TOWNSEND -- As students and parents prepared for the beginning of the school year, North Middlesex Regional School District Superintendent Joan Landers outlined her three goals for the year at Monday night's school committee meeting.

Landers said her three goals were to continue work on the North Middlesex Regional High School building project, to use data to improve instruction and to offer new programs to expand opportunities for students.

The high school building project is in planning stages right now as the towns of Ashby, Pepperell and Townsend debate whether they will hold special town meetings to approve the project, or add it to the warrant of spring's annual town meeting.

"We have done a lot of work so far on schematic design," Landers said on the progress of the building project.

Chair of the Building Committee Robert Templeton said the building committee will be holding weekly meetings on Monday nights to discuss the design.

"Over the next few months, we're going to put together a plan for this building for the next 50 years," Templeton said.

Landers also highlighted the increased use of data in the classroom as a goal for the coming year.

"We're looking to improve teaching and learning through data," she said.

Landers' final goal involves pursuing three new programs that she called "diverse and innovative.


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Those programs include a virtual school, a public day school to meet the needs of special needs students and the implementation of an international baccalaureate program at the high school.

Committee member Brian Edmonds said the virtual school could help make North Middlesex "the place to be" for education.

"We have a large community that could benefit from the opportunity to do non-traditional schooling," Edmonds said.

He said that a virtual school could attract students from outside of the North Middlesex district to learn on their own schedules.

The school district has submitted a letter of intent to be evaluated for the project, Landers said.

She said the public day school for special needs students is also in early stages of evaluation.

School committee member Jonna Clermont expressed support for Landers' goals.

"We're looking at ways to meet the diverse needs of our students. I think it's great," Clermont said.

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