November 29th Superintendent's Update

Dear Medway families,

We hope that you were able to enjoy the additional time over the Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends.  There are great things happening in our schools.  Over the next month I encourage parents to participate in any number of the activities that are offered.  

Please find important information below.

Sincerely,

Armand Pires, Ph.D.
Superintendent

From the Medway School Committee - Vacancy on School Committee

The Medway School Committee has a vacancy due to the resignation of Richard Eustis.  Per the town charter and Massachusetts law, the remaining members of the School Committee and the Board of Selectmen shall select a replacement for this open seat at a joint meeting.  The term of this appointment shall be through May 15, 2018. A new committee member shall be elected to complete the remainder of the term (May 2019)  at the annual town election to be held on May 15, 2018.

Any interested resident, who is a registered voter,  may apply for this position.  Please submit a letter of interest and a resume highlighting relevant experience to the secretary of the Medway School Committee, Ellen Quinn, at equinn@medwayschools.org or Ellen Quinn, Medway School Committee, 45 Holliston Street, Medway, MA 02053. All materials must be submitted by 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 7, 2017. A subcommittee will review the applications and a slate of finalists shall be interviewed at a joint meeting of the School Committee and Board of Selectmen on December 14, 2017 at 7 pm in the Middle School Presentation Room.

Inclement Weather Procedures

Before we know it the forecast will include the threat of snow. We wanted to be sure that we shared information about inclement weather with you as soon as possible.  

It is the goal of the superintendent to hold school whenever possible.  Parents and students should plan accordingly and leave plenty of time on winter mornings to arrive at school safely.   Please know that the final decision about a child attending school during a weather event always rests with individual families.  There may be occasions when deteriorating weather will mean that schools should close due to unsafe conditions.

The superintendent will review anticipated road and sidewalk conditions, access to schools, projected weather forecasts, and consult with the police and public works departments in order to make a determination between approximately 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. if conditions will be safe for students to come to school.

The following plans will be in effect for inclement weather:

No School Announcement

If the superintendent has determined the conditions are unsafe, school will be canceled.  The district will utilize the emergency notification system that will contact your home/cell phone and email using the information you have provided to your child’s school.  The “no-school” announcement will also be carried on local television channels 4, 5, and 7.

All classes, school activities, before and after school programs, the Medway Extended Day program (MEDI), daycare program, adult education evening classes, and any school facilities use activities will be canceled. Transportation of students to out-of-district schools will also be canceled.

One- or Two-Hour Delayed Opening Announcement

If the superintendent has been notified that the public works department needs additional time to plow or sand the streets to ensure safety, then a determination for a one- or two-hour delay may be made.  As with no-school announcements, the delayed opening announcement will be made using the emergency notification system to home/cell phone and email and carried on local television channels.

Please keep in mind:

  • Bus routes will begin by a  one- or two-hour delay, including all special education transportation for out-of-district schools.
  • Do not send your child to school earlier than the delayed opening, as the school grounds may not be plowed and there will be no staff available to supervise early arrivals.
  • PreK and ½ day Kindergarten sessions will take place if a one hour delay is called,  and will be cancelled for a two hour delay.
  • School lunch will be served at its regularly scheduled time.
  • Schools will be dismissed at their regular times.

Emergency Early Release Announcement

If a severe weather condition or other emergency develops during the school day, the district may release students before the end of the school day.  Parents will be notified by home/cell phone and email and the announcement will be carried on local television channels, and displayed on the district website.  As appropriate, the district will work with public safety officials to shelter students in the district is unable to send home.

Inclement Weather Bus Stops for Walkers

We understand that inclement weather days can prove challenging to getting your child to school.  If your child(ren) is/are typically a walker and you are unable to find another means of transportation during inclement weather, or when sidewalks have not yet been plowed, please complete this brief form .  We will use this information to set up “inclement weather bus stops.” We have provided this service as a way to support safe transportation to school.  Please note that these stops will only be activated during storms or following a storm when sidewalks have not yet been cleared, and as communicated. We will communicate additional information when bus stops have been established.  

Additional Reminders for Parents

  1. Be sure your child’s school has your updated contact information.
  2. Have a family emergency plan in place so your child knows what to do if sent home for any of the reasons noted above.
  3. If your child regularly drives to school and you or he/she feels it is unsafe to drive during the inclement weather, please determine an alternative means of transportation to school.

Women in STEM Club - Speakers Wanted

Once again, Medway High’s Women in STEM Club will be hosting its annual school-wide STEM Fair. Our goal for the fair is to encourage exploration into the wide variety of STEM-based careers.  This program aims to help students grasp the transcendence of STEM skills and knowledge into all aspects of our world. We are looking for professionals with engaging STEM projects or stories they are eager to showcase to high school students. This year’s fair will take place from 12:30 to 2:30 PM​​ on Friday, February 16, 2018.

If you are interested or know anyone who may be interested in creating and facilitating a 35-minute interactive workshop or presentation this year, please reach out to Dr. Shanley Heller at sheller@medwayschools.org.

Upcoming Early Release Days ~ Elementary

Due to parent teacher conferences, students in grades K-4 will be dismissed early on Thursday December 7 and Tuesday, December 12.  Burke-Memorial Elementary will release at 11:30 AM and McGovern Elementary will release at 12:00 PM.

Harvest of the Month Program

During the week of November 13, McGovern and Burke-Memorial Elementary students took part in the Harvest of the Month Program.  This program is designed to give elementary students the opportunity to try a new fruit or vegetable, prepared in two different forms, each month.  Students were asked to vote on which choice they liked the best, the winning choice will appear on the school lunch menu later this month and the recipe will be sent home to parents.  

T.H.R.I.V.E. Committee Meeting

Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. met on November 16 to discuss the two events held this fall.  T.H.R.I.V.E. used their meeting time to review exit survey results, to ensure that attendees’ feedback is taken into consideration when planning future events. T.H.R.I.V.E. members also discussed the details of their next event, Celebrating Differences, which will be held on January 17 at 7:00 pm, at Medway High School.  More details will be shared in future publications.  

 

Invitation to Senator Karen Spilka’s  2nd annual exSEL forum

Last year, the School Committee, school leadership, and community members were invited to Senator Spilka’s Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Forum.  She is conducting the event again and has asked that we extend an invitations to members of the community.  The SEL Forum will take place on January 9, 2018 from 6:00-7:00 PM at the Warren Conference Center in Ashland. Here’s the link to sign up, and a flyer for the event.  

 

Project Here

Attorney General Maura Healey has opened registration to Project Here.  Project Here is a public/private partnership focused on making substance use prevention educational resources available to every public middle school in Massachusetts. For more information visit the official Project Here website.  On behalf of the district, Dr. Sherman, Director of Wellness, will look to explore this program.

 

MHS Music Achievement

November 18, 2017 several students from MHS’s Chorus and Band auditioned for the Massachusetts Central District Music Festival.  We are thrilled to announce that Daphne Freeman, Alyssa Palladino and Ram Tysoe will be representing Medway in the Central District Chorus this year.  In January, these talented individuals will be performing with top high school vocalists in Central Massachusetts.  Congratulations!

 

2017 Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS)

During the November 9 School Committee meeting, Gabby Abrams, Assistant Superintendent, presented an overview of our student performance on the 2017 MCAS.  Our subsequent week’s Superintendent Chat was focused on additional questions and answers pertaining to this topic.  The presentation can be found here.

 

Library Redesign Task Force

As we have shared, we are excited to be engaging in a process of future visioning about our library/media spaces.  A representative committee has connected over the last two months to engage in discussion and learning connected with this.  Our latest meeting took place on Monday.  This meeting featured a library strategist from an architectural firm who is helping us imagine what our spaces could be.  The Task Force’s next action is to move our vision and thinking to a formal “next steps” recommendation to the Superintendent.  Our next meeting with be Monday, December 11 at 3:30 PM at the middle school.

Fall Athletics

Congratulations to all of our Fall athletes and coaches for a well played season.  All of our teams were able to compete in postseason play.   Our girls soccer team finished the season with a loss to Danvers in a shootout at the state finals.   Collin McGlynn finished 47th (out of 178) at the D2 state cross country championship in Wrentham.  Cheerleading competed at States in Worcester and finished 7th out of 12 in their division.

Congratulations to all of our athletes.

2018-2019 School Year Calendar

At its November 16 meeting, the School Committee voted to approve the 2018-2019 school year calendar.

The Laramie Project

Congratulations to the cast and crew of The Laramie Project who shared with us a powerful rendition of this project.  We were moved by the authenticity and sensitivity of the performance.  

Medway Veterans Project

The Medway Council on Aging in collaboration with Medway High School hosted the second annual Veterans Project in the Medway High School Auditorium.  Medway High School students presented the history of four of our local veterans. This is a powerful program that highlights the experiences and sacrifices made by our veterans.  Their stories will also be part of the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. This project captures the stories of the lives of individuals and preserves them in the Library of Congress.  Our participation in the Veterans History Project this year was funded through a grant from the MFE.

National Honor Society Induction

On Monday, November 20, 55 students were inducted into the National Honor Society at Medway High School.  We wish to extend our congratulations to these students and their families for this noteworthy honor.

Interface Referral Services

Medway Public Schools, with support from the Medway Fire Department, has engaged the services of INTERFACE Referral Services, a telephone helpline that connects callers to eliminate this barrier.  This service is available to all residents of Medway; children, adults and families, at no cost. Here is a promotional video for this service.

Upcoming Events

November 29, 2017    Burke Memorial Literacy Night, Burke Memorial Cafeteria, 6:00 PM

            MSPTO Meeting, Medway Middle School, 4th Annual Pop-up Shop, 6:00 PM

December 5, 2017    MEPTO Meeting, Burke-Memorial, 6:30 PM

December 6, 2017    Medway High School Concert and Arts Showcase 7:00 PM

December 7, 2017    Early Release (Elementary Only) Burke/Memorial 11:30AM and McGovern 12:00 PM

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

December 12, 2017    Early Release (Elementary Only) Burke/Memorial 11:30 AM and McGovern 12:00 PM

SEPAC Meeting, Dr. Ryan Sherman speaking on Wellness during the Holiday Season, Medway High School, 7:00 PM

December 14, 2017    Middle School Choral Concert, 6:00 PM

December 20, 2017    Middle School Band Concert, Medway High School, 6:00 PM

December 25-January 1    No School- Holiday Vacation

January 4, 2018        School Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 7:00 PM

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