Friday, January 29, 2016

January 29, 2016

Superintendent's Blog
As we approach the month where the majority of snow days have historically hit us, I want to take this opportunity to remind people about signing up for automatic text notification when Exeter-West Greenwich Schools are cancelled, delayed, or released early. Use the link below to take advantage of this very convenient benefit. The link can also be found on the main page of the District website.
I am very happy to announce the return of Mrs. Erica Killian to the mathematics department at the Senior High School. We are so excited to have her back with us! Mrs. Killian's return certainly adds to an already strong and dedicated department.
Stars of the Week
On January 20th, I was notified that our District was chosen to represent excellence in Visual Arts learning through the "Gift of Art to the State of Rhode Island." Each year, the Rhode Island Alliance for Arts Education selects one District that best exemplifies the following criteria:
  • Enthusiastic, positive, and personalized learning
  • Interdisciplinary curriculum
  • A variety of creative resouorces
  • Qualified and dedicated leadership
  • Exploration of a wide variety of activities with diverse solutions
Congratulations to our District art teachers: Kristen Beaulieu, Sharon LaFrenaye, Amie Ray, Nicole Pichette and Elizabeth Lind for inspiring our learners to be creative. Nine pieces of student art representative of the K-12 program will be professionally framed and permanently exhibited at the University of Rhode Island Providence campus. Teachers, administrators, student artists and their families will be recognized at a ceremony on May 19th at the exhibit site in Providence. Additionally, the School Committee will recognize this outstanding group of educators at its next regularly scheduled meeting on February 9th.
As a side note, Mrs. Lind, our Fine Arts Department Chair at the Junior-Senior High School, will be giving a lecture this weekend with a Brown University archaeologist at the RISD Museum. Check out the write up below....... VERY impressive!
Double Take: Marble Sculpture 
January 31, 3 pm 

A carved marble portrait offers the opportunity to explore not only the powerful Roman woman depicted, but also the 18th-century practice of combining ancient pieces with other sculptural elements. Sculptor Elizabeth Lind and Anne Hunnell Chen, from Brown University's Department of History of Art and Architecture and Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, discuss the history and construction of the Portrait of Agrippina the Younger.
Additional Information
Don't forget about the annual Metcalf BINGO event this Sunday at Metcalf Elementary School starting at 1:00 PM. This is a lot of fun for the whole family - Please come and join us!
Thank you to the Exeter-West Greenwich School Committee for their continued commitment to our schools. This week, the School Committee committed funds to update band instruments at Metcalf and the JSHS. Additionally, they have committed funding necessary to complete the STEM park at the JSHS and update/improve the Lineham playground. The District continues to ensure that our facilities and programs are designed to optimize the learning environment for all kids. Thank you!!
Have a wonderful weekend. Look for my next blog post scheduled for publication just prior to the February winter recess.

Monday, January 18, 2016

January 18, 2016

Happy New Year! My first blog post of 2016 features several staff and student highlights. If there is ever an individual, and event, or an accomplishment that you would like me to highlight, please send a quick e-mail to my attention.

Stars of the Week:
Last Tuesday evening, the School Committee recognized Jenna Bridges for being named the Rhode Island Girl's Volleyball Gatorade Player of the Year. This is an incredible honor for Jenna and the Exeter-West Greenwich Regional School District.  Included below is an excerpt from the official press release announcing Jenna's accomplishment:


In its 31st year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Jenna Bridges of Exeter-West Greenwich High School as its 2015-16 Gatorade Rhode Island Volleyball Player of the Year. Bridges is the second Gatorade Rhode Island Volleyball Player of the Year to be chosen from Exeter-West Greenwich High School.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Bridges as Rhode Island’s best high school volleyball player. Bridges joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including USA Volleyball players Kim Glass (2001-02, Horseshoe HS, Penn.), Kim Willoughby (1998-99, 1999-00, Assumption HS, La.) and Ogonna Nnamani (1999-00, University HS, Ill).

The 6-foot-2 senior middle hitter recorded 501 kills, 108 digs, 74 blocks and 37 service aces this past season, leading the Scarlet Knights (16-3) to the Division I state quarterfinals. The 2015 Division I Player of the Year, Bridges posted a .507 kill percentage and a .378 hitting percentage. A two-time First Team All-State selection, she concluded her prep volleyball career with 963 kills and 212 blocks.

Bridges has maintained a 3.36 GPA in the classroom. An avid musician who plays the piano, trombone, clarinet, flute and drums, she has volunteered locally as a peer math tutor and as part of multiple community-service initiatives through her church youth group. “Even when trying to set up a specific game plan against Jenna, she still was able to be effective,” said Doug Bliven, head coach of Chariho High. “Even though we knew where the ball was going, it still didn’t matter. If not for her, there is no way that team would have been that successful this season.”

Bridges has signed a National Letter of Intent to play volleyball on scholarship at the University of Hartford in the fall of 2016.
Staff Recognitions:
Congratulations to Karen Purtill, a member of the Senior High School mathematics department, for fulfilling her dream and placing FIRST in the United States in her age group in the 2016 Cyclocross National Championship. Mrs. Purtill is an amazing math teacher who can now add this impressive accomplishment to her resume. Check out her interview upon completing the race earlier this month by following the link below:

                                      Karen Purtill 2016 Cyclocross National Champion

The Rhode Island Department of Education is featuring a monthly blog post that highlights one of the 2016 District Teachers of the Year. This month, Exeter-West Greenwich is the featured District and Sharon LaFrenaye has posted a thoughful piece about how the arts are critical to student achievement. Please take a moment to read Sharon's post called STEM to STEAM by following the link below:

Last week, I had the opportunity to listen to a group of kindergarten students from Mrs. Cash's class meet with their principal to share their science notebooks and discuss their learning about the parts of trees.

Above, Henry, Keara and Gabriella proudly answer questions posed by Principal Marino as they share their favorite drawings included in their science ntebooks. Well done!!!!

Congratulations to Jenna, Karen, Sharon, and the students from Mrs. Cash's kindergarten class for making us all proud to be members of the EWG community.

Please look for my next blog post, which will be released in approximately two weeks (roughly February 1st). Enjoy the snow!