Superintendent's Update 11/20/2018

Superintendent's Update 11/20/2018
Posted on 11/27/2018
Superintendent's Update 11/20/2018

November 20, 2018 Community Update

Dear Medway families,

As we get ready to enjoy a long weekend with family and friends, I wanted to share that I am thankful for the opportunity to continue to work in a community that places such a high value on education.  The collective support from parents, community members, and town officials has continued to ensure that our students are the beneficiaries of an excellent education. I am most appreciative of the way that our community pulls together, both in times of challenge and in times of celebration.  

As we move toward the new year, we will be excited to share with you our 2019-2024 Strategic Plan which will represent our shared values and beliefs about learning and the future direction of the school district.  This effort could not have been successful without the contributions of so many throughout our greater community.


Armand Pires, Ph.D.


Early Release:  Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Just a reminder that there will be an early release on Wednesday, November 21, 2018.  Dismissal time are as follows:

McGovern:  12:00 p.m.

Burke-Memorial:  11:30 am

Medway Middle:  11:02 am

Medway High:  11:34 am

No School:  Thursday, November 22 and Friday, November 23, 2018

Just a reminder that there will be no school Thursday, November 22 and Friday November 23 in observance of Thanksgiving Day.

Athletic Director Interviews

Last week, our search committee, consisting of students, administrators, coaches, parents, booster club and school committee representatives,  conducted initial interviews and identified two finalists. The two finalists identified will return to Medway on Monday, November 26, to participate in an extensive full-day site visit.   These site visits will allow the candidates to meet with staff, leaders, coaches, students, and our community to provide each group with the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback about each candidate.

On Monday, November 26, 2018, the finalists will participate in a Athletic Director Finalists’ Community Forum.   Parents, guardians, and interested community members are encouraged to attend to meet our finalists in the High School library based on the schedule delineated below.  

5:55-6:05 p.m.:   Overview of Community Forum process

6:05-6:35 p.m.:   Jeff Parcells

6:40-7:10 p.m.:   Kyle Williams

A brief biography on each candidate follows.  

Jeff Parcells

Mr. Parcells is currently in his fourth year as the Director of Athletics at Dover-Sherborn Regional High School. Previously, Mr. Parcells served as the Athletic Director at Sutton Memorial High School for three years, and also served as the Head Football Coach at Oxford High School for three years.  Mr. Parcells comes with nine years of experience as a Guidance Counselor at Sutton Memorial High School. Prior to his time at Sutton Memorial High School, Mr. Parcells served as a Guidance Counselor and Social Studies Teacher at various schools across Massachusetts for six years.  Mr. Parcells received his Master of Education in Counseling Psychology/School Guidance from Cambridge College, and his Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Worcester State College.

Kyle Williams

Mr. Williams is currently in his fifth year as the Assistant Athletic Director at Brookline Public Schools.  Previously, Mr. Williams served as a Physical Education and Health Teacher at Baker Elementary School in Brookline.  During his time teaching at Baker Elementary School, Mr. Williams also served as their Building Coordinator where he managed and promoted middle school athletics.  Mr. Williams comes with ten years of experience as the Varsity Assistant Baseball Coach and seven years of experience as the Varsity Assistant Soccer Coach at Brookline High School.  Mr. Williams received his Master of Education in Athletic Administration from Endicott College, and his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Boston University. Mr. Williams received his Supervisor/Director license in June of 2018.

We hope that you can attend the forum on Monday, November 26 and appreciate your participation in this process.

Inclement Weather Procedures

As last week proved, the possibility of snow can now happen at anytime. We wanted to be sure that we shared information about inclement weather with you as soon as possible.  

It is the goal of the district to hold school whenever possible.  Parents and students should plan accordingly and leave plenty of time on winter mornings to arrive at school safely.   Please know that the final decision about a child attending school during a weather event always rests with individual families.  There may be occasions when deteriorating weather will mean that schools should close due to unsafe conditions.

The superintendent will review anticipated road and sidewalk conditions, access to schools, projected weather forecasts, and consult with the police and public works departments in order to make a determination between approximately 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. if conditions will be safe for students to come to school.

The following plans will be in effect for inclement weather:

No School Announcement

If the superintendent has determined the conditions are unsafe, school will be canceled.  The district will utilize the emergency notification system that will contact your home/cell phone and email using the information you have provided to your child’s school. The “no-school” announcement will also be carried on local television channels 4, 5, and 7.

All classes, school activities, before and after school programs, the Medway Extended Day program (MEDI), daycare program, adult education evening classes, and any school facilities use activities will be canceled.  Transportation of students to out-of-district schools will also be canceled.

One- or Two-Hour Delayed Opening Announcement

If the superintendent has been notified that the public works department needs additional time to plow or sand the streets to ensure safety, then a determination for a one-or two-hour delay may be made.  As with no-school announcements, the delayed opening announcement will be made using the emergency notification system to home/cell phone and email and carried on local television channels.

Please keep in mind:

  • Bus routes will begin by a one-or two-hour delay, including all special education transportation for out-of-district schools.
  • Do not send your child to school earlier than the delayed opening, as the school grounds may not be plowed and there will be no staff available to supervise early arrivals.
  • PreK ½ day sessions will take place if a one hour delay is called, and will be cancelled for a two hour delay.
  • School lunch will be served at its regularly scheduled time.
  • Schools will be dismissed at their regular times.

Emergency Early Release Announcement

If a severe weather condition or other emergency develops during the school day, the district may release students before the end of the school day.  Parents will be notified by home/cell phone and email and the announcement will be carried on local television channels, and displayed on the district website.  As appropriate, the district will work with public safety officials to shelter students in the district if unable to send home.

Inclement Weather Bus Stops for Walkers

We understand that inclement weather days can prove challenging to getting your child to school.  If your child(ren) is/are typically a walker and you are unable to find another means of transportation during inclement weather, or when sidewalks have not yet been plowed, please complete this brief form .  We will use this information to set up “inclement weather bus stops.”   We have provided this service as a way to support safe transportation to school.  Please note that these stops will only be activated during storms or following a storm when sidewalks have not yet been cleared, and as communicated. We will communicate additional information when bus stops have been established.  

Additional Reminders for Parents

  1. Be sure your child’s school has your updated contact information.
  2. Have a family emergency plan in place so your child knows what to do if sent home for any of the reasons noted above.
  3. If your child is regularly driven to school and you or he/she feels it is unsafe to drive during the inclement weather, please determine an alternative means of transportation to school.

School Committee Office Hours

The School Committee will be holding office hours in November.  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 on:

Thursday, November 29, 2018 from 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. in the Medway High School guidance office, 88 Summer Street.

Volunteers Needed for Upcoming Professional Development Day

Medway Public Schools will host its second Professional Day of the school year on Tuesday, January 22, 2019.  The focus of the last session of the afternoon will be faculty and staff wellness. We are looking for community members who work or have a passion for an area of wellness who would be willing to volunteer 90 minutes of their time to facilitate a session from 1:00-2:30 p.m. at Medway High School on Tuesday, January 22, 2019.  If you have an area of expertise and are interested in offering a wellness session, please fill out this form.  If we have a high level of interest, we may not be able to offer all sessions.  We will confirm participation with all interested by the end of December.

Medway Schools Cultural Proficiency Survey

Medway is committed to thinking critically and reflectively to improve our practice to meet the needs of all students and their families.   The annual cultural proficiency survey, assessing parent/guardian views of our practice related to equitable education and teaching students in a culturally responsive manner, is now available to parents.  The survey helps us 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.  The survey window will be open through November 30, 2018. A separate email with the survey was sent on October 30. The survey can be found here.

National Honor Society Induction

On Tuesday, November 13,  55 students were inducted into the National Honor Society at Medway High School.  We wish to extend our congratulations to these students and their families for this noteworthy honor.  A list of those students can be found here.

Medway High School Students Sign National Letter of Intent

On November 14, seven Medway High School students signed a National Letter of Intent which commits them to playing their sport in college.  This event represents an incredible accomplishment for these student athletes and we are proud of them.

Ava Vasile: lacrosse at University of Vermont

Isabella Jackson and Olivia Heaney: lacrosse at Assumption

MacKenzie Quigley: field hockey at Stonehill

Samantha Murray: soccer at Providence

Isabelle Aviza: soccer at Saint John's

Abby Bryant: diving at Holy Cross

Recipients of the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship

On Tuesday, November 13, the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship recipients were notified of this honor. This award is earned by students who scored Advanced on one of three MCAS assessment tests in ELA, Math or STE, and scored Proficient or higher on the remaining two.  As well, recipients have combined scores from the three tests that place them in the top 25 percent of students in the graduating class in their district. A list of the students who were honored can be found here.  This is an exceptional honor and we congratulate students and their families on this prestigious award.

Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Sportsmanship Summit

Last week, Brenna Lorenzen, Elisa Cook, Mary Monaghan, Maegan Hladick, Brendan Kenney, Drew Plunkett, Carter Fisher, Mitch Olsen and Jeremy Curley represented Medway at the 25th Annual MIAA Sportsmanship Summit at Gillette Stadium. The Sportsmanship Summit has been held to honor, educate and celebrate those who make sportsmanship a priority in their schools and constantly strive to improve the athletic culture in Massachusetts high schools. Congratulations to these students on receiving such an important recognition.

Superintendent’s Awards

At last week’s School Committee meeting, three students were recognized for their achievement.  Mark Lannigan was awarded the M.A.S.S. Superintendent’s Award for Academic Excellence and Alexandra Cervantes and Nolan Donohue were awarded the National School Development Council (NSDC) Award.  For more information about these awards and their recipients, please click here.  Congratulations to the students and their families!

Mathematics Curriculum Review Presentation

During the School Committee’s November 15 meeting, Gabby Abrams, Assistant Superintendent, along with Kelly Bliss, 6-12 Math Curriculum and Instruction Leader and Mary Evans, K-5 Math Curriculum and Instruction Leader presented a summary of Medway Public Schools Mathematics Curriculum Review Process and findings.  This was an extensive process which took place during the 2017-18 school year. Many parents contributed their insights to this process through the completion of a survey. Thank you! The presentation that was shared with the School Committee can be found here.

Medway High School Auditorium Receives Major Upgrade   

The Medway High School Auditorium received a major upgrade to its audio and video systems last week. This upgrade replaced the aging 5000 Lumen Video Projector with a 15,000 Lumen 4K Laser Projector, remote screen controls, and HDMI inputs. We also upgraded the audio systems to a more advanced digital connection system, increased amplification, sound processing, sound quality, and ADA accessibility. This upgrade will greatly improve all events held within the space, making events much more enjoyable. We hope the community enjoys the results of this project.

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

On November 14, 2018, the Medway and Franklin Public Schools hosted a family night out event featuring the presentation of The Well-Balanced Student.  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 by clicking here.   Over 80 individuals joined us for dinner and 60 remained for the viewing.  

The content of this presentation resonates well with conversations that rose out of our Strategic Planning Mid-Cycle Review Process and the themes will be prevalent in building based planning and improvement efforts.

Upcoming Events

November 21, 2018

Early Release- All Schools

Dismissal Times:

McGovern - 12:00 p.m.

Burke-Memorial - 11:30 am

Medway Middle - 11:02 am

Medway High - 11:34 am

November 22, 2018

Turkey Trot, Medway High School, 7:30 a.m., Happy Thanksgiving!  

November 22-23, 2018

No School, Thanksgiving Holiday

November 26, 2018

Athletic Director Finalist Community Forum, Library, Medway High School, 6:00 p.m.

December 5, 2018

Medway High School Winter Concert and Art Walk, Medway High School, 6:00 p.m.

December 6, 2018

Early Release - Grades K-4 Only

Dismissal Times:

McGovern - 12:00 p.m.

Burke- Memorial - 11:30 am

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

December 11, 2018

Early Release - Grades K-4 Only

Dismissal Times:

McGovern - 12:00 p.m.

Burke-Memorial - 11:30 am

T.H.R.I.V.E. Event: Unguarded: A Conversation with Chris Herren, St. Joseph’s Parish, 7:00 p.m.

December 13, 2018

Medway Middle School’s Winter Chorus Concert, Auditorium, Medway High School 6:00 p.m.

December 20, 2018

Burke-Memorial Winter Concert, Cafeteria, Burke-Memorial School, 7:00 p.m.

December 24, 2018- January 1, 2019

No School- Winter Break

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