Mayors Against Illegal Guns Met with Mayor Menino Today

MAIGPressConference1

I was pleased to be part of a group of mayors who met with Mayor Menino today to support gun reform as part of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The full press release is below.

Mayor Menino Hosts Massachusetts Delegation of Mayors Against Illegal Guns
Mayors convene to discuss violence prevention strategies, legislative priorities, community mobilization

Mayor Thomas M. Menino today hosted the Massachusetts delegation of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) coalition as they continue their call on Congress to take action on gun violence. In his State of the City address Tuesday, Mayor Menino vowed to continue his work with the coalition of nearly 1,000 mayors and more than one million Americans. Today, Mayor Menino also called for Massachusetts’ interim Senate appointment to join the state’s delegation in fighting for gun reform.

“Earlier this week, I asked the City of Boston to stand with us on guns and say enough is enough,” Mayor Menino said. “As Mayors, we have a responsibility to our residents to do all we can to make our neighborhoods safer. Today, we’re calling on every community in Massachusetts to stand with us. We must keep the pressure on Congress to take swift action.”

Mayor Menino also praised the entire Massachusetts federal delegation for signing onto HR 137. This legislation requires background checks for every gun sale in America. But he also urged Mayors and their constituents to expand their reach: “Call your aunt in Florida; call your college roommate in Texas; call your old neighbor who moved to Vermont. Tell them we need them to stand with us and demand a plan from their members of Congress.”

Twenty-six Massachusetts mayors are members of MAIG. Mayors in attendance at today’s event included: Mayor Joseph C. Sullivan of Braintree, President, Mass Mayors Association, Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone of Somerville, Chair, Metro Mayors Coalition, Mayor William F. Scanlon of Beverly, Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr. of Everett, Mayor Lisa Wong of Fitchburg, Mayor Patrick Ó. Murphy of Lowell, Mayor Gary Christenson of Malden, Mayor Michael J. McGlynn of Medford, Mayor Robert J. Dolan of Melrose, Mayor Jonathan Mitchell of New Bedford, Mayor Setti Warren of Newton, Mayor Thomas Koch of Quincy, Mayor Daniel Rizzo of Revere, Mayor Kimberley Driscoll of Salem, Mayor Scott D. Galvin of Woburn.

Continue reading “Mayors Against Illegal Guns Met with Mayor Menino Today”

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The Mayor’s Morning Briefing: January 31, 2013

DPW
This is a red recycle week.
Trash and recycling are back on their regular schedules.

Library
January 31, 3-4 p.m., Snack Pack Book Discussion Group for children in grades 4 and 5. Check at the Children’s Room for the book; snacks will be provided.

Milano Senior Center
To make reservations or request a ride, call 781-662-6886. A $1 one-way donation is requested for rides.
February 4, 9 a.m., Healthy Eating for Successful Living, first of a six-week series
February 12, 1:15 p.m., Midnight in Paris (movie). Suggested donation $1 or an item for the food pantry.
February 14, 12 p.m., Valentine’s Day Special Lunch. Requested donation, $2.
February 26, 2 p.m., Hooray for Hollywood, musical program featuring Jean Dancewicz and Christine Corbett. Requested donation $5 to cover cost of refreshments and entertainment.

Events
January 31, 7 p.m., Melrose Education Forum: Evaluating our Educators, High School Resource Room
February 8, 10 a.m., Kids Club, featuring Roman Music Therapy, Memorial Hall
March 8, 10 a.m., Kids Club, featuring Music with Dara, Memorial Hall

Meetings
January 31, 7:15 p.m., Energy Commission, Mayor’s Conference Room
February 4, 8:00 p.m., Board of Aldermen, Public Hearing, Aldermanic Chamber
February 5, 7:00 p.m., Human Rights Commission, Mayor’s Conference Room
February 5, 7:00 p.m., Melrose School Committee, Aldermanic Chamber
February 5, 7:30 p.m., Melrose Public Library Board of Trustees, Trustees Meeting Room, Melrose Public Library
February 13, 7:45 p.m., Board of Appeals, Aldermanic Chamber

The Mayor’s Morning Briefing: January 30, 2013

DPW
This is a red recycle week.
Trash and recycling are back on their regular schedules.

Library
January 29, 3-5 p.m., Paper Quilling for Children. Hands-on paper quilling workshop for third graders and up. Children will take home a finished project. Space is limited so please register in the Children’s Room beginning on January 7.
January 31, 3-4 p.m., Snack Pack Book Discussion Group for children in grades 4 and 5. Check at the Children’s Room for the book; snacks will be provided.

Milano Senior Center
To make reservations or request a ride, call 781-662-6886. A $1 one-way donation is requested for rides.
February 4, 9 a.m., Healthy Eating for Successful Living, first of a six-week series
February 12, 1:15 p.m., Midnight in Paris (movie). Suggested donation $1 or an item for the food pantry.
February 14, 12 p.m., Valentine’s Day Special Lunch. Requested donation, $2.
February 26, 2 p.m., Hooray for Hollywood, musical program featuring Jean Dancewicz and Christine Corbett. Requested donation $5 to cover cost of refreshments and entertainment.

Events
January 31, 7 p.m., Melrose Education Forum: Evaluating our Educators, High School Resource Room
February 8, 10 a.m., Kids Club, featuring Roman Music Therapy, Memorial Hall
March 8, 10 a.m., Kids Club, featuring Music with Dara, Memorial Hall

Meetings
February 4, 8:00 p.m., Board of Aldermen, Public Hearing, Aldermanic Chamber
February 13, 7:45 p.m., Board of Appeals, Aldermanic Chamber

The Mayor’s Morning Briefing: Come to the Melrose Education Forum Thursday Night!

This year, the Melrose Public Schools will be implementing the state’s new teacher evaluation system. What does this mean to your child—and to you? How will it affect teaching and learning, and how will it advance the Common Core standards? Come to the Melrose Education Forum at 7 p.m. this Thursday, January 31, to hear informative presentations and panel discussion featuring Superintendent of Schools Cyndy Taymore, Curriculum Director Margaret Adams, and Melrose school prinicipals. I am proud to be co-sponsoring this very important forum, together with the Melrose Education Coalition and Superintendent Taymore, and I hope you will join us.

DPW
This is a red recycle week.
Trash and recycling are back on their regular schedules.

Library
January 29, 3-5 p.m., Paper Quilling for Children. Hands-on paper quilling workshop for third graders and up. Children will take home a finished project. Space is limited so please register in the Children’s Room beginning on January 7.
January 31, 3-4 p.m., Snack Pack Book Discussion Group for children in grades 4 and 5. Check at the Children’s Room for the book; snacks will be provided.

Milano Senior Center
To make reservations or request a ride, call 781-662-6886. A $1 one-way donation is requested for rides.
February 4, 9 a.m., Healthy Eating for Successful Living, first of a six-week series
February 12, 1:15 p.m., Midnight in Paris (movie). Suggested donation $1 or an item for the food pantry.
February 14, 12 p.m., Valentine’s Day Special Lunch. Requested donation, $2.
February 26, 2 p.m., Hooray for Hollywood, musical program featuring Jean Dancewicz and Christine Corbett. Requested donation $5 to cover cost of refreshments and entertainment.

Events
February 8, 10 a.m., Kids Club, featuring Roman Music Therapy, Memorial Hall
March 8, 10 a.m., Kids Club, featuring Music with Dara, Memorial Hall

Meetings
January 30, 9 a.m., Retirement Board, Retirement Office, City Hall
February 4, 8:00 p.m., Board of Aldermen, Public Hearing, Aldermanic Chamber
February 13, 7:45 p.m., Board of Appeals, Aldermanic Chamber

The Mayor’s Morning Briefing: January 28, 2013

DPW
This is a red recycle week.
Trash and recycling are back on their regular schedules.

Library
January 28, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Music, Movement, and Mother Goose, Children’s Room
January 29, 10:15 a.m., Rockin’ Babies and Boppin’ Toddlers (10:15-11 a.m., Boppin’ Toddlers, for children 9-18 months; 11:15 a.m.-12 p.m., Rockin’ Babies, for children 0-9 months)
January 29, 3-5 p.m., Paper Quilling for Children. Hands-on paper quilling workshop for third graders and up. Children will take home a finished project. Space is limited so please register in the Children’s Room beginning on January 7.
January 31, 3-4 p.m., Snack Pack Book Discussion Group for children in grades 4 and 5. Check at the Children’s Room for the book; snacks will be provided.

Milano Senior Center
To make reservations or request a ride, call 781-662-6886. A $1 one-way donation is requested for rides.
February 4, 9 a.m., Healthy Eating for Successful Living, first of a six-week series
February 12, 1:15 p.m., Midnight in Paris (movie). Suggested donation $1 or an item for the food pantry.
February 14, 12 p.m., Valentine’s Day Special Lunch. Requested donation, $2.
February 26, 2 p.m., Hooray for Hollywood, musical program featuring Jean Dancewicz and Christine Corbett. Requested donation $5 to cover cost of refreshments and entertainment.

Events
February 8, 10 a.m., Kids Club, Memorial Hall
March 8, 10 a.m., Kids Club, Memorial Hall

Meetings
January 28, 7:30 p.m., Committee on Appropriations, Aldermanic Chamber
January 28, 7:45 p.m., Committee on Finance, Aldermanic Chamber
January 28, 7:45 p.m., Planning Board, Mayor’s Conference Room
January 30, 9 a.m., Retirement Board, Retirement Office, City Hall
February 4, 8:00 p.m., Board of Aldermen, Public Hearing, Aldermanic Chamber
February 13, 7:45 p.m., Board of Appeals, Aldermanic Chamber

Superintendent of Schools Cyndy Taymore on the State of the Schools

Here is the State of the Schools address delivered by Superintendent of Schools Cyndy Taymore last night at Memorial Hall.

Mayor Dolan….

Thank you for this opportunity to address the citizens of Melrose regarding the state of our schools in 2013.

Since being appointed last spring, I have been engaged in an entry process during which I have had the opportunity to speak with many members of the community including city officials, members of the business community, and leaders of nonprofit organizations, parents, staff, students, and everyday citizens. If there has been one constant in these conversations, it is the citizens of Melrose love this city and are proud of the quality of life that you have all worked hard to create. Moreover, Melrosians want our schools to be a quality school system that provides our children with the skills and opportunities necessary to become successful, productive members of our community.

Both the citizens of Melrose and our local officials are deeply committed to education and the schools. When I was first being introduced last fall, I was amazed at the number of people who were ready to welcome me and offer me their help. More impressive are the large number of citizens who act on this commitment. The Bridge, our volunteer organization, has over 200 volunteers who provide their expertise, skill, and labor to help out in our schools. Our Parent Teacher Organizations are among the strongest I have ever encountered, raising thousands of dollars to support building based enrichment programs. The sports booster clubs, Bandaiders, drama and musical parents, and many others provide financial and physical support so that our students may participate in a range of extracurricular activities second to none. Lastly, local organizations, such as Rotary, the Chamber of Commerce, and the McLaughlin Foundation, stand ready to help whenever we call.

Over the past several years, the Melrose Public Schools has worked hard to create a strong foundation on which we can continue to grow. Our schools are staffed by skilled and talented teachers, specialists, administrators and support personnel who are caring and committed to our students’ growth and well-being.

At Melrose High School, we have a wonderful foreign language program, the unique and forward thinking Global Education in Melrose (GEM) program, our new STEM track, and 15 Advanced Placement courses. All are hidden jewels about which not enough people know. Melrose’s longstanding METCO program and the success of our METCO students are impressive. And, of course, our sports, drama, iRobotics, and academic teams afford us with many opportunities to brag.

At the middle school, we are truly invested in the development of early adolescents. The middle school’s faculty provides our young people with the support and encouragement they need to safely explore their interests and test their (and our) limits. Additionally, the Middle School’s tradition of community service is a source of pride. Our middle school students truly understand the importance of civic engagement, respect, and compassion in a modern society.

Our elementary schools have engaged, devoted parents who support the schools and staff, helping to enhance both academic and social learning and to produce a positive and memorable experience for all children. Because of their relatively small size, our elementary schools are able to provide a closely knit and nurturing learning environment for our students. In addition to our schools, Education Stations is an exceptional program, not just providing after school options for our youngest students, but also reinforcing many of the academic and social emotional skills learned during the school day. Lastly, the Franklin Early Childhood Center is a leader in early childhood education and a valued asset for the city as a whole.

Yet like any organization, we are subject to the changes in the larger society and need to constantly adapt and improve. For public schools, it is not just about the impact of the recent recession and the slow economic recovery. Over the past ten years, numerous changes in policy and regulations at the state and federal level continue to impact the many decisions we make when setting local priorities and creating plans to achieve our district and individual goals. At a recent conference I attended, state and federal officials as well as the leaders of the many educational professional associations discussed that fact that at the local level we have less control than ever over public education.

Among the more recent policies, programs, and regulations impacting local districts are Race to the Top in which we participate; the revised Massachusetts Frameworks incorporating the Common Core Standards; the spring 2013 release of the new Science Common Core Standards; the new state-wide Educator Evaluation System that clearly articulates the high expectations and standards required for teaching and learning; the launching of EDWIN, the state’s teaching and learning platform, that provides and collects information regarding student data, curriculum, and assessment; RETELL, the U.S. Department of Justice requirement that Massachusetts redesign the delivery of English as a Second Language instruction; the Massachusetts Tiered System of Support—MTSS, the state’s best practice model comprised of a multi-tiered system of academic and behavioral supports for meeting the individual needs of all students; new accountability requirements for improving student achievement; and the impending replacement of the MCAS with the PARCC assessments. And that’s the short list.

What this means for our students, staff, and community is a paradigm shift in teaching and learning. Our children’s school experience has little resemblance to our own. As we prepare them for a world that none of us can predict, we need to reexamine all our presumptions about how we teach and how our children learn. The 21st century school emphasizes both content and skills. Students are expected to be able to apply knowledge, solve problems, collaborate, and communicate verbally, in writing, and digitally. And without any doubt, what we develop today will be subject to continuous evaluation and further adaptation in response to future local, national, and global changes.

So what do we need to do? Next week, I will be presenting the full report of my entry plan findings to the School Committee. Following that, the School Committee and I will work together to identify priorities and create an action plan for achieving the goals of a revised strategic plan. Our choices and plans need to focus on improving curriculum and instruction for all our students. That is our number one priority. We need to ensure that our curriculum is rigorous, based in high expectations, and aligned with the state standards. Our instructional practices should be student centered, differentiated, and responsive. And, as practitioners, we should be constantly engaged in self-reflection and professional growth.

Having said that, I am mindful that in order to develop the school system we envision for our children, it will take considerable effort, resources, time, and patience. We will need time for teachers to collaborate around curriculum, instruction, and assessment and to participate in ongoing professional development. If we desire a high performing school system, we must provide our staff with the means and resources to develop the curriculum and skills necessary to provide our students with the level of challenge and instruction required by high expectations and standards. We will need administrators, curriculum directors, and teacher leaders to support and lead us in our efforts to raise rigor, maintain high standards, and continually improve our teaching and learning. And of course, we will need the financial resources to provide the professional development, the curriculum materials, technology, and staffing that will, in turn, enable our students to successfully master challenging content knowledge and to develop the requisite academic and personal skills for success. Most importantly, we will need the steady support of the community as we work together to achieve our goal to provide our children with the school system they deserve.

In closing, I would like to thank the public officials and citizens of Melrose for providing our children with a safe and caring community that is clearly invested in their academic and social emotional well being. I know that together we will achieve our goals.