The District Leadership Team has not met since our last School Committee meeting.
The District Principals and I met on the afternoon of Friday, February 12th. Among the issues discussed were student and parent transition between grades 4 to 5 and 7 to 8. In the past, these transitions have been anxiety provoking for students and parents. The District is striving to lessen the stress during these transitions. The team reached consensus that we would attempt to develop a transition model for students entering Quinn that is similar to the one we have for students entering the High School. This will include a parent night and a tour for students that details what to expect on the first day of school. There will be more information for the community as plans come together.
The team also discussed new procedures in regards to residency investigations that were developed in conjunction with Chief Burks of the Hudson Police Department. The new procedures are as follows:
· The District will only use the Hudson Police Department to investigate out of town residency issues;
· The Principal will meet with families first and tell them based on X,Y,Z evidence the School believes that they are living in another town;
· The Principal then has the authority to tell the family that they have 5 days to register their student in another town and/or produce evidence that they are living in Hudson. Acceptable evidence will include any of the documents that we accept upon initial enrollment, excluding the Landlord Affidavit;
· If the parents do not comply with our request at the end of 5 days, the District will have the police investigate;
· The results of the police investigation will be binding. If the Hudson Police Department investigation shows a pattern of the family not sleeping at their place of claimed residence, the students will be unenrolled in the Hudson Public Schools; and
· The parents will have an opportunity to meet with the investigating officer and Superintendent.
Residency issues resulting in un-enrollment of students are a concern at the elementary level. Students in grades 5 through 12 are eligible for School Choice. Therefore, at these levels, the Principal will request that the family in question completes the School Choice application.
Finance and Operations
The District has the need to conduct air quality tests for a classroom at Quinn Middle School. The teacher assigned to that classroom had been experiencing issues with rashes and allergy-like symptoms. Once the teacher’s health concerns were brought to the School Administration, the teacher and students were moved to a temporary teaching location. The room, carpets and all ventilation ducts in and out of the room have been thoroughly cleaned by our facilities staff. It is our belief that all of the air quality tests will have negative findings and the dislocated teacher and students can return to their room. The air quality tests will be conducted by Jee’s Environmental from Charlton, MA. Jee’s will test the affected classroom and the conference room where the teacher has been working and complete a comparison of the results. We will not remove anything from either room in the meantime so that the tests will proximate the conditions under which the teacher experienced issues.
The District has begun a long overdue record management procedure. Records management is an administrative plan in which there are systemic procedures for ensuring records are logically categorized or arranged for easy retrieval, use, and destruction. These procedures facilitate the rapid and economic retrieval of data for the administration of the District. The objectives in managing records are to make the records serve the purpose for which they were created as cheaply and effectively as possible, and to properly dispose of them after they have served their purpose.
We are starting the inventory process of old District records currently stored in the attic. The goal of this inventory is to have definite knowledge of the types of records in the attic, their inclusive dates, volume, the type of information they contain and the location of the records. The Hudson inventory will define by department and functional area the retention compliance requirement, and then the HPS retention period if different. Working from this inventory, we will be able to keep the inventory current through an annual update. The inventory will be used in conjunction with the applicable retention schedules mandated by law, to ensure that: (a) Departmental records are safely stored and readily available; (b) Long-term records are preserved; and (c) Obsolete records are disposed of properly.
Curriculum Review Task Force
The Curriculum Review Task Force met on Thursday, February 11th. We practiced using the review tools developed thus far on completed work form our History department. This was a very helpful exercise. The team came to the conclusion that one of the rubrics we were using would be more useful as a checklist to guide the completion of a high quality rubric and the conversation during the revision process.
Superintendent’s School Visits
Forest Ave. - Wednesday, February 10th
Interview with Marisa Pineau of FrameWorks Institute/Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
I had the opportunity to be interviewed for a national research project funded by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. I was asked to participate in this study by the Dean of Boston College’s Lynch School of Education, Maureen Kenney. The interview was conducted by Dr. Marisa Pineau who works for the Educational Think Tank FrameWorks Institute. The institute has become known for its development of Strategic Frame Analysis ™, which roots communications practice in the cognitive and social sciences. FrameWorks designs, conducts, and publishes multi-method, multi-disciplinary communications research to empirically identify the most effective ways of reframing social and scientific topics. In this case, FrameWorks Institute was contracted by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to explore the relationship between public policy and improvement of educational systems. The purpose of this research study is to explore a paradigm of achieving high quality educational outcomes through improvement science using networked improvement communities written about by educational expert Anthony Bryk. Bryk’s improvement paradigm was recently published in the December 2015 edition of peer reviewed journal “Educational Researcher”. It is an honor to have a voice on the national stage regarding educational practices and improvement.
QMS Engineering Day
Eleven students (Bruno Capitao, Henry "Sean" O'Neil, Thomas Hydro, Alex Czerwinski, John Moudarri, Melissa Farraher, Nicole Bishop, Rachel Frias, Sinead Resendes, Kiana Shebak, Ian Vickery) and four teachers (Ryan Dailey, Rebekah Whitesel, Kate Cellucci, and Troy Lefebvre) representing seven engineering courses from Hudson High School went to QMS on Tuesday, February 9th, to participate in the QMS Engineering Day. The students and staff members demonstrated various projects to all 7th grade students to help promote the engineering courses at Hudson High School. The District is excited to support these course offerings through peer to peer interactions.
Photographs of the event are included in your packet.
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.