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

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