AGAWAM – Superintendent William Sapelli outlined his goals for the district, providing the School Committee with a tool to measure the progress of Agawam Public Schools during the end of the year evaluations.
The mid-cycle review was presented during the March 10 School Committee meeting gave the committee “a general flavor for what the goals and vision and action steps are going to be” for the central office.
While Sapelli stressed professional goals, such as English Language Arts assessments, two of his main focuses were in regards to the 2016 fiscal year school budget and emergency responses in the schools.
Sapelli said that a FY16 school budget that provides “all students with an appropriate, challenging education while remaining fiscally responsible to all stakeholders” is a pivotal point in his school improvement goal.
There have already been two meetings about the 2016 fiscal year school budget thus far. Sapelli, Anthony Bonavita of the School Committee, as well as members of the City Council met and discussed cost centers, “line item by line item.”
Though Sapelli said that the budget is headed in the right direction, he said balancing spending responsibly is far from an easy accomplishment.
“That’s a tough thing. That’s a tough task. We want to remain fiscally responsible, and I know Mr. [Anthony] Bonavita’s stressed this right from the beginning, and I think that with what we’ve presented with the budget now you’re going to see this through fruition that we’re in the right direction,” Sapelli said.
Aside from the budget, Sapelli stressed the importance of supporting programs that “enhance student safety and social-emotional well-being.” These programs include the district-wide support team, before and after school programs, anti-bullying programs, a school resource officer, security cameras, emergency preparedness drills, substance abuse counselors, new nutritional guidelines and appropriate teacher-student ratios.
“[These programs] will continue to be updated as needed and all of our response brochures and manuals, making sure they’re up to date, making sure they’re accurate, making sure contact numbers are appropriate. These are things you’ll be able to evaluate between now and the end of the year, as well,” he said.
The mid-cycle review, Sapelli said, is to help the School Committee evaluate the success of the school department in achieving the goal it has set forth at the end of the year.