Friday, September 16, 2011

Off To a Great Start!

What a great start to the year!   Although Irene threw us a little bit of a curve ball, the school year got started on a great note.   The buildings opened to students in what has been described as the one of the quietest and orderly starts in years.  That was the goal!   I see three key factors contributing to this:  (1) the move into the Middle-High School is complete and established routines are in place; (2) each building and district department has a focused leader that was prepared and organized to meet his/her staff and address the goals and expectations for the year; (3) faculty and staff are invested and engaged in their profession and ready to work.  Additionally the facilities were sparkling.  Joe Lucido and the entire maintenance crew did a superb job of readying the building for opening day.  Here are few back-to-school highlights…

·        Pre-K has a new location at Memorial – they have moved into the library.  It is a bright and spacious area that can accommodate our future goals of expanding the program.  The library has moved next door and merged with the computer lab to form the Media Center!  This will allow for collaborative information literacy projects and the IPad Literacy Pilot Project sponsored by the Spaulding Trust. 

·         Over the summer we were able to upgrade both elementary technology labs.  If you recall this was on our small cap project list for FY12.  We were able to accomplish this by using s funds from FY11 sale of the buses. 

·         Know Atom Science is in place, teachers have been trained and they are ready to implement grades 3-6 for the upcoming year.

·         Boston Magazine Best School edition has ranked MERSD 6th in the state and the Middle School received the Most Improved Superlative for increasing its MCAS scores!   It is great positive reinforcement to start the year.

My back to school message to the staff and the community is a simple one:  We are a great district, but there is always room for improvement and the way we accomplish that is by functioning as team, collaborating and challenging each other to get better, and keeping the kids at the center of all we do.