SWAMPSCOTT PUBLIC SCHOOLS
TO: Swampscott School Committee
FROM: Superintendent Angelakis
DATE: August 24, 2023
RE: Superintendent’s Report
Interfaith Leadership Conversation
Police Chief Quesada invited me to participate in a conversation with interfaith leaders of the community regarding recent hate events in our community. Mr. Jason Calichman and School Resource Officer Brian Wilson attended with me. Some of these incidents involve juveniles, so this was an excellent opportunity for Mr. Calichman and I to share our proactive and educational approach in our schools. District Attorney Paul Tucker was also a guest speaker in attendance.
School Committee ParentSquare Traning
Mrs. Mackey Knowles has offered to train all School Committee members on our new communication tool, ParentSquare, at 5:00 p.m. before the next School Committee meeting on September 14th. I will need to confirm with her.
On August 9th and 10th, I held our annual Leadership Retreat from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. each day for principals, assistant principals, and directors, held in the high school innovation center.
Over twelve different sessions were held with presentations from Director of Human Resources, Lisa Coults, Director of Technology and Innovation and Digital Learning Manager Lytania Mackey and Kerri O’Donnell, High School Principal, and Assistant Principal Dennis Kohut & Colleen Finn, Director of Counseling and Social Emotional Learning, Craig Harris, Director of Teaching and Learning Jean Bacon, Assistant Superintendent, Martha Raymond, and School Resource Officer, Brian Wilson.
Over the last few years, we have invited the Swampscott Education Association union leadership team for a session with our team. We jointly develop an agenda for this session, which centers around reflecting on the past year and looking ahead to the new school year. We have found this to be an invaluable time together to problem solve and continue our collaborative approach to our work .
A few highlights included I Love U Guys, Tech Time - Creating Hubs, and Reviewing our SPS Brand with Sperling Interactive.
I Love U Guys (https://iloveuguys.org/) is a standard response protocol we are implementing moving forward this year and replacing ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate). It is a gentler version of ALICE that requires a multi-year rollout. Officer Wilson is scheduling a parent/guardian night meeting so families can learn about it, which will occur in the early fall.
On September 27th, 2006, a gunman entered Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colorado, held seven girls hostage, and ultimately shot and killed Emily Keyes. During the time she was held hostage, Emily sent her parents text messages. ”I love you guys,” and I love you guys. k?”
In addition to our School Resource Officer attending training on August 7th & 8th, the district sent members of our Leadership Team to train the trainer training, including Dennis Kohut, Colleen Finn, Jason Calichman, Christopher Norkun, Craig Harris, Jay Knowles, and Lytania Mackey. These leaders will assist Officer Wilson and lead their buildings in the drills and implementation. Craig and Lytania, as district leaders, will assist at Stanley/Blaney.
Creating Hubs was one piece of various topics during our technology session, but one that excited our team. These “dashboards” can be made for students, teachers, and families—another tool in our technology toolbox.
The Swampscott Public Schools Brand At the School Committee workshop, Ms. Wright and I shared the work we have been doing as part of the Swampscott Elementary School project regarding branding for our district Pre-K-12. The Sperling team presented the logo and tagline and solicited feedback from the Leadership Team. After working on something in a small group for so long, hearing other perspectives is always interesting.
Elementary Transition Planning
On March 31, 2023, I met with PTO leadership from all three elementary schools to discuss my desire to have them working more collaboratively for this upcoming school year. On August 17th, we met again, and the elementary principals also attended this meeting. The PTOs had worked collaboratively to map out almost monthly events that all three schools would hold jointly—for example, Trunk or Treat and Field Day.
In addition, I shared the role and responsibilities of school councils and the importance of their development and collaboration this year as we move towards merging for the next school year. I sent a ParentSquare notice to all elementary families soliciting participation in these critical organizations. We decided there would be one elementary school council with equal representation from all three schools, led by the three administrators. They will create one elementary school improvement plan for implementation in the 2024-2025 school year.
The CORE Plan - Our District Strategy
A district strategy is a multi-year plan that outlines the goals and priorities of the district. School Improvement Plan goals should align with the District Strategy at the school level. Our CORE Plan (which we have been working on for the last two years) is our District Strategy, but we will always refer to it as our CORE Plan.