A short update on some issues in and around the school committee
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October 2015 Update

What's Happening

Big news around the schools is that on Sept 30th the MSBA voted unanimously to accept the Beverly Middle School project plans, including cost ceilings and how much the state will pay.  This vote clears the way for construction to begin.  PLEASE note that this vote eliminates any possibility of the "alternative plan" that has been mentioned.

Sunday Nov 1st is the first annual Pete Frates 5K: Run, Wheel, Walk 3 for #3 race.  For more information, please see:     I am a proud sponsor for this event.  Proceeds will be used to build an ADA playground near where Pete Frates lives.  I'll be at the event running the recycle and compost station with some of my green friends - hope to see you there too!

Election day is just around the corner: Tues Nov 3rd.  Please exercise your civic duty and vote.  Each school voting location will most likely have a bake sale.  Proceeds help fund enrichment programs, including but not limited to field trips and guest speakers.  Remember: the schools are voting sites and as such, there's no school on Nov 3rd.  Many have noted a desire to have voting not take place in the schools; however, the law requires each ward have a voting location within the ward.  Without the use of the schools, we cannot meet this requirement.  If you are available to help with sign holding on election day - even if just for an hour, please contact me!  Lawn signs are also available for those who want them.

Walk to School Day & the Safety Committee

Wed Oct 7th was National Walk to School Day.  Pleased to report that both Centerville and Ayers had huge turnouts!  Studies show that a child who exercises has a mind that is better prepared to learn.  As part of the walk to school day preparations, students were given pedestrian training by the MA Dept Of Transportation (MA DOT).  The city wide school safety committee is working to deliver pedestrian and bike safety to all students across the district.  Asst. superintendent of schools and the Mayor delivered updates on the safety committee at the last school committee meeting.  All televised meetings can be found here: if you are interested in hearing the safety committee update, fast forward to 1 hour 37 minutes into the recording.

Student Leadership Conference

Mon Oct 5th I attended the Harbor (read more at and with several BHS students a faculty members.  Included in this event were these messages:
     1) anxiety around what others think about us drivess us to make bad decisions
     2) you are more than your test scores
     3) Imagine if we evaluated every high school based on how we treat people
        NOT just test scores

This last point is a topic on which MANY parents have voiced concerns.  I have  proposed that we invest in a way to measure our school system that does NOT rely only on high stakes testing.  Fellow School Committee member Annemarie Cesa and I attended a MASC sponsored event where alternative measures were discussed. At this past week's SC mtg, I again reiterated my desire to have Beverly work with some type of alternative measure program. Hearing Mike Smith tell our student leaders that they are more than their athletic prowess and more than their test scores made me elated - but it also makes me want to bring an alternative measure system to Beverly.

Textile Summit

Oct 1st I was a featured speaker at the MA Dept of Environmental Protection (DEP) Textile Summit. The MA DEP estimates 230,000 TONS of textiles a year are in the waste stream at a cost of $12 million.  Beverly is an example of a place where textile recycling is really working and thus I was invited to talk about what we do and how we do it to be used as a model for other cities and towns.  A state-wide textile program is expected in the spring. When that program is rolled out, Beverly will be held up as a model.  This is something for which we should all be proud!  Combined with composting, we are making a very positive impact on our environment as well as our city finances.
Copyright © 2015 Committee To Elect Lorinda Visnick, All rights reserved.

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