I am a lifelong Lowell resident, graduated LHS in 1980 have 4 children, 3 grandchildren and work as a General Manager for a Printing Company in Marlboro MA.
I advocated for Lowell to join the C.E.P. program that provides a free breakfast and lunch to benefit not just the low-income families but the working class families who don’t get a break and can use some relief and Thanks to former School Committee member Kim Scott who was tired of my non stop advocating and requested the new Supt. to look into it or explain why we shouldn’t do it, he did and we are able to provide this for ALL our students.
LHS should stay DOWNTOWN!
I support keeping Lowell High School Downtown. My concerns are a combination of fiscal cost and central location. Looking at the City’s MSBA Presentation – It Shows the COST TO THE LOWELL TAXPAYER being $149,439,672 for Cawley with the 5 floors. The yearly cost of debt service for Cawley over 30 year at 5% the City estimates to be $9,620,000 or 7.75% tax increase WITHOUT any other cost included.
The City Manager has shown another $11,024,500 in expenses BEFORE busing…and another $400,000 to repay the MSBA for roof work. Plus another $7,316,658 in interest on those charges. That’s an addition total of $18,741,158.
LHS Downtown is a Neighborhood School!
Most define a Neighborhood school as the nearest primary/upper primary school within walking distance from the students’ residence. The neighborhood school concept relates to availability of a school within safe and accessible distance from where the child lives.
City Councilor’s and others who support Cawley are looking for a return to “neighborhood schools ” while advocating for the removal of the current High School that is centrally located for all neighborhoods to be moved to the outer city limits of one specific neighborhood.
Isn’t that contradictory?
In the June Report to the City Council it shows CLEARLY that the largest % of the present High School Students come from the 01851 Zip Code – 1,031 of them.
Look at what happens to students / families if they live in that Zip Code, they would be forced to go further away.
Branch St. is 1.2 miles to LHS Downtown but 2.9 miles to Cawley
Midland St. is 2.0 miles to LHS Downtown but 3.8 miles to Cawley
Liberty St. is 1.4 miles to LHS Downtown but 3.1 miles to Cawley
Stevens St. is 1.2 miles to LHS Downtown but 3.7 miles to Cawley
Pine St. is 2.0 mile to LHS Downtown but 3.8 miles to Cawley
Campbell Dr. is 2.5 mile to LHS Downtown but 6.0 miles to Cawley
Now look at the rest of the City, for most it’s moving further away not closer.
Acropolis Rd is 3.1 miles to LHS Downtown but 6.1 miles to Cawley
Totman Road is 3 miles to LHS Downtown but 6 miles to Cawley
Mammoth Rd (close to Blvd) is 1.7 miles to LHS Downtown but 4 miles to Cawley
Fourth Ave is 1.7 miles to LHS Downtown but 3.8 miles to Cawley
Adams St is 0.8 miles to LHS Downtown but 2.9 miles to Cawley
Suffolk St.is 0.8 miles to LHS Downtown but 2.8 miles to Cawley
Broadway St. 1.5 miles to LHS Downtown but 3.1 miles to Cawley
Elm St. is 1.3 miles to LHS Downtown but 1.8 miles to Cawley
Chapel St. is 0.9 miles to LHS Downtown but 2.1 miles to Cawley
Cady St. is 1.1 miles to LHS Downtown but 1.8 miles to Cawley
NOT NIMBY just Neighborhood Residents concerned about their neighborhood.
What I found out in the past 8 months are people who live in Belvidere that I’ve met, are people who care about their neighborhood, about their community and most of all about their kids and grandkids.
In the City of Lowell we have approx. 18 different “Neighborhood Groups” including ACTION (Acre Coalition to Improve Our Neighborhood -Back Central Neighborhood Association-Centralville Neighborhood Action Group- Cupples Square Business & Residents Association – East Pawtucketville Citizens Group- Friends of Tyler Park – JAMBRA (Jackson Appleton Middlesex Business Residents Association) – Lowell Downtown Neighborhood Association – Rosemont Terrace Neighborhood Group
Why aren’t they labeled elites or NIMBY’s? They are just like the folks I’ve met in Belvidere. Concerned people interested in what is best for their neighborhood. Look at the names of these groups, some are very specific neighborhoods. These groups are applauded by the City Councilor’s for being advocates for their neighborhoods.
Yet because people from Belvidere unite out of traffic and safety concerns for their neighborhood they are labeled elites or Nimby’s? Please don’t dismiss these people because of where they live. That’s not fair unless you want to publicly dismiss ALL THE NEIGHBORHOOD GROUPS!
Fiscal Accountability and Respect needed from Superintendent
Knowing your role and being treated with respect is a two-way street and based on the actions and in many cases non actions of this Supt. I don’t believe he respects the role of a School Committee member.
This Superintendent has not responded to motions or has taken months to respond. The same Superintendent who for two straight years has ignored the Committee’s request to have the budget done when they have requested it and the same Superintendent who according to this School Committee didn’t inform them about a situation with administrators that has led to an April 2018 court date for an unfair Labor Practice
The multiple transfer fiasco’s associated with the end of year closing last year which saw in June the Supt charged $80,000 of his salary, $40K of the CFO’s salary and $30K of the HR Directors Salary to the to food service account so he could cut PO’s for what he decided was Computer / Technology needs without clearly explaining to the School Committee what he was doing?
Then the need to fix those transfers and then fix the fix so that the City could file end of year reports with DESE and put the School Dept. Budget back in line.
The transfers to close this year’s fiscal year that resulted in an unnecessary $600,000 shortfall and the Supt. ignoring the School Committee’s request to NOT eliminate a Guidance position at the High School to only have him bring in the same cut at a special meeting to try to balance a budget shortfall he created.
I will hold him accountable and answerable.
Parent Rights and Responsibilities under Mass Ed Reform
I believe many parents do not realize that under Mass. Education Reform they were given a large amount of say into what happens at their children’s school and can address things like:
Lunch duration – Recess length – Stop teachers from taking away recess for the entire class due to one disruptive student – Peer Grading being used to embarrass students – What needs to get repaired – forming and following a School Improvement Plan and school based budgeting.
I will advocate to go out and hold meetings at the schools to help educate and encourage parents to participate.
I ask you to please consider me for one of your 6 votes on Tuesday November 7th.