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.



Hudson High School


Quinn Middle School


Mulready Elementary School


Forest Ave. Elementary School


Farley Elementary School



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 ELs make progress towards English proficiency


ACCESS Results
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 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



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)

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.


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.

































Forest Avenue
















District Total