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November 14, 2013

A lesson plan for the ages

PEABODY — Yes, Robert Burns, “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft agley” (can often go astray). For example, he didn’t think he’d need a translator. In any case — make that in every case — you still have to have a plan.

That’s especially true in an era when state and federal mandates fall on the schools like snowflakes in February. For Peabody Public Schools, a new “strategic plan” is in the offing, according to school board member Dave McGeney.

“And we want to get it started immediately,” he said. The date for completion, set at Tuesday’s meeting, is January, 2015. “These things do take a lot of time.”

And they take organization. To make sure this is organized, the board is seeking to bring in retired and much-admired Peabody Principal Helen Apostolides to help. Her tasks, said McGeney, “would be to keep us on track, to research materials and to keep the documents.”

It’s a paid position, “but maybe we can get the hometown discount,” McGeney said.

On the roads again

Peabody Rep. Leah Cole has informed the City Council of efforts by her and other legislators urging Gov. Deval Patrick to release an additional $100 million in Chapter 90 money to cities and towns, as voted on by the Legislature last May. A chunk of that cash would go to Peabody, according to city Finance Director Patty Schaffer.

“The money being withheld by the current Administration is needed to repair roads and other important infrastructure across the commonwealth and that includes Peabody,” wrote Cole. “With winter coming up, the money is going to be desperately needed, and this will impact the hardworking people of Peabody in their daily commute if the money is not released. The governor needs to understand he is hurting the people of Peabody and the hardworking people of Massachusetts.”

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