SUPERINTENDENT'S UPDATE 3/19/19

Superintendent's Update 03/19/2019
Posted on 03/20/2019
Superintendent's Update 3/19/19

March 19, 2019 Community Update


Dear Medway families,

The excitement throughout the district with the numerous Music in Our Schools Month celebrations, STEM Fairs, MHS Challenge Day, course selection and school transition meetings, and the start of our final sports season are all welcome signs of spring.  We enter spring with hope and excitement for continued success in classrooms, on sports fields, and on the stage.


Sincerely,

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent


FY20 Superintendent’s Budget Approved

At the March 14 Medway School Committee meeting, the school committee approved the FY20 Budget.  This budget represents a 2.6% increase (~$700,000) over FY19 and includes the addition of the following new positions:  

  • Grade 5-12 Coordinator of School Counseling
  • Additional School Nurse
  • Secretarial support for the Athletic Department

An overview of this budget presented through the lens of school and district priorities that was presented February 7 can be found here.  The approved budget will now be presented as part of the overall Town of Medway Budget to be voted on at Town Meeting on May 13, 2019.  The presentation from March 14, can be found here, and the budget book is here.


We are appreciative of the Medway School Committee for their leadership and continuous support of the district’s work.


Elementary Playground Project - Thank you!

On March 11, a Special Town Meeting was held to discuss 4 articles.  Two articles related to funding for playgrounds. Both articles passed successfully and will provide a total of $450,000 for the approximately $550,000 project.  We are thankful to our whole community for their support of this work to enhance the playgrounds at McGovern and Burke-Memorial Elementary School. The recently approved funding for this project will be added to donation commitments from the Medway Elementary PTO ($50,000), Medway Extended Day Inc. ($5,000), and Exelon ($5,000).  Thank you to these organizations for their commitment to this project.


In addition, a special thanks to the members of the Capital Improvement Planning Committee, Community Preservation Committee, Board of Selectmen, Finance Committee, and Town Administrator, Mike Boynton, for their support of this project.


We anticipate work on this project to take place this summer so that the playgrounds will be ready for use at the start of the 2019-2020 school year.  Please find more details about this project here.  


Burke-Memorial 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 on the school website 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, 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 shall 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.  Nomination forms are here.


Permanent Art Gallery Opening

Members of the community are invited to join us as we celebrate the 13 most recent artistic works to be added to the Medway Public School’s Permanent Art Collection.  The event, which will take place on Tuesday, March 26 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Presentation Room at Medway Middle School, will allow families, friends, and art enthusiasts to meet the artists, who represent each grade level, K-12.  The casual setting allows attendees to engage in conversation with the artists about their chosen piece. We hope that you will join us.


New Student Management System Update:  Infinite Campus

As many in our community are aware, our current student information system, Visions (previously MMS), has presented our district with a number of challenges over the years.  The latest update to this system forced us to reassess whether or not this product meets our needs any longer.  We have determined that transition to a new Student Information System would support effective communication and efficiency.


At the January 10 school committee meeting, Mr. Boucher, Director of Information Services, Ms. Abrams, Assistant Superintendent, and Dr. Pires, Superintendent, presented information pertaining to the potential transition to a new student information system, Infinite Campus.  The link to this presentation can be found here.


We have begun the background efforts to build our new Infinite Campus site which includes a great deal of data conversion and transmission.  We will begin process meetings in the next few weeks which will be followed by staff training, and parent advisories, and conclude with a ‘go live date’ in August, 2019. We are very excited about this new system and all of the functionality it provides. We will provide further updates to our families as this process progresses.


School Bus Cameras

Last week, Mike Saccone from Boston25 News, along with Lauren Young from Milford Daily News, visited Medway  Middle School to learn more about Medway’s installation of cameras on the school busses. The reporters had the opportunity to  speak with Dr. Armand Pires, Superintendent, and Don Aicardi, Director of Finance and Operations, along with Bill Kingsbury, Medway Police Lieutenant, and Cheryl Hladick, bus driver.  A feature of this story aired on Boston25 News and can be seen here.


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.


STEM Fair

The annual STEM Fair, sponsored by the Women in STEM (WiSTEM) at Medway High School, took place last Friday.  This year over 45 professionals conducted interactive workshops, panels, and presentations sharing how STEM has helped them in non-STEM jobs, a variety of STEM fields, and as women role-models in STEM.  We were honored to welcome several parent and community members to the list of presenters. Special thanks to WiSTEM advisors, Kristy Macedo and Shanley Heller, for their leadership of this group and to the entire WiSTEM group of over 50 student leaders for their efforts to organize this event for the Medway High School community.


Medway Culture Fair

Congratulations to Kate Fallon, Medway High School Minorities Of Medway (MOM) advisor, and Melissa Leverett-King, Linda Lindsey, and Lauren Enzie, English Language teachers, for their organization of the first Medway Culture Fair last week.  The fair was an opportunity to learn about and gain an appreciation for the various cultures that make our town of Medway so special. The event attracted well over 150 students and families. Thank you to all who showed their support of this fantastic event!


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, Dr. Murray and Mr. Juelis regarding the areas of focus that present the greatest opportunity to support a reduction in student stress levels.

 

Thank you to those who expressed interest to engage in this process with us.  We look forward to engaging in these conversations in the coming months.

 

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Grant Award

Recently, Paula Johnson, Grades K-5 Science, Technology/Engineering and Digital Learning Curriculum and Instruction Leader and Amy McDonald. McGovern principal, traveled to WPI to accept a $5,000 grant that has been awarded to McGovern Elementary for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years in support of science, technology and engineering learning in Grades K and 1.


MA State Track Coaches Association Award

MSTCA is pleased to announce that Lucas Bittig, class of 2019, who was nominated by Coach Andy Nassiff for the prestigious Frank Kelley Adversity Award, has been selected to receive this award at the annual MSTCA Awards banquet on June 9 at the Lantana Restaurant.  Congratulations to Lucas!


Massachusetts History Day Competition

National History Day is a competition where students in grades 6-12 showcase their work on an interdisciplinary research project that encourages exploration of local, state, national, and world history.  Each year more than half a million students, encouraged by thousands of teachers nationwide, participate in the NHD contest.


This year, Medway High School sophomore, William Miller, represented Medway in the competition.  William competed in the senior division of the research paper competition for the South Shore Regional Competition at Foxborough High School. This year's theme was "Triumph and Tragedy.”  William represented Medway well, we were so proud of him for his commitment and participation. His paper was titled: The Unabomber: A Tragedy for America, A Triumph for Forensic Linguistics.


Medway High School Musical Musical

Congratulations to Kendra Nutting, high school music teacher, and the cast and crew of Once on this Island, for their hard work to bring this performance to the Medway community.  Bravo!


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 performances of Cinderella.   Advance tickets are available for $8 online or for $10 at the door.  This year three performances will take place:   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. We hope to see you there!


STEM Saturday for Girls

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 will take place this weekend and is open to girls in grades 2-6. Registration is now closed due to an overwhelming response again this year.  We wish all of our participants a terrific day of learning!


Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) Schedule

Students in grades 3-8 will be participating in the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) test in English/Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science/Technology/Engineering in the coming months.  The full district schedule for these assessments can be found here.  These assessments, while represent only one measure of student learning, provide the district with valuable information about areas of success and where we can improve.  Students are encouraged to be on time and in attendance on these days.


Vote for Jan Brett to visit McGovern!

As of March 17,  McGovern Elementary School is in 1st place out of 3,984 schools vying for Jan Brett to visit  their school. We are about 300 votes ahead of Jones Dairy Elementary in Wake Forest, NC. Vote for McGovern here; one vote per e-mail address is allowed. Voters just need to enter McGovern's address:

McGovern School

9 Lovering Street

Medway, MA 02053

Contest winners will be announced on April 8.


Family Concert Sponsored by Medway Friends of the Performing Arts

Medway Friends of Performing Arts is pleased to invite the community to its 5th Annual Medway Family Concert.  Tickets are not required for this free concert which will take place Sunday, April 7 at 2:00 p.m. in the Medway High School auditorium.  This year's concert will feature the New England Percussion Ensemble, which specializes in presenting creative and energetic audience-interactive enrichment programs for audiences of all ages.  Their nationally unique, multi-cultural presentations are a healthy blend of information, performance, and hands-on participation that engage audiences physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Eyes, ears, and minds are opened by the many melodic, rhythmic, and tonal possibilities of percussion, and the notion that percussion is "just drums" is forever changed.  This annual concert is presented by the Medway Friends of Performing Arts and is funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, David French Music, and Medway Cable Access. Please contact MFPA President, Kevin Green, for further information at medwayfriendsofperformingarts@gmail.com.  A flyer for the event can be viewed here.


Medway Friends on the Performing Arts (MFPA) Mattress Sale

Medway Friends of the Performing Arts invites the public to its 6th annual Mattress Sale Fundraiser on Sunday, March 31 at Medway Middle School from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. If you or someone you know needs a new mattress, this is the place to shop for a new brand name mattress at 30% or 50% off retail prices and benefit MFPA at the same time!  For more information, please click here.


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 Foundation for Education, please check out their website.


In the News


Upcoming Events

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, 10:00 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 31, 2019

MFPA Mattress Sale, Old Gym, Medway Middle School, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 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 7, 2019

MFPA Family Concert, Auditorium, Medway High School, 2:00 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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