Welcome to our Masconomet School Committee Blog

  • This blog is a vehicle through which we foster awareness of MSC topics, information, progress and resources for deeper learning. We post school committee meeting updates and recaps, district highlights, and community events.

    We intend to continuously connect our actions with the district vision. The school committee's focus is on vision, mission, policy, budget, superintendent oversight, and advocacy. We balance the needs of our many stakeholders, and monitor progress toward goals.

    To stay updated, follow us on the Masco Appfollow us on Facebook , or follow us on Instagram. Many thanks for your support!

    If you have questions, please contact our Committee Chair.


School Committee Blog

  • April 24, 2024 Community Dialogue

    Posted by MSC on 4/21/2024

    Join us for community dialogue before our regular SC meeting! This is a good time to ask questions about Masconomet items on member town warrants in advance of Town Meetings. Agenda: [https://docs.google.com/document/d/1G6P8QqQtLUSDMRgmqOFYPelBnwmeb8bJ/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=113323593184293228078&rtpof=true&sd=true]

    dialogue 4/24/24

    Comments (-1)
  • MASCO Budget Overview: Capital

    Posted by MSC on 4/14/2024 11:00:00 AM

    Comments (-1)
  • MASCO Budget Overview: Operating

    Posted by MSC on 4/14/2024 10:00:00 AM

    Comments (-1)
  • PRESS RELEASE: Masconomet Regional School District - FY25 Budget

    Posted by MSC on 4/13/2024

    Masconomet Regional School District - FY25 Budget


    Press Release - April 11 2024

    Topic: Masconomet FY25 Budget

    Submitted by: Masconomet Regional School Committee


    “Educators are now preparing current students for jobs that haven’t been created, using technologies that haven’t been invented yet. “Superintendent Michael Manuel Harvey, Ed.D.


    FY25 BUDGET SUMMARY: The Masconomet Budget for FY25 will: 1.) support a strategic vision to prepare active and engaged learners for a rapidly changing future, 2.) continue providing our students with equitable and comprehensive educational programs, 3.) support a capital plan that invests in the sustainable future of the capital asset that Masconomet provides the tri-town community.

     

    Masconomet’s FY25 Operating Expense Budget (after offsets) is $40,676,236, reflecting a 2.3% increase over FY24 in Operating Expenses, and a 4.1% increase over FY24 in Operating Assessments. This includes a Capital Assessment of $400,000 for immediate priority facility projects. The District is also seeking approval for the authorization of debt in the amount of $5,000,000 to hire an Owner's Project Manager (OPM) and Designer for the duration of a multi-year Roof, HVAC, and Building Management System project. As a regional school district, Masconomet’s Operating and Capital assessments require approval from two of its three member towns, and debt authorization requires approval from three of three member towns. Masconomet’s budget will not reflect payments on this debt until FY26.

     

    PROCESS: Budget deliberations (1/17 - 3/20) included community dialogues and a public hearing. Primary topics that the community expressed opinions on were: preserving Music & Drama programs and School Adjustment Counselors, feedback on the Director of Teaching and Learning position, and requests to balance fiscal responsibility to member towns with programmatic needs of the District. 

     

    OVERVIEW: The FY25 budget includes level services, a reduction in teaching staff, and strategic introductions or restoration of positions that will improve student experience, learning-readiness, and facility maintenance and planning. Significant expense budget categories include: salaries, insurance benefits (active and retired), and out-of-district tuition. The areas that saw changes were driven by one of three factors: Strategic planning, Capital planning, and enrollment data. Factors outside of the District’s control include reductions in the State’s initial budget for transportation reimbursement.

     

    STRATEGIC PLAN and FY25 BUDGET: In 2022 and 2023, the District “engaged in an aspirational community conversation to redefine what success should look like for our students and schools and to embrace the practices that could enable the district to realize that vision.”  A team made up of faculty, school leadership, and community members served on a working group to organize, collect data, and author this work. With broad stakeholder engagement “through survey feedback, individual interviews and data analysis, some common themes arose” which informed Strategic Objectives and Initiatives that are supported by the FY25 Budget. (source https://www.masconomet.org/domain/253)

     

    ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE:  Masconomet is known for its student achievement, exemplary educators, and breadth of program offerings. It follows that our biggest investment is in our instructional excellence, with the most significant expense budget categories being salaries and benefits. The strategic planning process confirmed these core strengths of the district, and also identified a need for a more cohesive lens on data driven, evidence-based practices across all departments. The introduction of a Director of Teaching and Learning is intended to achieve this through curriculum development and review processes, strengthening professional practices, and collecting and utilizing district data to meet the needs of all learners.

     

    MENTAL HEALTH, SOCIAL and EMOTIONAL LEARNING (SEL): The Strategic Plan features Culture and Wellbeing as a strategic objective. Youth mental health challenges were on the rise prior to and further exacerbated by the pandemic.. Local, national, and global “Youth Risk Behavior Survey” (YRBS) data reflect these trends, with Masco’s data showing a rise in student depression, self-harm, and thoughts of suicide through 2021. Comprehensive mental health programs have been developed at Masco since the addition of two adjustment counselors in 2021 with ESSER funds. These are exemplary programs for our region, and this budget supports their continuation by retaining all School Adjustment Counselors (SAC).  A District SEL Leadership Team (SELLT), formed in 2021 and trained with the School Mental Health Leadership Institute has a multi-year action plan at Masco. This includes: Professional Development for all staff, Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) and Signs of Suicide training, Threat Assessment Protocol development, Universal Mental Health Screenings, Screening, Brief, Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), High School and Middle School Student Support Teams (HSST and MSST), short term small group support to provide increased targeted instruction in the area of psychological health, treatment services for students in crisis, targeted Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and skill based student groups,  and overall support for all students. This proactive and informed prevention based model is unique to Masco and supports keeping students in the least restrictive environment for inclusive teaching and learning. 

     

    MEETING THE NEEDS OF ALL LEARNERS: Another preventative program Masconomet put in place starting in 2020 is the High School Academic Success Center (ASC), available to all students who need it.  This model program has been successful in providing short-term opportunities for students who have missed school for a period of time to get back on track with their academic coursework, or students who need a little extra support to develop skills that promote success, practice self-advocacy, and become self-directed learners. The staff in the ASC work to identify academic concerns and perceived barriers to success in achieving each student’s short-term goal. This may include things like time management, organization and planning, prioritization, procrastination, test preparation, study skills, dealing with test anxiety, and more. This academic support can allow students to remain engaged at school with their academics despite temporary setbacks. The FY25 Budget supports this proactive program by retaining a dedicated teacher to staff the ASC.

     

    STUDENT ENROLLMENT DATA and the FY25 BUDGET: This budget includes a reduction in force of five positions in the High School, one from each of the following subjects: English Language Arts (ELA), Math, Social Studies, Science, Technology and Engineering (STE), and World Language. These reductions were supported by current student enrollment, which had been trending down in concert with nationwide population trends over the past ten years and is now projected to flatten and possibly increase slightly over the coming five years. With this reduction, average class size will increase to about 19 students.

     

    CAPITAL PLANNING and the FY25 BUDGET: Masconomet’s physical campus is a key asset to the entire tri town, and thoughtful investment in facility infrastructure benefits all residents. Over the past two years, the District conducted a careful analysis and inventory of current capital needs, using previous reports (eg. Habeeb Report), accounting for the future (including Massachusetts Clean Energy and Climate Plan), and developing a five year projected timeline. A Building Committee is being created with expert representatives from each member town to coordinate with District representatives on proposed Capital Projects. The FY25 budget includes two capital requests:  (1) The first will fund priority items to be completed this coming year in the amount of $400,000 for miscellaneous IT, facility and food service capital projects consisting of a campus wide surge protection system, campus wide wireless internet clock system, High School Art Studio Mac Lab upgrades, kitchen equipment, a scissor lift, and a skid steer angle broom; (2) The second will authorize debt to hire an Owner's Project Manager (OPM) to serve as the District’s agent and consultant during planning, design, and implementation of the proposed roof, HVAC, & Building Management System project for the replacement of these systems, which are at the end of their useful lives (the “Roof/HVAC Project”). While the entire Roof/HVAC Project costs are projected at about $30,000,000 for a like-kind replacement, this year’s request is for $5,000,000 of that total amount, specifically for the OPM (5% of total) and Designer (15% of total) for the duration of the project. Masconomet’s budget will not reflect payments on this debt until FY26.

     

    ASSESSMENTS and APPORTIONMENT to MEMBER TOWNS: The total assessment for each member town uses statutory and regional agreement methodology. Enrollment distribution and shifts amongst member towns impacts apportionment.

    MEMBER TOWN

    BOXFORD

    MIDDLETON

    TOPSFIELD

    TOTAL

    Operating Assessment

    $12,379,417

    $11,103,806

    $9,760, 623

    $33,243,846

    Capital Assessment

    $147,771

    $135,586

    $116,704

    $400,000

    Total Assessment (Operating and Capital)

    $12,527,928

    (3.7% over FY24)

    $11,239,392

    (1.7% over FY24)

    $9,877,326

    (6.7% over FY24)

    $33,643,846 (3.9% over FY24)

     

    TOWN MEETINGS:

    Topsfield, May 7 at Masco; Boxford, May 14 at Masco; Middleton, May 14 at Howe-Manning

     

    MORE INFO: School Committee Blog https://www.masconomet.org/domain/207 or

    Contact Masconomet School Committee Chair Melissa Ogden at mogden@masconomet.org

    Comments (-1)
  • TOWN MEETINGS

    Posted by MSC on 4/10/2024 7:00:00 AM

    SAVE THE DATES FOR THE UPCOMING TOWN MEETINGS:

    Comments (-1)
  • Masco SC Meeting Recap

    Posted by MSC on 3/27/2024 3:00:00 PM

     

    In case you missed our most recent Masconomet Regional School Committee meeting, here are some meeting highlights of what was discussed, along with some important links and websites:

    HERE IS THE FULL LINK TO THE OFFICIAL MINUTES AND VIDEO

    HERE IS THE FULL LINK TO THE FY25 BUDGET PRESENTATION

     

    HERE IS THE FULL LINK TO THE FY25 COMMUNICATIONS PLAN FOR PRESENTING BUDGET TO TRI-TOWNS

     

    HERE IS THE FULL LINK TO THE SC DRAFT MEETING SCHEDULE FOR 2023-24.

     

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Masco SC Meeting Recap

    Posted by MSC on 3/19/2024 2:00:00 PM

    In case you missed our most recent Masconomet Regional School Committee meeting, here are some meeting highlights of what was discussed, along with some important links and websites:

     

     
     
     

    HERE IS THE FULL LINK TO THE SC DRAFT MEETING SCHEDULE FOR 2023-24.

     

     



    Comments (-1)
  • Community Dialogue 3/11/24

    Posted by Kendra Petrone on 3/8/2024 2:00:00 PM

    The Community Relations Subcommittee Dialogue Session will be 3/11/2024 @ 6pm, in the HS Library.

     

    This month, we invite members of the community to use this google form: https://forms.gle/TYKCa5ceQiccs3Kw8, to share your comments relative to FY25 Budget deliberations in advance of our 3/11 dialogue.

    Submissions will be reviewed by the SC Chair and the CR Subcommittee Chair, and will then be compiled and shared anonymously with the full SC and Superintendents.

    The form will be open to comments from the public until 2:00 pm on Monday, March 11, 2024.

    This is different from the "public comment" period during regular meetings of the full school committee.

    Comments (-1)
  • FY25 Budget Public Hearing

    Posted by MSC on 3/3/2024 2:00:00 PM

    Comments (-1)
  • Masco SC Meeting Recap

    Posted by MSC on 3/3/2024 10:00:00 AM
    Comments (-1)