September 30th Superintendent's Message
Dear Medway families:
It was terrific to see so many parents and students engaged in our community viewing of Screenagers on Monday night. Thanks to the Medway Secondary PTO (MSPTO) for their sponsorship of this event. This is part of an essential district conversation connected with the health and wellness of our children who are growing up in this digital age. While we know that it is the reality, we continue to find a need for continued dialogue and reflection as to the most effective supports and educational elements of support, for children and families alike. Building leaders will continue this conversation in upcoming Principal Teas and forums and we encourage you to engage in these as well as remain informed of our district work in this area through our updates, School Committee reports, and other forums.
Armand Pires, Ph.D.
No School Reminders
A reminder to families that our upcoming month of October includes a few “no school” days due to holiday observances and professional development. Students should not report to school on the following dates:
- Monday, October 3 (in observance of the first day of Rosh Hashanah)
- Monday, October 10 (in observance of Columbus Day)
- Tuesday, October 11 (teacher professional development day)
- Wednesday, October 12 (in observance of Yom Kippur)
While we recognize that the above dates present a wonderful opportunity for our families to enjoy a long weekend together and perhaps travel, it is important that our learners are present on days when school is in session.
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
News from the Medway School Committee - School Committee Forum on Recess
The Medway School Committee will host a forum on the topic of recess prior to the October 6 School Committee meeting. This will take place 6:00 - 6:45 p.m. in the Presentation Room at Medway Middle School.
Strategic Plan - Action Plan Development
Our leadership team has been working on drafting action plans associated with the initiatives outlined in the Strategic Plan. The next phase of this work affords an opportunity for our faculty to share their best thinking about the necessary actions to accomplish the initiative, and the stated goal. We are excited to engage our faculty in this thinking in the month of October. We will be providing opportunities for our community to engage in this process later this fall.
Memorial Plaque Nominations
As you may know, we have communicated via email, press release, and on our website that the district is accepting nominations for the Memorial Plaque. The deadline for submission is October 7. We will then share the nominations with School Committee so that selection can be considered in preparation of the October 20 School Committee meeting where they will make a decision about each nomination.
High School Flag
As you may have seen, there was a posting on social media about the condition of the flag at the high school near Lamson Field. Once we were alerted to the issue, we replaced the flag immediately. Our immediate action does not mitigate the embarrassment of the situation. Principal McCarron is working with some local veterans to conduct a proper flag retirement ceremony and provide the opportunity for our students to interact with some of those who have served.
Do you work in a STEM-related field? Have you wondered how you could help inspire and prepare more students into the STEM fields? Medway High School is looking to expand participation of our Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Partnership. We invite you to attend an informational meeting on October 4, 2016 in the High School Library at 5:30 pm. You will have the opportunity to learn what PLTW is all about, our vision for the future, and how corporate partners help us to provide relevant and exciting classes. Questions? Contact Shanley Heller, Educational Leader in STEM, or Joan Hallett PLTW School Liaison.
Curriculum Review Processes
As a district, reflection and continuous improvement rate as high priorities. As such, the Medway Public Schools have adopted a curriculum review and improvement cycle to support our work. Below, please find information connected with the processes that have just been completed, are underway, and are upcoming.
Technology Curriculum Review
During the September 22 School Committee meeting, we shared the final findings from our visiting team’s report that was completed last spring. This presentation can be found here. Our next steps include reviewing the newly published Digital Literacy and Computer Science framework, identifying assignment of these standards to grade levels and instructional areas and continuing to take stock in how these standards can be meaningfully and purposefully integrated into the learning experiences for our students. Our Technology Advisory Committee, made up of parents, educators, and industry will continue to help guide this work.
One outcome of this work that is important to share is the development of a vision statement for technology learning within our school system. This statement was arrived at after several collaborative sessions with our Technology Advisory Committee and in line with our strategic plan. It states:
Medway Public School students will learn in personalized,
digitally-rich environments that authentically and
effectively integrate technology, ensuring they will thrive in their future endeavors in an interconnected, global community.
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.
Wellness Curriculum Development
In response to our Health and Physical Education Curriculum Review, we are engaging a group of educators for the purpose of researching and proposing an elementary wellness model that incorporates the national health standards as well as the physical education standards. This team is comprised of K-12 Wellness educators and behavioral health providers and is being facilitated by Wellness Director, Dr. Ryan Sherman. A proposal is expected to be brought forward in December, 2016 for implementation in the 2017-18 school year.
Mathematics Curriculum Review
We will begin this review process sometime in January as the History/Social Sciences process is wrapping up. We will keep you apprised of this work as the time approaches.
School and District Accountability
On Monday evening, September 26, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, released previously embargoed MCAS and PARCC assessment information to the public. Please click here to see the press release from the DESE regarding this data release. An overview of our district level results can be found here.
We will be sharing information with our community regarding these results in two phases during upcoming School Committee meetings: Accountability Determination (October 6, 2016) and MCAS Results Analysis (November 10, 2016). While the Medway leadership team regards this assessment data as only one source of feedback for us to consider when making instructional decisions for our learners, we do value the information that it provides to us in light of our on-going improvement efforts.
As you may know from past reporting, all school districts are assigned a 1-5 accountability rating based on each of their school’s ability to meet certain achievement and growth measures. Schools that are able to meet their achievement and growth measures consistently are assigned a level 1 rating. Schools who do not meet these benchmarks are assigned a level 2 rating. The overall district rating is determined based on the rating of its lowest rated school. In the past several years, Medway has been a level 2 district as a result of Burke-Memorial’s level 2 designation. This year, Medway remains a level 2 district with both Burke-Memorial and Medway Middle School receiving level 2 designations.
Medway Soccer Playing at Gillette Stadium
This year Medway Boys and Girls soccer teams have a once in a lifetime / unique opportunity to play soccer at Gillette stadium. In an effort to increase attendance at the Rev's games, as well as support high school athletics, we have a ticket package to include the following:
- Ticket (Tier One - "Great Seats") for the New England Revolution Game on Sunday, October 23rd (4pm game vs. Montreal Impact), AND...
- Admission to the Girls (5pm) and Boys (7pm) Varsity Soccer Games vs. Medfield HS (with an exhibition game for both JV games at the half of the Boys/Girls Varsity games).
Here are some of the details for the game at Gillette stadium on October 17th and how to order your tickets.
5PM: Girls Varsity vs. Medfield
Halftime (5:45ish): Girls JV vs. Medfield
7 PM: Boys Varsity vs. Medfield
Halftime (7:45ish): Boys JV vs. Medfield
Price: Tickets are $25 per person.
Payment: Checks made payable to "Medway Athletics." Checks can be mailed or dropped off at Medway High School (88 Summer Street, Medway MA, 02053)
Ticket Pick up: 1 Week before at the High School.
Order deadline: October 11th
Upcoming District Events
October 3, 2016 No School - Rosh Hashanah
October 6, 2016 School Committee Forum on recess, Presentation Room, 6:00 PM
School Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, 7:00 PM
October 10, 2016 No school - Columbus Day
October 11, 2016 No school - Professional Development Day for staff
October 12, 2016 No school - Yom Kippur
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