Dear Parents, Students, Teachers, Staff and Community Members,
We are coming to the end of a very successful school year, with a half day for students this coming Friday. I appreciate your support of our students and educators as they worked hard to achieve our district’s mission:
to foster in our students a passion for learning, and to provide a safe nurturing environment in which they can develop the values, knowledge and skills needed to achieve full potential in their personal, social and work lives, and to become contributing members of society.
We celebrated the graduation of 257 students on Sunday June 12, 2016 from Marblehead High School. Marblehead High School students received honors in academics, art, music and athletics. As a comprehensive high school, Marblehead takes pride in preparing all our students for success post-graduation.
Below please find some of our district accomplishments in 2015-16:
- Our Schools Marblehead High School moved into DESE Level 1 designation (highest, reflecting student growth) based on student performance on state tests. The Coffin Elementary School was recognized as a 2015 Massachusetts Commendation School for High Progress.
- Teachers and Staff We bid farewell and thanks to MHS principal Layne Millington and Village principal Theresa McGuinness and welcome incoming MHS principal Daniel Bauer and Interim Village principal Amanda Murphy. In addition, congratulations to the 8 staff members who are retiring from our district: Donna November, Maribeth Barrell, Judith Beaulieu, Kathy Edwards, Nancy Smith, Debora DeBerardinis, Sandra LeFleur, and Kerry O’Shaughnessy. Collectively they represent over 200 years of experience! We wish them the very best for a healthy, happy retirement, and we thank them for their dedication to the children of Marblehead.
- Communication /Community Outreach We began a series of successful conversations between the Superintendent/ Central Administration and the public. A new district webpage has been rolled out. We will be piloting a data dashboard next fall.
- Curriculum Development and Alignment At the district level, our primary focus remains, as it has for the last three years, on Curriculum development and alignment. We continue to implement our multi-year curriculum review and revision plan in grades K-12, aligning to the State Curriculum Frameworks. Please click here.
- Instruction A key strategic priority of the district is building capacity for differentiated instruction, i.e. addressing the diverse needs, interests, and levels of readiness of all students, and shaping instruction to meet the student; we continue to provide professional development in differentiated instruction.
- School Culture Another key focus for improved academic and behavioral outcomes at the K-8 level has been implementation of the PBIS framework (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support) which provides a systematic approach to school-wide behavioral supports and interventions. Please click here.
- Assessment We have formed a district-wide assessment planning team, involving teachers and administrators who are identifying, analyzing and mapping assessments across grade levels. Connected to this work, we have developed a K-12 assessment continuum and schedule for Marblehead. Please click here.
- Professional Development Educator growth remains a key priority in Marblehead with professional development occurring in curriculum, instruction, assessment and school climate, focused on four key areas: curriculum mapping and unit development, assessment literacy and data use, math differentiation, and implementation of the PBIS framework in grades K-8.
- Budget Aligning with district mission and vision, our primary budgetary goals for school year 2015-2016 were to provide students with the highest quality administrative and instructional staff, curriculum and assessment tools, and an environment conducive to the potential of greatest student achievement.
- MSBA & Gerry School This school year saw great strides towards addressing our facility issues in the Coffin/Gerry schools. The Gerry School Feasibility Study was approved at Town Meeting May 2nd and at the ballot box on June 12th. We thank the voters for having the confidence in MPS to carry out this long-term project.
- Facility Improvements (Facility Maintenance Master Plan) Much of the capital budget for the district this year targeted the High School HVAC system, in need of major work. Other projects included: Bell School flooring replacement; upper Bell smoke/heat/carbon monoxide fire alarm system; lighting system ballasts and bulb replacement; purchase of microbus for Special Ed; addition of full time plumber and a second full time electrician.
- Technology Department An Instructional Technology Specialist was added to integrate technology into the curriculum; replacement of 141 desktop CPUs and 90 laptops across the district; increased the number of radios at MHS, replaced firewall and wireless network at Bell School; added access points to Coffin and Gerry Schools; Village School network switch infrastructure replacement; central core fiber switch replaced at MHS; new servers for the Citrix XenServer Farm and wireless controller; replacement server for the Bell School; launch of new District web site design.
- FY17 Budget We move forward into FY17 with a balanced budget and the ability to fund plans for continued district achievement across curriculum, facilities, technology and social wellness initiatives. The FY17 budget discussion encompassed three major themes and success indicators, the primary focus being on funding to balance historical salary line deficits within the operating budget and the opportunity for salary and expense budget sustainability. The school administration worked with School Committee, Finance Committee, Town Finance and the community to find creative solutions. Additional priorities and budgetary planning included continued curriculum alignment, coupled with associated professional development, and developing/advancing appropriate programming for our special student populations including special education and ELL (English Language Learners). Please click here.
I applaud our teachers, staff and administrators for the extraordinary work they have done throughout the year to prepare all our students to become successful adults. I thank the parents, students and community members for their partnership and dedication to Marblehead education.
I look forward to the continued success of Marblehead Public Schools as we remain focused and committed to our students, and wish you all a wonderful summer!