LEICESTER, Mass. — The Leicester School Department is continuing its ongoing curriculum redevelopment effort to comprehensively evaluate and enhance its K-12 program, and plans to hire a dedicated curriculum coordinator to lead the way on the initiative.
The effort had been under the coordination of Christine Johnson, former Director of Finance and Operations for Leicester Public Schools, and during her tenure the curriculum design team was selected and mobilized to evaluate the K-16 program.
When Johnson stepped down to take on a new position in the Northborough-Southborough Regional School District, Memorial School assistant principal Melissa Provost took the reigns of the project.
Now, the school department hopes to begin the search for someone who can take on the the role of curriculum coordinator, either as a full-time position or a consultant.
The curriculum initiative is grant funded through the Title 2A Education Quality Grant.
"What we were able to do was restructure the Title 2 grant, and that's going to give us approximately $25,000 out of that grant that we can now put towards that position for this year," said superintendent Paul Soojian, who added that this "was a way to get started without having to take a large chunk out of our operating budget — we might need some, but I think this is a good way to get going."
"It's something that we have to move on to see if it's going to come to fruition and really move forward. The folks that have been working on this are doing a great job, but we always said we need someone to pull it together" he added.
The school department hopes to post for the position this week, and hire someone for the remainder of the year.
"The intent would be to keep someone on board for next year to keep working on this," said Soojian.
The School Commitee had charged the superintendent with the curriculum development as one of their top initiatives, and School Committee member Mark Armington explained that the effort had somewhat slowed down without a full-time person at the helm.
"We've fallen into this pitfall of getting people who have dual responsibilities, and something has to give when that happens," said Armington.
While the job is posted, the school department will be putting together an interview team made up of school administrators, members of the curriculum design team, and the superintendent.
"We've got a lot of people doing a lot of good work, and I don't want to lose that enthusiasm and that momentum that we have from our curriculum designe team," said Soojian.
School Committee member Mark Armington and Soojian agreed that if they could not find a suitable candidate for the position, "then we're going to either go out again or find a new way to attack it," said the superintendent.
"It's a shot, but if we don't put something out there and see what's available then we're not doing our due diligence on it," said Armington.
"It'd be ideal to find an individual that more or less comes in and becomes a part of the team," he added.