Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Superb Ending to a Productive 2014-15 School Year!

The 2014-15 school year concluded successfully in the Needham Schools, and at its last meeting of the academic year the School Committee celebrated the many accomplishments of students, staff, and the community, including the:

•  Implementation of new elementary programming in Spanish, Wellness, Music, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics); new interdisciplinary courses at the high school, including the Greater Boston Project and robotics/arts programs
•  Integration into the schedule additional time for staff to collaborate, meet, and plan
•  Development of common assessments at every level in an effort to improve the instructional experience for all children and ensure each child has foundational experiences and skills in grades K-12
•  Level One Status achieved by four Needham Schools based on improving MCAS scores
•  Expansion of opportunities to ensure the development of culturally proficient practices and school cultures in each building; expansion of our exchange program with the Daxing School District (Beijing)
•  Opening of the Da Vinci Workshop at NHS in partnership with the NEF and PTC Corporation; incredible elementary family STEAM fair (over 800 attendees!)
•  Continued implementation and strengthening of the educator evaluation program
•  Review and recommended enhancements to school safety protocols; pilot of the A.L.I.C.E (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) protocol
•  Launching of the 1 to 1 Personalized Learning Initiative at High Rock and middle school
•  Development of a possible pathway to implementing Full Day Kindergarten
•  Feasibility study to replace Hillside and expand high school space; Start of construction of Newman Fields and Eastman Conservation areas
•  Assessment of the impact of service learning activities on student growth and achievement
• Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Sportsmanship Award in Skiing and Boys’ Volleyball (The volleyball team also went undefeated and captured the state title!)

It has been a busy and productive year, and we look forward to the opportunity to recharge our batteries over the summer, even as we begin planning for the 2015-16 school year.  For additional information about the district goals and a presentation to the School Committee, check out our website:  2014-15 Goals Update

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