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Mendon Upton Superintendent Presents Annual Plan

Superintendent of the Mendon Upton Regional School System, Dr. Joseph Maruszczak, presented his annual plan to the School Committee during an October 7 meeting.

Maruszczak told the Committee that the plan included five goals; one on student learning, one on professional practice, as well as three district improvement goals.

The first goal, a student learning goal, is to meet the targets of student proficiency by being at or above growth targets prescribed by the DESC (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) in both English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics MCAS at the elementary school level. Maruszczak said that this goal, which speaks to the results of this year's 3rd and 4th grade MCAS results.

Although full MCAS results won't be presented until the October 21 meeting, Maruszczak quickly went through the 3rd and 4th grade results with the Committee Members, stating that at Clough Elementary School, the results for the aggregate student population were "below target" in ELA and "below target" in Math for the high needs subgroup. At Memorial Elementary School, the aggregate student population results were "above target" but the high needs subgroup was "below target" in ELA, while both aggregate and high needs subgroup were "above target" in Math.

The second goal, a professional practice goal, concerns educator evaluation and building capacity to give effective feedback. "I feel that the most impactful work that I do is working with the building principals," said Maruszczak. Maruszczak said this goal will include formally meeting with each of the building principals at least once per month to observe, analyze teaching practices, and build capacity so that the principals are giving effective feedback to the teachers.

The first of three district improvement goals is to successfully implement the new Massachusetts Educator Evaluation System. Maruszczak said that the key of this goal is in giving effective feedback on best practices.

The second district improvement goal is to make substantial progress in aligning the ELA and Math to the Common Core Standards.

The third district improvement goal is to develop a three-year plan detailing how to best provide inclusion practices for high needs students in all four of the district's schools.

Maruszczak stated that he will give an update on his goal during a mid-cycle goal review in January with the Superintendent Evaluation Task Force, and again at the end of the school year.

The School Committee voted unanimously to approve Maruszczak's proposed annual plan.

Also during the meeting, Business Manager Jay Byer presented an updated list of Capital projects needed for the four buildings in the district. Byer said that the list included various projects that would need to be completed in the near and in the far term, which in total are estimated at $4.6 million. Byer said that the capital projects were identified by routine maintenance as well as knowing the age of equipment. Items on the list include a walk in refrigerator/freezer at Miscoe, the lighting system for the Nipmuc auditorium, the well system at Miscoe, and the rubber playground flooring at Clough and Memorial. "None of these are shutting us down tomorrow, but we are trying to project out things we are going to need to do as we go forward," said Byer. "You have to remember that the buildings were built in 1997 (Nipmuc) and 2003 and 2004 (Clough & Memorial); everything was new."

Byer said that the first two priority items are the walk in refrigerator/freezer at Miscoe, estimated at $75,000, and the lighting system for the Nipmuc auditorium, which is obsolete and parts are not available for repairs, estimated at $75,000.

The Committee agreed to review the list during the budget subcommittee and look at ways to address some of the projects as well as present it at the next Multi Board Meeting.

The School Committee also voted to approve three overnight trips for the High School. The first was the Annual World Challenge trip, which will be in Costa Rica in July 2014; the second a Regional DECA Competition in Boston from November 2-4; and the third a trip to Montreal for a music festival in May 2014 for the Music Department.


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