Published June 12, 2019
By DAN TOMASELLO
LYNNFIELD — Superintendent Jane Tremblay gave an update on the goals she established during a recent School Committee meeting.
Tremblay established four goals for the 2018-2019 school year. She said the goals are connected to the school system’s strategic plan, school improvement plans and other initiatives being undertaken in the town’s educational facilities.
One of the goals Tremblay established entails improving communication. She recalled that a communication specialist appeared at the school board’s summer workshop last year.
“This goal is a direct result of that consultation,” said Tremblay.
Tremblay said that presentation led to the creation of Lynnfield Public Schools’ Facebook page. She has been using Facebook repeatedly in order to communicate school news to residents.
School Committee member Phil McQueen noted the Facebook page has 551 “likes.” He inquired if residents are closely following the Facebook page.
Tremblay said the Facebook page has generated a great deal of traffic. While Tremblay said parents prefer emailing or calling her, she said the Facebook page is another method to communicate with parents and residents.
McQueen said the Facebook page “has been a pretty positive experience.”
“Good information is getting out there,” said McQueen.
Tremblay also established the Key Communicator program in order to help her inform residents about the school system’s initiatives. The group consists of residents Steven Connolly, Mark Preston, Fred Santangelo, Cindy Schott and Jennifer Welter. She recalled that the group gave a presentation to the School Committee earlier this year.
In response to a question from School Committee Vice Chairman Rich Sjoberg, Tremblay said the Key Communicator program will continue next year. She said the group recently reached out to her and asked if it could be expanded so that it will include younger parents who don’t who have children in the school system yet.
“That is on my list of things to do,” said Tremblay.
Tremblay also invited members of the Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee to meet with school administrators in order to learn more about the different initiatives taking place.
“The purpose of this was to ensure members of the governing boards in town fully understood the current complexities of fully educating students,” said Tremblay. “Six members signed up for tours and conversations with the principals.”
Tremblay noted she will be giving a presentation at the Senior Center on Thursday, June 20, beginning at 10 a.m.
“I will be sharing our vision for education in our district as well as to try and find ways to better partner with them, specifically in the next school year,” said Tremblay.
Tremblay has also met with the PTO presidents frequently. She has been sending out “Stay Informed” emails to parents as well.
“I also attend PTO meetings, post on Twitter and meet regularly with the fire chief, police chief, town administrator and DPW director about all safety and security protocols for our schools,” said Tremblay.
School Committee Chairman Jamie Hayman recalled that Tremblay has been focusing on communication the past couple of years. He noted that communication is “a bit of a two-way street.”
“Between Twitter, the revamped app and Facebook, a lot of information is going out,” said Hayman. “Have you seen an increase in communication coming in?”
Tremblay said she has learned over the past five years that “people generally reach out when they have a concern or a question about something.”
“I sometimes take the silence of the community as a good sign,” said Tremblay. “When things are going well, people go along (with) their life because they are very busy and have a lot of things going on. Every once in awhile, people will reach out to me after I send out a Stay Informed email and will say a certain article has resonated with them. Or if I have a presenter come in, I will get an email from a parent or guardian who will say that really hit home with them. I know that when people have concerns about things, they are not afraid to pick up the phone and call my office or send an email. I always say to parents that I would rather have them ask a question than to stay silent.”
Tremblay also established a goal that entails collaborating with administrators and teachers in order to strengthen resources for social-emotional learning.
As part of the goal, Tremblay worked closely with Teaching and Learning Director Kevin Cyr in order to ensure certain professional development days focused on social-emotional learning initiatives. She also worked to provide parents with resources so that they could “support their family’s social and emotional health.” She has used parent feedback as a “tool to assess ongoing needs.”
The third goal Tremblay established entails ensuring the school district’s Administrative Leadership Team (ATL) “remains a high functioning team with a shared vision for excellence in teaching practice, effective instructional leadership and progressive individual school culture.”
Tremblay noted the school system welcomed new Summer Street School Principal Dr. Karen Dwyer and new Student Services Director Roberta Keane this year. She said there will be administrative changes next year as well, as Huckleberry Hill School Principal Brian Bemiss will be leaving Lynnfield Public Schools and first grade teacher Melissa Wyland will become Huckleberry Hill’s interim principal. She also said that Educational Technology Director Stephanie Hoban will be conducting observations of media specialists throughout the district, as mandated by the new teachers’ contract.
In order to accomplish the goal, Tremblay observed school administrators’ practice repeatedly throughout the school year. She also helped develop district-wide support systems for new administrators and teachers.
The final goal Tremblay established entailed implementing the third year of the school system’s Understanding by Design (UbD) curriculum initiative.
As part of the goal, Tremblay provided “support and assistance for administrators to learn and employ effective strategies for ensuring that educators and educator teams design standards based on units with measurable outcomes and challenging tasks requiring high-order thinking.”
Additionally, Tremblay frequently monitored progress with implementing the third year of UbD and provided feedback when necessary.
After Tremblay finished giving an update about her goals to the school board, she showed a video she created with the assistance of Hoban and Digital Learning Coach Sarah Perkins. The video showcased the different initiatives happening in all four schools and how they aligned to the superintendent’s goals.
“Stephanie and Sarah did a great job putting this together,” said Tremblay.