Creating Connections - April 15, 2016

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

April 15, 2016- Volume 1, Issue 16

Superintendent's Message

Last night, the Worcester Regional Research Bureau held its annual Thomas S. Green Public Service Award at Assumption College. The award is to “honor exemplary public servants who illustrate exceptional competence, enthusiastic performance, cooperative attitude, and community involvement”. The five recipients of the Thomas S. Green Award were chosen for their outstanding contributions to public service, representing 3 communities - Worcester, Auburn, and Holden. Our esteemed colleague, Ms. Cathy Flink-Harrison, was recognized last night for her 31 years of service to the Worcester Public Schools. Cathy is the district’s Senior Information Systems Trainer charged with the great responsibility of supporting all database users and to ensure data quality and reliability for all 25,000 students.


All five recipients noted that their work and performance on their jobs could not have been accomplished without the team of professionals with whom they work. They also lauded the vital service that is provided by public servants each and every day in our community. Service that is expected by all but not recognized by many. A community thrives because of the services provided by schools, emergency personnel, public works, public health, and many others.

In the spirit of last night’s celebration, please join me in recognizing and thanking all public servants whose service and dedication constitutes the fabric of our community. A special THANK YOU to all 3, 982 Worcester Public School employees for making our school district the best choice for our students and families.

Celebrations and Updates

SAT School Day at South High School

On Tuesday, April 12th, South High School juniors participated in a pilot program where they take the SAT during school hours. The goal of the SAT School Day is to increase SAT participation and increase future opportunities for students. The SAT is typically administered on a Saturday and requires a fee, but SAT School Day program enables students to take the test during school hours at no cost. As a result of this pilot, the district plans to offer the SAT School Day, in addition to the PSAT/NMSQT (which the district provides to all 10th and 11th graders at no cost), to all Worcester students in the Spring of their junior year to ensure that all high school graduates are college and career ready.

WTHS Student Receives Outstanding Vocational Technical Student Award

The Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators (MAVA) and the Massachusetts Vocational Association (MVA) co-sponsored the 30th Annual Outstanding Vocational Technical Student Award Banquet last evening at Mechanics Hall. This celebration recognizes exceptional students who have excelled at their academic and career pursuits, while actively engaging in service to their school and community. They represent the best in vocational technical education.


Sebastian Kopacz, a grade 12 student in the electrical program at Worcester Technical High School, was one of 52 students across the Commonwealth recognized. Sebastian has been a participant in the National Grid Pipeline Program, which begins in the junior year and exposes students to the value of engineering by providing students with the opportunities to participate in summer internships throughout college. Upon graduation from college, National Grid provides an opportunity for employment as an engineer. Currently, Sebastian has a co-operative education position with the company mV3.  Sebastian plans to major in electrical engineering and has been accepted to Worcester Polytechnic Institute and UMASS Amherst Honors Program.

WEDF Recognizes Contributions by WPS Staff

The Board of Directors of the Worcester Education Development Fund (WEDF) is recognizing Worcester Public Schools’ employees for supporting their 2016 Employee Payroll Deduction Campaign. All employee contributions support the many programs and mini-grants that benefit our students. In particular, Gates Lane received $500 for having the greatest amount of contributions. Chandler Magnet received $500 for the greatest percentage of employee participation. While Maureen Mohammed of South High Community School and James Nowosacki of McGrath Elementary both received $100 for their contributions. Thank you all for your support to WEDF!

Roosevelt Elementary Students Shine During Live Wax Museum Presentation

Live Wax Museum Presentation

Fourth grade students at Roosevelt Elementary School proudly participated in the Live Wax Museum presentation this week. This project focused on biographies of non-fictional characters and students were required to choose a person who has made a significant impact on society or had been a positive historical figure. They researched the individual’s biography and personified the character by wearing clothes representative of the character and by a display of their artifacts to support their description of the character to the visitors. Congratulations to all for a job well done!

District Business

School Committee Items

At the School Committee meeting held on February 25, 2016, Ms. Dianna Biancheria requested the Administration provide the number of consultants that were paid by grant funding in January and February 2016.

Did you know...

Did you know that:

  • Worcester Public Schools had 1,505 students in grade10 participate in PSAT/NMSQT testing (85% participation) and 1,320 in grade 11 (81% participation).
  • The number of Worcester Public Schools students who took the SAT’s are 787 students in grade 12 and 30 students in grade 11.

Upcoming Week's Events

School Vacation Week Activities at the Worcester Public Library

The Worcester Public Library has a variety of special events and programs planned for the school vacation week at the Main Library from Tuesday, April 19th to Saturday, April 23rd. View complete schedule of events.

Exhibit of Art Work at UMass Memorial

The UMass Memorial Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology “Exhibit of Art Work” event will be held on Sunday, April 24th at the Memorial Campus located at 119 Belmont Street. The Art Work viewing event will begin at 3:00 pm on the fourth floor of the West Wing and an award ceremony will follow. The art work will be on display until January 2017. Congratulations to all participants!

Wellness Ambassadors’ Meeting

A Wellness Ambassador’s Meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 27th at 3:00 p.m. at the WTHS for all interested parents, staff, and students from our middle and high schools.  Topics to be discussed will include the formation of a school FitClub, information on forming a chapter of “The 84” (a statewide movement of youth fighting tobacco in Massachusetts), the “Shine Initiative” (supporting youth engagement in mental health awareness), and the UMass Extension Nutrition Education Program (NEP) - a mission to provide individuals, families, and communities with the knowledge and skills to lead healthy lifestyles. Anyone interested in bringing these wellness programs in to their schools should contact Carol Manning, Health & Physical Education Liaison, at 508-799-3075 or