Creating Connections - January 8, 2016
A weekly message from Interim Superintendent Dr. Marco C. Rodrigues
January 8, 2016 - Volume 1, Issue 3
Happy New Year! I hope that everyone took the opportunity to spend the holiday break with family and friends and enjoy some rest and relaxation.
As we approach the midpoint of the school year, it is gratifying to look back on the progress we have made. However, much is yet to be accomplished and challenges remain. I am asking for your help in meeting these challenges with a renewed sense of purpose. I truly believe that the commitment and perseverance of the staff of the Worcester Public Schools is second to none. By working together, we will continue to provide high quality, effective instruction for every student every day.
This week, while visiting McGrath Elementary School and Midland Street School, I witnessed the commitment, dedication, and perseverance of our teachers providing small group instruction, facilitating whole-classroom lessons, organizing students in centers, and providing the “high quality teaching and learning” we all strive for. A big shout out to Mr. Gribbons and his grade 6 students who were working diligently on illustrative vocabulary.
Celebrations and Updates
On Monday, January 4, members of the Worcester School Committee and Worcester City Council were sworn in at an inauguration event held at the Hanover Theatre for Performing Arts. Mayor Joseph M. Petty said he will call for an enhanced health program for Worcester Public School students to keep them active, safe, and productive. Members of the School Committee are Dianna L. Biancheria, Donna M. Colorio, Jack L. Foley, Molly O. McCullough, John F. Monfredo and Brian A. O'Connell. The mayor also serves as chairman of the School Committee. The committee unanimously elected Mr. O'Connell as its vice chairman.
Mass Insight Education’s Partners in Excellence Award
Three South High Community School Advanced Placement Teachers are among this year’s winners of Mass Insight Education’s Partners in Excellence Award. Mass Insight recognized South High teachers Erin Morrissey Hendricks, Mary Sebring and Tara Vaidya with the award for their work helping more students take AP courses at the high school. In total, 54 teachers around the state won the award this year. Winners will be honored at Mass Insight’s Partners in Excellence Award Celebration on April 5 in Boston.
West Tatnuck Books for Argentina
For the past year, the Intermediate Life Skills students in Nicole Scavone’s classroom at West Tatnuck School have engaged in a collaboration with the students of the Worcester Public Schools Transition Program and a group of student volunteers from the College of the Holy Cross. Together, the group created books that are both written in Spanish, and also in Spanish Braille, and that are also tactile and interactive. These books were designed for children in Argentina, who are both deaf and blind.
On December 17, 2015, the group members had the opportunity to host Marcela Zamponi, Headmaster of the Fatima Institute for Special Education in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At that time, the group presented her with the first two books they authored for her students.
Congratulations to all involved in this innovative and exciting program which expands our "Worcester Reads 20" initiative beyond our city to those children in need.
Worcester County Superintendent Association Scholars Award
On Tuesday, January 5, I had the honor of joining our high school principals at the Worcester County Superintendent Association Scholars Luncheon, which took place at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The luncheon honors selected high school seniors from Worcester County for their academic, social, and civic achievements.
I am pleased to congratulate Worcester’s recipients:
Burncoat High: Laurana Nyman; Claremont Academy: Jaqueline Alvarez; Doherty High: Aubrey Leary and Madeleine Lerner; North High: Allen Quang and Rachel Dao; South High: Kenneth Adusei and Dominik Danko; University Park Campus: Sibgha Javaid; and Worcester Technical: Abeeku Bondzie and Tauny Tambolleo.
I am pleased to announce that the Posse Foundation has chosen six Worcester high school students as recipients of full four-year tuition scholarships. These scholarships are awarded to students who have not only succeeded academically but have also demonstrated leadership and are committed to building community and celebrating diversity with their schools.
Worcester’s Posse Scholars are:
Burncoat High: Alswell Tulasi – Denison University; Madeline McKenney-Lydick – Denison University; Doherty High: Tavian Vassar – Bucknell University; Dmone Walker – Centre College; South High: Ngoc Ngo – Hamilton College; and Worcester Technical: Esmely Munoz – Hamilton College.
Worcester Public Schools Featured in Education Week
Education Week, a national newspaper covering K – 12 education has published an article highlighting Worcester Public Schools’ successful efforts in turning around its chronically underperforming schools. The article entitled In School Turnaround Efforts, Massachusetts Enlists Districts features the good work of our staff at Union Hill, Chandler Elementary, Burncoat Elementary and Elm Park Schools in addition to district staff in improving student achievement.
Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA)
The MSBA informed the City Manager that Doherty High School, Burncoat High School and Worcester East Middle School 2015 SOIs will not be invited into the MSBA’s Eligibility Period.
Did you know...
Did you know that:
- over 90 languages are spoken in the Worcester Public Schools?
- Worcester has the highest percentage (35%) of English Language Learners (ELL) in the state?
- our ELLs graduate at a significant higher rate than the state? Four year graduation cohort: WPS 75.8% - MA 63.9%
Upcoming Week's Events
School Health and Wellness Ambassador Program
Healthy students equal better learners. That is why we would like to identify one or more parent, staff, nurse, and students from each of the WPS middle and high schools to be part of a school health ambassador team. Each team will work to promote wellness within their school. The next meeting will be held Tuesday, January 19th at 3pm at Doherty High. For more information or to join, please contact Carol Manning at 508-799-3075 (firstname.lastname@example.org).