The District Dispatch

January 2021

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Memorial Early Childhood Center Teacher Saves Kindergarten Student’s Life by Performing Heimlich Maneuver

Members of the Middleborough Public School Administration recognized Mrs. Elizabeth Gunnison with a Certificate of Recognition and flowers for her heroic actions assisting a Kindergarten child in distress by performing the Heimlich maneuver.

Mrs. Gunnison, who provides daily support to the Kindergarten students at the Memorial Early Childhood Center, was performing her duties and supervising during “lunch time” on January 7, 2021. While observing students interacting, she noticed a child who looked at her and appeared to be in some form of distress. In her own words, Mrs. Gunnison stated that “I was looking directly at the student when it happened. I immediately asked the student a question and did not get an answer. I asked again with no response. At that point I knew the student was choking.” Mrs.Gunnison then immediately approached the student, performed the Heimlich and dislodged a cracker which had become lodged in the child’s throat.

The Middleborough Public Schools would like to thank Mrs. Gunnison for taking action and saving this young child’s life. Principal Jeremy Gobeil, M.E.C.C. Principal stated, “We are so fortunate to have Mrs. Gunnison working here at our school. Her professionalism, humility and level-headedness are truly commendable and I thank her for what she did on that day and every day for our school”. Superintendent of Schools Brian Lynch said, “There’s certainly a reason why all staff are trained in this process by our highly qualified school nurses, but you never know how people will react when the time actually comes to put this training to use.” Lynch went on to say, “As a school community, we are very fortunate to have educators such as Mrs. Gunnison teaching, caring for and keeping a watchful eye on our young ones every day in our schools. We are eternally grateful for her heroism”.

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Middleborough Public School Recognizes High School Math Teacher Vicki Miles for being named a semi-finalist for the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year

The Middleborough Public Schools would like to congratulate Vicki Miles for being named a semi-finalist for the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year. Vicki has been with the Middleborough School district for ten years and currently also serves as the department head for the math department at Middleborough High School.

Paul Branagan, Principal at MHS, said “Vicki is an inspirational teacher. Her connections with students are tremendous and her ability to bring mathematics to life in the classroom is beyond compare.” In recent years Vicki has worked in a program aimed at supporting students who have historically struggled with math. Mr. Branagan said “She takes academic risks in the classroom by trying new and innovative strategies to help make the learning of mathematics relevant, which is so important.”

Vicki has been a large part of the growth that the math department has seen over her tenure as department head at MHS. Dr. Melanie Gates, the Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Technology, spoke highly of Vicki saying “She excels with developing curriculum, meaningful instruction, high-quality assessments, and purposeful integration of technology that yields improved student outcomes.” As department head Vicki has helped to assemble an amazing group of teachers and collectively they have worked to raise student achievement.” Dr. Gates went on to say that “Vicki has, time and time again, demonstrated her commitment to working alongside her colleagues with sharing best practices, analyzing data, and refining assessments. She has really set the tone for professional collaboration and it has paid dividends with improved student achievement in math.”

Superintendent of Schools Brian E. Lynch said “I would like to thank Vicki for her dedication to our school district. Vicki has completed curriculum work throughout our district to support high quality math instruction. Most recently, she has been instrumental in the re-alignment of our grade 6 through 12 mathematics curriculum. Mrs. Miles is an extremely accomplished educator and we’re so proud and pleased that she is an integral member of our Middleborough team of educators.”

The Middleborough Public Schools would like to thank Vicki for her service to the students of our district through living and breathing our mission to foster a culture of excellence within every student(and staff member), in every classroom, every day. Thank you Vicki! We are proud of you and the work you do each and every day.

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Employee Assistance Program

The Town of Middleborough partners with Perspectives as our Employee Assistance Program (EAP). As valued members of our school community, we want to be sure that you are aware of the benefits provided through EAP. From health, financial, emotional well-being and more...EAP has supports we can all benefit from.

Please visit With the username of MEGA and the password of perspectives you can gain access to their self-help resources and live chat.

You can also dial 800.456.6327 to get direct assistance.

“Ask for help not because you’re weak, but because you want to remain strong.”

Les Brown

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Family Support Channel

Dear Colleagues,

Have you had families contact you looking for help with remote learning? Would you like to access and share with families an entirely free resource that contains original material and guidance provided by our very own Middleborough staff? Then I have the answer for you!

The Middleborough Public Schools has designed a YouTube Channel with the goal of providing targeted assistance to families struggling with remote learning. The Family Support Channel offers talented Middleborough staff-designed short instructional videos that include ways to assist families in their remote learning practice. Please visit to view these videos!

If you have a submission for this channel please send me your brief video and I’ll have it posted!

Thank you all so much for your innovation and commitment to the students of Middleborough!



Annual Institutional Self-Evaluation of Educational Programs

Equal access to school programs, including athletics and other extracurricular activities, has always been part of the mission of the Middleborough Public Schools. As part of an annual process of conducting an institutional self-evaluation to ensure that all students, regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin, limited English proficiency, sexual orientation, disability or housing status, have equal access to such programs, please fill out this survey to identify any areas of concern.

Should you wish to speak to someone about this process or report your concern in another medium, please contact Carolyn Lyons, PPS Director, at or (508)946-2013. Please provide your response to this survey by Friday, February 5, 2021.

Thank you in advance for your participation.

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A 403(b) plan, also called a tax-sheltered annuity or TSA plan, is a retirement plan offered by public schools as an additional option to supplement retirement.

This link is a FAQ from the IRS which provides general information about 403(b) plans

Retirement Plans FAQs regarding 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plans

This link is to the district webpage where information can be found about the specific products offered by the Town of Middleborough.

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Book Study Sign Up in TeachPoint ---> Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind

We are excited to announce our first book study for this school year!

Kaleigh Nieuwenhuis, a wonderful 3rd grade teacher at the Mary K. Goode Elementary School, will be facilitating a study of the text "Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind" by Eric Jensen. Please see Kaleigh's flyer below for information. Thank you Kaleigh for leaning in and leading!

Book studies will be limited to 25 participants and sign-ups are first come, first serve and sign-ups will occur via TeachPoint. For help with signing up for professional development opportunities through TeachPoint, please check out the directions for signing up for a professional development event in TeachPoint.

When you sign-up via TeachPoint, be sure to note the class code for joining the Google Classroom intended for this specific book study.

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More Book Studies are coming!!

More Book study dates will be announced in the very near future. Please expect our book studies to kick-off following February vacation.

We are still waiting for the rest of our Deep Kindness books to come in, but at this time our faculty and staff should have Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain, Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind, and The Distance Learning Playbook. If you are missing any of these titles, please contact your main office and/or Melanie Gates for assistance. Thank you!

The Modern Classroom and Remote Teaching and Learning Module Series

Starting over February break, professional development points will be issued to those who have submitted their certificate of completion for the self-paced professional development from The Modern Classroom and/or the Remote Teaching and Learning Module Series. If you have yet to submit your certificate, please do so via your Return to School Google Classroom. If you need assistance, please contact Melanie Gates. Thanks!
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Literacy Footprints Digital Reader

Thank you elementary colleagues for jumping in with both feet with engaging our students with our new digital reader application. Please know that Literacy Footprints Digital Reader does not allow for rostering through ClassLink so all changes such as adding new students, withdrawing students, or changing classroom assignments needs to be done manually.

For assistance with any rostering needs with Literacy Footprints Digital Reader, please contact Melanie Gates and Katie Goodine. Thank you!

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" foster a culture of excellence within every student, in every classroom, every day."