Creating Connections - February 26, 2016

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

February 26, 2016 - Volume 1, Issue 9

Superintendent's Message

Words cannot describe how impressed I was this past Monday, visiting our schools, and experiencing teaching and learning at all levels after a week of vacation. I visited Worcester East Middle School, Grafton Street School, Union Hill School and Vernon Hill School. Students were engaged, actively participating in the activity, and the teachers were notably prepared. I have to say this experience did not surprise me but, it validated, once again, the outstanding work that takes place in every classroom, every day. Thank you for not missing a beat!!!

Celebrations and Updates

Ukulele Donation

ukuleles collage

The WPS music staff is proud to announce The Kala Brand Music Company has donated 80 soprano ukuleles to our middle school music programs. They also donated 40 ukuleles to Quinsigamond School! We are so excited to help our students make some amazing music! Thank you Kala!

Birth to 3rd Grade Initiative

Last night, the Report of the Superintendent to the School Committee showcased the Birth to 3rd Grade Initiative. The initiative has brought together many local Early Education and Care providers to engage in strengthening PreK-K transitions for children and families, develop effective frameworks, and to build and grow a community that focus and support literacy in the early formative years. This initiative also produced the Worcester’s Characteristics of Kindergarten Readiness: Transitioning from Preschool to Kindergarten document.

WCVB Eye Openers

In the past few weeks, five Worcester Public Schools have introduced on WCVB’s Eye Opener newscasts at 5 and 6am. Here are the links to watch if you missed them:

Read Across America

The National Education Association’s Read Across America is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2nd, the birthday of the beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss. Worcester Public School students will be celebrating with special activities throughout the district.

Tufts at Tech

Congratulations to the Veterinary Assisting program and the Tufts at Tech Veterinary Clinic on being awarded $347,882.00 for new equipment and supplies to expand their program and update technology!

Special thanks to Christina Melvin, Patricia Suomala, and Dr. Wolfus for the extra effort put in to write and submit the excellently prepared grant. The grant is from the Workforce Skills Capital Grant Program.

District Business

The administration is pleased to announce that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has approved the Burncoat Elementary School’s Exit Assurance Plan. Burncoat Elementary is now officially a Level 3 school. Congratulations Burncoat Elementary school community!!! See Commissioner Chester’s letter.

Did you know...

Did you know that:

  • Last year Worcester Public Schools had nine snow days by February 10th due to the enormous amount of snowfall seen in the region. This year, we’ve only had two! Let’s look forward to a mild March.

Upcoming Week's Events

Fourth Annual Bullying Prevention and Education Conference

The Fourth Annual Bullying Prevention and Education Conference will take place on Thursday, March 3, 8:30am to 2:30pm, at North High School. The free conference will feature Keynote Speakers Kirk Smalley (Stand for the Silent organization) and Sameer Hinduja, PhD (Co-Director, Cyberbullying Research Center).

Faculty Art Show

Thirty three Worcester Public School Art Teachers will be participating in a show at the Sprinkler Factory on Saturday, March 5, 6-9pm called "Surface: 64 variations on a theme." It will take place at The Sprinkler Factory Gallery at 38 Harlow Street in Worcester.

Report Back on Dialogues on Race

I invite you to join the City Manager’s Community Coalition Against Bias and Hate Crimes on Monday, February 29, from 6:30pm - 8pm at Belmont AME Zion Church for a community meeting to learn how the City of Worcester continues to fulfill its pledge, hear Coalition members share what they have been doing, and watch as community leaders take the stage to pledge their action plan for the year to come. View flyer for more information.

Honey Dew Donuts Teach of the Year Award

Honey Dew Donuts is offering the first ever, Honey Dew Donuts Teacher of the Year Award. The Teacher of the Year Award will go to one special teacher who is working hard to make a difference in their school and their student’s lives. Parents, colleagues, school officials, or anyone that knows of a teacher who has made a difference in their school or lives can participate in nominating someone. The winner will receive a $5,000 grant to use in their classroom or any area of their school. The teacher will also receive a $500 Honey Dew Donuts Gift Card.

Applications must be received by Thursday, March 31.