Blake Middle School Academic Year in Review
This part one of a six-part series that takes an in-depth look at Blake Middle School’s 2010-2011 academic year; goals for 2011-12 academic year; a new bell schedule; personnel changes; China trip and the transition to a new principal.
Before fully taking over as the next principal of Medfield High School, Robert Parga presented Blake Middle School's end of the year report and improvement plan to the Medfield School Committee in June.
Parga focused on areas of technology, the student exchange program to China scheduled for October, changes in personnel and bell scheduling while providing a list of goals Blake students and faculty will set out to achieve next year. Parga's report was broken down into six themes: Facilities, equipment and technology; Curriculum and assessment; Student life; Personnel and professional development; School management; and Communication and community outreach.
Medfield Patch will provide a summary of Parga's report in addition to taking an in-depth look at goals for the 2011-12 academic year and the areas of focus Parga presented that are listed above. We will conclude the series with the transition from Parga to Nat Vaughn as Blake Middle School principal. This is part one of our seven-part Blake Middle School series.
Theme 1: 2010-11 Recap of Facilities, Equipment and Technology:
- 24 laptop computers were purchased for Blake Middle School.
- Three InFocus projectors for seventh grade social studies were purchased.
- Wireless hubs were installed throughout the building.
- Two mobile carts (12 laptops in each cart) were added to the seventh grade science lab experience.
- Complete set of headphones were purchased for the computer lab, which will allow students to access voice recognition software.
- Interior of gymnasium was repainted.
- Several interior doors were replaced with new doors that include windows.
Theme 2: 2010-11 Recap of Curriculum and Assessment:
- Common assessments were developed across all core academic subjects.
- Student data related to AYP was analyzed.
- Morning Math Club for selected seventh and eighth grade students was continued.
- Joani Geltman, adolescent development researcher, presented to staff and parents.
- Introduced Mandarin as a new seventh grade foreign language class.
- Bullying policy and professional development was provided to all staff.
Theme 3: 2010-11 Recap of Student Life:
- The students and staff participated in community service projects, fundraisers and various green initiatives.
- 10 students and two teachers from Bengbu, China visited and stayed with host families for three weeks in October, 2010.
- Planned for students to visit Bengbu, China, which is scheduled for October, 2012.
Theme 4: 2010-11 Recap of Personnel and Professional Development:
- Continued to provide faculty opportunities to attend various conferences and workshops.
- Several teachers participated in various research and development projects over the summer.
- Developed common assessments for all core subjects. This work took place throughout the school year.
- Provided training for all staff related to bullying and harassment.
- Staff created and revised study guides for all tests in the core content areas.
- Project ABLE - two teachers attended a year-long training course related to the creation of a blended learning environment in their classrooms.
Theme 5: 2010-11 Recap of School Management:
- Provided support through research and development to the new eighth grade social studies teacher. Due to enrollment, the eighth grade cluster configuration was altered.
- Continued to work to design a schedule that maximized the current staffing and offered exciting programs for students.
- Explored a new bell schedule. This work involved both the middle school and high school leadership teams.
Theme 6: 2010-11 Recap of Communication and Community Outreach:
- Weekly Newsflash and updated electronic Thursday packets.
- Hosted Parent Information Nights (PIN), Coffee with the Principal and seventh eighth grade class trip information sessions.
- Friday Notes and other communication sent to staff on a regular basis.
- Various community service projects coordinated by Students in Public Service (SIPS) and advisory classes.
- CSA and Site Council meetings. Elected members of both organizations met monthly throughout the school year.