Creating Connections - February 5, 2016

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

February 5, 2016 - Volume 1, Issue 7

Superintendent's Message

Since the snowfall prevented us from having school today and the pace of life seems to slow down a bit, I ask that you pause for a few minutes and watch this quick video. The message is exhilarating and "I am happy you are here!!!"

Celebrations and Updates

Massachusetts Public Health Association Award Winners

Donna Lombardi, Director of School Nutrition, is recipient of the Lemuel Shattuck Award for her leadership in Public Health and her extraordinary work to reduce health inequities in the Commonwealth. She will be honored at the MPHA Awards Breakfast in Boston on June 3, 2016. The breakfast is the signature event of the year for the public health community as they come together and salute their partners, celebrate their accomplishments, and energize themselves for their advocacy in promoting social justice. Congratulations, Donna for this well-deserved recognition.

WCVB Wake-up Calls

This week, WCVB will air taped segments of Worcester Public Schools students introducing their morning news! Five local schools were visited by producers of the news station to film these spots. The schedule for each school is:

Rice Square School Thursday, February 4
Vernon Hill School Friday, February 5
Worcester Arts Magnet Tuesday, February 9
Thorndyke Road School      Thursday, February 11
Midland Street School Tuesday, February 16

Beacon Hill Chat

I was recently a guest on Senator Harriette Chandler’s TV show Beacon Hill Chat, a program with interesting people talking about interesting things going on in Central Massachusetts. We know that there are always innovative and exciting initiatives taking place in our District. View my take on things in my chat with Senator Chandler.

McGrath Elementary Celebrates 100th Day of School

collage of McGrath students and teachers

This year, teachers at Francis J. McGrath Elementary School celebrated the 100th day of the school year by dressing as centenarians. Students and teachers wore curlers, bow ties, pearls, mustaches, and all kinds of costumes to look like senior, senior citizens. A great day was enjoyed by the whole school community.

Emmy Nominated Actor Visits Sullivan Middle School

On Wednesday February 3, Sullivan Middle School hosted Emmy Nominated actor Mr. Richard Cabral. Using dramatic monologue, he spoke of his life as a gang member and drug user whose life was changed as he recognized the lies that society was feeding him. Today Mr. Cabral is a highly acclaimed movie actor and poet. SMS students listened with rapt attention and showed their appreciation with thunderous applause at the close.

Mandala Jacob Hiatt Magnet School

A Mandala Community Weaving project will take place Monday, February 8 through Wednesday, February 10 at Jacob Hiatt Magnet School. Mandala weaving is a celebration of life and individuals within a community. The project involves 130 students along with volunteers from the entire Hiatt School community including neighbors, staff at partnering agencies, students from local universities and colleges as well as community- based groups. The project is sponsored in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The Mandala will be unveiled in the Multi-Purpose Room at Jacob Hiatt Magnet School on Wednesday, February 10 from 2:30 to 3:30 pm. The public is invited to the unveiling.

District Business

Worcester HEARS Program

In 2015, the Worcester Public Schools received a planning grant from the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts for the Worcester HEARS (Healthy Environments and Resilience in Schools) program.  The wide range of community partners involved in the planning grant helped to shape the implementation plan, which will provide a comprehensive set of strategies to address children’s exposure to adverse childhood experiences or trauma.  More information about this very valuable initiative is included in this PRESS RELEASE.

Upcoming Week's Events

Tuesday, February 9 – Union Hill School – 9 a.m. – Apple IPAD Student Deployment

Tuesday, February 9 – Banx Room, Worcester Public Library – 7 pm – 8:30 pm – CPPAC Meeting

Wednesday, February 10 – Woodland Academy – 9 a.m. – Apple IPAD Student Deployment