HARVARD -- Facilities manager Mark Force briefed the Harvard School Committee Monday night on an impressive laundry list of projects his crew completed over the summer to prepare for the return of students on Wednesday.
Tennis court light replacement, carpeting, energy upgrades and alarm system upgrades at the Bromfield School are all done or in process, as is the replacement of a school zone street sign. Harvard School Superintendent Joseph Connelly lauded Force and crew. "They're about to get a very high commendation letter from me."
Enrollments through Aug. 21 stood at 1,199 students overall. Connelly said the committee made a "very wise decision" in authorizing four full-day kindergarten classes. While the enrollment figure lingered between 50 to 52 students, the final kindergarten head count through Monday was 59 students with official enrollment figures still capable of flux through Oct. 1.
"There's no waiting list this year for the first time," said Connelly. "All who wanted full-day (kindergarten) got it." The total Hildreth Elementary School student count of grades K through grade 5 was projected to be 478 but ended up at 457 through Monday. "Clearly we do expect a steady stream of registrations," that may skew that number upwards, said Connelly.
At the Bromfield Middle School, the projection was for 308 students but stood at 309 sixth- through eighth-graders.
For Bromfield High School, there were 437 students projected but 435
Seven buses will run for each school. Early figures indicate a 25 percent drop in ridership but that's not indicative of the flurry over the first few weeks of school to late-register students for bus transportation. "It it will take care of itself within a week or two," said Connelly.
As far as the buildings themselves are concerned, both Bromfield Principal Jim O'Shea and Hildreth Elementary Principal Linda Dwight reported their schools are shined, buffed and ready for learning.
"The classrooms look absolutely terrific. They have for a couple of weeks," said Connelly. "The teachers have been in almost the whole month of August. It's just very, very impressive."
The Phase 4 technology plan, requiring the authorization to spend the next $30,000 of an overall $362,000 phased-in technology plan was given unanimous support. New IT Coordinator Chris Boyle briefed the committee on the purchases, including eight laptops each for both schools, 10 desktop units for the Bromfield music program, and more.
Student handbooks are online and parents are expected to sign off that they understand the contents. No substantial changes are seen this year, and edits will be forthcoming through the fall. Parents may be asked to revisit the books later in the fall after school councils have an opportunity to review and suggest any further edits necessary to the handbooks.