EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

May 26, 2013

Riley cuts 25 office jobs

Most can get teaching, other positions in system

(Continued)

“We need to do a better job in connecting with our parents,” Riley said.

A new department that will focus exclusively on the School Department meeting state and federal compliance requirements.

“The “compliance-first” mentality that pulls attention away from instruction is a trap many districts fall into,” Riley said, noting that individual schools and central office academic staff will no longer have to handle government compliance issues and forms.

The creation of special offices for Educator Effectiveness, Operations and Administration and Special Education.

A priority to improve communications throughout the district, particularly in the sharing of “best practices.”

“So many of our schools are using exciting new academic models that neighbors and peers should learn from, and we’re making it a priority to help them do that,” Riley said.

The reorganization changes take effect with the adopting of a proposed 157.5 million budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Riley said more changes could be made if the money available from the state is reduced or the City Council votes for additional cuts to school spending.

“We’ve done the things we needed to do to put the school system on the right course,” Riley said.

“We looked at teachers. We looked at principals and assistant principals. And now we’ve looked at the central office. Now we’re in a position to move forward and concentrate on improving the academics of Lawrence Public Schools,” he said.

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