Monday, July 31, 2017

Superintendent's Notes

School Committee Meeting Discussion on Administrative Staffing

At the July 27, 2017 School Committee meeting, the administrative staffing of the Green Meadow and Fowler Schools was discussed.

During the Budget preparations for FY18 the .5 Green Meadow assistant principal position was eliminated and the thought at that time was that the Fowler 1.0 assistant principal position could be divided as a .5 Fowler/.5 Green Meadow administrator.  There was much concern that the primary role of the assistant principal was discipline which is time sensitive and would be difficult to address if the assistant principal where in one school every other day or in one school in the mornings and the other in the afternoons.  Because of those concerns we were clear to not call that position an assistant principal position because even though having an assistant principal split between each building might be the simple solution, it might not be the most efficient.  

In an effort to restructure the responsibilities of building administrators in a way to make them more efficient and get the necessary administrative task accomplished, we have developed a different staffing model that was approved by the School Committee on July 27, 2017.  The document that the school committee used for the community discussion will be posted on the Maynard website home page so that you can read about the different responsibilities for each position.

This model will include a 1.0 Fowler building principal for leadership and operations, a 1.0 Green Meadow building principal for leadership and operations, and a .5 Fowler/.5 Green Meadow building principal for curriculum, instruction, and assessment.  This model would dissect the operation and instructional aspects of the building principal position in an effort to be more efficient.  The principal for leadership and operations will conduct the timely and urgent responsibilities like student discipline, safety emergencies, and daily coverages and concerns.  The principal for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment will conduct the responsibilities that can be scheduled like evaluation observations, teacher leader meetings, and state assessment coordination.  The community in attendance commented that this new model might also support our district’s desire for continual academic improvement.

I am pleased to announce that Principal Dankner met with Jennifer Gaudet and I on Friday after the School Committee approval of this model on Thursday night.  She requested consideration for the .5 Fowler/.5 Green Meadow building principal for curriculum, instruction, and assessment.  I have already approved this transfer.  I am excited that our most veteran principal who has demonstrated curricular leadership during her tenure in Maynard, has taught at the upper elementary levels, and been a curriculum leader in another district before coming to Maynard will be taking on the challenge of this important new position.  The district will be posting the position of Green Meadow principal of leadership and operation and will try do our best to fill this position before the start of the school year.

We will be funding this model with the same administrative salaries we had planned for FY18 during this difficult budget year.  I will caution our school community that even though necessity is the mother of invention, the fact remains the Maynard Public Schools have reduced administrative staff consistently over the six years that I have been superintendent.  As I learned in my business management classes, “You never let a financial crisis go to waste to get leaner and more productive”.  However, there is a tipping point where services diminish.  I am concerned that we may be reaching that tipping point this upcoming school year.  We will all have to be patient with administrative and secretarial responses due to the reduced staff in these two very important staffing areas of a school system.  I remain optimistic that our outstanding administrative and secretarial staff will be doing their best to support our school community.

Maynard Public Schools Summer Read

Maynard Public Schools is proud to announce our annual summer read.  Teachers, administrators and School Committee members hope you will join them in reading Lost at School By Ross Greene, PhD. 

Based on the premise that all kids do well if they can, Dr. Greene proposes a collaborative approach to solving behavioral challenges and helping students .  As he states, "if we handle kids with power and control, that's what we get back.  What happens if collaborate with them --as partners-- instead?"  

The Maynard Public Schools will be donating several copies of this book to the Maynard Library to provide community access to the book this summer.  The School Committee will host a community discussion on October 5, 2017 at 7:30 PM.   Please join us in reading Lost at School! 

Important Events and Reminders:    
In an effort to streamline the Superintendent’s Notes, I will provide important upcoming events or announcements that have already been posted in previous Superintendent’s Notes in this section.

Honor a teacher through the Maynard Education Foundation Teacher Tribute Program

Are you looking for a unique teacher gift that makes a difference in our schools?  Please consider participating in the Maynard Education Foundation's (MEF) Teacher Tribute Program. Proceeds benefit MEF's grant program for teachers, students, and administrators.

When you make a tax-deductible donation to MEF, we will send your child's teacher(s) a letter letting them know that your family has given a gift in his/her name to the Maynard Education Foundation (the amount of your donation will remain confidential).

To make a donation, please mail a check, along with the Teacher Tribute form (available for download at: 
http://www. to MEF, PO Box 89, Maynard, MA 01754 or donate online at: http://www.

(Please note that the deadline for receipt of donations is Monday, June 12, 2017. Donations received after that date may be acknowledged in September.)

Mathew D. Cox Memorial Scholarship

Mathew Cox, 23, of Maynard, passed away unexpectedly on March 29, 2017. Mat was educated through the Maynard school system and graduated in 2011.   He worked as a chef at the Blue Coyote Grille in Maynard for several years and most recently at Battle Road Brewery in Maynard. He had a passion for cooking and loved his work. Every day was an adventure for Mathew. He lived life passionately and was always looking forward to life's next challenge.

For those of you who are looking for a way to honor the memory of Mathew D. Cox, a scholarship fund has been created for graduating Maynard seniors.  The scholarship will benefit students who are pursuing a career in the culinary or hospitality field.

Please make checks payable to "Town of Maynard". Include "Mathew D. Cox Memorial Scholarship" on the memo line.  Please mail donations to : Maynard High School, Mathew D. Cox Memorial Scholarship, 1 Tiger Drive, Maynard, MA 01754. 


  1. Dr Gerardi, can you explain why we added an upper level Administration Position in Assistant Superintendent and then removed a more day to day position?

  2. Hello,

    We have not recently hired upper administration. During my 6 years in Maynard, the School Committee has shifted from a full time Assistant Superintendent when I started, to a .5 Curriculum Director for several years. Two years ago the School Committee decided that they felt bringing back a full time Assistant Superintendent was an important position to improve academic achievement in our district.

    The administrative reductions this year included a .5 FTE central office administrator and a .5 FTE assistant principal. When I started in Maynard six years ago we had 8 central office administrators, 6 building administrators, and 7 secretaries. This year we will have 7 central office administrators, 4.5 building administrators, and 4,5 secretaries.

    I am concerned that the budget discussions resulted in a significant decrease in administration this year. I am seriously concerned about the tipping point of services that administrators and secretaries will be able to provide. The work administrators and secretaries do is not always visible but necessary. I am hoping that our school community will be patient when the services may take longer to be provided than they have in the past. I am optimistic that the staff we have will try to do their best for our school community.

    Bob Gerardi

  3. Hi Robert,
    thanks for taking the time to provide a thorough and detailed response.
    I appreciate it.