February 12, 2016

Dear Colleagues,

This past Sunday, I read Alex Kingsbury’s incredible story in the Boston Globe Magazine about Anne Hale, a Wayland elementary school teacher who was dismissed from her job in 1954 as part of the fervor of the Red Scare.  Earlier in her life, Anne had joined the Communist Party, drawn to the causes it had taken up including racial segregation, women’s rights, and education.  This idealism and spirit ultimately led her to become a teacher.

Unfortunately, the mood in the country in the late 1940’s and 1950’s was fueled by the anxiety of an unstable geopolitical environment and seized upon by domestic demagogues.  The result was a time in which Americans were targeted by their government, and even their own neighbors, for “suspicious” activities.

Such was the fate of Anne Hale, a committed public servant, who suddenly had an FBI file and was seen as a threat to her community.  Anne’s story does not end well, as she not only lost her job, but she was also prevented from finding other sources of employment.

Reading this story, it’s almost hard to believe this could happen in the United States.  And yet when I consider the political discourse today, where anger, fear, and uncertainty are the tinder for aspiring political leaders, I wonder how far we really are from replicating the environment of the Red Scare.

And yet I know that our work in education is perhaps our best hope for developing the curious, critical, and engaged students who will embody the core values of the Wellesley Public Schools long after they leave our classrooms.

I didn’t know Anne Hale’s name before reading about her on Sunday.  The closing of the Globe story says so much about her integrity and reminds me of the commitment to our students that I see every day within our district through your good work.  I hope Anne’s story inspires you as much as it has inspired me.

Back in 1954, when the Wayland School Committee had suspended her in advance of the public hearings, she’d had only one request: to say goodbye to her second-graders. The committee refused.

It was a slight that angered her until her death. In fact, according to relatives, it was the only regret she admitted to during her years of persecution. Unable to tell her students in person, she wrote them a letter, mailing a copy to each family.

Dear Children,

Your family will tell you that different people have different ideas about how the country should be run. I have been working for a long time in the best way I knew to make sure that the ‘liberty and justice for all’ of which we speak every morning is always with us and that it will grow better. Those who don’t agree with me may say harsh things.

Just remember these things, which I am sure you know—I love my country and I love you.

Best regards, David

02/15-02/19/16 – Winter Break – Enjoy!
02/23/16 – School Committee Meeting – 7 pm – Town Hall
03/07/16 – US Navy Concert Band – 7 pm – WHS
03/07/16 – WEF Spring Grant Proposal Deadline (see details below)
03/07/16 – WINGS Summer Positions Application Deadline (see details below)
03/08/16 – School Committee Meeting – 7 pm – Town Hall
03/22/16 – School Committee Meeting – 7 pm – Town Hall

CONGRATULATIONS TO Jackie Hoglund (Elementary Instructional Tech Specialist) and her husband Brad on the birth of their daughter, Olivia ‘Livvy’ Maxine, born on February 10, 2016.

Spring is Just Around the Corner – and so is the WEF Spring Grant Proposal Deadline

Have a new idea you’d like to try out in the classroom?  Is there a piece of equipment you know would enrich your students’ learning experience but it’s just not in the budget?  Consider putting together a request for funding from the Wellesley Education Foundation (WEF).  WEF is now accepting grant proposals from Wellesley Public Schools teachers, administrators and specialists for the spring cycle of grants.  The deadline to submit a proposal for this spring is March 7, 2016.   This spring all proposals and administrative signoffs will be made electronically through the WEF online grant application process.  To access the application, go to the Wellesley Education Foundation website, click ‘Grants’ and click ‘Apply Now/Login‘ from the drop down menu.

For more than 25 years, WEF has been providing grants to educators for innovative educational projects at all grade levels. In awarding grants, WEF works closely with school administrators to fund projects that result in richer and deeper learning experiences and have the potential to impact a large number of students in innovative ways. Criteria used to determine whether to fund a particular grant include (1) innovativeness, (2) potential to affect a large number of students, and (3) potential for replication by other teachers or classrooms.  Last fall, WEF funded nearly $105,000 in teacher and administrator requests.  For additional details and some examples of well-written grants, please visit the WEF website,  click ‘Grants’, click ‘For Educators’ from the drop down menu and click WEF Grants Criteria & FAQ.

For more information or answers to questions about potential grant ideas, please feel free to email the WEF Grant Chair Susan Clapham at grants@wellesleyeducationfoundation.org

Upcoming Special Performances!

U.S. Navy Concert Band Comes to WHS!

Our nation’s premier wind ensemble that performs at presidential inaugurations and state ceremonies, will be performing live at WHS at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, March 7th. Several WHS students will have the opportunity to perform with the highly regarded military concert band. The event is free, but seating is limited, so reserve your tickets now at http://tinyurl.com/USNavyBand.

Professional Development Opportunities


Registration is open for the following winter courses through WellesleyPD:

Advanced iPad

  • Instructors: Rosey McQuillan & Ranjani Sriram
  • Participants: PreK-12 Educators
  • Date/Times: Online Only, 03/07/16 – 04/11/16

Introduction to the WIDA Standards and Differentiated Instruction for ELLs

  • Instructors: Jenn Hannon & Jenn Eramo
  • Participants: K-12 Educators, Specialists, Special Educators
  • Date/Times: 03/12/16, 8:30am – 3:30pm; 03/22/16 & 04/05/16, 3:30pm – 6:30pm

NEW DATES! Google Apps for Education

  • Instructor: Pete Ritter
  • Participants: PreK-12 Educators
  • Date/Times: Online Only, Weeks of 03/14/16 – 04/11/16

Primary Source Summer Institutes

The district has an annual Primary Source membership through which we are allotted seats in their courses. Since the number of seats is limited, you must receive approval from the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning prior to registering.

To view the summer catalog of face-to-face and online offerings, click here. A hard copy will also be available in buildings.

If you’re interested in registering for a course, please submit the Primary Source Registration Request form. Deadline to request registration is Friday, April 15th. Notification of your registration status will be sent after April vacation.

Other Opportunities

TEC Online, Self-Paced Courses Free to WPS Educators

WPS has partnered with The Education Cooperative (TEC) to offer two online, self-paced courses free of charge to Wellesley educators. Please note that the ELL course is NOT an endorsement course.

  • Engaging All Students with Differentiated Instruction    (Click here for more details.)
  • Strategies to Enhance Instruction for English Language Learners in the Classroom    (Click here for more details.)

    To Register: Go to tec.registration.etlo.org and complete the registration page. You’ll receive an email with a URL for the course you’ve selected, as well as instructions on enrolling in the course.

PDPs: Upon completion of the course, participants will receive a certificate of completion. Submit the certificate to Chelsea Bailow, Professional Development Coordinator, in order for the course to appear in your WellesleyPD records.​​

Apply Now to Enroll Children

of Non-Resident WTA Members in Wellesley Schools.  

Children of teachers or nurses residing outside Wellesley shall be entitled to attend Wellesley Public Schools without charge for tuition on a space available basis (Article 12, WTA Unit A Contract).  If you are interested in this benefit for the 2016-17 school year, please click here to access the form.  Once complete, please return it to District Registrar Nancy Costigliola in Central Office or email it back to her at registrar@wellesleyps.org.  The Application Deadline is May 1, 2016.

Graduate Course Reimbursement

Course reimbursement funding of $30,000 is available to distribute in FY17 among qualified teachers.  This funding is for graduate course work done as part of a master’s degree program to fulfill a teacher’s obligations for the Massachusetts Educators Professional License and for course work required to achieve the next stage of licensure culminating in a professional license.  To apply for this course reimbursement, please send the following information to Valerie Spruill, Administrative Assistant to the HR Director,spruillv@wellesleyps.org:   your name, evidence of your enrollment in an applicable master/doctoral degree program, name and description of the course, evidence of course cost (a billing statement), proof of payment (i.e. credit card statement, canceled check or receipt of payment), and transcript.  The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2016.  You will be notified of the amount awarded to you some time prior to the first paycheck in September 2016.  Please note:  all information must be received by June 1, 2016 or you will be disqualified for reimbursement.  All courses must have occurred in the summer of 2015, fall of 2015 and spring of 2016 and have been completed by June 1, 2016.   Any courses taken prior to the summer of 2015 will not be considered reimbursement.

WINGS Summer Positions Available
7/11/16 through 8/4/16
Monday through Thursday

The following summer positions are available in the WINGS Program.  Please clickhere for details on hours and rates for each of the positions.

Elementary Academic Lead Teacher: 7/11/16 through 8/4/16
Enrichment Lead Teachers: 7/11/16 through 8/4/16
Special Education Lead Teachers: 7/5/16 through 8/4/16
Related Service Providers (see listing): 7/5/16 through 8/4/16

Teaching Assistants Four Weeks: 7/11/16 through 8/4/16
Teaching Assistants Five Weeks:  7/5/16 through 8/4/16
Paraprofessionals: 7/5/6 through 8/4/16
Nurse 7/5/16 through 8/4/16

Job requirements for Lead Teachers:   Teaching experience and license within content area required. Familiarity with WPS learning goals preferred. Applicants for positions within academic strands must state their preferred grade level and content area. Enrichment Teachers must submit their course design with letter of interest. Included must be a course description and applicants are encouraged to share their passions, special interests, and talents with students.

Deadline for Applications: 3/7/16

Applications can be found at:  http://www.wellesley.k12.ma.us/wings

Send your application and enrichment course descriptions (if applicable) to: Astrid Mazariegos, Summer Program Coordinator, 40 Kingsbury St. Wellesley, MA 02481 or by email to: wings@wellesleyps.org

Thinking About Retirement?

For WTA members interested in retiring in 2016: Contact a representative from MTRS at 617-679-6877.

For further information to determine eligibility for retirement benefits visit: http://www.mass.gov/mtrs; to calculate your retirement benefits, go to  http://www.mass.gov/mtrs/active-and-inactive-members/retiring-from-the-mtrs/regular-superannuation/estimate-your-retirement-benefits.html and tohttp://www.mass.gov/mtrs/forms-and-general-resources/downloadable-forms/

If you plan to retire this year, please send a signed letter (four months prior to retirement) indicating your intention to Director of Human Resources Gayle McCracken, Wellesley Public Schools, 40 Kingsbury Street, Wellesley, Massachusetts 02481.

​​WPS Internal Job Postings on District Website

Please be aware that we added a new feature called “Internal Job Postings” under the Faculty tab of the District’s website.  We will post all of our internal jobs under this website tab. Therefore, you will no longer see internal job postings in the bulletin. This new way of posting will allow us to post internal positions any day of the week.

Superintendent’s Bulletin 2/12/16
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