Superintendent's Update 12/11/2018

Superintendent's Update 12/11/2018
Posted on 12/11/2018
Superintendent's Update 12/11/2018

December 11, 2018 Community Update


Dear Medway families,


As we enter into the final days of 2018, we find ourselves reflecting on the past and planning for the future.  I continue to feel energized and inspired by both these reflections and forward movement, and know that the district is primed for continued improvement in 2019.  With thanks to the Medway School Committee, support from the officials throughout the Town of Medway, partnership from our families and our business community, and, most importantly, the commitment of our dedicated faculty and staff, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish together.


May the days and celebrations ahead bring you great joy and provide you many opportunities to both reflect and look forward!


Sincerely,

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent


Reminder:  No School Days

There will be no school Monday-Friday December 24-December 28 and Monday-Tuesday December 31-January 1.  School will resume on Wednesday, January 2. Wishing you all a Happy New Year!


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

Chris Herren returns to Medway on December 11, 2018 to present, Unguarded. In this very personal presentation, Chris will share the story of his basketball career and his dream to play in the NBA, which began to unravel due to a few bad decisions. For more information about the presentation please click here. This event is brought to the Medway Community by the Medway Foundation for Education, the Medway Secondary Parent Teacher Organization, and Medway T.H.R.I.V.E.


Athletic Director Appointment

We have officially announced the appointment of our new Athletic Director and are happy to welcome Jeff Parcells to the Medway Public Schools beginning on February 1, 2019.  Mr. Parcells is coming to Medway from Dover-Sherborn where he has served as the Athletic Director since 2015. Prior to that he was Athletic Director at Sutton Public Schools for 3 years.  Mr. Parcells also comes with coaching experience and over 9 years of experience in the Guidance counseling and teaching.


2019-2020 School Year Calendar

At its December 6 meeting, the School Committee voted to approve the 2019-2020 school year calendar.


2019-2024 Strategic Plan

We were pleased to bring several proposed elements of the 2019-2024 Strategic Plan to the School Committee during their December 6 meeting.  We will return to School Committee for a second review on January 10. The final product, Medway Public School’s 2019-2024 Strategic Plan will reflect the values, priorities, and next steps the district will take to ensure continuous improvement for our entire school community.  The presentation that was shared with School Committee can be found here.


Library Visioning Project

Thanks to the generous support of the Medway School Committee, Medway Public Schools has entered into a contract with Flansburgh Architects to develop library schematics / renderings.  This work is connected to our efforts to reimagine the use of our school library settings in support of enhanced collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking. We are very excited to enter into this stage of the process.  Flansburgh visited Medway on Wednesday, November 21 to tour each of our libraries and received floor plans. They then returned to Medway on Thursday, November 29 and met with the leadership team. During this meeting, Flansburgh identified additional opportunities to engage with stakeholders for further information gathering which is taking place this week and next within each of our schools.  We anticipate receiving the renderings sometime in January 2019.


Inclement Weather Procedures

As we’ve already seen, 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 to 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.


Medway High School Students Selected for Central District Chorus

On November 17, several students from Medway High School's Chorus and Band auditioned for the Massachusetts Central District Music Festival. We are excited to announce that Matt Bullard, Daphne Freeman, Sam Jacobs, Sarah McCarthy, Dan Rice, and Ram Tysoe will be representing Medway in the Central District Chorus this year.  In January, these talented individuals will be performing with the top high school vocalists in Central Massachusetts.


We are also very excited to report that Matt Bullard and Daphne Freeman qualified to audition for the Massachusetts All-State Chorus in January. If they are accepted, they will have the opportunity to perform at Symphony Hall in Boston with the top high school musicians in the state.


Congratulations to these students and their families on this incredible honor!


US Presidential Scholars Program Nominee

We are very excited to announce that Medway High School senior, Ariya Ahona, has been selected by the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to move to the second stage in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.  Medway High School honored her with the nomination to the Commissioner's office. We received the following message from the Commissioner’s office regarding Ariya’s selection:


We are pleased to inform you that Ariya Ahona has been selected by Commissioner Riley to represent the state as one of the nominees for the U.S. Presidential Scholars from Massachusetts.  


Please be advised that the student will be invited by the USED national review team to complete a new application in order to be considered.  We understand that the application will be sent to the student's address in the future.


We are very impressed with Ariya's qualifications and are proud to have her represent Massachusetts in this prestigious competition.  


We are very proud of Ariya for this prestigious nomination and wish her well in the process.  We will keep the community apprised as this process unfolds.


Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. Calendar of Events

T.H.R.I.V.E.’s upcoming calendar of events features collaborations with Franklin Public Schools and SEPAC.  It also offers new ways for parents to engage including a community book read and brief workshop style presentations.  The full menu of offerings can be found here and below.

2018-2019: T.H.R.I.V.E. Events which will all be held from ~6:30/7:00-8:00 PM, locations vary:

  • December 11, 2018:  Substance Use Prevention:  Chris Herren present’s, Unguarded

  • January 8, 2019: Challenge Success: The Well Balanced Student Grades 9-12 (5:30 p.m.)

  • January 30, 2019:  Multiple workshops on vaping, nutrition, mindfulness and digital citizenship

  • February 25, 2019: A Night to Celebrate and Better Understand Differences

  • January- April, 2019: Community book read preparations

  • April 2 and April 3, 2019:  iGen Book Talks (more information to come soon); 7:00 p.m.

Medway Foundation for Education Grant Awarded to T.H.R.I.V.E.

The Medway Foundation for Education has awarded a grant to T.H.R.I.V.E. to support its community book read.  The grant supports the purchase of 50 copies of Igen.  Books will be available for pick-up and return at local businesses.  The community book read will take place from January-April and will culminate with book discussions being planned for April 2 and 3 at local establishments.  This is a new venture for our T.H.R.I.V.E. group and we hope that it provides our community with a an exciting new opportunity to engage.


Medway High School Winter Concert and Art Walk Congratulations

Bravo to our very talented artists, singers and musicians who took part in last week’s Winter Concert and Art Walk at the high school!  The evening was truly a celebration and showcase of hard work, determination, and artistic ability.


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; the second will take 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


December Wellness Newsletter

In this month’s edition of the Medway Wellness Newsletter you will find information about Medway High School’s suicide prevention program, Medway Middle School’s breakfast program, Challenge Success, Chris Herren, and more.  


Shamrock Shuffle

Please join the Medway Elementary Parent Teacher Organization (MEPTO) for the 8th annual Shamrock Shuffle on Saturday, March 9, 2019.  Make sure to wear your green and show off your shamrock pride! For more information and to register for this event click here.  Registration prices will increase on January 1, 2019.


Upcoming Events

December 13, 2018

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

December 19, 2018

Medway Middle School Band Concert (6th, 7th, 8th Grades), 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

January 8, 2019

T.H.R.I.V.E. Event: Challenge Success: Raising a Well Balanced Student, Franklin High School, 5:30 p.m.

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

January 10, 2019

Public Forum on Budget Development, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 6:00 p.m.

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

January 15, 2019

MHS 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.



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