August 14th Superintendent's Update

Dear Medway families,
We hope that you are having a wonderful summer enjoying time with family and friends.  The district has been busy this summer preparing for the upcoming school year.  We are excited by the changes that will greet students upon their return later this month.  There are many important updates below. Please take a few minutes to review the included information.

Sincerely,

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent

2017-2018 Bus Routes

We are pleased to publish the 2017-2018 Bus Routes early this year.  The 2017-2018 Bus Routes are now available on our website and can be accessed here:   2017-2018 Bus Routes

Please know that the Medway Schools works closely with both Holmes Transportation and the Medway Police Department to address any concerns that are raised.  If you have any concerns or questions about bus transportation, please contact Don Aicardi, Director of Finance and Operations (daicardi@medwayschools.org), with questions.  In your email, please include the following: your address, the grade of your child, and your question all pertinent information.

Please review the following document that has some important information to assist with transportation questions.

For those students who are not eligible for bus service, please note that the Medway Public Schools, in collaboration with Massachusetts Safe Routes to School, the Medway Police Department and Project Alex, has mapped out “safe walking bus routes” for our K-8 students for use to and from school. Each walking bus route is equipped with several drop off locations and multiple "walking stops," which are similar to bus stops, along the route.  Please refer to the school specific maps for more details about the walking routes your child can safely use to get to and from school:  Walking Bus Maps

First Day of School and 2017-18 Calendar

We are excited to welcome our students when they return to school on Tuesday, August 29, 2017.  Please find the 2017-18 school year calendar so that you are able to plan effectively: 2017-2018 School Year Calendar.

Building Projects Update

Construction of the Front Entrance/Lobby Project at the McGovern and Memorial schools began on Monday, June 26th. Since that time, work on the new outside vestibule at the Memorial School has been started.  The large glass wall surrounding the principal’s office has been removed as well as the entire front counter.

At the McGovern School, the entire lobby is being worked on. Concrete for the new handicapped accessible ramp has been poured.  At the same time that the work on the McGovern lobby is progressing, another team of contractors is already well into the installation of the new Fire Alarm system.   

Research into the design of two new boilers at McGovern and Memorial has also begun and will be worked on all summer and into the early fall.   

The new equipment for the cafeteria at the Middle School has been ordered and is scheduled to be installed in mid-August.

The new furniture for the Middle School classrooms has been ordered and will arrive in mid-August.  

Both the new truck for Facilities and the van for the Athletics department have been ordered and should be received by early fall.  

New Academic Diagnostic Screener Pilot

During our summer School Committee meeting, we highlighted some key information associated with our new academic diagnostic pilot which will be taking place this year.  As part of our work to enhance our student learning driven decision making and support our educator’s access to meaningful formative information about the learners in front of them, last year we explored tools, 1-8, to screen and diagnose learning needs - specifically in literacy and mathematics - to pilot in the coming year.  Our use of GRADE as a screener in literacy has provided us useful information in terms of learners who are not meeting national benchmarks but the time to facilitate and score this assessment has proven challenging.  In addition, there is a missing diagnostic element as well as optional tier 2 resources that are available through other tools.  A collaborative team representing administration, grade level and content area educators, and our instructional coaches met and identified Curriculum Associate’s iReady as a tool that could potentially meet our needs.  The presentation that we shared with School Committee can be found here: Elevating Assessment presentation

Medway T.H.R.I.V.E.

Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. (Tools for Health, Resiliency, Inclusiveness, Vitality and Empowerment), a committee dedicated to providing wellness related, family enrichment opportunities to the Medway community have created a calendar of events for the 2017/2018 school year.  These learning experiences are connected with mental health, substance use prevention, celebrating differences, and digital citizenship.   In an effort to plan ahead, below please find the dates for which our T.H.R.I.V.E. events will take place.  WE hope to see you at several of these events!

2017-2018 T.H.R.I.V.E. Events which will all be held from ~7:00-9:00 PM, locations TBD:

  • October 11, 2017- Mental Wellness- Minding Your Mind
  • January 17, 2018- Celebrating Differences
  • March 21, 2018- Substance Use Prevention
  • May 9, 2018- Digital Citizenship

Route 109 Project

As you are aware, the construction and improvement of Route 109 began last fall.  The project has recently entered a new phase which began right after school released in June.  We will continue to monitor the status of this project closely as we draw closer to the open of the school year.  The Town has a page on their website dedicated to providing regular updates on this project.  The page can be accessed here.  The information on this page will provide a useful resource as the project progresses and results in traffic changes.  You can subscribe to weekly email updates here.

New Staff

We will be welcoming 23 new educators, 3 new administrators and several support staff to our Medway Schools this fall.  This week, our new educators will participate in a two-day orientation program.  This program allows us to share our educational values with our new teachers and ensure that they get off to a great start.  

Communication

We continue to review and refine our methods of communication.  As you know, on-going communication has taken many forms as technology continues to change.  What has not changed is the power and effectiveness of dealing with questions and challenges at the level closest to our students.  It is important for families to reach out when they have questions or concerns. When doing so, please be sure to communicate with the individual or individuals who have the information necessary to answer your questions or bring your concern to resolution.    

District wide communications from the team at central office will come to families once or twice each month with information relevant to our entire school community.  We share these communications through email addresses that are provided by families at the beginning of each school year.  Should communications require a higher level of sensitivity or urgency, these written/email communications will be accompanied by a phone call through our School Messenger system which will share a recorded voice message on the topic being communicated.  

It is important to us that our community have a strong understanding of the activities and initiatives taking place within our schools and district.  This work continues to provide our students with the most relevant and supportive learning to foster continued growth.  

School and Community Bulletin Board

In an effort (and excitement!) to go ‘paperless,’ the Medway Public Schools continues to enhance our School/Community Bulletin board which can be accessed through our website, with the latest and greatest information about upcoming events, ways to become involved, and exciting learning, enrichment, and engagement experiences for our students.  To subscribe to these automatic email  updates complete the form on our website at:  http://www.medwayschools.org/subscribe

Twitter and Facebook

Over the past few years, our administrators and teachers have increasingly used Twitter and Facebook as communication tools.  These platforms provide us with a great opportunity to share information with our community in short, informative snippets.  Please see below for official Twitter handles of our schools and the district.  Our facebook page is Medway Public Schools.  We invite you to follow us!

Medway Public Schools        @MedwaySchools

Medway High School        @MedwayHighInfo

Medway Middle School        @MedwayMiddle

Burke/Memorial School        @BurkeMemorial

McGovern School        @McGovernElem

Medway Athletics        @MedwayAthletics

Upcoming Events:  

August 28, 2017    No School - Professional Day for staff

August 29, 2017    Opening Day for students

September 1, 2017    No School

September 4, 2017    No School - Labor Day

September 7, 2017    School Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 7:00 PM   

September 21, 2017    No School - Rosh Hashanah

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