Last weekend I attended a Superintendents Roundtable meeting in Washington, DC. Among the speakers at the convening was Dr. Tony Bryk, the President of the Carnegie Foundation for Teaching and Learning. Tony spent the bulk of his time highlighting the problems with the improvement approach most common in public schools, which is typically geared toward large-scale implementations. These efforts are difficult to fully assess and even when results are identified, it’s not always clear which element(s) of a program was most responsible for that success (or failure.) Instead, Tony advocates for much smaller tests of change within specific elements of practice that allow for greater learning and more specific attribution of results. For example, rather than trying to provide a single professional development curriculum to principals to better support new teachers, what if individual principals modified very specific elements of their work with new teachers to assess the efficacy of these small changes? This latter approach certainly requires a disciplined approach to inquiry, but feels far more responsive to the unique context in which educators work.

Dr. Bryk also discussed the importance of networked communities of practice. While the act of teaching is often individual, the act of improvement is not. In any district, innovation can be happening within a single classroom, but how can we leverage that work to benefit other classrooms in that school and throughout the district?

On both fronts, I believe there is much wisdom in the improvement approach that the Carnegie Foundation is promoting and I’d like us to think about how these ideas could inform our work in WPS. Food for thought as you head into this beautiful fall weekend.

Best regards,


10/14/16 – WEF Grant Applications Due
10/6-11/1 – WPS K-12 Faculty Art Show – WHS Cafeteria
10/17/16 – Lane Change 101 – 2:45 pm – Supt. Conf Room – See details below
10/18/16 – School Committee Meeting – 7 pm – Town Hall
10/25/16 – Exploring the Legacy and Promise of METCO’s 50 Years in Wellesley – 7 pm – WHS- See details below
10/26/16 – Lane Change 101 – 3:15 pm – Supt. Conf Room
10/26/16 – Flu Clinic – Health Dept. 2:30 – 4 pm – See details below
11/01/16 – School Committee Meeting – 7 pm – Town Hall
11/03/16 – Flu Clinic – Health Dept. 2:30 – 4 pm – See details below

Condolences to Alan Brazier (WHS English Teacher) on the loss of his mother, Mary Brazier, on October 3, 2016.

Revisiting History: Exploring the Legacy and Promise of METCO’s 50 Years in Wellesley

What: An evening featuring keynote speaker Dr. Ted Landsmark, distinguished educator and civil rights advocate immediately followed by a panel discussion with METCO alumni.

When: Tuesday, October 25 Time: 7 pm

Place: Wellesley High School Auditorium. Free admission.

Please join us as Wellesley METCO welcomes Dr. Ted Landsmark. Dr. Landsmark holds degrees in law and environmental design from Yale University and a doctorate in American Studies from Boston University. His keynote speech, an exploration on the role of educatiion in combating income inequality, will be followed by a panel of METCO alumni from each decade who will reflect upon their time in Wellesley. This evening promises to be a powerful and historic examination of Wellesley METCO’s early days and the program’s lasting impact on its participants and the wider
community. A brief time for questions and answers will follow. Alumni Panelists: John Wornum 1971, Bill Craft 1987, Karsten Cash 1991, KeAndra Dennis, 2009

Faculty Art Show - Oct. 6 - Nov. 1 at WHS Cafeteria

Flu Season is Here!!!


Wednesday October 26, 2016 and Thursday November 3, 2016: 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm
Wellesley Health Department – 90 Washington Street
Bring your insurance card and a donation to the Healthy Wellesley Fund would be greatly appreciated.

You do not need to call ahead for an appointment for the above days. Questions? Call Linda Corridan 781-446-6210 x 5710

Are You Interested in AfterSchool Work for Additional Pay?

The Fitness and Health Department is seeking teachers, paraprofessionals and teaching assistants who are interested in working in the Intramural Program at Wellesley Middle School. Responsibilities would include running sessions and afterschool activities for stipended extra pay. Specific assignments and activities would vary, and would be organized by the WMS Intramural Coordinator. If you are interested, please email Joanne Grant, Director of Fitness and Health at: GrantJ.
Be a Volunteer for the WGBH High School Quiz Show!
WGBH is hosting its annual High School Quiz Show Super Sunday testing day on Sunday, November 13 from 9am-5pm. We’re looking for 80 volunteers to help moderate and score the quiz, and teachers of any grade or discipline are ideal candidates. This is the perfect opportunity for educators from around the Commonwealth to join together for the sake of learning and rewarding academic achievement, regardless of whether your district is competing.

Please contact Jaime Reese at for additional information or to register as a volunteer.

Don’t Fall Behind! WEF Grant Applications are due Friday, October 14, 2016

Now accepting applications on-line at

Quick Tips

  • Go to WEF’s website to read about our grant process and see examples of past grant awards
  • To apply, go to the menu tab – Grants and Login to Grant Applications
  • Complete all required fields on the application
  • Upload any additional info relevant to your grant request
  • Provide the name and email of the administrator(s) required to sign off on your application
  • Remember to click Submit

For over 25 years, the Wellesley Education Foundation has provided grants for educational projects and equipment at all grade levels. WEF works closely with WPS administrators. Criteria for funding grants include innovativeness, potential to affect a large number of students, and potential for replication by other teachers or classrooms. A new idea to try? Supplies that would enrich student learning? Not in the budget? Consider a request for WEF funding.

Questions or for more info, email Yolanda Tong or Judy Zimmerman at


Working Toward a Lane Change and Have Questions About the Process?

Join us for Lane Change 101:

  • Monday, October 17th at 2:45pm or Wednesday, October 26th at 3:15pm
  • Superintendent’s Conference Room, lower level of the Middle School
  • Co-Hosted by Chelsea Bailow and Addie Doherty

This 30-minute information session will provide an overview of the steps you need to take to change lanes, as well as provide an orientation to WellesleyPD, the District’s professional development website.

Please click here to RSVP.

Please note that lane changes are applicable only to those members of WTA Unit A.

More Lane Change News: Letters of Intent to Change Lanes Next School Year Are Due by November 1st

All professional staff who expect to receive a Master’s degree, M+30, or M+60/Doctorate at the beginning of the next school year 2017-18, must send formal notification of intent to change salary lanes to Addie Doherty dohertya, no later than November 1, 2016. The notification should include: current lane, proposed lane, and the school year (2016-17) in which you hope to change lanes. This early notification deadline is required so that provisions for anticipated salary lane changes may be included within the new fiscal year budget. Please note: The list does not carry forward. You must provide written notice each year until you have achieved the desired lane change.

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 10/14/16
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