SUPERINTENDENT'S UPDATE 3/7/19

Superintendent's Update 03/07/2019
Posted on 03/07/2019
Superintendent's Update 3/07/19

March 7, 2019 Community Update


Dear Medway families,


March is upon us!  I thought we would escape winter without a school cancellation, but Monday proved that was not the case.  My sincere appreciation to the Medway Department of Public Services and our own crew for ensuring that we were ready to resume school on Tuesday.


March is always a busy month.  With athletic playoffs, the musical at the high school this weekend, the Shamrock Shuffle organized by MEPTO, and Dodging for School organized by MFE, to name a few, there are many ways to connect to our school community.  I encourage you to take the opportunity to experience a few of these events.


Please find several updates and informational items connected with the work of the Medway Public Schools below.


Sincerely,

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent


Superintendent's Task Force on Student Stress

In November 2018 and January 2019, Medway Public Schools partnered with Stanford University’s Challenge Success to host two screenings of their film, The Well Balanced Student.  In this film, Dr. Denise Pope, Senior Lecturer at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education, shares her team’s research regarding student stress and offers recommendations to parents and school systems on how to alleviate student stress.  In connection with goal 2 of our 2019-2024 Strategic Plan, and as a follow-up to these screenings, we are launching The Superintendent's Task Force on Student Stress.  

 

The purpose of this group is to collaboratively conduct a gap analysis of our practices with the use of the research-based framework developed by Challenge Success.  This framework will allow us to comprehensively examine opportunities for the Medway Public Schools to reduce stress among our middle and high school students.  This gap analysis will be completed by comparing the district’s current practices to the best practices outlined in the Challenge Success S.P.A.C.E. framework.  After completing the gap analysis, the task force will make  recommendations to Dr. Pires, Superintendent, Dr. Murray, Medway High School Principal, and Mr. Juelis, Medway Middle School Principal, regarding the areas of focus that present the greatest opportunity to support a reduction in student stress levels.

 

The task force meetings will take place from 3:00-4:00 p.m. in the Medway Middle School Presentation Room on the following dates: March 27, 2019, April 10, 2019, April 24, 2019 and May 15, 2019

 

The task force will include parents, teachers, students, and school administrators.  If you would like to be a part of this task force please indicate your interest here by March 15.  We are working to create a well-balanced task force and will confirm participation following the March 15 deadline.  

 

Special Town Meeting

A reminder that a Special Town Meeting will take place on Monday, March 11, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in the Medway High School Auditorium.  There are a number of important articles, including two related to the Medway Public Schools. Please note that child care will be provided for the convenience of parents who would like to attend.



School Bus Cameras

With our continued focus on student safety, and the support of the Medway School Committee, we are pleased to announce that security cameras were successfully installed on our school buses during the February vacation.  These cameras are designed to monitor all activity, internally and externally, for our fleet in an effort to improve safety for everyone. We appreciate the continued partnership with Holmes Transportation who supported installation of these camera systems.


2019 MCAS Schedule

Our Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System facilitation dates are included here.  We ask that families do their best to ensure that students arrive to school on time on these days.  While we evaluate multiple data sources in an effort to ensure that our work is best meeting the needs of all of our students, this assessment is a valuable source of information.  Please feel free to reach out to your child(ren)’s teacher(s) or the appropriate building principal(s) with grade level or student specific questions.


Culture Fair

Minorities of Medway (MOM) and Medway's English Learner Education Program are excited to invite you to a Culture Fair. Minorities of Medway is a high school club that embraces the cultural diversity that exists within the town and wishes to spread appreciation among all. To celebrate the existing diversity of the town, the Culture Fair will be open for all to attend. The fair is an opportunity to learn about and gain an appreciation for the various cultures that make our town of Medway so special. During the Culture Fair, students and families will be provided passports to visit tables representing different nations and cultures.  We will also have sample foods and games at various tables. The Culture Fair will be held Wednesday, March 13 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. in the Medway High School Cafeteria. This event is open to all! Please fill out the following form to register so that we can plan accordingly.  We hope to see you there!


Kindergarten Registration

Due to the weekend snow storm, kindergarten and preschool registration was postponed to Saturday, March 16, 2019.  Registration. It will take place from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. in the library at the McGovern Elementary School, 9 Lovering Street, Medway.

 

Preliminary Budget Presentation

At last week’s school committee meeting, Dr. Armand Pires, Superintendent, and Don Aicardi, Director of Finance and Operations, presented the FY20 Preliminary Budget.  That presentation can be found here.  

 

FY20 School Budget Public Hearing:  March 14, 2019     

On Thursday, March 14, 2019 the School Committee will hold a Public Hearing on the FY’20 School Budget, in the Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 6:30 p.m.  - 7:00 p.m.  At the public hearing, community members have the opportunity to provide the school committee with their thoughts about the proposed budget so that the school committee may consider this feedback prior to voting on the budget.  The public hearing is not a forum for discussion, but an opportunity for you to provide your feedback on the record.

 

Library Redesign Process

As the community may be aware, during the 2017-2018 school year, a representative group of community members, faculty, staff, and leadership from the Medway Schools collaborated in an effort to reimagine the future form and function of our library spaces at our schools.  This work resulted in a recommendation to Superintendent Pires to add a second certified Library/Media Specialist to the district; supported the purchase of alternative and flexible seating and book storage at the elementary schools thanks to funding from the Medway Foundation for Education and to School Choice funds; and also allowed the district to partner with an architectural firm, Flansburgh Architects, to partner with us in our reimagining efforts.


Building based teams worked with Flansburgh in November and December to share their school library visions in an effort to enhance our students’ opportunities to collaborate, communicate, think critically, and create in these spaces while continuing to value these spaces as essential in support of reading.  Last week, members from Flansburgh Architects returned to Medway and engaged in conversations with each school’s leadership team to collect feedback on conceptual drawings that the team at Flansburgh had proposed. Flansburgh will now create 3-dimensional representations of these spaces and then provide a financial breakdown of each project for the team’s review.  


We continue to be very excited about the potential transformation of these spaces in support of enhanced student learning and look forward to providing the community with additional updates in the future


Project Lead the Way Gateway Distinction

Congratulations to Medway Middle School who have been named a Project Lead the Way (PLTW)Distinguished School for the access to rich experiences that they provide to their students.  A copy of the announcement can be found here.


To view all PLTW Distinguished Districts and Schools, click here. The PLTW Distinguished School designation is also featured on the PLTW School Locator.


Substitutes Needed

Medway Public Schools is currently accepting applications for substitute teachers and substitute paraprofessionals for this school year.  Interested candidates should submit a resume, college transcripts, and three letters of reference through SchoolSpring, our online application platform.


Burke-Memorial School Plaque Nominations

Medway Public Schools is now accepting nominations for names to be placed on the Burke-Memorial School plaque.  A nomination form can be found here or in the superintendent’s office.  Nominations must be submitted to the Office of the Superintendent, Medway Public Schools, 45 Holliston Street, Medway, MA 02053, by May 30, 2019.


Candidates for inclusion on the Burke-Memorial School plaque must have made a significant or memorable contribution to the town and/or school community.  Through their behavior and character, the candidate can be shown to be/have been an excellent role model. This person, through service, volunteerism, or dedication has made Medway school or town life better for those who follow.


Residents, past or present, who have sacrificed their lives or freedom in service to their country, either as members of the military or as civilians contributing to military or peace efforts may also be nominated.


The superintendent’s office will send a letter to the candidate(s) or their families to advise them that a nomination has been made.


The Medway School Committee will vote on the nominations in June.

 

Baker-Polito Administration Announces $1.2 Million to Help More Students Study STEM

The Baker-Polito Administration announced $1.2 million in school grants to expand computer science, engineering, and biomedical science education for students at 58 schools across the Commonwealth in grades K-12.  McGovern was one of the schools chosen to receive some of this grant money. An article about the grant awards can be found here.


Medway High School Spring Musical, Once on this Island

Once On This Island is a Tony-Award winning musical being performed at Medway High School on  Friday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 9 at 2:00 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 each and are available for purchase online at BrownPaperTickets.com or at the door approximately 60 minutes before each performance. We hope to see you there!


A summary of the show follows:  Once On This Island, an enchanting musical fable with a Caribbean flavor, tells the universal tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl in search of her place in the world, and ready to risk it all for love. Guided by four mighty and charismatic island gods, Ti Moune sets out on a remarkable journey to reunite with the man who has captured her heart: Daniel, a wealthy city boy from the other side of the island. The calypso-flavored score from the Tony Award-winning songwriting team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty captivates both young and old audience members alike, and all ages are welcome to this production, featuring imaginative costumes, daring dance numbers, and an island-tinged score that will capture your heart and teach about the power of love, family, and perseverance (excerpted from a description on nymetroparents.com, July, 2018).


Save the Date:  Medway Middle School’s Musical, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.

Medway Middle School students have been working hard in preparation for their performance of Cinderella.   Advance tickets are available for $8 online or for $10 at the door.  This year we will be offering three performances on Friday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 6 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  All performances will take place at Medway High School.


STEM Saturday for Girls Event: March 23, 2019

We are pleased to share that Exelon has once again agreed to serve as our premier sponsor for our March 23 STEM Saturday for Girls event.  Their support will provide funding for the speakers, giveaways, and materials for this day.  This event is open to girls in grades 2-6. The registration for this event opened last week and can be accessed through the STEM Saturday for Girls website.


Letter to Parents: The Momo Challenge

As you might be aware, a “game” called The Momo Challenge, which targets children to perform self-harming challenges, has been circulating in news.  Despite national rumors, there is no evidence, at this time, that indicates The Momo Challenge has spread to YouTube.  To learn more about this challenge and to understand how to best protect your children, please read this letter from Dr. Ryan Sherman,  Director of Wellness: A Letter to Parents: The Momo Challenge


March Wellness Newsletter

In this month’s edition of the Medway Wellness Newsletter  you will find information about Vaping, what level of privacy to give your children, the T.H.R.I.V.E. Community Book Read, and more.  


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

Medway T.H.R.I.V.E., in collaboration with the Medway Foundation for Education (MFE), is sponsoring a community book read of iGen.  Books have been made available, free of charge, at Medway businesses such as the Muffin House, T.C. Scoops, Starbucks, etc. and at the Medway Public Library from February 1 through March 31.  A full list of the locations can be found here.  The Book Read will conclude with two parent facilitated book discussions on April 2 and 3.  For more information, including how to register for an upcoming discussion group, please click here.


Just a reminder, if you have participated in this book read and have finished with the book, please return it to wherever you picked it up, or any of the other locations on the list.  We would like as many community members who would like to participate to have the opportunity to take part.


Vote for Jan Brett to visit McGovern!

As of March 3,  McGovern Elementary School is now in 2nd place out of 3,984 schools that have voted for Jan Brett to come to their school. We are about 200 votes behind DiPietro Elementary in Bellingham.  Vote for McGovern here. One vote per e-mail address. Voters just need to enter McGovern's address:

McGovern School

9 Lovering Street

Medway, MA 02053

Contest winners will be announced on April 8.


Medway Foundation for Education (MFE) Upcoming Events

MFE Dodging4School

Back by popular demand, Dodging4School is scheduled for Saturday March 23, 2019 at Medway Middle School.  Details on how to register can be found on our website and Facebook page. A featured article on this event can be found here:   Medway Dodging 4 School registration now open


Kentucky Derby Party

Held at one of the most picturesque locations in Medway, Thayer Homestead, this event is scheduled for Saturday May 4, 2019 starting in the afternoon.

 

For more information about the Medway Federation for Education, please check out their website.


Winter Sports Updates

Several of our winter athletes and teams have continued to enjoy success in their sports deep into the post-season.  A summary of our post-season updates follows:

  • Both boys and girls basketball moved into the semifinals.  Medway played Groton-Dunstable in a Girls/Boys doubleheader at Clark University on Tuesday.  The girls lost their game and the boys beat Groton-Dunstable to advance to play for the Central Title this Saturday at Worcester State.

  • Cheer took third place in the South Sectionals for Division 3 over the weekend and will move on to State's this Sunday at Tantasqua Regional High School.

  • In girls track, Medway’s runners finished 4th as a team in the MSTCA Pentathlon last week and Ava Vasile was overall champion.  Ava also placed 5th in New England Championship in the 300.

  • Last Wednesday, Ben and Andrew Rozak and Maddy Murphy participated in the MIAA Alpine Skiing Championships at Wachusett Mountain. Out of 124 male skiers, Ben finished 67th in the Giant Slalom and 43rd in the Slalom, Andrew did not finish in the Giant Slalom and finished 81st in the Slalom.  Out of 123 female skiers, Maddy finished 107th in the Giant Slalom and 90th in the Slalom.

  • Last Tuesday, Alex Sioras, Joe Hamm, and Mitch Olsen participated in the MA Pentathlon for boys track.  They finished 7th out of 22 teams.

  • The boys ice hockey team lost to Canton in the MIAA tournament last Wednesday, ending their season.


In the News


Upcoming Events

March 8, 2019

Pre-Race Pasta Dinner and Shamrock Shuffle Bib Pick Up, Medway VFW, 123 Holliston St, 5:30 p.m.

MHS 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.

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

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

March 12, 2019

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

March 13, 2019

Minorities of Medway, a student club of Medway High School, and the Medway Public Schools English Learner Program Host:   A Culture Fair, Cafeteria, Medway High School, 5:00 p.m.

March 14, 2019

School Committee Public Hearing on FY20 Budget, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School 6:30 p.m.

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

March 15, 2019

Early Release, all grades.

McGovern - 12:00 p.m.
Burke-Memorial - 11:30 a.m.
Medway Middle - 11:02 a.m.
Medway High - 11:34 a.m.

March 16, 2019

Kindergarten Registration, Library, McGovern Elementary School, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

March 19, 2019

MEPTO Meeting, McGovern Elementary School, 6:30 p.m.

March 21, 2019

Burke-Memorial Open Mic Night, Cafeteria, Burke-Memorial Elementary School, 6:00 p.m.
Special Olympics Pasta Dinner, Teacher’s Lounge, Medway Middle School, 6:00 p.m.

March 22, 2019

5 Towns Special Olympics Games, Field House, Holliston High School, 8:00 a.m.

March 23, 2019

STEM Saturday for Girls, Burke-Memorial Elementary, 9:00-11:40 a.m..

MFE Dodging4School, Medway Middle School, 11:00 a.m.

March 26, 2019

K-12 Permanent Art Collection Gallery Opening, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

March 27, 2019

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

March 28, 2019

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

March 29, 2019

MEPTO Basket Raffle and Ice Cream Social, Medway High School, 6:00 p.m.

April 2, 2019

T.H.R.I.V.E. Community Book Read Discussion Group, T.C. Scoops, 6:30 p.m.

April 3, 2019

T.H.R.I.V.E. Community Book Read Discussion Group, Medway Public Library, 6:30 p.m.

April 5, 2019

Medway Middle School presents Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Auditorium, Medway High School, 7:30 p.m.

April 6, 2019

Medway Middle School presents Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Auditorium, Medway High School, 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

April 9, 2019

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

April 11, 2019

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

April 15-19, 2019

No School- April Vacation


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