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3/5/21 Superintendent & COVID Tracking Update

3/5/21 Superintendent & COVID Tracking Update
Posted on 03/05/2021
Upcoming Meetings and Supporting Reference Documents
The week in review...
KMS Principal Search
This week, the leadership team interviewed 11 candidates!
From this group, eight qualified and diverse candidates will be moved ahead to the panel interviews. The panel is composed of KMS parents, building staff, Mr. Brand from the School Committee, and Central Office staff.
In the applicant pool we had a mix of men and women, two Hispanic candidates, three candidates with a language other than English as their first language, two Black candidates, three STEM educators, two digital learning coaches, and one cross trainer / athletic competitor! All candidates are former teachers. This is a STRONG (STRONG) pool. I commend our human resources director, Ms. Davis, and our communications director, Ms. Maryland, for their recruitment efforts and for helping us to live our goals of hiring a more diverse staff for our system. Our directors will also begin our hiring committee work with an anti-bias training for committee members.
I met with 41 grade 5/6 KMS students and 25 grade 7/8 this week to hear about their ideas about their new principal and thoughts on school re-opening. They sounded a lot like their parents relative to the KMS Principal. Mr. Zitoli has made a warm and loving impression on all and will be hard to replace.  
As for school reopening, the kids like the small class sizes, want to get back to clubs and hanging out but are worried they are being "thrown" back in and there's no vaccine for them. The fear was real, but so was the desire to please their parents and see their friends.  
Pooled Testing Update
Here's a pic of Johnson Principal, Jordan Hoffman in school swabbing noses to help the pool testing effort
Speaking of pools, all of our 167 pools from last week were virus-free. On to the next cohort. You may still sign up your child. 
Contact us through our 'Speak Up!' portal if you need assistance: 
Here's a pic of Johnson Principal, Jordan Hoffman in school swabbing noses to help the pool testing effort...every principal put on PPE and did this, or supported the effort as needed.

I am so very proud of our team. A flurry of new parent requests have come in post-completion of this week's testing and I think our participation rates will be even higher next round. Rough estimate is that district wide we are at about 66% participation by staff and students.
Student Data Meetings/Mid-Year Assessment Review
As with every year, we do a deep dive into student achievement trends and coverage of material at the mid-year. We are about three weeks behind our usual calendar (but recall, school started 2 weeks later). We conduct a mid-year and end-of-year "State of the Union" analysis. We ask principals to analyze all student achievement and benchmarking data, absences, staff absences, staff success rates, curriculum coverage issues and principals then create plans for how to make mid-course corrections and design PLC work and faculty meeting work. We also look at our RTI child study meetings and interventions and their successes or failures. We examine parent and staff referral trends for special education  
The work, of course, informs our recovery work and every year confirms hiring and intervention needs for Title I and special education. We will present to the public as we usually do with a set of revisions, corrections and our summer and recovery plans in the coming weeks.
Equity Work
Here's a pic of us with our classmates from across the US: Pittsfield Ma, Atlanta GA, Elizabeth, NJ and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Our admin team began our residency in Harvard's RIDES (Reimagining Integration Diverse & Equitable Schools) training program. The program has assigned us a coach to go through their formal equity improvement cycle. Once we do this, I will feel ready to convene our own diversity workgroup for the schools while I conduct a town-wide audit. From there, we will then have an in-depth set of recommendations for the School Committee on moving our equity and inclusion work forward with acceleration. I am working on a summary report for you on this work, under goal 2 of our strategic plan.
Here's a pic of us with our classmates from across the US: Pittsfield Ma, Atlanta GA, Elizabeth, NJ and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
MCAS Postponed (for Grades 3–8)
See below for the new tentative MCAS administration dates for Spring 2021
(Please note the updated tentative testing windows for grades 3–8.)
Grades 3, 4, and 5
ELA, Mathematics, and STE
Grades 6, 7, and 8
May 10 – June 11
Testing dates TBD
More details will be shared as information becomes available. 
Have a great weekend.
Best,
Anna

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