Happy Friday! On Tuesday night this week, we made several important presentations to the School Committee on our district progress. The first was an overview of our 2019 MCAS results. As you know, MCAS has never represented our gold standard for progress and doesn’t come close to assessing everything we teach and value in our schools. At the same time, MCAS does provide important district-wide trend data, particularly as it reflects opportunity gaps within and among student groups. We have been clear that success for “most” students is not good enough. Our goal is to support the success of ALL students. I wish the new state accountability system was less technical with results that were easier to discern. If you visit the following link, you can view our summary presentation and I ask that you pay particular attention to the takeaways from each section, which focus on how these results can help inform our practice.
Another important presentation Tuesday night was focused on our PISA results from 2019. PISA is an international assessment of 15-year old students from around the world, with results that are most often reported by nation. Several years ago, we were presented with a unique opportunity to participate as a district, allowing us to benchmark ourselves in a global context. This is the second time we have participated in PISA and our results again were very strong. Students in Wellesley had mean scale scores in reading, math, and science that were higher than participating countries such as Singapore, China, Finland, and Germany. At the same time, our PISA results also surfaced some information which should also draw our attention. For example, our students are much more likely to be “deep and highly-restricted” readers than “deep and wide” readers. This gap has increased over the past two years. Some initial discussions of why this might be the case suggest that as our students progress from elementary and middle to high school, their reading becomes more specialized and tied to specific coursework. We also know that student schedules only become more frenetic as they get older with so many athletic and extracurricular activities. In short, there’s not a lot of time for reading for pleasure. I encourage you to read the full report for more details and would love to generate more conversation around this topic.
Finally, we also presented the results of our most recent NEASC Accreditation cycle at Wellesley High School. The good news is that our accreditation has been renewed for another 10-years. This was the result of a significant amount of work by our colleagues at WHS these past 2+ years. I encourage you to look at the summary presentation. I am so proud of the many commendations for Dr. Chisum and the WHS team that I believe are also reflective of our district as a whole.
Taken together, these three reports provide quite a broad look at the work of the Wellesley Public Schools. It is certainly affirming to see our excellence highlighted in so many ways that is a testament to your good work each day in our schools. At the same time, we still have important work to do to help ensure that this excellence is reflected in the progress of all students. We must not rest on our laurels, but we should take great pride in our collective work as we remain committed to continuous improvement.
01/20/20 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day – No School
01/21/20 – School Committee Meeting – Police Station – 6:30 pm
01/28/20 – School Committee Meeting – Town Hall – 6:30 pm
News from the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is pleased to announce it has launched its website! Click here to learn more about the District’s DE&I efforts. Also, follow @WellesleyDEI on Twitter.
Important Lane Change/Course Approval Process Changes
Please be aware that new wording in the WTA bargaining unit contract, Article 13, Section 4 (p. 22), reads: All teachers have until June 30, 2020 to submit transcripts for all approved courses commencing prior to July 1, 2019.
This means that all courses taken, either in-district or for graduate credit, must be submitted to Addie Doherty on the attached course approval form by June 30, 2020 in order for the courses to be considered for a future lane change. If administration does not receive, by June 30, 2020, the proper documentation (course approval, description, proof of completion) for any courses taken prior to July 1, 2019, those courses cannot be considered toward a lane change.
Moving forward, course approval forms must be submitted 30 days in advance of the course start date in order for the course to be considered. In addition, tracking sheets will be maintained by the individual working towards a lane change. The course approval form, frequently asked questions page, and tracking sheet may be found on under the Human Resources General Forms section of the Wellesley Public Schools’ website. If your are currently working with Addie on a lane change, please reach out to her for a copy of your tracking sheet.
Van Drivers Needed – Employee Referral Bonus $300
Wellesley Public Schools is looking for full time/full year Special Needs 7D Van Drivers. No 7D license, no problem. We will train and assist the right candidates to obtain their 7D license to drive special needs students. Current 7D or CDL license holders can start now. $15.65 to $16.51 per hour depending on experience. If you refer someone and they are hired and work at least 6 months in the position, you will receive a $300 referral bonus after the 6 month waiting period. Interested candidates should contact Deane McGoldrick at RMcgoldrick@wellesleyma.gov. The applicants should mention that you referred them when they apply.
Seminar Day 2020 – Presenters Needed!
The holiday season is upon us, and on behalf of Student Congress at Wellesley High School, we would like to offer you an opportunity to avoid all those divisive conversations about politics around the dinner table. Instead, might we recommend you invite your loved ones to participate in this year’s Seminar Day!
If you’re a new teacher or need a refresher on what Seminar Day is, please scroll to the bottom of this post and read the short description. If you already know the gist, please consider presenting a passion of yours or reaching out to those who may have something valuable, interesting, and/or exciting for our students to hear about. We have included the sign-up form below for you. If you would like us to personally reach out to someone (family, friend, or acquaintance) who may have a topic to present to our students, please pass along any information to us. You can also feel free to send the link along to them as well. Speakers can speak for one block, two blocks, or all three! We are now pleased to be able to offer 10 PDP’s for presenting at Seminar Day!
Seminar Day 2020 Sign Up Form
Zach Nicol and Carly Matarazzo
What is Seminar Day?
Seminar day occurs on the March half day every year at WHS. Instead of classes, we plan three one-hour blocks of seminars, and our students (and staff) attend the ones that align with their interests and passions. The schedule for the day is as follows:
Block A: 8:20-9:20am
Block B: 9:25-10:25 am
Block C: 10:30-11:30 am
Do you have a question for the WPS Human Resources Department? Email AskHR@Wellesleyps.org. The Human Resources Department is happy to assist you.
New DESE License Call Center Hours
The DESE Licensure Call Center will offer an additional five hours per week of service to educators and prospective educators. Effective Monday, January 6, 2020 the Licensure Call Center (781-338-6600) will be open each business day from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Almost 50 percent of the responses from a recent survey favored these new hours over other options.
Human Relations Services
As we enter the holiday season, stress can increase. The Human Relation Services (HRS) can help. Wellesley Public Schools has contracted with HRS to provide up to ten free counseling visits for you and/or your family members. This program is designed to help you deal with stresses of life and work –including personal and family issues, drug or alcohol problems, and job related tension. It offers prevention and intervention to reduce these stresses and improve coping skills.
HRS is located at 11 Chapel Place in Wellesley and can be reached at 781-235-4950. This is a confidential service. Wellesley Public Schools is not aware of the names of employees or their family members who utilize this service.
WPS Internal Job Postings on District Website
For all Internal Job Postings, please go to “Internal Job Postings” under the Faculty tab of the District’s website.