Good Afternoon Everyone,
I hope this Superintendent Update finds you and yours well and enjoying the summer! I wanted to follow up on an earlier communication and provide additional information so you may be as prepared as possible for the coming school year as parents, families, students and staff.
Enrollment: Our enrollment for August 2022 as a regional school district has gone up from last year from 1,408 to 1,456 at this time. David Prouty High School is 373; Knox Trail Middle School is 389; Wire Village School is 415; and East Brookfield Elementary is 253 - of which 112 students enrolled for fall in our Cubs Corner Preschool.
Retirements: I would like to also acknowledge our professionals who have dedicated their lives to the regional school district with many, many years of service. Please join me in recognizing the retirements of Nancy Gingras, Dennis Streeter of David Prouty High School; Donna Williams of Knox Trail Middle School; Donna Cutler and Sheila Howard of the Food Services Department and Deb McColl of the Student Services Department. Thank you so much to each and every person for helping to make the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District so special. You will be missed!
Summer 2022 Update
- AlphaBEST Summer Update: This summer, AlphaBEST has provided a number of Extended Day enrichment opportunities to our students (Grades K-4); and exposed participants to cutting-edge learning themes, known as “Zones.” AphaBest Extended Day Zones included but were not limited to: STEM, World Languages & Culture, Fitness & Wellness, Arts & Entertainment, and Makerspace collaborative projects! Student in the AlphaBest program were provided with structured playtime to get extra energy out and got a healthy snack every day. Most important, they had had FUN!
- Extended School Year 2022: A Huge Success! Throughout the month of July, the Extended School Year program has provided essential services to students in grades PreK-12 which have focused on cognitive, affective, psychomotor and social skill development through high-interest, hands-on, problem-based learning. Special thanks to Mrs. Linda Stanelun, ESY Program Director, Mrs. Deb McColl, ESY Program Facilitator, Mrs. Denise Avolese, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent of Schools, and to all of the extended school year faculty, staff and students for making the program such a rousing success this summer!
- Summer 2022 Accelerated Academies Taking Place! Accelerated Academies focused upon science, math, reading, writing and SEL skill development as well as Extended School Year programs for students in grades 5-12 have been taking place and will continue throughout the summer months. These enrichment and remediation efforts are focused, purposeful, and aim to support students during the summer months in specific social, emotional and academic need areas. Please join me in thanking our dedicated faculty, staff, administration and community leaders in providing these programs throughout the summer months. Without them, none of this would be possible!
COVID 19 Update. As you know, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and Department of Public Health (DPH)DESE and DPH have continued to collaborate on the best practices to mitigating Covid-19. Guidance received for Fall 2022 remains the same as it was in the spring of this year. There will be no commonwealth-wide masking or testing to begin the year. Each school district will have kits and masks on hand to deal with surges, if and/or when they occur. More informational updates will be forthcoming in the weeks and months ahead as new information is gleaned from our local, state and federal public health partners.
DPHS Accreditation Update Received! David Prouty High School was evaluated five years ago for accreditation and placed on probation. At that time, the New England Association Schools and Colleges (NEASC) made clear that they would require an additional review every five years. Recent follow-up with NEASC concluded that every concern had been met and addressed by the administration and staff – except for the physical building. As a result, David Prouty High School remains on probation due to 22 concerns with the building. To view the 2022 NEASC Progress Report, click here.
MSBA Update: The David Prouty High School “Addition/Renovation” Building Project moves forward! This month, the School Committee will formally voted to update the School Building Committee membership so it may be submitted to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) later this month. As of August 2022, the updated membership of the David Prouty High School Building Committee includes: Michael Ethier, Chairman of School Building Committee; Paul Haughey, Superintendent of Schools & Vice Chairman of the School Building Committee ; Nathaniel Malone, David Prouty HS Principal; Matthew Bolduc, Director of Academic Affairs; David Gates, Director of Student Services; Denise Avolese, Executive Assistant to Superintendent’s Office; Gary Suter, Business Administrator; Jason Monette, School Committee; Heather Messier, School Committee; Senator Anne Gobi, Spencer, MA; Representative Donnie Berthiaume, Spencer, MA; Ralph Hicks, Spencer, MA Selectmen; Mary Braney, Spencer Finance Committee; Mark Carpentier, East Brookfield Finance Committee; and David Joyce, East Brookfield, MA Resident. Ex-Officio members include: Police Chief David Darrin, Spencer, MA; Fire Chief Robert Parsons, Spencer, MA; Police Chief William Gregoire, East Brookfield, MA; and Fire Chief Dave Messier, East Brookfield MA. Please join me in thanking the members of our communities-at-large - as they have donated countless hours to the betterment of our high school facility/building and the educational programming and services provided within it.
Upcoming meetings and events regarding our project! To learn more about the David Prouty High School “addition/Renovation” Project, please join us at one of our upcoming public forums/meetings. The dates and times are as follows for each event:
- August 8th @ 6pm – Spencer Town Hall (Joint meeting with Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee)
- August 18th @ 7pm – East Brookfield Elementary School
- August 25th @ 6pm – Wire Village School in Spencer
- September 1st @ 6pm – Wire Village School in Spencer
- September 7th @ 7pm – East Brookfield Town Hall (Joint meeting with Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee)
- September 8th @ 6pm – Wire Village School in Spencer
Project Website is a one stop shop! Feel free to check out our project website at: https://dphsbuilding.com/ to review the important aspects of our “Add/Reno” project for David Prouty High School including the details of the project, why it is so important our two communities and our students., the design elements as well as provide us with your input/feedback or ask your questions as needed.
After-School Sports, Clubs, and Activities starting soon! Please know we are encouraging all of our staff and students to remain active here within our district. As a result, we are promoting our high school and middle athletic programs and fall sports, after-school clubs and activities; and are even adding to the list of opportunities to keep your son or daughter actively engaged in our learning community. In addition to fall sports in grades 5-12, do not be surprised to see me recommend soon to the School Committee that we once again bring back a revitalized “School Newspaper” and an after-school Theatre Arts offering that is aligned with students earning college credits at David Prouty HS; a School Choir and even Beginner Instrumental Music at Knox Trail Middle School to name just a few. Please be on the lookout for other opportunities so your son or daughter gets involved; is active and engaged this fall and throughout the school year with us…
School Calendar: By special request, the updated school calendar for the 2022-2023 academic year as voted by our School Committee is listed below.
First Days of School are right around the corner! As highlighted above in the school calendar, the first day of school for students in grades 1 - 12 is Tuesday, August 30th, 2022. Cubs Corner Preschool and kindergarten begin classes on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022. Building Principals and Program Directors will be sending out updates prior to the start of school, which is now only 21 days away, so please keep your eyes and ears open for the latest news from our district and its schools.
2022-2023 School Handbooks. Each school has a handbook from which we will operate a school district. In an effort to prepare for the year ahead, please take a moment to review this information with your son or daughter so you as a family know what the expectations are for the year ahead within our district and its schools and programs. Our schools and the district are committed to student achievement and only by working together will we be able to create a school system that is focused upon teaching and learning with purpose!
Finally, as we prepare to return to school please know that I am honored and privileged to serve as the Superintendent of Schools for the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District! I recognize that these have been extremely challenging times for everyone and cannot thank you enough for your patience, ongoing support and collaboration while we look forward to the 2022-2023 school year. Your support and partnership is deeply appreciated by everyone within the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District! #Innovate #Inspire #Achieve
Paul S. Haughey, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools