Tuesday, March 29, 2016

March 24, 2016

Superintendent's Blog
This past Tuesday, Metcalf students, teachers and administrators presented to the Exeter-West Greenwich School Committee about the exciting work that is happening at their school. Mrs. Ratigan and Mrs. Fish introduced the presentation as a focus on how learning at Metcalf has been designed to deeply engage students in meaningful work. School Committee members and district administrators visited several stations where students demonstrated examples of truly engaging learning experiences. We had the opportunity to talk with children as they enthusiastically explained their learning and answered probing questions to assess the depth of their understanding. It was absolutely fabulous!
Grade 3 students Paul and Katherine demonstrate how they have applied statistics and graphing across the entire grade level to learn that there are multiple ways to display data.

Grade 5 students from Mrs. Jordan's class (Maci-Grace, Kailey and Sofia) demonstrate to Mr. Erinakes and School Committee member Mrs. Zuercher strategies they learned to separate mixtures. We heard students using appropriate scientific vocabulary to explain their learning.

Domenic and Brielle explained some of the projects they have completed as part of the maker-space enrichment offered at Metcalf. Director of Administration, Mr. Ross, and School Committee member Mrs. Green see a demonstration of the marble drop construction.

Metcalf student selected as a finalist in the Governor for a Day essay contest!

Congratulations to Rebecca Kilday for being named a finalist in Governor Raimondo's Governor for a Day essay contest. Rebecca is one of over thirty students from Metcalf School to submit an essay to Governor Raimondo, and she was informed this week that she is in the running for the distinction. Best of luck, Rebecca! If you are selected as the State winner, I have some things I would like you to sign into law while you are serving as Governor for the day!

Metcalf after-school program is up and running! 

I had the opportunity to visit the Metcalf after school program last week to see a sampling of the variety of activities being offered this year to our students. The program has expanded quite a bit, with offerings in karate, foreign languages, and technology applications. Students in Ms. D'Amico's jewelry making class presented me with a new piece of shoelace jewelry and then wanted their photo taken for the blog. Thank you Macie-Grace and Victoria! 

Happy Spring!!
My next blog will be posted in mid-April.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

March 1, 2016

Superintendent's Blog

Teams from across the district are competing against each other in a new fitness challenge. By wearing Fitbits, each team is able to log the number of steps they take each day and the team totals are easily viewed by all participants to see which team is in the lead. "Witness the Fitness," the administration building team, consists of Sharon Roberts, Donna Boteiri, Steve Bailey, Kerry Beaudry, Patty SanAntonio, Carmella Farrar, Bob Ross and Robin Cerio. Thank you to all who are participating, from every building, to model healthy behaviors for our students!

The annual operating budget for the school department was approved by the School Committee last week. It represents level funding from the previous year, as requested by the Superintendent. This budget includes funding to support expansion of our pre-school program, a full-year foreign language opportunity at the Junior High School, increased teacher assistant support for our youngest classrooms, and additional reading services at Metcalf.   Unfortunately, even a level funded budget is problematic because of reductions to various components of the state aid to education. The School Committee, Exeter Town Council, West Greenwich Town Council, Superintendent and members of the district and school-based administrative teams attended a State House event this past Monday evening, along with representatives of the Bristol-Warren, Foster-Glocester, and Chariho Regional School Disticts and member Town Councils, to address funding issues impacting regional schools. An article summarizing the event was published in the Providence Journal on Tuesday of this week:


On Monday, March 28th, the school department will host the annual public hearing for the school department budget. We are hoping to report on any adjustments made as a result of the joint advocacy of all of the state's regional schools. Please plan to attend and learn more about our progress.
I think it is fair to say that we have all been saddened by the number of recent traffic fatalities in ours, and our neighboring communities. This has been a difficult time for many of our students, their families, and our staff because of the personal and family connections to the individuals who lost their lives. These unfortunate tragedies remind all of us of just how fragile our lives really are. We must all commit to maintaining ongoing communication with our children and our students about the risks involved in driving and the impact that their choices can have on themselves and those who care about them.
Please look for my next blog post, scheduled to be published in mid-March.