The following is an interview with Supt. of Schools James Agostine about the upcoming school year. It was done over email on July 18.
What was it like coming to the district late last year, and what advantages will you have embarking on your first full year as superintendent of Monroe Public Schools?
Agostine: Coming into the District mid year is a little bit more difficult than starting in July. This is primarily due to the budget process. The advantage now is that I have a full understanding of the budget, so the next cycle should be easier.
What are some of your long term goals for the district?
Agostine: The Board of Education has embarked on Goal Setting for the next three years. They will be the road map for the next three years.
Will there be any changes to the STEM Academy now that it has one year under its belt?
Agostine: I do not see any changes in STEM next year. We did however have teachers trained in inquiry based instruction and BYOT (bring your own technology) in grades 6, 7, 8 and 9 this summer.
The 7 and 8 grade training is coming up in August. This is a result of discussions about the notion that if it is good instruction for STEM students then why wouldn't it be good for all students. The main campus of the middle school is going BYOT in the Fall.
What's the biggest challenge in running a school district?
Agostine: Probably the biggest challenge in running a school District is reconciling the diverse ideas and thinking about education as well as the State and Federal mandates that have to be incorporated into the program.