I just want to post the response given by the School Committee at the Budget Hearing in regard to my question about why the crossing guard TIME would result in the need for more crossing guards; that being, the resulting overlap of duty schedules. Crossing guards "can't be at two locations at the same time". This overlapping crossing guard schedule; however, does introduce a new concern in regard to bus schedules. If crossing guard schedules overlap, will bus schedules also be overlapping resulting in the need for more busses and additional drivers (a cost that would far exceed the hiring of more crossing guards (a 5 hour a week job).
My other concerns have not been addressed. I have capitalized the main topics below in case the paragraph format is not retained upon posting the comment (as in my last post regarding i-pads).
TAX CAP FOR SENIORS: I realize that the School Budget hearing was not the appropriate venue to discuss the possibility of working on a tax cap for struggling Seniors but it would be beneficial for our community if some compassion was expressed for those who are not looking forward to another override; not because they want to deprive the children of Needham, but because they don't want to lose their homes.
COMPENSATING TEACHERS: I truly believe that there is a need to identify and compensate teachers; who go above and beyond, in order to help ALL students achieve their full potential. Many attended the popular documentary, "Ending the Race to Nowhere" but it is imperative that schools recognize staff members who have a true understanding of its message. I believe that there are too many brilliant minds being sacrificed in the hands of teachers whose desire to punish with zeros takes precedence over their desire to encourage students to learn. That being said, it seems that the cost to extend the school day by ten minutes in middle school could be better spent in developing a program that utilizes effective student/teacher/parent collaboration that will help students who may need some extra help in finding their own path to success as they progress through the educational system.
PUBLIC HEARINGS: On another note, it is unfortunate that the School Budget hearing was not rescheduled so that more of the public could have participated in the meeting without having to make a decision as to whether or not to venture out into a snow storm. Considering the few in attendance, it seems that most decided to stay home.