Please see the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and Grants "Assessment Page" for many updates on the New Generation MCAS 2.0. Here is the information and preparation Power Point Presentation which will be aired tonight March 27, 2017 at the School Committee Meeting with Q & A time.
Welcome to Summer Enrichment 2017!
Methuen Public Schools will continue to provide a summer of fun
and learning for children of all ages. These courses are designed to
challenge and enrich your child’s summer experience while providing lots
of fun activities. Morning and afternoon sessions are available, with a
supervised lunch break in-between for those students attending both
sessions. The entire program will run for four weeks.
Please click here to check out the Enrichment Programs for 2017!
Dear Superintendents, Charter School Leaders, and Principals,
Please feel free to share the following information with parents, teachers, and your school community.
This spring marks the start of the next-generation MCAS assessments in English language arts and math in grades 3-8. After considering for several years how to best update our already strong statewide assessment, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted in November 2015 to maintain a test unique to our Commonwealth that would draw some of its questions from the existing MCAS, some of its questions from the PARCC assessment developed by a consortium of states, and some questions created specifically for the next-generation MCAS. This spring is the debut of that new test.
The Board also voted to transition to computer-based testing. For the next-generation MCAS tests this spring, most students will take the computer-based version in grades 4 and 8. Many schools have also chosen computer-based testing in grades 3, 5, 6, and 7; the remainder will be taking the paper version.
Many people ask us why we conduct statewide testing. These tests are required by both state and federal law, but more importantly:
· Test results help parents gauge whether their children are making academic progress.
· Test results help educators identify strengths and weaknesses in their curricula and instructional methods.
· A student’s participation in statewide testing helps provide context to other students in the same school, students in other schools within the district, and students in other districts. Failure to participate denies this perspective not only to the student who refuses to participate, but to other students and parents in the school, district, and statewide.
· Test results help the state target additional resources to underperforming schools.
· Test results help document our progress to the Governor and the Legislature as we seek to ensure adequate funding for all our schools.
MCAS was first instituted as part of the 1993 Education Reform Law. The programs and funding in that law have led to nearly a quarter-century of steady improvement in our K-12 schools. Today Massachusetts is number one in the nation in elementary and secondary education.
Refusal to Participate in State Tests
Every year, some families ask whether students are allowed to opt-out of taking a statewide test. In brief, the answer is no. Testing is a mandatory part of the curriculum, the same as a spelling test or math test, and statewide assessments are most useful when all students take them. Neither the Commonwealth nor Congress provides an opt-out provision. Tenth graders who refuse to take MCAS jeopardize their high school diploma. In addition, refusals to test can impact a school’s accountability rating. The accountability system is set up to encourage high participation rates (if it weren't, results would not be reflective of school-wide achievement). The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires a 95 percent participation rate. Schools with a lower participation rate run the risk of having their accountability rating lowered.
Under draft regulations that the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education sent out for public comment on February 28, 2017, schools and districts that fall below a 90 percent participation rate will have their accountability status set to Level 3 (out of 5). Further, the 2016-17 and 2017-18 participation rates will be combined to determine participation rates for the 2017-18 accountability levels. In other words, refusals to test in spring 2017 could impact a school's accountability rating for two years.
Students who refuse to take the MCAS test may remain in the testing room as long as they are sitting quietly and are not interfering with other students. If a student becomes disruptive, they should be removed from the testing room and placed in a safe location until testing is completed and regular classroom instruction resumes. Given that statewide standardized tests are a legal requirement, it is my department's expectation that all students will participate.
More information about the next-generation MCAS, including information for parents, is available online at our MCAS page at http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/. Questions relating to testing refusals can be directed to Deputy Commissioner Jeff Wulfson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mitchell D. Chester
The 'Little Rangers' Preschool Program is now FULL!
If you would like to be added to the waiting list, please download the INFORMATION PACKET provided, complete all forms required, and mail or submit to the main office at Methuen High School to the attention of Karen Minassian:
The Methuen Public Schools Special Needs Integrated Preschool Program serves both children with special needs and typically developing children, often referred to as peer models. Please visit our Pre-School Webpage to find information regarding the 2017-2018 Preschool Program.
Please join the Superintendents January district wide parent informational meeting "Combating the opioids epidemic, and how parents can join the fight" which will be held on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 beginning at 6:pm. This presentation will be held at the Timony Grammar School auditorium. In addition parents will get a chance to learn about the great Physical Education opportunities and programs offered to our students. Mr. Jeffrey Osgood Supervisor of Health, Wellness and Phys. Ed will present and Mr. Dean Brouder Coordinator of drug and alcohol resources will be on hand for questions and family resource information. Please mark your calendar for this very important informational meeting and to learn more about MPS Phys. Ed and wellness programs.
Now that December is upon us, winter storms are common please click here to read my entire message in English and Spanish.
Massachusetts law provides for a child to attend only the school in the child's resident school district. The Methuen School Committee adopted a, comprehensive Residency Policy. We have set up a Residency Tip Hotline in order for the public to provide information to us regarding student's residency. if you have specific information regarding a student or students violating the Methuen Residency Policy you may leave the information on this confidential line. Please understand that the more specific information we have, the more likely we are to be able to investigate the allegation. For example, please give us specifics such as the student's name, school, and the observations you have made (or conversations you have had) that support your allegation that the student does not live in Methuen. If you know the address in Methuen where the student claims to live and/or the out of Methuen address where you believe the student actually lives, please leave that as well. If you would like to leave a phone number in order for us to contact you with any questions we have you may do so; but, this is not necessary. we will promptly follow up on the information to the best of our ability, given the nature of the information we receive. Also, please be aware that there may be reasons why a very small number of students may live in another city but legally are allowed to come to Methuen Public Schools, such as homelessness, or, at the moment, contractual provisions of MPS staff that allow them to have their children in MPS. All information will be kept confidential. It is also important to know that staff at the building level are very skilled at insuring that residency is proven at enrollment. Also, throughout the school year, the staff and administrators at the buildings are vigilant for information that may indicate that a student does not live in Methuen and they follow up with investigations by administrative staff and the School Resource Officers.
Substitute for more information please contact the Methuen Public Schools Human Resources Department at 978-722-6013