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5-7-21 Superintendent Weekly Updates

5-7-21 Superintendent Weekly Updates
Posted on 05/07/2021
Thank you, Natick Families, for all of the Teacher, Nurse, and School Lunch Hero appreciation and love you have given this week.
We have felt it. If you haven't already, reach out to those staffers who have made a difference for your children. It means the world to educators to hear that feedback as most of us get into education to uplift and support children and their families. It's a jam-packed newsletter and so are our school newsletters so please read and read thoroughly.
It's a treat to tell you that the Town COVID dashboard has our metrics as a GREEN community!!!
Yes!!! Let's keep it going that way—continue masking, pooled testing and hand-washing!
Have a nice weekend.

May is Asian-American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month!
 

The Dispatch
In response to feedback from parents at our Parent Academy Town Hall last January, families indicated, during our focus groups, that they wanted a podcast discussing district topics. We listened and are thrilled to announce our new podcast, Dr. Nolin's Dispatch.
Dr. Nolin's Dispatch will cover a wide range of topics, including interviews with people from our community, collaborations with students, information about upcoming events, and responses to listener letters. Take a moment to view the trailer for the coming district podcast!
This podcast has been a collaborative effort between the Office of the Superintendent, the Natick Public Schools Communications Office and Technical Theater students at Natick High School. Thank you to NHS students Allie Conwell, Sammy Scharr, Ellie Pantekidis, Anna Victor, Daniel Zogby for your hard work on this project!
(Dr. Nolin's Dispatch will be available for listening on Spotify, no log-in needed.)
Pooled Testing Update
Positive Pools:
  • 1 at KMS
  • 2 at Memorial
TOMORROW!
Vaccination Clinic for Students aged 16+ in Westborough
The MetroWest-Westborough Regional Collaborative is offering a private Pfizer vaccine clinic for high school students ages 16 and older in 7 neighboring communities, and Natick has been included in this offering. THE CLINIC IS TOMORROW, so sign up as soon as possible.
DATE & TIME:
Saturday, May 8th, 2021 from 8:30am-5:30pm
LOCATION:
MetroWest-Westborough Regional Vaccination Site
DoubleTree Hotel, 5400 Computer Drive, Westborough
ELIGIBILITY:
Open to Students Ages 16+ (must be 16 by 5/8)
Appointments are required. REGISTER FOR THE CLINIC HERE.
IMPORTANT NOTES:
  • This is for first dose appointments only.
  • Second dose appointments for May 29th will be scheduled on-site.
  • Students ages 16 and 17 must bring a completed Parent Consent Form to the clinic: . 
Busing Reminder
Students are required to wear masks and sit in assigned seats.
´╗┐No exceptions.
MCAS Memo
As required by state statute and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), we will administer MCAS to students in grade three through ten during the months of May and June. MCAS could be a useful tool in understanding how students in the remote progressed this year relative to their peers in the brick and mortar schools. By having your child participate in MCAS you will be doing your part in helping us understand the relative impact of the remote learning model. In addition, the assessment has been reduced significantly so students will not be doing multiple sessions over several days. The schedule below will show the amount of testing time for each section. It is important to note, while MCAS is a high stakes provincial assessment, we will not use the results for promotion, placement or programming decisions. We have other benchmark assessments, like Renaissance Learning Star 360, that we use to monitor learning throughout the year. We will use MCAS as a snapshot in time that gives us a picture of how we look relative to other points of reference.
Recently, there have been conversations around town that families may choose to “opt out” of MCAS this year in remote learning. It is important to note, there are no waivers or opt outs for MCAS. The Commissioner of Education, Jeff Riley, has been very clear about that. As a matter of fact, MCAS participation rates impact the school in terms of school accountability assessments with potential fiscal impacts. It is our hope and expectation that all students in grades three through eight participate in taking MCAS in the remote and in-person environments to avoid a negative impact to the school system.
Each school has provided communications of MCAS administration schedules in their weekly newsletter. Here is the overall schedule for our schools.
  • 3rd Grade
  • May 17 for ELA;
  • May 18 for Math
  • 4th Grade
  • May 20 for ELA
  • May 21 for Math
  • 5th Grade
  • May 26 for ELA
  • June 1 for Math
  • June 3 for Science, Technology and Engineering
  • 6th Grade
  • May 27 for ELA
  • June 2 for Math 
  • 7th Grade
  • May 26 for ELA
  • June 1 for Math
  • 8th Grade
  • May 27 for ELA
  • June 2 for Math
  • June 3 - Science, Technology and Engineering
  • 9th Grade
  • June 2-3 - Science
  • 10th Grade
  • May 10-11 - ELA
  • May 17-18 Math
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to Kirk Downing, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching, Learning and Innovation, kdowning@natickps.org.
Last week of June Schedules
In at attempt to ensure that our staff and administration take much-needed vacation and that you, our community, can reach people when you need us, we want to make you aware in advance that we will be closing district and school offices for the last week of June through the 4th of July. Please plan to see us before or after that week.
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