Thursday, August 23, 2018

Superintendent's Report 8.22.18

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee
August 22, 2018

Elementary Enrollment Update:

Enrollment in classes at the elementary level has fluctuated throughout the summer.

We don’t consider any of the current data we have at this time to be “finalized” as historically, the data changes between now and our final report to the state due by October 1st.

At this time, our elementary class sizes range from 18 to one class of 26.

Classes were created with the academic and social-emotional needs of each student in mind.

We will continue to review class sizes and areas of needs during the first few weeks of school, as often times, we have not been notified of students who withdraw until school is in session.

We will be utilizing our targeted support funds to provide general education support where needed.

Fifth Grade:

Two exciting changes with fifth graders entering the Middle School this year.

The first day of school, fifth graders should report to the Middle School at 8:45 am instead of 8:00 am. This change gives Mr. Calichman and Ms. Sanborn time that is dedicated to our youngsters transitioning into their new school.

Locks on the fifth-grade lockers have been removed. Students should treat these like “cubbies” thereby alleviating the stress students experience when struggling with their locks and getting to class on time.

School Business Administrator Search:

The posting closed August 20th.

This morning we received 9 resumes from (NESDEC) the search firm who was conducting the search.

We are reviewing resumes, will establish an interview committee, and soon begin scheduling interviews.

MSBA Update:

We have submitted our School Building Committee to the MSBA and are awaiting their approval.

I want to thank all the community members who submitted resumes and qualifications to be part of this committee.

We are still in the Eligibility Period with the next deadline being August 30th for our Educational Profile Questionnaire and Enrollment Projection.

Extended Day Enrollment Update:

As of August 13th the current enrollment for the Extended Day Program at each school:

Clarke 90%

Hadley 100%

Stanley 108%

Teen Center 50% (already more students than last year)

Swampscott Public School Tagline:

In the last few weeks, the staff has been voting on a tagline for our District. I am leaving the voting open until the end of next week. Right now, the top three contenders in no particular order are:

Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow

Creating a Brighter Future, One Student at a Time

Every Student Matters, Every Moment Counts, Every Day is a New Beginning

Please note we narrowed leadership submissions down to 6 choices. Then we Googled each selection and found that these or versions of these have been used in other districts. As a result, whatever our final decision is, we recognize we will be sharing with another community.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Welcome Back Families 2018-2019

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August 2018

Dear Swampscott Families,

On behalf of the Swampscott Public Schools I would like to welcome you to the 2018-2019 school year. A special welcome to those students and families who are joining us for the first time. The beginning of school is rapidly approaching and there is much to do as both you and the district prepare for the opening of school.

The first day of school for students in Pre-K and grades 1-12 will be on Tuesday, August 28th. Individual screenings will take place by appointment for our incoming Kindergarten students from Tuesday, August 28th through Thursday, August 30th. There is NO SCHOOL on Friday, August 31st, and Monday, September 3rd in honor of the Labor Day holiday. The first day for Kindergarten students is on Tuesday, September 4th. The school year calendar can be printed from our website along with a year-long calendar of events that is easily accessible for each of the schools. The calendar feature also allows filtering for those of you with students in more than one school: Calendar Link to SPS Website

Shortly after school begins, Curriculum Nights will be held at each of the schools for parents and guardians to meet teachers and learn about the curriculum expectations. Please mark your calendar as the dates and times of these events are as follows:

Clarke Elementary Wednesday, September 12th 6:30pm

Hadley Elementary Thursday, September 6th 6:00pm

Stanley Elementary Thursday, September 6th 6:00pm

Middle School (Grades 5 & 6) Tuesday, September 25th 6:00pm

Middle School (Grades 7 & 8) Wednesday, September 26th 6:00pm

Swampscott High School Thursday, September 27th 6:00pm

We continue to build upon the work we began last year in the following curriculum areas:

Pilots: - There will be several curriculum program pilots occurring throughout the district this year. Fifteen teachers in grades K-5 across the district will be piloting Math in Focus and our ESL department will be piloting Reach core curriculum. At the high school level a new Spanish curriculum will be piloted in Spanish I, II, & III and a Financial Literacy curriculum will also be piloted. Piloting programs allows the district to make program adoption decisions by the end of the year to keep our program materials current.

Technology/Google (K-12) – This year we will be mapping out grade level Digital Literacy and Computer Science standards in grades K-12.

We also continue to focus on the priorities in our District Strategy: Social Emotional Well-Being, Educator Growth, Curriculum & Instruction, Assessment & Data, and Technology.

I have only scratched the surface of all the great things happening in our district. July and August are very busy months when countless facility and maintenance projects are underway, curriculum work occurs, interviews and hiring of new staff, all as we anticipate the arrival of the students and faculty. Each school year brings a renewed enthusiasm and excitement to our work and each September I am reminded of what a privilege it is to serve this community and an honor to be your Superintendent.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Superintendent's Report 8.8.18

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Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee
August 8, 2018

NEW: Online Back-to-School Paperwork!

We are excited to announce that we are now offering the convenience of online back to school paperwork for all schools through FamilyID ( Swampscott Public Schools Athletics Department already uses this service, so if students play sports for SMS or SHS, then families already have an account!

FamilyID is a secure registration platform that will provide families with an easy, user-friendly way to sign our school policies, such as handbook agreements, media releases, acceptable use policies, and medical agreements. We are even able to give the option to upload a copy of a physical (or it can be turned in to each office). This system will help us to be more administratively efficient and environmentally responsible. When families register through FamilyID, the system keeps track of your information in your FamilyID profile. You enter your information only once for each family member for multiple uses and multiple programs.

A HUGE Thank You to Ms. Mackey Knowles, Director of Digital Learning and Educational Technology, for all her work on this!

Leadership Retreat 2018!

Last week we had another intense and successful two-day Leadership Retreat. Attorney Janelle Austin from KP Law presented on HIPPA, FERPA, and Information Sharing while Director of Human Resources, Julie Delillo gave a Harassment Training and reviewed current issues in the workplace. In addition, we had several “workshop” presentations from colleagues including: Improving Your Workflow with Google with Ms. Mackey Knowles, Developing Your Leadership Skills by Following Your Passion with Mr. Katz, and some inspiration from our colleagues (Mr. Murphy, Ms. Mackey Knowles, Mr. Kohut, Ms. Cull, Mrs. Hunt, and Mr. Calichman) who all attended the three-day annual MSAA (Massachusetts School Administrators Association) Conference in late July. Ms. Mackey Knowles was also a presenter at this conference.