May 2nd Superintendent's Update

Dear Medway families,

Next week is National Teacher Appreciation Week.  As I am certain you can appreciate, the work of our educators continues to become more complex.  Medway is fortunate to have dedicated professionals to work with our students each day.  Their care, commitment, and passion are the foundation for our district.  As we approach National Teacher Appreciation Week I encourage you to reach out to that educator or staff member who has made a difference in the life of your child.  It will mean a great deal.

Sincerely,

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent

US News and World Reports Distinction

Congratulations to our Medway High School faculty, staff, students and families!  Medway High School earned a GOLD medal and was recently ranked #10 in the US News and World Report Best High Schools in Massachusetts ratings and #293 nationally for student performance during the 2014-15 school year. According to the US News and World Reports site:

The Best High Schools rankings identify the country's top-performing public high schools. The goal is to provide a clear, unbiased picture of how well public schools serve all of their students – from the highest to lowest achieving – in preparing them to demonstrate proficiency in basic skills as well as readiness for college-level work.

A complete FAQ page on this recognition can be found at the following link.

 

Water Testing Results

In November we communicated that after conducting tests of all water fixtures in the district, some were found to contain unacceptable levels of lead and/or copper.  We immediately prevented further use of those fixtures while a second, confirming,  test was conducted.  With confirmation from the second test, the district moved forward and replaced all impacted fixtures.  That work was recently completed.  In the coming weeks we will be conducting another round of water tests of those locations where the fixtures have been replaced to ensure that the levels fall within the acceptable range.  At that point we will put those fixtures back into use.  Given the statewide effort to conduct testing, we expect a delay in receiving our final results.    

Community Workshop:  Promoting Wellness and Social-Emotional Learning

Tonight, May 2 from 6:00-7:30 PM, we will offer a second opportunity for our families to participate in the Promoting Wellness and Social-Emotional Learning presentation in Guidance.  Director of Student Services, Kat Bernklow and Director of Wellness, Ryan Sherman, will co-facilitate this session. We hope to see many of our families at this presentation.  

Last day of School  and 2017-18 School Calendar

As you are aware, at this time we have had THREE 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 21, 2017.  As well, for your convenience here is next year’s school calendar:  2017-2018 School Calendar

Superintendent’s Task Force on Middle School Recess

Ryan Sherman, Ph.D., Director of Wellness  and Assistant Principal Paul Gamache are looking for interested, elementary, middle and high school parents to join the Superintendent's Task Force on Middle School Recess.  This task force, made up of administrators, parents and teachers, will be responsible for comprehensively examining opportunities for recess at the middle school level, including potential advantages and challenges.  The task force will meet once a month, after school, during the months of May, June, September, October and November.  If interested, please complete this form: Recess Task Force.  

Memorial Plaque Ceremony

Last week’s plaque ceremony celebrated six honorees, Dennis Coakley, Peter Bates, Paul Mitchell, Audrey Ritter Alfred Rossetti, Jr. and Grace Rossetti.  These six honorees have made a significant or memorable contribution to the town or school community.  Through their service, volunteerism or dedication each has made Medway school or town life better for those who follow.  

The Medway School Committee is currently accepting nominations for inclusion on the Memorial Plaque.  If you would like to nominate a deserving individual, additional information and the nomination form for 2017 can be found here.

Spring Visits to the Schools

Quarterly, our central office team visits the schools in the form of Superintendent Listening Tours and/or district collaborative sharing to ensure consistent, transparent messaging.  Our visits to the schools this spring will center around two major themes both under the umbrella of community wellness.  We will be conducting an overview of the district’s Social Emotional Learning examination and action planning to each of the schools.  In addition we will be providing each of the school staffs with an overview of our insights and conversations into our conversations connected with diversity and cultural sensitivity.  Both of these topics are on-going conversations involving representative groups but that require full knowledge and engagement of all faculty and staff.  

Two High School Students Recognized by NESDEC

Last week at the April 27 School Committee, meeting Steven Collins and Katie DiBiaso were presented the National School Development Council Award for Academic Growth and Student Leadership in Learning from NESDEC. Congratulations to Steven and Katie.

Next Generation MCAS

A couple of weeks ago, we welcomed some families for a Superintendent’s Chat to share information about the Next Generation MCAS.  We have included a copy of the presentation that was shared here.   Below, please also find the master schedule for assessment throughout the district as well as a link to Web-based practice tests that are available for anyone to review.  

Date

Test Session

Grade Level

March 21

ELA Composition

10th Grade

March 22

ELA Sessions 1 and 2

10th Grade

March 23

ELA Session 3

10th Grade

April 5

ELA Session 1        CBT

8th Grade

April 6

ELA Session 2        CBT

8th Grade

April 11

ELA Session 1

ELA Session 1 CBT

ELA Session 1

3rd Grade

4th Grade

7th  Grade

April 12

ELA Session 1

ELA Session 1 CBT

ELA Session 1

3rd Grade

4th Grade

7th  Grade

April 13

ELA Session 3

ELA Session 4 CBT

3rd Grade

4th Grade

April 25

ELA Session 1

5th Grade

6th Grade

April 26

ELA Session 2

5th Grade

6th Grade

April 27

ELA Session 3

5th Grade

May 2

Math Session 1

7th Grade

May 3

Math Session 1

Math Session 2

5th Grade

7th Grade

May 4

Math Session 2

Math Session 1

5th Grade

6th Grade

May 5

Math Session 2

6th Grade

 

STE Session 1

May 17

 

STE Session 2

May 18

May 9

Math Session 1 CBT

8th Grade

May 10

Math Session 2 CBT

8th Grade

May 16

Math Session 1 CBT

Math Session 1

4th Grade

10th Grade

May 17

Math Session 1

Math Session 2 CBT

STE Session 1

Math Session 2

3rd Grade

4th Grade

8th Grade

10th Grade

May 18

Math Session 2

STE Session 2

3rd Grade

8th Grade

June 5

STE Session 1

9th Grade

June 6

STE Session 2

9th Grade

*CBT=Computer Based Test

Cross-outs indicate that these assessments have been completed

News from the DESE regarding 2017 Accountability Reporting

Late last week, the Commissioner’s office published a memo connected with the state’s plans for accountability reporting during this year’s first year with the our new state assessment.  An excerpt of the pertinent elements can be found below.  The entire text of the letter can be found here.

2017 Assessment and Accountability Reporting Schools that Enroll Students in Grades 3-8.  

This year, assessment and accountability reporting for schools that enroll students in grades 3-8 will be different from previous years.  First, ESE will publish next-generation MCAS results for each district and school, including a normative measure of achievement to help districts and ESE identify schools that may require support.  ESE will also report assessment participation rates separately for English language arts, mathematics, and science, for each district and school as a whole as well as for each subgroup.

Second, schools that assess at least 90 percent of their students in all groups and subjects will not be assigned an accountability and assistance level of 1-3.

Any school or district with participation rates below 90 percent for any group of students in any subject will be placed into Level 3. Any school with persistently low graduation rates will also be placed into Level 3.

Schools that Enroll Students in Grades 9-12 only.

At the high school level, legacy MCAS tests will be administered as usual, and assessment and accountability results will be reported as they have in the past. High schools will continue to receive an accountability and assistance level based on their Progress and Performance Index (PPI) and school percentile data, with adjustments for those schools with persistently low graduation rates, or low or very low assessment participation. New Level 4 school designations may still be made at the discretion of the Commissioner.

Assessment and Accountability Reporting in 2018 and Beyond

The timing of the first administration of the new assessment aligns with the transition to a revised system of accountability and assistance as required by the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The first district and school accountability determinations under the revised system will take place in the fall of 2018.  While the details of that system are still being developed, the system will be consistent with the Board’s November 2015 vote. As a result, the test scores from the spring 2017 MCAS administration in grades 3-8 will not negatively impact accountability results in 2018, and going forward.  

While subject to further deliberation by the Board, ESE plans to use the 2017 next - generation MCAS results as the baseline for setting targets for 2018 and beyond in order to measure improvement over time.  In addition, the participation data used in the 2018 accountability determinations will reflect participation rates from both 2017 and 2018.  As a reminder, statewide assessments are most useful when all students take them. The accountability system is setup to encourage high participation rates–if it weren’t, results would not be reflective of school-wide achievement.

Further, state law requires that all students attending Massachusetts public schools participate in a statewide student assessment program under the direction of the Board. This requirement was first enacted as part of the landmark 1993 Massachusetts education reform law. The statute does not contain an “opt-out”provision for parents to remove their children from participating. For these reasons, districts and schools need to maintain high levels of student participation in 2017.  Additional guidance materials related to assessment and accountability reporting will be available in the coming months.

Upcoming District Events

May 2, 2017

Promoting Wellness and Social Emotional Learning, Medway High School Library, 6:00 PM

May 3, 2017

MEPTO meeting, McGovern School, 7:00 PM

May 4, 2017

POSTPONED to May 11 School Committee Meeting, Middle School Presentation Room 7:00 PM

May 10, 2017

High School Pops Concert & Art Walk, 7:00 PM

May 11, 2017

Kindergarten Art Walk at McGovern, 5:00 PM

 

First Grade Art Walk at McGovern, 6:00 PM

 

School Committee Meeting, Middle School Presentation Room 7:00 PM

May 12, 2017

Senior Superlative Night, High School Auditorium, 7:00 PM

May 16, 2017

Medway SEPAC, Brain Fit Academy, High School Library, 7:00 PM

May 18, 2017

School Committee Meeting, Middle School Presentation Room 7:00 PM

May 19, 2017

Early Release (all grades)

 

Medway High School Jr. Sr. Prom

May 25, 2017

Middle School Spring Chorus, High School Auditorium, 6:00 PM

May 29, 2017

Memorial Day - No School

May 31, 2017

Senior Scholarship Night, High School, 6:00 PM

 

MSPTO meeting, High School, 7:30 PM

June 1, 2017

School Committee Meeting, Middle School Presentation Room 7:00 PM

June 2, 2017

Class Day, High School, 12:30 PM

June 4, 2017

Graduation Ceremony, High School Gym, 2:00 PM

 

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