Friday, April 29, 2016

Superintendent's Notes

State Assessment Testing

Next week the Green Meadow School will begin testing on Monday 5/2, Tuesday 5/3, and Wednesday 5/4.  The following week they will finish the testing on Monday 5/9, Tuesday 5/10, Wednesday 5/11, and Thursday 5/12.  The Fowler School will begin testing on Monday 5/9 and the full test schedule can be found on the Fowler website at Mr. Mela's page.  The High School testing will be between May 16th through June 3rd.  

Last year our state assessment test participation rate in science was only 94%.  The participation rate target is 95%.  If Maynard does not meet the 95% target there could be state accountability consequences in the ratings of our schools. 

I know we all have pride in the Maynard Public Schools and we want our state accountability test results to be the best that they can be.  I would encourage our families and students to be prepared to take these assessment tests starting next week.

A Community Forum: Rising Opioid Epidemic in our Community

I would like to take just a moment to remind everyone of our upcoming Opioid awareness conference which is fast approaching.  This community outreach program is scheduled for Monday May 16th from 6-9 pm at the Concord-Carlisle HS.  We will have resources from all over the area to discuss issues with prevention, awareness, early intervention and behavioral emergencies.  Again we look forward to seeing you there.

Sincerely
Ronald Gigliotti NR-EMTP
EMS Liaison
Emerson Hospital
(O) 978-287-8900
(C) 508-380-1364

Important Events and Reminders:    
                                                                                                 
In an effort to streamline the Superintendent’s Notes, I will provide important upcoming events or announcements that have already been posted in previous Superintendent’s Notes in this section.

2016-2017 Bus Registration

Bus registration for the 2016-2017 school year will begin on May 9, 2016.  Registration will take place at the administrative offices located at 3-R Tiger Drive.  Registration Forms will be available on our website and all school offices starting on May 6.  No forms will be accepted before May 9.  There is no fee increase this year.  $270.00 for the 1st student; $220 for the 2nd or more.

Note:  If you have a student entering 7th grade  at a distance of 2 miles or more, you must now pay the fee.

School Pesticide Notification

This notification is being sent to you in conformance with the Children’s & Families Protection Act (Chapter 85 of the Acts of 2000).  The Act requires we notify you when pesticides are applied on the outside of public and private schools, day care centers and school age child care programs.

We are having Fowler School, 3 Tiger Drive and Green Meadow Elementary School, 5 Tiger Drive,  treated with the Sentricon Termite Baiting System in response to the presence of termites.  We selected this treatment method to reduce risk and hazard to our student population and staff.  At various times during the course of the year, the Waltham Services Company may remove monitoring devices placed below ground in plastic holding stations and replace them with baits lethal to termites.  The pesticide bait is non-volatile and not accessible or visible from above.

Please feel free to call me at the Business Office at 978-897-8251, Mr. Mela, principal at Fowler School at 978-897-6700 or Mrs. Dankner, principal at Green Meadow at 978-897-8246 should you have questions.

Website:  www.mass.gov/agr, then follow the links to the Children’s Protection page



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Superintendent's Important Water Quality Update Message

Water Quality Update

The Maynard SEPAC and individual parents have emailed me and suggested that I provide additional detailed information in the form of frequently asked questions and actual testing data.  I have worked collaboratively with the town leadership and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to gather this information for you. 

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
 Regarding the Water Testing at the Maynard Public Schools

1 Q.)  How often is the water tested?

1 A.)  The Public Water Supply tests the water quarterly for lead and copper.  In addition to the required testing, the School District participated in the voluntary LCCA Drinking Water Program through the MassDEP.

2 Q.)  Which schools are tested?

2 A.)  All water taps throughout the Green Meadow Elementary, Fowler Middle School, and Maynard High School were sampled for lead and copper. 

Initial water testing indicated that four water taps at the Green Meadow Elementary School and 11 water taps at the Fowler Middle School contained copper levels which exceeded the action levels set by the MassDEP.  Initial water testing also indicated that two water taps at the Fowler Middle School and one tap at the Maynard High School contained lead levels which exceeded the action levels set by the MassDEP.

The School District immediately notified the MassDEP of the results and worked together to create and implement the corrective action plan. All fountains which tested at action levels for lead and copper were taken out of service.  MassDEP advised implementing a flushing and water usage plan for any tap which the School District wanted to keep in service, and to permanently remove from service any taps which would not be used.  After flushing was completed over vacation week, 10 taps were retested for lead and copper.  All 10 re-sampled taps had lead and copper levels well below the action level, some even indicated ‘No Dose’ for lead and copper.  Eight other fountains which were not retested were permanently taken out of service.

Additional advanced precautions included the installation of bottled water throughout the Green Meadow Elementary School and Fowler Middle School while awaiting the results of the re-tested water taps.

After receiving the re-test results of the 10 identified water taps, MassDEP was notified and the decision was made to place the 10 water taps back in service.

The schools will continue to complete regular flushing of all in-service water taps to ensure that water is not allowed to rest in the fountains for extended periods of time.

The Massachusetts Action Level for lead in drinking water is 0.015 milligrams per liter (also known as parts per million).  The Massachusetts Action Level for copper in drinking water is 1.3 milligrams per liter. 

3 Q.)  Is there a long term plan to replace the pipes and fix the root causes or other mitigation plans?

3 A.)  We have implemented a sampling plan to conduct testing at outlets (faucets, water fountains, etc.).  The Public Water Supply will also continue to complete the regular quarterly testing. Through periodic reports, we will keep you informed as to the progress of our efforts.

4 Q.)  When was the last time the water was tested (i.e. How long has copper and lead been in the water supply)?

 4 A.)  Lead is not believed to be in our water source but plumbing and fixtures in our buildings may contain lead, resulting in an increase in the lead content in tap water.  Copper is also not believed to be in our water source but plumbing and fixtures in our buildings may contain copper, resulting in an increase in the copper content in tap water. The Public Water Supply tests four taps in the school quarterly. Previous test results indicated lead and copper levels below the action level set by the MassDEP.  This is the first comprehensive testing for lead and copper completed of all water tapes in each of the three schools and is a result of the School District’s efforts to participate in a voluntary program to provide safe and healthy drinking water to student and staff.

5 Q.)  Are preschool families in the student information system iPass and did they get the notice?

5 A.)  Yes our preschool families are in the student information system iPass and they did get the same notice that was sent out on the blog.

6 Q.)  How is it that a new building has these issues, were not all the taps and pipes replaced when the building was constructed?  These concerns seem pretty elementary that you would NOT put copper or lead piping or taps in a building where children live?

6 A.)  Our new Maynard High School building was built with all brand new materials.  It is not uncommon for copper pipes to be used for fresh water supplies in new construction.  The MassDEP has educated us that lead and copper generally enter drinking water from a building’s plumbing system.  They may be present in various parts of the plumbing system, such as piping, solder, and fixtures, where they can be picked up as water passes through the system.

In some cases, if there is low usage at a tap and the water sits in those fixtures or plumbing, excessive action levels will occur.  Regular flushing of the system will eliminate this from happening in low usage taps.

7 Q.)  Considering the serious health and development impacts of lead in particular, is there any discussion with the town or plan to screen students for elevated levels?

7A.) Marc Nascarella, Director of Toxicology at the Mass Department of Public Health (DPH), has informed us that the DPH are available to provide assistance to us during this process. Specifically answering questions from the public relating to health effects.

He explained that screening for lead is required by the commonwealth for children under the age of five.  This happens at their regular doctor’s visits and is available to older children as requested. He said this is typically addressed on an individual basis with parents one on one, as situations very.

Any parents who have additional questions regarding screening for lead to contact the Environmental Toxicology program at the Department of Public Health, (617) 624-5757.


8 Q.)  What detailed information can be given about the location and lead or copper levels can be provided?

8 A.)  For more detailed information on the locations and results of the water testing, you can go the the Maynard Public Schools Home page and see the link there or you can click directly on the following link:

Monday, April 25, 2016

Superintendent's Important Water Quality Message


The Maynard Public Schools are committed to a superior academic experience for Maynard’s students that prepare them to be productive citizens in an interconnected technological world.


MAYNARD PUBLIC SCHOOLS
3-R Tiger Drive
Maynard, Massachusetts 01754
Robert J. Gerardi Jr., Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
978-897-2222


April 25, 2016 

Dear Parents, Guardians and Staff:

Maynard Public Schools recently participated in a voluntary water sampling program under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). During the testing, some of the School’s water taps were found to contain lead or copper levels that exceeded the Massachusetts and federal “action level for lead and copper in drinking water at schools and child care facilities.”

We would like to inform you about our plans to reduce potential exposure to lead and copper in drinking water at our school.  Lead is not believed to be in our water source but plumbing and fixtures in our buildings may contain lead, resulting in an increase in the lead content in tap water. Copper is also not believed to be in our water source but plumbing and fixtures in our buildings may contain copper, resulting in an increase in the copper content in tap water. Exposure to lead is a concern because lead is a toxic metal that has a range of adverse health effects. Copper is a concern because a child’s rapid development results in his/her body absorbing more copper than an adult does.

The administration takes these results very seriously and has moved immediately to safeguard the health of the students, faculty and staff. The following information describes steps we have and will be taking to address the issue of lead and copper in the water. The problem is not believed to be in our water source but in plumbing and fixtures in our buildings.

  1. To safeguard our students and other individuals we have removed from service all taps with lead or copper levels over the action levels. There are a number of other taps in the schools that remain in service that tested below the action levels.
  2. We have supplied bottled water dispensers to replace the water taps which have been taken out of service.
  3. We have implemented a flushing and water usage plan to safeguard against lead and copper exposure from drinking water in the schools. After flushing was completed, taps with action level exceedances were retested and are now below the action level.
  4. We have implemented a sampling plan to conduct testing at outlets (faucets, water fountains, etc.) where students and staff get water for drinking and cooking.
  5. Through periodic reports, we will keep you informed as to the progress of our efforts.


For questions or more information please contact the School Superintendent’s office at (978) 897-2222.

Sincerely,

Robert J. Gerardi, Jr., Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Friday, April 8, 2016

Superintendent's Notes

Town Cleanup: Saturday, April 16 – Sunday, April 24

Maynard's annual spring town wide clean up runs Saturday, April 16 – Sunday, April 24.  The cleanup is organized by the Maynard Litter League with support from Maynard's DPW. 
During cleanup week, all residents and merchants are asked to walk the areas around their property and pick up any litter that is there.  Please don't forget to check bushes, gutters and the roadside of nearby undeveloped land.  This should only take a few minutes.  After is clean by your home or business, please consider taking a small bag on a walk one day and picking up some trash along the way. 

On Saturday, April 16 starting at 10am, a group cleanup will be held in the downtown area.  We are meeting near the Nason St. /Main St. island.  To clean up other public areas around town, participants can register on April 19-22 during business hours in the DPW office downstairs at Town Hall, or by emailing MaynardLitterLeague at gmail.com. 

For more information, visit the Maynard Litter League page on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/MaynardLitterLeague  

The Maynard Litter League, Maynard's year-round anti-litter organization, is working towards the goal of a litter-free Maynard by engaging all members of the community in litter prevention, cleanup, and education efforts.  A small effort on everyone's part makes a big difference in the cleanliness of our town.

Important Events and Reminders:    
                                                                                                 
In an effort to streamline the Superintendent’s Notes, I will provide important upcoming events or announcements that have already been posted in previous Superintendent’s Notes in this section.

2016-2017 Bus Registration

Bus registration for the 2016-2017 school year will begin on May 9, 2016.  Registration will take place at the administrative offices located at 3-R Tiger Drive.  Registration Forms will be available on our website and all school offices starting on May 6.  No forms will be accepted before May 9.  There is no fee increase this year.  $270.00 for the 1st student; $220 for the 2nd or more.

Note:  If you have a student entering 7th grade  at a distance of 2 miles or more, you must now pay the fee.

School Pesticide Notification

This notification is being sent to you in conformance with the Children’s & Families Protection Act (Chapter 85 of the Acts of 2000).  The Act requires we notify you when pesticides are applied on the outside of public and private schools, day care centers and school age child care programs.

We are having Fowler School, 3 Tiger Drive and Green Meadow Elementary School, 5 Tiger Drive,  treated with the Sentricon Termite Baiting System in response to the presence of termites.  We selected this treatment method to reduce risk and hazard to our student population and staff.  At various times during the course of the year, the Waltham Services Company may remove monitoring devices placed below ground in plastic holding stations and replace them with baits lethal to termites.  The pesticide bait is non-volatile and not accessible or visible from above.

Please feel free to call me at the Business Office at 978-897-8251, Mr. Mela, principal at Fowler School at 978-897-6700 or Mrs. Dankner, principal at Green Meadow at 978-897-8246 should you have questions.

Website:  www.mass.gov/agr, then follow the links to the Children’s Protection page



Friday, April 1, 2016

Superintendent's Notes

An Evening with Fernando Reimers

Wednesday night "An Evening with Fernando Reimers" went extremely well.  He talked about how his current book compares the teaching and learning of 21st century skills in six different countries.  He identified the importance global learning, social emotional learning, tolerance, and applied learning to the development of good citizens that will contribute to the economic health of any country.  He shared some policy mistakes that our country and state have made in the past and identified some of the promising practices in countries like Singapore and states like Wisconsin.  

Every time I have met Dr. Reimers, I learn something new.  He helps me to understand how local and parochial my opinions have been and opens my eyes to a world view.  While I was familiar with the International Bill of Human rights, I did not know the history of Eleanor Roosevelt's role in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Also, I did not know the progress that has been made in the last 60 years as a result of these efforts  This greater perspective makes us question what we can do in the United States to improve equality and equity here.  For more information on this topic, Dr. Reimers shared this 16 minute speech on the following link:


Doctor Reimers also shared the following two related documents for your reading pleasure as well:



For anyone who missed "An Evening with Fernando Reimers" at Maynard High School, his presentation was videotaped by our wonderful students in WAVM.  They will be airing this presentation soon on television and will then put it on the website for on demand viewing. 

2016-2017 Bus Registration

Bus registration for the 2016-2017 school year will begin on May 9, 2016.  Registration will take place at the administrative offices located at 3-R Tiger Drive.  Registration Forms will be available on our website and all school offices starting on May 6.  No forms will be accepted before May 9.  There is no fee increase this year.  $270.00 for the 1st student; $220 for the 2nd or more.

Note:  If you have a student entering 7th grade  at a distance of 2 miles or more, you must now pay the fee.

School Pesticide Notification

This notification is being sent to you in conformance with the Children’s & Families Protection Act (Chapter 85 of the Acts of 2000).  The Act requires we notify you when pesticides are applied on the outside of public and private schools, day care centers and school age child care programs.

We are having Fowler School, 3 Tiger Drive and Green Meadow Elementary School, 5 Tiger Drive,  treated with the Sentricon Termite Baiting System in response to the presence of termites.  We selected this treatment method to reduce risk and hazard to our student population and staff.  At various times during the course of the year, the Waltham Services Company may remove monitoring devices placed below ground in plastic holding stations and replace them with baits lethal to termites.  The pesticide bait is non-volatile and not accessible or visible from above.

Please feel free to call me at the Business Office at 978-897-8251, Mr. Mela, principal at Fowler School at 978-897-6700 or Mrs. Dankner, principal at Green Meadow at 978-897-8246 should you have questions.

Website:  www.mass.gov/agr, then follow the links to the Children’s Protection page

Important Events and Reminders:    
                                                                                                 
In an effort to streamline the Superintendent’s Notes, I will provide important upcoming events or announcements that have already been posted in previous Superintendent’s Notes in this section.

Caregiver Workshop in Maynard

Minuteman Senior Services and the Maynard Council on aging are partnering to offer a workshop for family caregivers. Caring for a relative, a friend or someone with a chronic illness can be stressful physically, emotionally and financially.

The Powerful Tools for Caregivers six week class is designed to provide family caregivers with the skills they need to take care of themselves.
Powerful Tools for Caregivers will help participants to:

·         Reduce Stress
·         Improve self-confidence
·         Create life balance
·         Better communicate feelings
·         Increase ability to make tough decisions
·         Locate helpful resources

An informational coffee will take place on April 7 at 1pm at the Maynard Council on Aging and will provide an opportunity to meet leaders and learn more about the program. Cost for the workshop is FREE thanks to grant funding from the Foundation for MetroWest and the Maynard Community Chest.

Details:

Informational Coffee: April 7 @ 1pm

Workshop Dates: Mondays, April 14 – May 19

Time:  2 PM – 3:30 PM
Class meets once per week for 6 weeks

Location:  Maynard Council on Aging, 50 Brown Street, Maynard

Contact:  Amy Loveless at  978-698-4844

Registration is required. Please register early as space is limited.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Superintendent's Notes (Notice of Special Events)


An Evening with Fernando Reimers Tomorrow Night!

In Collaboration with the members of the Carlisle, Concord, Concord-Carlisle, Lincoln, Lincoln-Sudbury, Maynard, and Sudbury School and Town Communities Maynard is hosting An Evening with Fernando Reimers  At Maynard High School.

Fernando Reimers is the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Ford Foundation Professor of Practice in International Education.  He has recently written the book "Teaching and Learning for the 21st Century."  This book compares the educational systems of six countries including Chile, China, India, Mexico, Singapore and the United States of America. 

After the formal presentation there will be a the less formal opportunity in the cafeteria with appetizers/desserts to get a book signed or just have informal conversations with this world leader in Education!

Time:              7:00 pm  Presentation
                        8:30 pm  Book Signing/Refreshments                                                        
Date:               March 30, 2016
Place:              Maynard High School Performing Arts Center
Fee:                 None*

* Books can be purchased online at the following link:
http://hepg.org/hep-home/books/teaching-and-learning-for-the-twenty-first-century

Please RSVP at :  https://goo.gl/VBLOR1

Walk-a-thon for Cancer Immunotherapy

Shannon Smith is hosting a walk-a-thon to raise money for cancer immunotherapy. The walk is being held next Thursday, April 7th, from 4 pm to 8 pm at Alumni Field. There will be bracelets and t-shirts available to win, games to be played in the field, and money to be raised! Please come out and support Shannon as she tries to raise awareness about cancer immunotherapy and how you can make an impact. 

Important Events and Reminders:    
                                                                                                 
In an effort to streamline the Superintendent’s Notes, I will provide important upcoming events or announcements that have already been posted in previous Superintendent’s Notes in this section.

Caregiver Workshop in Maynard

Minuteman Senior Services and the Maynard Council on aging are partnering to offer a workshop for family caregivers. Caring for a relative, a friend or someone with a chronic illness can be stressful physically, emotionally and financially.

The Powerful Tools for Caregivers six week class is designed to provide family caregivers with the skills they need to take care of themselves.
Powerful Tools for Caregivers will help participants to:

·         Reduce Stress
·         Improve self-confidence
·         Create life balance
·         Better communicate feelings
·         Increase ability to make tough decisions
·         Locate helpful resources

An informational coffee will take place on April 7 at 1 pm at the Maynard Council on Aging and will provide an opportunity to meet leaders and learn more about the program. Cost for the workshop is FREE thanks to grant funding from the Foundation for MetroWest and the Maynard Community Chest.

Details:

Informational Coffee: April 7 @ 1pm

Workshop Dates: Mondays, April 14 – May 19

Time:  2 PM – 3:30 PM
Class meets once per week for 6 weeks

Location:  Maynard Council on Aging, 50 Brown Street, Maynard

Contact:  Amy Loveless at  978-698-4844


Registration is required. Please register early as space is limited. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Superintendent's Notes


Maynard High School is leading the way in Energy Efficiency!

The Collaborative for High Performing Schools (CHPS), Massachusetts Facilities Administrators Association (MFAA), and the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) are hosting a free high performance schools training workshop during April vacation in Maynard High School titled "MA High Performance Schools and You: A CHPS Training." 

CHPS schools offer many benefits including, lower operating costs and improved indoor environmental quality.  Maynard High School was certified as a CHPS school.  Communities from New England will be visiting Maynard High School to learn about how this is accomplished and see the results in a CHPS Certified School.

Maynard Basketball Compete for a State Title!

The Maynard Boy’s Basketball team will be playing in the State Title game at Springfield College this Saturday at 2:15.  I plan on attending the game to support our team.  If you can come too, it will be great to see you there. Go Tigers! 

Caregiver Workshop in Maynard

Minuteman Senior Services and the Maynard Council on aging are partnering to offer a workshop for family caregivers. Caring for a relative, a friend or someone with a chronic illness can be stressful physically, emotionally and financially.

The Powerful Tools for Caregivers six week class is designed to provide family caregivers with the skills they need to take care of themselves.
Powerful Tools for Caregivers will help participants to:

·         Reduce Stress
·         Improve self-confidence
·         Create life balance
·         Better communicate feelings
·         Increase ability to make tough decisions
·         Locate helpful resources

An informational coffee will take place on April 7 at 1pm at the Maynard Council on Aging and will provide an opportunity to meet leaders and learn more about the program. Cost for the workshop is FREE thanks to grant funding from the Foundation for MetroWest and the Maynard Community Chest.

Details:

Informational Coffee: April 7 @ 1pm

Workshop Dates: Mondays, April 14 – May 19

Time:  2 PM – 3:30 PM
Class meets once per week for 6 weeks

Location:  Maynard Council on Aging, 50 Brown Street, Maynard

Contact:  Amy Loveless at  978-698-4844

Registration is required. Please register early as space is limited.

An Evening with Fernando Reimers

This is an invitation to all members of the Carlisle, Concord, Concord-Carlisle, Lincoln, Lincoln-Sudbury, Maynard, and Sudbury School and Town Communities to an event at Maynard High School titled, An Evening with Fernando Reimers.

Fernando Reimers is the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Ford Foundation Professor of Practice in International Education.  He has recently written the book "Teaching and Learning for the 21st Century."  This book compares the educational systems of six countries including Chile, China, India, Mexico, Singapore and the United States of America. 

 Time:             7:00 PM  Presentation
                        8:30 PM  Book Signing                                                        
Date:               March 30, 2016
Place:              Maynard High School Performing Arts Center
Fee:                 None*

* Books can be purchased online at the following link:
http://hepg.org/hep-home/books/teaching-and-learning-for-the-twenty-first-century

Please RSVP at :  https://goo.gl/VBLOR1

Important Events and Reminders:    
                                                                                                 
In an effort to streamline the Superintendent’s Notes, I will provide important upcoming events or announcements that have already been posted in previous Superintendent’s Notes in this section.

Technology Survey Invitation:

The  District Technology Committee (Digital Learning) has been busy at work. Members have been excited about facilitating the implementation of the recommendations found in the District Technology Plan which was approved this past fall.  

Again this year, the District has contracted with Bright Bytes, a well-respected national firm that has been helping us gather and analyze data.  The suggestions made last year were very helpful and we continue to learn and grow from the feedback we receive. Students in grades 3-12  will be completing a brief survey this month.

We cordially invite parents to participate in the survey by going to www.BByt.es and entering the following access codes: for Green Meadow: 946AP; for Fowler BE97P; and for Maynard High School 8J2VP.  Since the survey only takes five minutes, you may wish to complete a survey for each child, or if time constraints won't allow this, please consider completing a survey for your eldest child.