This has been a very busy week, once again, at GCVS! There’s a lot of news to share, so here goes! One thing to note right away is that we have just finished the set up process with our new all school communications system, School Messenger, so be on the lookout for all future notifications to come through that system, rather than an email.

John and Abigail Adams Scholars

The John and Abigail Adams Scholarship program is a state program designed to recognize students who achieve high scores on the 10th grade MCAS tests. Those students who meet the criteria below are eligible for 8 semesters of free tuition at the state college/university of their choice:

  • score at the Advanced performance level on one of the three high school state assessment tests in ELA, Mathematics, or STE (Biology, Chemistry, Introductory Physics, or Technology/Engineering); and
  • score at the Proficient level or higher on the remaining two high school state assessment tests; and
  • have combined scores from the three tests that place them in the top 25 percent of students in the graduating class in their district.

While this does not waive fees or room and board, it does go a long way toward helping with costs. Students who choose a private or out-of-state college/university are not eligible for any tuition waivers, the fact that they have received this award is something to proudly add to a college application.

I am pleased to announce that the following GCVS students have earned this honor following the Spring 2017 administration of the test: Alexis Angers, Sara Archambault, Ashley Atwood, Sofia Brinister, Marina Brito-Valter, Joshua Decoteau, Victoria Klug, Faith Kollien, William Moser, Edward Ouimet, Andrew Penney, Sara Petrie, Miles Rowe, Jordan Smith, Marc Stutto, and Emily Weber. These students will be notified individually by letter next week. Congratulations!

MCAS Results

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education just released the results of the MCAS tests that were administered last spring. For students in grades 3-8, the test is a bit different than the one that we administered in years prior, so the reporting will be a bit different. We are planning a meeting for Learning Coaches in all grades to talk about the MCAS results in general for sometime during the week of October 24th, so be looking for more information on that.

Below is a link to a letter from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education regarding MCAS for families.

DESE Next gen parent letter 10 18 17

Math Assessments for Students in Grades K-8

Knowing that the MCAS test is a single snapshot in time giving us information on how well our students are doing, we also use other assessments during the year to help us monitor students’ progress in learning the curriculum standards expected of all public school students in the state. Our younger students already have taken the DIBELS test to assess reading levels and now we are turning to math. We will be administering the easyCBM math assessment to all students in grades K-8 next week, which will be happening in the context of live lessons. Ms. Glasser, our Title I Math teacher, will be working on the elementary assessments. Grades 6-8 students will be administered the assessment by Ms. Buckley and Ms. Cutler.

The purpose of these assessments is to help us more clearly understand our students’ strengths and challenges, so we can better tailor our instruction to meet their needs. The best thing Learning Coaches can do is just tell your children to relax and do their best and that it’s ok if they don’t know the answer to a question. Thank you for your cooperation and making sure that your children participate in this important assessment so we can know better how to tailor our teaching to meet their needs.

October Outings

Our outings this year are designed to give our students opportunities to extend the learning they are doing in the classroom in other settings and contexts. Our K-5 students attended an outing at Red Apple Farm in Phillipston on October 19th. This is a working farm/orchard that has been owned by the same family for over 100 years! The children learned a little of the farm’s history and then went to work on extending their math skills with all things pumpkin, in celebration of the harvest season! They estimated and counted the seeds in pumpkins, weighed and measured them, and created some pumpkin art. The day ended with some apple picking by those interested!

On Friday, October 27th, our middle and high schoolers will be going to Salem, MA for some history and literature extensions of curriculum taught. Please note that this is a ticketed event and open only to students in grades 6-12 who sign up in advance, based on space available. Families will be notified regarding their students’ attendance.

Enjoy the photos from the K-5 outing below!

Have a great weekend everyone! Regards, Dr. Houle, GCVS Executive Director