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District Announcements

Robo Calls

posted Jul 20, 2017, 6:07 AM by Deidre Runge   [ updated Sep 7, 2017, 7:02 AM ]

Please call Dodie at 978-722-6001 between 9-3 or email her at: derunge@methuen.k12.ma.us if you are not receiving a Sunday night message from your principal.  Please note your child's name and the school he/she attends.  lf you have opted out at one time, you need to call (from the phone # you opted out on) 1-855-502-7867 and press option 2. Thank you.

Summer Reading & Summer Math

posted Jul 18, 2017, 6:07 AM by Deidre Runge

Social Media App (A Proactive Message from the Superintendent)

posted Jul 11, 2017, 10:33 AM by Deidre Runge

I wanted to make families aware of a new social media app that I just learned about which could have serious implications. The Blue Whale Challenge is an app that instructs its participants (many preteens) to carry out increasingly dangerous tasks and self-harm over 50 days. Users are encouraged to tag friends on social media and 'challenge' them to participate in the game.

USA Today (May 25, 2017) reported on how it works - "Over the course of 50 days, an anonymous administrator assigns kids self-harm tasks. The challenges may start by asking kids to watch a scary movie and then grow increasingly dangerous to include acts like cutting. On the 50th day, the participant is supposed to commit suicide. The game can reach kids through social-media channels like Instagram, SnapChat, YouTube and texting."


It's very concerning because these apps are targeting a very vulnerable population. I would encourage parents to:

* ask your kids if there are ANY new games or popular challenges that they or their friends are hearing about or playing on social media or online

* search for hashtags like #BlueWhaleChallenge and/or photos of a blue whale on your kids' social media accounts.


This post is not meant to alarm anyone, but rather to encourage parents to be proactive in protecting their children from potential negative influences on the internet.


posted Jul 6, 2017, 11:38 AM by Deidre Runge

The Methuen Public Schools Family Resource Center located at 10 Ditson Place, provides the Methuen Public Schools Community and it’s families access to essential community and school resources . Our Family Resource Center is designed to encourage and support families and students while providing access to resources and information to strengthen parent-school and community partnerships.

Summer Hours for the Family Resource Center

By Appointment Only

Wednesday June 21, 2017 12:00-7:00

Tuesday July 11, 2017 8:00-3:00

Wednesday July 12, 2017 12:00-7:00

Tuesday July 18, 2017 8:00-3:00

Wednesday July 19, 2017 12:00-7:00

Tuesday August 8, 2017 8:00-3:00

Wednesday August 9, 2017 12:00-7:00

Tuesday  August 15, 2017 8:00-3:00

Wednesday August 16, 12:00-7:00

Tuesday August 22, 2017 8:00-3:00

Wednesday August 23, 2017 12:00-7:00

Thursday August 24, 2017 8:00-3:00

For additional information please contact

Christine Castle

978-722-6000 ext 1160


Registry of Deeds

posted Jun 5, 2017, 11:42 AM by Deidre Runge

Superintendent Scannell received a letter from the Register of Deeds, Mr. Paul Iannuccillo.  He is offering his assistance for parents with obtaining copies of their deeds.  Please see the attached LETTER.

Water Testing Letters

posted May 17, 2017, 1:29 PM by Deidre Runge

Hi please click here to see the letters sent home on March 6, 2017.

IMPORTANT Message from the Superintendent

posted Apr 28, 2017, 10:33 AM by Deidre Runge

Dear Parents and Guardians of Methuen Public Schools Student,  Please see the attached letter and resources regarding the Netflix Documentary "13 Reasons Why":      LETTER                 RESOURCES

New Generation MCAS 2.0

posted Mar 27, 2017, 12:26 PM by Deidre Runge

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.  

UNIFIED TALENTS Summer Enrichment Programs 2017

posted Mar 20, 2017, 10:25 AM by Deidre Runge   [ updated Mar 20, 2017, 12:15 PM ]

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!

Please see the follwing message on MCAS Participation

posted Mar 7, 2017, 12:20 PM by Deidre Runge

News from Commissioner Mitchell Chester & the 

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education logoMA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education         

On the Desktop – March 6, 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 jwulfson@doe.mass.edu.



Mitchell D. Chester


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