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Hingham Massachusetts, Incorporated 1635, History & Pride
 

Town Government &
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Committees: School Committee

Telephone: 781-741-1500
Address: 220 Central Street, Hingham, MA 02043

Persons interested in communicating with the School Committee may:

  • Send a letter to the School Committee Chair or an individual member, c/o the School Department at 220 Central Street. Letters marked Confidential will be forwarded unopened to the individual.
  • Send an e-mail to schoolcommittee@hinghamschools.org. A designated school official will receive and print or forward e-mails to the School Committee Chair for sharing and response, as appropriate.
Additional information including committee members, sub-committee assignments, agendas and minutes are posted on the Hingham Public Schools website.

2013 Annual Report

School Committee
(Established by Mass General Law)

The School Committee derives its authority from Massachusetts General Law and maintains its authority when they serve as a legal body. Members have no authority over school affairs when they act as an individual. The School Committee’s powers and duties consist of the following: the power to select, to evaluate and terminate the Superintendent, to review and approve the school budget, establish educational goals and standards consistent with the law’s requirements, conduct collective bargaining with all school department bargaining units, hire legal counsel for said bargaining and other general purposes and submit an annual report to the town on the state of the schools. The School Committee consists of seven members chosen by ballot from the registered voters of Hingham to staggered terms. Each term is three years which expires at the annual town election with no limit on reelection. Members serve without any compensation.

The School Committee conducts its business in open public meetings, the goal and objectives which include, but are not limited to: (i) establishing and periodically reviewing policies, (ii) assuring that the Superintendent uses competent and conscientious personnel and evaluates their performance in implementing School Committee policies, (iii) adopting budgets which will provide sufficient funds to operate the school system economically and effectively to the extent possible given fiscal constraints, (iv) monitoring the school administration’s execution of established policies and (v) establishing and evaluating annual School Committee performance objectives.

The Committee generally meets every other Monday night and establishes an annual meeting schedule during the month of August. In January, extra meetings are generally held on Thursday nights for budget discussions. In addition, each member is given one or more subcommittee assignments by the School Committee chairperson annually. Each of the six school councils is also assigned a school committee member liaison as well.

ANNUAL REPORT – 2013

As of October 1, 2013, there were 4178 students enrolled in grades K-12 in the Hingham Public Schools, an increase of 35 students over October 1, 2012. In addition, the district had responsibility for funding and/or programming for 62 pre-school students in the integrated program, 54 out-of-district students (special education), and 5 vocational students.

School leadership changes in 2013 included the appointments of Derek Smith, who succeeded Roger Boddie who retired as Hingham Middle School Principal, and David Jewett who assumed the leadership of the Mathematics Department succeeding Douglas Holley who stepped down. Newly appointed as assistant principals were Alison Janulewicz (replacing Derek Smith), Becky Case at East, moving from the Pre-K Coordinator role, and former teacher Lori Jacobs at South. Liz Costanza moved from South School to become the Pre-K Coordinator at East. Assistant Principals who were sharing two schools are now responsible for one including Melissa Smith at Plymouth River and Jennifer Newell at Foster.

Academically, Hingham students continued to perform above state averages at every grade and subject on the 2013 MCAS. The percentage of Hingham students performing at the proficient or advanced levels increased in grade 4 English Language Arts (ELA) and math, grade 5 ELA, grade 8 math, and grade 10 ELA and science. In grade 10, 100% of students scored at the proficient or advanced level in ELA, 95% in math, and 94% in science, with 76% scoring at the advanced level in ELA and 77% scoring advanced in math. All members of the Class of 2013 demonstrated proficiency on the ELA, math and science MCAS tests that are required for a state certified diploma. Student Growth Percentile (SGP) reports released by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) are used to measure student performance changes on MCAS over time. In Hingham, SGPs were rated as "high" at grade 4 ELA and math, grade 5 ELA and math, grades 6 and 7 ELA, and grade 10 ELA.

The Massachusetts accountability system is used to classify districts and schools on a five level scale from the highest performing in Level 1 to the lowest performing in Level 5. The Hingham 2013 accountability results were as follows: Foster School and Hingham High School–Level 1, East School, Plymouth River School, South School and Hingham Middle School–Level 2 (High Needs subgroup). A school percentile was also reported indicating a school's overall performance relative to other schools in Massachusetts with the same grades. The Hingham school percentiles were as follows: East–88th, Foster–88th, PRS–98th, South–90th, HMS–89th, and HHS–94th.

On June 1, 2013, 274 students graduated from Hingham High School. Of these graduates, 94% planned to continue their formal education. Academic accomplishments of the HHS Class of 2013 include 2 National Merit Semifinalists, 22 National Merit commended students, 68 Advanced Placement Scholars, 2 National Scholars, and 51 members inducted into the National Honor Society.

In 2011, the Board of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) also adopted new regulations for the evaluation of all Massachusetts educators. Extensive required training sessions for both educators and evaluators were completed during the 2012-13 school year. Beginning in the fall of the 2013-14 year, the Hingham Public Schools implemented the new Educator Evaluation System, as required by the DESE.

The four elementary schools continue to enhance instruction in literacy, math, science, and social studies through a variety of initiatives including Response to Intervention (RTI) model of targeted instruction, tutoring initiatives, adoption of the Empowering Writers program, and updating of other curriculum and assessment materials and technology resources. Each of the elementary schools has designed, posted, and trained staff in school-specific behavior matrices in order to create safe and productive learning environments that foster responsibility and respect. In each of the schools, targeted instruction opportunities have been designed to respond to needs identified by standardized test data analysis.

The 2013 Town Election saw Ray Estes and Andy Shafter re-elected to the Committee, with new member Liza O'Reilly replacing retiring member Caryl Falvey. Raymond Estes, Carol Falvey, and Dennis Friedman were elected School Committee Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary, respectively, in May 2013.

At the April 2013 Town Meeting, Hingham residents overwhelmingly voted to approve funds for the High School Fields Project. The Project consisted of the complete reconstruction of an existing baseball field, a new softball field, a new synthetic turf multipurpose field, 100 new paved parking spaces, grandstands, athletic field lighting, asphalt walks, irrigation, fencing, storm drainage and utilities. Throughout the summer and early fall, construction work was at a high pitch. On October 12, 2013, Hingham opened a spectacular facility and all four fall field teams (Field Hockey, Girls Soccer, Boys Soccer and Football) played their Homecoming games on the new field! As of this writing, the concession building is near completion and the grass on the baseball and softball fields will need a few seasons to grow in and will be available for use in late 2014. The Hingham community is now enjoying a first-class facility!

Construction work on the new Hingham Middle School proceeded in full force throughout 2013. The steel structure was closed in during the first half of the year and work began on the interior. By the end of 2013, interior finishes, casework, flooring, and painting were well under way. As well, mechanical, electrical, and utilities work neared completion. Concurrent with construction, school staff worked with the Building Committee, design team, and project leaders to refine lists of furnishings, equipment, and technology needs and develop budgets. An anticipated "substantial completion" date of early Spring 2014 will allow necessary time to ensure a successful September 2014 opening and the subsequent demolition of the current building and reconstruction of new playing fields and parking facilities.

The Annual School Department Operating Budget for fiscal year 2014 (school year 2013-2014) was approved at the April 2013 Town Meeting at $41,838,228; another $550,734 was appropriated for Capital Projects.

In Fall 2013, the School Committee met in a Planning Meeting to establish goals and priorities for the then upcoming FY 15 budget season. Subsequent to that meeting, Budget Guidelines and Assumptions were developed and approved by the School Committee. In December 2013, the School Administration proposed a "needs-based budget" that is (at the time of this writing) in the process of refinement and adoption or other action by the SC, Selectmen, Advisory Committee, and ultimately by Town Meeting.

2013 was the Year of the Champion for Hingham High School Athletics. Twelve State Championships were won by HHS teams. The winter and spring track teams dominated the competition by winning the state championship relays and Divisional state championships, the girls and boys spring and fall rowing teams won the MA Public School Rowing Association's state championship and the girls team qualified for the nationals. The girls spring track team won the MIAA All-State Championship. The baseball team played 11 innings for a dramatic state championship victory over Auburn High School! League Championships were won by the boys and girls indoor and spring track teams, wrestling, girls and boys golf teams and boys basketball! There were many individual accomplishments.

The Hingham Public Schools continued to benefit from strong and long-standing community partnerships in 2013. The cooperative efforts and generosity of parents, PTOs, booster and other community groups, civic organizations, the Hingham Education Foundation, and the Hingham Sports Partnership have again supported the School Department in realizing its mission and achieving both short and long term goals. At the Annual Senior Awards Night, 208 members of the Class of 2013 were honored with more than $310,000 in local scholarship funds awarded to these graduates. Myriad awards were also presented in recognition of students' outstanding performance in academic areas or involvement in school organizations. The School Department and the School Committee gratefully acknowledge and appreciate the many community efforts that serve to enhance the excellent facilities, programs, and activities of the Hingham Public Schools.

A special thank you goes also to the citizenry and voters of the Town for their ongoing support and financing of education budgets and their recent funding of the "under construction" new middle school and the significant upgrading of the fields project that is nearing completion at the HHS campus.

DOROTHY GALO, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools

SCHOOL COMMITTEE
Raymond Estes, Chair
Carol M. Falvey, Vice-Chair
Dennis Friedman, Secretary
Edward Schreier, D.D.S.
Paul Gannon
Liza O'Reilly
Andrew Shafter