The District Dispatch

February 2021

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Welcome Back and Let's Go!

I hope everyone had a very restful “Winter Break” and that you were able to use your “down time” to enjoy some winter recreation, reconnect with loved ones, catch up on your reading or even get some much-needed “nap-time”. You have all earned it after the year we've had!


We now begin a very important and nearly uninterrupted stretch of teaching and learning which will last until our April break arrives. As I have shared in the past, I strongly feel that this “March Madness” period provides a great opportunity for continued and ongoing academic growth! It is important that our entire Middleborough educational team commit fully to making this eight week stretch an extraordinary time to connect (and re-connect) with our students and create opportunities for great gains in academic achievement. I am confident that we can accomplish great things!


Please know that our administrative leadership team has begun the process of planning for some potential upcoming transitions in our instructional/learning models. As is the want of the Middleborough community as well as the entire country, it is our fervent hope to return as many students, faculty and staff into our physical school environments as soon as possible while maintaining safe and appropriate environments for everyone.


In closing, I want to wish you all the best and also share that as much as I enjoy a pretty winter snowfall, I am hoping that we can avoid any significant weather incidents during the coming weeks so that we can all “Finish Strong” (as the folks at MHS would say) as early as possible in June.


Best Regards,

Brian

Seniority Lists

Seniority lists for Educational Support Personnel and the Middleborough Education Association/Teachers are now available on our website. You must be logged into the website to access this information. Once you are logged in you can navigate to Staff > Contracts & Seniority Lists > Seniority Lists. Please direct any questions or concerns about the seniority lists to Ann Gagnon in the Superintendent's Office.


Please click here for directions on Accessing District Staff Only information on the website.

Updated School Calendar

At a recent School Committee meeting the board voted on some needed changes to the 2020-2021 School Calendar. Please visit our website for the updated school calendar.
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Dear Colleagues,


Thank you for all of your assistance and cooperation with the Tiered Focused Monitoring process over the past year. Our process and compliance with special education and civil rights will be fully examined with a final report to follow this spring. On February 23rd and 24th, the Office of Public School Monitoring (through DESE) will be on site reviewing our student files and conducting interviews with selected administration.


While engaging in a process like this can seem difficult to understand given all that we are facing currently, I am confident that Middleborough will once again prove itself to be the kind of organization that prioritizes our families and students above all else. From our compliance with civil rights law to the truly remarkable efforts this district took during the COVID closure, Middleborough has many strengths as a school district that genuinely meets the needs of every student within every classroom every day.


Thank you to everyone who has assisted in this tremendous project. I look forward to sharing the results with you all later this spring.


Best,

Carolyn


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Update to Grid View Extension

Has your Google Meet Grid View been broken? You are not alone there has been a cry for help from teachers all over the country. Google is working on updates to Google Meet and that is causing this third party application to not work.


We have found a solution to this and have applied it to all on the teacher account for you to use. The new extension is called "Grid View for Google Meet". You will see the new grid option at the top of your Google Meet when you launch Meet. This should solve the ongoing problem with the Grid View for now.


Please know that this is a fluid situation and the app is always changing and could break again at any time. As Google continues to evolve it may cause compatibility issues with third party extensions and apps, such as this recent one with Grid View.

Flipgrid Workshop Today at 4PM

Please join Kristy Goldman and Vicki Miles for an introduction to Flipgrid. Join us today at 4PM on Meet, nickname: Flipgrid.

Recent Tech Tip Tuesdays

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The Modern Classroom and Remote Teaching and Learning Module Series PDPs

Over February break professional development points were issued to those who submitted their certificate of completion for The Modern Classroom and/or the Remote Teaching and Learning Module series offered by DESE. You can find your PDPs in TeachPoint. If you need assistance with navigating TeachPoint to access PDPs, check out this Tech Tip.


If you do not see your PDPs and you had completed these trainings, then please email Melanie Gates directly with your certificate of completion. Thanks!

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Vision of a Graduate

Middleborough High School is beginning a process to re-imagine education through the development of a "Vision of a Graduate". The Vision of a Graduate is a framework of skills, habits of mind and understandings that will guide each student through their educational journey in the Middleborough Public Schools. Our Vision will represent a collection of voices from students, educators, parents/guardians, alumni, community and business professionals throughout the Middleborough community. This shared vision will help navigate our decision making as we engage our students in a robust, personalized, project-based and engaging learning experience across multiple disciplines within our school community.


We welcome the participation of all members of our Middleborough Public Schools' family in our stakeholder surveys. Please check out our Vision of a Graduate website for information about this important work and to access our stakeholder surveys.

FREE PROFESSIONAL LEARNING SERIES

The DESE’s Kaleidoscope Collective for Learning is pleased to repeat three professional learning opportunities this spring: Designing for Equity (Wednesday, March 24 or Tuesday, June 8), Transforming Instruction through the Lens of Authentic Work (Thursday, April 15), and Engaging Students as Complex Thinkers (Tuesday, May 18). Each 90-minute session will also explore instructional practices that use authentic work to build and sustain student engagement in remote, hybrid, and in-person learning. Educators will engage with colleagues from across the Commonwealth to strategize how to apply these practices in their own classrooms.

Registration begins Monday, February 22 and will close on a rolling basis for each session. Please click HERE to learn about each session and HERE to find the registration links.

Share-a-thon on Assessment Strategies

The DESE’s Center for Instructional Support will host a share-a-thon on formative and summative assessment strategies from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 16. This will be an opportunity for teachers of all grade levels and subject areas to learn and share strategies, resources, and best practices for remote/hybrid teaching, with a particular focus on assessing understanding in order to inform instruction. Participants will also have the chance to join content-alike colleagues for a broader discussion of strategies within their discipline. Participants are encouraged to come ready to share their resources and ideas! Registration is open online.

Upcoming LearnLaunch Building Blocks Workshops

LearnLaunch is offering the following FREE workshops sponsored by DESE:

Powerful Learning Experiences to Engage Learners will help school and district leaders engage learners with deeper learning experiences. This workshop pairs with the Cultivating a Culture of Caring workshop, but it is not a prerequisite. These will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 23 and 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 25. Register here and explore the Engage Learners Building Block tool.

Sustaining a Strong Educator Workforce (new!) will focus on three elements: defining the challenges, creating a productive work environment, and implementing effective staffing structures. This workshop, the first in a series, will focus on the first two elements. The workshop will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 24; 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2; and 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 4. Register here and explore the Prepare, Support, and Collaborate with Educators Building Block tool.
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