REPORT OF THE SCHOOL COMMITTEE

To the Inhabitants of the Town of Abington:

It is my privilege, on behalf of my fellow board members, to present to
the citizens of Abington for their consideration our annual report. The
current makeup of the Abington School Committee includes: Wayne K.
Rogiers, Chairperson; Brenda L. Pignone, Vice Chairperson; Russell W.
FitzGerald, Secretary; Patricia Vantine and James West, Members.
Clifford Murray serves as the student representative to the Abington
School Committee.

Once again, it was a busy year for the Abington School Committee. In
addition to regularly scheduled monthly meetings, there were several
special hearings/forums conducted which addressed budget, school
choice, test results from the Massachusetts Comprehensive
Assessment Program (MCAS) and our Long Range Master Plan for
Abington School Facilities.

At last April's Abington Annual Town Meeting, an FY-2006 budget of
$15.800.202.00 was approved for the Abington Public Schools.
However, finalization of an operating budget was delayed due to tardy
notifications of state and federal grant allocations and a need to
complete the cycle of possible town appropriations at a November
Abington Special Town Meeting.

The increase of $732.870.00 in the school department's FY-2006
operating budget represents approximately a 4.9% increase over       
FY-2005 levels of funding. Members of the Abington School Committee
played a key role in convincing the Abington Finance Committee and
Abington Board of Selectmen to support an increase in school funding
to continue to address critical program and staffing needs created by
state and federal mandates and major reductions in our FY-2004
budget. Below, I have highlighted several expenditures under the
Abington School Department's FY-2006 operating budget plan.

• The restoration of three (3) positions eliminated in FY 2004 - a
principal for the North Elementary School, a full-day kindergarten tutor
and a 2/5 high school guidance counselor

' The restoration of two (2) part-time/stipended curriculum leadership
positions eliminated in FY 2004 - a grades 9-12 department head in
business education and a prek-12 wellness program director

• The restoration of a high school intramural advisor position

• The addition of three (3) positions to meet pressing needs - a full-time
nurse at the North Elementary School, a high school science and
technology/engineering teacher and a computer and network support
technician

• The necessary funds to purchase textbooks and instructional
materials called for under our Five-Year Curriculum Review and
Update Plan to ensure our continued alignment with the
Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks

• Limited funds to replace and add badly needed instructional
equipment.

For the first time in many years, some of our proposed capital
expenditures were acted upon favorably at the November 7, 2005
Abington Special Town Meeting. The school department is grateful for
the financial support given in the following areas:

- $98.500.00 to conduct the necessary surveys and architectural and
engineering studies for determining a suitable 20 to 25 acre site for the
construction of a new grades 5-8 middle school,

- $150.500.00 to fund the Abington Public Schools' Technology Plan for
SY 2005-2006, and

- $1.133.041.00 for the construction and reconstruction of the Early
Childhood Center's roof and water drainage systems.

As 2005 comes to a close, the school administration was busy finalizing
the school department's FY-2007 Preliminary Budget Proposal for
presentation to the Abington School Committee. Escalating fuel costs,
increases in mandated special education services and fixed employee
costs will present special challenges to the Committee as FY-2007
budget deliberations move forward.

Annually, the Abington School Committee reviews and approves
detailed action plans to support our district's Vision 2008 Strategic
Plan. Those action plans establish priorities for our school
improvement efforts in each of our six goal areas of student
achievement, facilities, finance, technology, community partnerships
and citizenship. Copies of the Vision 2008 Strategic Plan are available
to the public in all school offices.

Through the efforts of administration, faculty and the North River
Collaborative many students in Abington continue to receive a variety
of benefits, on a self-funded basis, from after-school programs. Our
students have also received substantial benefits from an elementary
counseling grant secured by the North River Collaborative. This grant
provides a social worker and intern to work with selected students and
their parents at the elementary level.

During 2005, the Abington Public Schools continued to implement the
many provisions of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993
and No Child Left Behind, the 2002 landmark federal education law.
Curriculum development activities and the professional development
of our staff remained top priorities. With a focus on our second Five-
Year Curriculum Review and Update Plan and the eighth administration
of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment Tests (MCAS);
faculty, staff and administration continue to revise curriculum,
instructional strategies and assessment practices.

This past year the Abington School Committee reviewed and updated
the following policies:
Memorandum of Understanding Between the Abington School Department
and the Abington Police Department
;

The Computer, Network, Internet, E-Mail and other Forms
of Electronic Communication Acceptable Use By Students;

Do Not Resuscitate or Comfort Care Order in the School Setting
and

Kindergarten, Grade 1 and 2 Subject Area Time Allotments.

The Committee also accepted with regret the retirement notices of the
following faculty and staff:
Science Teacher and Departmenf Head
Crossing Guard
Elementary Teacher
Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance

These individuals have served the Town of Abington well, and we wish
them the best in their retirement years.

In closing, I would like to thank the entire school department staff,
townspeople, clubs, organizations and volunteers for their cooperation
and continued support of the children of Abington during these
difficult financial times. I especially would like to express my gratitude
to all members of the School Committee and the administrative staff for
their continued assistance.

Respectfully submitted,

Wayne K. Rogiers, Chairperson Abington School Committee
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