Thursday, February 13, 2020

Superintendent's Report to SC 2.12.20

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee
February 12, 2020

New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
       Collaborative Conference Visit - November 18 & 19, 2019
       The report reflects the findings of the school’s Self-Reflection and the visiting team of four (Pg.42)
       Five Foundational Elements/Standards:

Standard Notes
1.1a - Learning Culture
Safe Environment
1.1b - Learning Culture
Does Not Meet
No Vision of a Graduate; yes Core Values
2.2a - Student Learning
Does Not Meet
Written curriculum Maps
3.1a - Prof Practices
School Improvement Plan
4.1a - Learning Support
Interventions, District Accommodation Plan (DCAP), Student Support Team (SST) SWIFT, Harbor, & Co-taught classes
5.1a - Learning Resources
The facility, spaces, cleanliness, etc.

       Five Priority Areas (Pgs. 34-42)
       Goal: The school will develop a vision of the graduate that includes the attainment of transferable skills, knowledge, understandings, and dispositions necessary for future success and will provide feedback to learners and their families on each learner’s progress in achieving this vision.
       Goal: There is a written curriculum in a consistent format for all courses in all departments.
       Goal: Create a professional culture that demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement through the use of research, collaborative learning, innovation, and reflection.
       Goal: Develop a system of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support; incorporates social-emotional learning of students, and develop faculty, staff, and the student’s cultural competency.
       Goal: All students receive library/information services that support their learning from adequate, certified/licensed personnel.
       Numerous Commendations (Pgs. 37-38)
       Highlight a few:
       The safe, positive, respectful, and inclusive culture at SHS
       The integration of a growth mindset in the culture of the school
       In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.” ( Dweck, 2015)
       The opportunity for learners to regularly engage in inquiry, problem-solving, and high-order thinking skills across all content areas
       The opportunities for learners to regularly engage in authentic learning opportunities such as the Tech Ninjas, the Green Scholars, and the Senior Project
       The multiple intervention strategies that support students’ personal, social, emotional, academic, career, and college counseling needs
       Three Recommendations:
       Ensure building leadership team members feel valued and important members of the school’s leadership structure
       Develop and implement a plan to re-open the library for daily student use
       Examine the leveling structure of the school in regards to access and equity for students

High School Library/Media Center (our vision)
       Looking at developing the space into a Center for Innovation
       The Classroom inside the Library used as a Makerspace
        A makerspace is a collaborative workspace inside a school, library or separate public/private facility for making, learning, exploring and sharing that uses high tech to no tech tools. ... They provide hands-on learning, help with critical thinking skills and even boost self-confidence.
       Students with 1:1 devices are working on schoolwork or working on projects in the Makerspace
       All of this supported by a Digital Learning Specialist who also works with teachers and classes to integrate technology
       Teachers could bring their classes to the back area of the library for lessons with the digital presentation board
       There is a need to have an assistant to help with the print library and resources
       Research skills were taught in Writing Across the Curriculum and social studies and the library was utilized because it had desktops but we have moved to Chromebook carts at the high school
       Our new vision for the library would include making it a digital learning environment with students having the option to take out print materials and/or tuck away in a quiet space and read

Big Blue Network
       Today this network was opened throughout the high school for students
       Limiting to student phones only at this time
       Stress testing the capacity/network/device traffic
       Protected content limited by our filters
       Not looking to bring other devices at this time for fear of potential virus transfer
       Students waiting after school are able to work from their phones, teachers can utilize as an instructional tool if there are not ample devices

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Superintendent's Report to SC 1.29.20

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee
January 29, 2020

Financial Retreat - January 25th

FY21 Budget

High School Library Update

  • Mr. Kohut has been working on some ideas with his leadership team
  • Meeting with the Student Advisory E-Board tomorrow to discuss
  • We have included the position of Library/Media Specialist in the recommended budget
  • Looking at different and creative uses of the space - not just a library

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Superintendent's Report to SC 1.8.20

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee
January 8, 2020

Comprehensive Middle School Facilities Assessment
  • General government and school department hired Habeeb & Associates Architects
  • Process of interviewing and selecting this firm in the fall
  • Preliminary DRAFT report of needs
  • Monday, our team met with the Project Manager to review the report and findings
  • Working on the final report before we share with the Committee
  • We plan to submit for the roof for the MSBA Accelerated Repair Program
  • We will be working with the general government to submit by the deadline of February 1st
  • Joint Director of Facilities job posting this past Monday with 30 applicants as of today.

FY21 Budget Development and Timeline
  • Analyzed special education programming and staffing
  • Meetings with each principal to review FTEs
  • Analyzed current English Learners and potential associated staffing needs
  • Meeting with Principals to discuss program needs, class sizes, potential efficiencies, and district needs
  • School Committee meetings and revised budget timeline
  • No meeting on January 22nd
  • January 29th - the budget will be presented
  • February 5th - Public Hearing on the budget
  • February 12th - School Committee budget vote

Northshore Education Consortium Annual Report

School Visits
  • Clarke, Stanley, and the High School
  • At the high school, I was able to visit the Fine Arts wing first thing in the morning and again this afternoon. We are so fortunate to have the talented teachers that we have who bring out such creativity in our students.
  • Photography on the walls - take a walk
  • I was struck at the elementary level by the integration of technology in EVERY class I visited; second grade - nonfiction text features scavenger hunt on iPads, Chromebooks in fourth grade practicing vocabulary, kindergarten morning meeting Can I have a Stegosaurus, Mom?, to music class where the lyrics of a new song were being displayed on the whiteboard and controlled by a student.


Ferragamo’s Forecast
  • Michael Ferragamo who is a sophomore at SHS invited me to be part of his regular weather show produced by students in the high school TV studio called Ferragamo’s Forecast
  • First, the students AMAZE me!
  • Our topic was about the steps that lead up to my calling a SNOW DAY
  • I realize it will be an incredibly short segment but I had so much fun watching these students work and watching the whole process

Building Project - Educational Visioning Session
  • Architect Firm and Owner’s Project Manager attended
  • Leadership Team, members of the School Building Committee
  • Outlined the process for what’s ahead: the formation of an Educational Working Group, Community and Faculty Forums
  • We are working on the makeup of this group which we know will include teachers, parents, students, school committee and community members
  • Three four-hour sessions (12 hours together)
    • Educational vision and priorities
    • Design patterns and guiding principles
    • Keyspaces and adjacencies

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Superintendent's Report to SC 12.11.19

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee
December 11, 2019

MASC/MASS Joint Conference
  • Ms. Wright, Ms. Mackey and I attended
  • Presented: Friday 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm
  • Leveraging Technology for Data Collection, Collaboration, and Effective Meetings - Gone are the days when schools and school committee members need to have packets of paper in front of them to lead meetings. In this session, we will show attendees how to move to paperless meetings and paperless data collection using Google. Attendees will learn how to generate agendas, using Chromebooks and shared folders, using Google to solicit feedback and generate data and examples of how this can save hours of time and streamline the process.
  • Attended lots of great sessions including Harnessing the Power of Google Data Studio: Creating Free Dashboards to Visualize Education Data Laura Tilton, Director-District Data, and Accountability, Marshfield.
Leadership Training - Google Data Studio
Professional Development at District Attorney’s Office
FY21 Budget Work
  • Analyzed special education programming and staffing
  • Meetings with each principal to review FTEs
  • Analyzed current English Learners and potential associated staffing needs
  • More meetings to come with district-level administrators
  • Leadership Team
School Building Committee

  • Ms. Wright will give a full subcommittee update
  • Designer Selection Shortlist - at MSBA
  • Designer Selection Interviews - at MSBA
  • January two Idea Exchange dates
  • Kickoff meeting with Design Team earlier this afternoon

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Superintendent's Report to SC 10.23.19

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee
October 23, 2019

MassCUE Conference
Attending: Lytania Mackey, Brandy Wilbur, Natalie Poverchuk, Sue Comparato, Stephen Silbert, Talbot Penniman, Jenna Klemonski, and Jess Massanari-Sapp
Presenting: Lytania, Natalie, Sue, Talbot
  • Getting Started with Google Sites - Natalie
  • Improve Your Workflow with Google Tasks, Chrome, & Calendar - Lytania & Sue
  • Physical Computing for Fun Learning: From SCRATCH to MakeyMakey, and Beyond - Natalie & W. Talbot 
  • Free Productivity Tools to Enhance Learning - Lytania & Sue
  • Creating Interactive Models with SCRATCH - W. Talbot

METCO - Directors Association Monthly Meeting
  • Latoya Ogunbona brought them here at the high school last week
  • CEO Milly Arbaje-Thomas
  • Discussing the revamped online application process
  • Invited to meet district leadership and Student Executive Board

Safe and Supportive Schools Competitive Grant
  • Dr. Bacon and high school administration applied
  • One of 12 districts to receive the grant
  • $8,000 2019-2020 school year
Schools and districts convene a school team to respond to all questions in the Safe and Supportive Self-Reflection Tool. Teams then create action plans to identify priority areas as they relate to the six areas in the Tool which include: Leadership, Infrastructure, and Culture; Professional Learning Opportunities; Access to Resources and Services; Teaching and Learning that Fosters Safe and Supportive Environments; School Policies, Procedures, and Protocols; and Family Engagement.

The goal of the self-reflection (or self-assessment) Tool is to catalyze a reflective and creative inquiry-based, year-long or multi-year process to create and enhance a school`s work to become safer and supportive for the entire school community (including but not limited to: students, staff, families, and community partners). This tool is intended to assist with documenting current practices that support students` behavioral health ranging from the whole school community to individual students that require more intensive supports. It also examines the role of various school professionals and staff in providing these supports. This process enables schools to identify their most pressing local priorities and create action plans that can be incorporated into School Improvement Plans to address these priorities. It may be helpful to revisit your school`s responses to this tool on a regular (e.g., quarterly, annual) basis to review progress and continually work towards full implementation on a range of practices that address and remove the barriers to learning.