Superintendent's Update, March 7, 2018

Dear Medway families,

It it a very busy time in our schools!  As we head into Spring, there will be many opportunities for the community to engage in school activities.  Please review this update for information on the National School Walkout, MCAS testing dates, and lots of great news from around the District.

 

Sincerely,

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent

 

March 14, 2018 - National School Walkout

As you may be aware, a national movement, anticipated to take place on March 14 to memorialize the 17 lives lost as a result of the Parkland, FL shooting, has gained momentum.  We recognize that there are students with a desire to participate in a respectful form of civic engagement on this day.   Please know that we value the importance of student voice and will not penalize students for participating.  Other behavioral expectations will continue to be in place.

 

The middle and high school administration have engaged in discussions with representative members of student groups and staff to gain a sense of the approximate number of students intending to participate on March 14.  Given the developmental level of our students at Burke/Memorial and McGovern Schools, principals and teachers will not discuss the events in Parkland, FL., as it is generally believed that young students should not engage in these discussions outside of their family unit. As always, all students will be under teacher supervision, regardless of their participation on this day.  In addition, we have coordinated with the Medway Police Department to ensure student safety.

 

Later this week, you will receive a communication from your child(ren)’s principal(s).  That communication will share more detailed information about any school-based plans. If you have any questions, it is most appropriate to reach out to building principals.

 

FY19 School Budget Public Hearing:  March 15, 2018     

On Thursday, March 15, 2018 the School Committee will hold a Public Hearing on the FY’19 School Budget, in the Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 6:30 p.m.  - 7:00 p.m.  At the public hearing, community members have the opportunity to provide the school committee with their thoughts about the proposed budget so that the school committee may consider this feedback prior to voting on the budget.  The public hearing is not a forum for discussion, but an opportunity for you to provide your feedback on the record.

 

Please Join Us ~ Community Forum on School Safety

As was shared in a communication prior to February break, the District will host a Community Forum on School Safety.  We are working with other Town departments to identify a panel for this event. We have tentatively scheduled this event for Wednesday, April 4 at 6:30 p.m. at Medway Middle School.  We will share additional information once plans are finalized.

 

Strategic Plan - Mid-Cycle Refresh ~ Steering Committee Members Needed

A priority for the school committee and our district and school administration has been the development and implementation of a strategic plan.  During the 2015-16 school year, this priority came to fruition with the development and publication of our first Strategic Plan, which can be found here.  This document has provided the district with direction and focus, and we are pleased to share the progress that we have made over the last 2 ½ years.  Please find this update: March 2018 Progress Update.  

 

As we approach this mid-mark milestone, we are excited to re-engage with our community in a Strategic Plan ‘refresh’ process.  We will be following a similar process as we did previously by first engaging with a Steering Committee representing our parents, faculty and staff and administration.  We will then reach out to the community as a whole through Focus Group conversations, and a survey.  The Steering Committee will synthesize the feedback received through the development of the next phase of this plan.  This latter work will take place during the summer and into the early Fall 2018 with an unveiling to the community planned for Fall 2018.  

 

This process will allow us to gather a comprehensive view of the community’s priorities when it comes to serving the future of our community, our children.  We strongly encourage you to share your voice in the process.

 

Should you have an interest in helping us lead this process by serving as a member of our Steering Committee, please contact Jessica Sinclair at jsinclair@medwayschools.org by Friday, March 23.  Steering Committee members must be available for the first two meetings below and have flexibility to support the three community focus groups that will be taking place throughout May and into June.  Once we receive all interest, we will identify a representative group to serve in this capacity. We will reach out to interested community members following this deadline. Even if not participating on the Steering Committee, there will be meaningful opportunities to engage in this process.

 

2018-2021 ~ Medway Public Schools Strategic Planning Process Mid-Cycle Timeline

Event

Dates

Strategic Plan Steering Committee - Meeting

April 5, 2018 - 4:30-6:00 p.m.

Orientation

Strategic Plan Steering Committee - Meeting

May 3, 2018 - 4:30-6:00 p.m.

Training for steering committee to facilitate focus groups

 

Leadership Searches

As was recently announced, Ms. Cari Perchase, Medway Middle School Principal for the last five years, will be taking over as principal in the Burlington Public Schools.  We know that she will continue to demonstrate her deep commitment to Medway through the conclusion of her tenure in June, 2018.

 

We are working in partnership with New England School Development Council (NESDEC) to support our Medway High School, Medway Middle School and McGovern Elementary principal searches.  NESDEC is actively marketing for the positions and is accepting applications which will be forwarded to the district following the closing date. At that point, we will begin our internal selection process.  Interview committees comprised of parents, educators, school committee and school and district leadership team members will conduct the initial round of interviews and narrow the field down to finalists. We will then host candidates for a series of experiences within the district including a visit to the schools and additional interview forums.  We will keep the community updated on the progress of these searches.

 

2018 MCAS Schedule

We have recently finalized our Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System facilitation dates and have included them below.  We ask that families do their best to ensure that students arrive to school on time on these days. While we evaluate multiple data sources in an effort to ensure that our work is best meeting the needs of all of our students, this assessment is a valuable source for information.  Please feel free to reach out to your child(ren)’s teacher(s) or the appropriate building principal(s) with grade level or student specific questions.

 

Date

  Test Session

Grade Level

March 27

ELA Composition

10th Grade

March 28

ELA Sessions 1 and 2

10th Grade

March 29

ELA Session 3

10th Grade

April 3

ELA Session 1

4th Grade

ELA Session 1

5th Grade

April 4

ELA Session 2

4th Grade

ELA Session 2

5th Grade

April 5

ELA Session 3

4th Grade

ELA Session 3

5th Grade

April 10

ELA Session 1        

3rd Grade

ELA Session 1

8th Grade

April 11

ELA Session 2        

3rd Grade

ELA Session 2

8th Grade

April 12

ELA Session 3

3rd Grade

April 23

Math Infrastructure Trial

4th Grade

April 24

ELA Session 1

6th Grade

ELA Field Test

10th Grade

Math Infrastructure Trial

3rd Grade

April 25

ELA Session 2

6th  Grade

ELA Session 1

7th Grade

April 26

ELA Session 2

7th  Grade

May 2

Math Session 1

6th Grade

May 3

Math Session 2

6th Grade

Math Session 1

8th Grade

May 4

Math Session 2

8th Grade

May 9

Math Session 1

4th Grade

Math Session 1

5th Grade

May 10

Math Session 2

4th Grade

Math Session 2

5th Grade

Math Session 1

7th Grade

May 11

Math Session 2

7th Grade

May 16

Math Session 1

3rd Grade

Science Technology Engineering Session 1

8th Grade

May 17

Math Session 2

3rd Grade

Science Technology Engineering  Session 2

8th Grade

May 23

Math Session 1

10th Grade

May 24

Math Session 2

10th Grade

June 6

HS Science Technology Engineering Session 1

9th Grade

June 7

HS Science Technology Engineering Session 2

9th Grade

TBD

HS BIO Field Test (Possible)

10th Grade

 

K-4 Curriculum Guides and Middle School Program of Studies Unveiled

Thanks to the leadership of our K-8 Instructional Coaches, principals and all educators for their thoughtful collaboration, Medway Public Schools shared our first K-4 Grade Level Curriculum Guides  and Middle School Program of Studies during the March 1 School Committee Meeting.  Different than our curriculum maps in ATLAS and the grade level expectations and syllabi that are shared with our parents from our classroom educators, these documents are intended to be a “one stop shop” for families and our greater community regarding the learning outcomes at each grade level, K-8.  These documents will continue to evolve just as any of our curriculum documents do based on improvement and innovative efforts. Links to the presentations can be found here: Elementary Curriculum Guides and  MMS Program of Studies Overview 2018-2019

 

Permanent Art Collection Gallery ~ Tuesday, March 27 @ 5:30 p.m.

Our second annual Permanent Art Collection Gallery opening will take place on Tuesday, March 27 at 5:30 p.m. in the Presentation Room at Medway Middle School.  This event will feature our selected artists, one per grade level, K-12, and their works. Families of the artists will receive a special invitation and the event is open to the general public as well.  

 

Exelon Confirmed Sponsorship of STEM Saturday for Girls Event ~ March 24, 2018

We are pleased to share that Exelon has once again agreed to serve as our premier sponsor for our March 24 STEM Saturday for Girls event.  Their support will provide funding for the speakers, giveaways and materials for this day.  The registration for this event opened last week and we already have over 100 students in grades 2-8 confirmed.  We look forward to a wonderful day of learning and STEM engagement!

 

Save the Date:  Medway High School’s Musical, The Little Mermaid

The Medway High School performing arts department will present performances of Disney’s The Little Mermaid on Friday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 10 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The performances will be held at Medway High School in the Dr. Arthur L. Bettencourt Auditorium located at 88 Summer Street in Medway.  Tickets are $15 and are available online by accessing this link..  Tickets will also be on sale at the door until sold out - cash and check ONLY. All seating is reserved. For more information and updates, visit us on Facebook at Medway High School presents Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

 

Upcoming T.H.R.I.V.E. Event- March 21, 2018

Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. will host a program, The Physiology of Addiction, with Dr. Ruth Potee, on Wednesday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m. at Medway High School. Dr. Potee has received national recognition for her work with addiction and substance abuse disorders and is an expert in brain development and teen risk-taking. The presentation will be an overview of how substances and addictive behaviors impact the brain and how the brain is injured by prolonged exposure to these substances and behaviors.  A flyer for the event can be found here.

 

Save the Date- Medway Middle School’s Musical, Shrek the Musical, Jr.

Advance tickets are available for $8 online or for $10 at the door.  The performances will be held at Medway High School and will have three performances on Friday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 7 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

 

Winter Sports in the Playoffs

Gymnastics wrapped up their season with a 6th place finish in the State Tournament.  Girl's Basketball won a thriller against Nashoba Monday night and will now play Hopkinton at WPI this Saturday at 5:15 p.m.. Boy's Basketball lost a tough game against Marlborough to end the season.  Boy's Ice Hockey lost a heartbreaker on Sunday as Plymouth South scored with less than a second left to win 2-1. Cheer placed 2nd in the sectionals and qualified for States.  They will compete on Sunday, March 11 at Whitman-Hanson. Grace Heely and Ben Rozak will ski for the Alpine state title on Tuesday at Berkshire East. Will Donovan and Madeline Murphy qualified as alternates.  Ava Vasile won the New Englands in the 55m hurdles over the weekend. Ava Vasile, Abby Greely, Heather Scheid, and Sydney DiGregorio will compete in the New England Winter Track competition in NY City next weekend.

 

Medway Foundation for Education Event

The popular Dodging 4 School” Dodgeball Tournament will be held on Saturday, March 24, 2018 from 11:00 a.m. -7:00 p.m. at the Medway Middle School, 45 Holliston St. Medway, MA. Sponsored by Charles River Bank.  New this year, an “elite” adult division has been added for those who take their dodgeball very seriously. The “House” adult division will be for those looking to have some fun but still be competitive! Teams from outside of Medway are welcome.  For children, the tournament will be broken down into age/grade divisions. The day will start with a drop-in session from 11-noon for children ages 4-7. They will play a modified and supervised version of the game. Grade divisions will be; 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-12.  The cost is $160 per team of 8 players. Deadline for registration is March 14. First and second place winners will be recognized in each division. Prizes will be given in each division for first place and best team costume. So get creative and sign your team up now by going to MFEducation.org. For questions email us at mfedodgball@gmail.com or find us on Facebook.com/MedwayFoundation for Education.  Radio station Myfm 101.3 will be broadcasting their Saturday Morning sports show Myfm Sports LIVE from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.. Refreshments will be available including snacks, Pizza, and Ice Cream from TC Scoops. Come join the fun!  

 

Upcoming Events

March 9, 2018

MHS Musical, “The Little Mermaid” Medway High School Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.

March 10, 2018    

MEPTO Shamrock Shuffle, Medway High School, 9:00 a.m.

MHS Musical, “The Little Mermaid” Medway High School Auditorium,

2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

March 12, 2018    

Medway High School Parent Forum, Medway High School, 6:00 p.m.

March 13, 2018

SEPAC Meeting, An IEP for my Child, by the Federation for Children with Special Needs, Medway High School, 7:00 p.m.

March 14, 2018

MHS Spring Concert and Art Showcase, Medway High School, 7:00 p.m.

March 15, 2018    

Public Hearing on Budget, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School,  6:30 p.m.

School Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 7:00 p.m

March 16, 2018

Early Release - All grades

March 21, 2018    

T.H.R.I.V.E. event: Substance Use Prevention, Medway High School Auditorium,

7:00 p.m.

March 23, 2018

5 Town Special Olympics, Medway Middle School

MHS National Honor Society Coffee House, Medway High School Cafeteria, 7:00 p.m.

March 24, 2018

MFE Dodging4School, Medway Middle School Gym, 11:00 a.m.

STEM Saturday for Girls, Burke Memorial, 9:00 a.m.

March 26, 2018

Grade 6: Lost Boys of Sudan Speaker Presentation, Medway Middle School, 9:30 a.m.

March 27, 2018    

Permanent Art Collection Gallery, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School. 5:30 p.m.

Memorial Open Mic Night, Burke Memorial School, 6:00 p.m.

SEPAC Meeting, Medway Public Library, 7:00 p.m.

March 28, 2018

Middle School Curriculum Night, Medway Middle School, 5:45 p.m.

High School Principal Search Finalists Forum - all community members invited, Medway High School, 6:00 p.m.

March 30, 2018    

Good Friday - No School

 

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