Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16, 2015

Once every two weeks, I publish a blog to highlight some of the many outstanding individuals and events that remind us all of the privilege we have to be a part of Exeter-West Greenwich!

Stars of the Week:
Sometimes, the work that goes on "behind the scenes" goes unrecognized. However, I can assure you that our support staff is absolutely critical to the success of Exeter-West Greenwich schools. Although we probably don't say it enough, THANK YOU for what you do every day for our children , our communities and our schools.
Above: Metcalf Secretary Jeanette Rathbun, District Data Clerk and Student Information System Technician Julie Dionne, and Teacher Assistant Karen Taraska collaborate in the Metcalf office recently. This dynamic trio is just one of many examples of the talented staff that help make our schools great places to learn.
Recently, I was invited to a kindergarten student's presentation of the individualized work he has been completing with teacher Mrs. Pigeon. Ethan loves dinosaurs, so Mrs. Pigeon helped to design a project-based learning opportunity where Ethan completed dinosaur math, read about and wrote stories about dinosaurs, and built a Lego representation of "Jurrasic Park" as part of his culminating project.
Ethan invited many individuals to his presentation, including his mom and several school staff members. He proudly read us the book that he wrote with Mrs. Pigeon about dinosaurs and then talked about his Lego creation.
As a school district, we are committed to finding the right "hook" for every child. We want to build academic and social skills, but also encourage creativity and love for learning. Ethan's huge smile says it all. I look forward to the many more amazing things that he will do with Mrs. Pigeon as they continue their work together at Wawaloam!
Ethan W. and Mrs. Pigeon

Additional Information:
The support of families and our community has made the PTA annual walk-a-thon fundraiser a tremendous success. The PTA continues to support our schools with funding for amazing learning opportunities - including resources, school-wide field trips, and guest performances. Thank you to the PTA officers and members for their efforts to make this new event such a success. We all appreciate it more than you know!
On Wednesday evening (11/18/15) the district will host a parent forum to educate parents and the community about drug use, recent state and national trends - including misuse of otherwise legal substances, and dangers and warning signs. The event will be held at 6:00 PM in the JSHS auditorium, and it is open to all. Awareness is everyone's responsibility. If there is ever a topic that requires us all to be unified and consistent - this is it. Our children deserve our support.
PARCC scores will be public this week. I am planning an evening presentation to share our district's results and discuss how they will be used in EWG as one measure to inform our work. As Superintendent, I do not support nor encourage "teaching to the test." We will continue to focus on providing a high quality education for all children that focuses on academic rigor and engaging instruction. If we continue to do these things well, then the evidence of learning will naturally occur. Once we have identified the date for this event, it will be widely publicized.
My next blog post will be after the Thanksgiving recess. I hope you all enjoy this time with your families. I am looking forward to it myself!
Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!
Jim Erinakes

Monday, November 2, 2015

October 30, 2015

October 30, 2015

This week, my blog focuses on two topics: Recognizing the Lineham preschool program and preparing for the release of the first round of PARCC assessment results.

Lineham houses our District's public preschool program - a program that was the first public early childhood facility to earn a "4-star" rating through the Bright Stars tiered assessment system supported by the Rhode Island Department of Education. With the support of Mrs. Corsi, our Early Childhood Coordinator, Exeter-West Greenwich continues to seek quality improvement funds (another component of the Bright Stars program) to support ongoing improvements toward the ultimate goal of a "5 star" rating. For more information on Bright Stars, follow the link below.


Most recently, Lineham has written for and been awarded funds to support the development of an expanded outdoor play area for children to engage in structured and free play. This is an area that we know will help improve our program rating, but most importantly it will allow us to expand the opportunities for our youngest children to thrive.

Lineham added a third preschool classroom at the start of this school year and we were fortunate to welcome (below, left to right) Mrs. Pastore, Mrs. Hart, and teacher Mrs. Schofield to Lineham.

Mrs. Dunford, Teacher Mrs. Piermettai, and Mrs. Lagergren (left to right in both photos below) dressed in themed costumes this past Thursday as the children participated in their costume parade.
Below, Teacher Mrs. Chaves, Mrs. Stomberg and Mrs. Lorme enjoy the fabulous October weather last week with their students.

It is important to recognize all who contribute to the incredible learning environment that defines Lineham. Below is Mrs. Fornuto (Occupational Therapist), Mrs. Angell-Flynn (Speech and Language Pathologist) and Mrs. Babcock.

Finally, I would like to thank the PTA for supporting special programs and expanded learning opportunities for the children at Lineham, including the recent walk-a-thon and guest musician Barbi Beyer from Sing with B Music. I had the opportunity to see the kids (and the staff) signing and dancing along with our guest musician last week. It was awesome!

The District prepares for the release of PARCC results

This month, Exeter-West Greenwich will receive feedback on the first year of implementation of the new state assessment program. These results are important to us, as they will be used to establish our baseline performance and will provide us with valuable information to help us identify areas of strength and areas of focus with respect to our K-12 curriculum.  Test results will be used for no other reason other than to help us improve our practice and ensure that we are providing learning opportunities that effectively balance the academic rigor established by the Common Core State Standards and the creativity and high levels of student engagement prioritized through our District's 5-year strategic plan. More information will be shared as it becomes available.

To view blogs posted by principals at all of our schools, please follow the links below:

Wawaloam Blog (Posted by Principal Marino):

Metcalf Blog (Posted by Principal Ratigan):

JHS Blog (Posted by Principal Slattery):

SHS Blog (Posted by Principal Chandler):

Happy November! My next blog is scheduled to be posted on November 13th.