Ted Siefer's City Hall: Despite confusion, public comment is welcome at meetings
Gatsas told me the policy on public comments had simply not been fully hammered out. "If people think we were trying squelch anyone, that's not the case," he said.
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Could full-day preschool again be considered by the school board?
The topic came up following a presentation made by Superintendent Debra Livingston based on a recent report that gave further support to the importance of children being able to read at grade level by the third grade. The issue is something of a mantra for Mayor Gatsas.
"The goal," Livingston said, "is all students doing well. That would close that gap."
The idea has the perhaps unlikely support of Gatsas and Ward 3 board member Chris Stewart, both Republicans.
"I support the mayor on all-day kindergarten," Stewart said. "If we're going to get into a discussion about busting the tax cap on the school side during our budget discussions, it would be great if we could look at that."
If you've had the pleasure of attending many school board meetings, you're probably aware that administrators have a fondness for acronyms. There's IEP (Individualized Education Program); EL (English Learner); STEM, or, ahem, STEAM, as the mayor insists on calling it, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.
In one document, outlining the first phase of the federally funded Innovation Zone plan to improve 10 city schools, there was SAM, SIG and NWEA, without an explanation of what they stood for.
Livingston replied, "Yes we can." Long pause.
Livingston had to rifle through some paperwork, but then produced the answer: "Specific, Measured, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based."
Ted Siefer is the City Hall reporter for the New Hampshire Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter: @tbsreporter.
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