Superintendent's Update Dated 12/21/2021

Superintendent's Update Dated 12/21/2021
Posted on 12/21/2021
Superintendent's Update Dated 12/21/2021

Dear Medway families, 

 

As we enter into the final days of 2021, we want to extend our deepest wishes to our entire community for a healthy and happy holiday season and a smooth transition into 2022.  While many have aimed to find the silver linings in a most complex and challenging 2021, we also know that a yearning to return to what feels more normal is prevalent.  We hope that all of our families can find special time to safely gather and reconnect with family and friends during the upcoming break and that we can all return on Monday, January 3, 2022 rested and ready to start the new year strong.  

 

Please find several updates and informational items below.

 

Be well,

  

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Schools

 

School Safety and Security

The events of the last few weeks have been concerning.  The devastating school shooting in Michigan, the social media threat on TikTok, and the behaviors of some of our Medway students have raised concern and anxiety around school safety and security for all.  As we have communicated, we have prioritized student and staff safety and security.  Our partnership with the Medway Police Department and Synergy Solutions (staff training and safety audits) have been critical in ensuring that we continue to review our practices to identify continued enhancements.  We engage many approaches to support school safety including: annual staff training, improved building systems (e.g. reconfigured front entrances at our elementary schools, expanded camera systems), enhanced technology tools to monitor online student behavior, and well developed protocols to respond to concerning situations.    

 

Since these events have occurred we have heard from many families with specific questions about how we are effectively supporting school safety.  We are planning to host a webinar on this topic for the community.  This event will answer many questions that families have about our practices.  Please keep in mind that specific information about our protocols and practices will not be shared, as recommended by school safety professionals.  Please stay tuned for an upcoming date for this event. 

 

Fall 2019-Summer 2021 Medway Public Schools:  A Medway Mindset Annual Report To Be Published

When we first published the 2019-2024 Medway Public Schools:  A Medway Mindset Strategic Plan at the start of the 2018-2019 school year, our intention was to publish an Annual Report each year to provide our greater community with a comprehensive update on the status of the work within the district.  The 2018-2019 Annual Report is linked

 

Due to the pandemic, we did not publish an annual report during the 2019-2020 school year but have been working hard to return to our practice.  Following the winter break, families, faculty, staff, and businesses throughout Medway will receive the Fall 2019-Summer 2021 Annual Report  in their mailboxes.  While not an exhaustive update on all of the district work, we believe that this document captures many of the incredible efforts over the last year + with a continued focus on our mission, vision, and core values. 

 

Fine and Performing Arts Congratulations

Congratulations and thank you to all of our musicians at Medway Middle School and Medway High School and our artists at Medway High School for sharing your talents and hard work with the greater community over the last few weeks.  We have been thrilled to welcome live music and art displays back into our lives.

 

K-8 Literacy Program Update

Following an audit of our Grade 6-12 and K-5 Literacy programs during the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years respectively, Medway Public Schools has partnered with Hill for Literacy to support our efforts to continuously improve our practices and ensure that our resources for teaching and learning are best aligned with these practices. 

 

We are excited by the learning and work that Hill has brought to our K-5 teacher teams so far with professional learning focused on the science of reading, facilitating rich data teams, and the implementation of a new universal screener, DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills).  

 

We will be entering into a new K-5 curriculum resource review following the break that will include the evaluation of commercial curriculum resources highly rated for quality, coherence, and usability.  The grade 6-8 teacher teams will join this effort as well.  

 

We will keep the community apprised of our progress.

 

Save the Date:  T.H.R.I.V.E. Event:  Chasing Childhood  

Medway T.H.R.I.V.E. has partnered with Medfield Public Schools to bring the film Chasing Childhood to our parent communities.  Families will have the opportunity to watch the film from January 14-18.  On January 19,  Dr. Peter Gray, featured in the film, will give a presentation for parents from 12:00-1:00 p.m.  A link to the film and an event registration form will be shared as we get closer to the screening window.  

 

Proof of Student Vaccination Request

As you may be aware the CDC recently recommended the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children age 5-11.  As your elementary and middle school children become fully vaccinated we ask you to please share proof of their vaccination with our school nurses by completing this form: K-8 Vaccination Status Response.  If your student attends Medway High School and we have previously reached out to you for proof of immunization and you have yet to respond you may share their information through the use of this form: 9-12 Vaccination Status Response

 

Student COVID-19 Testing Update

We have begun to notice that, although our enrollment in our weekly COVID testing program is over 50% in our schools, student participation has been declining.  Our goal is to utilize the information gained from our testing program to support our decision making about mitigation strategies.  Families, we need your help!  Please share with your children the importance of participating in this program. 

 

If you have not already registered your child and you would like your student to participate in weekly testing, please complete this consent form and select Medway as your district as well as the appropriate school for your student.  As previously communicated, consent forms completed this week will allow your student(s) to begin participating in routine COVID-19 safety checks the week of January 3.  We encourage all students to participate in weekly COVID-19 safety checks, regardless of vaccination status. 

 

VaxAbilities COVID-19 Clinics

VaxAbilities is hosting disability-friendly events across Massachusetts.  These events will have extra staff on hand to provide skilled support to persons with disabilities or sensory support needs.  For more information and to register for a clinic near you please visit www.vaxabilities.com 

 

Technology Update

Repair Timelines Extended - We would like to advise families of students in grade 5 through 12 that we have experienced a considerable increase in device repairs since the start of the school year. Although most of these repairs are due to accidental damage, we request that families take a moment to discuss the proper handling of devices as they are used in class, at home, and traveling. Our ability to repair devices has been greatly impacted by the lack of supplies caused by the pandemic and supply chain crisis. We hope that everyone can take the best care possible of their school issued devices.

 

Online Registration - If you have not already done so, please login to the parent portal and complete the information review under the MORE > Online Registration option. It is imperative that all families complete this task. The portal can be reached by clicking here. If you need an activation code to create an account, please email parent@medwayschools.org and request one.

 

Community Education Department

Our Winter 2022 Brochure, offering many new and exciting programs, is expected in homes really soon, if you have not already received yours.  Follow us on social media at:

Twitter: @Medwayce

Instagram: @Medwaycommunityed

Facebook:  @medwayce 

For registration information, please access FamilyID. 

 

Follow the Medway Public Schools on Social Media

Medway Public Schools: Twitter: @MedwaySchools  Instagram: @Medwayschools  Facebook:  @medwayps 

Medway High School: Twitter: @MedwayHighInfo 

Medway Middle School: Twitter:  @MedwayMiddle 

Burke-Memorial Elementary School:  Twitter: @BurkeMemorial

McGovern Elementary School: Twitter @McGovernElem 

Medway Community Education: Twitter: @Medwayce Instagram: @Medwaycommunityed  Facebook:  @medwayce 

 

Medway Public Schools In the News

Vaccination Clinic for Students ages 5-11

Medway Tri-M Music Honor Society Welcomes Five Student Inductees

Medway High School’s National Honor Society Welcomes A Record 72 Inductees

 

Upcoming Events

December 23, 2021

Early Release: Grades PK-12

December 24, 2021 - January 2, 2022

No School: Winter Vacation

January 6, 2022

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

January 11, 2022

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

January 12, 2022

High School Honors & Small Ensemble Concert, Auditorium, Medway High School, 6:30 p.m.

January 14-18, 2022

T.H.R.I.V.E. Event: Family viewing of Chasing Childhood, documentary, available. Details to be shared soon

January 17, 2022

No School: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

January 18, 2022

No School: Professional Development Day

January 19, 2022

T.H.R.I.V.E. Event: A presentation and conversation with Dr. Peter Grey, Chasing Childhood contributor, 12:00 p.m., Virtual, Details TBD

January 20, 2022

School Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 6:30 p.m.

January 26, 2022

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


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