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My first month in Harvard has gone extremely well. Everyone has made me feel welcomed. I have had a chance to meet and work with the administrative staff on several issues. They are very committed to their jobs. We have already had our first Administrative Council meeting where we discussed school-readiness issues, including staffing needs in each school. I am very pleased to see how child-centered our administrative team is. Clearly everyone’s top priority is how we can best serve the children of Harvard.

Facility Director Mark Force and I have toured both schools. Mark reports most, if not all summer repair projects are now completed. Annual summer cleaning to both schools is also ahead of schedule.

As of Friday, Aug. 5 we had the following unfilled teaching positions:

Hildreth Elementary

Library/Media/Technology Specialist

.5 FTE Grade 5, potentially a full-time grade 5 teacher

Preschool teacher

The Bromfield School

Grade 7 English teacher (long-term 1-year position)

Guidance counselor

We also have a few long-term substitute positions for upcoming maternity leaves to be filled.

The recent job advertisement has generated a very strong response. Principal’s O’Shea and Dwight are confident all vacancies will be filled well before school starts on August 30, 2011.

The School Committee and I have devoted much time and effort identifying and prioritizing school year 2011/2012 goals. At the Aug. 22, 2011 School Committee Meeting it is anticipated this list of initiatives for this school year will be finalized. At this time the tentative list of goals include the following:

1. Investigate and research all potential administrative operational models for the Harvard Public Schools including, but not limited to, forming a K-5 or K-12 school union with a neighboring school district, part-time superintendent model, shared superintendent/principal model, and remaining a K-12 school district with a full-time superintendent.

2. Development of a School Budget development and management plan that reflects a long-range financial focus.

3. Develop an action plan that allows existing five-year strategic plan implementation progress to be reviewed on an on-going basis.

4. Formation of a five-year technology plan that identifies how the integration of technology in classrooms will support K-12 instruction.

5. Improvement and expansion of Harvard School District’s website and other home/school communication efforts

6. Development of an annual School Committee/Superintendent evaluation system that accurately assesses effectiveness for accomplishing identified goals and other responsibilities.

7. Complete an in-depth five-year enrollment and school capacity study that includes the impact of the proposed Vicksburg Square project.

After being in the job a full month my enthusiasm for being in Harvard this year has only increased.

I look forward to being a part of the Harvard School Community this year and encourage people to introduce themselves to me and to seek my assistance in any way. My door is always open.

— Superintendent Joseph Connelly

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