You are hereSuperintendent's Blog
Dear Parents, Caregivers and Community members,
Just as David Krejci completed a beautiful Hat Trick last night to gain a victory in game 4 of the Stanley Cup, Millis High School completed their own Hat Trick this week by landing second prize in the esteemed "School of the Year" competition sponsored by the Spanish government among schools in the US and Canada. This follows closely on the heels of theNewsweek award as one of the top 1,000 schools in the nation and the US News and World Report Silver Award that placed Millis as one of the best high schools in the US, ranked 28th of Massachusetts schools for college and career readiness.
Dear Parents, Caretakers and Community Members,
Last week was one of those weeks that astound me due to all the great things happening for students in our schools!
On Friday four of our students with special needs participated in the Special Olympics hosted in Medfield accompanied by over 10 volunteers from the High School, several of their teachers, Director of Pupil Personnel Services Susan Donelan and officer Chris Soffayer of the Millis Police Department. They rode in style to and from Medfield with Police and Fire Department escorts with flashing lights and arrived back to Clyde Brown to be greeted by all of the students cheering wildly outside, and lots of tears in the adults’ eyes! The event was very well organized by President and CEO, Mary Beth McMahon, who lives in Millis!
The Millis Public Schools hosted the 10th Annual New England TV Production "Lights, Camera, Action!" Conference yesterday. This conference is organized and put on by the students in Millis High School under the Direction of our fabulous teacher, Danielle Mannion. Guest presenters included national Emmy Award winning Producer, Joel Field, NECN Reporter Deeana Morgan, Harvey Leonard, WCVB TV Meteorologist, Max Esposito, National Digital Story Producer and several members of the cast and crew for the Indie film, Cowboy Spirit that was produced with assistance from students in Millis. Please see the attached pictures and the names of students who received awards below. This was the best year ever for our students!
As many of you in the Millis community, our "Small School, Big Family", have heard, there is some very sad news about one of our students, Taylor Sack. Taylor is a junior at Millis High School and captain of 2014 Millis/Hopedale Mohawk Football Team.
Taylor was skiing over Feb. vacation at Mt. Wachusett and had an accident. He suffered a spinal cord injury. He has had surgery in Boston and will be leaving the hospital tomorrow for rehabilitation in Atlanta, Georgia. Taylor's outcome is unknown - right now his injuries have caused paralysis. This is a very sad, shocking and fearful time for Taylor and his family.
There is a trust set up in the Sack name that his family can use to help defer the overwhelming medical expenses they have/will incur. If you would like to make a donation or send a card, ...really any gesture is greatly appreciated.
Below is the address for to help defray medical costs:
Dear Parents, Caregivers and Community Members,
We have had somewhat somber but productive days in all schools this week. Administrators and Guidance personnel were available to teachers, parents, and the students themselves to support them in dealing with the atrocity in Connecticut. Teachers re-established routines but, at the Middle and High Schools, allowed discussion of the events in Newtown if the older students requested or seemed to need to discuss it. Some teachers simply allowed students time to express their thoughts in writing rather than orally. The message we all tried to convey is that their school environment is quite safe and that it is our job, and one we take very seriously, to try to make sure they are all safe. Schools are "in loco parentis", i.e., in the place of a parent, and we all consider keeping students safe, both physically and emotionally, as our most important task. They cannot learn if they do not feel safe.
Dear Parents and Community Members,
For more than a year the teaching staff and administrators in the Millis Public Schools have been focused on increasing the rigor in our classrooms by focusing on the higher order thinking skills and 21st century skills that students will need for college and career readiness. There were great faculty meeting discussions about what rigorous teaching and learning looks like and what student and teacher behaviors would be observable if students were highly engaged and rigorous learning were happening. This work laid a good foundation for the new Educator Evaluation system developed in Massachusetts (see http://www.doe.mass.edu/edeval/ for more detailed information).
Millis High School has been named one of the top 1000 public high schools in the United States by Newsweek Magazine. 21 high schools in Massachusetts were included on the list. Newsweek compiled the list using a formula that included the following factors: four-year on-time graduation rate for the Class of 2011; percentage of 2011 graduates accepted to college; AP tests taken per student; average SAT and AP exam scores; and the number of AP courses offered per student. More details can be found at:
Due to the efforts of staff, the Millis Public Schools have been fortunate to receive several grants this year that have provided resources during this time of recession and reduced funding.
The Target and Ellen DeGeneres Grant provided $100,000 to Millis Middle School for technology and resources that will enable teachers to address the competencies students will need for success in their futures.
The Glee Give a Note Foundation provided $10,000 to the Millis High School Chorus and Music program by garnering votes from the public for a video produced by sophomores Victoria Robbins and Kristina O’Connell.
Millis Middle School Science teachers wrote and won a grant for $3,000 in the Shell Science Lab Challenge sponsored by the National Science Teachers Association.
Dear Families, Caregivers and Community Members,
I would like to alert you to some ways in which the Millis Public Schools are gaining recognition for the excellent educational experiences we provide in a very fiscally responsible way. Please see the link below for a Boston Globe article that highlights how we have actually been able to expand our foreign language offerings when most other districts have had to reduce them. We have been able to add the FLES (Foreign Language in Elementary Schools) program to grade 1 and Kindergarten due to the voluntary efforts of our regular classroom and Immersion teachers. They are so committed to providing these early language-learning experiences to our students that they donate their time to develop and implement the lessons in addition to their regular responsibilities. Our wonderful Teaching Assistant from Spain, Sara Silva, who comes to us at no cost to the district, is an integral part of the team as well.
Since September, Srta. Colcord's and Srta. Seymour's 4th and 10th grade Spanish Immersion classes have been amigos. They started out by writing letters back and forth, getting to know one another while practicing Spanish in an authentic way. They have gotten together to sing songs, chat, and read books created by the 10th graders.