School district news: MCAS, student sleep issues, STEM, and curriculum advisory topics

by Beth Melo on October 15, 2015

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Above: The district released news impacting parents at any of our K-12 public schools. (Trottier and ARHS photos by Susan Fitzgerald; remaining photos from school websites)

Superintendent Christine Johnson is keeping her promise to increase communication with parents. She recently shared news on upcoming workshops, a task force, and updates on standardized testing.

Concerned about your kid/teen’s lack of sleep? There’s an expert for that. (And a new speaker series to address other parent concerns.)

Confused about your child’s MCAS results? There’s a workshop for that. Plus, schools will have their own parent nights.

Wondering about what tests your kids will be taking this spring? There’s an update on that. (Short answer – they’re waiting for the state’s Board of Ed decision in November.)

Curious about the curriculum decisions being made? There’s a list of upcoming topics to be covered at their public meetings, including digital and financial literacy and support services.

Worried about whether schools offer the right STEM educational opportunities? There’s a task force you can join.

Take a look and save some dates:

ABCs of ZZZs flyerEducational Speaker Series
The District is sponsoring a speaker series this year on educational topics that are of interest to parents and the greater school community. The first speaker is Dr. Judith Owens, MD, Director of Sleep Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. She will present “The ABCs of ZZZs: What Every Parent Needs to Know about the Importance of Sleep in Kids and Teens.” The presentation will take place on November 2, 2015, 7 – 9 PM at P. Brent Trottier Middle School in Southborough. The attached flyer contains information on this presentation as well as upcoming events. This event is free of charge to the public.

Student MCAS Results
The MCAS results for the spring 2015 State Assessments have arrived and will be mailed to parents/guardians on Friday, October 9, 2015. District presentations will be made at the November school committee meetings, School based presentations will be communicated by each building principal. Additionally, an “All About MCAS” workshop is offered to parents/guardians who want to learn more about the state assessments. This presentation provides an overview of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System including a review of the data reporting cycle, information on how to interpret the data and how this information impacts teaching and learning. This workshop is offered November 9, 2015 at 6 PM at Robert E. Melican School in Northborough.

The Board of Education will convene on November 17, 2015 to consider adopting PARCC, MCAS or a modification of current MCAS assessments. The District will provide further information as it becomes available.

Superintendent’s Curriculum Advisory Committee (SCAC)
Meetings are open to the public and a detailed listing of dates and topical items. All meetings are held at Algonquin Regional High School, 3:30 – 5:00 PM. Topics and dates are as follows: November 2, 2015 – “The ABCs of ZZZs: What Every Parent Needs to Know about the Importance of Sleep in Kids and Teens”; January 28, 2016 – Digital Literacy; March 24, 2016 – Financial Literacy for Students; May 5, 2016 – Student Support Services.

STEM Task Force Starting
The District is launching a K-12 task force to explore expanding our Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) programs within our District. This is an exciting partnership with private and public organizations, businesses and individuals within our community. If you would like to participate or seek more information, please contact Assistant Superintendent Greg Martineau at

Upcoming District Meetings
All community members are invited to attend any posted meeting. A monthly calendar of events, by month, is available on the District’s homepage.

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