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  • Superintendent's Report - 1/20/17 Meetings    1/17/17         DLT                                                                      ·         Preliminary calendar development for 2017-2018 school year. ·         Review of the most recent budget information prepared for School Committee budget meeting originally scheduled for evening ...
    Posted Jan 21, 2017, 9:05 AM by Hps Webmaster
  • Superintendent's Report - 12/20/2016 Meetings 12/13/16       Principals’ Team Meeting                     ·         MCAS 2.0 Conference Call ·         School Report Cards ·         Translations ·         Secretary’s Lunch ·         Building Issues 12/13/16       School Committee Budget Meeting                      ·         Focus on ...
    Posted Dec 21, 2016, 12:45 PM by Hps Webmaster
  • Superintendent's Report - 12/2/16 Budget Much of the work occurring at this time of year is around the development of the FY18 budget.  Though the School Committee is well aware of the following information ...
    Posted Dec 5, 2016, 5:31 AM by Hps Webmaster
  • Superintendent's Report - 11/10/2016 Budget The Town has told us to expect a 2% increase over our funding last year.The remainder of Town departments are operating with a 1.77% request.Patricia Lange ...
    Posted Nov 13, 2016, 10:26 AM by Hps Webmaster
  • Superintendent's Report - 10/21/16 Budget As the Committee may be aware, we do not engage in zero-based budgeting in Hudson. Each responsibility center is given an allocation based on enrollment.The FY18 per ...
    Posted Oct 23, 2016, 6:48 PM by Hps Webmaster
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 33. View more »

Superintendent's Report - 1/20/17

posted Jan 21, 2017, 9:05 AM by Hps Webmaster

Meetings   

1/17/17         DLT                                                                     

·         Preliminary calendar development for 2017-2018 school year.

·         Review of the most recent budget information prepared for School Committee budget meeting originally scheduled for evening of Tuesday, January 17th.

Budget

·         The Budget Narrative was completed. The Committee will have a published copy on Tuesday evening. Following Mrs. Tousignant-Dufour’s direction, the copy has the total FTE and dollar amount for proposed cuts that the Committee will be voting on Tuesday evening.

·         The District delivered the completed Budget Narrative to the Selectmen on January 18, 2017.

·         Mrs. Tousignant-Dufour, Mrs. Lange and I will be presenting the budget to the Board of Selectmen on Monday, January 23, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.

English Learning Education

·         Three of our ESL teachers and two classroom teachers will be presenting at MATSOL in June.  Wendy Anderson, Anna Gallo-Knight, Christine Lange, and Kim Gaffny are presenting their collaborative ESL/SS/Sci. model of instruction.  Emily Smyth, Hudson High School ESL, is presenting about academic conversations at the secondary level. 

·         Mrs. Goldstein nominated Carlene Ryan to participate in a DESE ESL Model Curriculum Unit video project. 

·         The District has built an outstanding ESL team, and it is wonderful to be able to celebrate their accomplishments.

Outreach to ESL Families for Kindergarten Registration

At our last meeting Mr. Luoto asked about how we were reaching out to families whose first language is not English. Mrs. Goldstein and Mrs. Graca have had on going conversations about reaching out to families whose first language is not English.

·         Mrs. Goldstein is asking the ESL teachers at Hudson High School to ask their students where they attend church and/or social events so that we can provide kindergarten registration flyers to those venues.

·         There are ESL family nights on March 22nd and May 31st, Mrs. Goldstein plans on taking flyers and setting them up on a table. These events are fairly well attended.  

·         Mrs. Goldstein will be asking Mr. Baldrate about putting flyers out at his evening classes.

People attending these events might not have age-appropriate children for kindergarten, but they might have friends that do. Our theory of action is if we get people talking about registration, then the word will spread to those families that need to hear it.

Next Generation MCAS

·         The Standard Setting Policy Committee, convened by ESE in September, has recommended four new achievement levels for the next-generation MCAS tests: Exceeding Expectations, Meeting Expectations, Partially Meeting Expectations, and Not Yet Meeting Expectations. The full text of the recommended achievement levels and performance descriptions can be viewed online. The Department is seeking public feedback on the Committee’s recommendations until January 27, 2017.

·         In December and January, Commissioner Chester will present six policy recommendations for high school testing to the Boards of Elementary and Secondary Education and Higher Education. The recommendations were created with input from the High School Testing workgroup and the public.

o    In addition to keeping the current MCAS as the graduation requirement through the class of 2020, which was approved by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in October, the recommendations include:

o    keeping the high school Competency Determination (CD) for ELA and Mathematics at grade 10 for the near future;

o    adding a History and Social Science test to the CD;

o    eliminating the high school Chemistry and Technology/Engineering tests due to low participation and high development costs; and

o    adding an Introductory Physics re-testing opportunity in February.

·         The Commissioner will also recommend convening a stakeholder workgroup to identify and recommend options for a grade 11/grade 12 assessment program to gauge students’ readiness for success after high school.

·         The PARCC consortium has released test items from the 201516 ELA and Mathematics assessments for grades 38. The release represents approximately one full test per grade level. It is designed to help students, teachers, and parents better understand which competencies were measured, and uses student work samples to show what kinds of answers earned various scores.

Screenagers

The District hosted a screening of the documentary “Screenagers” followed by rich discussions with parents. This was one of the best attended parent outreach events that the District has held with approximately 190 reservations for this event.  I would like to thank Mrs. Schuck for bringing the idea forward and the teamwork that she, Dr. Reagan, and Mr. Webster demonstrated to work with the respective Home and School associations to present this worthwhile event to our families. I would also like to thank the administrators that donated their time to facilitate conversations with parents after the screening.  Many parents commented about the key messages of balance and the fact that, as adults, we must also be aware of the amount of “screen time” we are participating in. Parents that attended the event also received many useful resources such as, “A Parents’ Guide from Screenagers”, HPS Protocol for 1:1 Devices, hints on making a screen time family contract and sample contracts for each grade level.  The Screenagers website (http://www.screenagersmovie.com) has a resource section with a lot more information for parents to view—conversation starters/questions for families called Tech Talk Tuesdays, sample family contracts, information on computer protection software, research findings, digital citizenship, as well as other useful tools.  

Enrollment

All enrollment numbers are up to date as of the writing of this report. They are unofficial numbers. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education collects snapshots of enrollment data three times per year October, March, and June. I will provide you with monthly enrollment numbers so that you can be aware of the amount of fluctuation that may or may not be occurring on a monthly basis.

 

5/20/16

12/2/16

12/16/16

1/20/17

 

 

 

HHS

968

939

936

933

 

 

 

QMS

649

635

631

632

 

 

 

Farley

498

487

487

486

 

 

 

Forest Avenue

340

330

329

330

 

 

 

Mulready

260

252

250

251

 

 

 

District Total

2,715

2,643

2,633

2,632

 

 

 

Superintendent's Report - 12/20/2016

posted Dec 21, 2016, 12:45 PM by Hps Webmaster

Meetings

12/13/16       Principals’ Team Meeting                    

·         MCAS 2.0 Conference Call

·         School Report Cards

·         Translations

·         Secretary’s Lunch

·         Building Issues

12/13/16       School Committee Budget Meeting                     

·         Focus on Middle School       

12/14/16       DLT                                                                     

·         Focus on Special Education  

 
Budget

I sent the following message to the District on December 9, 2016.

I cannot believe that it is December already and time to provide a first budget update. Unfortunately, the fiscal news is not great but I am committed to being open and honest about what is happening in the budget process so that rumors and uncertainty are alleviated as much as possible. It seems that every year at this stage of budget development, we are discussing cuts. This year is no different. It is still very, very early in the process. I will try to keep the facts at the forefront and communicate as clearly as possible the reality of the situation as it unfolds.  

 

Here are the facts as they stand today:

 

·         This early in the year, the 2017-2018 budget is dependent on assumptions and forecasts for which we do not have sufficient financial data from FY17 to back up. Therefore, we create a budget based on our knowledge of what has happened in FY16 and FY15;

·         Each subsequent forecast provides us with better data regarding spending in areas such as utilities, special education, and personnel;

·         The increased accuracy of this information will allow the District to better forecast what the actual revenue/expenditure gap is or if one actually exists;

·         The current revenue/expenditure gap for the FY18 budget is $1,652,797;

·         We generally have an identified revenue/expenditure gap at this time of year. Last year, at this time, looking towards the 2016-2017 budget, we had a gap of $1,274,377;

·         The 2017-2018 budget with this gap will be presented to the Selectmen in January;

·         The total increase from the FY17 budget is 1.59%;

·         Approximately $602,000 of reductions will need to be determined in order to have “only” the $1,652,797 gap identified above; and

·         Over the coming weeks and months, the School Committee and District Leadership Team will be meeting to determine what reductions will be made. During this time, many scenarios will be brainstormed and thought deeply about.

 

What we are fairly certain of at this point is:

·         There is a strong possibility there will be a need for budget reductions to occur in order to balance the 2017-2018 budget;

·         Rumors will begin and misinformation will circulate. Often these will seem credible;  

·         Your building administrator(s) and I are committed to informing those immediately affected first and the entire HPS professional community soon after that. You will hear it from us first;

·         When final decisions are made, we will be transparent about what those decisions are and the impact that the decisions have on our students, valued educators, and programs;

·         Everyone is committed to ensuring that the cuts have as little impact as possible on the students of the Hudson Public Schools; and

·         Informational updates will be provided to District staff, parents and community members at each decision point.  

 

I wish that I could eliminate the unsettled feeling and resultant anxiety that budget season causes. Please remember that it is still very early in this process and there are still many unknowns.

 
District Leadership Team

·         The District Leadership Team met on 12/6/16 and 12/14/16.

·         Leadership Team agendas will continue to be included in your packets so that the Committee is aware of the work that is occurring when the administrators meet.

·         The 12/6/16 meeting focused on the norming of feedback provided to teachers after classroom walkthroughs.

·         We looked at the walkthroughs through the lens of our ATSR class of making claims, supporting claims with evidence and identifying potential impact of the teacher’s instruction.

·         The 12/14/16 meeting was planned and facilitated by Cathy Kilcoyne. The focus of our time together was the changes to available accommodations for the next generation MCAS tests to be administered this spring.

School and District Report Cards

·         The 2016 school and District report cards and report card overviews are now available on the DESE website under Profiles.

·         Districts receiving Title I funds are required to distribute report cards annually to all parents or guardians of students enrolled in all District schools, regardless of Title I status at the school level.

·         The Department asked that Districts distribute report cards to families by the end of December. The Committee can see DESE’s report card website for distribution requirements and sample cover letters.

·         Our Principals will use the template provided on the report card website for their cover letter. This is the most expeditious form to use because the Department has already provided the needed translations. Hudson families will receive this information translated if they have requested translations. The mailing will be sent from Central Office by December 30th.


Drafts of MA Curriculum Frameworks for ELA & Literacy and Math

·         The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education met November 29, 2016 and sent out for public comment new drafts of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for English Language Arts and Literacy and Mathematics.

·         Comments may be made through February 17, 2017 through an online survey.

·         Educators interested in learning more about the proposed changes are encouraged to check out the English Language Arts and Literacy and Math standards review page on ESE's website or sign up for one of ESE's Office Hours sessions during the comment period.

Proposed Amendments to Educator Evaluations

·         The Board also voted to send out for comment proposed amendments to educator evaluations.

·         Public comment on the proposed amendments to educator evaluations will be open through January 27, 2017 and can be sent to edevalcomments@doe.mass.edu.

·         The Board will most likely vote on the final draft of the educator evaluation amendments on February 28.

Next Generation MCAS

·         The English Language Arts and Mathematics test designs are now available online.

·         The Department has published a schedule of training opportunities related to the next-generation MCAS.

·         The District intends to take advantage of all available training opportunities that apply to specific roles and responsibilities in test administration.

·         The transition plan to adapt the Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) tests to the new STE standards and to the next-generation MCAS format is online.

Enrollment

All enrollment numbers are up to date as of the writing of this report. They are unofficial numbers. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education collects snapshots of enrollment data three times per year October, March, and June. I will provide you with monthly enrollment numbers so that you can be aware of the amount of fluctuation that may or may not be occurring on a monthly basis.

 

 

5/20/16

12/2/16

12/16/16

 

 

 

 

HHS

968

939

936

 

 

 

 

QMS

649

635

631

 

 

 

 

Farley

498

487

487

 

 

 

 

Forest Avenue

340

330

329

 

 

 

 

Mulready

260

252

250

 

 

 

 

District Total

2,715

2,643

2,633

 

 

 

 

Superintendent's Report - 12/2/16

posted Dec 5, 2016, 5:28 AM by Hps Webmaster   [ updated Dec 5, 2016, 5:31 AM ]

Budget
  • Much of the work occurring at this time of year is around the development of the FY18 budget.  
  • Though the School Committee is well aware of the following information, I would like to share it with the members of the public who may be viewing from home.
  • This early in the year, the FY18 budget is dependent on assumptions and forecasts for which we do not have sufficient financial data from FY17 to back up. Therefore, we create a budget based on our knowledge of what has happened in FY16 and FY15.
  •  Each subsequent forecast provides us with better data regarding spending in areas such as utilities, special education, and personnel.
  • The increased accuracy of this information will allow the District to better forecast what the actual revenue/expenditure gap is.  
  • There will almost certainly be the need for budget cuts to occur in order to balance the FY18 budget.
  • The current revenue/expenditure gap for the FY18 budget is $1,577,180.54. This is the budget that the School Committee will be voting on later this evening.
  • The total increase from the FY17 budget is 1.59%
  • Over the coming weeks, the School Committee and District Leadership Team will be meeting to determine what cuts will be made.
  • Everyone is committed to ensuring that the cuts have as little impact as possible on the students of the Hudson Public Schools.
  • Informational updates will be provided to District staff, parents and community members at each decision point.  

Educator Evaluation
  • With the permission of Chairperson Dufour, Todd Wallingford, Ellen Schuck and I began the process of impact bargaining some changes to educator evaluation forms and the formative evaluation process.
  • The proposed changes as outlined in the side letter of agreement are included in the School Committee packet this week.
  • The Hudson Education Association has sent the proposal to the MTA for review.
  • I will keep the Committee updated with any additional information as it becomes available

 

District Leadership Team
  • The District Leadership Team met on 11/29/16.
  • Leadership Team agendas will continue to be included in your packets so that the Committee is aware of the work that is occurring when the administrators meet.
  • The greatest portion of our leadership meeting time was spent discussing potential budget options for closing the revenue gap.
  • The team also further discussed proposed changes to the educator evaluation forms and the formative assessment procedures.
  • The next leadership team meeting will focus on the implications of computerized testing for instruction and the norming of feedback provided to teachers after classroom visits.

 

Studying Skillful Teaching

The District is excited to offer a new learning opportunity for our teachers. We are offering the newly revised “Studying Skillful Teaching” course to teachers free of charge, with full-reimbursement for graduate credits.


This course is a key step in reaching our strategic objectives to:

o    Establish a common framework for curriculum and instruction to bring coherence to academic language, instructional practices and professional learning so that learning is rigorous for ALL students PreK-12; and

o    Establish and maintain a learning environment based on a common understanding of high expectations among staff, students, and families.

Participants in the course will have the opportunity to study, apply, and reflect on practical ways to:

o    Examine powerful beliefs and expectations that influence students’ motivations to learn;

o    Support students in developing a growth mindset;

o    Design lessons that focus students on what learning is most important (objective) and what success looks like (criteria for success);

o    Apply research-based instructional strategies;

o    Collect, analyze, and use formative assessment data to inform timely decisions about what happens next for students’ learning; and

o    Strengthen cultural proficiency in instruction, curriculum, class climate, and school environment

 Finding time to take graduate classes can be difficult for our teachers. The District is offering this course over only three weekend sessions.

I am happy to report that we have a waiting list for this course with 40 confirmed participants.

I want to extend my sincere appreciation to those individuals who took time to apply to be a part of this exciting learning opportunity.

 

Enrollment

All enrollment numbers are up to date as of the writing of this report. They are unofficial numbers. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education collects snapshots of enrollment data three times per year October, March, and June. I will provide you with monthly enrollment numbers so that you can be aware of the amount of fluctuation that may or may not be occurring on a monthly basis.

 

 

5/20/16

9/9/16

9/22/16

10/7/16

10/19/16

11/10/16

12/2/16

HHS

968

941

943

946

945

948

939

QMS

649

648

642

636

636

637

635

Farley

 498

 485

 488

 487

 488

 485

 487

Forest Avenue

 340

 325

 325

 324

324

 327

 330

Mulready

 260

 248

 249

 250

 250

 250

 252

District Total

2,715

2,647

2,647

2,643

2,643

2,647

2,643

Superintendent's Report - 11/10/2016

posted Nov 13, 2016, 10:26 AM by Hps Webmaster

Budget
  • The Town has told us to expect a 2% increase over our funding last year.
  • The remainder of Town departments are operating with a 1.77% request.
  • Patricia Lange, Executive Director of Finance and Operations, will be presenting what that 2% increase looks like in relation to the budget. She will also be presenting a very preliminary draft budget including the School Committee’s highest priority budget additions at Tuesday’s meeting.
Elections
  • I would like to offer my sincere appreciation to the custodial and maintenance staff who prepared the voting precincts in 4 out of our 5 schools.
  • On the day of voting, all citizens were able to easily access the polls. Our educators adjusted their parking patterns so that plenty of parking was available to voters across all sites.  
  • Our students and teachers experienced a wide-range of emotions following the elections. I commend all of our educators for the professional way in which they handled the important discussions with our students.

·         The following is the text of an email that I sent to the District on Wednesday:

“Dear Colleagues:

With the election behind us, today may be proving to be an even more challenging day in our schools than we might have imagined.  Great polarity in political views exists in our nation and in our schools.  You likely have your own strong feelings about the outcome of this election - I know I do. 

 

What I would also highlight is that this past presidential campaign has shown more than ever that we need to come together for the good of the entire country. There has been so much fear and hate in this campaign, that I ask you today to let our students know that we care about them and we will continue to care for, support, and keep them safe while we also open the doors of opportunity that are here for them in this great country. We will marginalize none.

 

I write this morning to remind you, our educators and role model for students, to encourage students to be respectful of the opinions others. I know you will exercise good judgment and care when it comes to sharing your own political views.

 

Today, I would reassure our students and their families that in Hudson we hold the standard high for civility and respect. As a community both inside our schools and outside our schools we value collaboration, cooperation, and active citizenship.

 

Finally, as you transition back to the normalcy and comfort of your daily routine, know our students find great safety and security in knowing that life goes on as they know it. If any student is exhibiting additional anxiety surrounding the election, please reach out to the student support staff, in your school, for guidance and support.”

 

Clinical Psychologist
  • At our last meeting, I informed you of the process we were using to hire the key position of a clinical psychologist for the District.
  • The Principals, Cathy Kilcoyne and I met on October 31st to debrief the visit and determined that the candidate is a good fit. 
  • Ms. Kilcoyne is currently in the process of vetting the candidate through references. Pending a satisfactory reference check, we will be offering the position to Dr. Kristen Aberle.
  • We would hope to have Dr. Aberle begin in the Hudson Public Schools after December break.
  • Dr. Aberle’s resume is included in your packet for your review.
Curriculum Review Task Force
  • Our task force members provided outstanding professional development on the curriculum review process to their colleagues during our November 8th professional learning day.
  • I want to extend my appreciation to the task force for their hard work and energy that they are bringing to this project.
  •  I observed the process at the elementary level and was so impressed with how in-sync the presentations were at each grade level.
  • This work will have tremendous value to the District in years to come. The team of curriculum directors have done an outstanding job organizing this work.
District Leadership Team
  • The District Administrator Council, a group of five administrators elected by their peers, have been taking a key role in partnering with me to plan District Leadership Team meetings so that the important work that all educators in the District are doing is sustainable and the District at all levels is well-positioned for a new leader next year.
  • Leadership Team agendas will continue to be included in your packets so that the Committee is aware of the work that is occurring when the administrators meet.
  • The agenda from our 11/2/16 Meeting is included in this packet.

Enrollment

All enrollment numbers are up to date as of the writing of this report. They are unofficial numbers. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education collects snapshots of enrollment data three times per year October, March, and June. I will provide you with monthly enrollment numbers so that you can be aware of the amount of fluctuation that may or may not be occurring on a monthly basis.

 

 

5/20/16

9/9/16

9/22/16

10/7/16

10/19/16

11/10/16

 

HHS

968

941

943

946

945

948

 

QMS

649

648

642

636

636

637

 

Farley

 498

 485

 488

 487

 488

 485

 

Forest Avenue

 340

 325

 325

 324

 324

 327

 

Mulready

 260

 248

 249

 250

 250

 250

 

District Total

2,715

2,647

2,647

2,643

2,643

2,647

 

Superintendent's Report - 10/21/16

posted Oct 23, 2016, 6:46 PM by Hps Webmaster   [ updated Oct 23, 2016, 6:48 PM ]

Budget
  • As the Committee may be aware, we do not engage in zero-based budgeting in Hudson. Each responsibility center is given an allocation based on enrollment.
  • The FY18 per pupil amount provided to each responsibility center was the same as it was in FY17 and reflected the changing enrollments across schools and grade levels.
  • Mrs. Lange and I have met with each individual member of the District Leadership Team (DLT) to understand their budget requests, beyond their allocations, and to ask any clarifying questions.
  • The entire team met together to hear the additional requests made by their colleagues and to understand why those additional requests were made.
  • Administrators are preparing their budget packets to be presented to the School Committee for the Committee’s final decision making over the course of the next month.
  • You have received completed budget packets via the same email in which you received the packet for this meeting.
  • Hard copies of the budget packets will be available for you Tuesday evening.
Clinical Psychologist
  • On October 20, 2016, the candidate for the District-wide clinical psychologist position visited the District.
  • Each building Principal chose who s/he thought were the key stakeholders in his/her building regarding mental health support for students.
  • The candidate visited each school and met with stakeholder groups with the goal of allowing a large group of stakeholders to meet the candidate, in their school settings, to determine if she is a good fit to provide mental health assessment, diagnosis, treatment and crisis intervention services for children and adolescents with a broad range of mental health issues, as well as determine if she has the skill set to collaborate and consult with school-based teams and outside providers to plan and direct each client’s in-school treatment program.
  • Schedule for the Day

o    8:00-8:45                             Cathy Kilcoyne, Director of Student Services                      

o    9:00-10:00                           Elementary Principals & Key Stakeholders                           

o    10:15-11:15                         Middle School Leadership & Key Stakeholders                   

o    11:30-1:00                           High School Leadership & Key Stakeholders                     

o    1:00-1:30                             Debrief with Jodi Fortuna and Cathy Kilcoyne                     

  • The outcome of a successful visit will be the hiring of a clinician to move the mental health support options available to students to the next level. 
  • If the visit is unsuccessful, this position will remain unfilled until the 2017-2018 school year due to a lack of viable candidates this year.
  • The Principals, Cathy Kilcoyne and I will meet on October 31st to debrief the visit and determine if the candidate is a good fit. 
Curriculum Review Task Force

The District held our first full-day training of the curriculum review task force thanks to the leadership of Karen Martin, Todd Wallingford and Leslie Knight with the tremendous support of all of the District’s curriculum leaders. The team of twenty-two educators are committed to doing the work of taking a good curriculum and making it great. The members of the task force were highly engaged and the room was filled with productive conversation. I had the opportunity to chat with several educators during the break who were really excited about the work and the beginning of the next phase of curriculum work. 

Enrollment

All enrollment numbers are up to date as of the writing of this report. They are unofficial numbers. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education collects snapshots of enrollment data three times per year October, March, and June. I will provide you with monthly enrollment numbers so that you can be aware of the amount of fluctuation that may or may not be occurring on a monthly basis.

 

 

5/20/16

9/9/16

9/22/16

10/7/16

10/19/16

 

 

HHS

968

941

943

946

945

 

 

QMS

649

648

642

636

636

 

 

Farley

 498

 485

 488

 487

 488

 

 

Forest Avenue

 340

 325

 325

 324

 324

 

 

Mulready

 260

 248

 249

 250

 250

 

 

District Total

2,715

2,647

2,647

2,643

2,643

 

 

 

Superintendent's Report - 10/7/16

posted Oct 8, 2016, 7:06 PM by Hps Webmaster

Leadership Team Update
Analyzing Teaching for Student Results (Element 4D-2; District Improvement Goals 3 & 4)

The District Leadership Team held its second session of Analyzing Teaching for student results on Wednesday, October 7th. The learning outcomes identified for participants were:

·         Determine a goal for our next steps in strengthening our individual identities as an instructional leader;

·         Explain 13 planning decisions that guide the design of daily lessons;

·         Distinguish between a mastery objective and a thinking objective;

·         Collect and analyze evidence of:         

o    a teacher’s planning

o    the alignment of stated objectives to lived objectives

o    the teacher’s or indirect communication about objectives

o    identify components of a teachers repertoire for framing the learning and the importance of framing for student learning; and

·         Determine the conditions and leadership behaviors necessary to evaluating performance for impact/results successfully

Finance and Operations

Meeting with Executive Assistant

At the District’s first quarterly meeting with Mr. Moses, he let us know the following:

·         The DPW has agreed to do the mowing for the school system. The DPW will invoice the District for the mowing. This is similar to the procedure used with the Recreation Department for the lining of fields

·         Mr. Moses’s directive to town departments is to budget for contractual increases only and to not plan for any new spending

·         There may be 9C cuts this year.  At the State level, FY17 revenues were less than anticipated and the FY16 state budget closed with a gap.

Curriculum and Instruction Update


Farley Percentile Changes (Element 1E-3)

The following chart is in response to Ms. Hallsworth’s inquiry at the last meeting regarding Farley’s accountability status.

* Districts who took PARCC were held harmless

farley mcas results


District Initiatives and Time:
Establish a common framework for curriculum and instruction to bring coherence to academic language, instructional practices and professional learning so that learning is rigorous for ALL students PreK-12. (Strategic Objective 1)
Initiative


Vehicle(s)

Leadership
Time
Implement the Curriculum Review System to recommend revisions to curriculum units.
 

Curriculum Review Task Force

Curriculum Directors
Teacher Task Force
Standing Committee
3 full-days of training

4 hours of training outside of school day

5 hours of unit review, outside of the school day, between December and March as needed

(27 Hours) 

All Teachers

1 Full Professional Development day

½ Professional Development Day

1 hour meeting time for review and revision

(10 Hours)

Design and implement professional learning opportunities for developing well-structured lessons with challenging, measurable objectives and appropriate student engagement strategies.
Analyzing Teaching for Student Results
Research for Better Teaching

Administrators

6 full-days

1 site visit

(42 Hours)

Studying Skillful Teaching
Research for Better Teaching

Enrolled Teachers

3- ½ Days

3 Full-day Saturdays

(32 Hours)

Co-Teaching
Consultants

Co-Teaching Facilitators

2 Full-days

(12 Hours)

 

Establish and maintain a learning environment based on a common understanding of high expectations among staff, students, and families. (Strategic Objective 3)
Initiative


Vehicle(s)

Leadership
Time
Establish and maintain a learning environment based on a common understanding of high expectations among staff, students, and families.
Analyzing Teaching for Student Results
*Overlaps with previous initiative
Research for Better Teaching
Administrators

*Overlaps with previous initiative

6 full-days
1 site visit
(42 Hours)

*Overlaps with previous initiative

Studying Skillful Teaching

*Overlaps with previous initiative

Research for Better Teaching

Enrolled Teachers

*Overlaps with previous initiative

3- ½ Days
3 Full-day Saturdays
(32 Hours)

*Overlaps with previous initiative

 

Success Criteria Subcommittee
DLT Subcommittee
20 Hours of DLT Time
Cultivate a mindset of continuous improvement in which decisions about instruction are made by data-driven, reflective practitioners. (Strategic Objective 2)
Initiative


Vehicle(s)

Leadership
Time
Establish consistent, data-based processes and protocols for student success teams (SST) at all levels to ensure responsive instruction and/or support services for students.
 DLT SST Subcommittee

Special Education Standing Committee

Director of Student Services

DLT Subcommittee

Special Education Standing Committee

20 Hours of DLT time

 

6 Hours of Standing Committee time

 

Create and implement a balanced and rigorous assessment system to measure student progress and determine any needed adjustments to instructional practices
Assessment Work Plan
Curriculum Directors
TBD
Superintendent’s Items of Interest
Presentations at MASS Professional Development Day

I was honored to have been asked by my professional association to have two aspects of my work used as exemplars presented to other superintendents. Karla Baehr, a well-respected former superintendent and Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, used Hudson’s District Improvement plan as an exemplar. I was also asked to facilitate a round table regarding the alignment and synergy between all plans in the District.

Enrollment

All enrollment numbers are up to date as of the writing of this report. They are unofficial numbers. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education collects snapshots of enrollment data three times per year October, March, and June. I will provide you with monthly enrollment numbers so that you can be aware of the amount of fluctuation that may or may not be occurring on a monthly basis.

 

 

5/20/16

9/9/16

9/22/16

10/7/16

 

 

 

HHS

968

941

943

946

 

 

 

QMS

649

648

642

636

 

 

 

Farley

498

 485

 488

 487

 

 

 

Forest Avenue

 340

 325

 325

 324

 

 

 

Mulready

 260

 248

 249

 250

 

 

 

District Total

2,715

2,647

2,647

2,643

 

 

 

Superintendent's Report - 9/23/16

posted Sep 24, 2016, 4:38 PM by Hps Webmaster

Leadership Team Update
District Leadership Team Meeting

The District Leadership Team held its first meeting on Wednesday, September 14th. (Agenda in Packet) It was a productive meeting as we discussed roles and responsibilities in decision making so that the entire team has common language on expectations regarding the making of decisions. One issue that was recognized was the number of meetings that administrators attend outside of their buildings on school days. In recognition of how valuable a resource time is, we are piloting a restructuring of our meeting format. In order to do this effectively, we identified three main areas of work that the team needed to complete to move the District forward and meet the expectations that were set in the DIP.  The three areas were hiring procedures: Student Success, Teams, and Success Criteria. The resultant task forces and their goals are listed below:

Hiring Subcommittee (Element 4D-2)

Primary Goal:

  • Develop standard operating procedures and best practices for hiring

Key Activities:

  • Review current practices and timelines;
  • Develop new and/or revise current forms and processes for efficiency and compliance;
  • Explore options for automation; and
  • Develop/enhance communication as a candidate moves through the hiring process

Subcommittee Members:

  • Cindy                            Todd                Brian                           
  • Ana                              Ellen                 Melissa

Student Success Teams (Element 3B-2; student learning goal 2)

Primary Goal:

  • Establish consistent data based process and protocols for student success teams at all levels to insure responsive instruction and/or support services for students

Key Activities:

  • Work collaboratively with special education improvement team;
  • Develop a plan to create shared ownership for Building Curriculum Accommodation plans and the District Curriculum Accommodation Plan (D-CAP);
  • Develop a communication plan to include teachers and parents; and
  • Determine professional development needs of staff for successful implementation

Subcommittee Members:

  • Cathy                           Erin                  Lee
  • Matt                             Miriam              Dave
  • Angie                           Dan                  Jason

Success Criteria (Element 1E-3)

Primary Goal:

  • Define metrics of performance relative to HPS mission in order to assess success and stimulate progress

Key Activities:

  • Define metrics and evidence;
  • Align metrics with our DIP; and
  • Communicate metrics for inclusion in District documents including SIPs

Subcommittee Members:

  • Leslie                           Karen               Josh
  • Rachel                          Patty                Kelly
  • Amy*

As a result of adopting this subcommittee structure and the need to have “all hands on deck”, we will be dividing our three hour District Leadership Team Meetings into two parts. For the first two hours, the subcommittees will have a blended meeting using a combination of face-to-face and a virtual platform. These will be working groups. The blended format will allow every administrator to attend and be an active participant without leaving a building regularly unattended. The final hour of the meeting will be conducted using a more traditional format. I am looking forward to seeing how this new structure affects our productivity and if it makes our time together more efficient.

Administrator Council

The Administrator Council is a group of five administrators elected by their peers to serve as a smaller advisory team that is more nimble in making decisions and debating issues. We met on Tuesday, September 20th. (Agenda in Packet) The topics that we were discussed were how to best develop a budget that met the needs of the entire District moving forward and allowed for prioritization of needs with a K-12 view. We also discussed how to best recruit teachers for our skillful teaching course, how to structure our final (perhaps) “traditional” leadership meeting on September 27th and how to move the proposed administrative restructuring proposal through a vetting process prior to my presenting it to School Committee. This was a highly productive meeting and I appreciate the active participation of all council members.

Analyzing Teaching for Student Results (Element 4D-2; District Improvement Goals 3 & 4)

The District Leadership Team had its first session of Analyzing Teaching for student results on Wednesday, September 21st. I spoke with several members of the team afterwards who said that they found it helpful, but were very tired! It was a good session with many thoughts brought to the forefront. We are lucky that we have a veteran facilitator that is teaching both our course and the teachers’ course. She analyzed where we were in relation to our current practices and our District Improvement Plan and quickly realized that the course could be tweaked to better meet our needs. As one of the original curriculum developers for the course, she is going to rewrite portions prior to our next meeting so that it will precisely meet our needs. I am quite excited about having the opportunity to learn and grow professionally alongside the administrative team. 

Finance and Operations

CHAPS Partnership (Professional Practice Goal 1)

I recently spoke with Steve Freitas to invite him to speak about our Partnership at an upcoming meeting in response to a request by the Committee Chair. Steve will be attending our October 11th meeting. The initial transition to our new programming model has been overwhelmingly positive. Steve and I discussed how he has staff members working in the parking lots assisting students and parents, the positive comments he has received from staff and families, as well as the responsiveness of our amazing building and grounds staff whenever an issue arises. Steve will be presenting more detailed information to us at our October 11th meeting.   

RADAR Project DESE (Element 2E-1)

Our District has been accepted into DESE’s project to pilot a new set of Resource Allocation and District Action Reports (RADAR) to support strategic planning and budget decision making and to help the Department develop tools and resources that can be useful to districts statewide. Our District was selected from among a number of applicants based on the thought put into our current efforts to use resources strategically, and our expressed desire to improve resource allocation. This pilot will begin in the fall 2016 and continue until fall 2018.

The aim of this project is to provide the District with:

·         More and better data in easy-to-use reports to inform resource allocation decisions;

·         Training on strategic budgeting from our partners at the District Management Council;

·         Workshops and protocols that you can use for budgeting in your district; and

·         Opportunities to provide feedback and shape the RADAR tools

Patty Lange and I attended an all-day meeting on Friday, September 23rd, at Worcester State University, that brought together teams from all seven pilot districts for a training session on strategic budgeting practices and an introduction to the RADAR tools and reports. I will have a more informed update at our meeting. After this initial meeting, we will be looking for a School Committee member who would be interested in accompanying us to future meetings.

MCAS 2.0 (Element 1C-1)

As I have made the Committee aware, DESE is requiring all students in grades 4 and 8 to take an electronic version of MCAS 2.0. DESE has released the technical specifications for running the test and given that it will be able to run on Windows 7.  The District is in good shape as far as having the hardware to make this happen in the spring. I participated in a conference call this past week for the requirements and expectations regarding administering the test online. This will be a heavy lift for our database specialist, entire Technology Department, the Office of Student Services and the ELL Director. One of the largest changes is related to testing accommodations for students with diverse learning needs and how the accommodations are accessed and reported. There will be numerous administrative level meetings occurring over the year to plan for this transition and to be sure that we are fully aware of the implications of the training. Mrs. Schuck and I will be meeting Tuesday afternoon (9/27/16). The District administration will work hard to keep the Committee and the community apprised of the developments as we build our own understanding of them.

Curriculum and Instruction Update

Curriculum Review Task Force (Element 1A-1; District Improvement Goal 1)

The District had 31 teachers apply to be members of the Curriculum Review Task Force (CRTF). The District selected 22 members from this terrific pool of applicants. The decision was a very hard one for the Curriculum Directors to make. I am excited that we had so many teachers interested in this opportunity. The work that they do will bring our curriculum to the next level and is critical to meeting the objectives of our District Improvement Plan.

Superintendent’s Items of Interest
Book Group-Potluck Reminder
Just a reminder that our Administration/School Committee joint potluck dinner and book group discussion will be happening October 4th from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
PTS Ceremony

Thank you Chairperson Dufour, Vice Chairperson Hay, and Dr. Maston for attending our second annual Professional Teacher Status Ceremony. This is such a special night and really exemplifies what is best about Hudson. Listening to the positive characteristics displayed by the individuals receiving this honor really brings home why this District is so special. The supportive colleagues who are present exhibit such pride in the accomplishments of their peers. This night is just one example why we have such a positive professional culture here in Hudson.   

Enrollment

All enrollment numbers are up to date as of the writing of this report. They are unofficial numbers. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education collects snapshots of enrollment data three times per year October, March, and June. I will provide you with monthly enrollment numbers so that you can be aware of the amount of fluctuation that may or may not be occurring on a monthly basis.


 

5/20/16

9/9/16

9/22/16

 

 

 

 

HHS

968

941

943

 

 

 

 

QMS

649

648

642

 

 

 

 

Farley

498

485

488

 

 

 

 

Forest Avenue

340

325

325

 

 

 

 

Mulready

260

248

249

 

 

 

 

District Total

2,715

2,647

2,647

 

 

 

 

 

By the Numbers:  September 13 –September 27, 2016 (Element 3C-1)

              42             email conversations (at least 3 exchanges in conversation)

              156           email exchanges (no more than 2 exchanges in each interaction)

              2               tweets to 850 followers

              7               meetings with individual staff members

              6               meetings with groups of Administrators

              1               District Leadership Team meeting

              1               School Committee member meeting (Chairperson)

              1               mentor meeting re: Boston College PCAP Program

              3               school visits

              1               labor management meeting

              1               Department of Elementary and Secondary Education conference call

              1               Professional Teacher Status Ceremony

              1               First Day of Graduate Course: Analyzing Teaching for Student Results

              1               Budget Analysis and Resource Allocation Pilot Conference (DESE)

 













































Superintendent's Report - 9/9/16

posted Sep 10, 2016, 3:33 AM by Hps Webmaster

Leadership Team Update
District Leadership Team Meeting

The District Leadership Team will have its first meeting of the year on Wednesday. We will be addressing a broad range of topics including the structure of our meetings moving forward, roles and responsibilities in decision making, the FY18 budget schedule, and subcommittees to move the work of the District improvement plan forward. (Element 4-D2)

At Tuesday’s school committee meeting:

Principals will present updates on hiring, activities of interest that they undertook over the summer, and the impact that the work we did at our summer retreat had on their practice. (Elements 4D-2 & 2C-1)

Three of our curriculum directors will be presenting their findings regarding a baseline survey of assessments that are presented in the District and the purposes that they are used for. (Element 1C-1)   

Finance and Operations

Budget

In your packet is the draft budget schedule for the FY18 budget. This should provide the Committee and the community with a full picture of the amount of time and careful consideration the School Committee and administration put in as stewards of the community’s investment in our children.  On September 9, 2016, I sent out a poll to School Committee members so that we could schedule the administrator’s budget presentations to the School Committee. Hopefully, we will be able to announce those dates at Tuesday’s meeting. The Committee will also notice that there was a budget workshop added on November 29, 2016. This is a Tuesday evening that was not a currently scheduled School Committee meeting, however, we wanted to get a second budget workshop on the schedule as far out as possible in case it is needed.  (Element 2E-1)


Quinn Traffic Flow

The traffic pattern at Quinn was revamped this year with two goals, increasing the safety of students and substantially reducing and/or removing the back log of traffic on Manning Street.  I was on site for drop-off and dismissal on the first three days of school. The first day was not a resounding success, however, by day three, the vast majority of issues had been resolved and our objectives in implementing the change had been met. Kudos to the Quinn team for the work that everyone is putting in at dismissal and drop-off in order to facilitate the new traffic pattern so that we are moving children in and out of the building quickly and safely. There are a few people whose contributions I would like to call out:

Matt Gaffny gets special mention for his take charge attitude and last minute corrections to create an optimized traffic flow.

The Opal Team has gone above and beyond in moving parent vehicles and lining up bus students on the curb so they are ready to immediately board the buses. I watched the on the spot adaptations happen in order to enhance safety and efficiency.

Jason Webster is working hard to get the kids on the bus and seated so the drivers will “move that bus”.

I would like to ask any parents that are watching to please reinforce to their children that the sooner they are seated on the bus, the sooner the bus will get them home.

These are just people that are visible outside. I appreciate the work each member of the Quinn team does in the building to have the kids out of the building and ready for transport home. I am always impressed by how the Quinn family pulls together to get things done.

Transportation

We have experienced the typical beginning of the year hiccups with student transportation. Patty Lange and Renee Graca have worked diligently to resolve issues as they arise. There have been a few notable exceptions.

On the first day of school, there was a very minor bus accident at Quinn during the morning drop off. This event was, nor attributed to, the new traffic pattern and involved a non-parent commuter trying to get to work and a bus trying to get into the parking lot. There were no injuries to anyone involved. I extend my appreciation to the Hudson Police Department for their response and our school health office for their professionalism in evaluating all 52 students on the bus for any potential injuries. 

On the first day of school, we also had a bus that was overloaded at Quinn. We had to remove several students from the afternoon run so that the bus could safely depart. NRT quickly sent a backup bus to transport these students. Unfortunately, this was a bus scheduled to do a Forest Avenue run which it was quite delayed in arriving at Forest for.

We also had a new bus driver on bus 7 (Quinn and Mulready). The newness of the bus driver resulted in the routes being completed more slowly than the expected standard. This had a domino effect on each run it made and by the time the bus was arriving and completing its Mulready runs, it was quite late. NRT is working with us to resolve this issue and the driver is now starting his runs earlier. (Element 2C-2)

Curriculum and Instruction Update
“Sweep” Teams

At the elementary level, teams of reading coaches and specialists along with their math counterparts are sweeping through classrooms to gather baseline data on students’ achievement levels so that the teachers can be able to plan target instruction, maximize growth and measure that growth.       (Element 1C-1)

Superintendent’s Items of Interest
Opening Day for Staff

For the first time since becoming Superintendent, I held a large opening of school gathering for all staff. Prior to this year, I have visited each staff meeting to welcome staff back and set the stage for this year. It was wonderful having all of our employees together. My themes for the day were the power of a teacher, the importance of relationships and greatness is a choice.

I provided a first-hand examples of the power that teachers wield when it comes to their ability to affect the world while honoring the impact that teachers had on me and my choices. The three teachers that impacted me the most came and shared lessons that they had learned over their careers. I had no idea what each was going to say, and since each has a very different personality, I knew at least one thing would resonate with everyone. The staff response that I have received has been wonderful. I have had teachers share with me stories of the teachers that most impacted them. People were inspired to seek out the teacher or teachers that impacted them the most. One person related the story of finding 94 year-old sister Elaine on Facebook that night. I am happy that it was so well-received by our staff. Not only was our staff impacted each of the three individuals that shared their wisdom with us remarked on the amazing culture that we have here in Hudson. The fact that our teachers would come up and thank these veteran teachers for coming and sharing or have genuine conversations with “the Superintendent” was something that my heroes had not experienced as a District culture when they were teaching full time. The fact that it is our District culture is something that I am immensely proud of and I hope each of our educators shares that pride.

During one of the elementary Open Houses, a parent that was tuned into my hashtag, (#greatnessisachoice) and the fact that this was a theme that we were carrying through the year, texted me a picture of a white board. Written in bold black letters across the top of the board were the words “Greatness is a Choice”. I could not be happier that this is something that resonates with our teachers and families. (Element 4D-2)

Opening Day for Students

The excitement and happy chatter that is the hallmark of a new school year reinvigorates me each year. Our first day of school went smoothly. Our teachers were ready to welcome children back for a new year of learning and growth. On the Monday before our staff was due back, I visited each building with the intention of seeing if the physical plant was ready to open for teachers the next day. Instead, I encountered 80% of our teachers working and planning together on a very warm day and the only compensation they were receiving was the satisfaction of a job well-done. Those teachers that I didn’t personally encounter had also clearly been in their classrooms over the summer preparing for their new students. Again, the level of professionalism of our educators is something to be celebrated and applauded.

Enrollment

All enrollment numbers are up to date as of the writing of this report. They are unofficial numbers. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education collects snapshots of enrollment data three times per year October, March, and June. I will provide you with monthly enrollment numbers so that you can be aware of the amount of fluctuation that may or may not be occurring on a monthly basis.


 

5/20/16

9/9/16

 

 

 

 

 

HHS

968

941

 

 

 

 

 

QMS

649

648

 

 

 

 

 

Farley

 

498

 

485

 

 

 

 

 

Forest Avenue

 

340

 

325

 

 

 

 

 

Mulready

 

260

 

248

 

 

 

 

 

District Total

2,715

2,647

 

 

 

 

 

 


















By the Numbers:  August 28 –September 12, 2016 (Element 3C-1)

              53  email conversations (at least 3 exchanges in conversation)

              105 email exchanges (no more than 2 exchanges in each interaction)

              5 tweets to 847 Followers

              7 meetings with individual staff members

              3 meetings with group of Administrators

              2 new hire interviews

              2 School Committee member meetings

              2 school visits

              1 parent meeting

              1 para association meeting

              1 labor management meeting

Superintendent's Report - 8/19/16

posted Aug 21, 2016, 1:35 PM by Hps Webmaster   [ updated Aug 21, 2016, 1:39 PM ]

Leadership Team Update
District Level Initiatives

At our District Leadership Team (DLT) retreat, we identified two major initiatives that we will be recruiting teachers to participate in over the upcoming year and one graduate level course that all administrators will participate in. Each of these activities is directly related to our District Improvement Plan.

Studying Skillful Teaching Course (DIP initiatives 2&5; 1A-2)

The District will be working with professional development partner, Research for Better Teaching, to provide 40 teachers with the 37.5 hour graduate class “Studying Skillful Teaching”. The goal eventually will be to have all Hudson Public School teachers take this course of the next three-year period so that every educator will have a common instructional language and expectations. Looking ahead at sustainability for this initiative, at the end of the three-year period, teachers entering their second year in Hudson will take the course. This course will result in teachers studying, applying, and reflecting on practical ways to:

  • Examine powerful beliefs that influence students’ motivation to learn;
  • Support students in developing a growth mindset;
  • Design lessons that focus students on what is most important (objective) and what success criteria looks like (criteria for success);
  • Apply research-based instructional strategies;
  • Collect, analyze, and use formative assessment data to inform timely decisions about what happens next for students’ learning; and
  • Strengthen cultural proficiency in instruction, curriculum, class climate, and school environment.

Curriculum Review Task Force (CRTF) (DIP initiative 1; 1A-1)

With our core curriculum documented, we will now begin the process of reviewing that curriculum to help our District continue to move forward and grow in this area. To do this, we will measure our curriculum against design standards, ensuring vertical alignment within and across content areas, and continually updating unit plans based on our growing knowledge about how students learn best.

Reviewing curriculum documents is a process that will take hard work and dedication from educators across the District. The Hudson Curriculum Review Task Force will consist of curriculum reviewers who:

  • Have a track record of high quality classroom instruction;
  • Are highly collaborative and thrive in the give and take of curriculum development;
  • Enjoy the process of backward design and developing performance assessments;
  • Understand the critical role that curriculum design and alignment play in engaging all students; and
  • Can make at least a two-year commitment to this leadership work.

This standing committee will:

  • Engage in professional development in UbD design standards; 
  • Engage in professional development in providing feedback;
  • Facilitate teacher self-assessment of curriculum;
  • Review Stages 1 and 2 of curriculum unit plans, including performance assessments
  • Provide written and verbal feedback to teachers;
  • Identify common areas for additional professional development in curriculum writing; and
  • Facilitate future professional development in curriculum writing

Analyzing Teaching for Student Results Administrator Course (1A-2, 1E-3, 4D-2)

This 42-hour course is the administrator companion course to the Studying Skillful Teaching course that our teachers will be participating in. As a result of completing this course, our administrators will be able to:

  • Name, explain, and document what high-expertise teachers know and can do in many performance areas from classroom management to planning standards-based lessons and assessments;
  • Capture salient classroom events in literal notes;
  • Connect teacher behavior and decision-making with impact on student learning;
  • Give teacher-evidence based feedback that builds the teachers’ capacity as high-expertise educators and stimulates reflection; and
  • Use multiple data sources to assess growth opportunities and facilitate effective goal-setting meetings and improvement planning.
Looking ahead at sustainability for this initiative, all administrators, hired after this year, will be required to take this course at the RBT Learning Center.


Finance and Operations

Final Budget (2E-1)

Mrs. Lange will be at our meeting on Tuesday night to present the final budget transfers needed to close the FY16 budget. We ended in a very favorable position moving into FY17. We have an estimated increase of $347,000 in school choice funding to support the FY17 budget. The District will have $247,000, after the spending of the preapproved $100,000 for the clinical psychologist position, to apply to the FY17 budget. There is a memo in the packet that details how we realized these savings. I am very appreciative of the sacrifices that our educators and students had to make to realize $225,000 of these savings. While not painless, the District was able to realize these savings, through the ingenuity and dedication of our educators and students, without compromising the quality of teaching and learning that occurs within our classrooms.  

Curriculum and Instruction Update

MCAS

In June, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released a phase-in plan for Computer-Based MCAS Testing. According to DESE, computer-based testing will allow ESE to offer more engaging content and a wider range of accessibility features and will also reflect the reality that students are increasingly using technology in and out of the classroom.

The Department notified superintendents that the first step will be for all students in grades 4 and 8 to take the computer-based version of the English language arts and math tests in spring 2017. For grades 3, 5, 6, and 7, schools may elect either the computer-based or the paper-based tests next spring. Superintendents were strongly encouraged to implement the computer-based version in as many additional grades as possible.

Paper versions of all tests will always be available as an accommodation as required by a student's individualized education program (IEP). We also anticipate setting up a process for principals to request a paper-based test accommodation for a small number of students who do not have IEPs but who are unable to take a computer-based test for other reasons.

DESE is currently considering a transition in grades 5 and 7 to full computer-based testing in spring 2018, followed by grades 3 and 6 in spring 2019. They will finalize this schedule after the 2017 test administration and after plans for high school testing are finalized. Commissioner Chester is planning to recommend to the Board of Education that students through the class of 2020 (this year’s freshmen) will have to pass the first generation MCAS as a competency determination for graduation. Currently, the class of 2019 is the final class slated to have the first generation MCAS as the competency determination for graduation.

DESE recently awarded Measured Progress the contract to develop MCAS 2.0. The two finalists for the project were Measured Progress and Pearson. It is their intention to develop a test that is compatible with most of the devices in common use in schools, including tablets, Chromebooks, laptops, and desktop computers. At this time, DESE has not provided additional details regarding the technical specifications for networks and devices.

The District had its first planning meeting to prepare for the computerized tests. We have sufficient devices at Hudson High School to administer the test to the 8th grade students. We are unable to develop a plan for administering the 4th grade test until we know more about the technical specifications. I will keep the Committee updated as things unfold.

Career Counselor Hudson High School (2E-1)

Scott Darlington resigned his position this past week to accept the position of assistant principal at Andover High School. Scott’s departure, though a loss for the District, presents us with an opportunity to restructure his position. On Tuesday, we will be asking the Committee to create a 1.0 FTE position of “career counselor” at Hudson High School. There is a job description and memo in your packet outlining the duties of this position and the rationale for adding it. Dr. Reagan will be at the Committee’s meeting on Tuesday to answer questions.

The District will be able to fund the position because we were unable to fill the Assistant Director of Student Services in Charge of Program Development despite interviewing 13 candidates. We will begin the search for the Assistant Director of Student Services in Charge of Program Development, in the winter, when hopefully we can attract a candidate that meets our needs. Dr. Mike Dubrule will return as Out of District Coordinator until the Assistant Director of Student Services position is filled in the next school year.

Superintendent’s Items of Interest
Enrollment
Our very rough enrollment numbers as of 8/18/16 are as follows:
  • Mulready          242      (-18 from 5/20)
  • Farley               473      (-25 from 5/20)
  • Forest              321      (-19 from 5/20)
  • Quinn               646      (-3 from 5/20)
  • HHS                  957      (-11 from 5/20)

District Total = 2639

New Employees

We have had a very busy hiring season this year. I am very impressed with the high quality candidates that I have met. Our principals and their hiring teams have done an outstanding job selecting talented and enthusiastic employees that will positively impact student learning.  Below is a list of our newest teachers as of 10:00 a.m. on 8/18/16:

Name

Position

Location

 Kelly Albino

 English Teacher

 Quinn Middle School

Amy Berg

Social Studies Teacher - 1 year appointment

Hudson High School

Sytske Campbell

Grade 4 Teacher

Forest Avenue Elementary School

Jessica Caron

Library Media Specialist

Hudson High School

Kaeleigh Chartrand

Grade 3 Teacher - 1 year appointment

Forest Avenue Elementary School

Kerry Cusick

Reading Specialist

Forest Avenue Elementary School

Elaine Cyr

Special Education Teacher

Forest Avenue Elementary School

Kellie Horne

ELL Teacher

Forest Avenue Elementary School

Mark Krans

Math Teacher

Hudson High School

Alcidia Lopes

Portuguese Teacher

Hudson High School

Audra Maria

School Nurse

Farley Elementary School

Sydney Markley

Math Teacher

Quinn Middle School

Pamela McDonald

Chemistry Teacher

Hudson High School

Erika Melanson

Special Education Teacher

Farley Elementary School

Amanda Pezzote

Special Education Pre-K Teacher

Hubert

Ashley Power

English Teacher - 1 year appointment

Quinn Middle School

John Jairo  Ruiz Pineda

Spanish Teacher

Hudson High School

Jessica Sabino

Grade 1 Teacher

Forest Avenue Elementary School

Arianna Silva

Technology Teacher - 1 year appointment

Hudson High School

Kerry Wanamaker

Kindergarten Teacher

Farley Elementary School

Carrie Attaway

Special Education Teacher

Quinn Middle School

Julie Walters

Special Education Teacher

Quinn Middle School

Rebecca Murphy

HR Assistant

Admin Office

Communication (3C-1)

I am compiling some resources intended as tools to clarify communication channels for family. I have included these in your packet for discussion at our meeting. In addition, I have also developed a draft survey for families that I would like to have ready to be sent out in October. This will allow us to determine which channels families prefer as well as gather information on their perceptions of the District and school websites. I look forward to having a thoughtful discussion about these at our meeting on Tuesday.

By the Numbers:  Will return 9/13/16 (Element 3C-1)


Superintendent's Report - 6/17/16

posted Jun 18, 2016, 5:16 AM by Hps Webmaster

Leadership Team Update
District Leadership Team Meeting

Given the incredible demands placed on our administrators at the end of the year, we have not been meeting as a full leadership team. Instead, we have been working as an Executive Leadership Team to plan our summer retreat so that it is most valuable for the learning and growth of our team and the District. We will be using the core texts “From Good to Great” and “From Good to Great in the Social Sectors” to inform our work.

I would like to invite the School Committee to join us in reading these books, as this is the common understanding and vocabulary that administrators will be using to guide our work moving forward. Copies of the book will be provided to you. In September, there will be a book group with administrators for those of you that choose to participate. (4D-2)

Hopefully, this will be the first of two book groups that the School Committee participates in this year. I spoke with Town Executive Assistant, Tom Moses, this week and told him that I would like to invite our Committee and the Board of Selectmen to participate in a joint book group to read the book “Our Kids” by Robert Putnam. Mr. Moses was excited and I will be extending an invitation to the Board of Selectmen once the new school year starts. The goal would be to hold our book group for “Our Kids” in January.

Finance and Operations

School Improvement Plan Update

The Committee will be hearing from the building Principals on their School Improvement Plans at our meeting. Copies are included in your packets. (2C-1)

 
Final Budget

The Committee will be voting a final budget for FY17 at our meeting. (2E-1) I will be asking the Committee to pass a balanced budget with one additional, potential cut. If, when our books close in July, we realize an additional $100,000 in savings (which is a possibility), I will ask the Committee to authorize me to reinstate the new position of clinical psychologist that needed to be cut in order to pass a balanced budget on Tuesday.

Lunch Notices
In lieu of report cards, students with lunch balances over the cap set by School Committee policy and students with outstanding debts at any of our schools will receive a notice telling them that their report cards, schedules, and class assignments will be withheld until their debt is paid to the District. This is the result of the School Committee Policy EDGA which was enacted last year. (2E-1) 

Transportation

Mrs. Lange and I met with the bus company regarding our concerns with communication around recent events. The owner of North Reading Transportation was very responsive to our concerns. I believe that after our meeting the company will be more responsive to our needs.

The Committee should be aware that our dismissal times, for the last day of school, needed to be adjusted based on the High School exam schedule. In prior years, only one exam was proctored on the last day of school resulting in a 9:00 a.m. dismissal. Given the extra reverse half days to accommodate the High School MCAS schedule, the High School Administration wanted to maximize the students’ time in school to meet state requirements. The result is that the first exam for students was administered on Friday during a full day of school. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, two exams will be given to students and the typical high school exam half day will be in effect. The 11:00 a.m. dismissal that happens on these days necessitated that the middle school and elementary school drop offs be adjusted in order to get the busses to Hudson High School in a timely manner. The dismissal times for each level are as follows (3C-1):

Quinn Middle School:            10:30 a.m.

ALL Elementary Schools:      10:55 a.m.

Hudson High School:             11:00 a.m. for students with transportation

                                            11:30 a.m. for students riding the bus

Curriculum and Instruction Update
June 16, 2016

I am writing this on Thursday, June 16th. This is the momentous day for our curriculum completion and marks the end of several years of hard work by our teachers and administrators. Curriculum is mapped to the unit level in all subject areas, with the exception of math at the secondary level. Math at the secondary level is not complete to allow for the adoption of the standards-based Eureka math program.

The next phase towards the establishment of a common framework for curriculum and instruction in order to bring coherence to academic language, instructional practices and professional learning to insure that learning is rigorous for ALL students PreK-12 (DIP #1) is to implement and establish our curriculum review and reflection protocol which we will be prepared to launch in September. (1A-1)

Superintendent’s Items of Interest
High School Data

The Committee had asked if Dr. Reagan could provide them with data regarding our 2016 graduates and the success of the first 8th grade cohort not to have a teaching team structure in place. We had hoped to have this information for you at this meeting, however the quick turnaround time is proving to be difficult. Dr. Reagan will have this information to present at our July 19th meeting.

SEPAC Update June 9, 2016

At this time, SEPAC has no formal officers or consistent leaders.  The following summary has been completed by the Director of Student Services to track discussion. 

A group of 4 parents attended the June 9, 2016 SEPAC meeting held at 155 Apsley Street in the School Committee room at 6:00pm. The group of parents read and made proposed changes to the by-laws.  The group will vote the by-laws at the next meeting, August 29, 2016.  This meeting will be held at the Hudson Administration building at 6:00 p.m.  An agenda for the meeting has been planned.  Items include vote on the by-laws, plan a Sensory Sensitive movie event for October 1, 2016 and prepare for the start of the school year.  The following dates have been identified for meeting for the 2016-2017 school year: August 29, 2016, October 13, 2016, November 17, 2016, February 9, 2016 and April 6, 2016.  A Basics Rights workshop is tentatively scheduled for the October 13, 2016 meeting.

Retirements

We have invited this year’s District retirees to join us at Tuesday’s meeting so that the Committee can recognize them for their years of service to Hudson and our students. The 2015-2016 Hudson Public Schools Class of Retirees:

Azevedo, Alberto

HHS

Custodian

12 years

Campbell, Linda

FOR

Teacher

30 years

Gratton, Elaine

ADM

Finance

9 years

McKenna, Elaine

MUL

Nurse

20 years

McMahon, Betty

HHS

Paraeducator

20 years

Vacchina, Peter

HHS

Teacher

17 years

Vigne, Ann

FAR

Teacher

8 years


Faculty Awards

Normally this is where I would share with you the names of faculty members who received awards at our closing of the 2015-2016 school year but, we are a day early. There will be four awards presented, in the following categories tomorrow to some very deserving faculty members:

Teacher Leadership Award

Educators are teachers, scholars, professionals, and life-long learners. This award is meant to recognize educators who have instructional responsibilities that seek out and take advantage of opportunities for professional, personal, and scholarly advancement in order to enhance their knowledge and skills. These educators develop materials and methods that can be replicated, shared and used by colleagues to advance the professional learning of colleagues and enhance the learning of students.

Mindset Award

The Mindset Award is meant to honor educators that embody the idea of a growth mindset.  Educators that hold a growth mindset believe that they never stop learning and growing. They believe that there is always a way to improve their practice. Individuals that embody this mindset persist despite setbacks and view those same setbacks as challenges to improve. They are drawn to challenges and persevere through them. They are resilient and motivated. Educators with this mindset instill this belief in their students as well.

 

Curriculum and Instruction Award

The Curriculum and Instruction Award is meant to recognize educators who have demonstrated outstanding professional practice while implementing a department, school or District initiative. This award may also recognize an educator that took a professional risk that resulted in improved learning outcomes for a group, class, department, grade, or school.

         

By the Numbers:  June 7-June 21, 2016 (Element 3C-1)

              42  email conversations (at least 3 exchanges in conversation)

              98  email exchanges (no more than 2 exchanges in each interaction)

              4    tweets to 837 Followers

              2    Central Office Listserv messages

              11  meetings with individual staff members

              3    meetings with individual Administrators

             10   meetings with groups of Administrators

             1     group presentations for new SIS

             3     new hire interviews

             1     Secondary ELL Ceremony

             2     School Committee member meetings

             4     parent meetings

             1     quarterly meeting with Tom Moses

             1     HEA meeting

             1     Para Association meeting

             1     AVC Board Meeting

             1     subcommittee meeting

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