Wachusett School Committee to take up no confidence vote in superintendent’s return planning – News – telegram.com

Wachusett School Committee to take up no confidence vote in superintendent’s return planning – News – telegram.com

Spurred by some families and teachers’ recent frustrations with the district’s pandemic learning plan, a contingent of Wachusett Regional School Committee members has called for a special meeting to take a vote of no confidence in Superintendent Daryll McCall’s handling of the schools’ return this fall.

The motion up for vote at Tuesday’s meeting also would make the administration bring in an outside consultant to help steer the district’s educational model this year.

“What we’re really trying to do with this … is make a pivot in how we’re approaching” the education plan, said Michael Dennis, the committee’s vice chairman and one of the eight committee members who called for the special meeting.

Dennis, who is from Holden, said the committee has heard from dozens of parents and teachers in the last couple weeks upset with what they feel has been a lack of communication and planning from the administration.

The district is starting the year with fully remote learning, and is tentatively scheduled to transition to hybrid remote/in-person classes in November.

“This is the culmination of insufficient responses to several requests for information from the School Committee over the last few months,” Dennis said. “What’s been noticed, is there has been little to no outreach, in terms of soliciting feedback from teachers, students and parents. That’s certainly concerning.”

In particular, Dennis said a message from the superintendent two weeks ago asking parents to declare whether they’d want to continue the rest of the year with completely remote instruction or participate in hybrid learning caught many families and staff unaware, and featured “vague” language.

McCall could not be reached for comment this weekend.

The committee’s chair, Megan Weeks of Princeton, said she was not among the members who had triggered the special meeting, but knew in the district’s towns there is “some general frustrations in regards to the timeline for the transition to hybrid (learning).”

In Wachusett, she added, such special meetings can either be called by the chair or by the will of one-thirds of the entire 21-member committee.

Tuesday’s special meeting, which is happening the same night as the committee’s regular meeting, will consider just the single motion to vote no confidence in the administration’s return to school management.

The specific section of the motion calling for the hiring of an educational consultant is followed by a detailed list of steps for that eventual firm to take, including conducting an assessment of the current remote learning plan; providing recommendations to improve that plan; and developing a new comprehensive return plan.

If the motion is approved by the full committee, the superintendent would have 10 business days to find and hire a consultant.

Scott O’Connell can be reached at Scott.O’[email protected] Follow him on Twitter @ScottOConnellTG

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