Dear Middlesex Community,
It continues to be a privilege to serve the Middlesex community and in particular, it’s children. Rumney has had many positive community building enriching events this year from the unveiling of a new playground to student-town elder videos which enlivened the “What’s Next Middlesex” weekend. Parents gathered together in groups over the summer to help revamp our school communications giving us the new “Rumney Rocks” newsletter. I appreciate so much the parents and townspeople that have joined in all of these efforts. This is a great community!
Across academic areas we have been focusing on increasing student voice and choice within their learning, in particular within Reader’s Workshop and Math Menu. The three strategic objectives of Clear Learning Targets, Comprehensive and Balanced Assessment System, and High Quality Instruction and Interventions, as part of the WCSU Implementation Plan, continue to be at the forefront of our work at WCSU. Teacher Professional Development time has focused on scoring and reporting student work through our new parent portal in IC, piloting a variety of math programs, and introducing Math Menu in many of our classrooms. In addition, we have set student achievement goals in both math and literacy for the first time this year; highlighting our need for continuous improvement in these areas. Teachers have had opportunities to participate in SU work together in the areas of allied arts, data collection and analysis, math and literacy instruction, and trauma transformed practices. Teachers have embraced this new learning as they have visited other schools Reader’s Workshops, taken on additional training, and explored and utilized new resources in literacy and math.
In addition to academics, our team has been working on strengthening our social and emotional learning supports and services. Students have opportunities within the regular classroom to explore mindfulness practices, brain-based learning strategies, and develop their capacities to solve problems through restorative practices. In fact, according to our climate survey, 94.2% of staff feel the school provides an atmosphere where every student can succeed. 82.3% of parents agree that their child is safe going and coming from school, and 100% of staff felt they were effective working with heterogeneously grouped classes. We continue to see improvements overall in bus behavior as well as a decrease in severe student behavior incidents.
This gives us a lot to celebrate! This year we have also been working to involve more student voice K-6 in our monthly All School Meetings. Each grade level and our incredible allied arts programs have shared during our “Celebrations of Learning” where families can come in and see the wonderful learning experiences students are enjoying. It is great so many students are sharing the mic and building the communication skills that will help them throughout their lives. As a part of this celebration we also draw 8 student names to come for a Cocoa Talk with the principal and share their perspectives on how things are going and what we could improve together. Students have great perspectives and it is amazing to see a group of K-6 students share in the leadership of their school.
Rumney and Middlesex have much to celebrate this year in the steps forward we are taking as a community. I look forward to seeing what great innovation comes out of the bright minds and big hearts in this learning community!