NSBORO to reboot RFP process for Extended Day

by beth on June 23, 2021

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A decision was made by the NSBORO administration to listen better to parents seeking to Save SEDP. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the non-profit will continue to run the Extended Day program this fall. But the decision to replace them has been halted, and decision making process rebooted.

Tonight’s vote to potentially adopt Kidsborough as the new provider of Southborough’s before and after school program has been cancelled. A message from Superintendent Gregory Martineau informed parents that the district will restart the RFP process.

This time, the RFP will be rooted in feedback as to what parents are seeking in an extended day program.

Monday night’s message acknowledged that the original process was flawed:

I take ownership of not seeking input from families before drafting a Request for Proposal (RFP). It is important to hear input from the community, as the extended day program services that matter the most are those identified by the community that utilizes them.

To solicit the input, the district is hosting a community forum on Monday, June 28 at 5:30 pm. (Click here to register for the zoom session.) There will also be a survey issued to parents.

For those who haven’t been following the story. . .

The Northborough-Southborough Public Schools recently notified the non-profit Southborough Extended Day Program that it would be replaced by a for-profit organization this September. Kidsborough was selected as the winning proposal out of an RFP process held in the spring. It follows over 30 years of the program being run by SEDP.

Last week, Parent volunteers on the SEDP board organized a public push-back on the effort. Martineau responded on Friday with an email explaining the RFP process the administration followed and announcing a School Committee Meeting to vote on the recommendation.

His decision to change course was announced in the following email issued on Monday night: 

Dear Parent(s) and Guardian(s):

Over the past several days, I have read, listened to, and reviewed all of the feedback from the community around my plan for recommendation to the School Committee to award the Southborough Before- and After-School Extended Day Program bid. There was a theme in the feedback that was important for me to hear, and as a result, I’ve rethought my plan for a recommendation. That theme was, “What input did you seek from parents regarding the services that parents want in a Southborough Before- and After-School Extended Day Program?”

I take ownership of not seeking input from families before drafting a Request for Proposal (RFP). It is important to hear input from the community, as the extended day program services that matter the most are those identified by the community that utilizes them. This is a process that the District used to develop the Invitation for Bid (IFB) for transportation services. In addition, a parent Transportation Advisory Study Group was formed and was critical to the District creating an IFB that represented the services sought from the stakeholders.

Therefore, Rebecca Pellegrino, District Chief Procurement Officer, and I are rejecting all proposals submitted in response to the Southborough Before- and After-School Extended Day Program Request for Proposals (RFP), RFP # 2021-1S, in accordance with M.G.L. c. 30B, Section 9, and Paragraph 1.9 of the RFP.

This decision is based on the determination that rejection of all proposals serves the District’s best interests because community input was not sought to prepare the drafting of this RFP. As the comprehensive extended day program is intended to be a meaningful resource for the community, it is in the District’s best interests to reject all bids and solicit and consider community input. Using this input, a new RFP will be developed, and a new procurement process will begin.

On Monday evening, June 28, 2021, at 5:30 pm, I will be hosting a community forum to hear what services parents want in a Southborough Before- and After-School Extended Day Program. The link to register for the forum can be found here. Furthermore, I will be launching a survey for parents who are not able to participate. I will share the survey later this week.

Lastly, as a result of this decision, the Wednesday, June 23, 2021, Southborough School Committee’s Special Meeting is canceled, as no action is required by the Southborough School Committee. I am committed to ensuring a high-quality before and after school program is in place this fall, as many of our families rely on this essential service.

Respectfully,

Gregory L. Martineau
Superintendent of Schools

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