Happy Friday! This has been a busy week. Below is a brief recap.
We began our week by reviewing RFP submissions for the programmatic review. I am happy to be serving on a committee with so many committed folks. Thanks to Frank Antonelli for leading the efforts. Thanks also to Alison Manugian, Angela Donahue, Christine Muir, Bud Robertson, and Lucas Smith for their great work on this team. Also thanks to Michael Knight for his background support. We will be interviewing a finalist soon.
Also this week, I worked with Jill Greene and Dianna Fulreader as we begin to prepare our application for a Safe and Drug Free Schools grant. This is a competitive grant through the state. The grant is intended "to develop action plans that organize, integrate, and sustain school and district-wide efforts to create safe and supportive school environments and coordinate and align student support initiatives."
On Monday evening, I had the chance to attend the high school open house. It was PACKED! It was a great night for parents to learn about their students' classes and to learn a bit more about our expanding dual enrollment partnership with Middlesex Community College.
On Tuesday, the Budget and Finance Subcommittee met. We reviewed FY 2015-2016 year end financials, the FY 2017 budget transfers, and the FY 2017-2018 budget calendar.
It was a pleasure to conduct a site visit to the high school this week. In addition to going into classrooms, I was able to observe Ambassador Chowdury speak with a group of students at the high school. Student Michael Sucheki did a great job organizing and facilitating this discourse. In speaking later with the Ambassador, he remarked at how impressed he was with the questions posed by our students.
It was great fun to participate on the PD committee again this week. We had our first meeting on Thursday. During this meeting, we had various but equally important tasks. My group was involved in conducting a review and making recommendations for next year's calendar in regards to professional development days.
On Thursday evening, I had the pleasure of attending the Middle School Open House. In the opening presentation, we heard about their PRIDE initiative, heard from the MSPTO, and heard about the great work of GDEF.
It was my great honor to be a part of the Betsy Sawyer Day celebrations. To read more about the event, please click on this Lowell Sun article.
Please click on this link and consider attending this vital presentation by our State Auditor on October 12th. Learn about Auditor Suzanne M. Bump's recommendations for how the state can reduce its impact on municipal finances.
Pupil Personnel Services (Submitted by Jill Greene)
Please join the Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC), Director of Pupil Personnel Services Jill Greene, and Superintendent Dr. Kristan Rodriguez, on September 27th for an initial discussion on developing a plan for district and SEPAC collaborative partnership initiatives. We would appreciate your input.
All are welcome. We are offering two options:
September 27th, 9:30 to 10:30 am at Prescott
September 27th, 6:00 to 7:00 pm at the HS
In a new addition to my blog, are some portions of principal outreach. As these items often are only shared at the school level, I wanted to share some of the neat things happening across the district!
Florence Roche (Submitted by Principal Garden)
You might notice that students and staff have a little more pep in their step on Wednesdays. This year, Florence Roche is doing Workout Wednesdays every week! Staff are encouraged to wear workout gear to school. Classrooms are working in extra movement throughout the day. For example, one third grade class started their day with yoga this week. Another classroom took a break and went for a walk around the back track. When the students arrive in the morning, we have music playing and everyone dances in the lobby; then everyone is encouraged to dance their way to class. At recess time, some grades have had surprise dance parties with the principal! We even have a teacher who is running a movement/stretching class before school for staff to start their day with a mini workout. There may even be more surprises that happen on Workout Wednesdays...stay tuned! As Marie Montessori said, "Watching a child makes it obvious that the development of the mind comes from movement." So, let's get moving FloRo!
High School (Submitted by Principal Woodlock)
It has been a very busy week at the High school. It was great to see such a strong turnout for our Open House this week. Additionally, we hosted our annual activities fair. So many of our students participate in clubs and activities and it is an essential part of the overall experience at GHRHS. On Wednesday we were honored to host a visit from former Under-Secretary of the United Nations, Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury who visited with students as part of the International Peace Day and Betsy Sawyer Day celebrations in town. We had our second installment of Advisory. This years theme is focused on improving physical and mental well-being. We all watched Shawn Anchor’s TedTalk video on how productivity is directly linked to happiness. https://www.
In dedication to Betsy’s love of literacy, I composed and read a poem at her dedication day. I was but one small portion of the amazing day of celebration, but I was asked to share it with a wider audience so here goes.
I can close my eyes and conjure vivid images of Betsy on her powder blue and white scooter
Smiling her smile, spreading both hands wide to embrace all who come near
Sharing her message
In the cimmerian shadow of our great personal loss
We are left with the imprint of her mission
With the tangible pages of her dream
I look upon the grand book
Where the billowing pages themselves are less relevant
Than the concept of her unwavering vision to give voice
Her goal was to provide a platform
For children to be dreamers
To be audacious in their quest
Her students not only carry the torch, but became the beacon
Flickering cobalt flames, emblazoned in their vibrancy
They tackle hatred and war
That is Betsy’s legacy.
For her, I will do an act of peace each day on this day for the rest of my life.
High School Visit
Betsy Sawyer Day