SUPERINTENDENT’S NEWSLETTER Vol. 1
Dear Parents, Guardians and Community Members,
It is my pleasure to present to you this first edition of the Maynard Public Schools Superintendent’s newsletter. With the 2019-2020 school year well under way, I wish to express my appreciation to the students, faculty, staff, and administration for a warm and wonderful welcome to this amazing school district. As you read the newsletter below you will notice that the Maynard Public School District is committed to a superior academic experience for our students that prepare them to be productive citizens in an interconnected technological world.
I am excited to welcome our students, teachers and staff back for another school year, and to introduce new staff members to our community. This year we welcomed 7 new teachers to Maynard High School, 4 to Fowler Middle School, and 5 to Green Meadow. In addition to instructional staff we are welcoming two new nurses to the District.
Our staff and administrators wasted no time in getting the year off and running. We’ve already had open houses. Our Jazz and Wind ensemble played at the Pleasant Cafe on Sunday September 15.
Five SEL Competencies
Once again this year, the district will begin helping students develop Social Emotional Skills. Each week, students in grades Kindergarten through Five will take part in a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) class taught by Guidance Counselor Julie Danforth. The class will focus on the five SEL competencies, which are: Social Awareness Responsible Decision Making Relationship Skills Self-Management Self Awareness. Additionally, each building is focusing on goals to help students improve their ability to use Social Emotional skills and strategies when they encounter challenging situations. Green Meadow and Fowler School continue to implement the Positive Behavior interventions and supports (PBIS) programs. Students and Fowler School and the High School will conduct self assessments around responsible decision making and self management. Teachers will work with students in their classes to develop these skills in their classrooms. Throughout the year the district will ask parents to support their students at home with learning and modeling the five SEL competencies.
Please join us
Maynard Public Schools has joined the Massachusetts Partnerships for Youth to bring a series of community education events. The first event will be about Navigating the Cyber World. A guest speaker will be here to discuss...
October 23- Navigating the Cyber World 6:30-8:00
… the challenges and dangerous situations that may arise through the use of the internet, social media, and smartphones. It is important for school staff and parents to be aware of the popular apps, social media sites, and programs used by youth online. This workshop explains the issues and possible consequences of cyberbullying, sexting, and revealing identifying information to strangers.\
November 14- What are you puffing? Vaping and our Youth 7:00-8:30
Vaping has recently become a troubling trend in our schools and communities. This workshop focuses on how to recognize vaping devices and products and the physical impact vaping has on the body.
January 23- Teen Dating A to Generation Z: Healthy Relationships 7:00-8:30
It is important for school staff and parents to understand the dynamics of teen relationships and recognize signs of unhealthy relationships and possible abuse. An understanding of the important role the internet and social media play in today's relationships is necessary for educators to bring information about healthy relationships into the classroom. Videos from MPY teen dating series are shown.
March 12- Healthy Balance: Screen Time 7:00-8:30
Increasingly, data suggests that exposing youth to large amounts of time in front of screens (TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone) can have negative effects on physical and mental development including issues with memory, attention, and language skills. This workshop is designed to provide the tools and vocabulary needed for children and adolescents to make wise choices about balancing daily screen use, while focusing more attention on exercise and nutrition.
Grants and Recognition
Green Communities Competitive Grant
The Town of Maynard has been awarded $104,536.00 from The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Green Communities Grant for our schools. $62,809 has been approved for LED lighting at Fowler School $41,727 has been approved for LED lighting at Green Meadow School.
Maynard Public Schools and the Town of Maynard Public Schools attended the Green Communities Competitive Grant Announcement on September 17th in Southborough. We were one of 91 municipalities across Massachusetts who received funding to fund clean energy projects. A complete listing of municipalities and awards granted can be found at: https://www.mass.gov/news/baker-polito-administration-awards-149-million-in-green-communities-grants
Maynard Public Schools FC: 195 legislative earmark
We are fortunate to have received $60,000 for the replacement of our leveled library at Green Meadow from the The Massachusetts Department of Education
Special Olympics Recognition
Congratulations to Maynard High School. MHS is one of only 26 schools in Massachusetts to be recognized by Special Olympics as a Unified School Champion. The citation reads as follows:
You are recognized by Special Olympics MA as a 2018-2019 Unified School
Champion School. Thank you for your school’s commitment to fostering a
socially inclusive school climate that emphasizes acceptance, respect and
human dignity for all students.
This is a wonderful testament to the entire Maynard High School community of students, staff members, parents & guardians.
Curriculum and Instruction Update- Celebrating Success
Each year when fall comes we can look forward to apple picking, cooler weather and the changing of the leaves. Just as anticipated each fall is the annual release of the State Accountability Data and MCAS scores. Maynard Public Schools has been working strategically over the last several years to improve our accountability results and we are proud to announce that this year we have seen significant gains. Under the new Accountability measures assigned to schools to reduce proficiency gaps and increase performance and growth of the lowest performing quartile of students, Maynard Public Schools was given the rating of “Not requiring assistance or intervention,” having made “Substantial progress toward targets.”
Maynard students in grades three through eight exceeded targets in math and science achievement scores and met targets for English Language Arts achievement scores. Students in these grades met student growth targets in math. Maynard High School Grade ten students met or exceeded student growth targets for math and English Language Arts. Additionally the lowest performing quartile of students met achievement targets in English Language Arts. The district is incredibly proud of the work done by the faculty and staff in supporting students in meeting these goals. Detailed information about the district & school accountability data can be found on the DESE website: http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/accountability/report/district.aspx?linkid=30&orgcode=01740000&orgtypecode=5&
Maynard High School made significant gains in continuously engaging with students in a high level of rigor. “More Maynard High School students are engaging in advanced coursework during their tenure at Maynard High School,” said High School Principal of Curriculum Instruction and Assessment Chuck Caragianes. Additionally the school was exceeded targets in the number of high need students participating in these more challenging courses. This important indicator shows the efforts placed on ensuring all students are provided with rigorous and relevant learning opportunities to prepare them for life after high school. In addition, MHS made significant inroads in reducing chronic absenteeism - especially for high-need students.
The Fowler School saw its greatest gains in student performance in Science (tested in Grades 5 and 8). “Fowler exceeded targets across the board in Science - from over all achievement and growth, to all of our subgroups,” said Fowler Principal of Curriculum and Instruction Mike Barth. MCAS data also showed improvement in ELA and Math at Fowler. he faculty and staff will continue to analyze the ELA results and focus its work on writing in response to reading, and providing targeted interventions where skill gaps exist,”Barth continued, “Fowler is proud of the work of our outstanding faculty, family, and student community.”
The Spring 2019 MCAS results showed that the Green Meadow School exceeded the math targets and met the ELA targets. Green Meadow Principal of Curriculum and Instruction, Donna Dankner, spoke of her pride in student achievement at Green Meadow, as a school where students learn in an “ engaging, challenging, and supportive learning environment. Dankner credited the school’s continued focus on developing mathematical understanding as the reason 3rd graders made significant gains in fractions and algebraic thinking. Dankner highlighted the continued instructional focus on writing as well as word study and the conventions of English which she sees as “enabling students to reach their potential as strategic readers.”
Although there is much to celebrate in this year’s MCAS results, while allowing some pause for celebration, most importantly help the district to determine what specific assistance needs to be offered to scholars who are in need of support and which areas of our curriculum need to be strengthened. There is much to celebrate in our overall results, including significant achievement gains in our Hispanic/Latino students, our lowest performing quartile, and our high needs scholars who are either economically disadvantaged, ELL’s, Former ELL’s, or students with disabilities. There is also much work to do to ensure all students are achieving at the highest levels.
The District and School Improvement Plans outline key components of the district improvement efforts. The high school will continue the work started last year to provide interventions for students in the areas of writing. Additionally, the high school team will explore areas of numeracy and math skills and how those skills can be developed across all disciplines. Fowler School will begin developing and implementing writing interventions across all disciplines. Green Meadow will be using the Data into Action Model during common planning time and professional development days to develop and implement interventions on critical numeracy and literacy skills. We expect that this work will show dividends in our assessment and accountability data next year. More importantly, however, this work will ensure that all students are able to learn at high levels and develop the skills they need to succeed in the world beyond Maynard Public Schools.
Save the date:
October 16, 2019 6:00-8:00
The Massachusetts State Public College Fair and MEFA Financial Aid Seminar will be held at Nashoba Regional High School
The MEFA Financial Aid seminar will be held from 6:00-7:00pm in the Auditorium--ideal for parents & current seniors. From 7:15-8:00 Current juniors & parents will want to attend the Early College Planning seminar also in the auditorium. The Massachusetts State Public College Fair will be held simultaneously throughout the evening.
COMMUNITY EVENT - NAVIGATING THE CYBER WORLD
The event will take place on October 23, 2019 from 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM in the Maynard High School Auditorium. All Maynard Community members are encouraged to attend. Registration for the event is encouraged, but not required. Please use this link to register. We hope to see many members of our community at this event and more in the future.
September 27 Mother/Son Luau-MHS 5:30-8:30
October 3 Financing Our Future-Fowler Auditorium 7:00-8:00
October 7 Financing Our Strategic Goals-Fowler Auditorium 4:30-6:30
October 16 8th Grade Parents night-MHS 6:00-8:00
Where Are They Now?
Here is the story of Dean Murphy a former MHS student: Dean was in chorus as well as madrigals in HS, took music theory and AP music theory. Dean also participated in our musicals during his tenure at MHS. Now, he's a professional opera singer in Europe! Please read on-I think you'll be inspired.
Interview with American Baritone Dean Murphy
If you would like to contribute to our Where Are They Now? Please contact, Colleen Andrade at firstname.lastname@example.org