Superintendent's Update 5/1/19

Superintendent's Update 05/01/2019
Posted on 05/01/2019
Superintendent's Update 5/01/19

May 1, 2019 Community Update

Dear Medway families,

We are excited that you will be receiving our updated Strategic Plan in the mail in the next couple of  weeks. While mailing this document may seem a bit outdated, we felt that this important document needed to be physically delivered to all of the residents of Medway.  The 2019-2024 Medway Public Schools Strategic Plan, Excellence for All:  A Medway Mindset was recently approved by the Medway School Committee.  The development of a Strategic Plan, in and of itself, is an important process.  Our process included the formation of a Strategic Planning Steering Committee that guided the development of this plan after seeking the input of hundreds of stakeholders.  This approved and articulated plan picks up where our 2016-2019 Strategic Plan left off. Through it we are able to provide clarity and focus related to the work of the Medway Public Schools.  This plan serves as both a roadmap and a barometer for the work that we do. We are looking forward to providing our first update on progress toward implementation of the plan just in time for the start of the 2019-2020 school year.  A PDF of the plan, in its entirety, can also be found here.  

Please review the remainder of this update for important information on the happenings of the Medway Public Schools.


Armand Pires, Ph.D.


School Calendars

At this time, our last day of school, which will be a half day, will be Tuesday, June 18, 2019. The approved calendar for the 2019-2020 school year can be found here.

Early Release Day: May 17, 2019

Just a reminder that Friday, May 17, will be an early release for all students.  Schools be 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.

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 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 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.  

Superintendent’s Task Force on Student Stress

The Superintendent’s Task Force on Student Stress concluded the first phase of their work last week.  Task force members reviewed student data related to stress and engaged in a gap analysis which compared our district’s practices to the best practices outlined by Challenge Success’ S.P.A.C.E. Framework.  Task force members used this information to identify the top priorities for change at both Medway Middle School and Medway High School.  The results of their work will be shared in a recommendation to Dr. Pires, Dr. Murray, and Mr. Juelis within the coming weeks.

Thanks to all of those who volunteered to be part of this important group.

K-5 and 6-8 Mathematics Resource Pilot Process Update

As you may recall, the results of our Grade K-12 Mathematics’ Curriculum Review Process indicated a need for the district to explore new resources for our K-5 and Grade 6-8 students to better align with the expectations for learning outlined in the 2017 Massachusetts Mathematics Frameworks.  We have assembled representative teams at these grade levels and these teams have spent the last few months perusing commercial products available for this purpose.

Our Grade K-5 teachers have been participating in a mini-pilot of Ready Classroom (Curriculum Associates) and will also conduct a mini-pilot on either Eureka (Engage NY) or Bridges (The Math Learning Center).

Our Grade 6-8 teachers have been participating in mini-pilots in Big Ideas (Big Ideas Learning, LLC) and Reveal (McGraw-Hill).  This team will also be exploring a mini-pilot in Illustrative (Open Up Resources) to round out their exploration.  

The goal is to identify one comprehensive resource for our K-5 and 6-8 grade spans for a full year pilot during the 2019-2020 school year.  This decision will be finalized and shared with the School Committee during its June 6 meeting.

Grade 5-12 Social/Emotional Learning Partnership with  Teachers 21/William James College

Dr. Sherman, Director of Wellness, and a representative group of educators from Medway Middle and Medway High School have been engaged in learning and analysis with leaders from Teachers 21/William James College in the area of social and emotional learning.  The team is examining their building’s current social and emotional learning practices and identifying areas that may provide the greatest opportunity for growth. These teams will inform the development of an action plan aimed at addressing the unique needs of the middle and high school learning environments.

Infinite Campus, Student Information System Transition Update

We have continued to engage with our project manager through Infinite Campus to support the district’s transition to this new student management system.  Our administrators at the middle and high school are building the 2019-2020 schedule within Infinite Campus and we are excited about the potential that this transition has in store for us.  Additional information about parent access to this new platform will be available in the coming months.

Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center (MARC) Visits to Medway Schools

Graduate students from the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center (MARC), an academic Center of Bridgewater State University, presented to our Grade 2, 4, 5 and 7 students last month.  The presentations varied by grade with the focus of the presentations ranging from bullying, cyberbullying, and healthy online relationships. Student feedback was positive. We plan to make the MARC presentations an annual occurrence at the Medway Middle and Burke-Memorial Schools as they are a great way to reinforce our health education curricula.

Middle School World Language Curriculum Night

We were excited to see many middle school students and families at this year’s World Language Curriculum Night.   Prior to this event, students prepared food from different cultures and engaged with attendees about what they learned through this process.  Many students submitted a cooking video and utilized the target language during their taping. We hope to partner this event with the District Culture Fair in future years.  

Massachusetts Public Water System Award: STARL Award (Systems Taking Action to Reduce Lead)

We are pleased to announce that the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection recognized both the Medway Water Department and Medway Public Schools for their work around ensuring safe drinking water.  We received the STARL Award from the Massachusetts Public Water System.  This award is given to water systems and schools who take action to reduce lead in school drinking water. A celebratory event will take place in early May and will be attended by Don Aicardi, Director of Business and Operations and Barry Smith, Medway Water Superintendent.

McGovern Elementary School Wins Visit from Author Jan Brett

We are incredibly excited to welcome author, Jan Brett, to McGovern Elementary School on May 20 when she will spend a full day at the school meeting with students and sharing her talents.  Jan Brett’s visit is the result of a full community effort. Thanks to all who participated in this opportunity to bring Ms. Brett to Medway. A special thank you to Ms. Christy Esposito, elementary library paraprofessional, for her efforts and organization of this contest.  

Burke-Memorial Weekend Food Backpack Program Ribbon Cutting

A meaningful partnership between the Burke-Memorial Elementary School, the Medway Food Pantry, and Stop and Shop has resulted in the establishment of a Weekend Food Backpack Program.  The Burke-Memorial Weekend Food Backpack Program held its official ribbon cutting ceremony before April vacation. A reporter from NBC 10 Boston was with us to cover the event and spent time learning more about the program from Susan Dietrich, School Committee Vice Chair, Dr. Armand Pires, Superintendent, Amanda Luizzi, Burke-Memorial Principal, and Dr. Ryan Sherman, Director of Wellness.  We are pleased to offer this support to students and their families.

7th Grade Shakesperience

Last Thursday, 7th grade English Language Arts’ (ELA) students participated in an interactive workshop by  Shakesperience Productions, Inc. is a nonprofit theater company, based out of Connecticut. The workshops were held during ELA class times.  During the workshops, actors helped students familiarize themselves with the basics of reading and performing Shakespeare's plays. The interactive workshop was generously funded by the Medway Secondary Parent and Teacher Organization.  

Special thanks to middle school ELA teachers Lisa Konieczna and Andrea Quinn for their thoughtful planning and advocacy for this experience.

Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. Steering Committee

The Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. Steering Committee met recently to begin planning their program of events for the 2019-2020 school year.  The committee is exploring the sponsoring of two marquee events (fall and winter), internal presentations at already established parent events (open houses, parent athletic nights, etc), and the creation of a Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. YouTube Channel.  The committee plans to final T.H.R.I.V.E.’s 2019-2020 calendar of events at their June 6 meeting.

Wellness Advisory Committee

The Wellness Advisory Committee met recently to collaboratively complete their work on the School Health Index (SHI), a tool used to determine how our district’s wellness practices compare to best practices.  Committee members will now identify the top three areas they believe are in need of immediate change.  The results of this vote will be shared in a recommendation to Dr. Pires.

REVELS Partnership and 2nd Grade Heritage Day at Memorial

Last month, our second grade students participated in their Annual Heritage Day Celebration. Students shared their research projects with their families and gathered in the cafeteria for a celebration which included poems and songs celebrating heritage.


This year, thanks to an MFE grant, the second graders also partnered with the Revels organization to participate in a six week residency program.. Each class met with actors and musicians to learn about and practice a traditional Mummers play.  This event was truly enjoyable for all involved.


Permanent Art Collection - Print Orders Accepted

Last months’ Permanent Art Collection Gallery Opening was a great success.  Prints of the featured artists’ works are available for purchase. If you are interested in purchasing an 8x10 matted print of any of the pieces from this year’s collection, please fill out this order form and return it to the superintendent’s office.  Each print is $25. Checks can be made payable to Medway Public Schools and will allow this event to become self sustaining.  Prints will be available for pick up at the superintendent’s office once ready. We will accept orders through June 1, 2019.

Medway Middle School’s Musical, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella Congratulations

Congratulations to our middle school students who performed in three packed performances of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella!  Thank you to performing arts coordinator, Todd Swavey, and middle school performing arts educator, Nori von Jena, for their leadership and preparation for these performances.

Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association (MICCA) State Festival

Congratulations to Kendra Nutting and Amanda Webster, high school music teachers, and Doug Dufresne, middle school music teacher, along with our ensembles at the middle and high school (8th grade Concert Band, HS Concert Band, HS Mixed Chorus and HS Treble Chorus) for their successful participation  in the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association (MICCA) State Festivals.  The students performed for highly qualified adjudicators from universities across the Northeast and participated in clinics with one of the adjudicators after their performances.  

Both the middle school and high school Concert Bands earned bronze medals and both the high school Mixed and Treble Choruses earned silver medals. We are so incredibly proud of our students' hard work and dedication to their music and to each other, and we couldn't have asked for a better first MICCA experience.  

Winter Sports’ Season All-Star Awards

Congratulations to the following athletes for being recognized for contributions made during their winter sports’ seasons:  

Boys Hockey:

TVL All Star Team:  Nate Steinhoff

Honorable Mention All-Star: Jeremy Curley, Carter Fisher, Cole Theodore

Girls Hockey

TVL All Star Team:  Rachel Gittings, Brynn Moriarty, Sophia Theodore

Honorable Mention All Star: Lauren Norton, Mackenzie Quigley

Boys Basketball:

TVL All Star Team: Ryan Johnston, Drew Plunkett (TVL Small MVP)

Honorable Mention All Star: Kyle Regan, Tim Uzoegbu

TVL Small Coach of the Year: Coach Eric Copeland

Girls Basketball:

TVL All Star Team: Samantha Murray

Honorable Mention All Star:  Rachel Costello, Julia Dowling

Boys Indoor Track:

TVL All Star Team: Collin McGlynn

Honorable Mention All Star:  Rome Banaitis, Ethan Fennyery, Connor Gilmore, Justin Twamley

Girls Indoor Track:

TVL All Star Team: Peyton Redfield, Ava Vasile (TVL Small MVP)

Honorable Mention All Star: Abby Greeley, Chloe Redfield, Erin Shippos, Tara Shippos

Boston Globe All-Scholastic: Ava Vasile

Boston Herald All-Scholastic: Ava Vasile

Alpine Ski:

MIAA All-State Race Participant: Maddie Murphy, Andrew Rozak, Ben Rozak

Medway Public Schools In the News

The Medway Public Schools have been highlighted a few times in the last few  of weeks. Links to these articles can be found below.

Video: New Food Pantry in Medway

Medway school administrators get inside look at a student’s school day

Medway High School launches esports team

Anthony Mazzola introduced as new Medway football coach

Medway High students compete in new esports league

Food Service Jobs Available

Part time and substitute jobs are available in our food services department. We are looking for individuals interested in serving healthy food to students with the flexibility to be home when kids are home.  Food service experience is a plus, but not required. The starting pay for the food service substitutes is $14.44 per hour and substitute jobs can lead to permanent positions. Please email Shawn Fallon at or call 508-533-3230 X 5026 for more information.

Medway Foundation for Education (MFE) Upcoming Event

Kentucky Derby Party

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


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

Medway Art Week

Medway's first Art Week started last Friday, April 26  A statewide celebration, Art Week is filled with fun and interactive activities for the whole family.  The full schedule of activities taking place during Art Week, Friday, April 26 to Saturday, May 4, can be found here.

Upcoming Events

May 4, 2019

MFE Kentucky Derby Gala, Thayer Homestead, , 4:30 p.m

May 9, 2019

School Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 6:45 p.m.

May 10, 2019

Senior Superlative Night, Auditorium, Medway High School, 7:00 p.m.

May 13, 2019

Annual Spring Town Meeting, Auditorium, Medway High School, 6:00 p.m.

May 14, 2019

MEPTO Meeting, Burke-Memorial Elementary School, 6:30 p.m.

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

May 15, 2019

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

May 17, 2019

Early Release:  All Grades

McGovern - 12:00 p.m.

Burke -Memorial - 11:30 am

Medway Middle - 11:02 am

Medway High - 11:34 am

Medway High School Prom, Sheraton Hotel, Four Points, Norwood,  6:00 p.m.

May 18, 2019

Medway Pride Day, Medway Middle School, 10:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Medway Alumni Banquet, Doubletree Hilton Hotel, Milford, 6:00 p.m.

May 20, 2019

Jan Brett Visits McGovern!

May 21, 2019

Medway Town Elections, Medway Middle School, 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

McGovern Arts’ Show and Open House, McGovern Elementary School,

PreK and Kindergarten: 5:30-6:15 p.m.

Grade 1: 6:30-7:15 p.m.

May 22, 2019

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

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

May 23, 2019

School Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 6:45 p.m.

May 27, 2019

No School:  Memorial Day

May 28, 2019

International Thespian Honor Society Induction Ceremony and Performance, Auditorium, Medway High School, 6:30 p.m.

May 29, 2019

High School Scholarship Night, Auditorium, Medway High School, 6:30 p.m.

May 30, 2019

Middle School Band Concert, Auditorium, Medway High School, 6:00 p.m.

June 2, 2019

High School Graduation, Gymnasium, Medway High School, 2:00 p.m.

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