My wife Marianne and I live on Fairbanks Road with our two daughters – Melina, who is a second-grader at Cunningham, and Alyssa, who attends the Collicot preschool.
Three years ago, I was privileged to be elected to serve as a member of our Town’s School Committee. We focused on three goals during that campaign, and our efforts to meet those goals have yielded the following results:
Tackling Achievements Gaps
Over the past three years, the School Committee has directed resources into three areas in order to advance our Schools: early literacy, narrowing achievement gaps, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Our efforts to narrow performance gaps among identified groups have shown early promise and will show continuing success as they take hold.
Consolidating School and Town Business Functions
In 2014, the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee established the Town/School Consolidation Committee, which I have had the opportunity to chair. That committee has improved the efficiency and functioning of Town government by: spearheading an overhaul of the Town’s financial software for the first time in 30 years to better integrate School and Town financial functions; planning and implementing biweekly and paperless payroll for all Town and School employees; and recommending a plan for centralized purchasing for the Town and the Schools.
Developing a Strategic Plan
This year the School Committee established a Long-Range Planning Advisory Subcommittee, whose charge is “to identify long-range goals and innovations” for the Schools and to recommend “a process for achieving those goals.”
Over the past year, I have had the honor of serving as the Chair of our School Committee. I can report to you that, because the support from our community, the state of the Milton Public Schools is very good. To cite a few examples:
- Our educators, administrators, facilities, security, and technology are to be envied by other school districts.
- Our French Immersion and English Innovation Pathways programs have broad appeal and offer unique opportunities for our young students.
- Our assessments and test scores show increasing achievement by our students, highlighted most recently by the attainment of Level 1 status by Milton High School as judged by the state.
- Our preschool, special education, and athletic programs have expanded and are unquestionably on the rise.
While much is going well, there is much still to be done, including:
- Expanding art, music, physical education, and health in our elementary schools, which are currently limited to 30 minutes per week.
- Increasing the use of technology devices by our students to help prepare them for competition in higher education and the workplace.
- Increasing opportunities for inclusion for students with disabilities throughout our Schools.
- Joining the great majority of school districts in Massachusetts, which provide a 13-year public education program that includes tuition-free full-day kindergarten.
- Getting our athletic fees, which are too high, under control.
- Reducing our bus fees, which are currently among the highest when compared to neighboring districts.
We in Milton are fortunate to have a public school district that we are proud of, that is envied by its peers, that helps to keep property values high by attracting families to Milton, and, most importantly, that provides a top-quality education for our children.
Our challenge is to give value to what we have, to continue to provide a top-quality education for our children, and to improve our schools for the future – for those who come after us.
I look forward to that challenge, and to the opportunity to earn your vote on April 26.
For more information, please visit www.mikezullas.com, or www.facebook.com/ZullasForSchoolCommittee.
Mr. Zullas has the determination and drive needed to continue on as School Committee Chair. Armed with the skills, knowledge and mindset, he truly is a gifted individual who brings all he has to the table. A Committed , hard worker, Mr. Zullas is willing to stand up and be an advocate for causes that benefit All here in Milton and in the Milton Public Schools, he will undoubtedly along with his fellow School Committee members continue to fight the good fight so that each and every child in the Milton Public Schools not only received a quality and comprehensive education but along the way knowing that their are individuals who devote their time and energy to ensure that they get the best of the best. I SALUTE you Mr. Zullas and Yes will encourage everyone to vote in your favour as you seek re-election. Good luck.