Welcome back to all!
As I enter my 2nd year as superintendent and 29th year as an educator in the Swansea Public Schools, I am excited to begin the 2014-2015 school year. As we embark upon the coming school year, we continue to work diligently in moving the district forward in our pursuit of excellence and providing the students of Swansea the best possible education.
I would first like to recognize and congratulate Mr. Robert Silveira, Principal of Joseph Case Junior High School, for his recent award of Massachusetts Middle School Principal of the year. We are proud of our entire administration team and extremely proud of Mr. Silveira for this tremendous accomplishment. I would like to introduce Mr. Christopher Costa as the new Assistant Principal of Joseph Case High School, who has taken over for Mr. Sean Scanlon, who moved from that position to be the new Principal of Luther School. I am confident that both gentlemen will do an outstanding job.
The Swansea Public Schools are very fortunate to have a very knowledgeable, dedicated and supportive School Committee and a community that values education and supports our school system. Our school committee adopted the motto “Students Come First” several years ago and continues to remain focused on that goal. We are also fortunate to have an administrative and instructional staff that also believes that “Students Come First” and is dedicated and committed to providing a positive educational experience and environment for all stakeholders.
We continue to work very hard in meeting the challenges that the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) mandates have presented. We continue to provide professional development to our administrators and instructional staff to address these challenges and meet the needs of our students. We realize that these mandates, although often taxing, are meant to improve teaching and learning, and to improve the education provided to all students across the state and prepare them for college and career readiness. I am confident that the Swansea Public Schools are up to the task of meeting these challenges and continuing to move the district forward in providing our students with the 21st century education they need and deserve.
Objectives being addressed and in progress include:
- Implementation of the Massachusetts Educator Evaluation System (Phase III/Year 3) including District Determined Measures (DDMs) to determine teacher success with student academic growth.
- Mapping and Alignment of the Common Core Standards and Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks in math and ELA.
- Development of Common Summative Assessments across grade levels and content areas.
- Piloting PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) in place of MCAS for grades 3-8 in math and ELA. Grades 9-12 have been mandated to continue with MCAS and grades 5 and 8 have also been mandated to continue with MCAS in science.
- Phase II of new College and Career Readiness Program (Naviance) in grades 6-12.
- Revision of social studies curriculum for grades 6-8, to include US history and the history of Swansea in the grade 8 curriculum.
- Vertical alignment of the math, ELA and social studies curriculum between grades 8 and 9.
- Systematic updating of Instructional Technology across the district.
- Increasing the band-width of our operating system to allow for improved instructional opportunities through the use of technology.
- Upgrading or operating system to Windows 7.
- Providing increased wireless connectivity at the high school.
- The addition of social media (Twitter) as a communication and professional development tool at Joseph Case High School, Joseph Case Junior High School, Luther School and Hoyle School.
- Building security improvements including controlled secure access and increased video surveillance and monitoring.
- Researching possible revisions and improvements to our school lockdown and evacuation procedures and protocols.
- Continued partnership with the Swansea Ambulance Corps. providing all grade 12 students with the opportunity to become CPR/First Aid certified upon graduation.
- Food Service Program, Chartwells, year two efforts to upgrade delivery service and capabilities to elementary schools and expanding menus and options at all levels.
We have continued to remain focused on maintaining and improving our facilities across the district. We continue to prioritize safety issues and providing clean, safe and nurturing environments that are conducive to effective teaching and learning as well as improved student success and achievement.
Capital and Facility Improvements:
- Hoyle School – New roof and skylights, Phase IV classroom carpet replacement, additional parking area, video surveillance monitoring, exterior lighting LEDs.
- Gardner School – Phase II classroom hardwood floor renovation, video surveillance monitoring, exterior lighting LEDs.
- Brown School – New access road, drainage, parking area and student drop-off/pick-up infrastructure, new ceilings in main hallway and foyer, new handicap access, video surveillance monitoring, exterior lighting LEDs.
- Luther School – New parent drop-off/pick-up area and infrastructure, new tile flooring in classrooms 1-4 and office areas, video surveillance monitoring, secure main entrance access, exterior lighting LEDs.
- Case Junior High School – Refinishing of gymnasium floors with dedication of courts to Ms. Norma Rizy and Mr. Robert Gordon, completion of fifth and final phase of window replacement project, upgrade computer lab and media center lab, brick and concrete repair, video surveillance monitoring, exterior lighting LEDs.
- Case High School – Classroom technology, ceiling mounted DLP projectors in all instructional areas, repairs to building envelope (painting, sealing, caulking), flooring in room 110 and adjacent hallway, Cardinal Stadium bleacher repair, video surveillance monitoring, exterior lighting LEDs, new technology in computer lab, increased wireless connectivity.
We continue to work diligently to maintain and improve our facilities to meet the needs of our faculty, students and the community at large. We are fortunate to have the support of the community in helping us meet these needs and attaining our goal of providing the people of Swansea with the very best educational facilities possible.
I thank the residents of Swansea for their continued support of our school system as well as the parents and guardians of our students for their continued support and cooperation in educating your children.
Robert G. Monteiro
Superintendent of Schools