Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee, 9.12.18

Opening of 2018-2019 School Year

Welcome back!  We have had a great opening two weeks.  Faculty began the year on Monday August 27th with our annual convocation in the Ferrini Auditorium.  The morning’s program included our “Summer Memories” slideshow, and addresses from myself and John Kotch, introductions of new staff, and recognition of teachers attaining professional status.  The morning’s program concluded with a keynote address by HWRHS Senior Lauren Verge.  Lauren’s remarks reminded the faculty that students are paying attention to what they do and notice everything they give in order to make our students successful.

After concluding the morning’s program, teachers participated in professional development work, including training on our new K-8 mathematics resources.  Students in grades 6 and 8 came into the Middle and High Schools on Tuesday for their orientation.

All students returned to school on Wednesday August 29th.  I want to thank the staff and students at the Winthrop School, and the Middle and High Schools for their flexibility in dealing with the power outage that affected Bay Rd. in the late morning on Wednesday.  The day was extremely hot, and lack of power made it impossible to run fans on classrooms.  Additionally, the timing of the outage and the Wednesday schedule made it impossible to dismiss students any earlier.  Hopefully, we’ve seen the end of the hot weather and can get to work in more comfortable conditions.

 

ALICE Instructor Certification

Immediately concluding the faculty convocation on August 27th, a group of over 50 people, representing HWRSD administrators, teachers, nurses, custodians, building secretaries, and members of the Hamilton and Wenham Police and Fire Departments began a two-day course to become ALICE Instructor Certified.  ALICE is an active shooter response program.  The acronym “ALICE” stands for “Alert,” “Lockdown,” “Inform,” “Counter,” and “Evacuate.”  The course entailed 16 hours of instruction in implementing the ALICE Protocols and included drills and role-playing scenarios.  Last week, every participant in the course was sent a link to the online component of this training, which they will need to complete by September 28th.

Our ultimate goal is to have the HWRSD become an “ALICE Certified Organization.”  The next step in completing this goal will be to have the remainder of our faculty and public safety officers participate in the online component of the ALICE Basic Certification Program.  After they have completed the online training program, our in-house certified instructors will then led them through the hands-on component of the training consisting of ALICE Drills.  The final phase of our rollout will consist of training our students in the ALICE Protocols.

 

Buker Playground Ribbon Cutting

Three years ago, the Buker Community experienced a devastating loss—the passing of Jennifer Maio, a third-grade student.  Out of this tragedy, the Buker School Community came together to create a wonderful new playground as a celebration of Jennifer’s life.  The new Buker School Playground was installed this summer.  It looks great and is getting a lot of use from the Buker School Students.  On behalf of the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District, I would like to thank everyone who helped to make this vision a reality:  the Playground Committee Members, the Friends of Buker School and Mr. Brian O’Donoghue for developing a vision for this project and leading the fundraising efforts; The Community Preservation Committees of both Hamilton and Wenham for their support for this project; Asst. Superintendent Jeff Sands, Director of Facilities Jason Waldron, for managing this project; the Town of Wenham and their Maintenance Department for doing the demolition and site preparation for the construction of the playground; and last but certainly not least to the students of the Buker School’s Class of 2018, who contributed to the playground’s design in the memory of their classmate.  Last Thursday, the Buker School Community invited Jennifer’s parents and brother to cut the ribbon and officially open the new playground.

 

 #HWGIVESBACK

Last Wednesday, the Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School student government kicked off its yearlong dedication to community service with a whole-school ice bucket challenge.  Nancy Frates, mother of Pete Frates, addressed the HWRHS student body on Wednesday, and shared the story of Pete’s battle with ALS and his promotion of the ice bucket challenge to raise awareness about ALS and to raise funding for research and development of a cure.  At the conclusion of Nancy’s address, the entire HWRHS student body was invited to participate in the ice bucket challenge.  Both the Hamilton and Wenham Police and Fire Departments were on hand to assist in filling buckets and many of them joined us in completing the challenge.  The HWRHS student government raised over $600 dollars that afternoon and called on Ipswich High School to do their own ice bucket challenge.  Here’s a link to a video of the event.

 

Upcoming Events:

Cutler Icebreaker Night, September 17 @ 5:00 PM

Buker Curriculum Night, September 17 @ 6:30 PM

HWRHS Senior Parent Night, September 20 @ 6:30 PM

Winthrop Curriculum Night, September 24 @ 6:00 PM

MRMS Open House, September 25 @ 6:30 PM

STEM Night, October 3 @ MRMS, 6:30 PM

Advertisements

Welcome New Buker School Principal Ben Schersten

I’m happy to announce the hiring of Ben Schersten as the next Principal of the Bessie Buker Elementary School.  Ben is coming to the HWRSD from the Pine Grove School in Rowley, where he has served as Assistant Principal for the past two years.  Prior to working at Pine Grove, Ben was a Technology Integration Specialist in the Burlington Public Schools.  Ben has classroom teaching experience through serving as a third grade teacher in the Arlington Public Schools, a fifth grade and kindergarten teacher in Lyndonville, Vermont and a PreK and kindergarten teacher in Washington, Vermont.  Ben has also worked as a Curriculum Developer for the Museum of Science in Boston.

Ben was chosen out of a field of 50 initial applicants of the position.  Of these 50 applicants, seven were invited for initial interviews.  Two of these candidates were brought back to the HWRSD for finalist interviews last week.  Ben was offered the position this morning and has accepted with a start date of August 1st.

I would like to thank the members of the Buker School Faculty, HWRSD Leadership Team and Buker School Parents for meeting with the candidates and providing me with their impressions.  This feedback was instrumental in helping me reach the decision that Ben Schersten is the best candidate to be the next leader of the Bessie Buker Elementary School.

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee, 5.23.18

Buker School Principal Search

Brian O’Donoghue, Principal of the Buker Elementary School, has submitted his letter of resignation from his position. Mr. O’Donoghue’s last day will be June 30, 2018. I would like to thank Brian for his service to the students of Hamilton and Wenham and wish him the best in his future endeavors.

I have developed a timeline for selecting a new Principal of the Bessie Buker Elementary School. The position was posted on Schoolspring.com on Friday, May 18th.   The posting closes on Friday, June 1st. Director of Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction Peggy McElhinney will Chair the Screening Committee, which will be made up of representatives from HWRSD Administration, Buker School Faculty and parent representatives. We expect to hold initial interviews during the week of June 11th, host finalist visits during the week of June 18th and announce the appointment of a new principal by June 29th. The chosen candidate would have an anticipated start date of August 1, 2018.

 

Memorial Day Assemblies

This coming Friday, May 25th, we will host our annual Memorial Day Assemblies in all of our schools. Members from our local American Legion Post will visit each of our schools. Students will hear an address from one of the members of the American Legion Post about the meaning and history of the Memorial Day Holiday, and will hear the names of service members from Hamilton and Wenham who have lost their lives in defense of our Country. I want to thank the members of the Augustus Gardner Post 194 of the American Legion and Commander Greg McKenna for organizing this event.

 

Senior Week Activities at HWRHS

Seniors at HWRHS are entering the final stretch. Classes officially ended for the Class of 2018 last week. At the end of last week, students took part in “Senior Seminar,” a series of short classes in practical, real-world skills that we may not teach as part of our regular curriculum. Students took classes on online safety, self-defense, car maintenance, stress-management, financial literacy and advice from alumni. Seniors are currently wrapping up their exams, and the Senior Prom will be held this Thursday night at Tupper Manor. Next week, will be Senior Week. Activities will include: Scholarship Night on Tuesday, May 29th at 7:00 PM at HWRHS; Senior Farewell on Wednesday, May 30th at 5:30 PM at HWRHS; Candlelight on Thursday, May 31st at 8:00 PM at HWRHS. Senior Week will culminate with the Commencement Exercises for the Class of 2018 at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School at 10:00 AM on Saturday, June 2nd.

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee, 4.25.18

“Thank You” to the Voters of Wenham

“Thank you” from the entire HWRSD to the voters of Wenham for passing the HWRSD Operating Override and Winthrop School Fire Suppression System Debt Issue at the Town Election on April 12.  This vote was the final step in approving the FY19 HWRSD Operating Budget and the Winthrop Fire Suppression System Project.  We’re so fortunate to have the support of the communities of Hamilton and Wenham in providing our students with a world-class education.

Congratulations to Ms. Sano and Ms. Frost

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL) has accepted Foreign Language Curriculum Leader Kevan Sano’s and Miles River Middle School Spanish Teacher Catherine Frost’s proposal to present the workshop “Make it Stick! Strategies to Support Long-term Memory and Comprehension” at the 2018 ACTFL Annual Convention and World Languages Expo.  Their presentation will highlight the great work our teachers are doing in developing students who are proficient in communicating in a foreign language.  Congratulations on this great honor.

Presentation on Vaping and e-Cigarettes

Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School will be hosting a presentation for parents by Diane Knight, RN, of the Northeast Tobacco Free Community Partnership on “How to Talk to Your Kids about Vaping and e-Cigarettes.” The presentation will be held in the Middle-High School Library on Tuesday, May 8th at 6:30 PM.  Parents of students at all levels are welcome to attend.

 

 

Don’t Forget to Vote in Tomorrow’s Town Elections!

Dear Friends,

Please remember to vote in your respective Town Elections on Thursday, April 12, 2018. Polling will be held from 7 AM to 8 PM at the Rec. Center in Hamilton and Town Hall in Wenham.

The Town of Wenham’s Ballot contains three questions relating to the HWRSD.  The titles and descriptions of the Ballot Questions are:

Question #1. Regional School District Operating Expense Override [NOTE: Hamilton Town Meeting approved the full HWRSD Operating Budget request on April 7, 2018. Wenham Town Meeting approved “Question #1” on April 7, 2018.]  Shall the Town of Wenham be allowed to assess an additional $331,294 in real estate and personal property taxes for the purpose of funding the Town of Wenham’s annual assessment for the FY 2019 Hamilton Wenham Regional School District Budget as adopted by the Hamilton Wenham Regional School Committee?

Question #2. School Capital Debt Exclusion #1 [NOTE: Both Hamilton and Wenham Town Meeting approved “Question #2” on April 7, 2018.]  Shall the Town of Wenham be allowed to exempt from the provisions of proposition two and one-half, so called, the amounts required to pay the Town’s allocable share of the bond issued by the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District for the purpose of paying costs of installing a fire suppression system at the Winthrop Elementary School, including the payment of all costs incidental or related thereto?

Question #3. School Capital Debt Exclusion #2 [NOTE: Hamilton Town Meeting did not approve Question #3 on April 7, 2018. Therefore, the School Committee did not receive authorization to bond these projects. This renders Question #3 unnecessary.]  Shall the Town of Wenham be allowed to exempt from the provisions of proposition two and one-half, so called, the amounts required to pay the Town’s allocable share of the bond issued by the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District for the purpose of paying costs of various FY19 “Safety, Accessibility and Critical Infrastructure” capital projects within the District as outlined in the District’s Five-Year Capital Plan dated February 13, 2018, including the payment of all costs incidental or related thereto?

Additionally, in both Hamilton and Wenham there are two seats for the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School Committee on the ballot. The candidates for these two seats are Stacey Metternick and Peter Wolczik.

Please lend your voice to our democratic process by casting your vote!

Sincerely,

Michael M. Harvey, Ed.D.

Superintendent

 

Hamilton Sample Ballot

https://www.hamiltonma.gov/take-look-sample-ballot-annual-town-election/

 

Wenham Sample Ballot

http://www.wenhamma.gov/departments/docs/ballot%204.12.18.pdf

 

 

 

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee, 3/14/18

 

Hamilton Wenham shines at DECA State Career Development Conference

The Hamilton Wenham DECA Chapter returned home triumphant on Saturday, March 10,from the 59th annual Massachusetts DECA State Career Development Conference (SCDC) at the Marriott Copley and Hynes Convention Center in Boston with six students qualifying for the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) in Atlanta, GA. Forty-six Hamilton-Wenham students joined over 2,900 students, advisors, and business professionals attending the conference where students compete in over 50 categories of marketing, hospitality, finance and entrepreneurship. Hamilton Wenham took home one 1st Place Overall trophy, one 2nd Place Overall trophy, two 4th Place Overall trophies, six Top 10 Overall plaques, and four medallions for placing first, second, or third in an individual event:

Student (grade)                         Category                                      Award

Tom Kain (10) &John Farnham (12) Financial Services Team Decision Making 1st Place Overall

1st Place Role Play 2

Lily Waterman (9) Hospitality & Tourism Professional Selling 2nd Place Overall

3rd Place Comprehensive Exam

Spencer Poore (12) Principles of Finance 4th Place Overall

2nd Place Comprehensive Exam

Kaili Guyer (12) & Brooke Pippins (12) Buying & Merchandising Research Project 4th Place Overall
Caroline Donellan (12) & James Goudie (12) Public Relations Project Top 10 Overall
Amy Thissell (12) & Julia Putnam (11) Fashion Merchandising Promotion Plan Top 10 Overall
Griffin Penn (12) Entrepreneurship Startup Business Plan Top 10 Overall
Eileen Campbell (10) Financial Consulting Top 10 Overall
Owen Leonard (9) Principles of Finance Top 10 Overall
Olivia Patt (10) & Caroline Pratt (10) Buying & Merchandising Team Decision Making Top 10 Overall
Chloe Belliveau (11) & Emily Vanderwilden (11) Buying & Merchandising Team Decision Making 2nd Place Role Play 1

Additionally, Hamilton Wenham earned 9 allocations for the prestigious Leadership Development Academy at the ICDC in Atlanta through chapter campaigns on the state and national levels. Any DECA member can apply for the Leadership Academy and applications are due by March 14.  Finally, congratulations to DECA Advisor Laura Wheeler for the great work she does with our students!

Civics Bee at MRMS on March 15, 2018

The League of Women Voters will again host their Civics Bee at MRMS on Thursday, March 15th at 7:00p.m. Visit: http://tinyURL.com/CivicsBee2018 to enter your team. There will be a refreshments table where all proceeds will go to the 8th grade Washington, DC trip.

Kindergarten Orientation Meeting Rescheduled

The new scheduled date will be next Tuesday, March 20th from 6:30-7:30 PM at the Winthrop Elementary School. Kindergarten registration will be held from 9:00-noon from March 19-23 and from 2:00-6:00 PM on March 21. Registration will take place at the School Administration Building, 5 School St., Wenham. Registration materials and a list of required documentation is available at http://www.hwschools.net/page.cfm?p=2328

 

 

Statement from School Committee and Superintendent Regarding the Last Day of School

Dear Hamilton and Wenham Community,

We understand that everyone is feeling “snow fatigue” after the last two weeks of weather and are anxious about the impact of the lost school days on the school year.  Ultimately, the School Committee is responsible for setting the District Calendar.  At our meeting last night, the School Committee considered the options for moving the last day of school, which is currently Tuesday June 26, to a date earlier in June.  The School Committee considered holding school for students on March 30 (Good Friday and Passover), April 2 (Teacher Workshop Day) and during the week of April 16th (Spring Recess).  After reviewing the potential benefits and drawbacks of holding school on these alternate dates, the School Committee ultimately decided to keep the last day of school at June 26th.  The School Committee also stated that we fully understand and support the need to be flexible in making accommodations for those who made plans and did not anticipate school would need to be continued into the last week of June.

Sincerely,

Gene Lee

Vice Chairperson

Hamilton-Wenham Regional School Committee

 

Michael M. Harvey

Superintendent

Hamilton –Wenham Regional School District

Thoughts on School Safety, February 16, 2018

As I’m sure you are, I am saddened and frustrated by the tragic events in Parkland, Florida on February 14th.  This was the 8th school shooting resulting in at least one death in the seven weeks of 2018.  These events have become all too commonplace in our society.  Hopefully, our leaders in Washington will finally say “enough is enough” and enact legislation that enhances our safety through better control over gun ownership and expanded services to identify and help for those who are mentally ill.

The safety and security of the 1700 students and 300 staff members of the HWRSD is always our top priority. I’ve received several emails with questions around our school safety plans. While I cannot go into the specifics of our current plans so that someone with ill intent uses them against us, I can say that we have sufficient school safety protocols in place. We regularly review these plans with our local police and fire departments, train our staff in these protocols, and hold drills with both staff and students. After the drills are complete, we debrief and use what we’ve learned to improve upon our plans.

We’re constantly looking at how we can be more effective at school security. This week, the School Committee passed the authorization to borrow nearly $2.6 million for “Safety, Accessibility, and Critical Infrastructure” Capital Projects. If Hamilton and Wenham Town Meetings approve this authorization, the District will be able to improve our school security through adding exterior security cameras, and improved keyless entry systems. Last spring, the School Committee hosted a presentation from the Hamilton and Wenham Police Departments on the A.L.I.C.E. protocol, which is one of many approaches to responding to crisis events in schools. The A.L.I.C.E. protocol offers more extensive and structured training materials and a common language with local law enforcement around crisis response. We’re currently in the process of evaluating this protocol to see how it would fit with what we’re already doing in terms of crisis response.

I understand that children will have questions regarding the issue of school safety and you may not feel you have sufficient responses to your child’s questions.  Here is a list of suggestions for speaking with children about school violence from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) (2006):

Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers

High profile acts of violence, particularly in schools, can confuse and frighten children who may feel in danger or worry that their friends or loved-ones are at risk. They will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and school personnel can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security and talking with them about their fears.

  1. Reassure children that they are safe. Emphasize that schools are very safe. Validate their feelings. Explain that all feelings are okay when a tragedy occurs. Let children talk about their feelings, help put them into perspective, and assist them in expressing these feelings appropriately.
  2. Make time to talk. Let their questions be your guide as to how much information to provide. Be patient. Children and youth do not always talk about their feelings readily. Watch for clues that they may want to talk, such as hovering around while you do the dishes or yard work. Some children prefer writing, playing music, or doing an art project as an outlet. Young children may need concrete activities (such as drawing, looking at picture books, or imaginative play) to help them identify and express their feelings.
  3. Keep your explanations developmentally appropriate:
  • Early elementary school children need brief, simple information that should be balanced with reassurances that their school and homes are safe and that adults are there to protect them. Give simple examples of school safety like reminding children about exterior doors being locked, child monitoring efforts on the playground, and emergency drills practiced during the school day.
  • Upper elementary and early middle school children will be more vocal in asking questions about whether they truly are safe and what is being done at their school. They may need assistance separating reality from fantasy. Discuss efforts of school and community leaders to provide safe schools.
  • Upper middle school and high school students will have strong and varying opinions about the causes of violence in schools and society. They will share concrete suggestions about how to make school safer and how to prevent tragedies in society. Emphasize the role that students have in maintaining safe schools by following school safety guidelines (e.g. not providing building access to strangers, reporting strangers on campus, reporting threats to the school safety made by students or community members, etc.), communicating any personal safety concerns to school administrators, and accessing support for emotional needs.
  1.  Review safety procedures. This should include procedures and safeguards at school and at home. Help children identify at least one adult at school and in the community to whom they go if they feel threatened or at risk.
  2.  Observe children’s emotional state. Some children may not express their concerns verbally. Changes in behavior, appetite, and sleep patterns can indicate a child’s level of anxiety or discomfort. In most children, these symptoms will ease with reassurance and time. However, some children may be at risk for more intense reactions. Children who have had a past traumatic experience or personal loss, suffer from depression or other mental illness, or with special needs may be at greater risk for severe reactions than others. Seek the help of mental health professional if you are at all concerned.
  3.  Limit television viewing of these events. Limit television viewing and be aware if the television is on in common areas. Developmentally inappropriate information can cause anxiety or confusion, particularly in young children. Adults also need to be mindful of the content of conversations that they have with each other in front of children, even teenagers, and limit their exposure to vengeful, hateful, and angry comments that might be misunderstood.
  4.  Maintain a normal routine. Keeping to a regular schedule can be reassuring and promote physical health. Ensure that children get plenty of sleep, regular meals, and exercise. Encourage them to keep up with their schoolwork and extracurricular activities but don’t push them if they seem overwhelmed.

Suggested Points to Emphasize When Talking to Children

  • Schools are safe places. School staff work with parents and public safety providers (local police and fire departments, emergency responders, hospitals, etc.) to keep you safe.
  • The school building is safe because … (cite specific school procedures).
  • We all play a role in the school safety. Be observant and let an adult know if you see or hear something that makes you feel uncomfortable, nervous or frightened.
  • There is a difference between reporting, tattling or gossiping. You can provide important information that may prevent harm either directly or anonymously by telling a trusted adult what you know or hear.
  • Don’t dwell on the worst possibilities. Although there is no absolute guarantee that something bad will never happen, it is important to understand the difference between the possibility of something happening and the probability that it will affect our school.
  • Senseless violence is hard for everyone to understand. Doing things that you enjoy, sticking to your normal routine, and being with friends and family help make us feel better and keep us from worrying about the event.
  • Sometimes people do bad things that hurt others. They may be unable to handle their anger, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or suffering from mental illness. Adults (parents, teachers, police officers, doctors, faith leaders) work very hard to get those people help and keep them from hurting others. It is important for all of us to know how to get help if we feel really upset or angry and to stay away from drugs and alcohol.
  • Stay away from guns and other weapons. Tell an adult if you know someone has a gun. Access to guns is one of the leading risk factors for deadly violence.
  • Violence is never a solution to personal problems. Students can be part of the positive solution by participating in anti-violence programs at school, learning conflict mediation skills, and seeking help from an adult if they or a peer is struggling with anger, depression, or other emotions they cannot control.

NASP has additional information for parents and educators on school safety, violence prevention, children’s trauma reactions, and crisis response at www.nasponline.org. ©2006, National Association of School Psychologists, 4340 East West Highway #402, Bethesda, MD 20814

I hope that this is the last time I will have to write a letter like this.

Sincerely,

Mike Harvey

Superintendent

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee, 2.13.18

Congratulations to Model UN Club

The HWRHS Model UN club participated in the MIT Model UN conference this past weekend. All students performed exceptionally well and were outstanding representatives of HWRSD.  Two students were formally recognized in their committees and earned awards for their research, public speaking, and diplomatic skills.

Congratulations to Cam Lake who earned the Best Delegate award as a delegate from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) on the Disarmament and International Security Committee.

Congratulations to Lily Ting who earned an Honorable Mention award for her work as a delegate from Brazil on the Economic and Social Council.

 

Boston Globe Scholastic Art and Writing Awards 2018

The Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School Visual Arts and English Departments are proud to announce that our students have received three gold keys, two silver keys and five honorable mentions in the 2018 Boston Globe Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Established in 1923, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are the longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in the United States.  Gold Key works will automatically advance to national judging and will be considered for national awards. National Medalists will be announced on March 13, 2018.

Visual Arts: Annabel Howley was awarded two gold keys and an honorable mention. Nora Sullivan-Horner received a gold key. Thomas Lattanzi, Cadyn Sawyer and Helen Peppler were awarded honorable mentions.

English: Raquel Souza was awarded a gold key for a critical essay.  Luce Brandt was awarded a silver key for a personal essay/memoir. Nora Sullivan-Horner was also awarded a silver key for a personal essay/memoir in addition to her win in visual arts.

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset
Brianna, Gold Key Winner by Annabel Howley
Processed with VSCO with m5 preset
True Blithe, Gold Key Winner by Annabel Howley
Processed with VSCO with m5 preset
Sandy Dunes,  Honorable Mention by Annabel Howley
Unknown
What Remains, Gold Key by Nora Sullivan-Horner
FineWinesMedium
Fine Wines, Honorable Mention by Thomas Lattanzi
Waiting for haircut
Open for Business, Honorable Mention by Thomas Lattanzi
32227813476_ddc6616258_o
Sara Spins, Honorable Mention by Helen Peppler

 

School Choice Applications Available

The HWRSD is now accepting School Choice applications for the 2018-19 school year for grades 6-12. Applications will be accepted until March 9, 2018. You can find the application for grades 6-12 here: https://goo.gl/forms/MHV9C2CnIy0MMnSA2

 

School Committee Nomination Papers Available

School Committee Nomination papers are available at the Superintendent’s Office, 5 School Street, Wenham. The papers must be returned with at least 40 registered voters’ signatures from the Towns of Hamilton and/or Wenham on or before 5:00 PM on Monday, February 26, 2018. Signatures will be verified from the voters’ list of the Towns of Hamilton & Wenham by Wednesday, February 28, 2018. The candidate must bring the nomination papers to their respective Town Clerk to be certified that they “the candidate” is a registered voter before gathering at least 40 registered voter signatures from either town. If you have any questions, please call Donna Bunk @ 978-626-0821.

 

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee, 1.17.18

Kindergarten Registration for 2018-2019 School Year

We are planning our registration activities for the class of 2031!  An Orientation Meeting will be held for parents of incoming kindergarten students on Tuesday, March 13th, 2018 at 6:30 PM at the Winthrop Elementary School. Registration will be held from March 19th through March 23rd from 9:00-12:00 and from 2:00-6:00 PM on March 21st at the HWRSD Offices, 5 School St., Wenham. Please see the HWRSD Website for the required forms to complete and a list of necessary documents to bring to registration.

 

School Committee Election Papers are Now Available

Nomination papers for candidates for two seats on the Hamilton-Wenham Regional School Committee are now available.  Each seat carries a three-year term.  Nomination papers can be picked up at the Superintendent’s Office, 5 School Street, Wenham.  The papers must be returned with at least 40 registered voters’ signatures from the Towns of Hamilton and/or Wenham on or before 5:00 PM on Monday, February 26, 2018. Signatures will be verified from the voters’ list of the Towns of Hamilton & Wenham by Wednesday, February 28, 2018.  The candidate must bring the nomination papers to their respective Town Clerk to be certified that they “the candidate” is a registered voter before gathering at least 40 registered voter signatures from either town.  If you have any questions, please call Donna Bunk @ 978-626-0821.

 

School Libraries Redesign Report and Presentation Now Available

The final report and presentation by Flansburgh Architects to redesign the school libraries at Buker, Cutler, Winthrop and the Middle/High Schools are now available on the HWRSD Website.  The documents are available under the heading “Master Plan Documents.”  The designs seek to re-imagine our school libraries into spaces that support the different types of learning activities that are currently underway in our schools.

 

Congratulations to the Cast and Crew of James and the Giant Peach!

Last weekend, the Miles River Middle School presented James and the Giant Peach. It was a wonderful performance with some excellent acting, and great music and dancing.  The most impressive aspect of the production was the incredibly large cast of middle school students. The play was directed by MRMS Drama Teacher Chrissy DeLima.

Those who attended Friday night’s performance also witnessed something extra special. The power went out in Hamilton with about ten minutes remaining in the show. Members of the audience were quick to turn on the flashlights in their phones, one of the musicians moved from an electronic keyboard to the piano and the performers didn’t miss a beat.  The show must go on!

State Auditor Suzanne Bump Presents at Triton on January 25th

State Auditor Suzanne Bump will make a presentation on the report “Supporting Student and Community Success: Updating the Structure and Finance of Massachusetts Regional School Districts.”  The presentation will take place in the Auditorium at Triton Regional High School on January 25th at 6:30 PM.  The Auditor’s Report details recommendations for improving the funding and organization of the state’s regional school districts.  State Senator Bruce Tarr and Representative Brad Hill will also participate.   I have forwarded the information on this event to both Hamilton and Wenham Boards of Selectmen.  Members of the public are also invited to attend.  For more information, including weather-related cancellations, please go to the event’s Facebook page.

 

Best Wishes to Chief Blanchard on His Retirement

On behalf of the entire Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District, I would like to extend congratulations and best wishes to Wenham Fire Chief Bob Blanchard on his retirement after 38 years of service to the Town of Wenham.  As Wenham’s Fire Chief, Bob has been a champion of the HWRSD.  He has dedicated his time to teaching CPR to high school students in their Wellness Classes.  He has played a leadership role with the High School’s Interact Club to organize community service events.  At the elementary schools, Bob organized the Fire Safety Education Program at the Buker School and has taught literally hundreds of students how to “stop, drop and roll.”  Finally, Bob was a constant presence at countless Buker School Events.  From pie judging at Family Fun Night to singing along at the Holiday Assembly, to giving high fives at 5th Grade Move-Up Day, Bob was a consistently positive presence in the lives of our students.   Enjoy your well deserved retirement, Bob.  You will be missed!

 

Congratulations to the HWRHS DECA Team

On Thursday, January 11, Hamilton Wenham DECA competed at the District 3 Career Development Conference held at Merrimack College in North Andover. Eleven schools and over 750 students participated in the business competition in over 40 categories of marketing, hospitality, finance and entrepreneurship.

Ninety Hamilton Wenham students competed and 44 qualified for the DECA State Career Development Conference to be held March 8-10 in Boston. At the awards ceremony, those who place top 5 in their category were called to the stage to accept their qualifier trophy or medallion.

 

Trophy/medal count: 1st place: 10; 2nd place: 7; 3rd place: 9; 4th place: 12; 5th place: 6

Place Participant (grade) Category
1 Chloe Belliveau (11) & Emily Vanderwilden (11) Buying and Merchandising Team Decision Making
1 Julia Putnam (11) & Amy Thissell (12) Fashion Merchandising Promotion Plan
1 John Farnham(12) & Thomas Kain (10) Financial Services Team
1 Grace Moroney (12) Hotel & Lodging Management
1 Spencer Poore (12) Principles of Finance
1 Thomas Flynn (11) & Michael Rebello (11) Sports & Entertainment Marketing Team
2 Eileen Campbell (10) Financial Consulting
2 Mackenzie Hooker (11) Principles of Hospitality & Tourism
2 Megan Vien (12) Professional Selling Event
2 Alec MacDonald (12) Sports & Entertainment Marketing Series
2 Griffin Penn (12) Start-Up Business Plan
2 Lauren Verge (11) & Valerie Wise (11) Travel & Tourism Marketing Team
3 Dimitri Lara (11) Apparel & Accessories Marketing Series
3 Casey Cristoforo (12) Business Services Marketing
3 Jack McMahon (11) Entrepreneurship Series
3 Lily Waterman (9) Hospitality & Tourism Professional Selling
3 Eli Leonard (11) & Jakob Nies (11) Entrepreneurship Innovation Plan
3 Ty Noguchi Uribe (11) Personal Financial Literacy
3 Alexandra Padellaro (12) & Tyler Santos (12) Sports & Entertainment Marketing Team
4 Jack Greenwald (12) Accounting Applications Series
4 Bridget Marshall (11) Business Services Marketing
4 Kaili Guyer (12) & Brooke Pippins (12) Buying & Merchandising Operations Research
4 Morgan Sanford (12) Entrepreneurship Series
4 Pierson Tocci (11) Financial Consulting
4 Michael Katsiris (11) Human Resource Management
4 Quinlan Kelly (11) Principles of Business Management & Administration
4 Caroline Donellan (12) & James Goudie (12) Public Relations Project
4 Amanda Lowrie (11) Quick Service Restaurant Management
4 Grace Lapian (12) Restaurant & Food Service Management
5 Griffin Barlow (12) Business Finance Series Event
5 Erin O’Shea (12) & Arianna Serpa (12) Financial Services Team
5 Sydney Vautour (10) Marketing Communications Series
5 Owen Leonard (9) Principles of Finance
5 Nathan Watkins (12) Sports & Entertainment Marketing Series