Superintendent's Update 3/3/2020 (1)

Superintendent's Update 3/3/2020

March 3, 2020 


Dear Medway families, 

As you know, last week our district community suffered a tragic loss with the death of Helen Hebert.  Helen was a freshman at Medway High School and had matriculated through all of our schools within the district.  Our school community came together with the support of our internal school counseling staff and counselors from Riverside Trauma Center and Family Continuity to help our students, faculty and staff make sense of this loss.  We continue to keep the Hebert family in our thoughts and know that our greater Medway community will join us in providing them with support and care. The information regarding Helen’s wake and funeral services can be found here.


Sincerely,

  

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent


Friday, March 13, 2020 Early Release Day:  Professional Development for Faculty and Staff

Just a reminder that Friday, March 13, will be an early release for all students in support of professional development for our faculty and staff.  Students will be released at the following times:


McGovern: 12:00 p.m.

Burke-Memorial: 11:30 a.m.

Medway Middle: 11:02 a.m.

Medway High:  11:34 a.m.


FY21 Budget Process

At its February 6 meeting, Dr. Armand Pires, Superintendent, and Ms. Gabrielle Abrams, Assistant Superintendent, shared Charting the Course, a presentation that highlighted the priority areas to be addressed in the Superintendent’s FY21 Budget.  


At its February 27 meeting, Dr. Armand Pires, Superintendent, and Mr. Don Aicardi, Director of Business and Operations, presented the Superintendent’s FY21 Preliminary Budget.  This presentation highlighted FY21 budget requests that represented an $824,125 or 3% increase over FY20.  The FY21 Preliminary Budget Presentation can be found here.


Community engagement and understanding of the budget process are incredibly important.  Below, please find a complete timeline and description of the upcoming FY21 budget events. March 5, 2020:  FY21 Budget Forum and Student Opportunity Act  3 Year Plan Conversation The Medway School Committee and Superintendent Pires invite interested community members to attend a public forum to discuss the budget priorities for the 2020-2021 school year.   In addition, the forum will provide us with an opportunity to seek input on the development of a 3 year improvement plan required through The Student Opportunity Act.  The Student Opportunity Act, which was signed into law in late November, aims to address persistent achievement gaps throughout the Commonwealth.   Medway’s plan will be well aligned with the spirit and focus of the 2019-2024 Medway Public Schools Excellence for All:  A Medway Mindset Strategic Plan.  We look forward to highlighting the key priorities for this plan and hearing community input.   The forum will take place on Thursday, March 5, 2020 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. in the Presentation Room at Medway Middle School.   Attendees can attend in person, or virtually.  To participate virtually, please use these credentials: Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device: Please click this URL to join. https://zoom.us/j/774803881 Description: Budget Forum Or join by phone: Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):  US: +1 929 205 6099 or +1 669 900 6833  Webinar ID: 774 803 881 International numbers available: https://zoom.us/u/adAKjul0M0 March 19, 2020:  FY21 Budget Hearing On March 19, 2020, at 6:30 p.m., community members are invited to share thoughts regarding the proposed FY21 budget with the School Committee.  This is the final opportunity for community feedback prior to the school committee vote on the FY21 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. March 19, 2020:  FY21 Budget Vote On March 19, 2020, at 7:00 p.m., the school committee will vote to forward the proposed FY21 budget to the town as part of the FY21 Town of Medway budget.   May 11, 2020:  Town Meeting Community members are encouraged to attend Medway’s Town Meeting on Monday, May, 11, 2020, when residents will be asked to vote on the Town’s FY21 budget which will be inclusive of the FY21 Medway Public School’s budget.


Student Opportunity Act

Signed into law at the end of November, 2019, the Student Opportunity Act will infuse over 1.5 billion dollars into Massachusetts’ schools over the next seven years.  The bill attempts to address funding inequities in support of enhanced student learning. The Town of Medway will receive approximately $30 per student, or approximately $65,000 as part of this provision.  The Town will need to decide how much, if any of this funding, will be transferred to the school department.  


As part of the bill, the SOA requires each district to create a three-year, evidence-based plan for the Commissioner’s review. The Department has established a template for this plan which asks each district to make four “Student Opportunity Commitments” in order to close opportunity and achievement gaps among student subgroups. 


District and school leaders will be working together in the coming weeks to assess strategic work in motion and additional actions that can be taken in an effort to further address areas of need within the Medway Public Schools and aligned to the Commonwealth’s priorities under the Student Opportunity Act.  A link to the full bill can be found here.  A timeline of conversations associated with the development of 3 year district plan can be found below: Thursday, March 5, 2020:  Present DRAFT priorities and plan framework to community for feedback (part of the budget forum process) Between March 5 and March 19, 2020:  Seek feedback on DRAFT priorities and plan framework from school and district councils, faculty and staff and families March 19, 2020:  Present proposed SOA 3 year plan to School Committee for review and potential vote March 26, 2020:  School Committee approval on SOA 3 year plan, if not approved on March 19 By April 2, 2020:  Submit SOA to the state for Commissioner review and approval


Coronavirus Update

As we communicated last week, the Medway Public Schools are taking logical steps to prevent the spread of the flu and the cold during this time of year.  We also provided information to families that was published by the Center for Disease Control regarding the COVID-19 or Coronavirus.  


Our District is in communication with the Medway Board of Health and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, who will be closely monitoring the situation and updating us on changes in risk levels and virus trends.  Additionally, you can find the latest information by visiting the websites created by the MA Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control, which are regularly updated with the latest guidance: 

www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html 


Although the risk of the transmission of the Coronavirus remains low in Medway, we do recommend that families take precautions to prevent colds and flu that will also prevent the transmission of the Coronavirus.  All individuals should; wash hands frequently with soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner if soap and water are not available, cover nose and mouth with a sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent the spread of germs, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick, and stay home when you are sick.  As a reminder our schools' attendance guidelines are as follows:


To minimize the spread of infectious disease, students should be kept home from school for: ●     Fever greater than 100.4 within the last 24 hours (fever should be under 100 for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications before returning to school) ●     Vomiting/diarrhea within the last 24 hours ●     A communicable disease ●     An upper respiratory illness with significant coughing and/or nasal discharge ●     Pain that requires the use of narcotic medications


We will continue with our regular cleaning and disinfecting processes, as suggested by the MA Department of Public Health and we will keep you informed of updates or changes as we are advised by local and state departments of public health.  We hope this information allows you to make informed choices regarding your family's health and wellness. 


Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten registration for the 2020-2021 school year will take place on Thursday, March 26 from 3:30-6:00 p.m. and Saturday, March 28 from 9:00-12:00 p.m.  2020-2021 school year kindergarten students must be 5 years old by August 31, 2020. To expedite the process, we strongly encourage families whose last name begins with A-M to attend the March 26 registration date and families whose last name begins with N-Z to attend the March 28 registration date.  


Registration will be online this year and became active on March 2, 2020.  Families can access the registration process here.  Families are asked to complete their online registration process and bring residency paperwork, birth certificate, and medical information to the McGovern School during their scheduled time on March 26 and March 28. At that time we will complete the registration process by verifying paperwork, scheduling a screening appointment, and speaking with the school nurse. 

 

Tickets Available for Medway High School’s Performances of Anything Goes

We hope that you will join us aboard the S.S. American sailing between New York and England.  Tickets for Medway High School’s performance of Anything Goes are $15.00 and can be purchased online at BrownPaperTickets.com or at the door approximately 60 minutes before each performance.  The showtimes are Friday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, March 14 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., in the Medway High School Auditorium, 88 Summer Street, Medway..       


Tickets Available for Medway Middle School’s Performances of Willy Wonka, Jr.

Come join the search for the Golden Ticket! Medway Middle School students have been working hard in preparation for their performance of Willy Wonka Jr.  Performances are Friday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 4, at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.in the Medway High School Auditorium, 88 Summer Street, Medway.  Tickets are $8.00 and can be purchased online here or at the door 30 minutes before the performance for $10.00.


2019 Department of Elementary and Secondary Education School and District Report Cards

Every year, each public school and school district in Massachusetts receives a report card. The school’s report card is designed to show families how our school is doing in different areas. A link to a fact sheet about the report card can be found here. 

The report card includes multiple measures of a school’s performance – more than just MCAS scores. It represents a new way of looking at school performance, by providing information on student achievement, teacher qualifications, student learning opportunities, and more.  

Report cards are designed to be useful tools for everyone connected to our school. Families can use the information to have meaningful conversations with us about what the school is doing well and where there is room for improvement. Community and education leaders can use the information to better understand how to support students and our school.


Schools throughout Medway shared their 2019-2020 DESE Report Cards with families recently.  Our district report card can be found here. 

 

Homework Advisory SubCommittee Meeting #2

Last week, Dr. Ryan Sherman, Director of Wellness, and Ms. Gabrielle Abrams, Assistant Superintendent, co-facilitated the second meeting of the Homework Advisory Subcommittee.  Advisory team members explored research associated with homework practices included in our core text, Rethinking Homework, Best Practices That Support Diverse Needs by Cathy Vatterot.  Additional resources through educational leadership journals were also explored.  Additionally, the team engaged in an analysis of parent and teacher surveys. Lastly, the team began to develop initial thoughts for the recommendation that will be the outcome of this greater collaborative work. 


This team next convenes on March 19.  Any recommendations regarding practices and procedures connected with homework following this team’s collaboration will be shared with the leadership team in May, 2020.


Grade 6-12 English Language Arts Curriculum Review Process, Visiting Team

We are pleased to welcome colleagues from Scituate, Dover-Sherborn, and Franklin to Medway on March 10 and 11 for 2 days of classroom visits, conversations, data review, and collaboration in an effort to support Medway’s work to improve our grade 6-12 English/Language Arts curricular program.  This Visiting Team Process comes on the heels of the completion of our own internal Self Study Process which took place this past Fall and recently concluded. The goal of the Visiting Team process is to validate the findings in the Self Study and also push our thinking into areas of potential improvement that might not have been highlighted in this process.  We would like to thank our families who took a few minutes to provide us with feedback on the secondary english/language arts learning experience of your children through your lens.


School Committee Forum on Proposed Donation

Several members of our greater Medway community have indicated interest in fundraising for and donating a large “rearing” mustang statue to be placed in the lobby of Medway High School.  Further, they are interested in donating this statue in honor of Mr. William Phipps. Mr. Phipps was a long time Medway school employee who served in multiple roles during his more than three decades of service to our school district. On Thursday, February 27, 2020, the Medway School Committee held a public forum to hear from the community regarding this potential donation.  The School Committee appreciated the initial proposal and will be taking time in the next month to review the policies associated with the request.  If community members were not able to attend, and would like to share feedback with the Medway School Committee, they are asked to send an email to Ellen Quinn, Secretary to the Medway School Committee, at equinn@medwayschools.org.  Feedback will be collected through March 27, 2020.


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

Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. is excited to be sponsoring its second annual Medway Community Book Read.  This year’s book, The Yes Brain, received the most interest from Medway parents.  The book read is taking place between March 1- April 1 and will conclude with two opportunities to participate in a parent led book discussions.  Books can be picked at numerous local businesses including: T.C. Scoops, Muffin House, Starbucks, and The Little Gym. An audio and e-book version of The Yes Brain can be accessed through the Medway Public Library.  For more information about the book read and to register for a discussion group please click here


March Parent Wellness Newsletter

In this month’s edition of the Medway Wellness Newsletter, you will find information about the T.H.R.I.V.E. Community Book Read, teen depression, the latest research on screen time, and more. 


Medway Middle School Students Compete in VEX Robotics Competition at Massachusetts/Rhode Island State Championship 

Congratulations to The Medway Mashbots who completed their competition season this weekend.  They ended the regular season 12th in the Southern New England division. Although they did not qualify for the World Challenge we congratulate them on a job well done!    

 

Community Education Spring and Summer Program Brochure Published

Welcome spring with Medway Community Education's Spring Brochure, including Summer Programs, arriving this week online and in Medway mailboxes. We are delighted to share our new and exciting spring programs for all ages, as well as summer fun for youth and teens. Registration opens in early March. The Community Education Spring Brochure has something for everyone! 


Winter Sports:  Congratulations and Postseason Competition

Congratulations to all of our winter student athletes, their coaches, and their families for their great many successes in regular season play over the last couple of months. Our boys basketball and girls hockey teams were defeated in the first round of their post-season competitions. Our boys hockey team and girls basketball teams remain in competition as of this publication.   The Mustang Nation Newsletter which includes additional information can be found here. Congratulations to our cheer, swim, indoor track, and ski teams for team and individual successes as well.  Cheer continues into tournament competition, and skier Andrew Rozak remains in competition at the MIAA State Championship at Berkshire East Ski Area.  


Medway Foundation for Education (MFE) Upcoming Events

MFE Dodging4School

Back by popular demand, Dodging4School is scheduled for Saturday March 21, 2020 at Medway Middle School.  Details on how to register can be found on the MFE’s website and Facebook page. 


Kentucky Derby Party

Held at one of the most picturesque locations in Medway, Thayer Homestead, this event is scheduled for Saturday, May 2, 2020.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Details on how to register can be found on the MFE’s website and Facebook page. 


Medway Public Schools In the News 

Medway Public Schools have been featured in the news several times over the last few weeks.  Links to articles highlighting the work of the district can be found below: 

Sensory Pathways at McGovern School 

Medway High School to Perform Anything Goes

Medway High School Student Athletes:  Girls and Women in Sports Day 

Medway Middle School Band and Chorus Junior District Festival 

Middle School Partners with Rachel’s Challenge

MASS STEMHub Online Germ Fighter Challenge


Upcoming Events

March 4, 2020

Superintendent’s Budget Advisory Committee Meeting, Superintendent’s Conference Room, Medway Middle School, 6:00 p.m.

March 5, 2020

FY21 Budget Forum and Student Opportunity Act Planning Discussion, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 6:00 p.m.

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

March 7, 2020

MEPTO Shamrock Shuffle, Medway High School, 9:00 a.m.

March 10, 2020

MFE Board Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, Door #7, 7:00 p.m.

MFPA Board Meeting, Alumni Conference Room, Medway High School, 7:00 p.m.

March 11, 2020

Finance Committee Meeting on School Budget, 155 Village Street, Sanford Hall, 7:00 p.m.

SEPAC:  504 Presentation by the Federation of Children with Special Needs (FCSN), 6:30 pm, Library in Millis High/Middle School 

March 13, 2020

Early Dismissal:  All Schools

McGovern: 12:00 p.m.

Burke-Memorial: 11:30 a.m.

Medway Middle: 11:02 a.m.

Medway High: 11:34 a.m.

Medway High School Musical, Anything Goes, Auditorium, Medway High School, 7:30 p.m

March 14, 2020

Medway High School Musical, Anything Goes, High School Auditorium, Medway High School, 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

March 18, 2020

Medway High School Spring Concert, Auditorium, Medway High School, 7:00 p.m. 

March 19, 2020

Public Hearing on the FY21 Budget, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 6:30 p.m.

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

March 21, 2020

MFE Dodging for Schools, Middle School Gym, 9:00 a.m-4:00 p.m.

March 23, 2020

MEPTO Ice Cream Social and Basket Raffle, Medway High School, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

March 26, 2020

MPS K-12 Permanent Art Collection Gallery Opening, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 6:00 p.m.

March 28, 2020

STEM Saturday for Girls, Burke-Memorial Elementary School, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

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

April 1, 2020

Medway Public Schools Culture Fair, Cafeteria, Medway High School, 6:00 p.m.

April 3, 2020

Peer Buddies Prom, Burke-Memorial School, 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

Middle School Spring Musical, Willy Wonka Jr., Medway High School, 7:30 p.m. 

April 4, 2020

Middle School Spring Musical, Willy Wonka Jr., Medway High School, 2:00 p.m.

Middle School Spring Musical, Willy Wonka Jr., Medway High School,7:30 p.m. 

April 10, 2020

Good Friday, No School

April 14, 2020

MFPA Meeting, Alumni Conference Room, Medway High School 7:00 p.m.

April 16, 2020 

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

April 20-24, 2020

April Vacation Week:  No School 
















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