Superintendent's Update 1/15/2019

Superintendent's Update 01/15/2019
Posted on 01/15/2019
Superintendent's Update 01/15/2019

January 15, 2019 Community Update

Dear Medway Community,

We hope that the start of 2019 has been smooth and productive for all of our families.  It was a pleasure to see our students return on January 2 and hit the ground running. We know that the new year will provide the school district and community with a multitude of exciting opportunities and the roll out of the 2019-2024 Medway Public School’s Strategic Plan will allow us to the set the stage for our district’s work.   


Armand Pires, Ph.D.


No School Reminders

There will be no school on Monday, January 21 and Tuesday, January 22 in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and the staff professional development day.

2019-2024 Strategic Plan Update

As you know, the district began a review of the 2016-2019 Strategic Plan through a Mid-Cycle Review process which started last spring.  This process, supported by a representative Steering Committee, allowed us to re-engage with our community, faculty and staff, leadership team, and school committee around the current goals and strategies outlined.  We were able to reflect on the district accomplishments and also identify areas in which the 2016-2019 Strategic Plan needed refinement.

The 2019-2024 Strategic Plan will include an update to our goals and strategies.  The recognition of Core Values, Core Competencies and Metrics to monitor progress are also key components of this Plan.  

Dr. Pires, Superintendent, and Ms. Abrams, Assistant Superintendent, presented the updated Strategic Plan at the January 10 school committee meeting and the Plan was approved for action.  A link to the presentation can be found here.

In the coming months, additional information about the Plan will be shared with our faculty, staff, and greater community.  We thank those who engaged with us in our ongoing improvement efforts and look forward to continued partnership through this next phase of our work.

Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten registration for the 2019-2020 school year will take place on Tuesday, February 26 from 3:30-6:00 p.m. and Saturday, March 2 from 9:00-12:00 p.m.  2019-2020 school year kindergarten students must be 5 years old by August 31, 2019. Registration packets will be available in the superintendent’s office, the McGovern School, and online on February 1.

Integrated Preschool Lottery The preschool lottery, for typical peers, will take place on Thursday, February 14, 2019 from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.  In order to be considered for the lottery you need to complete either the online or paper Lottery Registration Form. Please click here for an online Lottery Registration Form.  If completing the paper version, the lottery application should be returned to the McGovern School no later than February 8, 2019.  We will notify families of lottery results by February 22, 2019. 2019-2020 school year preschool students must be 3 years old by August 31, 2019 to enter the half day program and 4 years old by August 31, 2019 to enter the full day program.  Finally, registration for students attending the Integrated Preschool will be on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 from 3:30-6:00 p.m. and on Saturday, March 2, 2019 from 9:00 a.m-12:00 p.m. Registration packets will be available in the superintendent’s office, the McGovern School and online on February 1.  Please click here to read more information about the integrated preschool program.

Please Join Us:  Rob Pearl, Athletic Director, Retirement Open House

On Monday, January 28, 2019, we will host an Open House to celebrate Rob Pearl’s retirement.  Please join us at Thayer Homestead between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m to wish Rob well in his retirement.

Exploration of Library Redesign

Early last year, a committed group of community members and educators engaged in a Library Task Force with the goal of proposing staffing shifts and program and space enhancements in our existing library spaces.  The Task Force’s work was in service to the district’s efforts to enhance opportunities for students to communicate, collaborate, think critically, and be creative.

Thanks to the support of the Medway School Committee and their allocation of School Choice funding, and grants approved from the Medway Foundation for Education.  We have been able to add flexible seating options and new flexible book bins at the McGovern and Burke-Memorial libraries, and we have added technology enhanced items to the middle school.  We also received funding to work with an architectural firm to create schematics of each of our library spaces to support potential future space planning.

Flansburgh Architects visited all four schools before the winter break to meet with teams and converse about library improvements and innovations at each site.   We are excited to share that we are in receipt of the first draft of library schematics based on the meetings, vision, planning, and conversations that have taken place connected with our four library spaces.  We will be reviewing these in the coming weeks and engaging in a follow-up conversation with Flansburgh architects in February.

January Wellness Newsletter

In this month’s edition of the Medway Wellness Newsletter  you will find information about Medway High School’s IPEC Program, cell phone policies, Marissa Keleher’s Teacher of the Year nomination, and more.  

Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. Family Night Out: Challenge Success Event Follow-Up

On January 8, 2019, Medway and Franklin Public Schools hosted a family night out event featuring a video of The Well-Balanced Student 9-12.  If you were not able to attend the presentation in person or would like to share the presentation with other members of your family,  you can view a video of the Well-Balanced Student 9-12 by clicking here.  

Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. Pick 2: Winter Parent Workshops

On January 30, parents will have the option of attending 2 of the 4 workshops being offered on vaping, mindfulness, social media, and childhood nutrition.  For more details about the event please click here and to register, click here.  

Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. Community Book Read Preparations:  iGen

We are excited to share that T.H.R.I.V.E. will be hosting a community book read of the text, iGen, in early April.  Thanks to funding from MFE, we were able to purchase 50 copies of this book.  Books will be left at high traffic locations throughout the community starting in early February.  Each book will include a bookplate inside that describes how to become involved in this Community Read.  We hope to engage many members of our community in reading and conversation. A list of book locations will be published in our next community update.  For more information and to register for a book discussion please click here.  A description of iGen found on Amazon can be found below:

As seen in Time, USA TODAY, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, and on CBS This Morning, BBC, PBS, CNN, and NPR, iGen is crucial reading to understand how the children, teens, and young adults born in the mid-1990s and later are vastly different from their Millennial predecessors, and from any other generation.

With generational divides wider than ever, parents, educators, and employers have an urgent need to understand today’s rising generation of teens and young adults.

Born in the mid-1990s up to the mid-2000s, iGen is the first generation to spend their entire adolescence in the age of the smartphone. With social media and texting replacing other activities, iGen spends less time with their friends in person—perhaps contributing to their unprecedented levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

But technology is not the only thing that makes iGen distinct from every generation before them; they are also different in how they spend their time, how they behave, and in their attitudes toward religion, sexuality, and politics. They socialize in completely new ways, reject once sacred social taboos, and want different things from their lives and careers. More than previous generations, they are obsessed with safety, focused on tolerance, and have no patience for inequality.

With the first members of iGen just graduating from college, we all need to understand them: friends and family need to look out for them; businesses must figure out how to recruit them and sell to them; colleges and universities must know how to educate and guide them. And members of iGen also need to understand themselves as they communicate with their elders and explain their views to their older peers. Because where iGen goes, so goes our nation—and the world.

Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan Update

Ms. Kathleen Bernklow, Director of Student Services,  has convened a team of stakeholders to review the district’s Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan (BPIP) in accordance with MGL Chapter 71, section 37O:  “Each school district must develop, adhere to and update a plan to address bullying prevention and intervention in “consultation with teachers, school staff, professional support personnel, school volunteers, administrators, community representatives, local law enforcement agencies, students, parents and guardians” (Session Law Acts of 2014, Massachusetts General Laws).   

The plan will incorporate recent state changes in the responsibility of the school Resource Officer, as well as updating personnel and services that are currently in place in the district.   The overarching theme for the work is to make the plan compliant, reflective of current practice and programs, and ensure ease of use for parents.

Fine and Performing Arts Events

Middle School Band Concert

Congratulations to the members of the middle school band who demonstrated their hard work and talent at their winter concert the week before the break.  Thank you to Mr. Doug Dufresne for such a fantastic performance.

Burke-Memorial Winter Concert

In partnership with our Community Education Department, students from Burke-Memorial 3rd grade chorus and 4th grade band put their talents on display at this year’s winter performance.  Music educators Erin Cronin and Emily Bilodeau coordinated this wonderful event and have really built a program of which to be proud.

Medway High School Chamber Concert

It was a pleasure to be able to be a part of the performances of 20 musicians during the Winter Chamber Concert on Tuesday evening.  Congratulations to our talented musicians.

1:1 Chromebook Advisory

The Medway Technology Department would like to advise families that the chromebook devices receive scheduled updates throughout the year. These updates require the device to be rebooted in order to be applied. Rebooting the chromebook on a regular basis will purge the memory, apply updates, help the device run more efficiently, and improve performance. Please be sure to have your children shutdown and reboot their devices on a regular basis.

Carol Hopson Retirement

After 30 years with Medway Schools, Carol Hopson retired at the end of 2018.  She spent 25 years in the middle school and has been the guidance secretary at the high school for the last 5 years.  She will be missed by both the staff and the students and we wish her well in her next adventure. Ms. Christine Henken began as Mrs. Hopson’s successor on January 2, 2019.

School Committee Office Hours

The School Committee will be holding office hours Thursday, January 17, 2019,  from 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m., in the presentation room, Medway Middle School and again on January 23, 2019 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., in the high school guidance suite.  These office hours provide community members with the opportunity to connect with members of the school committee in an informal setting to share ideas, voice concerns, and ask questions about the district and its schools.  As the committee is just starting the budget process for FY ‘20, your input as to district needs and expectations would be helpful. Please consider joining us at one of these events.

Free and Reduced Lunch

If your personal situation has changed and you are struggling with finances, please know that your child may be eligible for free and reduced lunch.  Use this link for information and to see if you qualify.

Medway Public Schools In the News

Medway Partners with Franklin in Parent/Child Wellness Event

Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. and Franklin Public Schools have partnered to host two Challenge Success events.  Medway hosted the first on November 14 and the second took place at Franklin High School on January 8.  This partnership was recently covered in the Local Town Pages: Medway Partners with Franklin in Parent/Child Wellness Event

New Athletic Director:  Jeff Parcells

Metrowest Daily News: Current Dover-Sherborn athletic director Jeff Parcells takes over as new Medway AD while Rob Pearl steps down from the position

InForce 911

In an effort to enhance our safety and security protocols within the district, Medway Public Schools and the Medway Police Department have partnered on the purchase of InForce 911.  An article highlighting this partnership can be found here.

Upcoming Events

January 15, 2019

Medway High School Winter Chamber Concert, Auditorium, Medway High School, 7:00 p.m.

January 21, 2019

No School:  Martin Luther King, Jr Day

January 22, 2019

No School:  Professional Development Day

January 24, 2019

School Committee Meeting:  Dinner with the Leadership Team, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, Dinner at 5:30 p.m., Meeting at 7:00 p.m.

January 30, 2019

T.H.R.I.V.E. Event: Vaping, Mindfulness, Digital Citizenship and Childhood Nutrition, Auditorium, Medway High School, 6:30 p.m.

February 7, 2019

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

February 12, 2019

MFPA Meeting, Medway High School, 7:30 p.m.

February 18-22, 2019

No School - February Vacation

February 23, 2019

Town of Medway Legislative Breakfast, Sanford Hall, 8:30 a.m.

February 25, 2019

T.H.R.I.V.E. Event: Celebrating Differences, Auditorium, Medway High School, 7:00 p.m.

February 26, 2019

Kindergarten Registration, Library, McGovern Elementary School, 3:30 p.m.

February 27, 2019

MFE Trivia Bee, Cafeteria, Burke-Memorial Elementary School, 6:30 p.m.

February 28. 2019

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

March 2, 2019

Kindergarten Registration, Library, McGovern Elementary School, 3:30 p.m.

March 8, 2019

Medway High School Musical, Once on this Island, Auditorium, Medway High School, 7:30 p.m.

March 9, 2019

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

Medway High School Musical, Once on this Island, Auditorium, Medway High School, 2:00 p.m.

Medway High School Musical, Once on this Island, Auditorium, Medway High School, 7:30 p.m.

March 12, 2019

Burke-Memorial Elementary School Open Mic Night, Cafeteria, Burke-Memorial Elementary School, 7:00 p.m.

MFPA Meeting, Medway High School, 7:30 p.m.

March 14, 2019

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

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