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NEASC
July 2015
The Marlborough Public Schools is pleased to announce that in late June 2015 we received notice from the NEASC that Whitcomb Middle School has received full accreditation for the current 10-year cycle. Attached are the letter from the visiting team co-chair and the final report resulting from the NEASC process.

We thank everyone who was involved in and served in leadership roles throughout this process.
 
***
In seeking regional accreditation with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, a school commits itself to meeting and maintaining publicly stated Standards for Accreditation.  A school's self-study is the first step of a decennial three-phase cycle designed to provide a school with a systematic, qualitative process of self-assessment, peer review, and short and long-range planning, the result of which is school improvement.
 

Steering Committee Liaisons to the Standards Committees:
Assessment: Jocelyn Demuth and Laura Kirshenbaum
Community Resources:  Joan Glasheen and Lily Kane
Curriculum: Rupal Patel and Robin Goldstein
Instruction:  Shannon Oles and Karen Suvalskas
Leadership and Organization:  Mary Pacific and Donna Roche
School Resources: Ava Kelberman and Nancy Klein

Announcements
NEASC update


"Achievement lies within the reach of those who reach beyond themselves."


6 Reports down...1 more to go (School Resources Fall 2014)! While it may be too early to celebrate the official completion of the self-study report and visit of the Whitcomb School (Nov. 30-Dec 4, 2014), it is not too early to acknowledge all your hard work, attention to the task at hand and commitment to this process.


Through this process, a vision and mission has been developed and an accurate appraisal of the strengths and needs has been completed. It is evident that each one of us is part of a community that is passionate about helping the children of Marlborough discover and reach their potential.


The Steering Committee thanks you and commends you for your efforts and a job well done.



NEASC update
NEASC Update: Submitted by the Self-Study Steering Committee

To Our Travelling Colleagues:

First of all, have a safe and fun trip to our nation’s capital. In a bit you will be receiving an email that includes the NEASC self-study reports on Instruction and Community Resources that will be reviewed in the town hall faculty meeting scheduled for June 4. Though you will be travelling that day, your input and your vote are important. I have included a link to a survey monkey where you can provide comments on the reports as well as vote whether to accept, abstain, or reject the reports. We are asking that you vote by proxy before June 4.


Have a wonderful trip!


Pictures and Video: We are working on creating a video which highlights our school. It will be played during the NEASC visit. Please send photos or videos to Shannon Oles: soles@mps-edu.org. Please list the students in the photo and describe the activity/task being completed. In particular we are looking for students working on performance assessments or participating in field trips that are common for an entire grade level. We are also looking for pictures from extracurricular activities. Whenever possible, send pictures of students with photo permission and state that you know they have photo permission. If you are not sure, state that you are not sure and we will check the photo permission database.


Report Review:

Attached are the Instruction and Community Resources reports. Please read them prior to Wednesday’s meeting.


Mission Distribution:

This week students will be posting the mission and vision student workbook coloring book pages around the building. If a student comes to your room and asks where the picture should be hung, please try to find a place that is near the orange Mission and Vision statement poster. If students from your room or team completed the coloring book pages, please hang them up so that we have visual reminders around the building in a student friendly format. (If you have your own coloring book pages hanging in your room, please inform our student volunteers that they may skip your room and save the coloring book pages for a different room.)


Staff Meeting:


June 4th

Staff Meeting-

Location: Auditorium

(50 minutes)

Town Hall Style Meeting to review and vote on Instruction Report and Community Resources for Learning Report.
· Take a breath!
· End of Year information


Fall 2014

Staff Meeting-

Location: TBD

· Town Hall Style Meeting to review and vote on School Resources for Learning report.

Nov. 30th-Dec 3, 2014

· School Visit by NEAS&C team.

NEASC update

"Finishing races is important, but racing is more important."
-Dale Earnhardt


Report Review Coming SOON!:


Keep an eye open for copies of the Community Resources for Learning and Instruction reports. They will be the reports covered on our June 6th staff meeting.


Mission Distribution:


Everyone should now have a copy of the mission and vision posted in your classroom/office. If we have missed your room, please email Donna Roche and she will deliver one to you.

Staff Meeting:


June 4th

Staff Meeting-

Location: Auditorium

(50 minutes)

· Town Hall Style Meeting to review and vote on Instruction Report and Community Resources for Learning Report.

· Take a breath!

· End of Year information


Fall 2014

Staff Meeting-

Location: TBD
· Town Hall Style Meeting to review and vote on School Resources for Learning report.


Nov. 30th-Dec 3, 2014

· School Visit by NEAS&C team.







NEASC Update

Focus on the vision and the numbers will thrive.


Focus on the numbers and the vision will struggle (and so will the numbers).


—Simon Sinek



NEASC Update


No one can whistle a symphony.
It takes a whole orchestra to play it.
—H.E. Luccock


NEASC Spring 2014 Calendar Updated

May 6th
· School Resources for Learning and Curriculum reports finalized in committee.

· Complete Final Appraisal Summary and forward completed document to Steering Committee.

May 8th

· Steering Committee forwards School Resources for Learning and Curriculum reports to all staff.

May 14th
Staff Meeting- Location: Auditorium
(50 minutes)
· Town Hall Style Meeting to review and vote on School Resources for Learning Report and Curriculum Report.


May 15th
· Community Resources for Learning and Instruction reports finalized in committee.

· Complete Final Appraisal Summary and forward completed document to Steering Committee.

May 22nd
· Steering Committee forwards Community Resources for Learning and Instruction reports to all staff.

May 28th CHANGED
District Determined Measures Professional Development


June 6th
Town Hall Staff Meeting
Location: Auditorium

(50 minutes)
· Town Hall Style Meeting to review and vote on Community Resources for Learning Report and Instruction Report
· Take a breath!
· End of Year information


Changes to the original timeline have been made and the Steering Committee is looking into rescheduling the review of the Assessment Report. Thanks to the Assessment committee for their flexibility and patience.






NEASC Update

Perseverance is the hard work you do

after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.

Newt Gingrich

Final Appraisal Summary:

•Evidence and surveys are completed, indicators are written...now what?


•Assemble and review the standards reports and complete the final appraisal summary.


•The final appraisal summaries and reports will be the focus of the town hall meetings.


NEASC Meetings with co-chairs April 9th:

•April 9th co-chairs will host meetings with committee members to wrap up the final stages of the reports at 2:30.


•Meeting rooms will be designated and communicated by co-chairs prior to Wednesday.


•Attendance will be taken by co-chairs.


NEASC Spring 2014 Calendar



April 9th-Early Release Day


Staff Meeting-Location: TBD by co-chairs
(50 minutes)

· All NEASC committees meet to work on reports.

· Assessment and Leadership and Organization reports finalized in committee.

· Complete Final Appraisal Summary and forward completed document to Steering Committee.


April 17th

· Steering Committee forwards Assessment and Leadership and Organization reports to all staff.

April 30th

Staff Meeting-
Location: Auditorium
(60 minutes)

· Town Hall Style Meeting to review and vote on Leadership and Organization Report and Assessment Report.


May 1st

· School Resources for Learning and Curriculum reports finalized in committee.

· Complete Final Appraisal Summary and forward completed document to Steering Committee.


May 8th

· Steering Committee forwards School Resources for Learning and Curriculum reports to all staff.


May 14th


Staff Meeting- Location: Auditorium
(50 minutes)

· Town Hall Style Meeting to review and vote on School Resources for Learning Report and Curriculum Report.


May 15th


· Community Resources for Learning and Instruction reports finalized in committee.

· Complete Final Appraisal Summary and forward completed document to Steering Committee.

May 22nd

· Steering Committee forwards Community Resources for Learning and Instruction reports to all staff.

May 28th

Staff Meeting-Location: Auditorium
(90 minutes)

· Town Hall Style Meeting to review and vote on Community Resources for Learning Report and Instruction Report.


June 6th

Staff Meeting-
Location: TBD

(50 minutes)


· NEASC Wrap-up
· End of Year information
· Take a breath!

Update 3/30/14
 When times are tough, constant conflict may be good politics

but in the real world, cooperation works better.

After all, nobody's right all the time, and a broken clock is right twice a day.

William J. Clinton

The Mission and Expectations Report status

The Mission and Expectations report has been affirmed on March 26, 2014 by the staff with a vote of 100 to 0 with 3 abstentions.  The Mission and Expectations Standard committee wishes to thank all staff who assisted in the review and revisions of the report in preparation of the vote by the staff. 

 

Town Hall Style Staff Meetings

April 30 Leadership and Organization and Assessment in the auditorium

May 14 School Resources for Learning and Curriculum in the auditorium

May 28 Community Resources and Instruction in the auditorium

Corresponding reports will be made available electronically by the standards committee co-chairs prior to each meeting.  Hard copies will be available on a limited basis in the mailroom.

Co-Chair Meeting April 3r

On April 3rd co-chairs of each standards committee will be meeting with the steering committee to address the Standards Appraisal Reports, which is the final part of each report to be completed by the committees.   

Our NEASC visit

The NEASC site visit is scheduled for November 30, 2014 to December 3, 2014.
In anticipation for the visit, our final compiled report will be submitted to NEASC by the end of October, 2014.  

Mission and Expectations Report
The Mission and Expectations Report was approved by faculty on March 26th under the premise that a few minor changes will be made by the Steering Committee. The minor changes were addressed during the Town Hall style meeting which took place at today's Staff meeting.
March 25
"Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress."

--Mahatma Gandhi
March 25 NEASC Update

NEASC Update

The Mission and Expectations report was sent to all staff last Thursday morning as an email attachment from Sandy. Prior to the staff meeting, please review it and come prepared with comments or questions. If you wish to have a hard copy of the report at the meeting, please print it yourself. If you see spelling, grammar or other formatting issues prior to the meeting, please email: Laura Kirshenbaum.

At the town hall style staff meeting, you will be handed these “ground rules” for participation.

The ground rules are:

-- When you visit the microphone, state your name and position. If your statement is about a specific indicator, please state the indicator #, letter subheading and first three words of the paragraph being referenced.

-- You will have a two minute speaking limit. Another minute may be granted to the speaker at the discretion of the moderator.

-- Comments should be relevant to the report being discussed and not about a previously discussed report.

-- If you see minor grammatical, spelling, or typo errors, please forward them to the chairs of the committee prior to the town hall meeting so that at the town hall we can focus mostly on content and the overall flow of the report.

-- All presentations must be respectful, calm and presented in a professional manner without being personal in nature.

-- We ask that speakers not be repetitive

-- The audience must also remain respectful throughout the time.

-- You may turn in comment cards as you exit if you wish not to speak in public.

All Town Hall Style meetings are set for 2:40 p.m. on:

March 26 Mission and Expectations in the Blue Cafeteria

April 30 Leadership and Organization and Assessment in the auditorium

May 14 School Resources for Learning and Curriculum in the auditorium

and May 28 Community Resources and Instruction in the auditorium

At the conclusion of each meeting the Steering Committee will call for a vote of the corresponding report(s) being discussed. The meeting will run effectively and efficiently if all members of our Whitcomb community review the report(s) on the agenda within the week leading up to the meeting and come with questions, comments, or concerns regarding the content of the report(s).


The Town Hall Style Meeting Agenda:

Upon entering the meeting, sign in for attendance and sign up on the white board if you wish to make a comment about the report. Sign ups are first come, first serve.

1. Introduction and review of goals, objectives, and ground rules (5 minutes)

2. Introduction of committee members and co-chairs who will be responding to questions and comments. (5 minutes)

2. Pairs discussion (5 minutes)

3. Comment period (25 minutes)

4. Call for a vote on the report(s) (5 minutes)

5. Next steps and closing (5 minutes)

*Please note that questions or comments that require in-depth analysis or explanation may be noted and responded to off-line so that they do not dominate the meeting.

Follow-up:

A post event survey will be sent to all participants so that feedback about the process and content covered may be provided to the steering committee and standards committee chair persons for review.

The Steering Committee wishes to thank in advance the members of the Whitcomb community who have agreed to assist with the meeting on March 26th:

Fred Massacotte for serving as Moderator

Allison Conlon, Romelle Barker-Jarvis, Maureen Mathieson, and Katie Lubkert for serving as note-takers.

 

Update

NEASC Update 

Evidence Gathering Fairs 

January 29th Community Resources and Instruction Evidence Gathering Fair. All committee members and invited staff are expected to attend, attendance will be taken.  

If you are not invited to the evidence fair or are not on the specific committee, then those times are designated for you and your committee to meet to work on your reports. 


Submission deadlines
 (The entire standard report in final draft format): 

Mission and Expectations March, 2014 

Leadership and Organization April, 2014 

Assessment April, 2014 

School Resources May, 2014 

Curriculum May, 2014 

Community Resources May, 2014 

Instruction May, 2014 

Evidence 
The Endicott Survey results are here!  Co-chairs of committees will forward that data to you.  Your surveys are one type of evidence for your report. 


Copies of forms, documents, hard copies of electronic files should all be gathered to support the evidence in your report.  Be sure to pass along that documentation to the co-chairs who will keep that information together.   What might an example of this look like? If you are working on an indicator related to professional development, all of the PDF files Gabby has sent out in the last three years which explain the Sessions, Locations, Topics and Times for PD should be included as evidence.  
Evidence Collection Fair
Instruction will be in the Yellow Cafeteria
Community Resources for Learning will be in the Blue Cafeteria


Update
 NEASC Update 

Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common visionThe ability to 
direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives
It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results
.” 

-Andrew Carnegie 
  

Evidence Fair Preparation Workshop 

January 13th 2:30 PM Preparation workshop for Community Resources and Instruction Evidence Gathering Fair.  All committee members are expected to attend, attendance will be taken. 

Co-Chairs Coordination Meeting 

The co-chairs met with the steering committee Thursday to discuss the writing criteria, evidence, and status reports.   

Status reports: You will be asked to provide information on the status of your NEASC work so that we can better assist you in the process. 

At this point, everyone should be collecting evidence, conducting surveys as needed and communicating regularly with the co-chairs. 

Evidence Gathering Fairs 

January 15th School Resources and Curriculum Evidence Gathering Fair.   All committee members and invited staff are expected to attend, attendance will be taken.   

January 29th Community Resources and Instruction Evidence Gathering Fair. All committee members and invited staff are expected to attend, attendance will be taken.   

If you are not invited to the evidence fair or are not on the specific committee, then those times are designated for you and your committee to meet to work on your reports. 

Endicott Survey Information 

We expect to receive the results of the Endicott survey within the next couple of weeks and the information will be distributed to all faculty and staff. 

The High School Report  

All files from the high school report have been uploaded to the NEASC fusion site.  You may review those files to use a guide for writing your report.  While the high school data may be different than the Whitcomb School data, you may find it worthwhile to look them over. 

  

  

 

Evidence Collection Fair
 Evidence Collection Fair 

On 12/11, 1/15, and 1/29 members of assigned committees:
                    December 11- Leadership Blue Caf/ Assessment-Yellow Caf
                    Januray 15- School Resources-Blue Caf/ Curriculum-Yellow Caf
                   January 29- Community Resources-Blue Caf/Instruction-Yellow Caf

will be given the priority for evidence collection through the 
Evidence Collection Fairs located in the cafeterias.  You will be asking invited staff members to meet with you in the cafeteria for the purpose of asking them questions and gathering information/evidence.  The Template Invitation Letter (in the files below) will assist you in communicating with your guest.  Please send out invitations in a timely fashion to give attendees (especially those from outside our school as much notice as possible to attend).   

If you are not invited to attend a meeting, you may work on your own report during this time.  However, as there are many indicators that overlap, you may wish to seek out collaborate with others across standards to gather information.   

Please remeber and note our revised timelines for reports:
Our goal is to review, revise, and approve two reports a month during  the SPRING of 2014:  
April: Leadership and Organization/Assessment
May: School Resources for Learning/Curriculum
June: Community Resources for Learning/Instruction

The Endicott NEASC survey
Endicott Survey

Within the week, parents, students, and staff will be given directions for completing the Endicott Survey.  This survey will provide us with useful information regarding the standards and indicators.  It will take everyone approximately 15 minutes to complete and you will be given time on the December 4, 2013 staff meeting time to take the survey.  To complete the survey you will go to: www.endicottresearchcenter.net (see the fusion page for the link).  For this survey to be an accurate reflection of our school, we need to reach 100% participation by staff.  

Please note that survey directions for parents will be put in your mailbox and must be stapled to all the report cards sent home on November 12, 2013The parent code is FP201346.  Portuguese and Spanish translations of the directions will be provided next week.  These directions will explain that respondents will have the option of taking the survey in either English or Spanish; however, only a Spanish version of the survey is available to parents and students at this time.  We apologize in advance for this inconvenience.   

All students must complete the survey online during school time Grade 5 students will complete the survey during their scheduled computer class with Mary, Donna or Sue.  All 6-8 grade students will complete the survey in their Social Studies classes.  Social Studies teachers without classroom technology should contact Mary, Donna or Sue to schedule time for their classes in the computer labs for the survey (Donna has a master schedule of all availability to streamline the process)If your students do not attend Social Studies on team (ELL Beginners, TLC, ABA, Essentials), please also contact Mary, Sue, and Donna to schedule computer lab time.  Thanks for your cooperation.   

The deadline for completing the survey for all constituents is Friday, December 6, 2013. 

Meeting Updates
Good afternoon co-chairs,
We would like to invite you to a joint meeting with the Steering Committee on Thursday, October 17 after school in Shannon’s room (321).  During that time we will be refining the game plan for utilizing the time we have between now and when the reports are due.  We are aware that we are under a time crunch, so our hopes for the meeting are not to neglect these concerns, but rather recognize that time is critical so we should focus our attention on collaborating and determining the procedure for meeting these deadlines in the allotted time.  The Steering Committee generated a more detailed timeline for evidence collection which we would like to share and discuss with you to get your feedback. 
The good news is that since there is no faculty meeting today, there is no pressure on you to run a meeting with little to no planning time.  The bad news is that it pushes our next available time to meet with our committees off to October 23rd.  We know many of you, and members of your committee, are comfortable with the process and may want to begin working on your own prior to the October 23rd meeting.  If this works for you, we encourage you to do so.   We also know there are some of you or members of your group who are still uncertain of the goal and final outcome of this process.  Our joint meeting on October 17th will help to further clarify the expectations so that they may be clarified in committees on October 23rd in the staff meeting.  We have many resources to share with you to help support you in evidence collection and writing. 
Lastly, many of us on the Steering Committee are new to this process as well.  We received similar training from NEASC as you received in the ½ day session.  We want to give you the autonomy to lead your committees in a way which best suits you.  If you ever feel as though you need more feedback or direction on a particular step, please let us know in person, via email, or by attending a Thursday Steering Committee meeting so that we can support you. 
 
Sincerely,
The Steering Committee
Final Report Schedule
Our goal is to review, revise, and approve two reports a month during  the SPRING of 2014:  

March-Leadership and Organization/Assessment
April-School Resources/Curriculum
May- Community Resources/Instruction  

September Notice
Hello All,
 
The steering committee is making plans with NEASC to use a survey that corresponds with the standards and indicators for our accreditation process.  We feel it should prove useful in gathering information for the various standards reports.  The high school used a similar survey, so we believe the middle school version will be equally helpful.  We have been informed by NEASC that Endicott College has developed that survey and will be released to us soon.  It is a Likert scale survey connected to the standards/indicators, so a parent statement would be something like “The community provides sufficient support to ensure adequate and reliable revenue resources to the school.” There are different surveys for parents, students, staff, but all the questions are tied throughout the surveys.  We will have more information on it probably within the next couple of weeks.  After that, we can work out a time to get the surveys out. Endicott will set up a link, so it will be pretty easy for all to access and complete.
 
We hope this information is helpful to you as you make being to make plans for gathering evidence.  Please continue  to send any questions or requests for information to your liaisons so that we can streamline the requests for information to our administration.
 
As you are aware, Mary is planning our 1st staff meeting around the position paper This We Believe.  That document, along with Turning Points and Turning Points 2000 , should provide us a solid foundation in current research and best practices.  A follow up on our 1st meeting will be scheduled  during the 2nd staff meeting, and should also include time for standards area committees to begin meeting.  We are currently working on populating our fusion page to include the standards area writing guide. 
 
Finally, if you are available or have a representative available from your committee to attend our voluntary meeting on September 26th we will be working to refine our mission statements and would value your input.  Until such time as the mission statement is finalized, many of your committees will not be able to move forward on indicator 1 in many of the standards reports. 
 
Please feel free to contact anyone of us with questions and assistance.
 
Sincerely,
 
Laura, Shannon and Donna
 
Site Visit November 30- December 3, 2014

The on site visit, which is known as the peer review visit, takes place upon the completion of the school's self study. In this phase of the process the Commission develops a team, who are peers of the school faculty and administration, and sends the team to the school to read the self-study and spend three or four days visiting the school and its classrooms, interviewing faculty, parents and other stakeholders, students and administrators. The visiting team’s purpose is to seek evidence of the judgments the school has made about itself and, subsequently, make its own conclusions about how well the institution aligns with the Commission’s standards. The concluding task is to present those findings – strengths and needs – to the school in a report form, revealing those judgments and identifying direction for improvement.

 

Files
 Assessment NEASC Self Study Guide.docx
Self Study Guide for Assessment
 Community Resources for Learning NEASC Self Study Guide.docx
Self Study Guide for Community Resources for Learning
 Curriculum NEASC Self Study Guide.docx
Self Study Guide for Curriculum
 Instruction NEASC Self Study Guide.docx
Self Study Guide for Instruction
 Interview Invitation.docx
Template Invitation Letter. Add/modify as needed for your indicator and audience.
 Leadership and Organization NEASC Self Study Guide.docx
Self Study Guide for Leadership and Organization
 Middle_School_Self_Study_
2006 (1).doc
Middle School Self Study Guide
 Resources for Co-chairs.docx
Resources for using Fusion and Skydrive, etc. materials distributed during 10/17 meeting.
 School Resources for Learning NEASC Self Study Guide.docx
Self Study Guide for School Resources for Learning
 Tentative NEASC PLAN revised 11-7-13.docx
Updated NEASC Timeline Grid
Contacts
+ Demuth, Jocelyn
+ Glasheen, Joan
+ Goldstein, Robin
+ Kane, Lilian
+ Kelberman, Ava
+ Kirshenbaum, Laura
+ Klein, Nancy
+ Oles, Shannon
+ Pacific, Mary
+ Patel, Rupel
+ Roche, Donna
+ Suvalskas, Karen
Click on name to see details.
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