Creating Connections - December 11, 2015

A weekly message from Interim Superintendent Dr. Marco C. Rodrigues

December 11, 2015 - Volume 1, Issue 1

Superintendent's Message

We spend most of our time making connections with people, relating to situations, and associating with the things that we value most in life. Connections are made every day, in and out of our classrooms, capturing the essence of the great work that we accomplish on behalf of our students and families.

We did it!

I am privileged to make connections every day and to experience, first hand, the great things happening in all 44 schools and alternative sites in the district. I am proud of our accomplishments and I wish to share with you, weekly, highlights of these experiences. Considering that teaching, learning, and student supports are the heart and soul of our daily practices and routines, this week we have much to celebrate with Burncoat Preparatory School exiting Level 4 status. We also celebrated the ascension of Chandler Community School, Lake View School, Midland Street School, and Tatnuck Magnet Elementary School to Level 1 status; and Lake View School and Flagg Street School being recognized as Commendation Schools by the Commissioner of Education for their significant student achievement. Please join me in congratulating each member of these schools for their efforts, commitment, and passion in educating the children entrusted to them.

I also had a special moment in Mrs. Bernier’s grade six classroom at Canterbury Street School. The heart and soul was alive and well in the classroom as students proudly explained to me their instructional level, their personal goal, and most impressively, their action steps to achieve their goal. Understanding how we learn, evaluating our own needs, and creating goals and action steps for personal growth and improvement is a lesson for all of us. Thank you Mrs. Bernier’s class for the lesson!!!


Celebrations and Updates

Myra Hiatt Kraft Footbridge Dedication

Kyle Brenner and Robert KraftMyra Hiatt Kraft Footbridge Dedication On Tuesday, Mr. Robert Kraft attended the ceremony at Elm Park dedicating the newly constructed footbridge in honor of his late wife Myra Hiatt Kraft. The Myra Hiatt Kraft Footbridge was designed and constructed by students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Worcester Technical High School. In gratitude, Mr. Kraft donated $100,000 to each institution.

Tech students on Myra Hiatt Kraft Footbridge


Massachusetts School Breakfast Challenge Champions Recognition

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has recognized the following schools for being a School Breakfast Challenge Champion: Rice Square School, Clark Street School, Lake View School, Gates Lane School, Jacob Hiatt Magnet School, Wawecus Road School, and Frances J. McGrath Elementary School. Recognition is given to schools that served at least 20 percent of their students breakfast and increased the school breakfast average daily participation by 35 percent. These seven schools are among 196 schools across the Commonwealth that achieved the goal during the first two years of the Massachusetts School Breakfast Challenge. DESE will provide a Massachusetts School Breakfast Champion banner to each school to proudly display in the school’s cafeteria. Congratulations to the staff at these schools and Donna Lombardi and the Nutrition Program for the increase in meal participation rates at these schools.


Massachusetts School Building Authority Projects Update

All 2014 -2015 Accelerated Repair Projects are nearing completion. These projects are window replacements at Clark Street Developmental Learning School, Union Hill School, Goddard School of Science and Technology, and West Tatnuck School and all 2015-2016 Accelerated Repair Projects are in design development. Work is expected to be completed during the Summer 2016. These projects are window replacements at Flagg Street, Frances J. McGrath Elementary, Grafton Street, and Jacob Hiatt Magnet; as well as boiler replacement at Grafton Street.


District Business

At the School Committee meeting held on November 19, 2015, Ms. Dianna Biancheria requested an update on the hiring of the crossing guard for Belmont Street Community School. A crossing guard was hired and was on duty Tuesday, November 24, 2015.

At the School Committee meeting held on December 3, 2015, Ms. Dianna Biancheria requested information on the district’s partnerships with higher education institutions on AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). AVID trained tutors are provided by the following institutions:

  • Mass College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University – 36 Tutors
  • Worcester State University – 48 Tutors
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute – 22 Tutors
  • Clark University – 2 Tutors
  • Assumption College – 1 Tutor
  • College of the Holy Cross – 8 Tutors


Upcoming Week's Events

Burncoat High School Quadrivium Chorus

The Chorus will join Country Music Hall of Fame Superstar Kenny Rogers at the Mohegan Sun Casino (1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard, Uncasville, CT) for his final performance in New England. “Once again, It’s Christmas” will take place December 12th at 7pm. For more information, please contact David Twiss at (508) 868-7488 or at


Holiday Open House

The Worcester Public Schools’ Holiday Open House will be held on Tuesday, December 15th from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm in the Auditorium at the Durkin Administration Building located at 20 Irving Street in Worcester.


Bringing Back the Blackstone

The Engineering and Technology Academy (ETA), in conjunction with the National Parks Service, are holding their 7th annual “Bringing Back the Blackstone” project fair, and welcome the community to see.  Those who attend will have the freedom to walk around and talk to students, parents, and staff about the projects and the future of the Canal District, in a casual environment.  Snacks and drinks will be provided.  The event will take place in the cafeteria of Doherty Memorial High School on December 16th from 6:30 pm to 7:30pm.