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Vision 2025

Masconomet Regional School District Vision 2025

Our Vision for the Year 2025 and Our Values 

 

Our Vision

Student learning is highly interdisciplinary and students are connecting learning to the real world and real-world problem solving. Curriculum and instruction is focused on this value; students are making connections between subjects because they are experiencing them as unified or related concepts, and

 

Strong adult-student relationships are a hallmark at Masconomet. Teachers and others seek to understand each student as an individual with a unique background, life situation, and unique strengths and interests. They strive to recognize each student’s desire to find their place in the school and larger community, and

 

All classrooms and curricula are Learner-centered. All students are achieving the same standards in multiple ways based upon their learning styles, strengths, interests, and unique needs; they are learning in multiple ways and can demonstrate their learning through a variety of different assessments, and

 

Instruction happens in many forms depending upon the teachers’ objectives and the nature of learners in the classroom. However, interactive and experiential learning is a dominant strategy throughout the curriculum and across subject areas. Students and teachers experiment with teaching and learning strategies without fear of failing, and

 

Our graduates are culturally sensitive, aware of global interdependency, and act confidently with understanding of their impact on the world. Intellectual and experiential learning takes place through a diverse curriculum, as well as school, community, and global experiences that stretch their cultural comfort zones.

 

Our Values and Beliefs

We believe that teaching and learning must be highly interdisciplinary, rigorous, and appropriately challenging for our students. They should grasp the relevance of subject matter to their present and future lives, to foster an understanding that solving real-world problems requires knowledge, skills, collaboration, and persistence, and

 

We believe that when students feel physically safe, emotionally secure, and happy, they are in the best position to benefit from opportunities for intellectual growth and learning, development of character, self-discovery, and to find their unique place in the community, and

 

We believe that when teaching and learning is personalized to the extent that it honors each individual’s unique needs, strengths, interests, and learning styles, that EACH student will have opportunities to achieve his/her potential. We value the education of the Whole Child, developing “initiative, integrity, imagination, an inquiring mind, self-knowledge, interpersonal skills, and the ability to feel and recognize each individual’s truth, and 

 

We believe that students are naturally motivated and curious learners and that their education should develop these attributes. Their school experience needs to foster initiative, independence, resiliency, grit, skills of teamwork and collaboration, and self-discovery. Educators value students taking risks and see the value of failing as part of the learning process, and

 

We believe that the success of our graduates is dependent upon their ability to embrace and thoughtfully act within our world that is racially, culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse.

 _________________________________________________
 
During the 2016-2017 school year,  Masconomet faculty and administration are developing the key strategic concepts that will become part of the Strategic Plan that supports the Vision. The chart below reflects these developing ideas and where future resources will need to be focused. The terms can surely be judged as educational lingo and are less familiar to the general public. As the Strategic Plan is drafted, terms and concepts will be clearly defined and explained.
 
                                             Emerging Draft 2017
 

Strategic Propositions

 

Costs


Pathways

Professional Development

Project-based Learning

Human Resources

Interdisciplinary Structures

Schedule Changes

E-Portfolios

Textbooks

Universal Design

Durables

Teacher Collaboration

Transportation

Formative Assessment

Equipment

Other Culture Experience

Building Alterations   

More Diverse Staff and Students

 

Mindfulness

 

Emotional Wellness

 

Stress Management

 

Physical Wellness

 

Homework Regulation

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Supt. Blog

  • Superintendent's Proposed FY18 School Budget

    Posted by Kevin Lyons at 2/16/2017

    At last night’s School Committee meeting, I presented the FY18 Masconomet School Budget that I have proposed to the School Committee for approval. This overview highlighted the fact that this is an extremely responsible budget that allows us to continue the delivery of an outstanding education to our students. The increase over the FY17 approved budget is 2.8% which includes fixed costs, reductions in force, and several strategic increases.

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    I also highlighted the fact that only because of the quality staff we have at Masco can we produce the results and student outcomes that we do while bringing in budgets that are very lean.

    I have recommended a reduction of teaching staff, primarily at the high school, due to a decline in our student population. These proposed reductions are detailed in the Executive Summary. The background data supporting these reductions can be found in the Staffing/Enrollment Analysis Report.

    I have also recommended several increases to staff in critical need areas. These are also elaborated in the Executive Summary.  Despite the proposal of this very frugal budget, I firmly believe that we will be able to pursue our Masco Vision 2025 in the next school year and continue to offer excellence in teaching and learning.

    Please review the Executive Summary and the proposed budget book to look more deeply into the FY18 proposed budget. There is additional information on the District’s Finance and Budget page.

     

    Executive Summary

     

    FY18 Proposed Budget Book

     

    Finance and Budget Page

     

    Staffing/Enrollment Analysis Report

     

    February 15, 2017 PowerPoint of Budget Overview to School Committee

     

    The Masconomet School Committee will continue its deliberation about the budget this evening and in subsequent meetings posted our web site.

    Thank you for your continued support. Please follow the budget process from this proposal to the School Committee, to the final budget approved by the School Committee, and through Town Meetings.

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Kevin M. Lyons

    Superintendent of Schools

    Comments (-1)
  • Enrollment and Staff Analysis Report is Basis for Proposed Reductions in Staff

    Posted by Kevin Lyons at 2/15/2017

    The Staffing Analysis Report, presented to the the Masconomet School Committee in December 2016 by the Superintendent, was utilized as important data in the development of the FY18 budget proposal.

    Comments (-1)
  • Power Outage at Masco 1/12/17

    Posted by Kevin Lyons at 1/12/2017

    Dear Masconomet Families and Staff,

    The High School and Middle School were without power today from approximately 11:40 a.m. to 1:55 p.m. It was a National Grid issue that affected at least parts of Boxford. Middle school lunch was completed and the first High School lunch was about to start when the power went out.

    Fire safety systems remained operative and Boxford Fire and Police from the three towns came to assist. All students and staff were in areas with natural lighting or moved to areas that did have natural light. Classes were conducted on a normal schedule at the High School. The Middle School did a shelter-in-place for an hour as students returned from lunch, but returned to the 7th period schedule.

    Two students were stuck in the Middle School elevator until the Fire Department was able to open the door. The students were relieved and in relatively good spirits after their ordeal.

    While we had bus transportation on alert from shortly after 12:00 p.m., I determined that it would be less disruptive, and a safer situation to keep school in session as the buildings were warm, there was sufficient light, and in most situations instruction could continue as normal. 

    Our cafeteria staff did a great job of improvising serving areas inside the eating area of the cafeteria. All students were able to get lunch on a near-normal schedule. Our students and staff performed wonderfully to make the best of a less than optimal situation.

    We had police, fire, and many adults in the hallways throughout the outage to direct students and supervise all areas of the building. It certainly wasn't a normal afternoon of instruction, but it was as good as one could expect.

    All Middle School after-school help and after-school activities are cancelled today. All High School after-school help and activities are running on a normal schedule, including tonight's performance of Noises Off.

    I want to thank our students and staff today for such a high level of cooperation. Our teachers and staff always step up to a challenge.

    Our students showed a high level of maturity about which the school and parents can be proud.

     

    Sincerely,

    Kevin M. Lyons
    Superintendent of Schools

    Comments (-1)
  • My Brief Experience Returning to College (Yesterday)

    Posted by Kevin Lyons at 12/22/2016

    It has been a long time since I sat in an undergraduate college classroom. It happened yesterday and it has been on my mind for the last 36 hours. At the invitation of the Masconomet High School Psychology Club, advised by Mr. Brian Mintz, this college classroom experience happened in the Masco HS Library from 3:00-4:30 p.m. Mr. Mintz and the Club invited Dr. Paul Whelan, a Dartmouth College Professor of Neuroscience, to give a lecture on his cutting-edge research into emotion and the human brain. Professor Whelan is a research specialist in anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTDS), and core human emotions. He is sub-specialized in a tiny part of the brain- the amygdala.  He and his associates use MRI and Functional MRI (that shows changes in the brain as they happen) to study the relationship of the amygdala to the human regulation of emotion.amyg

    As I sat with 35 students and several faculty members, I was transported back to one of my best college classes when I felt like I was learning things that 99% of the world did not know about, taught by one of the foremost experts in the world. It was engaging, exciting, humorous, and filled with implications for me as an educator. How can I not learn much more about the brain when I am in the business of teaching and learning? I sat alongside our Masco students who, I quickly realized, knew much more about current brain research than I did. Humbling? Not really, as I know the quality and depth of our students' learning at Masco, I should not be surprised that I was a freshman among juniors and seniors. What a delight to feel like a teenager in love with learning in a group of like-minded individuals.

    Professor Whelan didn't contain himself to just the lecture topics. He answered student questions about careers in psychology and in doing so shared his own experiences as an undergrad and graduate student. To paraphrase one tidbit of advice, he suggested that students should not worry about over-specializing in high school to get ready for a college major and that undergraduates should not over-specialize in getting into graduate school. From his perspective, he did not figure out what he wanted to do until well after he earned his Ph.D. He told students that is good to take some solid math, important to take at least a course in computer science, but otherwise, don't narrow your schooling and career options too early in life. 

    img3 I guess what most impressed me by this college lecture at Masco yesterday, is the fact that our students get opportunities like this all the time, because we have faculty members who reach out to their professions and disciplines, who reach out to government and community groups, and who organize all kinds of learning activities to expose their students to real-world learning opportunities and insights into careers, college, and life.

    Yesterday was just one of the many days I leave work at Masco and think on the way home-- "Wow, am I lucky or what to be a colleague of this caliber of faculty and staff? 

    As I count my blessings at the end of this calendar year, near the top of the list is the fact that I get to come to work every day in a place where there is a genuine love for learning-- where students come ready to learn and teachers come prepared to give their all to keep learning exciting, enjoyable, and real.

    Resolution #1: In 2017, I will learn more about the current research on learning and the brain and apply that learning to my role at Masconomet. 

    Resolution #2: I will remember that each of us is always ready to experience a spark of joy in learning something new and each of us has the ability to light that spark in another.

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    Comments (-1)
  • Two Superintendents Join Up To Do "Learning Walks", Encourage Practice in the Two Districts

    Posted by Kevin Lyons at 11/21/2016

    Last week was one of my most enjoyable of the new school year as I spent a dozen hours over four days visiting classrooms at Masconomet. While I more regularly do learning walks with the two Masco Principals, last week I conducted them with different Department Heads.

     

    What's a Learning Walk? One model I like and use frequently is to join with one or more educators and do very brief (5 minute) classroom visits. After visiting 5-7 classrooms, those on the Learning Walk sit and talk about what we observed. We sometimes look for learning strategies and student engagement in general. On another walk, we might focus on classroom use of technology or student collaboration. We almost always ask students about what they are learning (speaking softly with one or more students at a time so as not to disrupt the class). 

     

    Last week, I learned a great deal about individual subject areas by visiting one subject across a number of classrooms with the Department Head. I get to ask a lot of questions and to share observations. This is one way to train those who evaluate teachers by sharing and comparing observations. This helps to ensure more consistency among evaluators. The learning walks themselves are not used for evaluating individual teachers. 

     

    Tri-Town School Union Superintendent Scott Morrison and I have joined forces to conduct "Learning Walks" in the elementary schools and at Masconomet Middle School and High School. Mr. Morrison and I spent this morning at Spofford Pond Elementary School in Boxford doing a learning walk with Spofford Principal Kathryn Castonguay.

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    It was very exciting for me to see what is going on instructionally in the elementary schools and to bring our two school districts closer together in conversation and professional learning. 

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    We soon hope to see Masco and TTU administrators visiting each other to join in learning walks. One day we hope to be able to offer teachers this opportunity

     

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    Masconomet and TTU administrators started meeting together regularly last year. This year we have worked together on the Life is Good Initiative and we continue to talk about teaching and learning and how to work together on important issues for our students. 

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    Mr. Morrison and I will be visiting all eight schools in the coming weeks. I look forward to more shares in the future.

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    Comments (-1)
  • Moving Forward After the Election

    Posted by Kevin Lyons at 11/10/2016

    The 2016 Presidential Election

    President -elect Trump and President Barack Obama today.

    Image result for President Elect 

    Dear Masco Families and Staff.

     

    I offer my opinion to you that this past presidential campaign has shown more than ever that we need to come together for the good of the entire country. There has been so much fear and hate in this campaign, that I ask you to think over  its meaning for our immediate and long-term future.

     

    Whichever candidate came out on top, there was a near guarantee that there would be fear, anger, protest, and some continuation of the fear and hate experienced for too long already.

     

    We have seen a small amount of argumentative politics over the last two days at school. Any amount going forward, outside of our curriculum and natural discourse in our academic programs, is to no one’s benefit.

     

    We need to let our students know that we continue to love, support, and keep them safe while we also open the doors of opportunity that are here for them in this great country. Let them know that our checks and balance systems are in place to help us reach the goal of coming together for them and for all.  This statement is needed not because a particular candidate won, but rather the nature of the campaign and the civil dialogue that has become uncivil.

     

    This weekend, as we honor our veterans, I want to reassure our students, families, and staff that we will hold the standard high for civility and respect. As a community both inside our schools and outside our schools, we value collaboration, cooperation, and helping our neighbor. We will continue as Masconomet and the Tri-Towns to be respectful and supportive of each other.

     

    I have great trust in our staff, parents and students, to do what this great democracy has done for more than two centuries — wish each new president success in increasing prosperity for our nation and in uniting our citizens. The latter need and challenge has never been greater.

     

    Our students find great safety in knowing that life goes on as they know it. If any student is exhibiting additional anxiety surrounding the election, please reach out to your school counselors or administration for guidance and support.

     

    Thank you all as we move forward with our hopes that our youth will develop the beliefs that have led to this exemplary democracy. By reinforcing the fact that our democracy does work, students will grow in courage to make it better in their successive generations by working together with respect for all people, and grow in understanding that different perspectives on life and on government are part of living in a true democracy.

    Comments (-1)
  • Teaching Good Digital Citizenship and Helping Students to Understand Bad Digital Behavior

    Posted by Kevin Lyons at 10/20/2016

    s Technology in our schools offers wonderful learning opportunities for students that would be otherwise impossible. Our digital learning environment is robust with teacher and student tools to make teaching and learning more effective and to provide quality, online resources not in our imaginations 10 years ago. Many students bring powerful technology with them to school each day, the most common device is the smart phone – actually a hand-held computer.

     

    Masco faces social media and electronic communication issues like every school district and every corner of modern society. One issue near the end of last year at Masco was the inappropriate posting of videos that were made of teachers who were not aware that students were using their phones or other devices to make videos in the classroom.

     

    There is a change in both the Middle School and the High School Student-Parent Handbooks this year to make it very clear that making recordings of others without their knowledge violates the student code of conduct. Posting such videos to social media is a particularly serious matter that cannot be tolerated.  It is against the law to make recordings of others without their knowledge and it also violates the student code of conduct, and therefore subject to discipline.

     

    Using devices to make recordings or take photos in the classroom or other parts of school is very often appropriate and part of a good learning experience. It is important that we all do our part to help students understand when using the camera or voice recorder is appropriate, and when it is not. Good digital citizenship is a skill set that needs to be taught in school and reinforced at home. 

     

    I tell students, staff, friends, and family that once you post something to the internet, it can be there forever. Many employers regularly google prospective employees. Some college admissions offices do the same.

     

    We are working on a new Digital Resources policy with input from teachers and students with the goal of creating a document that is a useful teaching tool for students in grades 7-12. We need to do our job in the schools well, teaching and modeling good digital citizenship.

     

    Family discussions can also play a very positive role in developing healthy and safe use of social media.

     

    Thank you for reading this message and considering the impact we can have on student development by all working together on these issues. 

     

    Superintendent of Schools

    Comments (-1)
  • Remarks at STEAM Lab Ribbon Cutting

    Posted by Kevin Lyons at 9/30/2016

    MEF STEAM LAB RIBBON CUTTING, 9/22/16

    It is hard to believe that it was just two years ago that I had my first meeting with MEF President Lynne Bermudez and members of the MEF Board. They started to talk about the potential for expanding the STEM or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics opportunities for students at Masconomet. We would later add and A to make STEM, STEAM reflecting the interconnectedness of the arts to STEM, especially in technology and design.

    If they came clean today, I think Lynne and the MEF Board would admit that they were testing the readiness of a new Superintendent, for what they had in the backs of their minds about a very large capital campaign over 2 years.

    I really wasn’t ready for the test, because I was new to Masco and had, to that date, had only the briefest conversations with the Principals and leadership team about the need to become more interdisciplinary at Masco to remain relevant in a changing world and changing and challenging job market for our graduates. We had, to that point, had only cursory discussions about pathways and a new vision for integrating students’ learning experiences to better match their future lives demands.

    I remember being very guarded with my words and saying yes, well maybe, we will want to go in this direction, but an infusion of resources would be out ahead of the idea development and faculty curriculum development that would lead to clearly defined pathways. Then the words $200K dollars got mentioned. And then the words “maybe more”.  I’m sure I looked like an Algebra I student in an AP Trig exam.

    With a leap in faith, knowing in my heart that Masco would need to move in directions entirely consistent with the MEFs early thinking, I came up with the right answer to the test after much thought. YES! I said. How exciting!

    I must still admit that I was more than a little dubious about this level of campaign. But, then again, I didn’t really know Lynne Bermudez and her lieutenants very well at this point. Dr. Hodgdon will follow with many more specific thank yous to major donors as well as the MEF and Masco people that made this possible.

    Back to September 2014, I started to learn about MEF’s tremendous support of our students and teachers and also, being new to the district, I caught up on what MEF was already doing to boost teaching and learning opportunities at Masconomet Middle School, and Masco High School through technology infrastructure funding, teacher grants, global education and other remarkable contributions.

    It didn’t start with a ribbon cutting and doesn’t start with the cutting of a ribbon today, although that is most appropriate and this is a most appropriate celebration!

    The MEF campaign has steadily increased our STEAM equipment, technology, professional development, and energy over several years, and that included infrastructure work that supports our new 1:1 digital learning initiative, meeting computing needs at the Middle School, and even being sure that we never ran out of Vernier probes, whatever the heck they are!

    Now, here we stand on September 22nd, 2016, opening a new specialized space, the best instructional space in the building, an incredible space, designed with flexibility and mobility in mind that will serve as a model for the utilization of other existing space and for future changes to this building that will be inspired by Masco’s Vision 2025.

    This gift is especially powerful, because MEF allowed educators to completely control the design and construction on this project based on the educators’ vision for student learning.  So often, gifts come with demands and strings attached.  This was a pure gift of love for learning, love for Masco, and it is a community demonstration of support for our students and teachers. What more can I say? On behalf of the entire Masco community, thank you everyone who has supported these efforts through hard work and donations.

    KML

    Comments (-1)
  • Report to School Committee 9/21/16

    Posted by Kevin Lyons at 9/22/2016

    September 21, 2016

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Report to School Committee 9/7/16

    Posted by Kevin Lyons at 9/8/2016

    September 7, 2016

     

    Comments (-1)

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