Community Update 8/14/2018

Community Update 8/14/2018
Posted on 08/14/2018
Community Update

August 14, 2018 Community Update

Dear Medway families,

We hope that you are having a wonderful summer, enjoying time with family and friends.  The district has been busy this summer preparing for the upcoming school year. We are excited by the work that has taken place and the continued professional learning that will support students upon their return later this month.  There are many important updates below. Please take a few minutes to review the included information.

We look forward to seeing our students return on August 29 and 30!

Sincerely,

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent

 

2018-2019 Bus Routes

We are pleased to publish the 2018-2019 Bus Routes early this year.  The 2018-2019 Bus Routes are now available on our website and can be accessed here:   2018-2019 Bus Routes

 

Please know that the Medway Schools works closely with both Holmes Transportation and the Medway Police Department to address any concerns that are raised.  If you have any concerns or questions about bus transportation, please contact Don Aicardi, Director of Finance and Operations (daicardi@medwayschools.org), with questions.  In your email, please include the following:

  • your address

  • the grade of your child

  • your question/all pertinent information

 

Please review the following document that has some important information to assist with Medway Public School Bus Procedures.

 

For those students who are not eligible for bus service, please note that the Medway Public Schools, in collaboration with Massachusetts Safe Routes to School, the Medway Police Department and Project Alex, has mapped out “safe walking bus routes” for our K-8 students for use to and from school.   Each walking bus route is equipped with several drop off locations and multiple "walking stops," which are similar to bus stops, along the route.  Please refer to the school specific maps for more details about the walking routes your child can safely use to get to and from school: Walking Bus Maps

 

First Day of School and 2018-19 Calendar

We are excited to welcome our Grade 1-12 students when they return to school on Wednesday, August 29, 2018.  Kindergarten and PreK students will start on Thursday, August 30, 2018. Please find the 2018-19 school year calendar so that you are able to plan effectively:  2018-19 School Calendar   

 

Medway Public Schools:  2018-2021 Strategic Plan

The 2017-18 school year presented us with an opportunity to reflect upon and plan refinements to our Strategic Plan.  This plan continues to be an anchor for our work. Over the summer, we had the opportunity to collate the feedback that we received during our school visits, forums with community members, the leadership team, and the School Committee, and the community survey.  These themes allowed us to understand the most pervasive current areas of strength and opportunity and, from these themes, we were able to draft a set of core values and goals that we are excited to bring to you for feedback and input. We will share these with you in a Fall communication.  Special thanks to our Strategic Plan Mid-Cycle Review Steering Committee as well as those who have engaged in this effort.

 

New Administrators

Please join me in welcoming four new administrators to our district. Dr. John Murray has joined us as the principal of Medway High School.   Mr. Craig Juelis will serve as our principal at Medway Middle School. Mrs. Amy McDonald has been hired as the principal of McGovern Elementary School.  Lastly, Mr. Jim Kane will be serving as the Director of Facilities. Thank you to our community members who engaged in the hiring processes to yield these talented leaders.  

 

New Faculty and Staff

We were very pleased that our various hiring processes yielded highly qualified, motivated, and exciting candidates to fill our vacant roles.  We look forward to introducing the newest members of the Medway Public Schools when we convene as a district faculty and staff on August 28.

 

Teacher Leader Reorganization

Last Spring, we worked collaboratively with the Medway Federation for Teachers to finalize a teacher leader reorganization plan.  There were three primary goals identified through a study of our current practices:

  1. A need for more content specific focus (echoed in curriculum review processes).

  2. A focus on better vertical alignment, especially at pivotal, developmental and school transition stages.

  3. A desire to provide educators with targeted, instructional feedback to support improvement and student success.

 

We are thankful for the partnership with our educators to support this reorganization which, we believe, well addresses our district learners in their attainment of a comprehensive, rigorous and meaningful educational experience.

 

iReady Year 2 Pilot

The 2017-18 school year provided us an opportunity to explore a new diagnostic screener in the areas of reading and mathematics with our grade 1-8 students.  We surveyed our educators during the year and determined that the value gained from this assessment data has good potential. This year, we will continue our pilot implementation of this diagnostic screener with our grade 2-8 students.  The McGovern and Burke-Memorial School Improvement Plans highlight the need to support the development of small group instruction in the classroom - based on the student information gleaned from iReady and other assessment measures. Our K-5 and 6-12  Mathematics and Literacy/English Language Arts Curriculum and Instruction Leaders will be focusing on this as a primary function of their roles with grade level teachers next year. An overview of the decision making process and what a well rounded assessment system includes can be found here:  Elevating Assessment presentation

 

Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. - SAVE THE DATES

Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. (Tools for Health, Resiliency, Inclusiveness, Vitality and Empowerment), a committee dedicated to providing wellness related, family enrichment opportunities to the Medway community has created a calendar of events for the 2018-2019 school year.  These events will occur in the evening and are open to all. Each event is connected with a broader theme. In an effort to plan ahead, below please find the dates for which our T.H.R.I.V.E. events will take place. These events are open to the community. We hope to see you at these events!

 

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

  • September 26, 2018:  Jon Mattleman presents The Secret Life of Tweens and Teens

  • October 24, 2018:  Responsive Classroom workshop for parents (a K-4 offering)

  • November 14, 2018:  Stanford University’s Challenge Success presents The Well Balanced Student, a documentary

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

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

  • February 27, 2019: A Night to Celebrate and Better Understand Differences

  • March 2019:  Raising Digital Citizens:   Community book read: iGen

 

Locker Update

As was communicated in June, there was an accident that occurred at Medway Middle School.  A bank of lockers released from the wall and injured an employee. As shared at that time, this was a concerning situation that resulted in a review of the anchoring system for the lockers at the middle school.  All lockers at the middle school have been inspected and re-secured to ensure safety.

 

Route 109 Project

The Town has a page on their website dedicated to providing regular updates on this project.  The page can be accessed here.  The information on this page will provide a useful resource as the project progresses and results in traffic changes.  You can subscribe to weekly email updates here.

 

Communication

We continue to review and refine our methods of communication.  As you know, on-going communication has taken many forms as technology continues to change.  What has not changed is the power and effectiveness of dealing with questions and challenges at the level closest to our students.  It is important for families to reach out when they have questions or concerns. When doing so, please be sure to communicate with the individual or individuals who have the information necessary to answer your questions or bring your concern to resolution.    In many cases, this is a classroom teacher first.

 

District wide communications from the team at the central office will come to families once or twice each month with information relevant to our entire school community.  These updates supplement the updates that are shared by school leaders. We share these communications through email addresses that are provided by families at the beginning of each school year.  Should communications require a higher level of sensitivity or urgency, these written/email communications will be accompanied by a phone call through our School Messenger system which will share a recorded voice message on the topic being communicated.  

 

It is important to us that our community have a strong understanding of the activities and initiatives taking place within our schools and district.  This work continues to provide our students with the most relevant and supportive learning to foster continued growth.

 

New Website to Launch Soon

 

Even with the need for quick access and timely updates on events and celebrations, school and district websites continue to be an essential element for providing families with information, forms, calendars, and documents.  We are pleased to share that we will be transitioning our website content to a new system that will allow our content to be more streamlined and integrated with other communication platforms. We will provide updates and informations on this exciting transition as it becomes available.

 

Twitter and Facebook

Over the past few years, our administrators and teachers have increasingly used Twitter and Facebook as communication tools.  These platforms provide us with a great opportunity to share information with our community in short, informative snippets. Please see below for official Twitter handles of our schools and the district.  Our facebook page is Medway Public Schools.  We invite you to follow us!

 

Medway Public Schools        @MedwaySchools

Medway High School        @MedwayHighInfo

Medway Middle School        @MedwayMiddle

Burke/Memorial School        @BurkeMemorial

McGovern School        @McGovernElem

Medway Athletics        @MedwayAthletics

 

Upcoming Events:  

*These represent district events that impact multiple schools.  School based events will be communicated through school based communications

August 28, 2018

Opening Day for Faculty and Staff, Medway High School

August 29, 2018

Opening Day for Students in Grades 1-12

August 30, 2018

Opening Day for Kindergarten and PreK Students

August 31, 2018

No School

September 3, 2018

No School:Labor Day

September 6, 2018

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

September 9, 2018

Alex Handy 5K, Medway VFW, 7:00 a.m.

September 10, 2018

No School:Rosh Hashanah

September 19, 2018

No School:Yom Kippur

September 20, 2018

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

September 26, 2018

T.H.R.I.V.E. Event: Jon Mattleman presents The Secret Life of Tweens and Teens, Auditorium, Medway High School, 7:00 p.m.

October 4, 2018

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





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