Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

News

March 28, 2013

New five-year deal for McGrath

Superintendent gets extension

(Continued)

Forgue also noted the ongoing Bancroft Elementary construction project, and the Town Meeting warrant articles concerning possible building projects for Andover High and a new prekindergarten building. McGrath will continue to oversee those and relatively new initiatives such as offering online courses at Andover High, and potentially creating a preK pilot program with Merrimack College.

Colby-Clements and Forgue said they had not discussed having a public comment period for the community as part of the decision to offer a new contract.

Colby-Clements said the contract had been the stated reason for three executive sessions. The agendas noted their topic was “to discuss successor contract for superintendent.”

“We get feedback on a regular basis, and we got feedback when we did our evaluation last June,” Forgue said. “But I don’t believe there was an official public session around the extension.”

Forgue said residents could have commented at the School Committee meeting on Thursday, March 21, when the item was on the agenda and the vote was taken.

Colby-Clements said that during McGrath’s next five years she expects to see the strategic plan advanced, with an emphasis on providing professional development, on offering world languages at the elementary-school level, and on beefing up the fine arts in part through the return of a K-12 fine arts coordinator.

“From my perspective, I would like to see further refinement of the budget process. The top priority by far is to move forward on [an expansion] for the high school,” said Forgue.

During the next five years, Forgue said he also wants to see a solution for the town’s prekindergarten program, and for online courses to be extended as one part of curriculum innovation, which also could include offering more interdisciplinary courses and pursuing partnerships with local colleges to offer more diverse courses.

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