School Committee Considers Adding Non-Voting Members from Hanscom and METCO

The School Committee and superintendent of schools are moving forward with efforts to add non-voting representation from the student communities of Hanscom Air Force Base and Boston, through the METCO program.

For many years the committee has included a  non-voting Bedford High School student representative.

Superintendent Philip Conrad said during a discussion with the committee at its virtual meeting last week that one possibility is to model the arrangement after the Lincoln school department, which manages the elementary and middle schools on the base. Military dependents in grades 9-12 have been attending BHS since 1964.

In Lincoln, the Air Force’s educational liaison participates with the school board. Conrad noted that many families are assigned to Hanscom on a two-year cycle, which would discourage continuity as a representative.

Committee member Ann Gay acknowledged that reality, but emphasized the importance of hearing directly from parents. She offered the possibility of more than one representative but some of her colleagues thought that would be unwieldy.

Brad Morrison said the delegates should reflect the elected committee as “average people” representing their peers in the community. JoAnn Santiago said she would appreciate input from Hanscom and METCO parents, and Conrad said he will seek their views.

Member Dan Brosgol noted the importance of establishing a mechanism not only for appointment but also removal.

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