HomeWeekend Wrap-UpKeeping Equity in Focus: Weekend Wrap-Up

Keeping Equity in Focus: Weekend Wrap-Up

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WESTFORD — Welcome to the May 1 edition of Weekend Wrap-Up where we highlight the most important news you may have missed this week in Westford.

Teaching Assistants petition School Committee for higher pay

Teaching assistants are hoping to secure a raise for the upcoming school year. With a maximum base salary of $25,063 per year, assistants have pressured the School Committee to reevaluate their wages during contract negotiations.

“We respectfully ask you to recognize the valuable work that we perform on a daily basis and we ask for fair pay for our TA’s,” Amy Collins, a teaching assistant at Day Elementary School said in an April 25 School Committee meeting.

Director to bring ‘equity focus’ to curriculum in Westford Schools

Magaly Rodriguez Ronan will be joining Westford Public Schools as the new Director of Equity, Curriculum and Instruction. Rodriguez Ronan will officially join Westford Public Schools on July 1.

“I’m super excited to be here,” she said during an April 25 School Committee meeting. “I really think that equity is about making sure we welcome all of our families into our curriculum.”

Select Board approves funding for senior center upgrades, one-time holiday for town employees

$2,026,790 in American Rescue Plan Act funding was requested for projects such as an additional holiday for town employees and an upgrade to the Cameron Senior Center’s HVAC system. A total of $829,289 was approved in an April 26 meeting.

The board voted to approve additional projects as well, including an electric vehicle for the Westford Police Department and a design plan for a walkway and car path at Nabnasset School, citing safety concerns.

DEI survey highlights concerns of racism, bullying in Westford schools

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee unveiled the results of a survey sent to residents in November, which reveals concerns of racism and bullying in Westford schools.

Many cited a lack of action from Westford Public Schools on acts of racism and bullying. 69% of respondents were at least somewhat concerned about racism within schools, while 30% were not concerned or did not respond. 82% of respondents said they were at least somewhat concerned about bullying, while 17% were either not concerned or did not respond.

Westford holds first public forum on invasive species, tree planting

After receiving a second Municipal Vulnerability Grant, officials are looking to catalog trees and invasive species within the town, with a focus on regions with vulnerable populations.

“This grant will help us identify where invasive species are and help us where we have heat islands,” Susan Thomas, a member of Westford’s Clean Energy and Sustainability Committee told WestfordCAT. “With extreme weather like wind and ice storms you would think it is a bad thing to have trees. If you take trees down without a strategy, you leave trees standing that have grown up with those other trees. They’re more susceptible to wind than they would have been had you left that other tree.”

Westford Town Meeting may consider reduced speed limits for some roads

Four roads in Westford may have their speed limits reduced following a recommendation from the Pedestrian Safety Committee.

These include Pleasant Street and Patten Road, as well as portions of Main Street and West Prescott Street. All four roads have speed limits of 30 miles per hour that would be reduced to 25 miles per hour following approval at the next Town Meeting.

PHOTOS: History of Boy Scouting at Westford Museum

The exhibit will once again be on display On Sunday, May 1 and Sunday, May 8.

 

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Ben Domaingue
Ben Domainguehttps://www.clippings.me/bendomaingue
Ben Domaingue has previously worked at newspapers in New Hampshire and is a News Reporter covering Westford. He’s passionate about community journalism, photography and hiking. Email him at bdomaingue@westfordcat.org.