Thursday, November 30, 2017

Principal's Report November 2017



 
 
 
 

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Principal's Report
November 2017
 
The LMHS Chapter of the National Honor Society held its annual induction ceremony on October 26. Eighteen members of the Class of 2019 were inducted: Jillian Artioli, Ashley Barnes, Gabrielle Bridagan, William Consolati, Thomas Fraser, Benjamin Harding, Emilia Johnson-Viola, Connor LaRock, Ann Macchi, Ava Martin, Wyatt Nazor, Andrew Ruef.. John Somostrada, Bailey Thomas, Kyle Tisdale, Anna Wang, Homer Winston, and Sophie Zukowski. Congratulations to these academic stars!
 
Our drama program, in cooperation with Shakespeare & Company, is presenting The Tragedy of Julius Caesar Friday and Saturday, November IO and 11 at 7:00pm in the "Z." They will also be presenting the production at the Shakespeare & Company Fall Festival on Sunday, November 19 at l:30pm.
 

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At our October faculty meeting, the faculty heard a presentation from the Berkshire Brain Injury Collaborative on the effects of concussions. A great deal of information was presented on exactly what a concussion is, as well as how a concussion can affect student learning in the short and long terms. As schools arc seeing more and more students with diagnosed concussions these days, this was a particularly timely presentation. Thanks go out to Dr. Alan Kulberg from the BMC Concussion Clinic for visiting us.
 
Our partnership with LifcFAQs for coaching and mentoring of?• grade students has successfully begun. Six students were chosen for the program; a kickoff celebration with the entire middle school was held on October 11, and the coaching and mentoring began the week of Halloween.
 
The Helping Hands club held a successful blood drive on October 30, collecting 29 pints of donated blood for the Red Cross.
 
As I write this, we are in the final stages of planning our first Senior Citizens Luncheon, on Friday, November IO. Around 75 people have contacted us to RSVP. Faculty members will be preparing a roast pork lunch, with potatoes, carrots, green beans, salad, and desserts. Student volunteers will be helping with setup, serving, and cleanup; entertainment will be provided by the music department. We are looking forward to a great event which will hopefully become a regular one!
 
The state released the full results for our 2017 MCAS tests; I've attached them to this report. including a comparison for each test with the state and our South County neighbors for some perspective. While the purpose of MCAS is not to compare schools, it's always good to know how we are doing in comparison to our neighbors. Overall. the news for 2017 was very good for us. showing great results vs. the state (and our neighbors) for grade 7 ELA. grade 8 ELA, grade 8 math. grade JO ELA, and grade 10 math. We have begun looking into the details of our lower score areas- grade 7 math. and the grade 8 and high school sciences.

 

In Athletics news:

         Senior Brianna Hawley made her  500th  save in girls soccer on October 16.

          Our fall teams made the Western Mass tournaments in:

o       Golf. with Thomas Fraser winning the individual Western Mass title. and the team coming in 3111 place;

o        Football. making it to the semifinal round;

o       Girls Soccer. finishing in the quarterfinals;

o       Volleyball. which is heading to the Western Mass finals as I type this. The game will be on Saturday. November 11.

o        Cross Country, with the Western Mass championship on Saturday, November 11.

         On October 18, I met with the Conservation Commission to discuss our plans for a new practice field on the Maple Street property. That was followed up with a site visit on October 26. The Commission is planning on scheduling some time during their December meeting to further discuss our plans.

 

Upcoming dates and events:

         Monday. November 20 - Parent-Teacher Conferences, I:00-4:00pm & 6:00-8:00pm. This will be a half day for LMHS students.

         Tuesday, November 21 - Grades 7/8/9 field trip to see the film Wonder. The film is based upon the book of the same name that these grades had as their common summer reading assignment.

          Tuesday, December 5 - Winter Concert, 7pm

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

Gregg M. Brighenti Principal

Monday, October 2, 2017

FY18 LMHS September Report





Principal’s Report

September 2017

 We had a great opening at LMHS this year!  We are currently at 347 students, up slightly from the end of last year.  The enrollment breakdown is: 

 
Grade 7 = 60

Grade 8 = 51

Grade 9 = 73

Grade 10 = 53

Grade 11 = 56

Grade 12 = 54

Since the August school committee meeting, we have welcomed Erin DuFresne as a middle school science teacher (replacing Tim Mertinooke), and Julie Harford as a long-term substitute English teacher (for Jess Hudnall).  Julie recently accepted a permanent, full-time position at another school, so we are currently searching for a new long-term substitute to cover for Jess through Thanksgiving.  All of our new hires are doing great as we begin the year!  Our new Dean of Students, Nicole Maddalena, is planning on focusing a large amount of her time on addressing student attendance issues – definitely an area of need for us.

At LMHS, we have four main goals for the year which I shared with the staff at our opening meeting:

1.      We will develop a competency-based grading model by continuing a pilot for interested teachers, and implementing two major changes for all:

·         Course-long running grade averages

·         Use of the soft skills rubric
 
2.      We will review and revise our school governance model, including both student councils, class officers, the school council, and faculty/staff participation to create greater cohesiveness and promote democratic ideals

3.      We will continue to investigate and recommend changes to our master schedule to allow greater flexibility and improve student learning.

4.      We will design and implement a self-study to determine how and if we are meeting our Vision and Beliefs 

To accomplish these goals, we have formed four voluntary action teams, which will meet regularly through the school year to research and discuss the items and report back to the faculty with recommendations for moving forward in the future.

In addition to these four goals, we are continuing to focus our attention on two items from previous years:  our literacy initiative, and increased use of technology in our classes.  Our literacy initiative has, I think, contributed to our outstanding MCAS grade 10 results that I will share with the committee at this month’s meeting.  We will also continue our efforts with the ALICE intruder protocols that we put in place last year.

Athletics are in full swing now, and student clubs are beginning to ramp up for the year.  We have 5 students enrolled in our restarted carpentry class – a good showing for the first year, and we expect that number will double or more for next year.  The carpentry class will be supported by a Perkins grant from the state of approximately $9,000.

All in all, we are looking forward to a great school year! 

Respectfully submitted,

 
Gregg M. Brighenti
Principal

 

 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

FY17 MARCH REPORT - LMHS



Principal’s Report

March 2017
 
 
I have several recognitions this month:
 
·         Guidance counselor Dan Korte has been recognized by the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board with the Board of Director’s Educator Award.  This award recognizes Dan’s efforts in the area of college and career readiness. Dan was recognized at the BCREB meeting on March 9.
 
·         Senior Karli Retzel scored her 1000th career point at the basketball game on February 14th. After the season is over, Karli’s name will go up on our 1000 point banner in the gym.
 
·         Senior Zach Reynolds received the Pete Snyder Sportsmanship Award from the Berkshire County HS Bowling League.
 
·         Senior Devon Atwell was one of only 10 skiers from the Berkshires to race in the State Championships this year.
 
·         Thomas Fraser (first team), Bryce Whalen (second team), and Hunter Roosa (honorable mention) were all named to the All-Eagle golf teams.
 
·         With their win in the Western Mass. quarterfinal game on March 3, the lady Wildcats basketball team had their 700th win since the current MIAA system was put in place, with a winning percentage of 70% - truly an incredible track record!
 
In other news, I’m happy to report that we have received a $500 donation from Lipton Energy as part of the ExxonMobil Educational Alliance; these funds are dedicated to use by the science and math departments. We’ve also received a $990 donation from Greylock Federal Credit Union as part of their Lee High Wildcats debit card program; those funds will be going toward the gradual conversion of our library to a “learning commons” – you’ll soon see some more comfortable furniture for student use in the library. I’ve extended our sincere thanks and appreciation to both Lipton Energy and Greylock for these generous donations.
 
We will soon begin the scheduling process for the 2017-18 school year. As the start of this, I will be asking your approval for changes to the Program of Studies at this month’s school committee meeting.  There are only a few changes this year.
 
 

300 Greylock Street, Lee, Massachusetts 01238 • 413-243-2780 • Fax 413-243-4105 www.leepublicschools.net



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Our drama program will be presenting a production of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum on Friday, March 10 at 7pm and on Saturday, March 11 at 2pm and 7pm.  It will, I am sure, be an excellent time! Other upcoming events include a spaghetti supper on Thursday, March 23 – hosted by the middle school, this is a fundraiser for their end-of-year field trips to Boston and Albany.

 

We have begun a very aggressive program of MCAS Prep for our 7th and 8th graders in math and ELA. This year’s MCAS for them will be a very different experience than in the past – it is computer-based, and will have new question types and scoring. Unlike past MCAS Prep sessions, we have been able to figure out a way to do this during the school day. We are also offering our more traditional after school prep sessions for high school students and 8th grade science, which are still the “old-fashioned” MCAS tests.

 

On Friday, March 10 we will have a half day for professional development. The majority of LMHS faculty members will be continuing literacy training, this year focusing on writing. Many specialists have county-wide professional development meetings that they will be attending instead.

 



We are also in the midst of planning for graduation.  This year, I’m happy to report that we will be able to do a “Senior Walk” at LES, which was brought up as an idea last year. After returning from our Tanglewood rehearsal on the Wednesday before graduation, the seniors will don their caps and gowns and do walkthrough of the halls at the elementary schools to greet the younger students. This has been a growing trend across the country, and the seniors were happy to try it out her in Lee.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Gregg M. Brighenti Principal








FY17 FEBRUARY REPORT - LMHS




Principal’s Report

February 2017
 
 
It’s been a while since I have filed a written report with the School Committee, so first let me note the various honors and awards that members of our school community have received recently:
 
·         The following students were named to Junior District Music Festival: Makenna Albee, Madailein Demler, Hope Harrison, Teresa Navin, and Gracie Papkey for treble chorus; Maccus Dinsmore for male chorus; and Annie Maloney for band.
·         The 31st annual Berkshire County High School Art Show at the Norman Rockwell Museum is being held through March 4. Ava Martin, Allison Drumm, Aliyah Noel, Conner LaRock, Sophie Zukowski, Madison Desantis, Juliette Gagnon, Erin Cook, Mia
Salazar, and Emma Bartini each have works on display after a rigorous selection process.
·         Twenty-five eighth graders were inducted into the Junior Honor Society.
·         Karli Retzel was named the Jiminy Peak Athlete of the Week for January 16 on iBerkshires.com.
·         The Berkshire Eagle named their All-Berkshire volleyball team, including Lady Wildcats Shenna Tyer, Anna Wang, and Kendra Williams. Additionally, Haleigh Richardson and Ahna Schlaefer were named to the All-North team.
·         Allison Drumm had one of her photographs selected to be included in the Photographer’s Forum book, Best of College & High School Photography 2017.
·         The Eagle also announced their All-Berkshire football team. From Lee, Matt Lohbauer and Nick Castillo were named.  Ryan Ruef was named to the Second Team.
·         The Massachusetts Secondary Schools Athletic Directors Association announced that Art Reilly was selected to receive the President’s Award of Merit, given for significant contributions within the field of athletic administration at the local and state levels. Art will be honored at the MSSADA Awards Luncheon on March 29th.
 
In athletics news that the Committee should be aware of, the MIAA accepted our appeal to have our football team compete in Division VIII for the next four years; they had originally assigned us to a higher division. As we are the smallest public high school in the Commonwealth with a football program, we believe that this is the correct placement for our program moving forward.
Berkshire County football will continue to compete as members of the Pioneer Valley Athletic Conference. This spring, we will be the host of a three-way co-op team for boys’ lacrosse, with Lenox and Monument Mountain as guests.  This mirrors the co-op that we host for girls’ lacrosse.
 
Testing season has begun for this school year. We have recently completed several days of ACCESS testing for our ELL students; in early March our 8th graders will be participating in the
 

300 Greylock Street, Lee, Massachusetts 01238 • 413-243-2780 • Fax 413-243-4105 www.leepublicschools.net




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National Assessment of Educational Progress, a federal testing program that results in “The Nation’s Report Card” publication; and MCAS will begin shortly thereafter. This year, the MCAS ELA and math tests will be taken online. Thankfully, our new wireless infrastructure and Chromebook “fleet” will allow us to do this without a great deal of disruption. The eighth grade science MCAS and all high school MCAS testing will still be done in a paper-and-pencil format. The new electronic formats will actually result in more days taken from instruction compared to previous years; this trend is very unfortunate.

 

On Thursday, February 2nd, our junior class once again participated in Groundhog Job Shadow Day. Our juniors filtered out all around Berkshire County to various business establishments to spend the day shadowing professionals in a field of interest. Many juniors reported truly outstanding experiences; thanks are due to Jane McEvoy and Dan Korte for their work organizing the day. This career exploration program will culminate in a few weeks with our annual Career Fair; as a part of that day, juniors will take part in mock interviews with local businesses.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Gregg Brighenti Principal

FY17 NOVEMBER REPORT - LMHS


FY17 OCTOBER REPORT - LMHS



Friday, April 8, 2016

LES April Principal's Report



Lee Elementary School 2015/2016
“Opening Doors”
                                                                                                                                                                                     Kate Retzel, Principal



To:     School Committee
Date:  April 8, 2016

·         Our April PD was used as a last period of time for development of our MCUs.  Many teachers have already finished units and others are just beginning them now. Below is a list of MCUs utilized with LES students this year for your consideration and amazement:
K – Mo Williams Author Study
1 – Animals and Habitats*; Poetry: Expanding Language, Sound, and Meaning
2 – Bees Unit (with an extension on Polar Bears for some)*; Geography, Land, and People; Civil Rights and Equality for All; Traditions and Customs; Matter Through Poetry*
3 – Extreme Weather; The American Revolution; Poetry
4 – Weathering and Erosion
5 – Plants and Ecosystems*; Engineering*; Matter/Pre-Chemistry*; European Exploration of the Americas- Perspectives on the Spanish Conquest of Latin America
6 – Heroes of the Iliad
* symbol indicates a cooperation with Flying Cloud Institute.

I am sure you can see the integration of Science and Social Studies now possible with  the ELA base to units.  You will also notice that some grade levels have extended much beyond the requirement of one MCU for the year!  (1.2;1.4; High quality professional development is essential for improving educational practice and maximizing student achievement.)

·         A concerned group of teachers is revisiting the LES Behavior Rubric with me and creating behavior expectations for all areas of the school – the hallway; the cafeteria; the classroom; the bathroom; the buses (arrival and dismissal); and the playground. We will be introducing the expectations and new rubric during our May Community Gathering.  We will try them out for the remaining month of school and then tweak for a September fresh start with students.  With our changing population, we feel it necessary to use the rubric and expectations more rigidly and have more adults visible and on board to ensure we continue to create a safe learning environment.   (5.3; Reasonable rules of behavior are necessary for the development of self-discipline and personal responsibility.)

·         Please consider attending the Lee Youth Drama show, Annie Jr., on Thursday, April 14th, or Friday, April 15th.  Both shows are at 7pm in the Z.  It will be another extravaganza!  Of that, I am sure.  Unfortunately, April 15th will be the final show for our Drama Director, Jessica Pollard.  We wish her the best in any new endeavors she now has time to pursue.  We thank her for many years of dedicated service in the development of an outstanding, all-inclusive drama program second to none at any elementary school I know of! Her dedication has reached out and hugged students and their families giving them a place to learn and grow.  She will be terribly hard to replace.  (4.2; 5.5; We believe in a standard of excellence throughout the district in all endeavors.)

·         At last check in, Kate Olender had 99 appointments for use of the tablets recently purchased!  She will work with 4th graders composing songs and doing assessment in Music class.  1st, 3rd, and 4th graders will be creating presentations with recorded components.  Our 5th graders are using them for electronic math practice and research. We are as excited as the students are for the electronic enhancements to classwork.  Students are so engaged!!! (1.6; 2.2)