40 Highland Avenue
Randolph, MA 02368
Randolph Public Schools Directors and Coordinators
2011 REPORT OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF RANDOLPH PUBLIC SCHOOLS
The Randolph Public Schools has one goal for this school year - to ensure that every student makes significant academic, personal and emotional growth for this academic year and beyond. In doing so, we will eliminate our Achievement Gap. We engaged this work through a focus on our core values or District OARS (Outstanding Achievement for Randolph Schools): Quality Teaching and Learning for All, Student Centered Learning, Respect for Human Differences. All Means All, Opportunity to Learn, and Resources. The District OARS were the foundation of our Acceleration Plan for Improvement that was submitted to and approved by the Massachusetts Department for Elementary and Secondary Education.
The Accelerated plan had three components designed to ensure success for all students
• High Quality Learning and Teaching
• High Quality Professional Development
• High Quality Accountability Systems
The strength of our Acceleration Plan is clear in feedback we received from DESE:
This Plan is rated at the highest level according to our evaluation criteria in four of the five areas: “Provides Focus,” “Quickly Targets the Instructional Core,” “Addresses systemic root causes,” and “Builds long term capacity.” In the area of “Usefulness for tracking the sufficiency of progress, the Plan is “Ready to Implement.”
We have made several positive changes to improve student achievement. This year, with the approval of the Randolph School Committee and community support, we moved the 6th grade class to the middle school. The academic, social, emotional and personal benefits that this reorganization provides to our entire community include:
• Enhanced time on learning for every subject matter
• Subject based classes for sixth graders
• Alignment with the common core standards for grades 6-12,
• Access to Science labs, extracurricular activities
• More exploratory classes for sixth graders
• Potential opportunities to decrease class sizes at the elementary schools
The district accountability standards were strengthened and improved. This includes informal observations of teachers and a new evaluation process. In addition to MCAS and other state tests, quarterly assessments were developed to help identify the needs of students who are struggling so that timely support is provided. The quarterly assessments help teachers to be flexible in the educational and instructional strategies used to reach students. Finally, the district has continued and expanded its Administrative Learning Walk-throughs, which provide an opportunity to do a full review of a school and give feedback and support for sustained improvements.
Professional Development is a key component of this year’s work. Staff received training and support in Cultural Competency. It was a powerful way to begin conversations about how we put the students at the center of our work and decision making processes. We continued with our staff development and support efforts by providing targeted training by grade level.
The K-2 staff is participating in the District and School Assistance Center mathematics course. The course also features an exploration of the critical learning experiences necessary to build a strong foundation in mathematical understanding.
The grade 3-5 staff is working on the elements of Workshop Instruction within the literacy block, while middle school staff looks at it more broadly and includes all subjects. By the end of the school year all staff will be trained in the Workshop instructional model.
With the help of a Planning Grant from the Nellie Mae Foundation, and with the input from School Committee members, community members, school administrators, teachers, and students, we were able to identify a model of student-centered learning, which addresses the education of the whole student beyond the time they spend in school. This includes teaching students the 21st Century skills required for long term success – personally, academically, and professionally. The high school staff has been using this framework, along with the Mass Grade report findings on Randolph student graduation and drop out trends, to identify specific strategies to support student achievement.
In collaboration with the Town of Randolph, the Randolph School Committee Building Sub-Committee is developing a Master Plan that parallels and complements the work the district is doing. A Community Educational Visioning Conference was held in Stetson Hall on January 26 and 27, 2012. Students, families, community members, and business partners were invited to co-develop a vision for school designs that truly allow student-centered learning and teaching to take place. The Building Sub-Committee and Town will use the conference findings to create action plans. Randolph families and communities will continue to be enlisted in this process.
Our Office of Family and Community Relations & Communications has played a significant role in strengthening the school-home and school- community connection. The primary role of the office is to increase school-based and district level family engagement and to improve communications with families. Some of the recent accomplishments include:
• Development of a family and community engagement framework and expectations for principals
• Establishment of an independent parent-led organization, Randolph Improving Student Education (RISE) to support the district’s efforts
• Launch of a quarterly district newsletter for distribution to all community members
• Establishment of new partnerships (the Rockport Company, Boston Public Schools) and deepening existing partnerships (Randolph Community Partnership, Randolph Interfaith Council, MA Parent Information Resource Center, South Shore Workforce Investment Board)
• Training and strategic planning for community partners with a focus on increasing engagement of diverse populations
• Launched key family events to take place annually, including the Back to School Jamboree (reaching over 800 families), and the Volunteer and Partner Appreciation Night (honoring 250 parents/guardians, district partners, and community members)
• Parent Workshops have been offered, including: Understanding Your Child’s MCAS Results, Preparing Your Child for the MCAS, Understanding Schools in the United States, Partners in Print – a three-part family literacy series, and Parents are Powerful.
• Family Learning Days -- On April 19th, the district and New England Aquarium will welcome nearly 300 students and their families to a sea creature exhibit her in Randolph. A Spring into Fitness and Fun day will take place on April 21st. Families will assemble at Randolph High School to participate in fitness classes including as zumba, water aerobics, swim, and soccer; cooking demonstrations; and health screenings.
• School Site Council (SSC) is a model of school-based shared decision making with families, school administrators, and school staff. We have launched Councils at all six district schools.
• Career explorations for students include a career fair featuring astronaut Scott Tingle, who is also a Randolph Public Schools graduate and a career day that will focus on the sneaker design industry offered in partnership with D’Wayne Edwards, one of a handful of people of color in the industry to hold a director position.
Wonderful things are happening in our schools every day, and we continue to be amazed by the accomplishments of our students in every phase of their education, in sports, in arts and in community service. We are grateful for the staff members who make it possible. With the support of the School Committee, town, community, parents, teachers, students and partners, we will see Randolph Public Schools become a model district. I am honored to lead the work.
Superintendent of Randolph Public Schools