Thursday, May 23, 2013
Several hundred more students are expected over the next few years in Braintree.
School officials are intent on addressing the space crunch in Braintree schools, at least in part, by September 2014. Superintendent Dr. Peter Kurzberg said this week that discussions are ongoing in the School Building Committee over how to add classroom space by then. Committee members are focusing on utilizing existing classrooms at the former schools Monatiquot, Foster and Eldridge. The School Committee tasked the building committee in February with examining both short- and long-term space needs solutions after last year receiving a report on long-lasting but costly fixes such as new construction, and this past winter wrestling with the option of adding permanent modular classrooms to each of Braintree's six elementary schools. In the …
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The Abrahams Group audited the Braintree School Department late last year.
An independent audit presented Monday night to the School Committee calls for streamlining administrative and financial processes, improving technology infrastructure and looking at outsourcing departments such as food service and maintenance as a way of saving Braintree hundreds of thousands of dollars. Committee members said they will take the report under advisement and did not take any action on it during their meeting at Hollis School, the same place where a different makeup of the board approved the audit two years ago. Outsourcing certain services to save money by reducing employee salaries and benefits was the one recommendation quickly dismissed by several committee members as not worth the potential monetary savings. "There's …
Thursday, May 9, 2013
The Braintree High fee is going up and new offerings are being made at the middle schools.
An expanded summer program at South and East middle schools will offer an academic bridge for students between grades, help ease elementary students' transition to a new school and offer new revenue streams to keep summer school solvent, East Principal John Sheehan told the School Committee earlier this week. The committee approved the changes with the expectation that Sheehan and Assistant Superintendent Maureen Murray will return in June with expected enrollment numbers to see if the expansion will be viable. In a separate but related vote, committee members unanimously raised the Braintree resident fee for summer classes at the high school level from $200 to $225. Non-residents will still pay $240 per course. Braintree High School will …
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
The Committee on Ways & Means will review the education budget tonight at Town Hall.
The $2.1 million increase in the schools budget approved by the School Committee earlier this year could see adjustment depending on movement between the House and Senate on Beacon Hill. "Continued uncertainty of the state budget" means that Braintree is taking a conservative approach to boosting funding for additional elementary school teachers, beyond what was laid out this winter, Superintendent Dr. Peter Kurzberg said earlier this week. Along with looking to the Senate, which is scheduled to produce its Chapter 70 education numbers later this month, the school department is working to identify supplemental funding through its own sources. Those include savings due to retirements and when educators do not meet anticipated salary-…
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
The Braintree School Committee approved the use of Monatiquot School for full-day kindergarten in February.
The school department may have to reduce the number of full-day kindergarten classrooms at Monatiquot School next year to two because enrollment in the program has not kept up with an initial surge of demand that saw more than 200 Braintree families express interest. School officials originally envisioned three or four classrooms at the former elementary school, but during Monday's School Committee meeting Superintendent Dr. Peter Kurzberg said enrollment in the tuition-based program is fluctuating between 150 and 152 students. That would mean enough to fill one full-day classroom of 21 students each at Morrison and Hollis and three at Braintree High School, but leave only enough for two classrooms of approximately 22 and 23 students at …
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Amy Kehew came to Braintree from a college outside Pittsburgh and never left.
Amy Kehew takes her class through a series of vocabulary words. The Liberty Elementary School third graders listen carefully as she asks them what "agent" means. Like a spy, one boys says. Yes, but also like a sports agent. What about another definition, related to a story the children read recently? Kehew calls one student "Mr. Chemist" when he hits the right track. Yeast – "It's an agent in the dough," Kehew says. She tells them to break into groups of two or three and gives them 10 minutes to fashion sentences that incorporate the vocabulary and a list of categories – preparation, nutrition, traditions and flavors – into a question about how different cultures contribute to the foods we eat. They quickly form their own teams and scurry …
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Braintree students at the school combine to read hundreds of thousands of minutes each year.
On Friday, Hollis Elementary School students in Braintree celebrated the conclusion of their annual read-a-thon. By achieving the school's goal of reading thousands of pages, the children won the reward of a "Reading Dress Up Day." Dressed like their favorite characters from books, the children and their teachers came to school in full regalia. There was King Peter from the Chronicles of Narnia, Dr. Seuss, baseball players, pioneers, and many others. Get excited about reading! Way to go Hollis! –Rebecca Curtis
Friday, April 26, 2013
Stone Soup has been Braintree High School's creative outlet for decades.
Braintree High School English teacher Alex Jefferies was on a school trip to England last week when news about the Boston Marathon bombing broke. Around the same time, copies of Stone Soup, the school's decades-old literary magazine, arrived from the printer. Thinking about the more than $1,000 in the magazine's account – typically used to offset production costs – Jefferies had the idea to donate all of the revenue this year from sales of the publication to the One Fund Boston, the central fundraising organization for victims of the attacks. By Tuesday of this week, the students he works with signed off and by Wednesday's lunch periods they had already sold more than a dozen of the 50 copies originally ordered. The magazines sell for $5 …
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Available at the door Friday and Saturday.
South Middle School is showing performances of FAME Jr. this weekend, and there are many tickets still left for purchase at the door. Tickets remain for the Saturday 2 p.m. show and more than 100 are left for the Saturday 7 p.m. show. Limited tickets are available for the Friday 7 p.m. performance. Tickets based on availability at the door. The show's musical director is Matthew Sawtelle and the choreographer is Elyse Hager. The musical is based on the movie and Broadway show of the same name and is set in New York City at the School for Performing Arts. The show follows the students from their 1980 freshman year through graduation in 1984. Contact Christine Connolly for more information firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, April 22, 2013
The Boston Marathon bombing a week ago left three dead and more than 170 wounded.
Tens of thousands of people attended the Boston Marathon and more than 170 people were wounded in the bombing that left three dead a week ago. In the wake of that attack, and with so many potential connections to Braintree Public Schools students and staff, the school department is ready to respond to individual needs as its population returns from April vacation. "The whole situation has had a rippling effect," Superintendent Dr. Peter Kurzberg said. "Certainly I think we’re all hearbroken for the victims and the families who were directly impacted by this. There are many, many more people that have been affected by this. It’s just important for all of us to look out for one another." As when the Newtown shooting reverberated throughout …