Below you will find a complete listing of up-to-date news items for the Longmeadow Public Schools. Be sure to check back often or subscribe to updates using the RSS subscription link below.
Convocation Presentation by Marie Doyle
Class lists for the Elementary and Middle Schools will be posted today, Friday, August 22, 2014, by 3:00 pm.
Longmeadow High School and the Central Office are both closed today, Monday, August 18, 2014 due to a water main issue.
August 8, 2014
Dear Staff and Families:
As you may well know, summer is my favorite season because of the fact that our schedules allow us to spend more time with family and friends. My clan gathers in Harwich at Cape Cod where we learn about the escapades that everyone has had throughout the previous year. All of my nieces and nephews are now older- three are in high school, three are in college and four have graduated and in the work force, so we are definitely in a different phase of life where time together is limited and even more precious due to summer jobs and real world professions. One of my summer highlights was last week's trip to the Red Sox game on Friday night where several of my nieces and nephews joined me to witness the Red Sox defeat the Yankees. Fenway Park, a true Boston gem, was alive with devoted fans who preserve the traditions such as creating the wave as well as singing Sweet Caroline. Watching a young new pitcher, called up from the minors, outdo the Yankees in his first pro venue was superb, as he demonstrated that he not only has the talent, but nerves of steel as well, that led to this victory. My nieces and nephews never tire of a summer's game at Fenway Park, and I never get bored as I spend time with them!
The summer is flying by as staff in Longmeadow work on curriculum, take courses, plan for staff development, register new students, finish schedules and hire new teachers. While the pace is definitely slower in the summer, there is still a plethora of interesting work happening in the schools. Several teams of teachers have come to write curriculum for grade levels and departments as well as to create assessments to give us more detailed information on student learning. The administrative team has met to review a new student information system called Inform, to study meaningful ways of giving feedback to teachers during observations and more. The entire staff in Longmeadow continually explores ways of enhancing educational experiences for all of our students.
Many exciting initiatives are happening in our district, and here are just a few of them: new elementary and middle school schedules that include an enrichment/ RTI block; Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) at the high school; electronic books in Human Anatomy and Physiology and Algebra I at the high school; expansion of on-line learning opportunities for high school students; AIMSWEB assessment of all students in grades k-8 in math and literacy; and on-line study of Chinese as a second language at the high school. Our goal is continuous improvement as we keep our "eyes on the child" in Longmeadow Public Schools.
Also, it is with pleasure that I announce that Marc Oldenburg has been appointed as our new Director of Pupil Services. Marc brings a wealth of leadership experiences due to his work at DESE and as former Director of Pupil Services in Granville, MA. Marc's interpersonal skills are strong as well, and he will be an asset to our team. Please join me in welcoming him to Longmeadow as he officially begins work on August 18th.
Staff reports back for convocation and professional development on August 26, 2014 while our students will start school onSeptember 2, 2014. We look forward to everyone's return for a successful 2014-15 academic year.
Please do enjoy a good book (electronically or on paper), sit on a beach, and spend time relaxing with loved ones. I look forward to the schools humming with activity in September as everyone returns!
Superintendent Marie Doyle
The Longmeadow Public Schools has a new website! All the information you used to find on our old website is here, in a friendlier format for our users! Please take some time and check out our site. Each school website has also been redesigned in a similar format.
If you are looking for something specific and are unsure where you might find it, you can use the search feature in the upper right corner.
Thank you for stopping by! We hope you enjoy this new site and find it easier to navigate.
The School Committee is considering the two attached, draft, policies. The first policy ADDA - Background Checks updates the policy to be compliant with the new expanded, fingerprint-based background check law.
The second policy is the Social Media policy. The draft attached is an update to our current policy. Both policies will be posted here for 30 days to solicit public input. Please complete the Policy Impact Form
to provide the School Committee with you feedback.
Dear Longmeadow Community:
The Administrative Team has created a newsletter to celebrate the many achievements of our district. Please take time to peruse this publication in order to find our more about Longmeadow's exciting learning experiences. You can click on the image, or download the file attached below.
Longmeadow Public Schools
Technology in Education Showcase
When: May 22nd, 2014
Where: Longmeadow High School
Time: 6:00-8:30 PM
Opening Remarks from Superintendent Marie Doyle
Kevin Warenda, Director of Technology
Auditorium at 6:00 PM
The Longmeadow Public School District will showcase how technology is blended into daily learning experiences at our first Technology in Education Showcase (TIES). Students and teachers will exhibit interactive projects that highlight how technology enhances learning across curriculum areas and across all grade levels. Algebraic Art, QR Codes for Literacy Learning, Green Screen Studio projects, and Math with iPads are just a few samples of the innovative and exciting presentations.
Visitors to TIES will learn about the creative ways that technology enriches learning and enjoy the opportunity to engage with teachers and students as they share their projects. Visitors should bring their own devices for some interactive fun! TIES will highlight a sampling of projects from all schools in the district- students in grades kindergarten through grade twelve will be present! Participants are eager to share their technology talents and innovative learning with members of the Longmeadow community and beyond, so mark your calendars for this engaging showcase! Please note:
Opening remarks are from 6:00-6:15 pm.
Kindergarten presentations are from 6:15-7:00 pm.
Elementary presentations are from 6:15-7:30 pm.
High school presentations are from 6:15-8:30 pm.
Staff presentations are from 6:15-8:30 pm.
Information will be available for you to scan to your own device, so come with an electronic tool. We look forward to our first TIES, so please plan to join us!
Dear Longmeadow Community:
This past year, I worked with the Kindergarten Committee to study the
benefits of a full day kindergarten program, and a recommendation was
made to the School Committee that we provide the opportunity for all
children to attend the full day program in Longmeadow. The lottery
system was abolished and the fee was reduced from over $4000 to $3000
per child. The Committee worked all through the fall and into the
winter before making this recommendation. Time was needed for teachers'
input, parent forums, research and communication. A final report was
written and presented to the School Committee in January of 2014.
Registration was completed by March 1, and it was at this time that we had evidence that we would increase the number of full day classrooms next year, FY 15.
Fund Code 701- the Transition to Full Day Kindergarten Grant- is
designed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
to promote voluntary expansion to full day kindergarten programs. In
November of 2012, the DESE released the funding opportunity for this
competitive grant. It was designed to increase the number of full day
programs- not to supplant the current full day classrooms already in
existence. Since Longmeadow's full day kindergarten had no classrooms
increases in the past years, we were not eligible for the grant.
In addition, the grant clearly states, "Competitive priority will be given to districts with the greatest need as defined by:
• higher percentages of low-income students based on districts that serve
free or reduced lunches to at least 35% of its students;
• higher percentages of students who are English language learners;
and lower Composite Performance Index (CPI) data for the 3rd grade
MCAS assessments in English Language Arts and Mathematics."
Eight districts applied for the grant this past year. Five applicants
received funding in FY 14. They were: Billerica Public Schools
($90,000), Hopkinton Public Schools ($20,000), Mansfield Public Schools
($20,000), Scituate Public Schools ($10,000), and Stoneham Public
Schools ($20,259). The total amount of money allocated and dispersed
for the entire State was $150,529. Three applicants received no
funding; a total of $514,457 was requested by all of the applicants and
only $150,529 was funded by the State. None of the districts that
received funding over the past two years compare to us by the DESE's
qualifications, which they call "like districts". We are compared with
communities such as Wellesley and Wayland for achievement,
socio-economics and ELL populations. The data above shows that the
likelihood of Longmeadow receiving a grant was highly unlikely. In
addition, the deadline for the application was October 15, 2013, and the
Committee, required by the DESE to even apply for the grant, did not
finish our work until January of 2014.
In FY 13, again only five districts, again, distinctly different from
Longmeadow's profile, received funding. They were: Bourne, Hudson,
Mansfield, Mendon- Upton Regional and Scituate. Ms. Jasmin's claims
that our chances of receiving funding were "high" based on FY 12 grants
is inaccurate and misrepresents the facts; if she looks at the actual
grant recipients in FY 13 and FY 14, and the limited funds available,
she will find that no "like districts" received funding because we do
not fit the criteria; districts with lower socio-economic status receive
priority in almost all DESE grants.
In addition, it would cost us over $407,000 more to offer free
kindergarten. Yes, we would receive approximately $81,640 from Chapter
70 funds based on the 130 students projected by Longmeadow's census, but
that would still leave us a deficit of approximately $325,960.
There are other state and federal grants for which we are eligible, we
do apply and we do receive funding. Some of these include: Title I,
IDEA, Race to the Top, Title IIA, Academic Support and Summer Academic
Support. Longmeadow receives approximately $850,000 annually in grants
due to applications submitted by Longmeadow's school administration. We
do not shy away from applying for grants that will bring valued revenue
to this Town as we understand the high tax rate that residents pay in
order to support our school system. We are most grateful.
As we move to full day kindergarten, we may become eligible for other
grants. Please be assured that we will continue to apply for all grants
that we have a chance of receiving. We are aware that every dollar
counts, and we strive to take advantage of all opportunities to bring
funding to Longmeadow when the criteria fits our profile.
Superintendent Marie Doyle