Videos: Northampton Public Schools Strategic Planning, Open Meeting of 10/1/08; Did You Know?

The Northampton Public Schools held an open meeting on the evening of October 1 as part of its strategic planning process. The meeting took place at the JFK Middle School Cafeteria. Consultant William Allen, Ed.D, of Future Management Systems Inc. is helping with the process. The Strategic Plan will consider such topics as Learning Results (Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment), Professional Development, Operations, Community Connections, Technology, and Communication.

Northampton residents gave their input regarding the future direction of the Northampton Public Schools. This Vimeo video is 53 minutes long, and contains the entire meeting except the periods when attendees divided into small group discussions. Audio quality was a bit of challenge with this recording as people spoke from several different places in a large room. You may find that using headphones makes the words more intelligible. It may also help to experiment with the audio settings of your computer, such as turning off any “surround sound” feature.

Topics covered during the meeting included:

  • 11min:02sec… What are the strengths/successes of the school system?
  • 27min:15sec… What are the areas of opportunity the school system has for growth and/or improvement?
  • 40min:30sec… What trends do you see that will have an impact on the school system? (local, state, national, international)

See also:

shifthappens: Did You Know?
Did You Know? originally started out as a PowerPoint presentation for a faculty meeting in August 2006 at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado, United States. The presentation “went viral” on the Web in February 2007 and, as of June 2007, had been seen by at least 5 million online viewers.

The Fischbowl: “Did You Know?”
Did You Know Text (Word, PDF)
19. China will soon become the number one English speaking country in the world

29. According to former Secretary of Education Richard Riley . . .
30. The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 didn’t exist in 2004.
31. We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist . . .

46. We are living in exponential times.
47. There are over 2.7 billion searches performed on Google each month.
48. To whom were these questions addressed B.G.?
(Before Google)

72. Predictions are that by 2049 a $1,000 computer will exceed the computational capabilities of the human race.
73. What does it all mean?

Smith Makes Gift to Northampton Public Schools (5/28/08)
In a letter addressed to Mayor Clare Higgins, Smith College recently announced a gift of $100,000 to the city to provide time and support for a rigorous strategic planning process regarding the future of the Northampton schools.

The one-time gift comes in response to reports that the Northampton Public Schools face a significant budget shortfall during the next fiscal year.

Northampton School Committee Minutes of August 14, 2008 (PDF)
REPORT: Strategic Planning Committee: Mayor Higgins and Ms.
Hartry introduced Mr. William Allen, a consultant from Future
Management Systems. They then introduced those members of the Strategic
Planning Committee who were present. The twenty-five members of
committee include representatives from the schools and the wider
community, a parent and a teacher from each school, and two

The group will
present its recommendations to the School Committee by Dec 15. In
response to a question from Ms. Minnick, Mr. Allen talked about how
data would be collected and collated. The committee will look at
performance data, development data, and demographics. They will look at
the beliefs, values, and assumptions about education in the district.
They will bring these responses together to shape realistic goals to
adopt and pursue, always bearing in mind what is best for the students
of NPS.

Ward 3 Neighborhood Association: Statement of Support for Bridge Street Elementary School

Letter to Gazette: “Government works best when it is closer to home”
It’s a challenge as it is for citizens in Northampton to keep up with
all the city’s initiatives and meetings that affect their lives. How
much greater a challenge would it be if many of the meetings that
currently take place in Northampton were relocated to Springfield or

…When it comes to city and school planning, a mosaic of small
administrative units may look inefficient, but it’s more likely to
offer responsive, accountable, and individually tailored service than
larger ones.

Closing Bridge Street School Contradicts Smart Growth Goals

“Back to School for Planners”
(Fall 2004 issue of Planning Commissioners Journal)
…the trend towards mega schools continues despite widespread
agreement among researchers that the size of most U.S. schools is too
large. A growing body of research has shown that “student achievement
in small schools is at least equal and often superior to achievement in
large schools.” A higher percentage of students, across all
socio-economic levels, are successful when they are part of smaller,
more intimate learning communities… Security improves and violence
decreases, as does student alcohol and drug abuse.

Northampton Education Action Team Online