Friday, October 9, 2015

LES Principal Report - October 2015

     Lee Elementary School 2015/2016 “Opening Doors”
                                                                                                                           Kate Retzel, Principal
To:     School Committee
Date:  October 13, 2015
·        I made the rounds to every classroom specifically looking for evidence of our district belief “in a safe, supportive, organized, and equitable environment.” I let staff know the comfort I had in seeing clear expectations, swift beginnings to RTI services, and techniques used to ensure all students respond right from day one.
·        Our maiden STAR Math and Reading testing was accomplished with very few glitches for grade 2-6.  Teachers are thrilled with data to use in Full Team Meetings for each student detailing their achievement in all domains of Math and English Language Arts (details NOT possible with AIMSweb, our past benchmarking tool).  Any available teachers were instructed by STAR staff in what scores really mean and applications for use with Special Education students were explained as well.  STAR will be using one hour of the November 3rd Professional Development to further understand how students can use the interactive computer-based portion of STAR.  (4.3; 4.4; 4.6)
·        Our curriculum teams’ foci were revisited in light of our new MCAS data and our first STAR Math and Reading benchmark results.  We have made 5-year plans in the ELA areas of writing; vocabulary development; and leveled texts in K-2 in support of Model Curriculum Units being developed and implemented this year in all grades. (1.2; 4.1; 4.3; 4.5 and hopefully 4.6)
·        In cooperation with the District Attorney’s Office, our Lee Police Department, our PE Department, our Nurse, our Developmental Services Resource Specialist, and our School Adjustment Counselor; we are piloting the Botvin Life Skills Training program.  Botvin Life Skills Training is a research-validated substance abuse prevention program proven to reduce the risks of alcohol, tobacco, drug abuse, and violence by targeting the major social and psychological factors that promote the initiation of substance use and other risky behaviors.  This will be a complement to the DARE program our sixth graders will have in the Spring.  (5.1 and 5.2)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

LMHS Principal's Report - October 8, 2015

Lee, Massachusetts

Principal’s Report
October 8, 2015

I am happy to report that we had a very smooth start to the school year.  Our enrollment is currently at 355 students, up a bit from 343 at the end of last year.  Some highlights from September:

·         On September 25th the middle school went on their annual field trip to Mount Greylock for the day.  This trip is an integral part of the character development curriculum in the middle school, and everyone reportedly had a great time.  [District goals 1.4, 4.2, 5.1]

·         The LYA is again offering their after school study program for middle school students.  We had much greater success at the end of last year hosting this program in the library, so we are doing that again this year.  This also allows some high school students to pop in to use the computers for homework.  [District goals 3.1, 4.6]

·         This year, Berkshire Community College is offering two nights each week of adult ESL classes at LMHS.  [District goals 3.4, 3.5, 3.6]

·         I’m happy to report that we have a National Merit Scholarship Commended Student this year:  Based upon his performance on last year’s PSAT/NMSQT tests, Alex Consolati will receive a Letter of Commendation.  About 2% of the students nationwide who took the PSAT last October are recognized as Commended Students.  Congratulations to Alex!

·         Classes attended field trips to Mass MoCA (Digital Photography) and the Mount (art classes) during September.  Today, a group of seniors are attending the college fair at BCC.  [District goals 1.4, 3.2]

·         On September 21, the Student Council hosted its annual recognition of the International Day of Peace with a brief all-school assembly on the football field. 

·         We are offering two new AP classes this year:  Physics I and Chemistry.  This is in addition to AP courses in US History, Biology, Environmental Science, English Language, English Literature,  Calculus AB, Computer Science, and Statistics.   We also offer AP Spanish and AP French, though they are not running this year.  This is truly an impressive lineup of advanced placement courses for a school of our size!  [District goals 1.4, 4.5, 4.6]

·         Our internship program continues to grow, with out-of-school placements this year at Onyx Specialty Papers, Daley & Sons Trucking, The Red Lion Inn, Cakewalk, Southern States Auto Sales, and the Gap.  These internships are valuable components to our school’s curriculum, especially given the reduction in the last ten years of vocational-related courses at LMHS.  [District goals 3.2, 3.4, 4.5]

·         Congratulations to our Students of the Month for September:  Katelyn Clark for the Middle School, and Anna Jefferys for the High School!

Respectfully submitted,
Gregg Brighenti
Commemorating the International Day of Peace
September 21, 2015

Middle School students reaching the top of Mt. Greylock
September 25, 2015