Superintendent Rides School Bus; Says Elementary Ride Too Long
New Superintendent of Schools Stacy Scott told the Framingham School Committee he visited two-thirds of the district's schools his first week, which he described as a "smooth" one.
New Superintendent of Schools Stacy Scott has had a busy first week. He:
- Held two welcome back sessions for teachers and staff the day before school started at Framingham High and Walsh Middle.
- Greeted students at Barbieri Elementary on the first day of school last week.
- Visited almost 2/3rd of the town's public schools during the first week, including Potter Road Elementary yesterday.
- Rode a school bus with elementary school students from Stapleton Elementary and Potter Road Elementary.
"I'm very pleased to be in the school buildings over the course of the last week," Scott told members of the Framingham School Committee.
Scott said was great to see students smiling and engaged when he visited the schools. He said staff was excited too and the "energy high." He said it was heartwarming to watch parents bring the new kindergarteners on Thursday.
"Not only have I've been in he building, my staff has also been in the buildings," Scott told the School Committee.
Scott said at the end of each day he and his staff hold a de-briefing meeting where they talked about their experiences in the schools. He said by doing that the team can identify challenges in the school, identify the needs throughout the system, listen to everyone's observations and make long-term decisions on how to respond to the needs.
Scott then told the School Committee about his experiene riding an elementary school buses leaving from Fuller Middle. It was an elementary bus route for students attending Stapleton Elementary and Potter Road Elementary.
"I met some fascinating young people," Scott told the School Committee. He identfy several students by their first names only and talked about how they discussed astronomy, jet propulsion and World War II.
He said they had some great conversations. One reason they could have an extended conversation was because the bus ride was "a little too long," said Scott.
"At one hour and a quarter each way ... we need to figure out how to lessen the time," Scott said.
He stressed while the students were safe and well-cared for on the bus, the ride times need to be adjusted.
Scott said he met with the director of transportation and the director of student sevies and one reason for the long bus rides is that when bus runs were cut in previous school years, certain schools were combined into one route and that extended the ride times.
Scott added that at the beginning of the year, the bus has to stop at every stop, but over time the routes should tighten.
Scott concluded his review of the first week by saying "hats off to my directors and school principals," as the opening of school was "a smooth and happy one for students and one of hope for staff."
Barbieri Elementary parent Greg Palmer, who is also a Town Meeting member, said he was "impressed viewing Dr. Scott at Barbieri on opening day ... He was not only greeting kids, but speaking in Spanish and English where appropriate by student/family, and he was holding hands with the little ones walking them to class after greeting them at the bus."
Palmer has two daughters at the elementary school.
"It was refreshing to say the least, and a very clear and much needed change from the previous administration," said Palmer.