Superintendent's Update

September 2017

Welcome Back!

Welcome back to an exciting new year in Regional School District 13. We look forward to working with you and your child. Our overarching focus continues to be in the areas of student achievement, well-being and engagement. We have identified student learning outcomes that are general at the grade level and specific to individual students with a priority set on growth over time. Students are involved in learning that is more rigorous and engaging than ever before and this means that all of our teachers and staff who are responsible for supporting students in their learning are increasing their knowledge and expertise. Professional learning opportunities for teachers are designed to engage all professionals in our district with a comprehensive understanding of our identified priority areas including a reading, writing and mathematics workshop model, Next Generation Science Standards, New England Schools and Colleges (NEASC) accreditation (year 5 reporting), and Pre-K -grade 12 STEAM programming. Our focus on engagement using the 4Cs of communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity will continue to this year as we expand teachers' understanding of and students' involvement in these important skills. Finally, in the area of well-being, our staff kicked-off the year with a definition of well-being that identifies the elements of well-being as positive emotion, engagement, positive relationships, meaning and accomplishment. This definition is based on the research on happiness and well-being conducted by Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania. We believe that students and staff alike can enhance and sustain well-being in Regional School District 13. Our district is unique and our core ethical values of respect, responsibility, kindness, honesty and courage continue to be the strong foundation upon which our success is built.

Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment

Please join me in welcoming Cori-Ann DiMaggio our new Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment. Mrs. DiMaggio joins our Central Office team after several years as a successful administrator, most recently as the Principal of Westbrook Middle School. Mrs. DiMaggio will add an update to our newsletter each month.

Academic Updates from the Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment: Mrs. Cori-Ann DiMaggio

Each year our students in RSD 13 and in all towns in Connecticut are given high stakes summative assessments to measure academic performance in the areas of Literacy, Mathematics, and Science. Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC) in grades 3-8, Student Achievement Test (SAT) in grade 11, Science Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) in grades 5 and 8, and Science Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) in grade 10 are the summative tests that our students participated in this past year. When analyzing the data, our goal is to provide improved instruction and increased student learning.


Our results are promising and as a district we have much to celebrate. The district’s SBAC scores from 2015-16 to 2016-17, have increased in both Literacy and Mathematics across several grade levels. In addition, our Evidence Based Reading/Writing and Mathematics SAT scores have increased from 2015-16 to 2016-17. Our students in both grades 5 and 8 continue to perform well. In grade 10, the CAPT scores decreased from last year’s cohort. The decrease can be attributed to the instructional shift to Next Generation Science Standards. Please see the charts below for data results:

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During the 2017-18 school year, students at the high school will no longer participate in CAPT in grade 10 as our students in grade 11 will participate in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) pilot. We continue to await a decision from the Connecticut State Department of Education as to whether or not our students in grades 5 and 8 will no longer take the Science Connecticut Mastery Test this year. Students in grades 5 and 8 will participate in the NGSS pilot this year as well. The Connecticut State Department of Education is anticipating the year 2019 as the implementation date for the NGSS high stakes exam.


As a result of the many changes over the past ten years, our teachers continue to enhance and revise curriculum to address Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards, implement research-based instructional strategies to address the 4Cs: critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration, and continue to engage in on-going and embedded professional development to enhance instruction and student performance.

Teacher of the Year

This year’s teacher of the year is Deborah Mariani, Reading Coach at Memorial Middle School. Mrs. Mariani was nominated by her peers for her skill, coaching ability and support. She assists teachers in developing new instructional skills in the areas of Reading/English Language Arts instruction and in understanding student performance data. Mrs. Mariani's coaching includes modeling for other teachers in particular in the past two years in the area of Reader's Workshop. She is patient and kind and is unwavering in her positive attitude.


Mrs. Mariani shared a beautiful message at convocation on August 28th which included, "I have worked in other districts as a teacher and a coach and Region 13 is really a special place. It is the entire community that makes it so unique. The teachers, the administration, the students, the board and the parents. I have witnessed the passion and dedication that this district has for its students as both a parent and an employee. To quote Steve Jobs, 'The only way to do great work is to love what you do.' I truly love what I do everyday. I am in awe of all of you. I have the honor and privilege of working every day with colleagues who I admire and respect. Having the lens of both a parent and an employee allows me have a clear vision of what makes RSD 13 special and unique; each and everyone of us has a common goal, a common mission: our students."


Mrs. Mariani lives in Durham with her husband and four children.

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Mrs. Stone, Memorial School Principal; Mrs. Swiantek, 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year and Dr. Veronesi, Superintendent of Schools congratulate Mrs. Mariani, 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year at Convocation

Professional Development / Early Release Days

This year our school calendar includes six early release days that are dedicated to professional learning. On these days students will be released earlier than they have been in the past to allow for extended time for professional learning. Announcements will be sent out via school messenger to remind you of the dismissal time. Early release for professional learning is on the following days: September 28th, October 23rd, December 6th, January 12th, February 8th, and May 10th. The schedule on those days is as follows:


Coginchaug 7:25 a.m. - 10:42 a.m.

Strong 7:20 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.

Memorial 8:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Lyman 8:50 a.m. - 12:05 p.m.

Brewster 8:50 a.m. - 12:05 p.m.

Pre K (3 and 4 year olds) 8:50 a.m. - 12:05 p.m.

Every Student Succeeds Act

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is now requiring states to disaggregate achievement results for students with a parent who is a member of the Armed Forces on active duty or serves on full-time National Guard duty. Effective this year, RSD13 will be collecting this data from all our families and a form has been posted under the E-Collect link on your PowerSchool Parent Portal. The State of Connecticut is also requiring us to report the Immigrant Status for those in our district. They will use these data to distribute funding for the federal immigrant grant. This form is also located on your PowerSchool Parent Portal under the E-Collect link.


Please log in and submit these forms by September 22, 2017 so we can update our records accordingly.

Community Flyers

Community groups wishing to submit a flyer for electronic posting should send it to flyers@rsd13.org. Flyers will be reviewed and posted twice a month. Approved flyers will be posted on the district Facebook page and a public Google drive, Community Flyers, which is accessible via the district website, the Town of Durham website and the Town of Middlefield website. We cannot honor requests to re-distribute flyers or send event reminder notices.

New Faculty and Staff for 2017-2018

Please join me in welcoming our new staff.


CENTRAL OFFICE

Kimberly Neubig - Business Manager

Cori-Ann DiMaggio - Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment


JOHN LYMAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Mariann Arnold - Cook

Ann Bourland - School Nurse

Danielle Hay - School Psychologist


BREWSTER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Jenna Cornwall - ABA Therapist

Tara Salvadori - .6FTE Special Education Teacher

Michelle Schwartz - Special Education Teacher

Ashley Rodrigues - LTS Grade 1 (SY 2017-2018)

Carra Lucibello - Cook 2

Carin Napoletano - Teacher Assistant


MEMORIAL MIDDLE SCHOOL

Lisa Conant - Band Director

Dana Markovitz - .6FTE Special ED Teacher


FRANK WARD STRONG MIDDLE SCHOOL

Lindsay Galpin - Grade 7 ELA

Kelly Gribko - Cook

Lisa Egan - LTS Guidance Counselor (August-November)

Kory Kevorkian - Athletic Director

Louis Wickham - FT Evening Custodian (was PT)


COGINCHAUG REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL

Kory Kevorkian - Athletic Director

Brenda Parness - Technology Education/STEAM Coordinator (office located at CRHS - will work district-wide)

Donna Mattei - LTS HS English (September - November)

Daniel Watrous - LTS HS Science (September - end of school year)

Joshua Pollitt - FT Evening Custodian (was PT)

Kara Niland - PT Cook

Alyssa Simeone - Transition Counselor


MIDDLESEX TRANSITION ACADEMY

Jill Canalia - Job Coach


NEW ATHLETIC COACHING STAFF

Erik Becker - Head Football Coach, CRHS

Tiffany Hesser - JV Volleyball, CRHS

Jim Murphy - Assistant Football Coach, CRHS

Paula Murphy - Varsity Cheer Coach, CRHS

Matt Taber - JV Boys Soccer Coach, CRHS

Ben Shoudy - Soccer Coach, Strong

Kevin Larson - Interim Cross Country, Strong