Friday, March 13, 2015

Superintendent's Notes

PARCC Testing

When I was at the Finance Committee meeting on Monday night, I picked up a Boston Parents Paper in the lobby of Town Hall.  You can also find the article I am referencing online at:

 Bostonparentspaper.com

I found one article that was titled "State of Education: Is PARCC The Next Generation Assessment Test Massachusetts Is Searching For.  I liked this article because it highlighted that there will undoubtedly be some sort of next generation assessment.  Whether the State Board of Education adopts PARCC as it is or whether they request the Commissioner of Education to redesign MCAS to be just like PARCC, this is the type of assessment testing our students will be receiving in the future.  The reason is that traditional achievement test measured content knowledge and this new generation of testing measures applied knowledge through problem solving as well as content knowledge.

I have been hearing from the principals that there are increasing request to opt out of PARCC.  The short answer is that we have been told by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) that we should notify the public that opting out is not an option this year.  We have to put a test in front of each student.

 However, I think the more important message is that this assessment is preparing our children for the type of test that will dictate their graduation.  Any child graduating after 2019 will have to pass this type of test.  My youngest daughter will not be graduating until 2022,  I was ecstatic that her school is also administering PARCC.  I want her to have as much experience as possible with these next generation assessments.  My hope is that this additional year will prepare her to excel at theses types of tests and utilize that learning in her post high school years.   We try to make our decisions based on what is best for our students during and beyond school attendance.

I applaud our teachers and administration for being willing to participate in PARCC this year.  The transition has net been easy but our current students as well as future students will benefit from the experience of being the first group in the state to participate and learn from this new generation of testing.

SEPAC Meeting

On Wednesday, March 18th at 7pm, the Maynard SEPAC will meet in the Fowler School library. Director of Student Services, Jill Greene, will be the guest speaker to give updates on Special Education in Maynard. Topics for discussion will be the most recent Special Education survey, parent discussion groups, the status of current programming, staff, and district initiatives, and professional development plans. This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to sepacchair@maynard.k12.ma.us or call 978-897-2705.

Boys and Girls Club Sign Ups

NERF LASER BATTLE: You children won’t want to miss this great event!!  Join the folks from Guard Up! As they transform the Boys and Girls Club into an amazing arena utilizing inflatable obstacles for a Nerf Laser Battle!  This program is a mix of storytelling and imaginative play with Nerf and laser blasters along with lessons in teamwork and creative problem solving all while fighting off the zombie hordes!  Participants will fight monsters and solve puzzles while honing their social skills and developing confidence and leadership qualities through games that require strategy and teamwork.  Why pick up a video game when you can experience the action unplugged?

DEADLINE TO REGISTER IS MONDAY MARCH 16!!!!
Boys and Girls Club Gym: Saturday March 21, 11:00AM – 1:00 PM.  FEE: $30
All participants must have a completed waiver filled out before participation found online: www.guardup.com/event 

MAYNARD SUMMER ACTIVITIES FAIR! Join local vendors, businesses, camps and programs on Sunday March 15th from 1:00 – 4:00pm at the Boys and Girls Club for the first Maynard Summer Activities Fair.  This free to the public event will feature a wide range of local youth activities ranging from typical day camps and programs, preschool programs, arts, science, enrichment, gymnastics, sports, archery,  dance, music and more.  This fair gives parents an amazing opportunity to meet the directors, ask questions and find out information on great summer options for their children.  Programs that will be in attendance are Toddler Time, Boys and Girls Club full and half day programs, Excel, Wicked Cool for Kids, Warriors Way, Club Invention, Kids Cooking Green, Revolution Yoga, Miss Tricia’s Dance Studio, Art Signals, Music Together of Assabet Valley, Denault Studios, 77 Arts Academy, On the Mark Archery, and Top 100 Basketball with more expected to add to the line-up. 


Nick Cacciolfi
Director of Operations
Boys and Girls Club of Assabet Valley
212 Great Road
Maynard MA 01754

PI Day

Pi Day is usually celebrate on March 14th to represent 3.14.  This coming Saturday is a once in a century alignment when March 14, 2015 can be represented as 3.14:15.   If you chose to celebrate Pi Day at 9:26 and 53 seconds in the morning the notation would be 3.14:15:9:26:53.

Important Events and Reminders:    
                                                                                                 
In an effort to streamline the Superintendent’s Notes, I will provide important upcoming events or announcements that have already been posted in previous Superintendent’s Notes in this section.

The Green Meadow 2nd Grade Hoops-A-Thon 

The Green Meadow PTO looks forward to this event every year to watch the 2nd graders show off their shooting skills in the GM gym while pledging for the Grace Vernal Pool Study.  These dribblers are raising funds for the 2015/2016 second-grade class, who will get to participate in the year-long hands-on study with habitat naturalists from Mass Audubon. Students learn about natural wonders in the classroom and get to see how the school’s vernal pool grounds change throughout the seasons. This memorable and educational experience for students is made possible through the funds that the GM PTO raises.

Please help these Hoops-A-Thoners reach this year’s goal of fully funding this $4,000 program, by pledging for a current 2nd grader, or send a check to the GM school made out to GM PTO, in an envelope marked GM PTO Vernal Pool.

Your contribution is tax deductible and the entire amount will be used directly for this unique interactive program at our school.

A message from Kevin Caruso, Maynard Athletic Director

Hi Everyone,
Despite all the snow we had, the winter regular season schedule was relatively unharmed and is now complete.  Here are some highlights.
The boys varsity basketball team finished their regular season 16-3. For the second year in a row, they went undefeated in their league and won the league championship. They qualified for both the Clark Tournament and the MIAA Basketball Tournament. They went  1-1 in the Clark Tournament, beating a good Douglas team and lost to Sutton, the two-time defending Clark Champion.  They earned a 4th seed in the MIAA tournament and
played Douglas on Tuesday night. They had a rough start, but didn't quit and came back to make it a game! 

This year the boys program was lucky to have a JV and freshman team. Both teams were young and improved a lot over the course of the season. The JV team was  15-4, only losing to Nashoba, Hopedale and Littleton. The freshman team which played all 9th grade teams, but consisted of mostly 8th graders,  finished 6-8 after starting 0-4.
The middle school boys team was very competitive and worked hard every day. Even though this young group only won 2 games, they never got discouraged and always had a positive attitude on and off the court. This is a great group of kids with tons of potential and should be a great season next winter. The future looks bright for the Maynard Basketball Program. 
The girls varsity basketball team finished 6-14. Needless to say, they had a challenging year, but in the end, I think it was a great learning experience for all who were involved. The team was led by senior captain, Anabelle Dentino, and junior captain, Shannon Smith. The expectation is that the underclassman will work hard in the off-season to improve their game. Basketball is definitely a sport that needs constant practice in order to improve. The JV team worked hard and will also be expected to work on their skills in the off-season.
The girls middle school team won four games, but only lost their games by 8 points or less. They remained competitive all season and were dedicated to constant improvement.
We also had a few student-athletes compete in hockey for Assabet and Wrestling for Nashoba. A summary for those performances will come out with the awards news when I get the information from their coaches.
Jake Kennedy took 3 in the state tournament and Ronan Ball took 2nd place at the State tournament.  Jake Kennedy took 7th and Ronan Ball won the All-State tournament  Friday at Salem High School.  Ronan also won outstanding wrestler in MA and will wrestle in the New England's Friday night in North Andover.

Important Dates:
Wednesday, March 11th: Winter Sports Ceremony, 6:45pm ,  FOWLER AUDITORIUM
Monday, March 16th: High School Spring Sports Start (7-12, Track)/(8-12, Baseball/Softball)/ (8-12, Co-op boys Lacrosse) and (8-12, Co-op girls Rugby)
Monday, March 30th: 7th/8th grade baseball/softball starts 
Maynard High School Principal’s Coffee
The Maynard High School principal’s coffee that was slated for this past Tuesday was snowed out for a second time.  This event has been rescheduled to coincide with the MHS PTO meeting on Thursday March 19rd at 7:00pm in the High School Media Center.  I am looking forward to attending and discussing matters of interest at Maynard High School and across the district.  Please join us!


Bye Bye Birdie" to be Performed at Maynard High School

Maynard High School is proud to present “Bye Bye Birdie”, the popular ‘50s musical, next month. “Bye Bye Birdie” is the story of Albert, a songwriter and manager of Conrad Birdie, a famous rock star, who makes girls and women of any age swoon! Kim, a teen girl from Sweet Apple, OH, is chosen to be the lucky recipient of Conrad’s last, much-publicized kiss before he heads off to war.  Chaos ensues! Kim’s boyfriend is upset, her girlfriends are hysterical and Albert’s long-suffering fiancĂ©e Rose is at war with his overbearing mother!

The talented cast and crew consist of over 50 students from MHS and the Fowler School.  The students have poured hours of their time and effort into rehearsals in order to present this fabulous musical for the enjoyment of the Maynard community and are excited about their contribution to the performing arts in our town.

Performances will be as follows: Saturday, March 14 at 7:00PM; Sunday, March 15 at 2:00 PM; Saturday, March 21 at 7:00 PM and Sunday, March  22 at 2:00 PM. Tickets prices are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Tickets are available online atwww.mktix.com and at scheduled times at the Maynard High School Box Office. 

Thanks so much
Cindy and the cast and crews and BBBirdie!

Camp Invention is coming to Maynard!

The Camp Invention program is a weeklong, nationally-acclaimed summer science and creativity day experience for elementary school children. This is a unique opportunity to help cultivate the ideas critical to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
by encouraging exploration and curiosity through exciting, hands-on activities.  Helping to instill the understanding that science is everywhere, this inquiry-based approach fosters “whole systems” thinkers.  This summer at Camp Invention, children will learn how to think like inventors, problem-solve, collaborate and create – all while having tons of FUN!

Where: Fowler School
When:  July 27-31 from 8:30AM to 3:00PM
Director:  Sharon Drozen
Register:  Visit www.campinvention.org or call 800-968-4332
Sponsored by: EXCEL Programs, Maynard Public Schools

Take a look at Camp Invention in action at youtube.com/campinvention



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