​District-wide communications from the Superintendent's Office are posted on this webpage. An archive from previous academic years is available online.

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November 1, 2019

Dear Families:


Last week, on a visit to the Sheehan School, I popped into a first grade classroom.  The kids were all holding paper airplanes that they had constructed prior to my arrival.  They were approaching the point in the lesson when they were going to fly their planes, making observations about how the design of each plane impacted or changed how the plane flew.  As you might imagine, the excitement level was high! As students went to various stations to begin their test flights, the teacher stood in the center of the action, projecting the calm of a veteran teacher, willing to let go of the reins and allow for exploration, while also confident that she would be able to rein it back in after a little “controlled chaos.”  Sure enough, ten minutes later, the class reconvened on the rug for a rich discussion about their observations. When one student hypothesized about how the results might be different if they had to contend with the wind outdoors, the teacher suggested that perhaps after lunch they could test the planes outside.  


You’ve been hearing a lot from me this fall about our elementary building project.  Clearly addressing our facilities needs is a focus for the district right now. Undoubtedly, therefore, you can expect more communication from me on this issue.  Meanwhile, every day the exciting work of the district continues in our schools. We have an articulated Strategy for District Improvement that lays out our goals for providing students with meaningful learning experiences in a healthy and supported school community.  I share the story of the first grade scientists with you as one example of how the important work of meaningful, engaging teaching and learning comes alive in our classrooms.  


We recognize and value that the school and families are partners in this work.  I want to make sure you are aware of two upcoming opportunities for parents:


First, in partnership with the WPS, on November 18th at 7 pm in the Westwood High School auditorium, Westwood Cares will present “The Secret Life of Teens and Tweens.”  This program will be led by Jon Mattleman, a mental health counselor, who helps parents with constructive tools for communicating, problem solving, and working with adolescents.  


Second, on December 4th at 7 pm in the WHS auditorium, Dr. Elizabeth Englander will return to Westwood to present “Parenting in the Digital Age.”  Dr. Englander is a nationally recognized expert in the area of bullying, cyberbullying, and children’s use of technology.  


Finally, thanks to everyone who attended our first building project community forum last week.  We are repeating the presentation and breakout group discussion this Monday, November 4th from 7-8:30 pm in the TMS cafeteria.  If you are unable to attend, you can view video on our elementary building project webpage.


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