May 26th Superintendent's Message
Dear Medway community,
As we approach the end of the school year, there are many, many events to celebrate the success of our students. We hope that the information included will help you to plan for these celebrations. We look forward to seeing you in the upcoming weeks.
Armand Pires, Ph.D.
We wanted to again take a moment to thank our faculty, staff, and the Medway Police and Fire Departments as they supported our district on Monday in relation to the robocall that was received at Burke-Memorial School. Medway was one of more than a dozen districts that received a similar call. The increasing frequency of these events is troubling. We are hopeful that state and federal authorities will soon identify the instigators and stop these behaviors.
As you may know, the district operating budget was approved at the May 9th Town Meeting. In addition, funding articles for security cameras and redesigns of the the front entrances at the McGovern and Burke-Memorial Schools were also approved. As has been communicated previously, we believe that implementing these changes will provide enhanced security measures in all of our schools.
We have begun working with contractors to move these projects forward. We are hopeful that the work associated with these improvements can be completed during the summer, when school is not in session. If the work can not be completed in that timeframe, we will establish plans to ensure student safety for the start of school.
We continue to be thankful for the support that the community has shown to the Medway Schools.
Digital Learning Update
During the May 19 School Committee meeting, Gabby Abrams, Assistant Superintendent, and Rich Boucher, Medway’s Director of Information Services, shared with the community an update and next steps report connected with our technology integration/digital learning (click here) improvements. A great deal of work has been completed this year in this area and our conversations continue to be focused on what our students need in order to be ready for success in a fast changing and highly connected world. As our foundational supports over the last number of years have been concentrated in our K-8 buildings and classrooms, next year we will see increased accessibility for our high school students, faculty, and staff. To that end, the high school leadership team, under the direction of David List, Dean of Academics and Activities, and Ryan Camire, Technology Integration Specialist, 5-12, have been working to publish a document that outlines our 9-12 digital learning improvement plans for the next few years. We will be sharing this update with you prior to the end of the school year.
Curriculum Review Updates
As you know, self study and outside audit processes have served our community well over the last number of years. They have provided our school and greater community with a comprehensive look at programming that has been needed to chart productive and logical improvement efforts. Please find specific updates below pertaining to our current curriculum review processes.
We are in receipt of the first draft of the K-8 Technology Review Visiting Team Report and are working to correct factual errors and seek clarification regarding some findings. We have shared a few overarching themes in the technology integration/digital learning update that was shared with the School Committee on May 19th. We look forward to sharing our final report in the Fall.
Our History/Social Sciences self study team will be meeting this week for the final time this school year. This collaborative group is in the process of collecting evidence connected with our PRACTICES, PRODUCTS, and PERSPECTIVES. This work will continue over the summer and throughout the fall as the team completes their documentation and drafts their self study. As essential portion of the self study process is the collection of perceptions from our students and families. Please be on the look-out for a request to complete a parent survey once we return from our summer break. As well, we look forward to welcoming a visiting team in the late Fall for their perspectives on our work.
Upon completion of our History/Social Sciences Curriculum Review process, we will begin to assess our practices in mathematics, PK-12. This will be our next curricular area of focus beginning in late Fall/early Winter 2016.
Medway School Committee Supports Funding Resolution
The Commonwealth determines the amount of funding entitled to each school district by using a funding formula that was developed as part of the Education Reform Legislation in 1993 and this funding formula had not been comprehensively reviewed since that time. In 2015, the Foundation Budget Review Commission was established by the Massachusetts Legislature and was responsible for examining the funding formula and recommending changes. In their review, they found that costs associated with some elements of the foundation formula were understated, and thereby led to an increasing burden of costs to the local community. A copy of the full resolution can be found here.
Strategic Plan Approved
We are excited to share an important accomplishment of the district. As you may be aware, at the April 28th school committee meeting, the Medway School Committee approved the Medway Public Schools Strategic Plan, 2016-2019. A copy of the presentation that was shared can be found here. A complete copy of the Strategic Plan can be found here.
This important document will guide our work over the next three years. It is important that our colleagues, families, and community members become familiar with the contents of the Strategic Plan. As a first step, we will be holding a second Superintendent Chat as follows:
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - 8:30-9:15 am in the Presentation Room at Medway Middle School.
Behavioral Health Self-Study
Our Behavioral Health Self-Study process has begun in each of our schools and will be completed prior to the end of the school year. The scope and methodology of the project is tightly connected to Goal #2: Foster the social, emotional, and healthy development of all students and Goal #4: Cultivate a professional culture that values respect trust, collaboration, effective communication. The self-study is designed to assess current activities and strategies that create a supportive school environment using a tool developed through the state’s Task Force on Behavioral Health and Public Schools and the DESE. The district will support building based teams as they begin the process of data analysis at the school and district levels this summer. From this analysis, strengths and opportunities for improvement
will be generated and presented to stakeholder groups for input.
MHS Bridge for Resilient Youth in Transition (BRYT) Program
You will recall that earlier this year Medway received a three-year, $180,000 grant to implement a short-term program to support students and families as they transition back into school after a prolonged psychiatric or medical absence. The program is now staffed and providing care coordination, academic assistance, and clinical support to five students as they transition back to full-time status. Programs similar to the BRYT program were recently featured as part of a promising practices series in The Boston Globe. The article can be found here: Learning Curve 5/17/2016
We are pleased to share that the MHS Chorus competed in the Festivals of Music, Music in the Parks competition on Saturday morning. They received a rating of Excellent (missing Superior by 3 points) and placed second in their division!
Last Saturday, Jess Green and Alyssa Palladino participated in the (MICCA) Massachusetts Instrument & Choral Conductors Association's Solo & Ensemble Festival. Each student was asked to prepare a solo and performed in front of a judge. Alyssa received a silver medal and Jess received a gold medal! Jess was invited to perform in the Gold Medal showcase this Sunday. She will perform with other gold medalists from around the state. Congratulations to Jess & Alyssa on a job well done!
We also extend our congratulations to Junior class artist and art history student Clarissa Marroquin for winning 3rd place at the Patriot Place Street Art Festival on Saturday with this fabulous chalk portrait of her little sister. Here is a shot of the work in progress. Enjoy!
Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Accreditation Team
On Thursday morning, Medway High School welcomed a team for the first accreditation of the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) program. The feedback received from this process will pave the way for future focus areas. We look forward to learning how our early implementation has gone in relation to the accreditation team’s standards of practice.
Field Naming Ceremony
On Saturday, May 14, we held the official naming ceremony of the Maddie Lamson Field. It was very well attended and included words of welcome from Superintendent Pires, along with speeches by students, a coach, and remarks on behalf of the family from Mr. Lamson. The weather was spectacular. We want to extend our thanks to all those involved in this special event, and the donations that made the sign, stone, plaque, and bench possible. A special thanks to Medway High School Principal, Tim McCarron, and his team for putting together and carrying out a thoughtful program.
May 26, 2016 Middle School Choral Concert, 6:00 - 9:00 PM
May 27, 2016 Salute to Our Vets Program, McGovern School, 2:00 - 3:00 PM
May 30, 2016 Memorial Day - No School
May 31, 2016 Senior Class trip to High Meadows, Granby, CT
June 1, 2016 Senior Scholarship Awards Night, Medway High School, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
MSPTO Meeting, Medway Middle School, 7:30 - 9:30 PM
June 1-3, 2016 Kindergarten Screening, McGovern School, 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
June 2, 2016 School committee meeting, Medway Middle School, presentation room, 7:00 PM
Senior trip to 6 Flags, Agawam, MA
June 3, 2016 Senior Class Day, Medway High School (1:00 - 2:30 PM)
June 5, 2016 Graduation Commencement, Medway High School, 2:00 PM
June 6, 2016 Parent Forum, Medway High School, 6:30 - 7:30 PM
June 7, 2016 Memorial Arts Festival, 6:00 - 8:00 PM
June 8, 2016 Underclassmen Scholastic Night, Medway High School, 6:30 PM
June 14, 2016 Medway SEPAC meeting, Medway High School, 7:00 PM
June 16, 2016 School committee meeting, Medway Middle School, presentation room, 7:00 PM
June 20, 2016 Grades 5-7 Scholastic Awards, Medway Middle School, TBD
Grade 8 Promotion Ceremony and Dance, TBD
June 21, 2016 Last Day of School (Early Release)