State to review Greenfield schools next week
GREENFIELD — Six state education officials will visit Greenfield next week to review how the department manages its schools.
The state routinely conducts these non-punitive reviews and will visit about 20 different Massachusetts school districts and departments this school year, said Lauren Greene, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Officials reviewed Greenfield in 2005, placed it on a “watch list” and then reexamined the town’s schools two years later.
During the review team’s time in Greenfield next week, officials will visit schools, observe classes and interview a variety of school employees. Greene said a final report will be published sometime this coming spring. Officials will look at how the department manages its finances, supports students, collects and tracks student data and evaluates teachers and administrators — and particularly how aligned these efforts are across the board, throughout the schools.
Greenfield school officials have been scrambling to pull together materials for the review, but it’s been difficult, said Superintendent Susan Hollins. A wave of homeless students, the ongoing high school construction project and contracted services for the Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School constantly compete for the attention of school leaders, she said.
“It is one more big state-imposed project to undertake,” said Hollins. “I think it would be a more coordinated review if the team waited until the high school and virtual school projects were off the table, but we will be as prepared as we can be.”
Once the review is finalized, a report will be published on the state department’s website at http://goo.gl/CMMZ97. Greene said that state officials offer to meet with district teams to discuss the review and help plan the next steps, but that each school system makes its own decisions about what to do next.
She said that districts are chosen each year based on a number of factors — including accountability level, region and time since the last review.
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