December 31, 2021 By Carol Britton Meyer
The Hingham School Committee’s goals for the current school year include focusing on a new strategic plan, developing a sustainable budget, and "furthering efforts on equity, inclusion, diversity, and belonging."
A supporting goal of the Wellness Subcommittee is "to review the equity of extracurricular and athletic programs," according to a letter that will be sent to booster groups, school PTOs, and others.
In accordance with this objective, the subcommittee is requesting financial and operating information from each of these entities.
"We appreciate all the support so many groups provide to the public schools -- athletic booster groups, music parents, PTOs, and other organizations," Chair Liza O'Reilly said. The goal is "to collect best practices from organizations to see where things are working really well. This information could help to inform other groups and what we need to do better."
The subcommittee also plans to reach out to the Hingham Sports Partnership, Hingham Education Foundation, Hingham Unity Council, and the Special Needs Athletic Partnership -- which also provide support to the schools -- to request the same information.
The School Committee plans to leverage this information to create "a fuller understanding of the key needs each community is working to fill. In addition, the information will help inform future budgeting and prioritization conversations, address legal compliance requirements [including Title 9], encourage the sharing of best practices across organizations, and create areas of collaboration between the Superintendent, Faculty, Committee, and the community at large," the letter states.
Another Committee goal is to recognize and get to know the volunteers "who work to support our students and are often busy leaders within their own family, community, industry, or other entity."
Each organization will be asked to provide by Jan. 12 basic information about its structure and purpose; by-laws or rules of operations; how the organization’s officials are determined/elected; their terms of office; how an individual becomes eligible for membership; expense budget, approval process, and actual expenditures for the last five years; the process for determining the budget; fundraising activities for the last five years; school year-end financial statement (current bank balance and bank/account where funds are held); copies of regulatory filings that occur during the school year; and if applicable, contact information including website, social media, email, and primary Hingham Public Schools liaison; and the names of current organizational leaders/officers.
"We recognize that this may be the first time you have been asked for this information," the letter states. "Your contributions are an important element to assist Hingham Public Schools in helping us develop a vision for the future and determine the appropriate financial investments needed to move our organization forward."
More details will be provided in the letters.