January 14, 2016 Superintendent's Message

Dear Medway families,

Happy New Year!  As you may know, on Thursday, December 17, the School Committee voted to appoint me superintendent of schools.  I am humbled and honored to continue to lead the great work of the Medway Public Schools.  Our future holds great promise.  I look forward to all that will come in 2016 as we navigate an exciting and complex era of improvement, innovation and excellence, together.

Sincerely,

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent

 

Strategic Planning

The school committee is in the process of reviewing and approving the strategic plan goals.  These five goals were drafted by the Strategic Planning Steering Committee and leadership team following the analysis of data collected from approximately 1,000 Medway community and staff members, leaders, and students.  Once approved, we will share them with the community for your feedback.  We continue to appreciate your engagement in the strategic plan development process.

 

2016-2017 School Calendar

The school committee approved the 2016-2017 school calendar at its last December meeting.  You can access the calendar by visiting our website or by clicking the below.

2016-2017 Approved School Calendar

 

Technology Curriculum Review

As has been recent practice in the Medway Public Schools, we are engaging in two curriculum review processes this year. The first, a review of our technology curriculum, is currently in full swing.  In the coming weeks, we will be sending out a link to a parent survey for you to share with us your perceptions on the degree to which our technology offerings are supportive of your child (ren)’s growth and progress.  This information will be essential, as we complete both the self study and visiting team analyses.  Thank you in advance for your participation.

 

Medway School Committee

The Medway School Committee, comprised of five elected members, is the legislative body of the Medway Public Schools. They are responsible for the educational goals and policies of the district.  Your school committee members represent you and welcome your input on educational matters of concern to you or matters before the committee.  They are accessible to you in various formats should you have any questions you wish to raise with them.  Email contact information can be found below. You are also welcome to present any questions or concerns at the Public Comment portion of the school committee meeting. Agendas and meeting dates are posted on the district website under the school committee heading or accessed by this link.

Diane Borgatti, Chairperson, dborgatti@medwayschools.org

Cindy Sullivan, Vice-Chairperson, csullivan@medwayschools.org

Carole Bernstein, Member, cbernstein@medwayschools.org

Richard Eustis, Member, reustis@medwayschools.org

Anh Le, Member, ale@medwayschools.org

 

SAVE THE DATE:  National Trends, Local Choices:  Opening your eyes; hear the stories:  A community dialogue about the challenges facing our youth

Please join us for a joint event hosted by the Medway Public Schools and our MSPTO on Wednesday, January 20, 2016, beginning at 6:30 PM in the Medway High School auditorium.  We will host a panel discussion regarding the vulnerabilities our children face when it comes to substance misuse and other at risk behaviors.  Panel members will represent a cross section of community, legal, and law enforcement agencies.   

 

SAVE THE DATE:  Lost Boys of the Sudan

Medway Middle School and the MFE are proud to present the 3rd annual Lost Boys of Sudan Presentation!  Please join us in the Medway Middle School Auditorium on Monday, January 25th from 6:30 PM to 8:00  PM to hear the unbelievable story of the Lost Boys of Sudan.  

 

MCAS vs. PARCC Decision

As you may recall, the Department of Elementary and Secondary recently adopted a new pathway to develop a next generation assessment that will be facilitated by all Massachusetts school districts beginning in 2017.  Districts who facilitated MCAS during the 2015 testing year were given the choice to either proctor MCAS in 2016 or to transition to PARCC with a promise of a held harmless accountability status for districts who chose PARCC.  At the December 17 school committee meeting, we shared our recommendation with the school committee to continue to facilitate MCAS in the spring 2016.  With this decision, we will be able to use our MCAS data as a means for continued dialogue to support improvement efforts.   There will be some changes made to the spring 2016 MCAS assessment to support a smoother transition to the next generation assessment.  Details of these changes are shared below.

Important Updates Regarding the Spring 2016 MCAS Test Administration

In accordance with the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education's November 17, 2015 vote on statewide assessments,  ESE is making the following modifications to the spring 2016 MCAS tests:

  • Each MCAS test in grades 3–8 in English language arts and mathematics will be supplemented with a small number of PARCC items.

  • In English language arts, one of the PARCC items will require students to write in response to text. The department suggests that districts familiarize themselves with PARCC items by utilizing PARCC practice tests and released items from the 2015 administration.

  • Because of this change for English language arts, ESE has decided to eliminate the MCAS English language arts composition in grades 4 and 7 in spring 2016.  Schools and districts may remove the dates for those compositions from their calendars.  The MCAS English language arts composition for grade 10 will continue to be administered.

  • The MCAS English language arts administration window for grades 3–8 will begin and end one week later to accommodate changes to the test and allow for additional instructional time. The new English language arts administration window for grades 3–8 will be March 28 to April 12. Please note that grade 10 English language arts testing dates will remain the same. An updated statewide testing schedule is available online.

 

Central Office Move

Over the break, the superintendent, assistant superintendent and director of student services’ offices were relocated to a different area of the Medway Middle School in the wing near the business office.  This move will allow the town’s department of public services to move into the wing that previously housed the superintendent and assistant superintendent’s offices. This move will benefit the district, as all central offices are now located within close proximity.  We expect this proximity will improve our ability to support the district.  To access these offices, visitors will use door #4 (near the gravel parking lot).  The extensions for the special education office have changed; please see the numbers listed below.

 

Kathleen Bernklow    Director of Student Services                     508-533-3229

Lisa Karantonakis    Assistant Director Student Services                508-533-3227 X 5112

Kimberly Condon    Evaluation Team supervisor, Middle/High School Grades 5-8   508-533-3229 X 3201

Leslie Diamandis    Evaluation Team Supervisor, Elementary PK-4             508-533-3229 X 5164

Barbara McDaniel    Administrative Assistant                    508-533-3229 X 3178

 

Upcoming Events

January 15, 2016    Professional Development Day, No school for students

January 18, 2016    Martin Luther King Jr. birthday, No school

January 20, 2016    National Trends, Local Choices:  A community dialogue about challenges facing our youth;

Medway High School; 6:30 PM

MEPTO meeting, McGovern School, 7:00 PM

            Principals’ Tea, McGovern School, 6:30 PM

January 21, 2016    Medway High School Council, 3:00 PM

            School Committee meeting, middle school presentation room, 7:00 PM

January 23, 2016    School Committee Community Forums, middle school presentation room 10:00 - 11:30 AM

January 25, 2016    The Lost Boys of Sudan, middle school auditorium, 6:30 - 8:00 pm

January 26, 2016    School Committee Community Forums, middle school presentation room 7:00 - 8:30 PM

             McGovern School Council, 3:15 - 4:15 PM

January 28, 2016    Middle School Winter Band Concert

             Medway High School Council meeting 3:45 - 5:15 PM    

             McGovern PJ Read Aloud, 6:00 - 7:00 PM

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