A message from Superintendent Greulich
March 18, 2018
It certainly has been an interesting March! With a little bit of luck from New England Mother Nature as yet another storm is predicted, we will have tallied a total of 5 snow days (and not 6), pushing our last day of school to Wednesday, June 20. Thank you for your patience and understanding as I weighed a myriad of factors to arrive at the various cancellations, 2-hour delays, and early dismissal calls.
Much has been written, advised, objected to, and advocated for regarding the national student-led event on March 14. I have spoken to colleagues who will absolutely ‘punish’ students for leaving class and others who stand with students in allowing them a voice, which is their right. I am in the latter camp. I supported our students in this expression that did not constitute a material and substantial disruption of the school environment. Technically it is a ‘walk-in’ defined as: Students plan to leave class at a specific time and congregate on school property for part of the school day. A ‘walk-out’ is defined as: Students plan to leave class at a specific time, but instead of congregating on school property, depart campus and congregate on adjoining or nearby non-school property. This is generally considered as disruptive.
A group of our high school student leaders, led by Olivia Rainville, led this effort in a highly respectful and thoughtful way with the notion of ‘Linked as One’ not as a political statement but, rather, as an expression of solidarity and unification around the themes of safety, community, and kindness. They circled the bus loop in silent remembrance, while balloons bearing the names of the victims from Parkland, Florida were released, and then proceeded to the field house to sign a unifying banner. Hildreth students assembled in the cafeteria to read the names of the victims. Whitcomb students also gathered in the cafeteria (grades 5 and 6) and in the back of the school (grades 7 and 8) in a similar respectful assembly. Teachers will continue this ‘teachable moment’ discussion in classrooms over the next few weeks. We are most proud of our MPS students!
Plans for the new elementary school to be built on Poirier Drive are progressing well. Mayor Vigeant, the architects, and I presented the project to the Finance Subcommittee of the City Council recently and were gratified by their vote of confidence in moving the project forward to the full Committee. If all goes as planned, this model school project will progress in an accelerated fashion and will be open in time for the beginning of school in Fall 2020.
Finally, I cannot underscore enough the importance of the upcoming round of MCAS tests that our students will soon be embarking on, not only to inform students and families as to readiness for the next grade level, but also to inform our curriculum, assessment, and instruction moving forward. This year 25% of the 10th graders will also take a pilot on-line mathematics test with an eye to having all high school tests on-line in Spring 2019. We are fortunate that our infrastructure and the availability of working devices throughout the District will aid in the successful testing for all our students in grades 3-high school.
Wishing all our students well on their MCAS tests and on a successful last quarter of the school year!
Maureen Greulich, Superintendent