Superintendent's Update - February 11, 2021

Superintendent's Update - February 11, 2021
Posted on 02/11/2021
Superintendent's Update - February 11, 2021

Dear Medway families, 

As we prepare for the February break, we are hopeful that your family will have some time to reconnect and recharge.  This year continues to challenge our problem solving and collaboration skills, and I continue to be incredibly thankful for the amazing faculty and staff of our district who are working tirelessly to provide some normalcy during these atypical times.  I am also deeply appreciative of our community for your continued support and encouragement.  

The addition of student testing this week at the middle and high school, and inclusion of our elementary schools in the coming weeks, will provide us with another source of information  to support planning for a full return of our students in grades 6-12.  This testing program, which now includes staff and students, will allow us to make decisions based on the actual presence of the virus within our school communities, instead of relying on metrics that may not be good indicators of what is happening within our schools.  This information is critical as we begin planning for the transition from hybrid learning to full in person for grades 6-12 since this return will result in physical distancing of less than six feet.

We recognize that this topic is of great importance to our community and that feedback and partnership are paramount.   Following the February break, we will share opportunities to meet to learn more about the planning underway, as well as ensure an opportunity to ask questions and share your thoughts.    

 

Sincerely,

  

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Schools

 

No School: February 15-19, 2021:  February Break

A reminder that there will be no school next week due to February vacation.  We hope that you enjoy the week off!

 

FY22 Budget Process

The FY22 Budget Development Process has begun and as has been the practice, Dr. Pires, Superintendent and Ms. Abrams, Assistant Superintendent conducted virtual listening tours at each of the four schools.  The goal of the tours is to gather information about the needs of teachers that could be considered as part of the budget process. Community engagement and understanding of the budget process is incredibly important.  Below, please find a complete timeline and description of the FY22 budget priorities.

 

Charting the Course - District Improvement Update and Budget Overview

On Thursday, February 25, Dr. Pires and Ms. Abrams will present Charting the Course: District Improvement Plan Update and FY22 Budget Overview to the School Committee.  This presentation will highlight the priority areas to be addressed in the Superintendent’s FY22 Budget. 

 

Public Forum on FY22 Budget Development

On Thursday, March 4 at 5:30 p.m., The School Committee and Dr. Pires will host a webinar for interested community members regarding the FY22 budget.  This session is interactive and participant questions will be answered.  Participants can engage using the chat feature on the webinar.  The Webinar requires advance registration, to register please click here

 

FY22 Budget Presentation

On Thursday, March 4, at 6:00 p.m. Dr. Pires and Mr. Aicardi, Director of Finance and Operations, will present the FY22 Superintendent’s Budget to the School Committee.

Public Hearing on FY22 Budget

On Thursday, March 18, at 5:30 p.m. community members are invited to share thoughts regarding the proposed FY22 budget with the School Committee.  This is the final opportunity for community feedback prior to the School Committee vote on the FY22 budget planned as part of the regular School Committee meeting agenda later this evening.  Feedback shared at the hearing will be acknowledged and noted and there will not be a dialogue during the Budget Hearing.

 

FY22 Budget Vote

On March 18, at 6:00 p.m., the School Committee will vote to forward the proposed FY22 budget to the town as part of the FY22 Town of Medway budget.  

 

Town Meeting

Community members are encouraged to attend Medway’s Town Meeting on Monday, May, 10, 2021, at 7:00 p.m., Medway High School, 88 Summer Street, when residents will be asked to vote on the Town’s FY22 budget which will be inclusive of the FY22 Medway Public School’s budget.

 

Wellness Programming Update

Dr. Ryan Sherman, Wellness Director for Medway Public Schools, presented a Wellness Programming Annual Update to the School Committee on February 4, 2021. The presentation can be found here.

Student Testing Program

We are excited to report that we have received the results of Tuesday’s testing from the lab and all pools were negative for COVID-19.  We anticipate receiving results of today’s testing this weekend and will be in families, as necessary, to share follow-up steps and information.  

If you would like your child to participate in the next round of testing, we ask that you complete and return the completed Student COVID-19 Testing Consent Form as soon as possible.  The form should be completed, signed (we can not accept an electronic signature), scanned, and returned to us via email to: testingconsent@medwayschools.org

If you would like a paper copy of the consent form, you can pick one up at your child’s school.  

Questions or concerns about the consent form or the testing program can be directed to Kylie O’Neill at koneill@medwayschools.org

Also, please find the following informational resources that may be useful:

Explanatory Video on How to Scan and Email a Document

Recording of Medway Public School Webinar- January 27, 2021

Slideshow about Regular Student Testing Program from Webinar 

FAQs for Student Testing

Testing Partner Information - Concentric By Ginkgo

Ginkgo Webinar Registration Link

Additional Information from Concentric by Ginkgo

COVID-19 Reporting Hotline 

If your child tests positive for COVID-19, please call 508-321-4779 or email covid@medwayschools.orgUsing the hotline helps to ensure an efficient response and protects student privacy.  If you are not reporting a positive COVID-19 test result but have questions about COVID-19 and your child, please contact your school nurse.  

Reminders for those Travelling Out of State - Reminder 

As a friendly reminder, as you prepare for February break, please keep in mind the State’s travel policy and general guidelines.  The Governor’s order requires you to quarantine for 10 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts. If not obtained before entry to Massachusetts, a test may be obtained after arrival. However, all such arriving travelers must immediately begin the 10-day quarantine until a negative test result has been received. 

For additional information, please refer to the gathering guidance and the Massachusetts Travel Form, click on the links below:

CDC Guidelines on Safe Celebrations

Massachusetts Travel Form

In addition there have been changes to the travel restrictions regarding children.  Testing for children, 10 years and younger, who are traveling with an adult from their household is not required. Children 10 years and younger should mimic the quarantine requirement and testing options completed by the household adult they accompanied for travel. If the accompanying adult chooses to quarantine, the child must also quarantine. If the accompanying adult chooses to obtain a test, the child and adult must quarantine until the adult’s negative test result is received.  The complete Travel Order can be found here.

COVID-19 Data Table Update

As you may have noticed, we have not sent an updated COVID-19 Data Table since February 3.  We are pleased to report since that time there have been no reported cases of staff or students within our schools.  With the addition of regular student testing, we will be making changes to the COVID-19 Data Table.  Beginning the week we return from vacation, we will begin including prevalence data connected to our student testing.  This will help to provide our community with an improved understanding of the frequency of virus present in our schools, and relative risk. 

Sledding at McGovern School

As you may know, The McGovern School is a popular destination for sledding and this year we have plenty of snow to sled on.  However, the McGovern School students attend school five days a week and the safety of students and staff is important to us.  We ask that the community refrain from using McGovern as a sledding location until after all students are dismissed.  As is past practice, sledding will be closed during the McGovern School hours, weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and open for public sledding starting at 3:45 p.m. until dusk. Thank you for your cooperation and happy safe sledding!

Mental Health Focus Group:  Medway High School Parents Needed

MHS has partnered with the Jed Foundation, a national nonprofit that seeks to help schools strengthen their mental health and suicide prevention programs and systems. Our partnership will last at least three years, during which the Jed Foundation will help us to assess our current mental health supports, create a strategic plan to strengthen our student offerings, and implement the action steps that have been identified.  As part of the assessment phase, the Jed Foundation will be hosting a parent focus group to gather parent feedback about student mental health and our school’s practices.   The focus group will be held on Tuesday, February 23, from 7:00-8:00 p.m. via Zoom.  To register, please click here.  

MCAS Testing Plan for Spring 2021 from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has determined that a shorter testing experience for Grades Grades 3–8 in the areas of English/Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science, Technology, and Engineering will provide schools and the Commonwealth as a whole with a diagnostic picture of the student learning impact of the pandemic. Instead of taking part in two testing sessions per content area,  students will take only one session each. 

Schools will administer the MCAS tests to schools during the following TENTATIVE testing windows.  

Subject Area Test

Testing Window

ELA

April 5–May 7

Mathematics

April 26–May 28

STE (Grades 5 and 8)

April 27–May 28

 

All MCAS testing sessions will occur in school buildings and building administration will be reaching out to families of students who are participating in our Virtual School to arrange for participation if students are able.

Medway High School Virtual Fine Arts Show

Last week, Medway High School art educators Mrs. Fiori Jackson and Mrs. Brodeur released their first semester art show virtually.  The links that follow contain works of art from Fall semester Medway High School students.  Congratulations to all of our student artists and educators who are featured.

MHS, Virtual Art Show, Winter 2021, Part 1 

MHS Virtual Art Show, Winter 2021, Part 2 

Student Congratulations!

Congratulations to Grace Gerard (grade 11) and Sophia Flotta (grade 12) were accepted into the Massachusetts Music Educators Association All-State Chorus this year after auditioning via video.

T.H.R.I.V.E. Event Follow-Up:

Thank you to those families who joined us for the Tuesday, January 26 Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. event hosted in collaboration with Medfield Public Schools.  This virtual event, Navigating School During Uncertain Times, was facilitated by Stanford University’s, Challenge Success.  The event was attended by approximately 50 families.  If you missed the event and would like to watch a recording of the webinar please click here

 

Mandatory Flu Vaccine Update

On Friday, January 15, the Department of Public Health (DPH) sent a message to school nurses removing the flu vaccination from the Immunization Requirements for School Entry.  According to the DESE, “DPH continues to strongly recommend that everyone age 6 months and older receive a seasonal flu vaccine each year, DPH’s message stated that preliminary data show that this has been a mild flu season to date, presumably as people have received their seasonal flu vaccine and have been adhering to mask-wearing and social distancing due to COVID-19.”

 

Town of Medway Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Advisory (IDEA) Committee

The Town of Medway is seeking 5 volunteers from the community to join the newly formed Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Advisory (IDEA) Committee. The mission of the Medway IDEA Committee is to provide feedback and recommendations to the Board of Selectmen geared toward policy development designed to continue and, where appropriate, enhance the promotion and fostering of Medway as a community that is inclusive and welcoming to all peoples of all backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures. Through this committee, the Town seeks to fully explore our existing standards, practices, and collective efforts in diversity, equity, and inclusion, and to build upon them for an even better tomorrow. Submit your letter of interest to the Selectmen's Office, 155 Village St, Medway, MA 02053, or feel free to send an email to bos@townofmedway.org. For more info on the committee click here: https://bit.ly/3m0P6Iu

 

Update on Athletics 2020/2021 and FY21/22 Athletic Budget Overview

During the February 4 School Committee Meeting, Jeff Parcells, Director of Athletics, shared an update on the Winter 2021 “bridge” season which is set to begin in late February.   Additionally, he and Don Aicardi, Director of Finance and Operations, presented a FY21 Athletics Financial Update.  The presentation can be found here.

Medway Athletics Newsletter

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

 

Medway Public Schools In the News

Medway High School Receives $500 Grant to Support STEM Programs from ExxonMobile and Global Partners LP

Press Release: Tri-County Superintendents' Roundtable Urges Gov. Charlie Baker to Reprioritize Educators for COVID-19 Vaccination

Local Superintendents, union presents urge Barker to reclassify educators for COVID-19 vaccinations

 

Upcoming Events

February 11, 2021

School Committee Workshop, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 6:00 p.m.

February 15-19, 2021

No School: February Vacation

February 24, 2021

MSPTO Meeting, Virtual, 7:00 p.m.

February 25, 2021

School Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 6:00 p.m.

March 4, 2021

Public Forum on FY22 Budget Presentation via Webinar, 5:30 p.m.

School Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 6:00 p.m.

March 9, 2021

MFPA Meeting, Virtual, 7:00 p.m.

MFE Meeting, Virtual, 7:00 p.m.

March 10, 2021

Professional Development; Early Release: All Schools

March 18, 2021

Public Hearing on FY22, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, Budget, 5:30 p.m.

School Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 6:00 p.m.

March 24, 2021

MSPTO Meeting, Virtual, 7:00 p.m.


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