Superintendent's Report - 1/19/16

posted Jan 18, 2016, 10:49 AM by Hps Webmaster
Leadership Team Update
District Leadership Team Meeting

We have had some very productive District Leadership Team (DLT) meetings at the end of December and the beginning of January. It is almost the midpoint of the year and we have actively been reviewing our goals and learning plans moving forward. We are invigorated by our work and will have the following outcomes of our work by June:

·         We will develop three common assessments this year;

·         We will ALL use a common checklist to work with our teachers to guide the creation and revision of high quality, rigorous assessments.  This checklist was adopted at our most recent DLT meeting on January 6th;

·         DLT will develop a brief paper/guide about what type of assessment is best suited for what purpose;

·         DLT will build our own capacity regarding learning targets and success criteria in preparation for next year;

·         DLT will define and articulate a baseline of where the District is in using data in order to inform practice. This will include identifying potential obstacles as we move towards becoming a data driven culture; and

  • We will complete our curriculum work.

With the knowledge that we have gained through our work this first part of the year, we are looking to next year and possible revisions and refinements that will need to be made to our District Improvement Strategy. We have developed two possible future strategic objectives moving forward. These are preliminary and need to be more formally vetted.

Future goals for DLT:

·         Create a balanced and rigorous assessment system of Summative, Interim Formative (think Driven by Data), and Assessment for Learning; and

·         Develop our teacher’s  understanding of Learning Targets and Success Criteria.

We also have been working on identifying structures that will best work to move the District strategy forward. Towards this end, we have added a new Executive Leadership Team. This is a smaller group of leaders, the purpose of which is to advise the Superintendent on setting the strategic direction for our leaders and teachers so that optimum conditions can be established to result in LEARNING for every student and adult in our system. While this team works on setting, the strategy the DLT has as the District Leadership Team will continue its work of setting high expectations, creating the conditions, and developing a culture that enhances and improves LEARNING for every student and adult in our system.

Executive Leadership Team Meeting

The newly formed Executive Leadership Team has met twice. We have set the following goals for our January 26th DLT meeting:

·         To norm our expectations for teachers’ collection of evidence and narrative (“summary of evidence”) and administrative feedback at the formative stage of Educator Evaluation; and

·         To norm our walkthrough process and narratives by examining exemplars.

Elementary Principal Team Meeting

I met with the Elementary Principals on Tuesday, January 12th.  A main topic of discussion was the elementary report card and concerns that the Principals and I had heard about the usefulness of the report card. We will be sending home an explanatory sheet regarding the report card itself and additional information regarding what the grade level focus of curriculum is with the second trimester report cards.

Finance and Operations

Farley Telephones

The Farley telephone system has reached its end of life stage. Mrs. Lange, Mrs. Schuck and Mr. Belli are actively working on a plan to replace the Farley telephone system. In order to avoid being reactive when things like this happen, the team will also be working on a plan to update the phone systems in each building based on their age and life expectancy. The impact on the Farley community has been mitigated as much as possible as we actively work to determine the best replacement plan. Parents may notice that they are unable to leave voicemail for individual teachers as we go through the transition. 

Late Busses
It was incumbent upon the District to make some quick changes to the Quinn Middle School “West” Late Bus Run. Upon returning from December Break, the District was notified by the bus company that one of two late busses was running over capacity and that it was a safety issue that needed to be addressed by the District immediately. The District investigated by reviewing the late bus routes on paper and exploring the causation for the large increase in the number of students on the bus. The investigation resulted in the following conclusions:

·         There were approximately 22 students exiting the bus at the library stop;

·         The library stop (1.0 mi) was within the 1.5 mile walk zone established by School Committee Policy;

·         The majority of the students exiting at the library then proceeded to walk to the Boys and Girls Club;

·         The Boys and Girls Club (1.0 mi) is also within the walk zone established by the School Committee; and

·         The number of students riding the late bus and exiting at this stop increased when the cold weather started.

The District considered the idea of adding a third late bus to Quinn, however, that would result in approximately a $9,000 increase to the District budget which is already stretched. The decision was made to consistently adhere to School Committee Policy and eliminate a stop that was within the walk zone. Again, this was a decision that was directly related to student safety and needed to be made quickly. The change in the bus route was highlighted on the transportation website Friday, January 8th. The students exiting the bus were verbally told of the change, by the bus driver, daily January 11-13th that the stop would not exist on January 14th. Mr. Webster communicated to the entire school community on January 13th.  The District regrets the lateness of the notification on the 13th.  An after action review indicated that this communication should have gone to families on the 8th. The rapidness of the decision was due to the student safety issues of having a bus over capacity.

The after action review resulted in the District reviewing the High School Late Bus route as well.  This resulted in a realization that the High School Late Bus run also had a stop at the library (1.2 mi) which was within the walk-zone established by School Committee Policy. In order to be consistent with our adherence to policy, this stop will be eliminated on January 29th.  The District has additional time to notify families because there is not a safety issue with overcrowding on the High School late bus. The students that ride the late bus will be verbally told of the change by the HPS employee who monitors students riding the bus and a notice will be placed in the Round Robin. Given that there are far fewer students riding the Hudson High School late bus, a general phone call will not be made to the school community.

 

Curriculum and Instruction Update

Curriculum Review Task Force

The Curriculum Review Task Force met on Thursday, January 14th. The first teacher joined the group and his input was exceptionally valuable. The focus of the meeting was to develop a rubric to define the standard for rubrics being developed as part of the District’s curriculum and instruction work. We have arrived at a second draft. At our next meeting, we will be reviewing the rubric that sets the District standard for high quality assessment.

Superintendent’s School Visits

Farley                           January 11th

Mulready                      January 14th


Superintendent’s Items of Interest

Sapphire Team Memoir

I was invited to hear 5th grade students present the final draft of the memoir project that they have been working on. During my school visits to Quinn Middle School, I had observed this work in progress and I was excited to see it at its completion. The student work products were exceptional.  Their work was emotionally moving and was made so by their application of literary devices they had been learning about in their ELA class. I also had an opportunity to observe the students reflect on what they had learned and how it had changed their writing practice. The level of depth to their own self-assessment was laudable. The classroom atmosphere from students taking emotional and academic risks by sharing deeply personal memories to the co-teaching and individualization of learning was exemplary. This visit serves as a beacon of why the work we are doing in Hudson is so important and why this is a wonderful community in which to live, learn, and work.  

Meeting with New River’s Edge Arts Alliance Director

I had the opportunity to meet with the new Director of the River’s Edge Arts Alliance, Kat Alix-Gaudreau, on January 7th. I am looking forward to a stronger, renewed relationship with the River’s Edge Arts Alliance under Ms. Gaudreau’s leadership. This relationship will help to enrich the already robust arts program that the Hudson Public Schools offer to our students. 

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.

 

 

5/8/15

9/3/15

9/18/15

10/2/15

10/16/15

10/30/15

11/13/15

HHS

973

1,000

984

984

984

983

982

QMS

677

648

654

649

649

649

648

Farley

 513

 484

 491

 496

 497

 497

 494

Forest

 325

 332

 336

 338

 338

 341

 341

Mulready

 279

 264

 266

 263

 262

 259

 260

HHS PreK

 95

 85

 86

 86

 86

 85

86

District Total

2,862

 2,813

 

2,817

2,816

2,816

2,814

2,811

 

 

 

5/8/15

11/13/15

11/24/15

12/11/15

1/15/16

 

 

HHS

973

982

978

980

973

 

 

QMS

677

648

647

647

645

 

 

Farley

 

513

 

494

 

495

 

498

 

496

 

 

Forest Avenue

 

325

 

341

 

341

 

336

 

335

 

 

Mulready

 279

 260

 261

 261

 261

 

 

HHS Pre-K

 95

 86

 86

 87

 87

 

 

District Total

2,862

2,811

2,808

2,809

2,797

 

 

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