Town Government &
Committees: School Committee
Address: 220 Central Street, Hingham, MA 02043
Persons interested in communicating with the School Committee may:
Additional information including committee members, sub-committee assignments, agendas and minutes are posted on the Hingham Public Schools website.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. A designated school official will receive and print or forward e-mails to the School Committee Chair for sharing and response, as appropriate.
2014 Annual Report
(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 – 2014
As of October 1, 2014, there were 4224 students enrolled in grades K-12 in the Hingham Public Schools, an increase of 46 students over October 1, 2013. In addition, the district had responsibility for funding and/or programming for 70 pre-school students in the Integrated Kindergarten and Pre-school programs, 48 out-of-district students (in special education placements), and 4 vocational students.
Operational and education specialist personnel changes in 2014 included the appointments of Aisha Oppong as Financial Assistant to the Director of Business and Support Services, Michaela Sousa as Payroll Supervisor, Special Education Out of District Coordinator Liz O'Neill, ABA Specialist Meghan Corry, and Custodial Supervisor Katie Hartman.
Academically, Hingham students continued to perform above state averages at every grade and subject on the 2014 MCAS. The percentage of Hingham students performing at the proficient or advanced levels increased in grade 3 English Language Arts (ELA) and math, grade 5 ELA, math and science, grade 8 ELA and science, and grade 10 math. In grade 10, 99% of students scored at the proficient or advanced level in ELA, 96% in math, and 90% in science, with 71% scoring at the advanced level in ELA and 71% scoring advanced in math. All members of the Class of 2014 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, grade 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 2014 accountability results were as follows: Foster School, Plymouth River School, and Hingham High School–Level 1, East School, South School and Hingham Middle School–Level 2 schools (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–92, Foster–90, PRS–98, South–90, HMS–86, and HHS–93.
On Saturday, May 31, 2014, 246 students graduated from Hingham High School. Of these graduates, 96% planned to continue their formal education. Academic accomplishments of the HHS Class of 2014 include 14 National Merit commended students, 88 Advanced Placement Scholars, 2 National Scholars, 1 AP International Diploma recipient, and 62 members inducted into the National Honor Society.
During much of 2014, the School Committee was engaged in collective bargaining discussions with each of the six School Department bargaining units. The Salary and Negotiations Subcommittee worked to develop and recommend action to their peers on the terms of successor agreements for the employee contracts that expired with the end of the 2013-2014 school year. As of this writing, there are signed agreements with five of the units and a verbal agreement and pending ratification with the sixth unit.
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 2014 Town Election saw Carol M. Falvey and Edward Schreier, D.D.S. re-elected to the Committee. Former member Caryl Falvey was appointed to fill the remaining year of Paul Gannon's SC term after he resigned from the Committee upon his election to the Board of Selectmen. Raymond Estes, Carol M. Falvey, and Dr. Edward Schreier were elected School Committee Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary, respectively, in May 2014.
2014 saw the completion of the High School Fields Project, including the new concession building and nearby baseball and softball fields. A grand opening ceremony was held on the new synthetic turf field during September's Homecoming celebration; activities included the dedication of an empty seat in the stands to the memory of POW/MIA military personnel as a tribute to their sacrifice. The day was centered on the theme of gratitude to the Hingham community. High School students, sports teams and youth organizations have already begun to put the new and improved facilities to good and frequent use.
Construction work on the new Hingham Middle School continued with interior detail and finishes, culminating in substantial completion of the building by May 1, 2014. During the summer, the School Department held a public sale of various surplus equipment and furnishings in order to empty the old middle school building in preparation for demolition. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held in August and the new building opened for students on September 2, 2014. Site work continues including final landscaping and preparation of athletic fields adjacent to the new school. The project is nearing completion and is expected to come in millions under the Town Meeting appropriation, thus saving Hingham taxpayers dollars.
The Annual School Department Operating Budget for fiscal year 2015 (school year 2014-2015) was approved at the April 2014 Town Meeting at $43,490,722; another $648,674 was appropriated for Capital Projects.
In Fall 2014, the School Committee met in a Planning Meeting to establish goals and priorities for the then upcoming FY 16 budget season. Subsequent to that meeting, Budget Guidelines and Assumptions were developed and approved by the School Committee. At the same meeting, there was SC consensus to move forward with development of a plan to provide a "full-day kindergarten for all" program for implementation in Fall 2015. In December 2014, the School Administration developed 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.
HHS sports championships were plentiful in 2014. Most celebrated was the girls soccer team winning the MIAA Division II State Championship and being ranked #1 by the Boston Globe. Sharing in state championships were the boys and girls indoor track teams winning the MIAA Division II State Relay Championship. The boys lacrosse team and boys golf team won the MIAA Division II South Sectional Championships. Patriot League Championships were won by the girls and boys indoor track and spring track teams, wrestling team, girls tennis team, boys cross-country team and girls soccer team. Multiple HHS coaches were named as a Boston Globe Coach of the Year in their respective sports.
The Hingham Public Schools continued to benefit from strong and long-standing community partnerships in 2014. 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 in May 2014, more than $343,000 in local scholarship dollars was awarded to 198 HHS 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 again to the citizenry and voters of the Town for their ongoing support and financing of annual education budgets and facilities enhancement projects.
DOROTHY GALO, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Raymond Estes, Chair
Carol M. Falvey, Vice-Chair
Edward Schreier, D.D.S., Secretary