Superintendent's Update

January 2015

A heart full of grace

“Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” Martin Luther King Jr.

I hope you all were able to enjoy your winter break and have come back refreshed, thankful for a Monday snow day (that turned out to be a “washout”, and are anticipating a long weekend, and continued exceptional work on behalf of students. We have an incredible school district and we continue to refine and improve our practices to make it even better. I sincerely hope that you enjoy your work and find time to acknowledge your contributions to our organization.

Coginchaug Valley Education Foundation: CVEF

The Coginchaug Valley Education Foundation’s mission is to promote excellence, innovation and creativity in education for the community and to support lifelong learning in Durham and Middlefield by giving grants and sponsoring programs. CVEF has been a high supporter of our school and I wanted to share with you an upcoming event, grant opportunities and a request. The Trivia Bee will be held on March 6th at Strong School. The foundation has asked for a team to represent each school. The entrance fee for teams of 5 is $150. I will be judging the event and hope to see some of you there as participants or spectators. I understand it is a great event. CVEF will once again be awarding grants in the spring, so start thinking of your ideas so you can be ready to submit them by the May 1st due date. For more information you may email Nancy Earls or go to To help promote the work on the foundation please follow them on Twitter @cvefct.

Teacher Evaluation Documents

Updates to the Teacher Evaluation Plan are on google drive. Thank you for your patience as the changes were being made. Additional charts and new rubrics needed to be added so the revision process was longer than anticipated. All form updates will be made and available for your use by Friday January 23rd. As an administrative team we appreciate your professional approach to this process and anticipate your continued growth. We were very proud of the individual and collective work that was done and your collaboration with us.

Pay Attention

Daily events in the news are constant reminders about the importance of our vigilance in paying attention to our environment including the people in it and taking action, asking questions or bringing concerns to the attention of administration. Please be sure that the safety procedures are clearly visible for substitutes in your room. If any of the rooms you are in are unable to be locked from the inside or are difficult to lock, please email your administrator so that we can have our maintenance team take a look at it.

Show Me The Vision!

The superintendent’s budget will be presented to the Board of Education on Wednesday February 11th at Strong Middle School. The administrative team has been working together to “prioritize the priorities” and think creatively about alternatives to achieving our identified outcomes. We have also looked through the lens of declining enrollment in near future and as an on-going phenomenon as we plan forward. We will be on a journey that we have not experienced before to this degree in terms of declining enrollment, school closures, and a redefined vision. It has the potential to be an exciting time and an opportunity for creative thinking and growth. I am confident in our ability to work together on this.

At last night’s Board of Education meeting Bob Fulton, Chair of the Utilization Committee gave an update on the committees work that included the fact that it will be examining the feasibility of two K-5 school configurations, a 6-8 middle school and a high school and the process of a phased implementation in achieving whatever change is ultimately agreed upon.

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