Brian O’Connell: Seeking to Improve Quality of Education and Operation in Worcester Public Schools

by | Nov 4, 2017 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Brian O'Connell: Seeking to Improve Quality of Education and Operation in Worcester Public Schools 1

Worcester School Committee Member Brian O’Connell

As a School Committee member, I have sought to improve the quality of education for Worcester children, and operation of the Worcester Public Schools, in numerous ways, including: (1) extensive school reading and literacy initiatives, such as “summer reading”, (2) expanded sports opportunities, such as crew, lacrosse, swimming, hockey, and elementary / middle school sports, (3) enriched opportunities in language instruction (such as Mandarin Chinese), (4) development of partnerships with colleges and universities, (5) public speaking opportunities, (6) academic competitions, (7) preservation of extended day options, projects fairs, home/health instruction for ill or disabled students, and several art and music programs, (8) enhanced advanced placement courses and opportunities, (9) use of the “Virtual High School” to offer courses by computer, (10) increased use of “e-rate” grant support for technology programs, (11) creation of Junior Honor Societies at many of our elementary schools, (12) increased science instruction at the high school level,  (13) development of a homework policy, (14) preservation of community schools, (15) expansion of the role of  parents / guardians in the Worcester Public Schools (through groups such as the Citywide Parent Planning Advisory Council), and (16) AFJROTC and NJROTC.

During the next term, the Worcester Public Schools must continue to move forward as to many of the accomplishments set forth above, and in the following areas as well:

(1) reallocate some of our fiscal resources, reducing the number of administrative positions based in the Central Administration Building, and using those funds to hire additional classroom teachers,

(2)  consider adoption of different grade configuration models in certain schools, such as a “kindergarten through grade 8” elementary school, and an additional small “satellite middle school” affiliated with a public high school,

(3) increase the number of schools which can offer additional instructional time, through extended days, especially for students who need supplemental instructional time to succeed,

(4) expand summer programs, to help students to retain the knowledge and skills they mastered during the school year,

(5) strengthen and expand our community school programs, especially for our inner city students,

(6) maintain for our students an ambitious and challenging curriculum, setting aggressive but achievable expectations of student mastery,

(7) increase the number of students who qualify for “advanced placement” in college,

(8) expand the number and variety of “occupational education” courses offered at our comprehensive high schools,

(9) continue to develop six-year high school – associate degree programs,

(10) increase the number of students who can take courses at our area colleges, for college credit, while in high school, at no cost,

and (11) expand our “School Choice” recruitment of non-Worcester residents, to increase revenues available to the WPS. I fought for years to have the WPS implement this program, and it is now a major funding source for us: for this academic year, we will spend $482,036 from our “School Choice” revenues, for instructional purposes for our staff and students!

I ask for your vote as we expand fine educational opportunities for our young people!

 


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