Progress toward Goals and Superintendent’s Professional Growth
EDWIN Teaching and Learning Webinar
EDWIN Teaching and Learning is an instructional improvement system that is currently offered at no cost to Districts that participated in Race to the Top. Edwin is a web-based tool that will allow us to have our curriculum maps, assessments, and student data in one spot. I attended our introductory webinar on Friday, October 17th with our curriculum leadership team. We are excited to begin exploring and using this new tool.
I am beginning my second round of “official” visits to schools. In the past two weeks I have visited QMS, HHS and the Farley Elementary School. The building principals and I are having robust discussions regarding the student learning that we are observing in classrooms. As we explore student achievement in the District we are becoming more focused in our areas of inquiry while visiting classrooms. These visits are becoming true learning walks for the principals and me.
Finance and Operations and Facilities
Len Belli, Director of Facilities and Brad Parker are trying to devise a system to steam clean all student desk tops and high touch surfaces at least twice per week in all schools. With cold and flu season just around the corner and all the other health issues in the world we feel the payback could be very advantageous to the District with reduced absenteeism.
Implementation however is not as simple as it sounds. Chairs up on desks (great for vacuuming not for this), the need to vacuum, staffing and limited time are all hurdles. All options are being considered including to not vacuum the carpets, only pick up papers and the like on days when steaming is conducted. The committee will be informed when this program goes into effect.
Parent and Community Groups
Parent Conversation-Student Achievement
This was an opportunity for me to work with families to help build their awareness of and ability to navigate the myriad of data available on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s website. It was also a great chance to chat with families about student achievement. We had approximately 30 parents attend. I left the meeting with several positive action steps. I will research supplemental materials for parents of high school students to access at home and post those on the website, provide regular updates to families regarding steps that we are taking to improve student achievement, publically state expectations for completion of curriculum milestones, and ask Mr. Reagan to hold a parent information night focused for 9th grade parents so that they can better understand last year’s MCAS scores and a plan for moving forward. Mrs. Knight is working on compiling resources. I am working with curriculum directors to create a curriculum development timeline. I will publish frequent accomplishments and/or activities that we are undertaking to impact student learning.
Elementary Math Night
I attended the Elementary Math Presentation on October 8th. This presentation was developed to introduce parents to the work happening in our schools related to growth mindset, the math workshop model, and the core resource of the EngageNY program. The presentation was well attended by approximately 90 adults. We had many teacher volunteers present in the room. The PowerPoint, Handouts, and a Q & A Document are now posted on the District website. The Q & A document addresses all questions posted by parents at math night. Later on this evening I will be presenting some additional data gathered from parents and next steps regarding community outreach regarding the change in math program. I will also be providing you with an update regarding data gathered so far and some next steps during the discussion portion of our agenda.
Finance Committee Members
I would like to thank John Parent and Justin Provencher for taking the time out of their busy schedules to meet with Mrs. Lange and I regarding the upcoming budget season. I will be able to provide you with more information Tuesday night about our discussion.
National Art Honor Society Induction
On Thursday, October 16th I attended the National Art Honor Society Induction Ceremony. Six new members were inducted into the honor society. The newest members were charged to “Take of the world its colors and forms, its lines and textures, its balances and movements and spaces; combine all these into a beautiful statement of what it is to be human. Give back to the world the same element of beauty that you as an artist take from it. Create beauty in the world with your talents and your living.” I was so struck by the importance and meaning behind these words that I had to share them with you today. I extend my congratulations to: Rachel MacMunn, Victoria Galvin, Monica Anderson, Sarah Ellis, Cameron LeBlanc, and Jacob DiLauro. I look forward to seeing the beauty they create in the world with their talents.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
On Saturday October 11th I attended Hudson High School's production of a Midsummer Night’s Dream. The production was directed by Ms. Sarah Worrest. I don’t think that I have ever enjoyed Shakespeare more. Our students interpreted this play in a manner that was easily understood by all. This was an outstanding production.
Personnel and Celebrations
During each school committee meeting I would like to take the opportunity to highlight an excellent teaching practice that I have seen in a classroom during my school visits. This week I was in a 3rd grade classroom at Farley where I had the opportunity to see the teacher introducing he math homework for her students. The teacher used this opportunity to summarize the learning from the lesson. This end of the lesson whole class recap is an essential component of the workshop model. While doing this she explicitly linked the homework to the day’s lesson and gauged her students’ understanding of the task required of them. Based on what I observed I could see these students being able to independently complete their homework that evening.
October 22 District Half Day Professional Day
October 23 HHS Evening Conferences
October 28 Community Conversation: Raising healthy Teens, HHS - 5:30-7:30
October 30 HHS Principal Coffee Student Achievement Focus, HHS - 6:30
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 and School Choice numbers so that you can be aware of the amount of fluctuation that may or may not be occurring on a monthly basis.