Board seeks ways to improve

NASHUA – The Board of Education identified ways to improve itself and the city’s schools at a special work session earlier this week.

The meeting Monday night was the second of a two-part self-evaluation process designed for the board to take a more in-depth look at the school district.

The first session, held Nov. 6, was in response to a report by SchoolMatch, an Ohio-based company that assesses school districts. SchoolMatch examined the Nashua schools earlier this year.

The organization’s report was mostly positive, but it did say the school board is sometimes too involved in the district’s operations, based upon the number of meetings held in a six-month period.

The second session, held at the central office, identified specific areas in which the school district needs to make changes. The board then asked Superintendent Joseph Giuliano to compile a list of goals for the coming year based upon those areas.

“The primary goal (of the session) was to try to focus on areas where the district should establish goals,” Giuliano said.

The meeting began with the board splitting into groups to examine specific parts of the district, such as the school board, the administration and teachers, Giuliano said.

Each committee outlined what the members of each group do well, and what they need to

Board member Mary Ann Melizzi-Golja said the board used the work session to speak in broad terms about the school system and to begin discussion of forming district-wide goals.

“It was to look at setting goals for this year as well as setting a plan for long-term goals,” Melizzi-Golja said.

At the end of the meeting, board members asked the superintendent to use six specific categories to develop a list of preliminary goals for the district. The six categories were student achievement; communication; quality of programs and instructors; hiring, retaining and supporting quality staff; fiscal accountability; and system-wide, data-based decision making.

The administration is currently developing goals for the coming year and will present them to the board at a Dec. 7 meeting, Giuliano said.