April 12, 2018 Community Update

 

Dear Medway families,

We hope that this communication finds you well.  We are sure that there is great anticipation for the upcoming April break as our winter weather has remained with us for much longer than anticipated.  We hope that next week provides you with additional opportunities to connect. When we return on Monday, April 23, we will be just under nine weeks from the end of our 2017-18 school year.  We look forward to the continuation of our important district work as well as the many amazing celebrations of students that will pave the way to years end. Please find several updates below.  

 

Sincerely,

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent

 

School Committee Approves FY19 Budget

At the April 5, 2018 School Committee Meeting, the just under $27 million budget for the FY19 year was unanimously approved.  This budget includes the addition of tuition free full day kindergarten for all starting in Fall 2018. Thank you to our educators for supporting this work which has been at the heart of our fiscal advocacy this year.  The budget will now be brought to the town as part of the entire budget package. Town Meeting is scheduled for May 21.

 

In summary, the following programmatic and personnel enhancements are part of the FY19 budget:

  • Tuition free full day Kindergarten for all (An article in the Milford Daily News can be found here)

  • Enhancement of 1:1 program - to include grades 8-12

  • Continuation of our student learning evidence conversations through a second year pilot of iReady

  • Addition of one certified library/media staff member (for a total of 2 district wide)

  • Increase in ELL staffing

  • Increase in math intervention support at middle school

  • Increase in math intervention support at Burke-Memorial

  • Increase in School Adjustment Counselor support at McGovern

  • Addition of a .6 Housemaster to the middle school operating budget

  • Funding for professional development to support adoption of Responsive Classroom, IDEAS1 coursework, middle school math content focused work

  • Funding to support the purchase of K-2 and 6-8 science materials

  • Inclusion of our Wellness Director position in our operating budget

  • Continued financial support for employee wellness

  • Expansion of Mandarin at high school

 

The teacher leadership reorganization plan that was shared is not included in the FY19 budget at this time.  The presentation that was shared at the April 5 meeting can be found here: MPS Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Leadership Reorganization.  This proposal is intended to address the following priorities:

  1. A need for more content specific focus (echoed in curriculum review processes)

  2. A focus on better vertical alignment, especially at pivotal developmental and school transition stages

  3. A desire to provide educators with targeted, instructional feedback to support improvement and student success

 

The proposal includes a plan to restructure our current model which includes the following positions:  K-8 Curriculum/Instructional Coaches, 9-12 Education Leaders, and 1 K-12 Technology Integration Specialist.  The newly proposed positions include the following:

  • K-5 Mathematics

  • K-5 Literacy and Social Sciences

  • K-5 Science, Technology/Engineering and Digital Learning

  • 6-12 Mathematics

  • 6-12 English Language Arts

  • 6-12 Science, Technology/Engineering and Computer Science

  • 6-12 History/Social Sciences

 

April Vacation Reminder

There is no school Monday, April 16-Friday April 20 in observance of Patriots Day and April vacation.

 

Appointment of New High School Principal

We are pleased to announce the appointment of our new high school principal.  Dr. John Murray is currently in his fourth year as the Associate Principal of Lexington High School.  Previously, Dr. Murray served as the Assistant Principal of Dedham High School for seven years. He also comes with six years experience as a History/Social Sciences teacher at Brockton High School.  Dr. Murray received his Doctorate in Education Leadership from Northeastern University, and his Masters of Arts in Teaching History from Bridgewater State College. Dr. Murray completed the School Administrator Licensure Program through Bridgewater State College.

 

Dr. Murray will begin in this role in July, 2018 and will also have the opportunity to work closely with Mr. McCarron and the high school team to ensure a smooth transition.  A welcome reception will be hosted to offer the community an opportunity to meet Dr. Murray in the coming weeks.

 

Middle School Principal Search

We are in the process of organizing our middle school interview committee.  We will begin interviewing middle school candidates the week of April 23 and are planning site visits for the week of April 30.  We will continue to keep the community apprised as this search process unfolds.

 

Strategic Plan - Mid-Cycle Review ~ Steering Committee Members Needed

A priority for the school committee and our district and school administration has been the development and implementation of a strategic plan.  During the 2015-16 school year, this priority came to fruition with the development and publication of our first Strategic Plan, which can be found here.  This document has provided the district with direction and focus, and we are pleased to share the progress that we have made over the last 2 ½ years.  Please find this update: March 2018 Progress Update.  

 

We are excited to re-engage with our community in a Strategic Plan mid-cycle process.  We will be following a similar process as we did previously by first engaging with a Steering Committee representing our parents, faculty and staff and administration.  We will then reach out to the community as a whole through Focus Group conversations, those dates are listed below, and a survey.  The Steering Committee will synthesize the feedback received through the development of the next phase of this plan.  This latter work will take place during the summer and into the early fall 2018 with an unveiling to the community planned for Fall/Winter 2018.  

 

This process will allow us to gather a comprehensive view of the community’s priorities when it comes to serving the educational needs of our community.  We strongly encourage you to share your voice in the process.

 

Should you have an interest in helping us lead this process by serving as a member of our Steering Committee, please contact Jessica Sinclair at jsinclair@medwayschools.org by Wednesday, April 25.  Steering Committee members must be available for the meeting below and have flexibility to support the two community focus groups that will be taking place throughout May and into June.  Once we receive all interest, we will identify a representative group to serve in this capacity. We will reach out to interested community members following this deadline. Even if not participating on the Steering Committee, there will be meaningful opportunities to engage in this process.

 

2018-2021 ~ Medway Public Schools Strategic Planning Process Mid-Cycle Timeline

Event

Dates

Strategic Plan Steering Committee - Meeting

May 3, 2018 - 4:00-6:30 p.m.

Training for steering committee to facilitate focus groups

Community Focus Group Conversations - all are welcome!  Please choose one session - Thayer House

May 14, 2018 - 9:00 - 10:30 a.m

May 14, 2018 - 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

*this is a changed date from original communication

 

Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. event:  Kerry Gallagher: Raising Children in the Digital Age

Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. hosted a program, Raising Children in the Digital Age, with Kerry Gallagher, on Wednesday, April 11th at 6:30 p.m., in the Burke-Memorial School cafeteria.  Ms. Gallagher helped parents to feel excited, not intimidated by the ways in which their children are able to use technology by providing them with guidance and tools for raising their children in a digital age.  A list of parent resources provided by Ms. Gallagher can be found here.

 

Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. Event: April 25, 2018~ Dr. Ruth Potee:  The Physiology of Addiction

Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. will host a program, The Physiology of Addiction, with Dr. Ruth Potee, on Wednesday, April 25 at 7:00 p.m. at Medway High School. Dr. Potee has received national recognition for her work with addiction and substance abuse disorders and is an expert in brain development and teen risk-taking. The presentation will be an overview of how substances and addictive behaviors impact the brain and how the brain is injured by prolonged exposure to these substances and behaviors.  A flyer for the event can be found here.

 

Permanent Art Collection - Print Orders Accepted

If you are interested in purchasing an 8x10 matted print of any of the pieces from this year’s collection, please fill out this order form and return it to the superintendent’s office.  Each print will be $25. Checks can be made out to Medway Public Schools and will allow this event to become self sustaining.  Thank you for your support!

 

Out Of School Time Programs

At the April 5  School Committee meeting, Community Education Program Coordinator, Meredith Arieta-Heaney, presented the district’s progress toward implementing out-of-school time programs that support the needs of all learners as well as provided an update on summer and fall plans.  That presentation can be found here: Community Education: Out-of-School-Time Program Coordination.

 

Heritage Day Program

Thank you and congratulations to our second grade learners and educators for a wonderful Heritage Day program. The selections were so well performed and the opportunity to sample foods and learn about different cultures from the classroom galleries were very appreciated by all who attended.

 

Town of Medway Clean Sweep

Medway is hosting its sixth annual Clean Sweep day.  Join friends and neighbors on April 28 at 8:00 a.m., rain or shine at Medway High School, 88 Summer Street.  Information on volunteering can be found here.  

 

Project 351 Congratulations

Sarah DiBiasio, Medway Middle School Ambassador to Project 351,  wrapped up the project’s clothing drive in partnership with Cradles to Crayons and Big Brothers, Big Sisters.  Thanks to the donations of the Medway families, the drive was a huge success.  The project collected 77 bags of clothing and shoes for donation. Congratulations Sarah!

 

Shrek the Musical, Jr. Congratulations

Congratulations to our middle school students whose talents were showcased in this weekend’s sold out performances of Shrek the Musical, Jr!  Thank you to performing arts coordinator, Todd Swavey, and middle school performing arts educator, Nori von Jena, for their leadership and preparation for these performances!

 

STEM Saturday

At the end of March was our third annual STEM Saturday for Girls event.  Exelon sponsored the day which hosted presentations from organizations such as New England Aquarium, Fungineers, and Mass Audubon Society.  Over 100 girls in grades 2-8 participated in the day. We are so thankful to the many educators who extended their professional time to make this event such a success as well as to the MEPTO and MSPTO for their support of the event.  Our WiSTEM (Women in STEM) members and advisors from Medway High School also supported meaningful learning throughout.

 

 

2018 MCAS Schedule (linked here)

We have finalized our Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System facilitation dates and have included them at the link above.  We ask that families do their best to ensure that students arrive to school on time on these days. While we evaluate multiple data sources in an effort to ensure that our work is best meeting the needs of all of our students, this assessment is a valuable source for information.  Please feel free to reach out to your child(ren)’s teacher(s) or the appropriate building principal(s) with grade level or student specific questions.

 

Last Day of School

As you are aware, at this time we have had four snow days.  Whenever we have a snow day, the last day of school is changed.  At this time, our last day of school is anticipated to be Wednesday, June 20, 2018.

 

Burke-Memorial School Plaque Nominations

Medway Public Schools is now accepting nominations for names to be placed on the Burke-Memorial School plaque.  A nomination form can be found here or in the superintendent’s office.  Nominations must be submitted to the Office of the Superintendent, Medway Public Schools, 45 Holliston Street, Medway, MA 02053, by May 30, 2018.

 

Candidates for inclusion on the Burke-Memorial School plaque must have made a significant or memorable contribution to the town and/or school community.  Through their behavior and character, the candidate can be shown to be/have been an excellent role model. This person, through service, volunteerism or dedication has made Medway school or town life better for those who follow.

 

Residents, past or present, who have sacrificed their lives or freedom in service to their country, either as members of the military or as civilians contributing to military or peace efforts may also be nominated. The superintendent’s office will send a letter to the candidate(s) or their families to advise them that a nomination has been made.

 

The Medway School Committee will vote on the nominations in June.

 

Button Cell Battery Program

Medway Button Cell Battery Recycling Program benefits the Alex Handy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation.   In an effort to collect as many batteries as possible this year, boxes will be placed in the school offices in the coming week.  For more information, please visit the town’s website about the program here.

 

Medway Friends of the Performing Arts Information

Medway Friends of the Performing Arts is a member of the Amazon Smile program in which Amazon.com donates a percentage of all purchases linked to a registered charity. You can contribute to MFPA’s effort by always using the link below to shop on Amazon. There is no need to click through several layers of webpages to choose us as your charity -- the link will automatically connect your purchases to our account. There is no surcharge or fee, and prices are the same as elsewhere on Amazon:  https://smile.amazon.com/ch/46-2748903

 

We hope you will consider using this program to benefit MFPA, but save your mattress shopping for us here in Medway! Do you know someone who needs a new mattress at a great price? If so, come to the Medway Friends of the Performing Arts 5th annual mattress sale fundraiser in the Old Gym at Medway Middle School on Sunday, April 29, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. A showroom of 24+ mattresses will be on display and available to order at 30%-50% off retail prices, starting at $249. All mattresses are new with factory warranties and are made to order in New England by Simmons, Therapedic and Restonic, and Beautyrest. Special sizes, gel, foam, adjustable beds, allergy enclosures and several types of Malouf gel pillows will be available.  Proceeds will be used to support school music and theater programs at all grade levels.

 

Support this school year has included a new snare drum for Memorial School, a new drum kit for the Middle School Jazz Band, bus transportation, financial aid for private lessons, makeup kits for the middle school musical, and donations to the middle and high school musicals.

 

For further information, please email medwayfriendsofperformingarts@gmail.com.

 

MFE Kentucky Derby Event

Get ready to don your best derby hats, dresses, suits and bow-ties for MFE’s Kentucky Derby Party on May 5 at the Thayer House in Medway. This fun-filled evening will include “Run for the Roses” themed food and beverages, a silent auction, music and games and of course watching of the Kentucky Derby itself! Tickets are on sale now; please visit MFE's website for more details! Be sure to like our Facebook page to stay up to date with news on this event.

 

Upcoming Events

April 12, 2018

McGovern Principal Finalists Community Forum, Library, McGovern, 6:50 p.m.

April 16, 2018

Patriots Day - Offices Closed

April 16-20, 2018

Spring Vacation

April 24, 2018

Kindergarten Parent’s Night, McGovern Elementary, 6:00 p.m.

SEPAC Board Meeting, Medway Public Library, 7:00 p.m.

April 25, 2018

T.H.R.I.V.E. event: Substance Use Prevention, Auditorium, Medway High School, 7:00 p.m.

MSPTO Meeting, Medway Middle School, 7:30 p.m.

April 26, 2018

School Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 7:00 p.m

April 29, 2018

MFPA Mattress Sale, Old Gym, Medway Middle School, 10:00 a.m.

May 3, 2018

Strategic Plan Steering Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School,

4:00-6:30 p.m.

School Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 7:00 p.m

May 5, 2018

MFE Kentucky Derby Event, Thayer House, 4:30 p.m.

May 8, 2018

SEPAC Meeting, Medway High School, 7:00 p.m.

May 9, 2018

T.H.R.I.V.E. event:  Digital Citizenship (Secondary Focus) Auditorium, Medway Middle School, 7:00 p.m.

MHS Pops Concert, Auditorium, Medway High School, 7:00 p.m.

May 11, 2018

Senior Superlative Night, Auditorium, Medway High School, 7:00 p.m.

May 14, 2018

Focus Group Conversations - Thayer House, 9:00 - 10:30 a.m and  7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

May 17, 2018

School Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 7:00 p.m

May 18, 2018

Early Release (all grades)

MHS Senior Prom, New England Aquarium, 6:00 p.m.

May 19, 2018

MHS Alumni Banquet, Location TBD, 6:00 p.m.

May 22, 2018

SEPAC Board Meeting, Medway Public Library, 7:00 p.m.

May 23, 2018

Middle School Spring Chorus Concert, Auditorium, Medway High School, 6:00 p.m.

MSPTO Meeting, Medway High School, 7:30 p.m.

May 24, 2018

MHS Spring Chamber Concert and Honors Recital, Auditorium, Medway High School, 7:30 p.m.

May 28, 2018

Memorial Day- No School

May 30, 2018

MHS Scholarship Night, Auditorium, Medway High School, 7:00 p.m.

June 3, 2018

Medway High School Graduation, Gymnasium, Medway High School, 2:00 p.m.

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