by the Hopkinton Women’s Club

Thursday, May 6, 7:00 p.m.

HCAM Studios, 77 Main St, Hopkinton MA 01748
Comcast Channel 8/Verizon Channel 30

Recap:  The State of the Schools
The HPTA held its annual State of the Schools forum on April 7 which included a question and answer session with Superintendent Jack Phelan and School Committee Vice Chair Rebecca Robak. If you missed it, you can watch the replay on the HCAM-TV website at http://www.hcam.tv/series/HPTA/video.shtml (1 hour). The following questions were posed:

  1. What is the one-to-one laptop initiative at the High School? It seems very expensive. Why do we need it, and when is it targeted to begin?
  2. Many families are struggling in this economy. Fees are already a burden for some. Are fees going to increase? Could you offer a family cap or sliding scale based on income?
  3. Are there any plans to improve the current foreign language program? 
  4. Is there concern that there is an uptick in students attending schools out of district? 
  5. Kindergarten enrollment is on the rise – now estimated to be 23/class. Will another teacher be hired to keep class sizes from getting even larger?
  6. Can we get better food in our schools? For instance, 100% whole grain pasta, rice, and bread. Get rid of chicken nuggets, hamburgers, and french fries every day. why are we letting our kids choose junk food in the cafeteria? If it’s not there, they won’t eat it.
  7. What do you foresee for the schools next year if they don’t receive the School Committee’s budget with recent increase?
  8. Both of my boys (Hopkins and Elmwood) have experienced bullying and behavior problems on the bus this year. I read that Milford has a successful “Bus of the Month” program which helps promote good behavior and safety on the buses. Would Hopkinton Public Schools consider adopting a similar program?
  9. How many years does it take for a teacher to be tenured in Massachusetts? And is there a review process in place for teachers once they do receive tenure?
  10. Why are our children being pulled out of their academic classes in 5th grade to learn an instrument? While these lessons are amazing, can we have them either before or after school or during electives such as gym, art, or general music?
  11. We recently learned that Dr. Lynch, the Middle School Principal will be retiring at the end of the year. When will the search process for a new principal begin?
  12. How do you plan to improve middle school and high school academics? The high school was ranked around 450 on a national report. It is not bad, but how do you plan to make it much better?

Important School Update: State of the Schools Forum, Per Pupil Spending, School Choice and more

School Facts: How have budget cuts over recent years impacted Hopkinton Schools?

Per Pupil Spending
Hopkinton spends 11.5% less in per pupil than the state average (that’s approximately $1,503 less), based on FY09 data on the Massachusetts Department of Education website. In FY06, Hopkinton was only 5.9% under the state average. Hopkinton also spends less per pupil than most neighboring towns, including Ashland, Holliston, Northboro-Southboro and Westborough. In addition Hopkinton spends less per pupil than most towns with similar structure and district wealth, such as Belmont, Burlington, Canton, Nashoba and Sharon.

School Choice & Charter Schools
Did you know that for the 2009-10 School Year, Hopkinton sent 41 students out of district via the Massachusetts School Choice Program and/or to Charter Schools at a mandated cost of $235,371 to Hopkinton taxpayers? More Hopkinton families opted to send their children out of district this year than families in Holliston, Southborough and Westborough. The number of Hopkinton students opting to go out of district via School Choice has been steadily increasing since the 2005-06 school year.

Class Sizes
Class sizes in the elementary grades are currently higher than most surrounding school districts. Did you know that both Elmwood School and Hopkins School currently have empty classrooms? If another teacher was added at each school class sizes could be significantly reduced.

Foreign Language
Did you know that Hopkinton Public Schools do not offer any foreign language instruction until grade 7? It used to be offered as early as grade 5. Most neighboring school districts offer foreign language earlier than Hopkinton, some offering it as early as Kindergarten.

State of the Schools Forum

Wednesday, April 7 at 7:00-9:00 p.m.
HCAM-TV, 77 Main Street, Lower Level
Question and answer session with Superintendent Dr. Jack Phelan and School Committee Vice Chair Rebecca Robak. Call 508-435-7887 during the show with your questions and concerns or email them to secretary@hptaonline.com in advance or during the show. Space is Limited! Click here to RSVP. Or watch at home on Comcast Channel 8/Verizon Channel 30.

The Next Steps in the Budget Process:
The budget has been given to the Appropriations Committee who are in the process of reviewing the budget in detail. The Appropriations Committee will hold a Public Hearing on the budget on Wednesday, April 14 at 7:00 p.m. at Town Hall in the 1st Floor Conference Room. This hearing is NOT televised, but is open to the public. Residents will vote on the budget and the financial warrant articles at the annual Town Meeting, which begins Monday, May 3 at 7:00pm.

Educate Hopkinton Update – A Very Busy Week in Hopkinton!

Dear Educate Hopkinton Subscriber –

Below are some upcoming meetings/events of interest:

3/30, 8pm, Room 211, Town Hall: Board of Selectmen Meeting
The Selectmen will meet to review the town budget and prepare their 4/1 submission to the Appropriations Committee.
4/1, 7 pm,  HPTA State of the Schools Forum, HCAM Studios, 77 Main Street
The annual HPTA State of the Schools Forum is the perfect opportunity to ask your questions regarding the current state of our school system.  Presentations will be given by Nancy Burdick, Chair of the School Committee; Dr. John Phelan, Superintendent of Schools; and Representative Carolyn Dykema.  You are encouraged to submit your questions beforehand to Patty Doshier, pdoshier@comcast.net, or call 508-435-7887 during the live broadcast.  The public is welcome, refreshments are available.  Please rsvp to Adrienne McKenna at secretary@hptaonline.com to reserve your seat.
4/2, 7:30 pm, Middle School Library:  School Committee Meeting
Full Day Kindergarten in on the agenda for this regular School Committee Meeting.
4/8, 7:00 pm, High School Cafeteria:  School Committee Public Forum on Transportation Policy
The School Committee is looking for input and discussion from parents and day care providers on the bus policy.  All are invited to attend.
It is always appropriate to e-mail the Selectmen and/or School Committee and let them know your thoughts regarding the options available. 

School Committee:Nancy Burdick:  nancyb88@hotmail.com   
Phil Totino:  ptotino@comcast.net    
Rebecca Robak:  rebeccarobak@aol.com
Richard deMont:  rdemont@demontlaw.com        
Dave Stoldt:  stoldt@comcast.net


Brian Herr:  bherr@wesco.com
Mary Pratt:  mpratt102@aol.com
Mike Shepard:  mwshepa@verizon.net
Matt Zettek:  mezettekjr@aol.com
RJ Dourney:  rj@hearthstonea.com

Educate Hopkinton’s goal is to keep people up-to-date on the budget process and the Town’s financial needs.