Superintendent's Update 6/12/19

Superintendent's Update 6/12/19
Posted on 06/13/2019

June 12, 2019 Community Update


Dear Medway families,

As we reach our final full week of 2018-2019 school, we extend gratitude and appreciation to you for your work in supporting students at home as well as your engagement and interest in the work of the district.  It is clear that these partnerships have, and will continue to have, an incredible impact on the overall education of our students. Together we have experienced notable accomplishments during the 2019-2020 year.  These accomplishments include, and are not limited to: the production of Excellence for All:  A Medway Mindset, 2019-2024; fundraising and partnership to bring two new elementary playgrounds to our schools and a state of the art fitness facility to the high school; meaningful curriculum enhancement work in all content areas; and shared experiences celebrating the successes of our students within our classrooms, on the stage, across our athletic programs, and throughout our immediate and greater community.  Supporting the success of our next generation is complex, inspiring, and fulfilling and, it is at the core of our values and mission. For your shared commitment, we thank you!


We will send one final Community Update for the 2018-2019 school year to you during the last week in June that highlights end of year updates.  One update in July is planned and our regular updates can be expected to resume in early to mid-August, 2019.


We wish you and your families a wonderful end to the 2018-2019 school year!


Sincerely,

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent


School Calendars

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.


Infinite Campus Transition

As we have shared, we will be transitioning to a new student management system over the summer.  We have been engaged in data transmission processes and internal trainings for the last several weeks.  All families, regardless of their child’s age, will be provided with credentials to access Infinite Campus.  While this tool will be used differently at different grade levels, all families will have the ability to review biographical and attendance data within Infinite Campus.  


We will offer a few opportunities for families to learn about how to access Infinite Campus - in person, via video instruction, or through written instructions - beginning in August.  We ask that all families check their email periodically over the summer for these updates.


Summer Wellness Family Resource Guide

The end of the school year is met with a great deal of excitement as the start of summer vacation allows for much needed and well-deserved downtime for our students.  Summer break is also a time when some students are without the benefit of the daily structures and supports that accompany the routine of school. In anticipation of summer vacation, we have compiled a guide that contains articles and resources that can help parents and guardians support the social, emotional, and physical well-being of their children this summer.  Please find information and resources in the Medway Wellness: Family Resource Guide.


YoLo App: What Parents Need to Know

It has come to our attention that the YoLo app, a Snapchat add-on, is being used by numerous Medway students.  Ryan Camire, Technology Integration Specialist, has put together a short clip to help parents better understand the app and how to support their children: YoLo App Parent Information


District and School Improvement Plans

At last week’s school committee meeting, the Medway Public Schools District Improvement Plan, 2019-2020, as well as the high school and middle school Improvement Plans were approved.  These Plans can be found here: Medway High School Improvement Plan, 2019-2020 Medway Middle School Improvement Plan.  McGovern and Burke-Memorial Elementary Schools’ Improvement Plans will be shared upon approval.  These plans represent the large pieces of work planned for the schools that are connected with Excellence for All:  A Medway Mindset, 2019-2024, our strategic plan.  


Grade K-5 ad 6-8 Mathematics Resource Pilot ~ 2019-2020 School Year

At last week’s School Committee meeting, Gabby Abams, Assistant Superintendent, and Mary Evans, K-5 Math Curriculum and Instruction Leader, presented the K-5 and 6-8 Mathematics Resource Review Process and Pilot Recommendation.  This presentation delineated the decision making process for grades K-5 and 6-8 Mathematics’ full year curriculum resource pilots.  


Our Grade K-5 students will be utilizing Ready Classroom as its core mathematics’ resource next year and our Grade 6-8 students will be utilizing Big Ideas as their core mathematics resource.  Building principals and classroom teachers will be sharing information about these resources in an effort to support our families throughout our K-8 programs.  Questions about these resources should be directed to our building principals. That presentation that was shared with the School Committee can be found here.


Grade 5-12 Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Collaboration

As you may recall, teams of faculty and staff from Medway Middle and Medway High Schools have been collaborating with an organization called Teachers 21 to enhance our secondary SEL practices.  This year’s collaboration resulted in a list of topics to further explore next year. These focus areas of learning are connected with the structures that exist within our schools that may be effective in supporting improved SEL, if adjusted.  This collaboration will resume in the fall.


MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey Data

The results of the MWAHS, a survey that gives us great insight into our Grade 6-12 student health behaviors, was delivered to our district recently.  The results of the survey will be reviewed in depth by Dr. Ryan Sherman, Director of Wellness, in conjunction with our Wellness Advisory Committee. This team who will share their analysis with the school committee and greater community this fall.   


Student Shadow Day Experiences

Armand Pires, Superintendent, Gabby Abrams, Assistant Superintendent, and Kat Bernklow, Director of Student Services took part in student shadow experiences with two students in each school over the school year.  These experiences provided them with special insight into our students’ learning and they look forward to continuing this practice next school year. Thanks to our students, their families, and to our faculty and staff for supporting this important opportunity.   


Grades 8-12 1:1 Chromebook Program

Thank you to our families for supporting us in our first full year of Grade 8-12 implementation of our 1:1 Chromebook Program.  As we know that there are many learnings from our work this year, we also want to acknowledge its success as connected with the care of these devices.  Of the over 800 devices that we have distributed throughout the district, fewer than 50 devices required service this year and most of these devices were supported by family purchased insurance policies.  Once again, we will allow the students to take the devices home for the summer. Any repairs needed during the summer months should be reported to technical support at support@medwayschools.org. Repairs will be made at the Middle School IT Office. Insurance renewal information will be sent to all families in mid-July.


Scholarship and Award Night and Medway High School Graduation

Last week’s Scholarship Night at Medway High School featured a wonderful celebration of the talent and contributions of our graduating seniors.  ​245 scholarships totaling well over $115,000​ were awarded to our students to support their post secondary success.  Congratulations to all who received awards.


The beautiful weather on Sunday provided the perfect setting for a truly wonderful graduation ceremony for the Medway High School graduating class of 2019.  Special thank you to Principal Murray, Deans List and Pearl, Athletic Director Parcells, our senior class advisors, Mrs. Foucre and Mrs. Boria, and to our entire faculty and staff throughout the Medway Public Schools for the time, effort, and preparation for this event and, most importantly, to prepare these students for success in college, career, and life.  We wish our students much success in their future endeavors!


We're pleased to share the livestream links for those who were unable to join us for Class Day or Graduation courtesy of Medway Cable Access. Class Day can be found here and Graduation can be found here.


PLTW Design Showcase

Last week, six middle school students, Kelsea Anderson, Lily Bariteau, Ellie Copeland, Caitlin MacNeil, Emma Reardon, and Bella Vallieres, along with their technology/engineering teacher, Ms. MaryAnn Tourkantonis,  participated in the annual Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Design Showcase at Merck Research Laboratories in Boston.  This event is sponsored by Mass STEM Hub.


In 7th grade, our students participate in a PLTW course entitled Design and Modeling.   The final project of the course challenges students to design, test, and fabricate an adaptive toy for a child with cerebral palsy. At the showcase, students presented their projects to engineers as well as to doctors and patients of the cerebral palsy unit of Boston Children’s Hospital.  They also had the opportunity to meet Governor Charlie Baker.


Congratulations to Team BEEK (Bella, Ellie, Emma, & Kelsea), who were the recipients of the Practitioners’ Pick which is awarded to the project with the most promise for real-world application.  


Fine and Performing Arts Congratulations!

The last couple of weeks saw incredible talent both on our stages and throughout the hallways of our schools.  Culminating performances from our middle school choruses and bands, our 4th grade choral and instrumental programs, our high school honors’ musicians, and our visual artists at both McGovern and Burke-Memorial Elementary Schools showcased their talents.  Congratulations to all student artists!


Medway High School Scholastic Awards Night

Congratulations to our many grade 9-11 students for being recognized for high achievement during our recent Scholastic Awards Night.  It was a wonderful night celebrating the achievements of our MHS students.


Emergency Preparedness Tabletop Exercise

Last week,  Medway town and school officials, along with police and fire chiefs from other towns, participated in an emergency preparedness training program at the Thayer Homestead.  The training involved extreme safety scenarios and was intended to provide all municipal officials and staff with response expectations and responsibilities. We continue to be thankful to the town and our support agencies for their commitment to the on-going efforts to enhance safety processes within our schools.


Spring Sports

The spring sports season has wrapped up and many of our spring sports are now in MIAA postseason:

  • Softball lost to Southeastern Voc Tech. last Friday to complete their season.
  • Baseball beat Tri-County last Thursday and defeated Diman Regional Vocational Tech on Monday.  They will now play Dedham High School on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. at Franklin High School.
  • Boys Lacrosse defeated Holliston last Thursday and were defeated by Dover Sherborn on Monday to complete their season.
  • Girls Lacrosse defeated Littleton last Thursday and experienced another success vs. Dover Sherborn on Tuesday night.  The team advances to the East Section Finals to play Foxboro on Friday at 7:00 p.m. at Walpole High School.

Best wishes to our teams in their post-season play.


Mustang Nation Newsletter

The latest edition of the Medway Athletics newsletter can be found here.


Medway Friends of the Performing Arts Fortissimo Fundraiser

Medway Friends of the Performing Arts has embarked on their first annual campaign $5 for Fortissimo.  MFPA is asking the community to ‘loudly’ support the Medway School System Performing Arts Programs by giving $5 to benefit students from PK through 12th grade.  The MFPA is planning its support of school performing arts programs and extracurricular activities for the 2019-2020 school year. Support from the Medway community can help them reach their goals.  The MFPA is proud to have provided the following in the past:

  • scholarships for instrument lessons
  • musical instruments
  • a portable sound system for the district
  • funding towards school musicals
  • buses for enrichment trips
  • Tri-M ceremonies
  • and community concerts

Donations of any amount can be made the following ways: Cash, Check or PayPal.  Please deliver your completed form and your cash or check donation to your child’s school office or mail the form with your donation to:

MFPA, 5 Grapevine Way, Medway, MA 02053


Every donor will be entered into a drawing to win a season pass of (2) tickets for one performance each of the high school

play, high school musical, and middle school musical.  Those interested in being included in the drawing should submit donations by June 18.


Thank You!: Medway Public Schools Support Organizations

We extend many thanks to the support organizations, who, throughout the year, offer time to enhance the work of the Medway Public Schools.  Each organization cannot exist without the tireless efforts of its members and we hope others in the community will consider offering their talents and time to keep this good work moving forward.  We are including a short description about each organization as well as the website and/or contact email(s) if you would like to find a way to get involved.


Medway Foundation for Education (MFE):  The Medway Foundation for Education (MFE) is a non-profit organization charged with raising capital to fund innovative, educational projects throughout Medway’s public schools.  Using the money generated from community events, contributions, and educational grants, MFE will allocate funds through a grant process to teacher-sponsored projects. We strongly believe that these projects will dramatically impact the quality of education in our town. Website: https://www.mfeducation.org/  Contact:  mfe@medwayschools.org


Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC): The Medway Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is a state-mandated, parent-run group working to promote a network of parents of children with special needs. In addition, SEPAC helps the Director of Special Education and the School Committee to develop policies. We receive input from parents, teachers, providers, and others to encourage understanding, acceptance, and inclusion of all special education students. The Medway SEPAC invites parents and guardians of Medway special education students and other interested individuals to attend our monthly meetings and presentations. We encourage you to seek or offer advice and information, join our email listserv, or volunteer. By working together, we can effectively advocate to bring excellence to the educational experience of all students in the Medway schools. Website and Contacts:  https://medwayspedpac.wordpress.com/


Medway Friends of the Performing Arts:  The mission of Medway Friends of Performing Arts is to foster and promote excellence in the performing arts programs in the Medway Public Schools. Contact:  

medwayfriendsofperformingarts@gmail.com


Medway Secondary Parent/Teacher Organization:  The MSPTO supports our middle school community in a variety of areas. We provide valuable student and parent enrichment programs. We help with the Awards and Recognition Program and the 8th Grade Dance. We also support teacher appreciation day, supplement school nurse supplies, and help with school beautification.


Our high school benefits from the MSPTO in many ways. We provide student and parent enrichment programs. We give out scholarships, help with scholastic awards, and fund senior activities and senior pins as a gift for staff and graduating seniors. We also support a teacher appreciation day, provide supplies for the school nurse,  and school beautification.



It takes an army of dedicated volunteers to plan and program a year long campaign of support for our schools. Whether you are a new 5th grade parent or seasoned high school parent, it is never too late to lend a hand. Website  http://mspto.org/ and contact medwaysecpto@gmail.com


Medway Elementary Parent/Teacher Organization: A parent-driven volunteer organization that strives to provide resources and creative arts programs for all students and teachers from pre-K through 4th grade. Our goal is to promote the academic, social and personal growth and well-being of our students and strive to create and foster a sense of community with families in Medway.

MEPTO supports John D. McGovern Elementary and Francis Burke-Memorial Elementary Schools.  Website/Contact list: https://sites.google.com/view/mepto


In the News

Medway fishing derby a collaboration between town, high school

Familiar foe: Medway girls lax withstands comeback bid from league rival Dover-Sherborn to advance to sectional title game


Upcoming Events

June 13, 2019

8th Grade Promotion Ceremony, Anderson Gym, Medway Middle School, 6:30 p.m.

June 17, 2019

School Committee Workshop, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 4:30 p.m.

June 18, 2019

Last Day of School - Early Release

McGovern - 12:00 p.m.

Burke -Memorial - 11:30 am

Medway Middle - 11:02 am

Medway High - 11:34 am

June 20, 2019

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


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