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.   


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.

































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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)