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Superintendent's News

Superintendent's News

Vice Principal - Pierce School

Sunday, 22 June 2014 11:43

We are delighted that Dan Green has been named Vice Principal at Pierce School.  For the past seven years, Dan has been a valued member of the Brookline High School (BHS) Social Studies department.  He has participated in numerous activities at BHS and throughout the district, including serving as a member of the Teaching and Learning Council and as an Advisor for the Model UN Club.  Additionally, Dan is co-founder and Chairman of the Board of the Brookline Cambodia Partnership and a Program Leader and founder of the Global Leadership Academy.

Prior to joining the Public Schools of Brookline, Mr. Green taught middle grades Social Studies in both California and Connecticut.  During his three-year tenure at Goleta Valley Junior High School, California, he was instrumental in the development of a school-wide house program, which addressed the challenges of the large class sizes, gang issues and achievement gaps. The success of this program was chronicled in “Welcome to the House System” published in Educational Leadership (2006).

During the 2011-2012 school year, Dan completed an Administrative Internship at Runkle School, with a particular focus on the middle school level.  Dan holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Brandeis University and a Master of Education in Teacher Education from Harvard University.

Congratulations to Dan on his new position at Pierce School.

   

Associate Dean - Brookline High School

Sunday, 22 June 2014 11:42

We are pleased that Kayla Dorsey-Twumasi joins the Public Schools of Brookline as the Associate Dean of Students at Brookline High School.  Kayla most recently worked as an administrative Intern at Boston Latin School.  While at Latin, she was a part of the team charged with overseeing instructional development, assessing curriculum and student data and planning relevant professional development.  She also organized and led Instructional Rounds with a focus on students of color. 

Before relocating to Boston to pursue graduate studies, Kayla taught Social Studies for five years at Doctors Charter School in Miami (FL).

Ms. Dorsey-Twumasi holds a Bachelor of Science in African and American Studies from State University of New York (SUNY) at Brockport, a Master of Professional Studies in Africana Studies from Cornell University, and a Master of Education in School Leadership from Harvard University.

We are thrilled that Ms. Dorsey-Twumasi will join the Brookline High School administrative team.

   

Early Education Program Coordinator

Sunday, 22 June 2014 11:41

We are pleased that Regina Watts has been named Early Childhood Program Coordinator, replacing Pat Vonnegut who will be retiring at the conclusion of this school year.

Since 1989, Regina has served as a school psychologist and most recently a special education team facilitator in the Public Schools of Brookline.  Specifically, she has served in a leadership role with the early education intake team and has taken on the responsibility for staff training.  More importantly, she brings her depth of knowledge and breadth of experience in the early education program, as well as strong administrative and supervisory skills, to this important role.

For the past ten years, Dr. Watts has served as an adjunct faculty member at Northeastern University, where she teaches and supervises school psychology interns.  She has numerous publications and has presented a number of times at the National Association of School Psychologists’ (NASP) Annual Conference.   In 2012, the NASP presented Regina with the Massachusetts School Psychologist of the Year Award. 

Regina holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Iona College and both a Master of Science Degree and a Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Congratulations to Regina on her new position in Brookline.

   

Coordinator of School Health Services

Sunday, 22 June 2014 11:39

We are delighted to announce that Tricia Laham has been named Coordinator of School Health Services, replacing Kate Donnelly who is retiring at the conclusion of the 2013-2014 school year. Tricia, a nationally certified school nurse, has served as school nurse at Baker School since 1999.

Ms. Laham has developed strong collaborative relationships with her Baker School colleagues and district-wide nurse colleagues.  She currently serves as the co-chair of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program team at Baker.  Tricia also teaches First Aid and CPR/AED to First Response Team members.  Prior to her work in the Public Schools Brookline she was a staff nurse at Beth Israel Hospital.

Tricia holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Niagara University and a Master of Education in School Nursing from Cambridge College.  We are thrilled that Tricia will continue to serve The Public Schools of Brookline in this new role.

   

Interim Devotion School Principal

Sunday, 22 June 2014 11:38

I am is pleased to announce that Joseph Connelly will serve as Interim Principal of the Devotion School during the 2014-2015 school year.

Dr. Connelly knows Brookline well.  He served as Interim Principal of the Runkle School from March 2009 to June 2010.  During this critical transition, Joe managed and provided oversight of the successful relocation of the school population, while maintaining a cohesive and nurturing school culture for students, staff and parents that continued to focus on high expectations for teaching and learning.  His strong leadership was also critical in the planning and design phase(s) for the Runkle School building project.

Joe has a wealth of experience in education, spanning over 40 years as a Teacher, Elementary Principal, Middle School Principal, and Superintendent.  Prior to retirement, Dr. Connelly served as the Superintendent of Schools in Stoneham and Tri-Town School Union (Topsfield, Boxford, and Middleton) for over 20 years.  Since his retirement, he has served in other communities as an Interim Principal, Interim Superintendent, an Acting Business Manager and an Interim Town Administrator.

Dr. Connelly is a highly regarded educator in Massachusetts and we are thrilled that he has agreed to come back to Brookline to serve the Devotion community.

I also want to thank David O’Hara, Lacey Becotte and the entire Devotion staff for their outstanding work on behalf of our students and the school during this time of transition.  Their efforts have been extraordinary and are very much appreciated.

   

PARCC

Thursday, 19 June 2014 07:50

On June 3, 2014, I provided our School Committee with a revised recommendation for The Public Schools in Brookline to administer PARCC assessments in grades 3-8 for the 2014-2015 school year.  The timing of this recommendation was to ensure that Brookline would be guaranteed participation in the PARCC cohort group, which requires that a decision be sent to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education by Monday, June 30, 2014.  Districts must submit their decision by October 1st, although systems that delay making a determination beyond June 30th risk the possibility of not being part of the PARCC cohort.

Last evening I wrote to School Committee members to ask that they delay a decision on PARCC v. MCAS for students in grades 3-8 until September.  I expect that they will agree to this delay at their meeting this evening (Thursday, June 19, 2014).

Although there are many issues still in play with respect to this decision, there are two (2) major reasons for my request.  First, I am not yet convinced that appropriate accommodations will be in place in PARCC for 2014-2015 for those students requiring them as part of their IEPs.  I believe that we could have additional information during the next three (3) months that would allow us to make a more informed decision regarding PARCC's ability to meet the testing needs of all Brookline students.  

Second, my recommendation was based on an assumption that Massachusetts will migrate to either PARCC or another new "next generation" assessment for 2015-2016.  While this is probably still true, it is also clear that the Common Core and the associated testing programs are being challenged in many places across the country, as well as in the Commonwealth.  Again, I believe that a delay in our decision-making process could provide important political information that could be helpful in School Committee deliberations.

Overall, I believe that this decision making process would benefit from additional information in these and other areas that could be available prior to October 1st.  

   

Superintendent Report for Thursday, June 5, 2014

Saturday, 07 June 2014 19:42

Click here to access the Superintendent's Report to the School Committee for Thursday, June 5, 2014.  This report includes updated information on kindergarten enrollment for 2014-2015, the hiring of three new administrators, the accomplishments of our Brookline High School student athletes, and a number of other important updates.

   

State Testing in 2015

Friday, 23 May 2014 13:21

This spring, the Public Schools of Brookline participated in a field test for the PARCC Assessment, part of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's (DESE) two-year test drive of the new assessment based on the Common Core standards.  For the 2014-2015 school year, districts will have a choice of administering PARCC (as a second year operational test) or MCAS.

On Thursday, May 22, 2014, I presented my recommendation to the School Committee.  The letter outlining my initial recommendation can be found here and the PowerPoint slides from my presentation can be found here.

On Tuesday, June 3, 2014, I provided the School Committee with a revised recommendation for The Public Schools of Brookline to participate in the PARCC operational test for grades 3-8 only during the 2014-2015 school year.  The letter detailing this recommendation can be found here.

The School Committee will hold a Public Hearing on this issue on Thursday, June 5, 2014 and vote on my recommendation at their meeting on Thursday, June 19, 2014.   

   

Superintendent Report for May 22, 2014

Thursday, 22 May 2014 13:37

The Superintendent's Report to the School Committee for May 22, 2014 is available here.  This report includes an announcement on the new Vice Principal for Lawrence School and student and staff recognition.  

   

Brookline Teacher Honored by New England Association of Woodworking Teachers

Thursday, 15 May 2014 17:45

Brookline High School (BHS) Woodworking and Engineering Teacher, Glen Gurner was presented with the 2014 Program of the Year award at the spring meeting of the New England Association of Woodworking Teachers.   The award is given annually in recognition of valuable contributions to the field of woodworking education. 

Glen has been a woodworker for the better part of 35 years and holds an MFA in Wood Artisanry from UMASS Dartmouth, an MS in Art Education from Mass College of Art and a BFA in Photography from Mass College of Art. 

He has been teaching Woodworking, Engineering and Computer Aided Design (CAD) at BHS for the past three years.  During that time, with the support of the Curriculum Coordinator for Career and Technology Education, Glen has infused new life into the curriculum and the facility. 

Over the past three years, the Scholastic Art Awards and the New England Student Woodworking Design Competition have both recognized student work from Glen’s Creative Woodworking classes.

Later this month, Glen will be hosting the 2014 New England Student Woodworking Design Competition in the Art Space Gallery at BHS.  The winning students will be presented with awards in a variety of categories on Thursday May 22nd at 7:00 p.m.

Pictured Below: (from left to right) Glen Gurner; Ben Kellman, Executive Director of the New England Association of Woodworking Teachers; and David Heath, 2014 Teacher of the Year award recipient from Winnacunnet High in New Hampshire. 

NEAWT Award

 

 

   

Superintendent Report for May 8, 2014

Thursday, 08 May 2014 18:56

The Superintendent's Report to the School Committee for May 8, 2014 is available here.  This report includes student and staff recognition as well as information on upcoming events.  

   

Former Governor Michael Dukakis Attends Lawrence School Earth Day

Tuesday, 06 May 2014 16:25

Former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis spoke to students at Lawrence School at a recent K-8 Community Meeting celebrating Earth Day.   During an outdoor gathering of the entire school, fifth grade students Aleena Atizol, Lucy Cahill, and Sara Diaz interviewed Governor Dukakis about recycling, public transportation, and his famous habit of picking up litter in Lawrence Park.   Governor Dukakis used these questions to teach students how legislation, such as the bottle bill and Brookline's recent ban on plastic bags, can have a positive impact on the environment.  He also talked about his own garden and encouraged students to take care of their immediate surroundings.

Also during the Earth Day program, third grade student Lia Suk was recognized for her winning entry in a calendar art contest sponsored by Casella Waste Management.  A representative from the company presented her with a framed copy of her artwork.   Mr. Norwood's second grade class made a presentation about spring work in the Lawrence school garden.

The program included a celebration of Japanese Children's Day.  Giant hanging carps fluttered in the wind over the front door.  Ms. Leman's second grade class sang "Sampo" in Japanese and English.  Akiko Sensei's Gr. 1-3 students taught students about the traditions of Japanese Children's Day and then sang and played recorder.

Later in the day, parent volunteers on the Lawrence Green Team organized Earth Day activities for students during recess. This year's theme was "Nature in Your Neighborhood."  The activities were intended to encourage students to use their powers of observations to notice nature they may encounter in their neighborhood.

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