Dartmouth Public Schools

iInspire, You Matter, Kindness Matters

Dr. Bonny Gifford

The October release of the 2018 MCAS and accountability results and assistance levels marked the second year of the grade 3 through 8 next generation MCAS and the debut of the state’s new accountability system. The 2018 high school results were based on the legacy MCAS. Looking forward to 2019, all assessments in ELA and math for grades 3 through 8 will be computer based for the third year in Dartmouth; science for grades 5 and 8 will also be computer based and this will be the first year for grade 10 students to take the ELA and math assessments on the computer.

Overall the district continues to do well on the assessment, in almost all areas outscoring the state and in many, demonstrating good gains. We are especially pleased with improvements in areas we targeted as a result of an analysis of last year's data. The energies placed on improving writing using Lucy Calkins’ workshop model, significant efforts to strengthen vertical and horizontal alignment in math and the implementation of MCAS practice clubs in the elementary schools are all examples of specific actions that were taken in support of unceasing improvement. We applaud the district’s results as they speak to the persistence and dedication displayed by an outstanding staff.

While doing well on MCAS is desirable, the effort to do so can certainly present challenges to districts committed to creating innovative opportunities that inspire students to collaborate, communicate effectively, think critically and creatively and be able to problem solve; all skills that lead to being able to achieve success in the 21st century. So while we celebrate our MCAS report card, we must also double down on creating the conditions where student success is measured by more than an MCAS score! The Innovation Lab, increased access to technology, persistent focus on SEL, STEM clubs, Robotics teams, professional development focused on personalized/blended learning and the development of college and career pathways demonstrate our efforts thus far and our districts emphasis on growth mindset.

Potter's Mix Up Day

Potter School students participated in their annual ‘Mix It Up’ Day!!! On this day, everyone “mixed it up” in the cafeteria so that students had a chance to meet new friends. During lunch, staff worked with students via “conversation starters” to help them to interact with other students they may not normally interact with on a daily basis. Staff and students were encouraged to mix up their clothing and hairstyle to show off their fun side!! A simple mix up event added joy to the day.

Volunteers Sought for DESE Licensure Panel Review

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is seeking experienced administrators and counselors to volunteer on the Educator Licensure Panel Review, a unique licensure path. Candidates for licensure as administrators and some professional support licenses (School Counselor, School Social Worker/Adjustment Counselor and School Psychologist) are eligible to gain licensure as a result of substantial experience and formal education. Members of the review panel assess a portfolio that has been developed by the applicant and conduct an on-site interview before making a licensure recommendation to the commissioner. Serving on the review panel is a rewarding way to serve and develop the profession.

The nomination form and additional information about serving on the review panel are available online.
Tools For Engagement

Click on this link to check out tons of tech tools for engagement! If you try a new tech tool send a picture and a couple of sentences to Karen Scorpio. The first 5 folks will receive a You Matter or Kindness Matters t-shirt.

Game Change: The Patriots Anti-Violenc Partnership

Last year, Mr. Mark Gaffney, Physical Education Lead Teacher and Instructional Coach at DHS applied and won a Grant for Game Change: The Patriots Anti-Violence Partnership. This program is an innovative approach to healthy relationships and violence prevention education, providing training in anti-violence strategies to students, faculty, and coaches at public high schools across Massachusetts. The goal of Game Change is to implement long-term anti-violence and healthy relationship education in Massachusetts schools, with a focus on developing peer leaders at the high school level who can provide trainings to their middle school counterparts. Game Change brings together students, teachers, coaches, and sexual assault and domestic violence service providers to create positive change in their schools and communities. The program also includes online support tools for schools and an evaluation component to determine the effectiveness of the program in changing attitudes and behaviors.

This year, Senior Hannah Carvahlo spoke about the importance of the GameChange Program at Gillette Stadium. Hannah was presented an award from Patriots Owner and CEO Robert Kraft for her work with this program at DHS. Five other DHS students traveled with Hannah to participate in the ceremony.

DESE Standards Navigator

DESE has launched the Standards Navigator to explore the Massachusetts learning standards and find related resources such as student work exemplars, quick reference guides, and definitions of terms. The Navigator will continue to be updated with new content and features, including standards for additional subject areas, over the course of the 2018–19 school year.

Enjoy DHS Newspaper - The Spectrum

Cushman News

Literacy centers in Kindergarten offer meaningful learning experiences where students work independently or collaboratively with peers to practice previously learned skills. At the early childhood level they help to support phonemic awareness, letter knowledge, concepts of print and reading comprehension. In addition, they provide students with opportunities to further develop their social skills and problem-solving skills. Attached are some pictures of our Kindergartners engaging in activities that include reading and writing sight words, matching and identifying letters and sounds and rhyming words and retelling familiar texts with puppets.

Firefighters Poente and Turcotte visited the Cushman School this week to teach our students all about fire safety. The messages included making sure to check smoke detector batteries and establish a family "meeting place" in the event of a fire. Our students enjoyed practicing stop, drop and roll as well!


What is Phishing?

The fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.

Why are phishing attacks so widespread?
Over the past few years, phishing attacks have risen to alarming heights.

"What makes these attacks so effective is that social engineering, effectively hacking the human brain, is actually quite easy to do," said Dr. Bright Gameli Mawudor, Head of Cyber Security Solutions - Internet Solutions, Business Tech reported. "As human beings, we are very open especially on social media, and all this information is incredibly valuable to hackers. We are the problem. People are the problem."

The reason behind the success of phishing attacks is how these emails usually appear to come from a known or trusted source, which, in turn, makes it challenging for the victims to spot a malicious mail. Emails under CEO fraud attacks are often sent impersonating a C-level executive from an organization, which when opened, results in either the compromise of
machines or the theft of confidential data.

How to avoid getting hooked!

  • One of the biggest red flags that can indicate a possible phishing attack is a misspelled word or bad grammar. An email sent by a scammer usually contains broken and/or an unstructured sentence format, which is an indicator of a phishing email.
  • Check the destination of the URL by placing your mouse on it. If the URL looks suspicious, don't click on it.
  • Do not transfer any funds without checking thoroughly with the recipient. Contact the person directly, if he or she is known to you, before authorizing any transactions.
  • Do not provide any sensitive information by email or over the links that come attached in an email

Author: Sophia Brown is an ardent cybersecurity enthusiast. She keeps a keen eye on the ongoing activities within the infosec community, uncovering new threats and improvements within the community.

Alexa, What's for lunch?

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Collaboration Across Schools

Elementary District Grade Level PD Sessions took place this week. The goal of the session is to give grade levels across the district time to collaborate and build vertical and horizontal alignment of resources and best practice through which teachers work to ensure consistency with respect to content, common language. This is the second year the District has organized time for grade levels to meet demonstrating our commitment to collaboration and aligning our standards and practice. Each grade level had a goal and outcome that was developed with the L3 Team (Leveled Literacy Leaders) to meet their specific needs.

Kindergarten teachers and specialists gathered at Bush St. to create informational writing lessons. The lessons are intended to provide students with direct instruction on how to write expository informational texts about their own areas of personal expertise. Teachers will help students brainstorm places, people, things and topics that they know well and could teach others about (karate class, the grocery store, the Red Sox, soccer, stuffed animals). This work aligns with the Massachusetts Standards for writing in kindergarten...and beyond.

Get Involved: Upcoming Opportunities with the Teacher Collaborative

The Teacher Collaborative is a community for all PK-12 educators in Massachusetts to come together to share ideas, problem solve, and build relationships across schools. Check out some of the upcoming opportunities to collaborate with other awesome educators:
  • Co-Labs for Innovation: Join a small group of educators from different schools to focus on a problem of practice that is important and timely for you and your students. Over the course of 12 weeks, you’ll meet in the evenings (four times in person and four times online), and dinner and parking are covered! A co-lab on mindfulness for educators will launch October 24, and a separate co-lab on exploring bias in the classroom will launch November 5. To learn more and apply, go to www.theteachercollaborative.org/colabs.
  • Educator Exchange: The Educator Exchange is a series of free, in-person networking opportunities for PK-12 educators. Each month features a different topic, opportunities to meet with local experts and innovators, Pop-Up PD, and a chance to share ideas and learn from other teachers. Enjoy free snacks and drinks along with door prizes. Upcoming dates and topics are posted online.

6th Annual Southeastern Community Resource Craft Fair

Sunday, Oct. 28th, 10am-3pm

555 Bakerville Road

Dartmouth, MA

The purpose of this event is to bring together a wide range or Local Community Resources and Local Artist, Crafters & Vendors under one roof, so that ALL parents, grandparents, caretakers, educators & community partners can easily obtain information about programs & services available to ALL students & their families with our community.

Quinn Craft Fair

Saturday, Nov. 3rd, 10am-3pm

529 Hawthorn Street

Dartmouth, MA

Support the student of Quinn School and start some holiday shopping or grab yourself a treat!
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XC Fundraiser

Sunday, Nov. 11th, 10am

366 Slocum Road

Dartmouth, MA

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Staff Spotlight - Karen Scorpio

Name: Karen Scorpio

School/Position: Central Office - Secretary to the Director of Teaching and Learning

Hometown: Middletown, RI

Education: Keene State College - Bachelor of Science Management

Role model or someone who has had a great impact on my life: My mother strongest person I have ever met.

If I could travel anywhere in the world it would be: Australia

If I could eat dinner with someone famous, dead or alive, it would be: Mother Teresa

Pet Peeve: glitter

Favorite leisure time activity: watching my boys play sports

Favorite movie: In the Line of Fire

I think the world’s greatest invention is: internet

My favorite motto or saying: Everything always works out

Why I chose DPS to work at: My children have had a wonderful educational environment so I knew that it would be a great working environment as well.