Mixing 5th graders into Elementary Schools / Budget sessions only at Rogers School?

Salah  Khelfaoui Sun Photo Bob Whitaker
Salah Khelfaoui
Sun Photo Bob Whitaker

I’m told that the School Administrators have asked some Elementary school Principals to start looking to see if they could condense some classes to make room to add one or more fifth grade classes in their elementary schools.

Besides the fact that many students & parents would be upset, the question is how the scheduling would work.

What also makes things interesting is that elementary teacher time shall be six (6) hours and twenty-five (25) minutes per day. Middle and high school teacher time shall be six (6) hours and fifty-five (55) minutes per day. So schools would need to be opened and staffed accordingly.

Given that elementary and middle schools that are next door to each other have staggered starts , for instance the Sullivan Middle School starts at 7:20 while the Reilly Elementary School starts at 8:30 how would that work?

If the 5th graders took the same bus has the students at the Sullivan but had their 5th grade class at the Reilly, would the office be opened and staffed? Will a Principal or Asst. Principal be on duty and will that meet current contract language?

What effect if any does it have on custodians and all around building security? How would the school system assign students to remain in the Elementary School instead of moving to the middle school?

Another interesting rumor has Lowell looking to partner up with Dracut to offer some Special Ed classes. Dracut would provide the space and Lowell the teachers. Not sure how that would even be possible but it was and is an interesting rumor.

I know space is an issue but I hope a School Committee member would ask why we are not using the space we have at LHS and using the Freshman Academy has some combination of middle school and Special Education classes or relocating offices to save the high rents they are paying downtown.

Budget Schedule

Interesting to note that all budget hearings for the School Dept budget will be held at the Rogers School and Televised on ch 95 not ch 22 which is the Education channel on Comcast or channel 99 where School Committee meetings are normally viewed.

Not exactly the clearest or most transparent way to keep the parents / taxpayers aware of what’s going on. Why isn’t this airing on Ch 22 or 8 or 99? How many citizens know about ch 95?

Here’s the basic format of the memo

Salah E. Khelfaoui, Ph.D. Superintendent of Schools
Tel: 978-674-4324
Fax: 978-937-7609
E-Mail: skhelfaoui@lowell.k12.ma.us

Henry J. Mroz Central Administration Offices 155 Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA 01852

To: Michael Geary
From: Dr. Salah E. Khelfaoui Date: March 21, 2016
Ref: Public Session: BUDGET FY 2016-2017

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 * Public Session The Superintendent to present the FY17 recommended budget and have a brief overview 6:30PM Rogers School Room 116/TV Studio

Monday, April 25, 2016 * Public Session Budget Hearing 6:30PM Rogers School Room 116/TV Studio

Monday, May 2, 2016 * Public Session Budget Hearing 6:30PM Rogers School Room 116/TV Studio

Monday, May 9, 2016 * Public Session Budget Adoption 6:30PM Rogers School Room 116/TV Studio

xc: Members of the Lowell School Committee
Gary Frisch, School Business Administrator
Kevin Murphy, City Manager
Principals and Headmaster
Central Office Administration
Paul Georges, United Teachers of Lowell LSAA
S.E.I.U. Clerical Unit
Sun Reporter
Geoff Klane/Steve Brogan, LTC
Mary Sheehan, Recorder