Predictions for this winter were correct. It was cold, cold, cold, with snow, snow, snow. And now it is spring, even though snow is still on the ground. Soon will come the flowers and we will be back in walking, planting, and turning off heat mode.
Spring brings many events in our schools—our April 11th Film Festival, spring plays and concerts, class trips, talent shows, parades, and months of required state testing, which seems to be on its way out. Many schools use two months for test prep and state testing. Finally, the state is reconsidering the type of testing it requires and the actual benefit to learning. The “rank and sort” model we have will likely be replaced with a “growth model” assessment—something we already have in place in Greenfield, using a computer-based skill screening: Measures of Academic Progress. Administrators and teachers obtain a skill level starting point for each student K-8 at the beginning of the year; take another look at progress and adjust programs mid-year; and then look at year-end progress. It is a helpful tool for assuring all students are learning.
This will be my last spring in the Greenfield Schools and so for me, like so many other people, spring cleaning is on the calendar. We are working to finalize all of our 2013-2014 grants and are already working on hiring notices and contracts so schools are ready for September.
Time to dust off those walking shoes and head out of doors with your family for walks to school, walks to town, walks to the library, and walks to spring events. This was really one long, cold winter. In a building with heating issues, everyone at Davis Street is truly happy to see the warmer weather.
Wishing everyone a healthy spring.
Susan Hollins, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools