Superintendent's update 12/17/19

Posted on 12/17/2019

December 17, 2019 Community Update


Dear Medway families, 

At the end of this week we officially close out our school days in the year 2019.  On behalf of the Medway Public Schools faculty and staff, I would like to extend our deepest appreciation for your continued support and partnership. With this strong partnership we are able to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our students.  As we prepare for the upcoming break, we send our best wishes to you and your family for a happy and healthy transition into 2020.


Please find other important information and updates below.


Sincerely,

  

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Schools


No School:  Monday, December 23, 2019 - Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Just a reminder that there will be no school Monday, December 23, 2019-Wednesday, January 1, 2020 for winter break.  School will reopen on Thursday, January 2, 2020.


Kevin Clark, Former Medway Public Schools Athletic Director 

It is with sadness that we share the passing of Kevin Clark, former athletic director, coach, and educator of the Medway Public Schools.  The gymnasium at Medway High School, The Kevin P. Clark Memorial Gymnasium, was named in his honor in 2007 to recognize his service and commitment to the students of Medway.  Mr. Clark retired following a 35-year career with the Medway Public Schools serving as a health/physical education teacher, athletic director, football coach, assistant basketball coach, assistant baseball coach, and assistant track coach.  The Medway Public Schools joins the entire Medway community in sending our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Kevin Clark. A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 28, at Saint Joseph’s Parish Center, 145 Holliston Street, Medway.  Mr. Clark’s obituary can be viewed here


Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Preparations

Our first opportunity to engage with the greater community regarding the development of the FY21 budget took place last week during our Superintendent’s Chat.  Thank you to those who were able to join us either in person or virtually through Zoom. In the coming weeks, leaders throughout the district will be collating the information that they have from conversations with faculty and staff, enrollment projections, program reviews, and strategic initiatives. During the February 6 School Committee meeting, Dr. Pires, Superintendent, and Ms. Abrams, Assistant Superintendent, will be presenting the FY21 budget priorities through the annual, Charting the Course presentation.  This presentation will focus on the priority fiscal drivers for the 2020-2021 school year aligned to the strategic plan.


Social / Emotional Learning Community Event Hosted by Senator Spilka

Parents of K-12 students are invited on January 14, 2020, at 5:45 p.m. at the Warren Conference Center in Ashland for a session hosted by Senator Karen Spilka entitled, Strategies for Student Stress.  Dinner and child care are included. Please register here for this event.  

 

The speaker during dinner will be Shella Dennery, PhD, LICSW.  Dr. Dennery is the Director of the Boston Children’s Hospital Neighborhood Partnerships Program (BCHNP), the community behavioral health program in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston Children’s Hospital.  Dr. Dennery directs a program that provides services and supports to 16 Boston area schools and 2 community health centers. The program provides a comprehensive array of social, emotional, and behavioral health services to children and adolescents where they live and learn.  Additionally, BCHNP provides professional development, consultation, and capacity building services to educators, administrators and school communities. Dr. Dennery holds a PhD from Smith College and an MSW from Simmons College. She is adjunct faculty in social work at both Simmons College and Smith College, and is an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

 

Following the keynote, there will be additional resources offered by members of the Metrowest Health Foundation and there will be panel talk with a parent, child, and counselor.


Parent/Guardian Survey: Grade K-5 and Grade 6-8 Mathematics Resource Pilot

In an effort to inform our adoption decision regarding our Grade K-8 mathematics pilots, we are seeking reflections from our educators as well as our families.  Please take a few moments to provide us with feedback regarding the math resources that your children are engaged with this year. You can find the survey here: Grade K-5 Ready Classroom Mathematics Parent/Guardian Survey 


Parent/Guardian Survey:  Grade 6-12 English Language Arts Curriculum Review 

The Medway Public Schools is conducting a review of our Grade 6-12 English Language Arts (ELA) program.   An important component of this review is to gather information from our families about their children’s learning experiences in English/Language Arts learning within the Medway Schools.  The Curriculum Review Self Study Committee will use the results of this survey, along with other data sources, to assist in the review process. A link to that survey can be found here and the survey will be open until Friday, January 10.  Thank you for your participation in this process.


District Homework Study

PHASE 1:  Data Collection:  Parent Survey Below

We are requesting parent/guardian participation in the Parent/Guardian Homework Survey which can be found here.  All parents/guardians of grade K-12 students are invited to participate.  If families have students in multiple grades, we are requesting that one survey be completed for each student.  


PHASE II: Homework Advisory Subcommittee: Parent Participants Needed 

As a result of the recommendations made by the Superintendent’s Task Force on Student Stress, we are studying our district’s homework practices. In order to ensure that we thoroughly investigate homework from all perspectives, we are forming a Homework Advisory Subcommittee made up of students, parents, and educators.  In an effort to make sure each grade span of learners is represented, we are looking for two parent volunteers from each of the following grades spans K-2 and 3-5.  To learn more about the homework study and subcommittee work please click here and to express interest to serve on the subcommittee please click here.  Volunteers will be chosen in the order in which they complete the form.  The meetings of the Homework Advisory Subcommittee will be held in the Presentation Room at Medway Middle School during the following dates/times:


Thursday, January 23, 2020 - 3:00-4:30 p.m. 

Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 3:00-4:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 3:00-4:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 16, 2020 - 3:00-4:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 7, 2020 - 3:00-4:30 p.m.

 

Upcoming T.H.R.I.V.E. Event: Vaping and Hidden in Plain Sight

T.H.R.I.V.E., in collaboration with the SAFE Coalition, will be hosting an informational event on the dangers of vaping in combination with   as interactive display, Hidden in Plain Sight.   Parents are invited to join us for a guided tour of Hidden in Plain Site from 5:30-7:00 p.m. At 7:00 p.m., parents are invited to join Dr. Lester Hartman, a nationally recognized pediatric expert in vaping, for a discussion about how to keep  children safe from the dangers of vaping. Both events will take place in the Medway Middle School Presentation Room (door 7). For more information about Hidden in Plain Sight and Dr. Hartman please click here.     


Annual Report:  Transposed Number Error

It has been brought to our attention that, in final publication of the Annual Report with our designer,  the percentage of students meeting PSAT/NMSQT career and college readiness benchmarks in Evidence based Reading, Writing and Mathematics for the years 2018 and 2019 were switched.  In the report, the number 87 for grade 10 ERW should have been in the 2018 column with 92 in the 2019 column.  The numbers in the Grade 11 ERW, Grade 10 Math and Grade 11 Math follow suit as well. So while the column that indicates % +/- is accurate, the percentages indicated in the 2018 and 2019 columns (in this chart alone) are not.  

 

We are sincerely sorry for this error and will reflect on our review practices, as we always do, to prevent errors like this in the future.  Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have further questions. 

 

We have included a PDF version of the corrected Annual Report here.  We are reprinting a number of plans to have for future circulation.  Please email jsinclair@medwayschools.org if you would like an updated version sent to you.

 

Infinite Campus

Thank you for your continued efforts to support our transition to Infinite Campus.  We have mailed essential documents to homes of families who have not yet updated information in the system.  Families have been asked to verify the information on these documents and return them to the appropriate school so that we can update this information in our system.  As always, families are encouraged to contact the district if you have questions about the use of Infinite Campus and/or if you need support to access the system at parent@medwayschools.org or call us at 508-533-3222.


MHS Winter Concert and Art Walk

Congratulations to all students who were featured in last Wednesday evening’s annual Medway High School Winter Concert and Art Walk!  It was a fantastic event!


Middle School Vex IQ Challenge Event

Congratulations to the middle school Robotics Team, Sophie Anderson, grade 6 and grade 5 students Dylan Taylor, Owen Broude, Ben Goodale, and Noah Dorr who participated in their first Vex IQ Challenge last Saturday in Hopkinton and ranked 15 out of 34 teams during their first competition.   They showed skill, perseverance, and good humor throughout the day.  We wish them luck as they compete to qualify for the regionals on January 19 at Hopkinton High School and February 1 at WPI.  The team is facilitated by middle school Technology and Engineering teacher, Maryann Tourkanatonis.


Early Childhood Survey from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

The Massachusetts Partnership for Infants & Toddlers invites families with children up to 5 years old to share their ideas and advice through a survey that will help inform a plan for early childhood programs and services. The survey is available in English and Spanish and will be open through Tuesday, December 31. The English survey can be found here and the Spanish survey can be found here.


Volunteers Needed: Medway High STEM Fair

Medway High School’s annual STEM Fair, presented by the Women in STEM (WiSTEM) Club, will be on the morning of February 14, 2020.  WiSTEM is looking for professionals and passionate hobbyists in STEM fields or in non-STEM fields who are empowered by their use/knowledge of STEM to present to our students.  All high school students will choose three 35-minute workshops/presentations to attend. Students love sessions that are interactive--demos, hands-on, etc. If you or someone you know is interested in presenting a workshop, please have them email one of the co-advisors: Shanley Heller  sheller@medwayschools.org or Kristy Macedo kmacedo@medwayschools.org.  Interested presenters can also fill out this form.  This year we will also be opening a “table room.”  If you prefer to run a table with posters and information about your work, please contact us!  


Shamrock Shuffle

Please join the Medway Elementary Parent Teacher Organization (MEPTO) for the 9th annual Shamrock Shuffle on Saturday, March 7, 2020.  Make sure to wear your green and show off your shamrock pride! For more information and to register for this event click here.  Register by February 15 for a t-shirt, registration prices will increase on January 1, 2020.


Medway Public Schools In the News

Medway Students Participate in Team Rival Peer Leadership Conference

Medway High School Students Share Stories to Honor Local Veterans

Medway Families Attend Literacy Night at Burke Memorial Elementary School

Medway High School senior recognized by Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents


Upcoming Events

December 18, 2019

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

December 19, 2019

MMS Winter Chorus Concert, Auditorium, Medway High School, 6:00 p.m.

December 23, 2019-

January 1, 2020

No School: Winter Break

January 2, 2020

All students return to school

January 7, 2020

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

January 8, 2020

MHS Winter Chamber Concert, Auditorium, Medway High School, 6:00 p.m.

January 9, 2020

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

January 13, 2020

T.H.R.I.V.E. Event:  Hidden in Plain Sight and The Dangers of Vaping, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 5:30 p.m.

January 20, 2020

No School:  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

January 21, 2020

No School:  Professional Development Day

January 23, 2020

School Committee Dinner with Leadership, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 5:30 p.m.

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

January 29, 2020

Fifth Grade Band Concert, Anderson Gym, Medway Middle School, 4:00 p.m.

February 6, 2020

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

February 11, 2020

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

February 17-20, 2020

No School- February Vacation


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