Masconomet Eighth Graders Travel to Philadelphia and Washington to Deepen Their Citizenship and See History Firsthand

The Masconomet Middle School eighth-grade class traveled to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., including landmarks like the U.S. Capitol. (Courtesy Photo Masconomet Regional School District)

BOXFORD – Masconomet Middle School eighth graders had the opportunity to explore the nation’s capital — and the nation’s colonial capital — during a multi-day field trip down the east coast earlier this month. 

From Nov. 2-5, the entire eighth-grade class traveled to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., where they visited significant historical landmarks and had an opportunity to explore the very places they’ve come to know more about through their social studies coursework.

Social studies teacher Rebecca Calzini organized the trip with the support of numerous chaperones in order to provide students with a deeper, firsthand understanding of American history, including the leaders and sacrifices that set America on a path to where it is today. 

In Philadelphia, students visited Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, as well as the Interactive Constitution Center. In Washington, students visited the Capitol, several memorials, the Supreme Court, and the Smithsonian’s Air and Space, Natural History, American History and American Indian Museums. They also visited Arlington National Cemetery, which is the final resting place for thousands of people who’ve served the nation.

“It’s important for students to see the nation’s capital and see our national monuments so they appreciate the sacrifices that Americans have made in creating and maintaining our democracy,” Calzini said. “It makes them better citizens and it’s a joy to bring them there and share this experience with them.” 

The trip exposed students to some of the most significant places in both American history and modern American society and served as an opportunity to make their learning more experiential. It also afforded them an opportunity to develop their independence as they explored cities with less hands-on guidance from chaperones.

“It’s important for kids to have these experiences because travel is a fundamental part of a young person’s growth, especially when it involves the nation’s capital,” teacher and chaperone Nicko Tzortzis said. “It was great to see them engaging in the sights of the capital, but they also had a chance to meet people outside of the tri-town area and engage with them as well. The kids had a great time!” 

Social Studies department head Eva Urban Hughes added that she’s hopeful the school community will continue to support this trip and others like it. This year marked the first time since 2019 that Masconomet eighth graders have made the trip, following a multi-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

“Citizenship is the core of the eighth-grade curriculum and this trip underscores the values of the mission of the district,” Hughes said. “Students that attended the trip will have lasting memories of their Masco Middle School experience for a lifetime.”

The group of 246 students was accompanied by 13 chaperones, including Calzini and Tzortzis, as well as Tom Cobb, Lois Afrow, Pat Hogan, Tim Brown, Rob Beardsell, Heather Cote, Erica Donovan, Eric Bonnano, Viana Mendes and Jeanne O’Hearn.

Eighth graders Angelina Vecchio, Mara Siewko, Taylor Vuylsteke, Julianna Vaz, Brooke Hagerty, Kaia Reardon, Ada Paglierani and Grace Blaney at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington. (Courtesy Photo Masconomet Regional School District)
Members of the Masconomet Middle School eighth-grade class at the White House. (Courtesy Photo Masconomet Regional School District)


School Cancellation Notification Procedures, 11/15/22

Unfortunately, it looks as though the unseasonably warm autumn we’ve been experiencing has ended. As we move into more seasonable temperatures and weather forecasts, its time to share with you our procedures for communicating school cancellations and delayed openings.  These procedures have been developed in an effort to balance the needs of staff members who commute to work from a distance and families of students who may need to arrange childcare services for the day with the requests of families who do not want an “invasive” 5:30 AM phone call. 

In order to balance these needs, school cancellation or delayed opening announcements will first be communicated through “passive” means, such as Twitter and local news media outlets and then later through direct telephone contact through our Blackboard Communication System.

Please remember that conditions may vary widely across the three communities during a weather event.  Parents always have the final authority to make the decision that it is unsafe for their child to travel to school.

Once the decision is made to cancel or delay the start of school, it will be communicated through the following outlets:

  1. All Media Communications will be sent out as soon as a decision has been made regardless of the time, and will be before 5:30 AM on the morning of the cancellation/delay.
  2. Twitter:  follow @mascosuper.  This will always be the first place for school cancellation and delayed opening announcements.
  3. WBZ TV (Channel 4) and WBZ Radio 1030 AM.  www.cbsboston.com
  4. WCVB TV (Channel 5) www.wcvb.com
  5. WHDH TV (Channel 7) www.whdh.com
  6. WYCN (Channel 10) www.nbcboston.com
  7. WFXT TV (Channel 25) www.myfoxboston.com
  8. NECN www.necn.com
  9. Masconomet Website on the front page under “Superintendent News and Announcements.” www.masconomet.org
  10. Direct Contact Communications through Blackboard via telephone and email will be sent out prior to 8:30 PM if a decision to close or delay school has been reached on the evening prior and at 6:00 AM if a decision is made on the morning of the cancellation or delayed opening.

Fall Sports Update, 11/10/22

Here’s the most up to date information on all our fall sports teams:

Football: The football team plays at Revere tonight at 6pm in a non-playoff game. The game is going to be live-streamed here

Field Hockey: The field hockey team beat Scituate yesterday, 3-1. We play in the Round of 8 this Friday v. Westwood at Essex Tech (12:30). Tickets can be purchased here. The game is being live streamed through Boxford Cable TV here

Volleyball: The volleyball team travels to Dartmouth HS this Friday at 5pm for the Round of 8. Tickets can be purchased here, and the game is being live-streamed here

Cross Country: The cross country team competes in the Divisional Meet this Friday in Wrentham (girls’ start at 11:30 and boys’ start at 12:15). Here are the Boys roster of competitors and the Girls roster of competitors for the Divisional Meet.

Girls’ Soccer: The girls’ soccer team beat Melrose last night, 4-1. We play Silver Lake in the Round of 8 this Saturday at BISHOP FENWICK (1PM). Tickets will be available online here shortly. The game is being live-streamed here

Cheerleading: The cheerleading team competes at Regionals this Sunday at Billerica Memorial HS. Tickets can be purchased here. Here is the order of appearance for Sunday. Masconomet cheer competes just before noon.

Good luck to all our student-athletes and coaches!

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee, 11/9/22

Strategic Planning Report

Earlier this week, I confirmed the participation of the 20 members of our Strategic Plan Working Group.  This group, which is made up of faculty, school leadership, and community members will serve as the organizers, data collectors, authors and co-leaders of this work.  They will explore and craft strategic objectives and initiatives, find consensus, and make recommendations for planning, communications, leadership, and resources.  The group will hold its initial meeting next week.  For more information, and to sign up for updates regarding our strategic planning process, please go to:  https://www.masconomet.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=908

Middle and High School Pilot Schedule Review Update

In late October/early November, our Schedule Review Committee administered surveys regarding our pilot 2022-2023 school schedule.  We have collected responses from 95 faculty members (approx. 50%) and 1134 students (approx. 73%) and will be meeting early next week to review the responses and consider any possible changes to the schedule for both the short and long term. 

COVID Test Kit Distribution

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has announced they will make COVID Test kits available to all students and staff in Massachusetts schools for use over the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays.  One test kit will be distributed during the week of November 21st and the second the week of December 19th.  Each test kit contains two COVID tests.  Building principals will be developing distribution plans in their individual schools and will be communicating these plans in the next week.

Fall Athletics in Tournament Play

We’ve had a very successful fall athletic season.  Our Field Hockey Team and Girls Soccer Team both played their round of 16 games on Wednesday, November 9th.  Field Hockey won their game and will play again on November 11th.  Girls Soccer also won and will play next on Saturday, November 12th. Volleyball will play its round of 8 game on Friday, November 11th at Dartmouth.  Girls Cross Country took third place overall and Boys Cross Country came in 5th place at the NEC Meet.  Both Cross Country Teams will be competing in the State Championship Meet on Friday, November 11th in Wrentham.  Cheerleading won the NEC Championship this past weekend and will move on to the North Regional Competition on November 13th.  Unfortunately, Boys Soccer and Football lost their tournament games this past week.  Football will continue their season at Revere on Thursday, November 10th and finish their season at home against Bishop Fenwick on Thanksgiving Day. I want to congratulate all of our student-athletes and coaches on very successful fall seasons. For the most up to date sports schedules please go to: https://www.masconomet.org/Page/145

Upcoming School Events:

High SchoolMiddle School
November 11, Veterans Day – No School

November 23, Thanksgiving Recess Begins at 10:30 AM

November 29, National Honor Society Induction Ceremony
November 11, Veterans Day – No School

November 23, Thanksgiving Recess Begins at 10:30 AM

November 30, Trimester 1 Ends

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee, 10/26/22

Strategic Planning Update

On Monday, October 24th, Dr. Carabatsos and Dr. McManus dedicated time at their monthly faculty meetings to introduce our strategic planning process to their faculties.  Ms. Cindy Bohne, who has been engaged as a consultant to facilitate this process, was also introduced to the Middle and High School faculties at these meetings.  On Tuesday, October 23rd, I sent invitations out to the 22 members of our Working Team, which is made up of faculty, administration, school committee and parents/community representatives.  We will be meeting monthly beginning in November.  Anyone who would like more information about our strategic planning process or to sign up to receive updates can go to https://www.masconomet.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=908

Schedule Review Committee Update

Our Schedule Review Committee met last week to finalize surveys for faculty and students regarding our 2022-2023 Pilot Schedule.  The surveys were sent to faculty members last Friday and will be open through October 31st.  The student survey will be administered this week during M-Block.  The Schedule Review Committee will be meeting in November to review the results of the surveys.

Classroom Observations

Since the beginning of school in September, I’ve been engaged in visiting classrooms on a regular basis.  To date, I’ve visited over 90 of the approximately 120 classroom teachers in both the middle and high schools.  I plan to complete this first round of visits in the next few weeks and will begin a second round in November.  Earlier this month, I also began holding shared classroom visits with a building principal and a department head and have almost completed visits to every department in both schools.  One thing that stands out through all of these classroom visits is the strong relationships our teachers have with their students.  It is evident throughout the middle and high schools that students enjoy positive connections with their teachers and that our teachers care about their students as individuals.  I would like to commend our faculty for taking the time to get to know their students and for showing them that they care deeply about their learning.

Student Meetings

In early October, I began holding regular meetings with students.  I meet weekly with groups of 10 students from the Middle School and met with the Executive Board of our High School Student Council earlier this month.  On the whole, our students are reporting a positive school experience that feels more “normal” than the past two years.  They report that their teachers are passionate about their subjects and they know how to engage students in learning the curriculum.  Students also report their teachers are committed to seeing them be successful.  Students in both the Middle and High Schools report that M-Block has been invaluable in helping them to reduce their homework load and to receive extra help.  They also feel positive about the 1:10 dismissal on Wednesdays.  Because their afterschool activities have not changed their start times, students are able to complete homework assignments prior to attending any afterschool activities on Wednesdays.  This has allowed them to end their evenings earlier because they do not have to complete homework after activities are completed. 

On the negative side, students in both schools talked about the adjustment to learning a new sequence of periods in this year’s pilot schedule.  They also reported a familiar complaint: dissatisfaction with the food options in the cafeteria.

Congratulations to Cast and Crew of Chicago

Congratulations to Mr. Brian Pereira, our Theater Director, and to the entire cast and crew of Chicago.  The Theater Company performed the musical on October 13-15.  It was a fantastic show!  The show was viewed by a judge from the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild (METG) on Saturday, who gave the show very high praise. 

Good Luck to Our Fall Sports Teams

Our Fall Athletic Teams are winding down their regular season competitions and are getting ready for post-season tournament play.  On Monday, Golfers Tyler Feldberg and Jack Mertz won the Northeast Conference Open Championship.  Yesterday, the Golf Team finished 10th in the Division II State Championship.  As of yesterday, Girls Soccer was ranked #2 (Division 2), Field Hockey was ranked #3 (Division 2), Boys Soccer was ranked #7 (Division 2), Volleyball was ranked #9 (Division 2), and Football was ranked #11 (Division 3).  Tournament seedings for these sports will be released by the MIAA between October 31st and November 2nd.  Our Boys and Girls Cross Country Teams will be competing in the NEC Championship Meet on Saturday, October 29th and their respective state meets on Saturday November 12th.  Varsity Cheerleading finished first in their competition at Billerica High School last weekend and have another competition this weekend.

Tri-Town Council Programs

On Thursday, October 20th, I was able to attend the presentation “What is Exactly is Play?” by Dr. Peter Gray.  Dr. Gray’s presentation was arranged by the Tri-Town Council.  For those who were not able to attend, a recording of the presentation is available on the Boxford Cable Website at https://boxford.vod.castus.tv/vod/?video=a7575c21-0fd1-4942-b215-95482f655066

Tri-Town Council is also presenting a screening of the film Chasing Childhood on Thursday, November 3rd in the Masconomet Auditorium.  In CHASING CHILDHOOD, psychologists, activists, and leaders of the “free play” movement work to bring back the untold benefits of a less curated life for our kids and teens that can lead to stronger foundations and healthier life outcomes. The film can either be viewed online, or participants can view the film in the Masconomet auditorium at 6:30 PM on Thursday, November 3rd.  There will be a group discussion regarding the film that same evening at 8:00 PM in the Masconomet cafeteria.  A link to register to watch the film and take part in the group discussion is here

Upcoming School Events:

High SchoolMiddle School
October 27, Senior Halloween Dance
November 4, Quarter 1 Ends
November 11, Veterans Day – No School
November 15, National Honor Society Induction
November 23, Thanksgiving Recess Begins at 10:30 AM
October 27, Essex North Shore Tech presentation to students during school day.
October 27, Parent – Teacher Conferences
November 11, Veterans Day – No School
November 23, Thanksgiving Recess Begins at 10:30 AM
November 30, Trimester 1 Ends

For a full listing of School Events, please see the Masconomet Website.

Masconomet Ninth Graders Connect with Patrick Cogan to Learn about Inclusion, Belonging, and Facing Adversity

masc 1
Patrick Cogan, who has Friedreich’s ataxia, visited Masconomet Regional High School to teach students about inclusion, belonging, and adversity. (Courtesy Photo Masconomet Regional School District)

BOXFORD – Superintendent Michael Harvey and Principal Mary Jo Carabatsos are pleased to share that Patrick Cogan recently visited Masconomet Regional High School to help ninth-grade students foster a better understanding of inclusion, belonging and facing adversity.

Cogan, who has Friedreich’s ataxia (FA), visited the school on Wednesday, Oct. 12, to speak about his experience with the disease. FA is a rare genetic disease that causes progressive damage to the nervous system, and may result in movement problems, muscle weakness, speech problems, and more.

Cogan explained how the disease affects his body, but added that he has pushed himself to compete in marathons and triathlons. He noted that much of his success has come from the help of others and stressed the importance of learning how to ask for help.

He also urged students to view adversity they may face as a challenge that can be overcome. He explained that when we push ourselves, we can do more than we think.

Students were able to meet Cogan’s service dog, Knight, who Cogan says helps him live independently.

“I would like to extend a sincere thank you to Patrick for coming to our school and sharing his experience overcoming adversity with our students so candidly,” Principal Carabatsos said. “He taught students many valuable lessons, including the importance of understanding each other’s differences. That is a key step in fostering inclusion, acceptance, and belonging.”

Students participated in a variety activities surrounding inclusion, belonging and facing adversity throughout the day.

Cogan, a native of Lynn, and his family have established The Project Wheels Foundation to shed light on Friedreich’s ataxia, raise funds for research, and help search for a cure.

Masconomet Regional High School wishes to thank Cogan for sharing his story. The School also thanks teacher Laura Greeley, a longtime friend of Cogan, who facilitated the event.

Patrick Cogan with teacher Laura Greeley. (Courtesy Photo Masconomet Regional School District)

Patrick Cogan, who has Friedreich’s ataxia, visited Masconomet Regional High School to teach students about inclusion, belonging, and adversity. (Courtesy Photo Masconomet Regional School District)

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee, 10/12/22

Masconomet Strategic Planning Update

In 2022-2023, the Masconomet Regional School District is engaging in an aspirational, community conversation to redefine what success should look like for our students and schools and to embrace the practices that will enable the district to realize that vision.  

With excellent educators and tremendous community support, Masconomet has a tradition of high performance. We strive to both honor that tradition and also prepare our students for a rapidly changing world.  Post-covid, we must embrace the idea that schools may need to look different than we remember, programs must become increasingly nimble, and the mental health and resiliency of both children and adults is essential. 

During this fourteen (14) month engagement, we will ask: what competencies and attributes should the Masconomet graduate demonstrate? What programs and systems are in place to ensure they are prepared for meaningful work and citizenry?  Where are their opportunities to start, stop or accelerate programming to continually evolve and adapt to a changing student profile and world? What is our culture and process for planning? We will review and revise our vision, and craft a shared plan for how Masconomet might balance personnel, programming, and policy decisions over the next three to five years (2023-2028). We will be deliberate and thoughtful in developing a plan that is both a guide and a tool for measuring future performance and progress.

We welcome your ideas. All interested parties, especially students, will have opportunities to share their perspectives and suggestions. Whenever possible, we will utilize surveys and focus groups to amplify our many voices.  We will prioritize regular communications, collaboration and shared problem solving during this process. 

A team of faculty, school leadership, and community members will serve as the organizers, data collectors, authors and co-leaders of this work.  Together they will direct and inform the process. With guidance by an outside facilitator, they will explore and craft strategic objectives and initiatives, find consensus, and make recommendations for planning, communications, leadership, and resources. A final document will be completed by November 1, 2023.

For updates on the Strategic Planning Process
and for upcoming community conversations, please register HERE today.

Pilot Schedule Update

Last week, Masconomet’s Scheduling Task Force met to discuss feedback members had received regarding the pilot schedule for 2022-2023.  Among several topics, the group discussed the benefits and drawbacks of longer periods of instruction, a fixed, predictable Monday to Friday schedule, use of M-Block and the M-Block scheduling software, Wednesday early release and staff development time.  The Task Force is currently developing surveys for students and faculty regarding the new schedule and plans to administer these surveys during the last week in October.  As a group, we also decided on the need to come to a decision regarding the schedule for the 2023-2024 school year by February of 2023. 

Staff Development Update

On Wednesday, October 5th, we began the more structured part of our staff development programming for the 2022-2023 school year.  For this year, each teacher has been assigned to one of three cohorts.  Each cohort will participate in three ten-week sessions on curriculum revision, alignment and documentation, social emotional learning, and diversity, equity and inclusion.  Work on curriculum revision, alignment and documentation will be done in department teams and will be led by our department heads.  The social emotional learning session is being led by two of our school adjustment counselors, Kristen Duffy and Alexis Kostas.  Our diversity, equity and inclusion training is being conducted by staff from the Initiatives for Developing Equity and Achievement Institute. 

PSAT Day Activities

On Wednesday, October 12, all grade 10 and 11 students took the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSATs).  The exam time was approximately 4 hours.  Because of the need to maintain a quiet testing environment for students taking the PSATs, we needed to plan alternative activities for students in Grades 9 and 12.  Grade 9 students spent the day thinking about the themes of inclusion, belonging, stereotypes, and persevering through participating in an in-school field trip presented by Mr. Patrick Cogan. Mr. Cogan is a Lynn native, who outside of his professional career, trains and competes in marathons and triathlons. He speaks to audiences, primarily young people, about pushing oneself and overcoming adversity. Mr. Cogan has Friedreich’s Ataxia, a neuromuscular disease that effects mobility and use of his legs, and speaks directly to his story as he lives a meaningful life. Following his presentation, students spent time in the athletic center doing some class bonding activities, meeting their class leadership team, and then returned to the auditorium to watch the movie, If I had wings.  The students were given a prompt as a writing assignment to get at the themes of the movie that will be completed in English classes on Thursday or Friday.

Grade 12 students were encouraged to use this day to plan for post-secondary opportunities, including visiting schools, exploring technical and career options, and/or a job shadow. Students also could use this day to complete their community service hours by spending the day in service.  Seniors were also able to access school counselors and teachers to work on post-secondary planning in the High School Library during the school day.

Chicago at Masconomet High School this weekend

The Masconomet Regional High School Theater Company invites you to come see our fall production of Chicago.  Performances will be on Thursday, October 13th at 7:00 PM, Friday, October 14th at 7:00 PM and Saturday, October 15 at 2 PM.  Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for students and $10 for seniors and children.  Buying tickets in advance is highly encouraged as there were sold out performances for last year’s musical.  For tickets, scan the QR code in the poster below, or go to https://www.masconomet.org/domain/86

Tri-Town Council Presents “What is Play

Parents/caregivers, educators and caring adults of children of ALL AGES, please join the Tri-Town Council as we explore: “What Exactly is Play?  Why is it so crucial for healthy development?” with Boston College research professor Peter Gray, Ph.D. on Thursday, October 20th from 7 – 8:30 PM at the Masconomet Auditorium.  More information and a link to register is  HERE.

Tri-Town Council Presents Chasing Childhood

In today’s world of structure, stranger danger, and helicopter parenting, free play and independence have virtually disappeared from childhood, giving way to unprecedented anxiety and depression (now compounded by two+ years of the COVID-19 pandemic). In CHASING CHILDHOOD, psychologists, activists, and leaders of the “free play” movement work to bring back the untold benefits of a less curated life for our kids and teens that can lead to stronger foundations and healthier life outcomes. The film can either be viewed online, or participants can view the film in the Masconomet auditorium at 6:30 PM on Thursday, November 3rd.  There will be a group discussion regarding the film that same evening at 8:00 PM in the Masconomet cafeteria.  A link to register to watch the film and take part in the group discussion is here

COVID-19 Booster Clinics at Masconomet

The Tri-Town Public Health Departments are holding COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics at Masconomet from on Friday October 14 and Friday October 21 from 3-6 PM.  Please go to https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/capeann to register for the vaccine.

Upcoming School Events:

High SchoolMiddle School
October 17 Financial Aid Night presented by MEFA, 6:30 Auditorium
October 27 Halloween Dance
November 4 Quarter 1 Ends
November 11 Veterans Day – No School
October 14 Mid-point Trimester 1
October 27 Essex North Shore Tech presentation to students during school day
October 27 Parent – Teacher Conferences  
November 11 Veterans Day – No School

For a full listing of School Events, please see the Masconomet Website.

Masconomet Students Creating Portraits of Ukrainian Children to Provide to Families

Students in Masconomet Regional High School’s Advanced Placement art studio program are taking part in a special project this month to show support for children in Ukraine. 

As part of the Memory Project, a nonprofit that collects portraits of children from around the world, AP art studio students will draw 24 portraits of Ukrainian children using photographs provided by the children’s mothers. 

The Memory Project was started by Ben Schumaker, a former University of Wisconsin student who worked in a Guatemalan orphanage and wanted to provide children he met with a tangible, positive memory of their childhood. 

“This is a way to both connect our students to families in Ukraine who are experiencing extraordinary hardship and provide those families with a nicely drawn portrait that depicts their children in a time before their lives were upended by war,” art instructor Elizabeth Saitta said. 

Once the portraits are completed, they will be delivered to the Ukrainian families for them to keep. Students are scheduled to finish the project on Sept. 30. 

In past years, AP art studio students have completed portraits for children in Uganda, Sierra Leone, Romania, Guatemala, Honduras, Thailand, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, and Peru. 

Masconomet School District Invites School Community to Parent University

BOXFORD – The Masconomet Regional School District and Superintendent Michael Harvey invite the school community to attend this year’s Masconomet and Tri-Town School Union Parent University and gain valuable insight into their children’s education.

Parent University will be held on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at Masconomet Middle/High School, 20 Endicott Road, Boxford.

Parent University presenters will share perspectives on topics including understanding the methods and practices of school curricula, exploring best supports for social emotional learning, creating a community of belonging, and prioritizing parent wellness. These discussions will focus on academics, character education, and preparing students for the journey ahead.

The conference will feature two keynote speakers:

  • Internet safety expert Katie Greer will share strategies to empower students, educators and parents to use technology in a healthy and safe way. Greer has served as Director of Internet Safety for the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, and as Intelligence Analyst for the Massachusetts State Police. Her work has been featured in national television and print media.
  • Social worker Rick Irving will talk about how the school community can recover and regain confidence with a sense of joy. Irving has worked as a clinical social worker for more than 40 years in both private treatment settings and public education. Irving has consulted with school districts and presented to workshops both in the United States and Europe.

“Families and caregivers of students of all ages will benefit from Parent University,” Superintendent Harvey said. “We hope that attendees will leave with a better understanding about educational challenges, and be able to talk to their children about important skills that will point them toward success.”

On-site childcare will be available.

Those interested in attending are asked to register here.

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee, 9/7/22

Masconomet and Tri-Town Union Parent University, September 24, 2022

The Masconomet School District and the Tri-Town School Union will be presenting “Parent University” on Saturday, September 24, 2022 from 8:30 to 12:30 at Masconomet Middle/High School.  Parent University is an opportunity for parents and guardians in Boxford, Topsfield, and Middleton to come together and learn ways to support their children in their educational journey. Parent University is designed to support parents and families across a variety of relevant topics including understanding the methods and practices of school curricula, exploring best supports for social emotional learning, creating a community of belonging and prioritizing parent wellness as a critical component. The conference is designed into a series of engaging presentations and discussions that will provide insight and perspective on topics ranging from academics, character education, and preparing students for the journey ahead. This year’s event will be highlighted by two keynote speakers: Rick Irving, who will talk about how as a community we can recover and regain confidence with a sense of joy in ourselves and our children; and Katie Greer, who will share strategies to empower students, educators and parents to use technology in a healthy and safe way. We see this as a unique way to partner with parents to enrich themselves and to help their children thrive. Childcare will be available.  Please click here to register.

Strategic Plan Kickoff

In 2022-2023, the Masconomet Regional School District is engaging in an aspirational, community conversation to redefine what success looks like for our students and schools and to embrace the practices that will enable the district to realize that vision.  Through this initiative, we will travel down two parallel tracks.

First – We will develop an approach or strategy, a manner in which we as a community can come together – in small and/or larger groups – to solve problems. How do we strengthen our capacity to have more honest conversations, where we can disagree agreeably, and hear and understand the different perspectives that often accompany complex issues?  We know that in order to prepare our students for a rapidly changing world, where learning takes place in so many ways, our schools will have to be nimble and agile.  Faculty and staff want to be part of this conversation, and all interested parties, including students, need to have their voices heard.

Second – Where are we going, as a district? By what beacons should we be steering this “ship,” imagining our students, schools and community, five plus years from now?  We are overwhelmed with possibilities:  pressures to change, different directions we can go, with limited resources.  What are we going to do and what aren’t we going to do?  Through a series of conversations with all interested parties, we will review, and where necessary revise, a vision for where we want to head and craft strategic plans to move us forward collaboratively.

During this fourteen (14) month engagement, we will ask: What are we doing well?  Where are there opportunities to stop or accelerate programming? How can we build on successes, expand or imitate, to continually evolve and adapt to a changing student profile and world? Through small and large group workshops, we will begin to craft a shared plan for how Masco might prioritize personnel, programming, budgeting and policy decisions over the next five years. Any final strategic plan should be used as both a guide and a tool for measuring performance.

A Team of community members will serve as the organizers, data collectors, authors and co-leaders of this work and direct and inform the process.  Together, they represent a broad cross-section of the school and district communities of Masco. With guidance by an outside facilitator, we will explore and craft strategic objectives and initiatives and find consensus, and make recommendations for strategic planning, communications, leadership, and resources. A final plan will be completed tentatively by November 1, 2023.

“Promoting Inclusion ~ Promoting Friendship” presentation on September 13 @ 7:00 PM

The Masconomet and Tri-Town Special Education Parent Advisory Committee and the Tri-Town Council will be presenting “Promoting Inclusion ~ Promoting Friendship: The Role of Community Members and Families of Students Without Disabilities,” a presentation by Lisa Drennan, founder of Merge Educational Consulting.  The presentation will be at 7:oo PM on Tuesday, September 13 in the Masconomet High School Library.  Please register to attend.

Support Staff Contract Negotiations

Assistant Superintendent Jeff Sands and I will be beginning negotiations with the Masconomet Association of Support Staff next week on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).  The last CBA expired at the end of June 2022.  We hope to have a tentative agreement for the School Committee to approve as soon as possible.

Upcoming School Events

High SchoolMiddle School
9/8 Open House @ 6:30 PM
9/14 & 9/16 Picture Days
9/22 Senior Parent Counseling Workshop (evening)
9/29 Homecoming Dance
10/10 Columbus Day (No School)
10/12 PSAT Testing
10/13-10/15 Fall Musical Chicago
9/13 Picture Day
9/15 Open House @ 6:00 PM
10/10 Columbus Day (No School)
10/14 Trimester 1 Mid-Point  

For more on these events and school-specific information, please see the High School Principal’s Blog or the Middle School Principal’s Blog.