The District Dispatch

February 2019

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Enjoy Winter Break!

Hello to All Faculty and Staff,


I wanted to take a moment and wish you all a very restful “Winter Break” as we head into next week. I hope that you’re able to utilize this “down time” to enjoy some winter recreation, re-connect with loved ones, catch on your reading or even get some much-needed “nap-time”. You have all earned it!


On the Monday we return, we will begin a very important and nearly uninterrupted stretch of teaching and learning which will last until our April break arrives. I strongly feel that this “March Madness” period provides a great opportunity for ongoing growth! It is important that our entire Middleborough educational team commit fully to making this seven-week stretch an extraordinary time to connect (and re-connect) with our students and create opportunities for great gains in academic achievement. I am confident that we can accomplish great things!


In closing, I want to wish you all the best as you relax and recharge! I also want to say that as much as I enjoy a pretty winter snowfall, here’s hoping that we can avoid any such weather incidents during the week so that we can all “Finish Strong” (as the folks at MHS would have it) on Tuesday, June 18, 2019!


Best Regards,

Brian
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My Electric Bill is How Much?!!

During the 2015-2016 school year the cost of electricity for our five school buildings was $419,998.07. We spent $428,478.81 the following year and then $452,276.00 last year.


In an effort to reduce energy consumption and cost, the Town of Middleborough and the Middleborough Public Schools worked collaboratively to successfully secure a Green Communities Grant from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) in the Spring of 2018. Monies received were combined with additional funds from the Middleborough Gas and Electric Department and our Facilities Rental Account and an engineered and planned refitting and replacement of all the lighting fixtures and bulbs at the "Complex" occurred during the summer of 2018. This effort has resulted in a significant reduction in the amount of electricity used at the Mary K. Goode School and Henry B. Burkland School. By design, the cost of this completed program, which totaled $278,000, will be entirely paid for, in energy savings realized, in six years' time.


The graphic below shows the comparison of electricity usage between last year (black) and this year (orange) at the elementary school complex.


At the district level, my office will continue to pursue large scale reductions in energy consumption and I ask that each of you try to make an effort to develop and model energy saving habits. The following are three ways to accomplish this:

  • The first and most obvious of these habits is turning off lights. Always turn out lights before heading to out-of-classroom activities like lunch, recess, gym, or school assemblies. Possibly assign a “Light Monitor” to ensure this gets done—yes, even in older grades.

  • Sleep mode on a device uses substantially more energy than when a device is fully shut down. Unless you’re going to pick the device back up within a few minutes, it’s best to power down. You should also avoid leaving electronics plugged in unless they are actively charging; once the battery is full the device will continue to use unnecessary energy.

  • Opening your door to the hall might seem friendly, but it lets out warm air. You can regulate your environment by shutting doors to keep your room warmer during the cold months. Similarly, you should shut and lock your windows during winter. Letting warm air out substantially increases energy costs because the heater kicks into overdrive to compensate, and if your windows aren’t locked, you’re still letting cold air in, even if only a little. Additionally, pulling your shades at the end of the day helps insulate the windows and keeps more cold out of your classroom.


Thank you for your efforts,

Sarah

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Family Involvement in Special Education

Did you know that our district has a parent advisory council for all families of students who are eligible for special education? The Middleborough Special Education Parent Advisory Council (MPAC) consists of parents and guardians of students and works with the Pupil Personnel Services office to present workshops and materials to create awareness and empower families to engage in the experience of students with special education needs. MPAC offers family support and connections through shared experiences. MPAC advises the district on certain matters that pertain to special education and also improves communication between families and the district. MPAC regularly fundraises and uses the proceeds with students in this community. Monthly meetings typically occur from 6:30-7:30pm at the John T. Nichols Middle School. MPAC welcomes district presenters on a wide variety of topics. If you’d like to provide any training, please contact me right away!


Thanks,

Carolyn

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SMART Edu Certificates & Application to Attend Out-of-District Professional Development

Recently professional development certificates were distributed to faculty mailboxes. These certificates are reflective of the professional development that had been recorded in SMART Edu. These certificates are all that we are able to produce based upon the data that had been in that system. Please be sure to keep your copy of these certificates in a safe place.


You will notice that two sections of the certificates were blank; objectives of the PD and description of assessments. This information was not tracked in SMART Edu. Please feel free to add that information to your respective certificates as needed.


The District has recently adopted a new procedure for out-of-district professional development. All who intend on participating in any out-of-district professional development must complete the Application to Attend Out-of-District Conference or Workshop in accordance with the following procedure:


  1. Please review the Application to attend Out-of-District Conference or Workshop in order to facilitate completing it with all of the required questions and documentation.

  2. Complete the Application to attend Out-of-District Conference or Workshop. Be sure to attach the requested documentation and obtain the needed signatures from your department/grade level leader and Principal.

    1. The application and accompanying paperwork should be submitted in full no less than three weeks before the date of the professional development event.

  3. Send all of the required paperwork to the Director of Curriculum and Instruction. The Director will review the Application and respond within one week of receiving the application.

    1. Submitting a well thought out and complete application will facilitate the approval process.

    2. If questions arise from the content of the application, the Director will return the application or communicate in another means to resolve any issues with the current application.

  4. A copy of approved applications will be returned to the Educator and their Principal/Director. Upon receiving your approved application, please submit your absence on Substitute Online and request substitute coverage as needed.

  5. The Director of Curriculum and Instruction will then send the approved application, short-term request for leave, and purchase order to the Director of Business and Finance for processing.


All forms and procedures related to professional development can be found under the District website. Log-in to the website to access faculty and staff only information under the staff tab.


Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have.


Enjoy February Break!


Best,

Melanie

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