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KIPP ACADEMY LYNN LOTTERY APPLICATIONS NOW AVAILABLE

KIPP Academy Lynn Elementary, Middle, and High Schools are free, open enrollment, charter public schools serving students grades K-2 and 5-12 in the 2017-2018 school year. KIPP welcomes all families interested in enrolling their children at KIPP to fill out an application to enter into the random lottery, which will be held the week of Feb. 27, 2017. Lottery applications and additional information are available at www.kippma.org/enroll or can be picked up at 90 High Rock St., and 20 Wheeler St., Suite 404.

The deadline to submit lottery forms is Friday, Feb. 24 at 5 p.m. Late applications cannot be accepted.

KIPP staff and leadership will be hosting Open Houses at 90 High Rock St. (middle and high schools) on Thursday, Jan. 26 and Thursday, Feb. 9 from 5-7 p.m.

KIPP’s program is based on a longer school day and year, academic and character development, a relentless focus on student outcomes and college graduation, and support for students to and through college and career.

If you have questions, please call:

KIPP Academy Lynn Elementary School (grades K-2)
Rebecca Hazlett 781-558-9263

KIPP Academy Lynn Middle School (grades 5-8)
Mariela Alvarez 781-598-1609 ext 1133

KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate High School (grades 9-12)
Monica Bruno 781-598-1609 ext 1134

Lofty goals in Marblehead

Town reports, written annually and often read only by the people who wrote them, can be dry documents summarizing the status quo in fancy language.

But Marblehead School Superintendent Maryann Perry veered away from this safe approach when she wrote her portion of the 2015 town report. Perry took a step forward and used space allotted for the School Department in the report to outline challenges and lofty goals.

Almost 11 months have passed since the town report became official and it will be interesting to see in the 2016 report how Perry summarizes the school department’s success in achieving its 2016 objectives.

The 2015 report identified textbook inventory as a department priority concern. Even in an age of digital technology, textbooks remain an education staple and Perry and her staff relied on what the report described as “family and community feedback” to identify the best plan for continuing to use texts based on the department’s commitment to updating learning curriculums.

Perry also described how school employees took a nuts-and-bolts approach to long-term school building maintenance. Like textbooks, building maintenance is not the most exciting concern making its way across Perry’s desk every day. But Perry and top school aides realize tracking school building upkeep is an opportunity for savings benefiting local taxpayers.

Even with a state-of-the-art high school, Marblehead must stay ahead of the curve when it comes to maintaining nine local school buildings. The Elbridge Gerry School is the oldest town school and it has not seen a major renovation in 110 years. Town residents in their wisdom gave town officials permission to push ahead with an expensive and exhaustive review process that will conclude with important decisions about the Gerry’s future.

School building renovation or new construction projects are expensive and school officials have made the right decision by minding maintenance dollars and cents.

To her credit, Perry did not shy away from school spending problems in the school department summary for the 2015 town report. She warned of rising costs and “increasing pressure” in describing school financial challenges. But she also offered specific solutions to balancing the school budget.

“While we know we have budget pressures in our future, the traction, trust and collaboration we have gained this year sets a strong foundation for continued good work,” she wrote by way of summarizing school spending challenges.

It will be interesting to see how Perry sums up in the 2016 town report new challenges faced by town schools and efforts to overcome them.

Lynn Community Enrichment Program has a shiny new vision

Are you prepared to join in? Are your skills ready to give you the opportunity to share in this new vision?

Want to find out?

Come join with your neighbors and friends and enroll in a course or two with the Lynn Community Enrichment Program.

The people that are shaping Lynn’s future are helping to subsidize courses so that Lynn’s residents can grow with the city.

Find out more at our Facebook page.

Cost for most classes is $60 for six weeks and are held from 6-8 p.m.

Classes at LVTI:

Mondays
• Citizenship
• Computer applications
• Engineering design
• Foundations of childcare work
• Intro to blueprints
• Writing for all ages

Tuesdays
• Cake decorating
• Conversational Spanish
• Intro to the internet
• Intro to oil burner technician
• Curso interactivo para padres con hijos de 0 meses a 5 años

Wednesdays
• Carpentry
• Curso intermedio práctico y actualizado de Microsoft Office
• Intro to Welding
• Yoga

Registration
Lynn Vocational Technical Institute – Library
80 Neptune Boulevard

October 18, 2016
6-8:00 p.m.
Classes are scheduled to begin on October 24, 2016
This program is a partnership of Lynn Public Schools and the New Lynn Coalition

Mass. drafting rules to keep kids in school

BOSTON — The state is taking public input over the next few weeks as it crafts guidelines aimed at keeping students in school by reducing suspensions and expulsions.

The guidelines are part of a law passed in 2012 that requires public and charter school principals to keep students out of school only as a last resort. The proposed guidelines would require school officials to notify parents of suspensions, allow students to appeal and let those suspended complete assignments.

The public can comment until March 7, and the new rules will take effect July 1.

Advocates say limiting suspensions is important because suspended and expelled students are more likely to be held back, drop out or land in the juvenile justice system.

“If kids are not in school, they can’t learn,” said Thomas Mela, senior projects manager at the Massachusetts Advocates for Children, a nonprofit group that pushed for the legislation. “That is our main concern.”

A 2011 study of 1 million Texas middle school students by the Council of State Governors found that 97 percent of suspensions were for offenses such as classroom disruption or insubordination. Only 3 percent were for more serious offenses such as weapon or drug possession.

“It is counterintuitive to punish students by excluding them from school when the one place they are safe and supported is school,” said Joan Meschino, executive director of the Massachusetts Appleseed Center, which studies juvenile justice and education issues. She said data shows that students who are male, black and Latino, or have special needs are more likely than others to be suspended.

Some opposed the new legislation, saying suspensions are necessary to keep order in the classroom, but it passed anyway. Mitchell D. Chester, commissioner of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, said at a meeting last month that regulations must strike a balance between preserving students’ rights and maintaining a safe and orderly environment for others to learn.

Ayomide Olumuyiwa, a high school junior in Boston who has been involved in designing the new regulations as a member of the Boston Student Advisory Council, said keeping students out of school for minor offenses is detrimental. Boston Public Schools got a head start on the law by implementing a new code of conduct this fall.

“What are students going to be doing for that one week?” Olumuyiwa said. “They will be watching TV, playing video games or going out on the streets and getting themselves into trouble.”

Charter schools in particular have high rates of suspensions, said Hareen Chernow, a member of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Many have zero-tolerance policies in which students are suspended for specific infractions regardless of their individual circumstances.

President Barack Obama’s administration last month issued sweeping but nonbinding recommendations that suggest, among other things, removing students from classrooms only as a last resort for the worst behavior and getting them back to class as soon as possible. Maryland and cities such as Los Angeles and Denver have recently passed disciplinary guidelines.

Advocates want to make sure suspended students still have an opportunity to learn. Among options already being tried are an online learning laboratory and tutoring programs.

New management for longtime Lynn nursery school

LYNN — It’s probably only fitting that the new owners of Busy Bee Nursery School in Lynn decided to keep the name when they took over the business last month.

Ashley Pierce and Sarah Treiber have been going non-stop since June 26, cleaning, painting, planning, marketing and sorting through the mountains of toys, books, games and other learning materials that came with the building. Although still a work in progress, the new owners say the school will be ready for its debut on July 31, the day of the first open house.

Busy Bee Nursery School, tucked away at the top of Severance Street off Lynnfield Street, has been a launching pad for youngsters for more than three decades. For the last 30-plus years, Patricia Melanson and Marcia Boudrow were the face of Busy Bee, first as teachers and for the past 26 years as owners and teachers.

“It was time for us to retire and pass it on to someone new,” Melanson said.

Pierce grew up in Lynn and still lives in the city. The 27-year-old English High graduate received her bachelor’s degree in childhood development with a minor in special education from Southern New Hampshire University and her master’s degree in early childhood education from American International College.

Treiber grew up in Connecticut and attended Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Va. She found her way north when she was working for Abercrombie and Fitch and was transferred to Boston. After her daughter, now 8 years old, was born, Treiber decided to make a career change and eventually began working at the Marblehead Children’s Center. This is where she and Pierce, who now lives in Somerville, made the connection.

When Busy Bee went on the market last fall, Pierce and Treiber set out to buy it. At this point, the building is actually owned by Pierce’s uncle, and Pierce and Treiber own the business.

“It’s something we’ve always wanted to do. We always wanted a school. We just want to come here and teach,” Pierce said.

One of the first decisions they had to make was whether to keep the name or go with something new.

“We thought about changing it, but everyone knows what Busy Bee is,” Pierce said. “Just growing up in Lynn and being part of the Lynn community, it was important to keep the spirit of Busy Bee alive ”¦ Pat and Marcia have set a good standard for us to follow.”

Pierce said they’ve learned a lot about the market in a very short time. She said originally they planned to stay open until 5 p.m., but when some parents inquiring about the school thought that meant it was a daycare, they made adjustments to 

the hours to make it clear it was a preschool program.

Pierce and Treiber said parents want their children ready for kindergarten, both academically and socially. The school will be licensed for 34 students, 20 upstairs and 14 downstairs. Both women acknowledge that going into business with another person is a huge commitment.

“There’s not a whole lot of people I would hop into business with,” Pierce said in talking about how the two of them share the same vision for the school.

“We’re both perfectionists,” Treiber said. “We’re just trying to digest it (putting everything together) in small parts. We’re taking it one step at a time.”

There’s still plenty of work to do to meet licensing requirements, but the two have been fortunate in that they’ve had plenty of help from family members and their boyfriends when it comes to things involving carpentry, electrical and plumbing matters.

The first open house is scheduled for Wednesday, July 31 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. A second one will take place at some time in August. The two have been busy marketing the school since they bought it, mostly through Facebook.

“The response from Facebook has been huge,” Treiber said.