Tuesday, December 29, 2015

December 29, 2015

Happy Holidays! I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year. It is hard to believe that after a spring-like Christmas Eve and Christmas Day we woke up to snow this morning. Welcome to New England!

Stars of the Week
December is a very busy time of year in all of our schools. I had the chance to visit every building during the last few days before winter break and saw many happy, excited children involved in an array of holiday activities. Perhaps one of the most special performances came from Mrs. Gaumond's third grade class, as they sang and signed several holiday songs for their peers, staff and families on Tuesday morning. On Monday, the class performed for the residents of a local Exeter nursing home. Last year, I was able to attend the performance with Mrs. Gaumond's class and the residents were so appreciative.
Thank you, Mrs. Gaumond, for providing such a unique and memorable opportunity for the students in your class. It was obvious from watching your prior year students sign along with the class on Tuesday morning that your children will remember what you have taught them for a long time. Your class holiday performance is something I look forward to every year. It is very special and so are you!
Other News
On December 9th, the District hosted a parent & community forum to discuss the results of the first round of the new state assessment program (PARCC) that took place last year. Those who attended learned that the students in EWG performed exceptionally well, relative to the state and relative to other similar communities. In fact, our junior high school scored in the top ten of all Rhode Island public middle schools in both English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics, and our senior high school scored in the top five of all Rhode Island public high schools in both ELA/Literacy and Mathematics. Our math scores were the second highest in the state!
Given the historical performance of the students in our District, the results come as no surprise. We have an exceptional staff, supportive families and communities, and children who consistently try their best. There is no doubt that Exeter-West Greenwich will continue to shine, regardless of what assessment measure is used by our State. For a full copy of the presentation slides that were released on December 9th, click the link below.
In other news, Exeter-West Greenwich ranked #5 in the State according to the annual golocalprov high school report that was published last week. For a full review of the rankings, click on the link below. Exeter-West Greenwich has maintained a top-five ranking every year since the annual report was first published. Congratulations students, staff and families!
Stay informed throughout the annual school budget development process. Look for a mailing that will be sent to every household in our member towns next week that outlines the important dates and meetings open to the public prior to School Committee adoption of the 2016-17 school budget.
January 12th - School Committee meeting; Initial draft of the budget is presented
January 27th - Budget workshop
February 11th - Joint meeting of the School Committee and Town Councils to review the school
                          budget draft
February 23rd - School Committee meeting; Scheduled adoption of the Superintendent's proposed
Stay warm and wish for a mild winter with snow falling only on weekends. Happy New Year!

Friday, December 4, 2015

December 4, 2015

I hope you all enjoyed a restful Thanksgiving break with families and friends! Now, the countdown to a new year begins. December is always a very active month in our schools as children prepare for the excitement of the upcoming holidays and an extended winter break.

Our Junior-Senior High School theater production of A Christmas Carol will take place this month from December 10th through December 13th. Our talented cast has been rehearsing for quite some time, but they are now in overdrive. A few photos from this afternoon's rehearsal as things were just getting underway:


Join the cast as they present the Charles Dickens classic holiday story A Christmas Carol - A family friendly adaptation of the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, London's most infamous miser who is given a rare chance to change his life for the better by welcoming in the spirit of Christmas.

Performance Dates:
Thursday December 10th @ 7:00PM
Friday December 11th @ 7:00PM
Saturday December 12th @ 7:00PM
Sunday December 13th @ 2:00PM
For more information regarding tickets email: EWGDramaTickets@gmail.com or call 1-800-607-8150

This Saturday, Dec. 5, don't miss the annual EWG Holiday Bazaar, happening at Metcalf Elementary from 9 am to 3 pm. Nearly 70 vendors are on hand to sell their unique gift items, including some of our own EWG teachers, staff and students! Professional Santa photos are available, as well as a full kitchen café, baked goods, kids shopping area (all items $5 or less!), penny social, and a 50/50 raffle, this year benefitting a couple of staff members who are bravely battling cancer. This is a great community event that supports a lot of small businesses as well as our three elementary schools...please join us!
Next Wednesday, the District will host a community forum to present and discuss the results of the first round of PARCC testing that took place last year at Metcalf and our Junior-Senior High School. The event will begin at 6:00 PM in the Metcalf cafetorium. As you may be aware, the District performed very well relative to state averages  and similar communities in both ELA and math. We will be discussing our strengths, areas in need of focus, and action steps going forward. Please join District and school-based administrators, RIDE representative(s), School Committee members and other staff members for what should be a very informative presentation highlighting our schools and our students.
I will be publishing one more blog post before the winter break. Take some time to enjoy some of the many events sponsored by our schools during this time of year to help get you in the holiday spirit!