Thursday, June 25, 2020

Superintendent's Report to SC 6.24.20

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee
June 24, 2020

End of the School Year:
  • The Class of 2020 Senior Parade and Graduation were wonderful events.
  • Perfect New England weather for both events
  • The Town really came out in great numbers to celebrate our Seniors 
  • Lots of positive feedback about our modified graduation ceremony

Fall Re-Opening:

  • A few weeks ago, I told the Committee that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education was planning to release fall reopening guidance the week of June 15th.
  • On a conference call with Commissioner Riley last Friday, we were told the guidance would not be ready as information has changed and we should be patient. 
  • We have another conference call with him tomorrow morning and hope to learn more. 
  • All of this waiting is challenging as we continue to anticipate a variety of scenarios and our needs.
  • In addition, during last Friday’s call, it seems there may not be one mandated plan for the fall but a choice of plans at the local level. 
  • Obviously, this would create challenges for our families, faculty, and staff so I am hopeful in the end this is not the case.

Bridge Committee Faculty and Email Today:

  • Building Respect, Inclusivity, Diversity, and Growth for Everyone
  • Committee derived from ECLC Grant and Cultural Competency Priority
  • Committee led by Hadley Principal, Ilana Bebchick and English Language Learner Teacher and District Coordinator, Eleanor Donato
  • SPS partnered with the Center for Collaborative Education (CCE) to advance the work of the BRIDGE Committee to increase their momentum and be the voice of cultural responsive transformation in the district. 
  • Part of their work was designing a survey focusing on the following areas:
    • Staff recruitment and retention
    • Accountability/Policy
    • Values, Beliefs, and Assumptions
    • Community Connection
    • Curriculum
    • Professional Development
  • BRIDGE Survey Results Summary

DESE Innovation Pathway Planning Grant:
  • Student Opportunity Act (SOA) and Plan that was due on April 1st
  • With the pandemic, submission of the SOA Plan was put on hold
  • Last week, we were notified that the new deadline for submission of these district plans is Tuesday, August 18, 2020
  • Our District still submitted by the April 1st deadline
  • Three Commitments:
    • Support educators to implement high quality, aligned curriculum
      • Focus on Math K to 10, especially K-4 for 2020-2021
    • Enhance inclusion/co-teaching for students with disabilities and English Learners
      • Focus on grade 5-12 for 2020-2021
    • Expand opportunities for career/technical education
      • Implement at “After Dark” or “Innovation Pathway” program at SHS
Notified by July 15th, 2020  -  $25,000
  • Introduction to Innovative Pathways: Innovation Pathways are structures within Massachusetts high schools that are designed to connect students to a broadly-designed industry sector that is in demand in the regional and state economy. Schools leverage strong partnerships with employers to provide students career awareness and work-based learning activities. Students participate in a series of courses and experiences relevant to achieving industry-recognized credentials. Participation in this kind of pathway can lead students to opportunities for meaningful careers in that industry sector upon completion of the needed post-secondary education and training.

  • 5 Guiding Principles:
    • Principle 1: Equitable Access
    • Principle 2: Guided Academic Pathways
    • Principle 3: Enhanced Student Support
    • Principle 4: Connection to Career
    • Principle 5: Effective Partnerships

  • We have chosen to begin developing what we hope will eventually be a variety of career pathways at SHS by developing a career pathway for advanced manufacturing.
  • Advanced manufacturing is one of three priority areas for workforce development identified in our region’s Northeast Labor Market Blueprint
  • We determined that the population of students we are trying to better serve would be most interested in the careers that are available in an advanced manufacturing pathway. The particular occupations sited in the Blueprint as needed in this sector include Team Assemblers, Carpenters, Electricians, Inspectors, Testors, Samplers, Weighers, Machinists.
  • Thank you to Dr. Bacon, Mrs. Zotto-Barnum, and Mr. Kohut
  • Grant is due tomorrow and was already submitted

DESE Summer and Vacation Learning Program Grant:
  • Last week, we submitted an “Intent to Apply” for this grant by the due date of June 18th
  • On June 19th the grant was posted. 
  • Hundreds of districts have shown an interest in this grant and the district and schools that submitted an intent to apply will be considered first.
  • This is a new, competitive, federally-funded grant established to help local school districts...develop, expand, or enhance high-quality, in-person, remote, or hybrid programs for the summer of 2020 and/or school vacations during the 2020-2021 school year and/or support the development and implementation of weekend learning programs to take place during the 2020-2021 school year.
  • The district is in the process of writing this grant which is due July 2nd.

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