Opportunities and Challenges

Opportunities & Challenges

AS WE LOOK AHEAD TO THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR

 

In the 2021-2022 school year, although we often had to make quick decisions with uncertain guidance about the impact of COVID, we leaned on our strong relationships and values to make plans that we believed were in the best interest of our students and staff. We also solicited feedback from our stakeholders.

 

We provided opportunities for students, staff and families to share their perceptions of the school year by administering the MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey (MWAHS) and the District Survey. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education conducted a comprehensive District Review. The reports of the results provide an enormous amount of data which helps to inform critical next steps:

 

- Highlights of the MWAHS results indicate mental health concerns for students in grades 6 to 12; the findings are being analyzed fully.

- Top-line District Survey results were presented to the School Committee in June 2022; the REAL Coalition reviewed the data through the lens of equity; and school-specific reports were generated along with analyses by subgroups.

- There will be training to enable staff to dig deeper into the data and action plans generated in response to areas needing attention.

- Initially, the district is focusing on data related to mental health, school climate, family engagement, academic growth, and professional learning - with the benefit of thousands of open-ended comments from our stakeholders.

 

In addition, the district is exploring which key skills, attitudes, and knowledge our staff and educators need for their future and how best to support them in implementing the district's strategic plan. The District Leadership Team developed a preliminary professional learning framework; we envision a cohesive and comprehensive professional learning program evolving over the next three years.

 

 

In the 2022-2023 school year, we will:

 

- Provide resources to address the learning and social and emotional health needs of all students, which are challenged by lingering effects of the pandemic.

- Ensure targeted interventions at elementary and middle levels and consistent time on learning in elementary schools to support all learners.

- Continue to refine the ongoing work of curriculum, instruction, and assessment with expansion of Universal Design for Learning - a framework educators use to provide all learners with opportunities for agency, voice, and choice.

- Continue to develop and maintain educational resources and technology infrastructure to support students.

- Pursue funding options for the Pollard Middle School renovation and Mitchell Elementary School construction project.

- Do all of these with a continued emphasis on equity, inclusion, diversity, and antiracism.

 

With the District's FY23 Strategic Plan in hand, we look forward to a new year of growth and achievement as we work with families to support and encourage the amazing young people of the Needham Public Schools.

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