Superintendent's Report - October 2, 2015

posted Oct 4, 2015, 10:35 AM by Hps Webmaster

Leadership Team Update

The Power of Expectations

The District Leadership Team focused on two main topics during our meeting this week. We spent a considerable amount of time discussing the idea of professional expectations and the inherent challenges that face leaders and teachers in the current educational landscape. We also spent time reviewing our current common District Assessments and evaluating items and, in some cases, rubrics against Webb’s Depth of Knowledge Continuum. Small groups then worked to rewrite questions to make them more cognitively rigorous.      

District Half-Day Professional Development

The program for our September 30th half-day was focused on officially rolling out to teachers our District Improvement Plan and the 8 Focus Elements from the Educator Evaluation that most closely support the work of the District Improvement Plan. You have a copy of these elements along with our Learning Visit Protocol in your packets. The Committee may recall that the Learning Visit is a critical component of our District Improvement Strategy. 

The remainder of the time was allocated for the many trainings that are mandated by the State. This year we met the mandate by offering the trainings via technology.

Professional Teacher Status Ceremony

On Tuesday, September 29th, the District Leadership Team hosted the first annual Professional Teacher Status Award Ceremony. Administrators crafted a statement that recognized the accomplishments of each of the 13 teachers that achieved Professional Teacher Status this year. This was a highly personalized event.  It was another opportunity for us to honor the outstanding faculty we are fortunate to have here in Hudson. Thank you to the School Committee members that were able to attend.


Finance and Operations 

Student Transportation

In conjunction with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School initiative, the District is coordinating a meeting on Wednesday, October 21st to assess the Quinn Middle School traffic patterns to determine options for improving the traffic flow. We will discuss concerns and typical dismissal routine, observe the area during dismissal, and share our observations and recommendations for improvement. Representatives from the Hudson Police and Fire Departments, North Reading Transportation, and School Administration have been invited to attend.   

School Health and Safety Advisory Council

The first meeting of the year for the School Health and Safety Advisory Council was held at 7:45 on Friday, October 2nd. This year, the group will be focusing on completing the District’s Crisis Response Plan and planning an approach to reduce alcohol consumption by our high school students. The reduction of alcohol consumption by our students was identified as a focus area given data from our  most recent administration of the MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey.

Student School Committee Representative
Alicia Sagastume will be joining us as Hudson High School’s Student representative to the School Committee. Alicia is currently a junior at Hudson High School. She is involved in student government and the Drama Society. She is an outstanding young woman, and I am happy to have her join our team.
Curriculum and Instruction Update

Math Night

On October 1st, several Forest Avenue teachers, the Farley Librarian, and our District Math Coach took the Family Math Night to a new level at the Forest Avenue School. They displayed confidence as math educators and an understanding of the theory and research behind our core math resource, Engage NY. They shared valuable resources with our families.

Parents and students enjoyed the math activities and games that the team planned. This is a very busy time for teachers, and I want to take the opportunity to publicly recognize and extend my appreciation to those involved:

·         Craig Golden- Kindergarten

·         Erin MacKay- First Grade

·         Karen Eadie- First Grade

·         Alexanne Whitney- Second Grade

·         Aubrey Andreozzi- Third Grade

·         Carlene Isham- Fourth Grade

·         Danielle Spilotros- Librarian (Farley)

·         Maria Riccutti- Math Specialist (Forest)

·         Julie Basler- Elementary Math Coach (District)

Superintendent’s School Visits

·         Farley- Tuesday, September 21st

·         Quinn- Wednesday, September 22nd

·         Forest- Friday, September 25th

Special Education Coordinated Program Review- Corrective Action Plan

Last spring, the District went through a Coordinated Program Review of its Special Education Program. These reviews are conducted by the Department of Elementary and Special Education approximately every six years. The District’s Special Education Program is reviewed in 67 compliance areas. Hudson fared very well in this compliance review. We were found to be out of compliance in only one area:

·         School District Response to Parental Request for Independent Educational Evaluation

The District was found to have partially implemented four other criteria:

·         IEP Team Composition and Attendance

·         Least Restrictive Program Selected

·         Communications are in English and Primary Language of the Home

·         Special Education Facilities and Classrooms

The District was found to be fully compliant with 93% of program evaluation elements. The full report can be found on the District’s website under Special Education.

The District has already instituted corrective action and mitigated the identified issues in all instances through a program of professional learning with our team chairpeople, revisions to Special Education Procedural Manuals, and relocation of classrooms.

Special Education Parents’ Advisory Council

The current leadership of the Hudson Special Education Parent Advisory Council opted to remove themselves from the Hudson Special Education Parent Advisory Council Board and begin their own independent parent support group. This new group will NOT be affiliated in any way by the Hudson Public Schools.

The former board of the Hudson Special Education Parent Advisory Council notified all levels of State and local agencies, politicians and parents of their decision, yet failed to notify Ms. Kilcoyne, Director of Student Services and I of this decision. The notification that was delivered to various parties contained erroneous information. Some of which will be addressed in communication from the District’s Legal Counsel. Tonight, the District wants the community to know that the Hudson Special Education Parent Advisory Council (H-SEPAC) will not cease to exist. In fact, this is a tremendous opportunity for the District and community to join together and refresh the organization. The District will be actively recruiting members and officers who will be collaborators as we work to grow and strengthen the District’s programs for students with disabilities. Ms. Kilcoyne is committed to reaching out to parents at a time and place that is convenient for them. She will be hosting a H-SEPAC membership drive on October 22nd in conjunction with our unified fall sport, bocce ball. The District will reach out to our community through emails, fliers, and phone calls.  The District will continue to work with Leslie M. Leslie, Project Coordinator for MassPAC from the Federation for Children with Special Needs. Ms. Leslie will help to guide our continued outreach to families, as well as provide training to our new H-SEPAC board and members. The H-SEPAC will be a revitalized organization and an active partner in our District improvement strategy.  

Superintendent’s Items of Interest
Congratulations to Dr. Brian Reagan

I want to publicly congratulate Hudson High School Principal Brian Reagan for successfully defending his dissertation and thus fulfilling all requirements to receive an Ed.D. from Northeastern University. Dr. Reagan’s research was titled “The Changing Role of the High School Principal: Instructional Leadership in an Era of Increased Accountability.” The amount of scholarship, effort and time that goes into this endeavor cannot be underestimated. The fact that Dr. Reagan attained this goal while still performing his professional duties, at an outstanding level, in the District is laudable. I want to make sure that I also recognize Dr. Reagan’s family his wife, Andrea, and his children, Caitlin and Daniel. Without the committed support of a family, this extraordinary level of work is impossible. 

National Art Honor Society Induction

I would like to invite the Committee to the induction of the newest members of the National Art Honor Society. This annual event will occur on Thursday, October 15th in the High School Mini-Theater.

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

 

 

 

 

Hudson High School

973

1,000

984

984

 

 

 

 

Quinn Middle School

677

648

654

649

 

 

 

 

Farley Elementary School

 513

 484

 491

 496

 

 

 

 

Forest Avenue Elementary School

 325

 332

 336

 338

 

 

 

 

Mulready Elementary School

 279

 264

 266

 263

 

 

 

 

HHS Preschool

 95

 85

 86

 86

 

 

 

 

 District Total

2,862

 2,813 

2,817

2,816

 

 

 

 

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