October 18th Superintendent's Update

Dear Medway families,

As you may know, the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) has been one important factor in public education in Massachusetts in measuring progress of schools and districts across the Commonwealth.  Earlier today, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released the 2017 MCAS accountability and performance information from the Spring assessment.   This year represents the first implementation of a new version of MCAS for grades 3-8 in English Language Arts and Mathematics. In grades 9-12 and in middle school science, the MCAS assessment remained unchanged.  

We wanted to provide some information for you and also share that there will be a few upcoming opportunities for you to engage with your child’s school and educators to best understand these results.  

  • Burke-Memorial and Medway Middle School both met their participation requirements (at least 90%) which was the only factor influencing accountability ratings for the 2017 MCAS for schools facilitating the Next Generation MCAS.  
  • We are noting lower percentages of students performing in the Meeting/Exceeding Expectations categories (previously Proficient and Advanced), which is a theme across the state, and anticipated by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  Our early analysis shows that many of Medway’s students are still demonstrating high levels of achievement compared with other students across the Commonwealth.
  • Medway High School did not participate in the Next Generation MCAS, nor did any 9-12 school.  As a result, all high schools are still being held to the “legacy” accountability determinations.
  • Medway High School has been designated at the 80th percentile and a Level 2 school. Medway High School has not met established state goals regarding the narrowing of proficiency gaps during three of the past four years in the sub-cohort of High Needs students.  This year represents the first time that Medway High School was designated as a Level 2 school.  

Medway High School continues to perform at high levels overall and the Level 2 determination is an indicator to us that our efforts need to be focused on targeted areas of need.  Medway High School has focused its efforts on providing academic supports to our High Needs student population by securing  additional staff and improving academic and social and emotional supports for all students.  This year they continue to bring additional supports to our students who are deemed as High Needs. The academic area most in need of support is mathematics (High Needs).  

For your information, we will be hosting a few opportunities to engage in deeper conversation and learning about the results of this assessment in the coming weeks.  Please keep an eye out for updates from building principals regarding opportunities that they provide.

The week of Tuesday, October 24, 2017 ~ individual student reports mailed home

Thursday, November 9, 2017 ~ 7:00 PM ~ School Committee Presentation, 2017 MCAS Results

Presentation Room, Medway Middle School

Thursday, November 16, 2017 ~ 6:00 PM ~ Superintendent’s Chat, 2017 MCAS Overview

Presentation Room, Medway Middle School

Between November 10-21, 2017 ~ Principal Teas or Forums to discuss school based results


As is our responsibility, we are examining this information carefully keeping in mind that the MCAS is only one way that we measure student progress.  We look forward to sharing our findings and plans with you in the near future.



Armand Pires, Ph.D.


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