Monday, August 26, 2013

Welcome Back!

It’s that time!  Summer is drawing to a close, and preparations for the opening of school are just about finished.  Although short, it has been a productive summer around the district.  We have been busy with our traditional “off-season” activities of summer school, technology upgrades, and professional development.  Hiring has also been a focus of our summer work.  This fall we are welcoming not only two new principals to the district,  Patricia Puglisi at the High School and Steve Guditus at the Middle School, but also we have hired eighteen new staff members.  I have enjoyed meeting them all, and I am excited about the experience and student-centered outlook that they will bring to our high performing team.   Meet the New Faculty  

Security Upgrades
In addition to their routine maintenance and cleaning projects, this summer our facilities team has tackled a long project list that included painting, paving, and room moves.   They have also been key players in supporting and managing the contract work associated with the extensive security upgrades at both elementary schools.  Both elementary schools are now equipped with security cameras, uniform and ADA compliant lock systems, and networked phone and all-call communication systems.  Additionally district –wide we have worked collaboratively with local law enforcement to revise our Crisis Plans and standardize our readiness drills.

State of the Elementary Facilities September 3rd at 7:00pm in the Middle High School Library
Please join the School Committee on September 3rd at 7:00pm in the Middle High School Library for a presentation on the state of our elementary facilities.  Habeeb & Associates will be providing an overview of the findings of their recent study of our elementary schools.  The presentation will identify and quantify the short-term costs of maintaining our current facilities as well as  provide suggestions for long-term planning.   Elementary Facilities Needs Assessment

The Habeeb study determined that each of our elementary school buildings has exceeded its useful life and require a plan of action to address the structural and programmatic needs of the district. The annual cost to maintain the Manchester Memorial, built in 1950, and Essex Elementary, constructed in1958, is expected to increase significantly in the next five years.  It is imperative that MERSD formulate a long-term plan to address our declining elementary school facilities in order to responsibly manage costs and to provide students with a safe and environmentally sound learning environment.    

District Calendar
The District Calendar  has been updated and is available in the Quick Links Section of the district and school homepages.  Please note that the last day of school if all snow days are used will be June 25th without the use of snow days we are scheduled for the last day of school to be June 18th. 

How to Stay Informed
The How to Stay Informed Quick Link is located on the district and school homepages.  It provides a one page reference of online resources that will help to keep you informed of school and district events and activities.  We are always working to improve home-school communications.  We hope these resources will be of help in strengthening the lines of communication.

Upcoming Events
·         State of the Elementary Schools Presentation:  September 3rd @ 7:00pm MERMHS Library
·         Open Houses
o   Essex Elementary:  TBA
o   Memorial School: September 4th @ 6:00 pm
o   Middle School:  September 12th @  6:30pm
o   High School: September 19th @ 2013 at 7:00 pm
·         Parent/Student Athlete Fall Sports Meeting:  September 8th @ 6:30 pm MERMHS Auditorium.
·         Social Media Presentation at MERHS:  September 11th @ 6:30 pm MERMHS Auditorium.

Enjoy the final days of summer.  
We are looking forward to seeing you and the students on Wednesday!