The District Dispatch
Happy "Last Day of School" to all faculty, staff and administration,
As we conclude the 2018-2019 school year, I would like to take the opportunity to send along my deep appreciation for all that you have done for the children of this Middleborough community.
This year, through this District Dispatch and other opportunities, myself and the administrative team have made a conscious effort to highlight and feature our all-important "Strategy for Continuous District Improvement". It is the "bones" or framework for everything we plan, develop and implement in whatever we do for our schools and students.
You have no doubt heard or read our district's "mission”, the short form of which is "branded" on our district's logo.
The actual mission is simply put in sentence form:
The mission of the Middleborough Public Schools is to foster a culture of excellence within every student, in every classroom, every day.
What is noted next in our "Strategy", are the "Vision Statement" and the "Theory of Action".
The first is our promise to our students and our community;
Students of the Middleborough Public Schools, with the support of a dedicated community, will think critically, appreciate diversity, demonstrate innovation, value reflection, and develop a growth mindset as active members of our larger community to learn, grow, and finish strong.
The second is a classic "If, Then" statement that simply outlines our expectations of ourselves as we work in our schools, classrooms, offices, stages, athletic venues and anywhere else we interact with our students and each other.
If we create, support, and sustain cultures of innovation, achievement, excellence, and well-being within our schools and greater community, then our students will learn to think creatively and independently, appreciate and respect diversity, demonstrate innovation, value reflection, and develop their mindset to learn, grow, and finish strong as active members of our local and global communities.
What follows in the "Strategy", are our essential cultures which we all should strive to create, maintain and sustain on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis;
(A) Culture of Innovation and Achievement
Continue to make data-informed decisions to improve achievement for all students within an innovative environment supported by 21st Century facilities.
(B) Culture of Excellence
Develop and nurture a positive culture wherein high expectations for students, faculty, and staff achievement are articulated, realized, and celebrated by the entire community.
(C) Culture of Well-Being
Plan, develop, and implement programs and protocols which will continue to positively impact the social-emotional growth and well-being of all members of the school community.
As we close out the second year of the implementation of this plan, I would like to thank everyone for your awareness of this framework and all that it entails. My hope is that our mission, vision, theory of action and strategic objectives contained in this document are not "just words" placed high up on the shelf. This is, after all, a "living design" for district improvement which recognizes that we can all improve in our own way so that our entire district can improve as a whole. It is alive in each of our School Improvement Plans which are based on our district's Strategy. Ultimately, it is alive in your classroom or areas each day. Everything we do should have some basis for implementation in our "Strategy for Continuous District Improvement". A "rising tide" of district improvement will, in fact, "lift all boats".
The real positive piece of this plan is that there is real evidence that we are a district moving in a positive direction. I have witnessed and celebrated our cultures of innovation, achievement, excellence and well-being throughout my time as Superintendent of Schools here in Middleborough and I look forward to seeing a whole lot more!
In closing, for those of you who are retiring, I wish you all the best as you move on to the next chapter in your lives.
For everyone who will be back with us in late August, I wish you a safe, happy and restful summer. There's lots of positive work to be done in 2019-2020 and beyond to fulfill our district's mission of fostering a culture of excellence within every student, in every classroom, every day.
Culture of Excellence Nominees
Mike Sousa - Custodian at the Memorial Early Childhood Center
Lisa McDonald - School Psychologist at the Henry B. Burkland Elementary School
"wherein high expectations for students, faculty, and staff achievement are articulated, realized, and celebrated by the entire community”. Lisa has high expectations for herself first. As our school psychologist, she evaluates each student she's tasked to test thoroughly, competently and completely. She individualizes assessments based on parent and teacher concerns. She provides a wealth of information to our Team to help us meet the needs of our various learners. She communicates that information clearly during meetings and is an excellent resource for teachers and staff.
Not only does Lisa provide thorough evaluations and participate in meetings, she provides direct services to a number of students as well throughout the school. She is meticulous in her planning and is able to address specific student needs to develop growth mindset, regulation skills, and social skills. She is an advocate for her students and works well with staff to ensure students have the supports they need to be successful. She never fails to take initiative when a student needs a support to be successful. She crafts behavior plans and collects data so that plans can be adjusted if students are not making progress.
Lisa McDonald is at the heart of everything that happens at HBB and our school community would not be the same without her!
See you on “New Year’s Day”!
I am the daughter of two teachers, married to a teacher who is the son and grandson of teachers. I taught high school mathematics for twenty-five years and I have lived most of my life on a calendar that runs from September to September. Over time, I developed a nice routine for my summer breaks. Summer always started for me with that first drive home with the windows down and the radio blasting Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” and summer sometimes lasted even after those first few PD days of the year as we desperately tried to find one or two last license plates for the license plate game. (Wyoming is always hard to find!)
July, in my house, was always dedicated to spending time with family, gardening, and going to the beach. August was time for schoolwork, summer reading, and self reflection. My favorite part of August was setting New Year’s Resolutions. It has always made more sense to me to make resolutions for September 1st rather than January 1st and I always started the school year with two sets of goals. I would share one set of goals with my supervisor as part of the evaluation process and I would have one set of personal goals that I would share with my friends and family.
Have a restful and relaxing summer break, I look forward to seeing you on “New Year’s Day”!
Thank you all for your hard work day in and day out for the students of the Middleborough Public Schools! This year has been a success because of your efforts and your commitment. The student experience in Middleborough is unlike any other because of the talent and skill in each of our buildings. Please know the students of Middleborough benefit greatly from your leadership, knowledge, and guidance. I sincerely hope that you take time this summer to enjoy your families, your friends, and your interests outside of education.
For those of us in the world of special education, the fun continues this July with our Extended School Year Program. The ESY Program will run from July 9th-August 15th at the Memorial Early Childhood Center. We thank our gracious hosts and the MECC and look forward to watching our students continue to grow through the summer.
Thank you all,
Do Teachers Really Have the Summer Off?
There are many among us who will be supporting our summer school and extended school year students. We have many that have chosen or been asked to participate in formal trainings such as Advanced Placement workshops, Project Lead the Way courses, and such. Many more of you will self-select to take a graduate course or a workshop that you find interesting. We have a large contingent that will be supporting summer curriculum work.
Our district will be working on many curricular initiatives over the summer. We will begin the formal transition to the 2018 MA History and Social Science framework, revising our middle school mathematics program to be homegrown versus program dependent, writing science units of study at the elementary level, developing/revising curriculum aligned to our beliefs supported through our work with the Literacy Collaborative, and more.
Every student, every classroom, every day does not just permeate our souls for the 180 days that our students attend school. Our mission is pervasive in all we do throughout the course of the entire year so that the 180 days we are blessed to work with our students are the best that they can be!
"A good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others."
~ Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, translated from Turkish
You all have given so much to support our students, families, and each other. So that you may continue to light the way for others, be sure to take time for you to relax and recharge !
Thank you to all for a great year of teaching and learning!