Strategic Planning Task Force Updates – June 2019

Academic Task Force  2018-19 Progress

Three main strategic intents/three separate sub-committees:

  • Professional Development
  • Curriculum
  • Student Enrichment

Professional Development

  • Professional Development Plan updated to become the Professional Learning Plan
  • New plan will be presented to the BOE July 2019
  • New district professional development evaluation tool created
  • In-service course tracking through mylearningplan.com
  • Staff surveys
  • Administered survey for Nov. 6 conference day
  • Staff PD survey for 19-20 school year

Curriculum

  • Began development of MW Curriculum Manual
  • Committee decided to create two documents: a Curriculum Guide and a Curriculum Manual
  • Curriculum Guide will outline the curriculum review process, the template for doing this, and the actual plan for reviewing
  • Curriculum Manual will be policy and procedure driven and contain overviews of the relevant BOE policies, textbook review process, new course request process, summer curriculum request process, new extra curricular request process, and all of the corresponding forms

Student Enrichment – Three main focus areas: honors and acceleration opportunities; the college application process; and the Seal of Biliteracy

  • Gathering data for analysis on honors and acceleration opportunities
  • Currently we track only students enrolled in honors and accelerated courses; however, by the end of the year we will have a process in
  • Powerschool to also track college credit achievement
  • Compiling entry requirements for all honors, accelerated and college level courses
  • Evaluating the manner in which information is communicated to students and parent

College application process

  • Visit senior electives to discuss the application process
  • Explore a mentoring program to allow seniors/graduates to mentor underclassmen during the application process
  • Develop a Google Classroom for seniors, specifically for college application
  • Compile resources and information on the application process and serve as a tool for students to communicate with other students about things they have learned during the application process
  • Design a senior survey to gather knowledge from students about what they’ve learned during the application process to be passed along to underclassmen
  • Enhanced the review process for the Seal to give greater access to students
      • As of 5/13/19, we have 17 students who achieved the Seal this year (compared to 17 total last year), and we have at least 9 more students still working toward iT
      • We also have at least 2 former ELL students achieving the Seal (compared to 0 last year)
      • We also have students achieving the Seal in languages other than those offered at the HS (Serbian and Portuguese)
      • The final step in this enhancement is to improve communication about the Seal of Biliteracy to include information on our website and a handbook for students and families

Student Behavior & Wellness Task Force  2018-2019 Goals

District Code of Conduct

  • Form a Code of Conduct Committee to analyze current student discipline procedures, focusing on levels of infractions, consequences, and recidivism.
    • Mike Maesano is spearheading the charge and the committee has met several times and continues to meet. We presented to the Board of Education an update of this committee and the progress we have made.
    • We have broken into two primary subcommittees which include:
      • Group 1 – Implementation of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum and resources
      • Group 2 – Deep-dive into the code of conduct and behavioral expectations which includes developing a discipline grid which reflects more specific levels of infractions, align interventions and consequences
    • To support the code of conduct work, we have also been providing Professional Development in the area of Restorative Practices. Currently 13 staff members attended a 4-day training to work on creating responsive classrooms, trauma-informed classrooms, and ways to implement mediation and other alternatives to traditional discipline.
  • With our charge of improving the overall emotional health and development of our students and to support positive student behavior, we have adopted a social emotional curriculum called Choose Love – the program is being rolled out this year, with teachers and the clinician team teaching the lessons. It is the expectation that the curriculum will be up and running by September.
    • To support this initiative, we will be promoting the curriculum, supporting the staff, and bringing back Scarlett Lewis to the district to further support our students and families. We are hoping she can do a presentation for our families upon her return at the end of October.
  • To build the internal capacity of our staff to promote mental wellness and positive student behavior, we have contracted with the Cognitive Behavioral Consultants Agency to train our clinicians and teachers on the therapeutic techniques of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). This is a 4-day training with ongoing coaching and consultation as our clinicians provide this intense level of counseling to our students.
  • We also have our health teachers at the high school and middle school going for a 3-day training in June to learn the Step A component of DBT, which is a classroom curriculum for teaching DBT within our health classes. The teachers will also be provided training and coaching as they teach the DBT lessons.
  • We have had multiple meetings with the staff at the Behavioral Health Center at Orange Regional Medical Center to build relationships and advocate for the mental health needs of our students.
  • We have invited staff from Greater Hudson Valley Health Services to come and present their program offerings to our clinical and administrative team and we implemented the Warrior Kids Program at North Main Street Elementary which was attended by about 100 students. Warrior Kids Program is a health education program combined with a 30-minute high energy workout led by an accomplished fitness instructor.
  • We are in discussions with the Office of Mental Health (OMH) and moving forward with plans to have our own Mental Health Clinic at the high school to serve families throughout the district.
  • We have recently met the Access for Living team and toured the Behavioral Health Urgent Care Clinic in Middletown which will be offering mental health services at no cost to families.

2019-2020 Goals

  • Embed Step A of DBT curriculum into health classes at the high school and middle school
  • Create an elective health class for the 2020 school year for DBT Step A
  • Provide ongoing support to clinical staff
  • Full roll-out of SEL curriculum Choose Love
  • Further strengthen relationships with the Office of Mental Health; secure a mental health clinic in our high school
  • Build upon community supports for stronger partnerships with mental health providers
  • Implement the revamped Code of Conduct
  • Provide professional development to support training for restorative practices, responsive classrooms and trauma-informed classrooms

Communications Task Force  2018-2019 Goals

Internal Communications

  • Train staff – develop protocols for formatting/content in the district-wide communications system
    • Designed new templates/letterhead for all buildings
    • Trained 57 administrators and building clerical staff (new hires receive individual training
    • Ongoing support is provided as needed
    • Created internal communication protocols that cover topics such as: media relations/district spokesperson; logo use; district website; social media platforms; LED signage, etc.
  • Strengthen ties among buildings
    • Established communication liaison in each building to help facilitate sharing of news/events and ensure equal coverage of all buildings
    • Survey students and staff about how information is shared within and among buildings

External Communications

  • Increase alumni involvement
    • Communications team worked closely with members of the alumni who organized a Mega Reunion in May. Several alums visited with M-W HS students during the school day, shared their experiences and gave advice.
    • The “M-W Alumni Inspire Success” Scholarship was established with a donation of more than $10,000. Beginning in 2020, two students will receive $500 scholarships to help with college expenses.
    • Create alumni features on social media platforms, highlighting the individuals’ experiences at M-W and their current status
      Establish contact with many classes of M-W through social media
  • Open communication lines with community
    • Design a Welcome Packet of information for new families and community, which includes one page information sheets on each building; sub-committee consisting of parents, BOE and teachers dedicated many hours to content creation. Design work will be completed over the summer.
    • Create a M-W introductory overview video – footage was shot prior to the end of the school year; production is taking place over the summer.
    • Establish a “who to call” guide addressing key topics of interest to families, outlining the chain of command within the district to help facilitate open communication.
    • Develop an e-newsletter for all families and residents with school highlights, district level news, calendar of events and student features. T
    • The e-newsletter was emailed four times during the 2018-19 school year.
    • Hold multiple “Crusader Chats” with district leaders; used Facebook Live to broaden audience reach.

Goals 2019-2020

  • Share updated communication protocols, website reminders and the Welcome Packet with staff before/at the start of the new school year
  • Further explore district APP
  • Launch Welcome Packet materials and video when school begins. Materials will be available for all community members, incoming families, local real estate agents, etc.
  • Maintain communications/connections with alumni and create additional ways for them to connect with current students
  • Establish a Twitter account to more directly reach students
  • Research and identify specific ways students can make connections in the community via internships, career events, community service opportunities and more
  • Research the possibility of creating an M-W Alumni Hall of Fame, with set criteria, an application process, selection committee and recognition ceremony
  • Use additional software programs – graphics, video – to share M-W stories internally and with the community
  • Create more opportunities for Crusader Chats/Facebook live (4-5x/school year)

Student Experience Task Force  2018-2019 Goals

  • Incorporate specific strategies into the repertoire of faculty and staff to increase student engagement both inside and outside of the classroom.
  • This is in concert with the district initiatives regarding social/emotional learning ie. Choose Love.
  • Implemented opportunities for administrators and staff to focus on the importance of student engagement and student voice.
  • Connected with students to discuss current issues and concerns and enact specific actions to address their concerns.
    This took place at bi-monthly sessions with a group of approximately 15 high school students chosen to represent various needs of the student body. These meetings were honest and raw and focused on both the vision these students have for our district and their current reality regarding curriculum, school safety, opportunities for new clubs, etc.

2019-2020 Goals

  • Continue to foster opportunities for growth regarding social/emotional learning opportunities for both students and staff.
  • Continue to have the Cabinet and HS Principal meet with a student group to understand their needs and enable them to be a part of a shared decision-making process.
  • Under the guidance of the student BOE member and the MS administration, form a MS group to hear their voices and create more opportunities for both discussion and growth.