August 29th Superintendent's Update

Dear Medway families,

Welcome back to the 2017-2018 school year!   We were excited to welcome our students back to school today.  Their enthusiasm and excitement for the school year is contagious.  As we begin the school year, I wanted to publicly thank all of the individuals who worked tirelessly this summer to ensure our schools were ready.  As you know, the construction projects at both elementary schools, and new furniture at the middle school made this task incredibly challenging.

As the new school year begins, we ask for your patience.  It will take us some time to get back into the rhythm of the year.  If you have any concerns or questions, please contact your child’s school.  

Sincerely,

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent

2017-18 Calendar

Please find the 2017-18 school year calendar linked so that you are able to plan effectively:   2017-2018 School Year Calendar.

Transportation Questions and Concerns

The 2017-2018 Bus Routes are 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).  In your email, please include the following: your address, the grade of your child, your question, and all pertinent information.  We ask for your patience in allowing us the time necessary to answer questions and concerns.

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

Building Projects Update

We continue to be appreciative of the support from the Town of Medway.  As you know, this summer we began construction of the front entrances at both elementary schools.  We are pleased to report that both projects are on schedule.  The McGovern Elementary School front entrance is nearly complete, with only a few details to finish. The Burke-Memorial School front entrance will require a few more weeks of work that will take place after school hours.  The front entrance will remain accessible during the remainder of the construction project.

The McGovern School also had a new fire alarm system installed.  That work was completed last week and tested with the support of the Medway Fire Department.

Finally, new furniture was delivered for all of the classrooms at the middle school.  The delivery company is continuing to finalize installation.  We are hopeful that this work will be completed by tomorrow.

New Academic Diagnostic Screener Pilot

At the July 17 Medway School Committee meeting, we presented key information associated with our new academic diagnostic pilot which will take place this year.  As you may know, we have used GRADE as a screener in literacy for some time.  GRADE 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 been 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. Beginning this school year, we will be using iReady in grades 1-8 to screen and diagnose learning needs in literacy and mathematics.  Additional information about iReady will be sent from your child’s school.

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, has 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 with the opening of school and beyond.  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.

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 the 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:  

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

September 28, 2017    School Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 7:00 PM

October 5, 2017        School Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 7:00 PM

October 9, 2017        No School- Columbus Day

October 10, 2017    No School- Professional Development Day

October 11, 2017            T.H.R.I.V.E. Mental Wellness-Minding your Mind,  Medway High School Auditorium, 7:00 PM

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