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  • Superintendent's Report - 5/23/17 Meeting Highlights Due to the administration of MCAS and the Principals need to be in their buildings, there have been no leadership meetings scheduled since May 9th. I have ...
    Posted May 21, 2017, 10:41 AM by Hps Webmaster
  • Superintendent's Report - 5/5/17 Meeting Highlights 5/2/17          Town Meeting ·         I know the entire School Committee was present. I would like to clarify two things for the viewing public and those that read ...
    Posted May 6, 2017, 10:58 AM by Hps Webmaster
  • Superintendent's Report - 4/7/17 Meeting Highlights 4/4/17           DLT                                              ·         Agenda was included in your packet.          Food Service Survey The Food Service Survey was sent to the District regarding the lunches and breakfasts offered ...
    Posted Apr 7, 2017, 12:36 PM by Hps Webmaster
  • Superintendent's Report - 3/24/17 Meeting Highlights 3/15/17                   Quarterly Meeting with Tom Moses                                                 ·         Budget discussion 3/21/17                   DLT                                              ·         Cancelled for candidate visit which was then cancelled, too late to reschedule 3/21 ...
    Posted Mar 25, 2017, 11:57 AM by Hps Webmaster
  • Superintendent's Report - 3/10/17 Meeting Highlights 3/1/17           MCAS Security Meetings                                             ·         Meeting with Principals to discuss newly required MCAS Security Plans for March and April tests 3/3/17           Read to Classrooms at ...
    Posted Mar 10, 2017, 1:26 PM by Hps Webmaster
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Superintendent's Report - 5/23/17

posted May 21, 2017, 10:41 AM by Hps Webmaster

Meeting Highlights

Due to the administration of MCAS and the Principals need to be in their buildings, there have been no leadership meetings scheduled since May 9th. I have been meeting with individual administrators regarding their evaluations. 

Staff Movement

All staff that have been impacted by the reductions in staff related to enrollment and resultant changes in assignment have been notified of their status. This process was completed within the last week. I would like to thank everyone impacted for their patience and understanding as we enacted these difficult decisions.

Retirement Party

The Hudson Education Association (HEA) held their annual gathering to honor retirees this afternoon (May 23rd). I was honored to be in attendance as we celebrated those that have dedicated a significant part of their lives to serving the Town of Hudson and educating all learners. This year’s retirees from the HEA are:

·         Paul D’Alessandro               33 Years of Service

·         Joseph Mishley                   30 Years of Service

·         Laurie Curley                     23 Years of Service

·         Leslie Williams                   21 Years of Service

Our retirees, in all associations, will be invited to our Tuesday, June 13th School Committee meeting so that the Committee can personally thank them for their dedication and service to our community.

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.


 

9/9/16

4/11/17

5/5/17

5/23/17

 

 

 

HHS

941

929

925

924

 

 

 

QMS

648

637

637

637

 

 

 

Farley

485

490

492

493

 

 

 

Forest Avenue

325

332

334

334

 

 

 

Mulready

248

251

253

253

 

 

 

District Total

2,647

2,639

2,641

2,641

 

 

 

Superintendent's Report - 5/5/17

posted May 6, 2017, 10:58 AM by Hps Webmaster

Meeting Highlights

5/2/17          Town Meeting

·         I know the entire School Committee was present. I would like to clarify two things for the viewing public and those that read my report. The overall appropriation from the Town, what is voted at Town meeting, only increased 2%. The general expense line item looked as if it increased significantly because of the way the new Town accountant is asking us to apply our school choice funds. We are now applying more school choice funds to personnel and less to general expenses. This accounts for the reduction in the Town appropriation for personnel that Mr. Lucy noted and the corresponding increase in general expenses.

5/3/17           DLT                                             

·         Agenda was included in your packet.

Teacher Appreciation Week

Last week (5/1-5/5) was teacher appreciation week. Hudson is fortunate to have many talented and caring educators. I shared my appreciation with our educators via an email. It has been my pleasure to work alongside of them for the past decade to provide a high quality education for our students.  

MCAS Computerized Testing

The District completed the first round of online MCAS testing with grades 4 and 8. Though this required a herculean effort by our technology staff and administrators, it was very successful.  In all my reporting, we have focused on computer based testing but there is a lot of administrative work that goes into the paper based testing on the part of our Principals and Assistant Principals. I want to thank them for their efforts in getting the hundreds of tests distributed, counted, repacked, arranging the logistics for proctoring and monitoring the testing environment. It is tedious work, but necessary to the success of 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.

 

9/9/16

4/11/17

5/5/17

 

 

 

 

HHS

941

929

925

 

 

 

 

QMS

648

637

637

 

 

 

 

Farley

485

490

492

 

 

 

 

Forest Avenue

325

332

334

 

 

 

 

Mulready

248

251

253

 

 

 

 

District Total

2,647

2,639

2,641

 

 

 

 

Superintendent's Report - 4/7/17

posted Apr 7, 2017, 12:35 PM by Hps Webmaster   [ updated Apr 7, 2017, 12:36 PM ]

Meeting Highlights

4/4/17           DLT                                             

·         Agenda was included in your packet.         

Food Service Survey

The Food Service Survey was sent to the District regarding the lunches and breakfasts offered in the school cafeterias.   The survey will close on Thursday, April 13th

The survey can be found at:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HudsonSchoolDistrict-Staff

 Kindergarten Information Night

Parents of students registered to attend Hudson Public Schools Kindergarten for the 2017-2018 school year are invited to attend a Parent Information Night on Monday, April 10, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the Mini Theater at Hudson High School, 69 Brigham Street. 

Parents will have the opportunity to:

  • Meet the elementary school principals
  • Learn about the Hudson Public schools Health, Nursing and Safety Department
  • Learn about the school lunch program
  • Learn about the Kindergarten Curriculum
  • Ask questions

The notices sent to parents have been included in your packet.

 

MCAS Computerized Testing

The District completed the first day of online MCAS testing with our 8th grade. Ellen Schuck reported that there were a few minor glitches, but the day was a success. While many in the District will not be touched by the intensity of the demand that online testing has put on staff, Dr. Fortuna wanted to thank you the technology staff for making this work. This has been an intensive planning and execution process for our tech team and administrators.  

Dr. Fortuna also thanked the HHS staff and administration for the “all hands on-deck” attitude and commitment to making it work during testing.

Dr. Fortuna also gave a special shout out to Josh Otlin for the coordination effort he put in at HHS. Hudson is the great district that it is because of the people here.

Contract Extensions

Contract extensions were approved for Brian Reagan and Kelly Sardella.

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.

 

 

12/2/16

12/16/16

1/20/17

2/3/17

3/9/17

3/23/17

4/11/17

HHS

939

936

933

931

930

932

929

QMS

635

631

632

633

636

636

637

Farley

487

487

486

485

489

489

490

Forest Avenue

330

329

330

333

333

333

332

Mulready

252

250

251

252

251

250

251

District Total

2,643

2,633

2,632

2,634

2,639

2,640

2,639

Superintendent's Report - 3/24/17

posted Mar 25, 2017, 11:57 AM by Hps Webmaster

Meeting Highlights

3/15/17                   Quarterly Meeting with Tom Moses                                                

·         Budget discussion

3/21/17                   DLT                                             

·         Cancelled for candidate visit which was then cancelled, too late to reschedule

3/21/17                   Elementary Leadership Team                                  

·         Updated MCAS schedule

3/24/17                   Assabet Valley Collaborative Board Meeting                                   

·         General board business         

Kindergarten Registration

The requested deadline for 2017-2018 kindergarten registration is March 30th.  Here are the numbers as of March 23rd:

Farley

Census says 85 should enroll, 41 are registered, 5 owe documents: 46 Total

Forest

Census says 53 should enroll, 44 are registered, 6 owe documents: 50 Total

Mulready

Census says 31 should enroll, 21 are registered, 2 owe documents: 23 total.

District

Census says the total for the year should be 169, and we have heard from 119 families.

The biggest discrepancy between the census and actual enrollment is at Farley Elementary.

The District will re-publicize after the March 30th deadline if we do not have numbers that more closely reflect the census. Failure to register students in a timely manner may result in students having a delayed start to their kindergarten experience.

Stem Family Night _(Submitted by Karen Martin and Erin Goldstein)

We had a very successful Family STEM Night at Farley on March 22nd. This was the first time the English Learner Education Department joined forces with the Elementary Department to provide all families with an opportunity to learn and have fun together.  We estimated well over 200 parents and students attended.

 STEM Night Highlights:

  • The Blanding Turtle room was a big hit! There was a reception line to meet Bubble and Skittles. Over $150 was donated to purchase a tracker for the turtles when they were released into the wild.
  • Save the Bees! Third grade students informed parents and students about the importance of saving the bees. They also have applied for a grant and were garnering additional support.
  • Our ESL teachers delivered a presentation to parents of English learners about what STEM is and why it is important.   All English learners went home with new science tools and science books to reinforce learning at home.  Our interpreters were available to parents as needed throughout the evening.
  • Every room was filled to capacity with parents and students learning code, building towers, designing structures, observing nature, playing math games, learning about waves, and making electrical circuits.

A big thank you to Anna Gallo Knight, Lindsay Sousa, Kimmarie Calvanese, Kellie Horne, Wendy Anderson, Michelle Keith, and Kelly Sardella for welcoming all of our families, providing extra support for families who needed it, and planning two great stations for students. 

Thank you also to Lisa Leger, Laura Mullen, Katie Rivela, Michelle Farley, Cassia Freitas, Lisette Zinner, and Meghan Gasek for planning “hands and minds on” stations for students and parents.

We appreciate Kevin Hava bringing a station on ocean currents and wind turbines and having two high school student helpers to model for younger children their love of science.

Last night sets the stage for future Family Nights! We appreciate all that everyone did to contribute to the success of the night.

News from DESE 

Commissioner Chester will hold his third town hall meeting since the beginning of this school year from 6–8 p.m. on March 29 at Nipmuc Regional High School in Upton, part of the Blackstone Valley. The first town hall was in Brockton in September, followed by an event in Fitchburg last month. The Commissioner will discuss the successes and challenges of the state's K–12 school system, how the state and districts work together, and the roles of learning standards and assessments in supporting teaching and learning. The event is free and open to the public, but people who plan to attend are encouraged to register 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

1/20/17

2/3/17

3/9/17

3/23/17

HHS

968

939

936

933

931

930

932

QMS

649

635

631

632

633

636

636

Farley

498

487

487

486

485

489

489

Forest Avenue

340

330

329

330

333

333

333

Mulready

260

252

250

251

252

251

250

District Total

2,715

2,643

2,633

2,632

2,634

2,639

2,640

Superintendent's Report - 3/10/17

posted Mar 10, 2017, 1:26 PM by Hps Webmaster

Meeting Highlights

3/1/17           MCAS Security Meetings                                            

·         Meeting with Principals to discuss newly required MCAS Security Plans for March and April tests

3/3/17           Read to Classrooms at all elementary levels (Forest & Mulready)

 

 
Dr. Fortuna Reads at Forest Elementary
 
Dr. Fortuna reads at Mulready Elementary

3/7/17           Finance Committee                   

·         Patty Lange and I, with Committee support, answered the Finance Committee’s questions regarding the FY18 budget

3/8/17           District Leadership Team                                                      

·         Major topics covered include: Professional development specifically around high quality objectives, Health and Safety Protocols and, Professional Development Time Agenda included in your packet.

Next Generation MCAS Achievement Levels and Descriptors
(Content taken from DESE Presentation to BOE 2/17/17)

Next Generation Levels and Descriptors

Legacy Levels and Descriptors

(Will continue to be used on High School Tests)

Exceeding Expectations
A student who performed at this level on this test exceeded grade-level academic expectations and is well prepared in this subject.

Advanced
Students at this level demonstrate a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of challenging subject matter and provide sophisticated solutions to complex problems.

Meeting Expectations
A student who performed at this level on this test met grade-level academic expectations and is prepared in this subject.

Proficient
Students at this level demonstrate a solid understanding of challenging subject matter and solve a wide variety of problems.

Partially Meeting Expectations
A student who performed at this level on this test partially met grade-level academic expectations. The school and parent/guardian may wish to evaluate the need for academic assistance for this student.

Needs Improvement
Students at this level demonstrate a partial understanding of subject matter and solve some simple problems

Not Meeting Expectations
A student who performed at this level on this test did not meet grade-level academic expectations. The school and parent/guardian should evaluate the need for academic assistance for this student.

Warning (Failing at high school)
Students at this level demonstrate a minimal understanding of subject matter and do not solve simple problems.


School Level Next Generation MCAS Assessment Presentations

·         The Principals will be presenting a next generation MCAS informational session to parents. There will be two presentations.

·         The presentation designed for elementary families that will take place at on Wednesday, March 29th at 6:00 p.m. in the Forest Avenue Library. Elementary testing begins on Tuesday, April 25th.

·         The Elementary Leadership Team has done a substantial amount of work on this presentation to fulfill expectations. This should be a very informative night for families.

·         Developed in conjunction with the Forest Avenue Home and School a Google form has been developed so that parents are able to submit questions prior to the event.

·         This will allow for all parents’ questions to be answered at the event, including those regarding scores. This form will be made available to all schools.

·         There will also be breakout sessions where parents can ask questions related to their particular school.

·         If parents from an individual building have unanswered questions or issues, the Principals would be more than willing to host an additional night at their buildings.

·         The elementary communication plan for families is as follows:

·             General ListServ announcement encouraging parents to save the date for the presentation sent out week of March 6th

·             Back pack letter announcing the event to parents in grade 3 & 4 sent home week of March 20th

·             Google Form to parents soliciting questions for the night sent out via listserv week of March 27th  

·         The Presentation designed for secondary parents is scheduled for Thursday, March 16th at 6:00 p.m.

 

·         The secondary level communication plan is as follows:

·       Phone call to high school parents the evening of March 9th

·       School Messenger email on the afternoon of March 9th

·       Added to the Quinn ListServ

·       Phone call to Quinn families next week prior to the event

Potential Dates for School Committee Budget Forum

·         The School Committee asked to have a live budget forum where they could discuss the budget with their constituents.

·         This meeting needs to occur after the March 28th meeting when a current forecast will be presented and the Committee has some decision points to make.

·         The School Committee asked me to identify a potential date for this meeting.

·         Currently April 4th could be a potential date. It is close to the decision points and could be well publicized.

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

2/3/17

3/9/17

 

HHS

968

939

936

933

931

930

 

QMS

649

635

631

632

633

636

 

Farley

498

487

487

486

485

489

 

Forest Avenue

340

330

329

330

333

333

 

Mulready

260

252

250

251

252

251

 

District Total

2,715

2,643

2,633

2,632

2,634

2,639

 

Superintendent's Report - 2/17/17

posted Feb 20, 2017, 8:30 AM by Hps Webmaster

Meeting Highlights

1/26/17                   Administrator Council Meeting                                                         

·         Budget discussion

·         Review School Committee presentation schedule

1/27/17                   Assabet Valley Collaborative Board Meeting                                   

·         Annual report (handed out at 2/7/17 meeting)

1/27/17                   State Government Officials                             

·         Ms. Kilcoyne and I met with Senator Eldridge and State Representative Hogan to discuss the special education identification and appeal process and our methods for determining assistive technology needs for students.

1/30/17                   Principals’ Meeting                                                      

·         Project plan for transition of student information system (included in packet)

1/30/17                   District and School Assistance Center (DSAC) Liaison                  

·         I met with Dr. Joe Connors who is the head of the Central Massachusetts DSAC. Dr. Connors shared with me that with the proposed changes in the State accountability system, he anticipates that we would no longer receive DSAC assistance. The State is proposing focusing comprehensive support on the lowest performing 5% of schools and high schools with four-year graduation rate below 67%. The State will provide targeted support to schools not identified for comprehensive support that have subgroups performing among the lowest in the State. The table below shows the overall percentile ranking of each Hudson School based on the previous accountability system.


School

Percentile

Hudson High School

38th

Quinn Middle School

57th

Mulready Elementary School

53rd

Forest Ave. Elementary School

43rd

Farley Elementary School

28th

 

Highlights of Proposed Changes to the Massachusetts Accountability System
(Content taken from DESE Presentation Slide Deck to BOE 1/23/17)

·         On January 24, 2017, Commissioner Mitchell Chester and a team from DESE presented the proposed changes to the accountability system for schools and districts in Massachusetts;

·         These proposed changes are a result of the reauthorization of the “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA);

·         ESSA is the most recent federal reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) which was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965;

·         Performance level designations do not depend solely on the performance of other schools:

·              DESE will set annual performance targets for all districts, schools, and subgroups

·              Schools can move up in performance level by meeting or exceeding school and subgroup targets

·              Schools can move down in performance level by having a low performing subgroup or not meeting participation requirements

·         District performance levels are dependent on the performance of all students in the District, not individual schools;

·         Identification needs to follow the 2017-2018 school year;

·         DESE is proposing to reset the baseline for grades 3-8 accountability in 2016-2017:

·              Assessment transition provides opportunity

·              Common assessment baseline for new accountability system

·              2017 Next Generation MCAS results reported

·              High School accountability would remain unchanged

·              Requires a regulatory change

·         Accountability reset is dependent on assessment participation in 2016-2017:

·              Schools not meeting participation requirement would be placed in level 3

·              Level 1-3 schools meeting the participation requirement would not be leveled or receive an accountability percentile

·         2016-2017 performance results would become the new baseline;

·         2017-2018 participation rates for accountability would be based on two years of data (2016-2017 & 2017-2018);

·         Final review of this proposal will occur with BOE in March; and

·         Once approved, it will be submitted to the US Department of Education in April.

 

Criteria for Success
Proposed Measures
Grade Span
All students perform well against challenging grade-level expectations
Next-generation MCAS results for English language arts, math, science
Student growth in ELA & math
All
All ELs make progress towards English proficiency

 

ACCESS Results
All
All students graduate from high school
4-year cohort graduation rate
5-year graduation plus still enrolled rate
Annual dropout rate
High School
All students attend school regularly

 

Chronic Absenteeism
All
All students experience a broad & challenging curriculum

 

Access to the arts

Access to a well-rounded curriculum

Passing all grade 9 courses
Access to advanced coursework

 

All 

High School


High School
 


High School

Schools support all students in attaining these goals

 

School climate survey (pilot in grades 5, 8 and 10 in FY17)
All

Televised Budget Discussion

·         I am working with Hudson High School students and HUDTV to produce a live television broadcast to discuss the FY18 budget.

·         I am excited about this project because it allows for real world application of civics lessons.

·         The show will be advertised using HUDTV and social media channels.

·         The show will be broadcast live Thursday, February 16th at 6:00 p.m.

·         On Wednesday, February 8th, 2017, all Hudson Families will receive a link via email to submit questions to the host of the event, Dakota Antelman.

·         Dakota will also be reaching out to students to submit questions.

·         We will also be accepting questions via a live Twitter feed.

·         We may also stream the show via Facebook live.

·         A recording of the live event will be shown multiple times on cable access.

·         Given the poor attendance at previous budget presentations where we have invited the community to attend, I would like to discuss at Tuesday’s meeting if the Committee feels we should proceed with face-to-face forums.

 

Last Day for Kindergarten Students

·         The last day of Kindergarten will be Friday, June 9th without any additional snow days.

·         This date will change accordingly if we have any unanticipated weather closings.  For example, if we have one snow day, the last day for Kindergarten will be Monday, June 12th.  If we have two snow days, the last day will move to June 13th, and so forth.   

·         Kindergarten is ending earlier than grades 1-12 so that we can provide thorough screenings for incoming Kindergarten students.

·         In the past, kindergarten teachers conducted these screenings while their students were under the supervision of substitute teachers resulting in disruption to the learning and routine of our outgoing Kindergarten students.

·         Changing this past practice will result in our students having a successful closure to their Kindergarten year because s/he will end the year well-prepared for first grade, following the familiar routine and with the teacher that has helped him/her learn and grow throughout the school year.

Follow up to Committee’s Inquiries

Committee Inquiry: During our Committee meeting when MCAS results were reviewed, a recommendation was made that the school level scores should be reviewed with parents. I’d like to get confirmation that this was done. If it hasn’t been done, I’d like to get a schedule for each school showing when these sessions will take place and how the scheduled sessions will be communicated to parents.

Superintendent’s Response:  School level MCAS presentations did not happen. The leadership team heard the Committee member's recommendation to hold a parent meeting.  The Principals and I met after that request was made at the School Committee meeting to discuss the suggestion.  Each Principal reported that no parents had brought a concern to his/her and these nights were poorly attended in the past. The team monitored if any concerns were raised after that meeting, none were, so the decision was made not to hold a separate meeting given that no one had raised the issue at the school level.  The MCAS score report, received by parents, and the subsequent accountability letters that were mailed at the end of December (sample included in this packet) also detail the school’s standing and the child's standing. We will not be holding a meeting to discuss 2016 MCAS data now as we are preparing to begin the testing cycle again in March and the test will be a different test than what was administered before. I encourage the Committee to have concerned individuals reach out to the building Principals.  A point of learning this year is that parents are much more likely to attend a presentation on parenting such a Screenagers, drug abuse, etc. than they are about something that they perceive as having a less direct impact on his/her student.

Committee Inquiry: The Committee had worked with Jodi to put together a District Communication Plan and when we last reviewed it, she mentioned that it was going to be tested before officially sharing it with parents and the broader community. I haven’t seen or heard any follow up on this topic, but think it makes sense to continue moving this forward. I’d like to understand whether the test plan is working and the timeline for sharing it publicly.

Superintendent’s Response: While we are following the communication plan I presented at the beginning of the year because it is best practice, I have no plans to move it forward publically. I think that it would be best for the next Superintendent to take it and make it his/her own rather than have the departing Superintendent present something mid-year that will be essentially meaningless as my successor crafts his/her own plan for communicating with stakeholders.

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

2/3/17

 

 

HHS

968

939

936

933

931

 

 

QMS

649

635

631

632

633

 

 

Farley

498

487

487

486

485

 

 

Forest Avenue

340

330

329

330

333

 

 

Mulready

260

252

250

251

252

 

 

District Total

2,715

2,643

2,633

2,632

2,634

 

 

Superintendent's Report - 2/2/17

posted Feb 3, 2017, 12:35 PM by Hps Webmaster

Meeting Highlights

1/26/17                   Administrator Council Meeting                                                         

·         Budget discussion

·         Review School Committee presentation schedule

1/27/17                   Assabet Valley Collaborative Board Meeting                                   

·         Annual report (handed out at 2/7/17 meeting)

1/27/17                   State Government Officials                             

·         Ms. Kilcoyne and I met with Senator Eldridge and State Representative Hogan to discuss the special education identification and appeal process and our methods for determining assistive technology needs for students.

1/30/17                   Principals’ Meeting                                                      

·         Project plan for transition of student information system (included in packet)

1/30/17                   District and School Assistance Center (DSAC) Liaison                  

·         I met with Dr. Joe Connors who is the head of the Central Massachusetts DSAC. Dr. Connors shared with me that with the proposed changes in the State accountability system, he anticipates that we would no longer receive DSAC assistance. The State is proposing focusing comprehensive support on the lowest performing 5% of schools and high schools with four-year graduation rate below 67%. The State will provide targeted support to schools not identified for comprehensive support that have subgroups performing among the lowest in the State. The table below shows the overall percentile ranking of each Hudson School based on the previous accountability system.

School

Percentile

Hudson High School

38th

Quinn Middle School

57th

Mulready Elementary School

53rd

Forest Ave. Elementary School

43rd

Farley Elementary School

28th

 

Highlights of Proposed Changes to the Massachusetts Accountability System
(Content taken from DESE Presentation Slide Deck to BOE 1/23/17)

·         On January 24, 2017, Commissioner Mitchell Chester and a team from DESE presented the proposed changes to the accountability system for schools and districts in Massachusetts;

·         These proposed changes are a result of the reauthorization of the “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA);

·         ESSA is the most recent federal reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) which was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965;

·         Performance level designations do not depend solely on the performance of other schools:

·              DESE will set annual performance targets for all districts, schools, and subgroups

·              Schools can move up in performance level by meeting or exceeding school and subgroup targets

·              Schools can move down in performance level by having a low performing subgroup or not meeting participation requirements

·         District performance levels are dependent on the performance of all students in the District, not individual schools;

·         Identification needs to follow the 2017-2018 school year;

·         DESE is proposing to reset the baseline for grades 3-8 accountability in 2016-2017:

·              Assessment transition provides opportunity

·              Common assessment baseline for new accountability system

·              2017 Next Generation MCAS results reported

·              High School accountability would remain unchanged

·              Requires a regulatory change

·         Accountability reset is dependent on assessment participation in 2016-2017:

·              Schools not meeting participation requirement would be placed in level 3

·              Level 1-3 schools meeting the participation requirement would not be leveled or receive an accountability percentile

·         2016-2017 performance results would become the new baseline;

·         2017-2018 participation rates for accountability would be based on two years of data (2016-2017 & 2017-2018);

·         Final review of this proposal will occur with BOE in March; and

·         Once approved, it will be submitted to the US Department of Education in April.

Criteria for Success
Proposed Measures
Grade Span
All students perform well against challenging grade-level expectations
Next-generation MCAS results for English language arts, math, science
Student growth in ELA & math
All
All ELs make progress towards English proficiency
ACCESS Results
All
All students graduate from high school
4-year cohort graduation rate
5-year graduation plus still enrolled rate
Annual dropout rate
High School
All students attend school regularly

 

Chronic Absenteeism
All
All students experience a broad & challenging curriculum

 

Access to the arts
Access to a well-rounded curriculum
Passing all grade 9 courses
Access to advanced coursework

 

All 

High School 


High School

High School

Schools support all students in attaining these goals

 

School climate survey (pilot in grades 5, 8 and 10 in FY17)
All

Televised Budget Discussion

·         I am working with Hudson High School students and HUDTV to produce a live television broadcast to discuss the FY18 budget.

·         I am excited about this project because it allows for real world application of civics lessons.

·         The show will be advertised using HUDTV and social media channels.

·         The show will be broadcast live Thursday, February 16th at 6:00 p.m.

·         On Wednesday, February 8th, 2017, all Hudson Families will receive a link via email to submit questions to the host of the event, Dakota Antelman.

·         Dakota will also be reaching out to students to submit questions.

·         We will also be accepting questions via a live Twitter feed.

·         We may also stream the show via Facebook live.

·         A recording of the live event will be shown multiple times on cable access.

·         Given the poor attendance at previous budget presentations where we have invited the community to attend, I would like to discuss at Tuesday’s meeting if the Committee feels we should proceed with face-to-face forums.

 

Last Day for Kindergarten Students

·         The last day of Kindergarten will be Friday, June 9th without any additional snow days.

·         This date will change accordingly if we have any unanticipated weather closings.  For example, if we have one snow day, the last day for Kindergarten will be Monday, June 12th.  If we have two snow days, the last day will move to June 13th, and so forth.   

·         Kindergarten is ending earlier than grades 1-12 so that we can provide thorough screenings for incoming Kindergarten students.

·         In the past, kindergarten teachers conducted these screenings while their students were under the supervision of substitute teachers resulting in disruption to the learning and routine of our outgoing Kindergarten students.

·         Changing this past practice will result in our students having a successful closure to their Kindergarten year because s/he will end the year well-prepared for first grade, following the familiar routine and with the teacher that has helped him/her learn and grow throughout the school year.

Follow up to Committee’s Inquiries

Committee Inquiry: During our Committee meeting when MCAS results were reviewed, a recommendation was made that the school level scores should be reviewed with parents. I’d like to get confirmation that this was done. If it hasn’t been done, I’d like to get a schedule for each school showing when these sessions will take place and how the scheduled sessions will be communicated to parents.

Superintendent’s Response:  School level MCAS presentations did not happen. The leadership team heard the Committee member's recommendation to hold a parent meeting.  The Principals and I met after that request was made at the School Committee meeting to discuss the suggestion.  Each Principal reported that no parents had brought a concern to his/her and these nights were poorly attended in the past. The team monitored if any concerns were raised after that meeting, none were, so the decision was made not to hold a separate meeting given that no one had raised the issue at the school level.  The MCAS score report, received by parents, and the subsequent accountability letters that were mailed at the end of December (sample included in this packet) also detail the school’s standing and the child's standing. We will not be holding a meeting to discuss 2016 MCAS data now as we are preparing to begin the testing cycle again in March and the test will be a different test than what was administered before. I encourage the Committee to have concerned individuals reach out to the building Principals.  A point of learning this year is that parents are much more likely to attend a presentation on parenting such a Screenagers, drug abuse, etc. than they are about something that they perceive as having a less direct impact on his/her student.

Committee Inquiry: The Committee had worked with Jodi to put together a District Communication Plan and when we last reviewed it, she mentioned that it was going to be tested before officially sharing it with parents and the broader community. I haven’t seen or heard any follow up on this topic, but think it makes sense to continue moving this forward. I’d like to understand whether the test plan is working and the timeline for sharing it publicly.

Superintendent’s Response: While we are following the communication plan I presented at the beginning of the year because it is best practice, I have no plans to move it forward publically. I think that it would be best for the next Superintendent to take it and make it his/her own rather than have the departing Superintendent present something mid-year that will be essentially meaningless as my successor crafts his/her own plan for communicating with stakeholders.

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

2/3/17

 

 

HHS

968

939

936

933

931

 

 

QMS

649

635

631

632

633

 

 

Farley

498

487

487

486

485

 

 

Forest Avenue

340

330

329

330

333

 

 

Mulready

260

252

250

251

252

 

 

District Total

2,715

2,643

2,633

2,632

2,634

 

 

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

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