Superintendent's Update 1/29/2020

Posted on 01/29/2020

January 29, 2020 Community Update

Dear Medway families, 

We are pleased to share with you updates and information connected with the FY21 budget process as well as other events taking place in the district.  Please take a few moments to review these important topics below. We hope to see you at our upcoming events.



Armand Pires, Ph.D.


FY21 Budget Development Process

The annual process to develop the budget is complex and time consuming.  Each year, as budget development begins, we take an opportunity to assess the effectiveness of our programs and work to collaboratively identify areas of need with our faculty and staff, administrative team, and the greater community.  Over the last few months, we have been working to identify the priorities necessary to ensure the continuation of the high quality educational experience that our students deserve. It is important that members of our community have the opportunity to participate in this process.  

Superintendent Chat/School Committee Office Hours

You are invited to attend the upcoming Superintendent’s Chat/School Committee Office Hours.  Dr. Armand Pires, Superintendent, and Ms. Gabrielle Abrams, Assistant Superintendent, along with members of the Medway School Committee will be hosting a combined Superintendent’s Chat/School Committee Office Hours on Wednesday, January 29 at 6:00 p.m.  The purpose of this meeting will be to provide information about the budget process, hear ideas from attendees, and answer questions.  Please join us either in person in the Medway Middle School Library or virtually, through Zoom.  Please find instructions below for Zoom participation.

Please click the link below to download the ZOOM meeting and to join using your PC, MAC, iPad, iPhone, or Android device. Please find information on the Zoom meeting here.

Or join by phone:

Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

US: +1-929-205-6099  or +1-669-900-6833 

Webinar ID: 695 851 529


Charting the Course 

On February 6, 2020, at 7:00 p.m., during the scheduled Medway School Committee meeting, Superintendent Armand Pires and Assistant Superintendent Gabby Abrams will share a presentation entitled Charting the Course.  This purpose of this presentation is to highlight the FY21 budget priorities through the context of our broader strategic focus areas.  

Superintendent’s Preliminary Budget 

On February 27, at 7:00 p.m., during the scheduled Medway School Committee meeting, Superintendent Armand Pires and Director of Finance Don Aicardi will present the Superintendent’s Preliminary Budget.  This presentation will delineate the details of the recommended FY21 budget for the Medway School Committee on behalf of the District.  

Integrated Preschool Lottery The preschool lottery, for typical peers, will take place on Monday, February 25, 2020 from 10:00-11:00 a.m.  In order to be considered for the lottery, families 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 18, 2020.  We will notify families of lottery results by February 28, 2020. 2020-2021 school year preschool students must be 3 years old by August 31, 2020 to enter the half day program and 4 years old by August 31, 2020 to enter the full day program.  Finally, registration for students attending the Integrated Preschool will be on Thursday, March 26 from 3:30-6:00 p.m. and on Saturday, March 28, 2020 from 9:00 a.m-12:00 p.m. Registration packets will be available in the superintendent’s office, the McGovern School and online starting March 2.  Please click here to read more information about the integrated preschool program. 

Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten registration for the 2020-2021 school year will take place on Thursday, March 26 from 3:30-6:00 p.m. and Saturday, March 28 from 9:00-12:00 p.m.  2020-2021 school year kindergarten students must be 5 years old by August 31, 2020. Registration information will be available in the superintendent’s office, the McGovern School, and online starting on March 2, 2020.

2020-2021 School Calendar

At the December 12, 2019 School Committee meeting, the committee voted to approve the 2020-2021 School Year calendar.  The calendar can be found here

Class of 2021 Graduation Date Finalized

On Thursday, January 9, 2020, the School Committee voted on the recommended graduation date for the class of 2021.  Graduation will be held on Sunday, June 6, 2021.

1:1 Chromebook Initiative - Insurance Window Open

The Medway Public School System Information Services Department will be opening the opt-in chromebook insurance window January 9 - 31.  We are offering this a second time this year due to roughly half the student devices in grades 8 - 12 not taking advantage of this option. We strongly encourage families to consider insuring the student held devices from accidental or vandalism damage. This policy covers all non-mechanical failures and can save a family between $25 and $310 for repairs ranging from a broken keyboard to full system replacement. More information regarding our 1:1 Initiative, Care & Use, and Insurance, can be found here.  

Grade 6-12 English/Language Arts Curriculum Review Process Update

We are pleased to share that we are nearing completion of the self study portion of the Grade 6-12 English/Language Arts Curriculum Review Process.  The product of this stage in the process will be a Self Study Report that we will represent a culmination of findings, both strengths and areas of opportunity, collated by our internal, representative Self Study Team.  This report will be shared with administration and with the Visiting Team who will be coming to Medway on March 10 and 11. The Visiting Team’s role is to validate the Self Study through their own review of our program.  Their review will involve classroom visits, interviews with educators, analysis of student assessment data, and a review of all survey data. The Visiting Team will provide us with a final report that summarizes recommendations for the district to consider moving forward.  We greatly value these processes as opportunities to reflect on current practices and set the stage for future improvement in service to student learning. 

DEADLINE EXTENDED:  Parent/Guardian Survey: Grade K-5 and Grade 6-8 Mathematics Resource Pilot

In an effort to inform our adoption decision regarding our Grade K-8 mathematics pilots, we are seeking reflections from our educators as well as our families.  Please take a few moments to provide us with feedback regarding the math resources that your children are engaged with this year. The survey will be open until Friday, January 31. You can find the survey here:  Grade K-5 Ready Classroom Mathematics Parent/Guardian Survey 

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Parent/Guardian Survey:  Grade 6-12 English Language Arts Curriculum Review 

The Medway Public Schools is conducting a review of our Grade 6-12 English Language Arts (ELA) program.   An important component of this review is to gather information from our families about their children’s learning experiences in English/Language Arts learning within the Medway Schools.  The Curriculum Review Self Study Committee will use the results of this survey, along with other data sources, to assist in the review process. A link to that survey can be found here and the survey will be open until Friday, January 31.  Thank you for your participation in this process.

Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. Community Book Read Vote 

Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. will be facilitating its second annual community book read through the month of March.  We have narrowed the list of potential books to a list of 6 and we would like you to help us decide which book to select.  Please cast your vote for the book you are most interested in by February 14, 2020, by clicking here.  

First Meeting of Homework Advisory Sub-Committee

Director of Wellness, Ryan Sherman, and Assistant Superintendent, Gabby Abrams, hosted the first of five meetings of the Homework Advisory Sub-Committee last week.   The goal of the meeting was to begin to assess our current homework practices. Sub-Committee members reflected on their own experiences with homework as well as their hopeful learnings coming out of this process.  They then engaged in a text based protocol with the first chapter of our mentor text, Rethinking Homework:  Best Practices that Support Diverse Needs, 2nd edition, by Cathy Vatterott.  Committee members were then assigned to small study teams and asked to review assigned reading prior to the next meeting on February 27.  The outcome of this Sub-Committee’s work will be a recommendation to be shared with the building principals and Dr. Pires regarding future homework practices.

Challenge Day at Medway High School

On Wednesday, 100+ students, faculty and staff members participated in Challenge Day, a powerful full day experience intended to celebrate compassion, support enhanced connection, and maximize personalization within the school setting.  Ryan and Kat were invited to join the experience this year and spent the day supporting students through their own participation in full group activities and through the facilitation of small group discussions. Kat and Ryan were impressed and moved by the level of vulnerability and empathy shown by our MHS students.   More information about Challenge Day can be found here:

Grade 5-12 Social and Emotional Learning Task Force 

Our Medway Middle and Medway High School Social and Emotional Learning Task Force teams reconvened recently to continue their work to determine which approaches to social emotional learning would be the most effective at supporting our Grade 5-12 students.  The teams will meet again in March with the goal of collating recommendations to be shared with both Dr. Murray and Mr. Juelis.

Medway Middle School Robotics Club

The Medway Middle School Robotics Club, now named the Medway Mashbots, received the top score and a Teamwork Award at the VEX IQ Challenge event at the Southern New England Regionals.  Student participants included: Sophie Anderson, Owen Broude, Noah Dorr, Ben Goodale, Jake McDermott, Aaron Spallone and Dylan Taylor. These students designed, planned, constructed, wired, programmed, and operated their robot entirely on their own. 

Gathered together only three months ago, the Mashbots competed against many well established teams. Training every day during recess and after school the team showed resolve and courage to increase their regional standings from 15th to 6th.

The team next competes at the Massachusetts/Rhode Island State Championship at Quinsigamond Community College on February 29.

Medway Public Schools Athletic Spending  Presentation

During our December School Committee meeting, Don Aicardi, Director of Finance, and Jeff Parcells, Athletic Director, shared an Athletic Spending Update with the school committee.  This presentation can be found here. 


Medway Athletics Newsletter

The latest edition of the Medway Public Schools’ Athletics Newsletter, Mustang Nation, can be found here.


January Parent Wellness Newsletter 

The January edition of our Medway Parent Wellness Newsletter contains information about the healthy vending machine at Medway High School, tips for eating healthy on a budget, and excitement about a Medway Middle School student and parent experience, Rachel’s Challenge.


Medway Foundation for Education (MFE) Upcoming Events

MFE Trivia Bee

An annual event hosted by the Medway Foundation for Education, the trivia contest features a DJ emcee who uses music to provide clues for each question. Teams of 6 compete for the Trivia Bee Trophy in a 20 question contest. The event will take place on Wednesday February 26, 2020 at the Burke-Memorial School Cafeteria from 7:00-9:00 p.m.   A registration form can be found here.


MFE Dodging4School

Back by popular demand, Dodging4School is scheduled for Saturday March 21, 2020 at Medway Middle School.  Details on how to register can be found on the MFE’s website and Facebook page. 

Kentucky Derby Party

Held at one of the most picturesque locations in Medway, Thayer Homestead, this event is scheduled for Saturday, May 2, 2020.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Details on how to register can be found on the MFE’s website and Facebook page. 


Medway Friends of the Performing Arts Free Concert

MFPA is hosting their 6th Annual Community Concert on Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. at the Medway High School Auditorium.  Additional information can be found here. 


Medway Public Schools In the News

Sensory Pathways at McGovern School 

Superintendent’s Chat and 2018-2019 Annual Report


Upcoming Events

January 29, 2020

Fifth Grade Band Concert, Anderson Gym, Medway Middle School, 4:00 p.m.

Superintendent’s Chat and School Committee Office Hours, Medway Middle School Library, 6:00 p.m.

MSPTO Meeting, Medway Middle School Library, 7:30 p.m.

January 30, 2020

School Committee Budget Workshop, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 5:30 p.m.

Medway Middle School Science Fair, Medway Middle School Library, 6:30 p.m

Junior Family Post Secondary Planning Night, Medway High School, 6:30 p.m.

February 4, 2020

Rachel’s Challenge, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

February 5, 2020

MEPTO Meeting, Burke-Memorial School, 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

February 6, 2020

Superintendent’s Budget Advisory Group Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 6:00 p.m.

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

February 10, 2020

Grade 8 Program of Studies Night, Medway High School, 5:45-8:00 p.m.

Grade 9-11 Program of Studies Night, Medway High School, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

February 11, 2020

MFPA Meeting, Alumni Conference Room, Medway High School,7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

February 17-21, 2020

No School: February Vacation 

February 26, 2020

MFE Trivia Bee, Cafeteria, Burke-Memorial Elementary School, 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.

February 27, 2020

Homework Advisory Sub-Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, 3:00-4:30 p.m.

Public Forum on Possible Donation, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 6:00 p.m.

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

February 29, 2020

Legislative Breakfast, 155 Village Street, Sanford Hall, 8:30 a.m.

March 1, 2020

Medway Friends of Performing Arts Community Concert, Auditorium, Medway High School, 2:00 p.m.

March 3, 2020

Primary Elections, Medway Middle School, 45 Holliston Street, door #8.

March 4, 2020

Superintendent’s Budget Advisory Committee Meeting, Superintendent’s Conference Room, Medway Middle School, 6:00 p.m.

March 5, 2020

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

March 7, 2020

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

March 10, 2020

MFE Board Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, door #7, 7:00 p.m.

MFPA Board Meeting, Alumni Conference Room, Medway High School,7:00 p.m.

March 11, 2020

Finance Committee Meeting on School Budget, 155 Village Street, Sanford Hall, 7:00 p.m.

March 13, 2020

Early Dismissal:  All Schools

McGovern: 12:00 p.m.

Burke-Memorial: 11:30 a.m.

Medway Middle: 11:02 a.m.

Medway High: 11:34 a.m.

Medway High School Musical, Anything Goes, High School Auditorium, Medway High School, 7:30 p.m

March 14, 2020

Medway High School Musical, Anything Goes, High School Auditorium, Medway High School, 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

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