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August Update from the Superintendent

posted Aug 8, 2014, 9:21 AM by Dianne Georgantas

August 8, 2014

Dear Staff and Families:

As you may well know, summer is my favorite season because of the fact that our schedules allow us to spend more time with family and friends.  My clan gathers in Harwich at Cape Cod where we learn about the escapades that everyone has had throughout the previous year.  All of my nieces and nephews are now older-  three are in high school, three are in college and four have graduated and in the work force, so we are definitely in a different phase of life where time together is limited and even more precious due to summer jobs and real world professions.  One of my summer highlights was last week's trip to the Red Sox game on Friday night where several of my nieces and nephews joined me to witness the Red Sox defeat the Yankees. Fenway Park, a true Boston gem, was alive with devoted fans who preserve the traditions such as creating the wave as well as singing Sweet Caroline.  Watching a young new pitcher, called up from the minors, outdo the Yankees in his first pro venue was superb, as he demonstrated that he not only has the talent, but nerves of steel as well, that led to this victory.  My nieces and nephews never tire of a summer's game at Fenway Park, and I never get bored as I spend time with them!

The summer is flying by as staff in Longmeadow work on curriculum, take courses, plan for staff development, register new students, finish schedules and hire new teachers.  While the pace is definitely slower in the summer, there is still a plethora of interesting work happening in the schools.  Several teams of teachers have come to write curriculum for grade levels and departments as well as to create assessments to give us more detailed information on student learning.  The administrative team has met to review a new student information system called Inform, to study meaningful ways of giving feedback to teachers during observations and more.  The entire staff in Longmeadow continually explores ways of enhancing educational experiences for all of our students.

Many exciting initiatives are happening in our district, and here are just a few of them: new elementary and middle school schedules that include an enrichment/ RTI block;  Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) at the high school; electronic books in Human Anatomy and Physiology and Algebra I at the high school; expansion of on-line learning opportunities for high school students; AIMSWEB assessment of all students in grades k-8 in math and literacy; and on-line study of Chinese as a second language at the high school. Our goal is continuous improvement as we keep our "eyes on the child" in Longmeadow Public Schools.

Also, it is with pleasure that I announce that Marc Oldenburg has been appointed as our new Director of Pupil Services.  Marc brings a wealth of leadership experiences due to his work at DESE and as former Director of Pupil Services in Granville, MA.  Marc's interpersonal skills are strong as well, and he will be an asset to our team.  Please join me in welcoming him to Longmeadow as he officially begins work on August 18th.

Staff reports back for convocation and professional development on August 26, 2014 while our students will start school onSeptember 2, 2014.  We look forward to everyone's return for a successful 2014-15 academic year.

Please do enjoy a good book (electronically or on paper), sit on a beach, and spend time relaxing with loved ones.  I look forward to the schools humming with activity in September as everyone returns!


Superintendent Marie Doyle