Superintendent's Update Dated 1/12/2022

Superintendent's Update Dated 1/12/2022
Posted on 01/12/2022
Superintendent's Update Dated 1/12/2022

Dear Medway families, 

These last two weeks have been very busy.  We continue to manage the myriad of challenges associated with the ongoing pandemic.  As you know, we have seen a sharp increase in the number of students and staff who are testing positive for COVID-19.  The resulting absences are disruptive to all, but important to ensure that students and staff are not further spreading the virus.  We know that the work to support our students who may have had to miss school due to a positive result is incredibly important as is the continued work to support the overall wellbeing and students’ sense of connection in our community.  We will continue to meet these challenges and develop plans to minimize the disruptive impact to our school communities.  

 

We have heard from many community members who have asked how they can support our schools.  One opportunity that continues to exist is for daily substitute positions.  If you are in a position where you can substitute, even one day a week, we encourage you to reach out to Jessica Sinclair (jsinclair@medwayschools.org) in human resources to learn more.  The ongoing support of the community has been felt and appreciated by our faculty and staff.  Thank you!

 

As always, there are a lot of important updates below.  

 

Be well,

  

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent

 

Reminder:  No School Monday or Tuesday, January 17-18, 2022

There will be no school on Monday, January 17 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and on Tuesday, January 18 as we facilitate professional development for our faculty and staff. 

 

T.H.R.I.V.E. Two Part Event: Register Now!

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.  To register to watch the film and attend the parent presentation please click here

 

DESE Extends Mandatory Mask Mandate

Per a communication that we received earlier this week, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is extending the mandatory mask mandate in schools through February 28, 2022.  Please see the complete press release here. 

 

2022-2023 School Calendar

At the January 6, 2022, School Committee meeting, the committee reviewed the draft 2022-2023 School Year calendar.  A DRAFT calendar can be found here

 

Equity Assessment:  Request for Proposals Approved

During the January 6 School Committee meeting, the Committee approved the Request for Proposals (RFP) that will be shared broadly to seek an experienced vendor who can lead our equity assessment process.  The outcome of this process will be an action plan for the district with clearly delineated improvement goals.  The process for the equity assessment will be specific to the chosen vendor but will include the following, non-exhaustive steps:  interviews, focus groups, survey completion with all district constituents including students, families, faculty, and staff, and community members; review our policies and practices; scheduling and budget processes; professional development, leadership structure, and funding priorities that address equity.  

We anticipate receiving proposals at the beginning of February.  These proposals will be reviewed by the school committee to determine the best vendor for us to partner with in this important work.

 

Community Education Program Overview

At the January 6, School Committee meeting, Karen Niemczyk, Director of Community Education, presented to the committee the Community Education Program overview.  The presentation can be found here

 

Revised Last Day of School, 2021-2022

Due to the snow day on Friday, January 7, 2022, the last day of school for the 2021-2022 school year will now be Tuesday, June 21, 2022.  There is no school on Monday, June 20, 2022 in observance of Juneteenth.   Should we need to cancel school again this year, this date will move again. 

 

Athletic Update

Medway High School athletics will limit attendance at home games to family members only for the next two weeks, due to the COVID-19 surge. This move is consistent with other TVL schools and most schools across the Commonwealth. Our hope is to weather this surge through January and perhaps return to more normal attendance in February and beyond.

 

Solar Canopy Project Exploration: Next Steps

We wanted to update the community on the results of the Solar Canopy Survey.  As you know, the Medway Public Schools is exploring the idea of installing solar canopies in school parking lots.  In addition to the benefits of green energy, the district would benefit through cost savings on electricity that could be directed to our educational core.  It is very early in the exploration and our first step was to assess the level of community interest in this project.  The Solar Canopy Survey was sent out to the community and resulted in more than 1500 responses.  In summary, 64.6% of respondents indicated that they were in favor of this project, 28.7% were interested, but had questions, and 6.7% were not in support of this project.  The survey generated lots of questions about the project.  While we are in the early phase of exploration, we developed an FAQ with a list of commonly asked questions and responses which you can access here.

 

As we continue to explore this project, we will be working to identify an industry consultant who will help us better understand the potential challenges and benefits of a project like this.  

 

Inclement Weather Procedures

It is the goal of the district to hold school whenever possible.  Parents and students should plan accordingly and leave plenty of time on winter mornings to arrive at school safely.   Please know that the final decision about a child attending school during a weather event always rests with individual families.  There may be occasions when deteriorating weather will mean that schools close due to unsafe conditions.

 

The superintendent will review anticipated road and sidewalk conditions, access to schools, projected weather forecasts, and consult with the police and public works departments in order to make a determination between approximately 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. if conditions will be safe for students to come to school.

 

The following plans will be in effect for inclement weather:

 

No School Announcement

If the superintendent has determined the conditions are unsafe, school will be canceled.  The district will utilize the emergency notification system that will contact your home/cell phone and  email using the information you have provided to your child’s school.  The “no-school” announcement will also be carried on local television channels 4, 5, and 7. 

 

All classes, school activities, before and after school programs, the Medway Extended Day program (MEDI), daycare program, adult education evening classes, and any school facilities use activities will be canceled.  Transportation of students to out-of-district schools will also be canceled.

 

One- or Two-Hour Delayed Opening Announcement

If the superintendent has been notified that the public works department needs additional time to plow or sand the streets to ensure safety, then a determination for a one- or two-hour delay may be made.  As with no-school announcements, the delayed opening announcement will be made using the emergency notification system to home/cell phone and email and carried on local television channels.

 

Please keep in mind:

  • Bus routes will begin by a one-or two-hour delay, including all special education transportation for out-of-district schools.
  • Do not send your child to school earlier than the delayed opening, as the school grounds may not be plowed and there will be no staff available to supervise early arrivals.
  • PreK ½ day sessions will take place if a one hour delay is called, and will be cancelled for a two hour delay.
  • School lunch will be served at its regularly scheduled time.

Schools will be dismissed at their regular times.
 

Emergency Early Release Announcement

If a severe weather condition or other emergency develops during the school day, the district may release students before the end of the school day.  Parents will be notified by home/cell phone and email and the announcement will be carried on local television channels, and displayed on the district website.  As appropriate, the district will work with public safety officials to shelter students in the district if unable to send home.

 

Inclement Weather Bus Stops for Walkers

We understand that inclement weather days can prove challenging to getting your child to school.  If your child(ren) is/are typically a walker and you are unable to find another means of transportation during inclement weather, or when sidewalks have not yet been plowed, please complete this brief form .  We will use this information to set up “inclement weather bus stops.”   We have provided this service as a way to support safe transportation to school.  Please note that these stops will only be activated during storms or following a storm when sidewalks have not yet been cleared, and as communicated. We will communicate additional information when bus stops have been established.  

 

Additional Reminders for Parents

Be sure your child’s school has your updated contact information.

Have a family emergency plan in place so your child knows what to do if sent home for any of the reasons noted above.

If your child is regularly driven to school and you or he/she feels it is unsafe to drive during the inclement weather, please determine an alternative means of transportation to school.

 

News from MEPTO

Get ready to Shuffle! Please join MEPTO for the 11th annual Shamrock Shuffle on Saturday, March 12, 2022 at the Medway High School. The 5K course winds through the scenic back roads of Medway and is open to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities, including children and families. Make sure you wear your green and show off your shamrock pride! Click here to register today!

 

The latest MEPTO Newsletter can be found here

 

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 this practice.  By mid-January, families 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.

 

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

 

Online Absence Requests and COVID -19

We would like to inform families that you can now enter absence requests online within the Infinite Campus Parent Portal system. Simply log in, choose MORE from the left menu then Absence Requests to complete the online request form. We have added two new absence request reasons to simplify our processing during the current COVID-19 surge. Please indicate if your child will be absent for COVID-T (tested positive) or COVID-C (close contact) to help us better track absences.

 

Community Education Department

Our Winter 2022 Brochure, offering many new and exciting programs, is currently accepting registrations. February Vacation programs for children are also included in the brochure. Registration for Winter 2022 After School programs for students at McGovern, Burke-Memorial and Medway Middle Schools opened on Friday, January 7 at 5:00pm.  Due to the snow day, the flyer was sent home in your child’s backpack on Monday, January 10. The program flyer was shared with families via School Messenger Friday morning. Visit our website here for more information. 

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

January 11, 2022

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

January 12, 2022

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

January 14-18, 2022

T.H.R.I.V.E. Event: Family viewing of Chasing Childhood, documentary, available.

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.

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.

February 3, 2022

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

February 8, 2022

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

February 9, 2022

Kindergarten Night of the Arts, McGovern Elementary School, 5:30 p.m.

February 10, 2022

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

February 16, 2022

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

February 21-25, 2022

No School: Winter Vacation


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