MURSD District Update
From the Office of the Superintendent
January 31, 2023
January 31, 2023
Dear Mendon-Upton School Community,
One of my favorite moments from the last week was embarking on our strategic planning with focus groups with our number-one client....our students! In our focus groups we had meaningful discussions regarding what they currently love about our district (our teachers and staff, a wide variety of classes and co-curricular activities, safe and inclusive environment). We also had them envision what the ideal future of our district would look like. They answered prompts regarding the following...
"In my vision for our schools I see
- teachers who...
- opportunities such as...
- schools that...
- administrators who...
- classrooms where..
- curriculum that includes...
Since this newsletter is going to our community members, I'll share a few of the envisioning comments regarding the community from our students. There are many more examples, but what you see below provides a snapshot of the positive visioning our students created and what themes rose to the top quickly:
- a community who "looks out for each other"
- a community who "is welcoming to others"
- a community who "helps support the school"
- a community who "is open to change and cares about student, family, health and well-being"
- a community who "cooperates with the district to help students get a quality education"
- a community who "takes pride in the education that is being provided and who encourage growth mindsets"
- a community who "comes together and is friendly and proud to be at MURSD"
As we work to fulfill our mission to "Empower All Learners to Thrive," we continue to emphasize our goals to create an inclusive and welcoming school culture and I was thrilled to see that this is a priority for our representative students as well. I personally begin each communication with "Dear Mendon-Upton School Community" because I know that when we band together as a school community in service for what is best for all our students, anything is possible. As we begin our strategic planning, I am not only eager but truly excited for the possibilities for the future of our district. I really believe that there is nothing more exciting than collaborating and building a common vision and call to action for our future. You will see opportunities to engage through a feedback survey or focus groups and I do hope that you will take a moment to share your vision with us as well.
Superintendent of Schools
Strategic Planning 2023-2028
Most importantly, this plan will continue to strive to bring a bold vision about learning in a modern context and giving our students what they really need to be successful in an ever-changing world. As we continue to bring our mission of "Empowering all learners to thrive" we will evaluate our progress so far and initiate new objectives to further bring our mission to life and foster the Portrait of a Learner competencies for all our learners.
We will be looking for the voices of all stakeholders- staff, students, parents, administrators, and community members- to contribute to this important process. If you are interested in engaging in this process, please fill out the below form.
In the News
Flu Information and ResourcesClick here for information from the MA Department of Public Health on the flu and the importance of getting a flu vaccine.
Click here to view information for parents/caregivers during the Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen shortage.
New State Behavioral Health Help Line
The Department of Mental Health has launched a new Behavioral Health Help Line that people can call or text at 833-773-2445. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week in more than 200 languages. The help line can help individuals and families navigate the behavioral health system and access treatment, including mobile crisis services. District and school leaders are asked to please share this resource with staff, families, and students, where helpful. For more information, please see the FAQ. Anyone with questions or concerns about the help line can email the help line director at Mio.Tamanaha@mass.gov.
- January 30- SEPAC Meeting
- January 31- SC Budget Subcommittee Meeting
- February 1- School Safety-Parent Information Night 7pm Nipmuc
- February 1- 4th Grade Chorus (Memorial)
- February 2 - Spanish Immersion Info Night - virtual event @ 6:00pm, more info here
- February 3 - Author/Illustrator visiting Clough for the day
- February 3- Miscoe One Acts
- February 6- Teacher Focus Group
- February 6- School Committee Meeting
- February 7 - Virtual PTO Meeting
- February 7- Parent/Guardian Focus Group
- February 8 - Memorial PTO
- February 9- Inspired Learning Day Design Challenge
- February 9- Focus Group-open to all
- February 13- Miscoe PTO Meeting
- February 14 - Breakfast with Books! 7:45-8:45 drop in and read in the Clough cafeteria
- February 17- Early Release
- February 20- Friday, February 24- Winter Break, No School
- February 27- School Committee Meeting
- March 17- Teacher PD, No School/ Full Release for Students
SEPAC Meeting January 30
Does your child struggle to read standard print due to low vision, dyslexia, or another disability? The Worcester Talking Book Library (WTBL) can help! A staff member will be presenting information on the program and answering questions. Learn more about this free service that loans accessible reading materials, including audio and large print books, via postage-free mail. This presentation will cover:
· How to use a talking book machine
· The BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) app
· Large print books, including Wonderbooks with embedded audio players
· Dial A Story
Can't join us in person? Listen in via Zoom:
Topic: SEPAC - Worcester Talking Book Library
Time: Jan 30, 2023 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Are you ready for an Inspired Learning Day Adventure? On February 9, all schools in MURSD will participate in a district-wide design challenge. The Inspired Learning Day (ILD) Design Challenge will take place on 2/9 where students will work to design solutions to a zip line challenge. They’ll have the chance to design a solution and test their prototypes.
Sponsored by Tree Top Adventures, the ILD will be a fun and active way to explore the MURSD Portrait of a Learner. Nipmuc students will also have the opportunity to visit other MURSD schools in the afternoon in order to support the learning of our younger students in this hands-on STEM challenge.
YOU INSPIRE ME: Amanda Farley, Speech and Language Pathologist (Clough)
Amanda wears multiple hats and has knowledge and experience in so many areas. She is a surrogate mentor for many of her colleagues and is always willing to take the time required to help or explain the processes and procedures here at Clough. She is a kind and caring colleague and so very generous! Amanda is a rockstar and Clough would not be the same without her.
YOU INSPIRE ME: Maureen O'Neil, Kindergarten Teacher (Clough)
Maureen inspires me because she is so kind and thoughtful to all. She is so friendly and genuine when she asks you how your day is going, how your family is doing, etc. She makes me want to be more like her... someone who radiates happiness to others.
YOU INSPIRE ME: Jim Gorman, Science and Engineering Teacher (Nipmuc)
Jim works tirelessly to inspire his students and to make connections with professionals in the field. He takes students on trips to see science and technology in action and he networks with other schools so that students can get a broad understanding of their topics. Jim's students are able to tailor their learning in a way that it is relevant to their own interest which means he has a multitude of different activities happening simultaneously in his room every day! Jim also is the main coordinator of the Nipmuc Science and Engineering Symposium.
YOU INSPIRE ME: Cathy Frary, 6th Grade Teacher (Miscoe)
Cathy inspires her students to their best all the time. She engages them in a variety of methods and is always seeking to improve her teaching craft. She is always giving 100% to her students.
YOU INSPIRE ME: Amy Henderson, Special Education Teacher (Memorial)
She has always a smile on her face, teaching her students no matter where, in her classroom or in a corner of the hallway. She always explains things to me whenever I have a question of no matter what. She has a natural tendency to help others and making them feel welcome by her side at the same time.
YOU INSPIRE ME: Maria Desruisseaux, Instructional Coach
Maria has so quickly become an essential part of our community. She is present in the classrooms, offering support to and getting to know teachers and staff. She has helped with beginning of the year assessments, scheduling, and so much more.
YOU INSPIRE ME: Julie Rondinelli, Special Education Teacher (Clough)
This educator always puts students first. She is compassionate and always finds "the bright spot" in a student's profile. She celebrates small successes and meets her students where they are to move them along in their academic and social development.