Superintendent's Update - Dated 10/29/2020

Superintendent's Update - Dated 10/29/2020
Posted on 10/29/2020
Superintendent's Update - Dated 10/29/2020

Dear Medway families, 

We have crossed the six week threshold of this school year. We are excited that we are able to continue to support in-person student learning, connection, and wellness.  We want to express our gratitude for your partnership and support.  We also want to encourage the community to remain vigilant and adhere to safe health practices both at school, and in the community.  Please resist the temptation to bring gatherings indoors which we know are far less safe in our COVID-19 reality.  We have seen that the negative consequences as communities have let down their guard.  In some cases, circumstances have resulted in other schools having to make the difficult decision to go remote to manage uncertainty about the virus, or a significant number of cases.  We are hopeful that with continued vigilance, we will be able to continue to allow our students to experience in-person learning.  

Sincerely,

  

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent

No School:  November 3, 2020:  Professional Development

There will be no school on November 3, 2020.  This is a Professional Development Day for our faculty and staff. 

The First Six Weeks of School:  Back to School Surveys 

Wednesday, October 28 marks our official six week mark of the 2020-2021 school year.  As is our practice, we want to understand how this experience has been for our families, our students, and our faculty and staff.  We recognize that this year is unlike any other and we also recognize that all of us are engaging in work that is quite different.  We have aimed to keep the community apprised or our ongoing, continuous learning and we have asked for continued partnership and patience.   Thank you for providing us with the time to identify our initial areas of needed growth.  The results of these surveys will allow us to gain an even broader sense of this work.

Teacher and Staff Surveys:  All teachers and staff will be asked to complete a reflection survey by Friday, November 13. 

Student Surveys for grade 3-12 students:  These surveys will be sent directly to students through their email.  Students will be asked to complete these during the afternoon of Wednesday, November 4.  

Family Surveys:  Parents/Guardians of students in grades PK-12 are asked to complete one survey per child.  These surveys are a mix of free response and likert scale questions.  Families can access the link to the survey here:   

Transportation Survey:  Response Required

Medway Public Schools sent out and asked families to complete a transportation survey so that we had a clear understanding of the number of students who would require “big yellow bus” transportation.  This is an important piece of information as our buses are limited to a much lower capacity of students to ensure adherence to safety guidance.  It is important to remember that the organization of our schools, along with the adoption of our health and safety protocols, should not create close contacts within school, except on the bus.

Now that we have a few weeks of experience, we have noted that many of our buses have many fewer students than they can transport within the newly established guidelines.  It is important that we gain an accurate understanding of the transportation needs of our students. In order to accomplish this, we are asking families who are eligible for bus transportation, to affirm their need for bus transportation. The survey can be found here

Medway Public Schools COVID-19 Information Hub

To provide families with the latest information and resources related to COVID-19, we have created a COVID-19 information hub, which can be accessed here, and by visiting our district’s homepage.  Please visit this site for information about school/community COVID-19 health data, positive test reporting, student protocols, and local testing sites.  

Remote Learning Family and Student Guidelines

As we continue to refine our practices in support of student learning, we have developed a set of Student and Family Remote Learning Guidelines.  All students and families are asked to review and complete this form together in all grades, PK-12.  Principals will follow up in their communications as well.  You can find the form here:  

Remote Learning Family and Student Guidelines 

Flu Shots Required by December 31, 2020

The state of MA now requires that all students receive the influenza vaccination.  Students will be expected to have received a flu vaccine by December 31, 2020, for the 2020-2021 influenza season, unless either a medical or religious exemption is provided.  This new flu immunization requirement to enter school in January is in addition to existing vaccine requirements for all students attending school in Massachusetts. Elementary and secondary students in districts and schools that are using a remote education model are not exempt.

Please anticipate a communication from Health Services.  In the meantime, if you have any questions about this requirement, you are asked to reach out to your child’s school nurse.

Free School Lunch and Breakfast For ALL STUDENTS for the Entire 2020/20201 School Year

The USDA recently announced that school breakfast and lunch would remain free for ALL students for the entirety of the 2020/2021 school year.  We realize that parents and guardians are being asked to do many different things in support of their children this school year.  We are pleased to be able to take one thing off of your plate by providing your student with breakfast and lunch.  

'S.U.P. Medway / T.H.R.I.V.E. Event: Preventing Teen Substance Use 

‘S.U.P. Medway is a newly formed youth substance use prevention coalition that has teamed up with Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. to host a community event: Planning for Prevention.  During this 30-minute webinar, community members will learn from Aubrey Ciol, Prevention Specialist, about how to engage with youth in discussions around mental health and substance use.  Attendees will also learn about how community coalitions have been shown to significantly decrease youth substance use and about how they can join the ‘S.U.P. Coalition.  The event will take place on Wednesday, November, 18th from 7:00-7:30 pm.  To register please click here.  

Back to School and Curriculum Nights

The high school hosted their Virtual Back to School Night on October 15, 2020 from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. This was a virtual event that began with welcome remarks from the principal and the administrative team as well as an overview of the evening. Parents had the opportunity to follow their child's schedule by attending ten-minute virtual presentations from each of their child’s teachers. Each teacher shared a brief overview of their course along with their expectations. 

The following date and time has been set for the remaining Open House/Curriculum Night:

  • October, 29, 2020 Virtual Back to School Night at McGovern Elementary School from 6:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

Yearly Student Information Update - Online Registration

We request that all families complete the beginning of year packet [Online Registration] in the parent portal to ensure we have the most up to date information for you and your child. To access OLR in the portal, login and choose MORE > Online Registration.  Please follow the prompts to complete this information. If you are new to Medway or in need an access code to create an account, please email support@medwayschools.org.

Technology Update

The technology department has disbursed over a thousand devices to support student virtual learning. Fortunately, we were able to support a 1:1 ratio for 5th through 12th grade and all device requests for PK through 4th grade. Additional devices have been ordered to support grades PK through 4 with the vendor advising delivery will be delayed until December 7th. As soon as devices arrive we will advise of our plans for disbursement. If students and families are in need of a device or support in any way please email support@medwayschools.org

Medway Athletics Newsletter

The latest edition of the Medway Public Schools’ Athletics Newsletter, Mustang Nation, can be found here.

Exelon Event

On October 22, 2020 an event to accept a donation in support of our robotics and engineering programs was held at Medway High School.   Representatives from Exelon Corporation were present for the event with principal Dr. John Murray and Jon Jasinski, engineering teacher.  We are thankful to Exelon for their support of student learning.

Diversity, Equity, Belonging and Inclusion Update 

During the October 22 School Committee meeting, Armand Pires, Superintendent, Kat Bernklow, Director of Student Services, Gabby Abrams, Assistant Superintendent, presented an update on the district work pertaining to diversity, equity, belonging, and inclusion.   This presentation was an important summary of a decade of work in this area of essential focus.  The presentation that was shared can be found here:  Diversity, Equity, Belonging and Inclusion Within the Medway Public Schools

NESDEC Student Award of Excellence

On Thursday, October 22, the Dr. Armand Pires presented Senior Lillian Woodard with the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendent’s Award for Academic Excellence.  Lillian’s academic record speaks for itself. Throughout her high school career, Lillian has demonstrated a high level intellectual skill and has also taken advantage of multiple opportunities to get involved with school life.  We are proud of Lillian and her accomplishments and extend congratulations to her for receiving this honor.

Upcoming Events

November 3, 2020

No School: Professional Development Day

November 5, 2020

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

November 11, 2020

No School: Veterans Day

November 12, 2020

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

November, 17, 2020

Virtual High School Parent-Teacher Conferences, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

November 18, 2020

‘SUP Medway/THRIVE Parent Event, 7:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

November 19, 2020

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

November 25, 2020

Early Release All Schools

November 26-27, 2020

No School: Thanksgiving Recess


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