Superintendent's Update - April 6, 2021

Superintendent's Update - April 6, 2021
Posted on 04/07/2021
Superintendent's Update - April 6, 2021

Dear Medway families, 

We are excited to welcome our hybrid students, grades 6-12, to a full in-person learning experience beginning next week.  On April 12, for the first time in more than a year, most of our students will be back in school - learning together.  The road to get here was long and complicated. I would like to again thank our faculty and staff for their unwavering commitment to achieving a full return of our students.  I would also like to thank our community for your continued support, understanding, and patience as we managed this unknown.  We are excited that our students are returning and will immediately shift our focus to gaining an understanding of the impact of the pandemic, both academically and social/emotionally.  In the weeks and months ahead we will be sharing information about our planning to support our students.    

There are several important updates regarding the Grade 6-12 transition and other district updates below.  

  

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Schools

 

No School:  April 19-23

We hope all of our families enjoy the week off from school, Monday, April 19-Friday, April 23 for April Vacation.

Planning for a Full Return:  IMPORTANT UPDATES

We are so excited to have all of our students, PK-12, back in the district officially on our first “re”opening day on Monday, April 12.  A reminder to families that our Grade 6-12 students will attend school on M, T, Th, and F during the week of April 12.  Wednesday, April 14 will be a familiar Wednesday schedule for Grades 6-12 with synchronous learning time in the AM and asynchronous learning time in the PM. 

Following April vacation, starting the week of April 26, all students in Grades 6-12 will begin attending school 5 days per week.   

Schedule for COVID-19 Student Testing following Vacation Week

The week following April break, April 26-30, we are planning to test students at the beginning and at the end of the week.  We felt that this was necessary due to the April vacation. If you would like your student to participate, and have not yet registered, please see below for information on signing up.  The schedule for testing is here:

 

Medway High School

Tuesday, April 27

Thursday, April 29

Medway Middle School

Wednesday, April 28

Friday, April 20

Burke-Memorial

Tuesday, April 27

Thursday, April 29

 

 

Transportation Updates for Full Return 

We have been busy making adjustments to transportation plans following the change in guidance from the state.  As we have shared, the updated guidance provides an opportunity to increase ridership on buses.  As we prepare for the return, we have managed many requests for transportation from families.  Those additional riders, combined with the coming together of all cohorts, will likely result in challenges on the “first day” on April 12.  We wanted to alert you to this likelihood and ask for your understanding and patience as we work to establish new routines.

Please Join Us:  Parent/Guardian T.H.R.I.V.E. Event:  April 13

As a follow-up to the email sent recently with a few Technology Updates, we are pleased to share that a parent/guardian learning opportunity has been finalized.  Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. will be hosting a live parent/guardian webinar on April 13, at 6:30 p.m., featuring Dr. Elizabeth Englander.  Dr. Englander will speak with parents/guardians about the social and emotional challenges imposed by the pandemic and how these challenges are related to issues like screen use and cyberbullying.  The event flyer and Zoom link can be found here

Please Sign-Up:  Student COVID-19 Testing - Participation Goal is 70%

Student testing percentages continue to rise, with 64% of MHS, 65% MMS, and 39% of Burke-Memorial students participating in the testing program this week.  Thank you to our many families for supporting this important element of our COVID mitigation plan.  It is still not too late to sign up!

We are pleased to share that our testing company, Ginkgo Bioworks, is now offering an online consent form that accepts an electronic signature which simplifies this process.  The consent form can be found hereAttached below are additional instructions to guide you through the consent process. The access code you will need on the second screen is mutating-medway.

Please note:

If your child has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, do not fill out Ginkgo's consent form.  If you have already completed and sent the previous consent form, your consent is still valid. There is no need to complete this new form.

If you would like a paper copy of the consent form, you can pick one up at your child’s school.  

Questions or concerns about the consent form or the testing program can be directed to Kylie O’Neill at koneill@medwayschools.org

Also, please find the following informational resources that may be useful:

Instructions for Gingko’s Consent Form

Recording of Medway Public School Webinar- January 27, 2021

Slideshow about Regular Student Testing Program from Webinar 

FAQs for Student Testing

Medway’s Tiered Focused Monitoring Review for English Language Education (ELE)

During the week of April 26, 2021, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE’s) Office of Language Acquisition will conduct a Tiered Focused Monitoring Review of the Medway Public Schools. The Office of Language Acquisition reviews each district’s and charter school’s ELE program every six years to monitor compliance with federal and state English learner education laws and regulations. Areas of review will include English learners’ student assessments, identification of English learners; what programs English learners are placed in, parent and community involvement, curriculum and instruction, student support services, licensure requirements for faculty, staff and administration, program plans, and evaluation and recordkeeping. 

In addition to the onsite visit, parent outreach is an important part of the review process. The review chairperson from the Office of Language Acquisition will send a survey to the parents of students whose records the review team examines. The survey focuses on key areas of their child’s English learner education program. Survey results will contribute to the monitoring report. 

Parents and other individuals may call Paul Aguiar, Office of Language Acquisition Review Chairperson, at  (781) 338-3584  to request a telephone interview. If an individual requires an accommodation, such as translation, to participate in an interview, DESE will make the necessary arrangements.

Within approximately 60 business days of the onsite visit, the review chairperson will provide the Medway Public Schools with a report with information about areas in which the Medway Public Schools meets or exceeds regulatory requirements and areas in which the Medway Public Schools requires assistance to correct or improve practices. The report will be available to the public when completed.

Meal Access for Remote Learners

As we prepare for more students to make their full return to school, remote meal distribution will now take place on Thursday mornings from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Beginning Thursday, April 1, 2021 students who have opted for remote learning may pick-up meals at Medway Middle School on Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Door # 24 on the Kelly Street entrance side of the building.  A week's worth of meals will be offered during this pick-up date each week.  Please see the food services website for menushttps://medwayschools.nutrislice.com/Please contact Shawn Fallon at sfallon@medwayschools.org if you have any questions or concerns.

Update on Technology Planning

As we shared with you recently, we have moved forward with an audit of our settings within Google which will become a process for us moving forward each year.  We have secured a partnership with Amplified IT who will assess our system and reconnect with us at the end of April.

The IT department strongly encourages all students and families to manage their technology devices as safely as possible.  Supply chains for new devices and repair parts are stretched to the limit, with many devices and parts not available for the foreseeable future. This is causing prolonged repair times. Please take care of and speak to students about proper care of the devices.

In addition to the above, as we approach the MCAS testing season, the IT department requests that all students in need of device repair please inform our department immediately. This will ensure devices and students are prepared for the testing windows with a fully functioning device. Support can be reached by emailing support@medwayschools.org.

We will provide more details about end of year device collection as we move deeper into the spring.   

K-5 Literacy Audit:  Partnership with Hill for Literacy

As part of our Curriculum Review Cycle, the Medway Public Schools have partnered with Hill for Literacy to conduct an audit of our K-5 literacy curriculum.  This process will extend throughout the remainder of this school year and will involve a review of our curriculum (resources, assessments, and instructional approaches) as well as our approach to supporting learners who have not met specific areas of proficiency yet.  

This process will result in the development of a literacy plan that will set the stage for future improvement efforts in service to the literacy learning of our youngest students. 

MetroWest Kids Initiative:  Supporting Students Through COVID-19 and Beyond

Last week, Senator Karen Spilka hosted her 4th Annual Metrowest Forum on Social and Emotional Learning in partnership with Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy.  Supporting Our Students Through COVID-19 & Beyond provided an opportunity to recognize the need to better support young people's social-emotional learning.  

Senator Spilka shared many resources during and following this event, including tools for parents and educators to reduce student stress and promote overall wellness. These resources and a recording of the event are available here.

Nominations Sought:  Burke-Memorial Plaque

Medway Public Schools is now accepting nominations for names to be placed on the Burke-Memorial School plaque.  Nominations must be submitted to the Office of the Superintendent, Medway Public Schools, 45 Holliston Street, Medway, MA 02053, by May 31, 2021.

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.  The nomination form can be found here.

COVID-19 Reporting Hotline 

If your child tests positive for COVID-19, please call 508-321-4779 or email covid@medwayschools.orgUsing the hotline helps to ensure an efficient response and protects student privacy.  If you are not reporting a positive COVID-19 test result but have questions about COVID-19 and your child, please contact your school nurse.  

2021-2022 School Calendar

The 2021-2022 School calendar was approved at the February 25 School Committee meeting and can be found here.

Medway Youth Baseball Challenger Division

We are pleased to communicate a cross community opportunity that has recently been shared with us.  Please see the linked opportunity for students to join Medway Youth Baseball - Challenger Division, Spring 2021.  This opportunity is open to all students between the ages of 4-18 (or 22 if still enrolled in school) who love the game and who have either a physical or intellectual disability.  If you are interested in becoming a “buddy” for students in the program, please reach out to the program coordinators for more information on how to engage in the “buddy” system.  No scores will be kept. Every player is a winner.  Everyone takes a turn at bat, advances the bases, and plays the field.  Unique to this division is the buddy system, where a Challenger player partners with a "buddy" who is at least 12 years old.  There is no charge for the Challenger Division this season! 

COVID protocols will be in place for all coaches and participants including mask wearing at all times for everyone at the park, social distancing, no shared food/drink, and all participants should depart the field as soon as the sessions end.  

For questions, please reach out to Jay Golden at jgolden@hopkinton.k12.ma.us or Medway Youth Baseball President Rich Coakley at richardcoakley@outlook.com.

For more information or to register,  please follow this link:  https://www.medwayyouthbaseball.com/challenger

Medway Foundation for Education (MFE) Fundraiser

Now you can honor not just your own mom, but mothers all over the world by participating in our Spring & Mother’s Day fundraiser to benefit the Medway Foundation for Education.  From today through April 12, when you purchase lovingly handmade fair trade gifts, Medway Foundation for Education will receive 25% of product sales to support our mission of raising capital to fund innovative, educational projects throughout Medway’s public schools.  As you can imagine, fundraising the past 12 months has been a challenge.  We would love to raise some funds for the MFE while also promoting the support of fair trade artisans!

Please go to https://www.fairtradecaravans.com/MFE

  • Fill your shopping cart with fair trade gifts, home décor, jewelry and accessories
  • Check out with a credit card
  • Your order will be shipped directly to you

Fair trade products are made with love by hard-working artisans and farmers — who are also mothers and fathers — from around the globe; made or grown with no child labor, fair pay, safe working conditions and sustainable practices.

Update from MEPTO for Grade 4 families

MEPTO is looking for photos of 4th graders for the 2020-2021 Memory Book.  Click here for more information and how to submit your photos. 

Medway Public Schools In the News

Nominations sought for Medway’s Memorial School plaque

Press Release: Medway Public Schools Proposed FY22 Budget Shared at Public Hearing, Approved by School Committee

Upcoming Events

April 12, 2021

First Full Return, In Person Day of Learning for All Grade 6-12 Students!

MFPA Meeting, Virtual, 7:00 p.m.

April 13, 2021

T.H.R.I.V.E. parent/guardian event on digital safety, log in and information, 6:30 p.m.

April 15, 2021

School Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 6:00 p.m.

April 19-23, 2021

No School: April Vacation

April 28, 2021

MSPTO Meeting, Virtual, 7:00 p.m.

Welcome to Kindergarten, Virtual, 7:00 p.m.

May 6, 2021

School Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 6:00 p.m.

May 11, 2021

MFPA Meeting, Virtual, 7:00 p.m.

May 19, 2021

Early Release: All Schools

McGovern Elementary School (including McGovern Virtual School students): 12:00 p.m.

Burke-Memorial Elementary School (including Burke-Memorial Virtual School students): 11:30 a.m.

Medway Middle School (including Medway Middle Virtual School students): 11:02 a.m.

Medway High School (including Medway High Virtual School students): 11:34 a.m.

May 20, 2021

School Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 6:00 p.m.

May 26, 2021

MSPTO Meeting, Virtual, 7:00 p.m.

May 31, 2021

No School: Memorial Day

 

 

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