October 14th Superintendent's Message

Dear Medway families:

We hope that you took the extra days off to enjoy some special time with family and friends.  We are thankful that the hurricane impact on our area of the country was minimal and hope that our southern neighbors can quickly recover from any impact there.  As we approach the middle of October, we offer to you important information and updates below.  Please take the time review and do not hesitate to contact us  if you have any questions.

 

Sincerely,

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent

 

November 8 Election

Just a reminder that our middle school is the host site for our community’s voting process.  This election looks to draw in high numbers of residents and we ask for patience and slow speed on school grounds and within the parking lots of the middle school.  We will be communicating more specific information as November 8th gets closer.

 

Employee Wellness Grant

We are excited to share that, thanks to the efforts our our Human Resource Coordinator, Katherine Bird, and our Director of Wellness, Dr. Ryan Sherman, we have received a grant from the YMCA to focus energies and programming on enhancing our staff wellness.  We are in the process of developing a plan for this funding but wanted to share this exciting news.

 

MCAS 2.0 Update

As we shared in a recent update, we have received our Spring 2016 Accountability and Performance information and administrators and educators alike are engaged in various levels of analysis.  MCAS information, in partnership with other assessment data, provides us with information regarding areas of strength and areas with which to give additional attention as we strive towards continued improved student learning.  During the October 6 School Committee meeting, we shared information about our accountability status which can be found here.   We will be sharing a more in depth presentation on our student performance at the November 10 School Committee meeting.  

 

This spring, all school districts across the Commonwealth will facilitate the first year of the “MCAS 2.0” assessment.  This assessment is being developed as a tool to measure student, school and district success with the 2011 ELA and Mathematics’ Frameworks.  Additionally, this assessment is intended to better measure the critical thinking skills that students will need for college and career readiness.  

 

This upcoming spring, grades 3, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10 will be assessed using paper and pencil (as has been past practice) and grades 4 and 8 will be computerized.  The vision is that all grade levels will transition to computer based testing by 2019.  

As noted on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Next Generation Assessment page:

The development of MCAS 2.0 will focus on:

  • Combining PARCC, MCAS, and newly developed items into new ELA and math tests
  • Creating stronger alignment to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks
    • Introducing writing in response to text at all grades
    • Developing and implementing new types of items that more deeply assess the standards
    • Assessing Massachusetts-specific standards
  • Developing a consistent set of performance standards across all grades
  • Phasing in computer-based testing
  • Developing an appropriate sequence of tests for high school to gauge college and career readiness
  • Setting standards for the 10th grade Competency Determination (CD) tests in English language arts and math, beginning with the class of 2020, to provide reliable feedback on whether students are on track for success after high school. (The current MCAS remains a requirement through the class of 2019.)

 

Massachusetts will maintain control over assessment planning and decision-making related to test design and development, standard setting, policies for students with disabilities and English language learners, turnaround time for reporting test scores, and item release policies.

 

And with all state-level test development, local educators will remain involved and strongly invested in the processes of creating and reviewing MCAS 2.0 test questions and items.

 

Additional information on the development of this assessment can be found on this page.

 

News from the Medway School Committee - School Committee Forum on Recess

The Medway School Committee will host another forum on the topic of recess prior to the November 10 School Committee meeting.  Community members are welcome to share comments about recess.  This will take place from  6:00-6:45  p.m. in the Presentation Room at Medway Middle School.  

 

McGovern Walk to School

Last week, we had the opportunity to participate in the Walk to School with McGovern students, faculty, and staff.  Everyone assembled in the VFW parking lot and walked to school.  Thanks to all of the McGovern staff who participated in this event as well as, our bus drivers and the Medway Police Department.  This is great event that occurs two times each school year.

 

Cultural Proficiency Survey

Medway Public Schools is committed to equitable education and teaching students in a culturally responsive manner in a safe and supportive environment.  Directly tied to our Strategic Plan, the Cultural Proficiency Survey is an important part of our on-going effort to think critically and reflectively to improve our practice.  We are asking for the community’s help as we examine our practices and deepen the conversation of what culturally responsive and equitable instruction, and safe and supportive environments means and looks like in the Medway Public Schools.

 

We are asking each family to complete a survey about Cultural Proficiency.  The survey window will be open until close of business on October 28, 2016.  We encourage you to help us in this important act of reflection.   Cultural Proficiency Survey

 

History/Social Sciences Curriculum Review

Last winter, we began this process with our phase 1 self-study work.  Our educators are well underway with their own internal analysis of our PK-12 experiences and are seeking parental perceptual feedback to complete that process.  We are asking that families please reflect on their experiences with their children in the last year or two when answering the questions embedded in this survey.  We will keep the survey open until November 1, 2016.  Thank you in advance for your participation:  History/Social Sciences Parent / Guardian Survey.  Our visiting team is scheduled to participate in their review in early February, 2017.

Parent Events

Our colleagues in Franklin have shared the invitation on the left with us and are extending this invite to our families.  Please feel free to participate in this free, informative event.  

 

This SEPAC meeting will provide parents with a better understanding of executive function weakness.

 

Upcoming Events

October 16, 2016    MEPTO Pumpkin Fair, 12:00 - 4:00 PM

October 18, 2016    SEPAC Meeting:  Language Based Learning Disabilities: What Parents Should Know CoSponsored by Medway Student Services and Medway SEPAC, featuring renowned expert, Ann Larsen, from the Landmark School.  Medway HS 7:00 - 9:00 PM

October 20, 2016    School Committee Meeting, Medway Middle School,  Presentation Room 7:00 PM

October 26, 2016    MSPTO, Medway High School, 8:00 - 9:00 PM

November 10, 2016    School Committee Recess Forum,  Presentation Room 6:00 PM

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