(Editor’s note: The following letter was sent from Supt. of Schools Dr. Stephen K. Zrike to all Wakefield families. The 2014-15 academic year begins for most students Thursday, Sept. 4.)

I am delighted to welcome you to what will be an exciting 2014-15 school year in the Wakefield Public Schools. It is my sincerest hope that you have enjoyed the summer months and taken full advantage of the beautiful summer weather. I want to express my gratitude for ensuring that our students spent the summer reading even if it means that I will have to jump into Lake Q and shave my head! I am proud that our students have surpassed the challenge issued to read 10,000 books. For those interested, Mr. Maio and I have tentatively scheduled our plunge for Saturday, Sept. 13. It is hard to believe that school begins in just over a week. We look forward to welcoming your students to school on Thursday, Sept. 4. Our first day of school is a full day for all students except for those in Preschool and Kindergarten (they will have orientation). As a reminder our school hours and lunch prices are as follows:

Early Childhood Center at the Doyle: Full day programs- 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., half day programs- 8-10:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m.-2:15 p.m., (half day dismissal – 11:40 a.m., lunch price: $2.50 Elementary Schools: 8:40 a.m.-2:45 p.m. (half day dismissal – 11:55 a.m.), lunch price: $2.50, Galvin Middle School: 7:45 a.m.-2:15 p.m. (half day dismissal – 11:20 a.m.), lunch price: $2.75 Wakefield High School: 7:30 a.m.-2:05 pm (half day dismissal- 10:55 a.m.), lunch price: $2.75*One important note: We will serve lunch on all half days (except the day before Thanksgiving and the last day of school) this year at all schools. We launch the school year with the opening of the new Galvin Middle School and the Early Childhood Center at the Doyle. The Galvin is a state of the art, dynamic facility that will facilitate a 21st century learning experience for all of the town’s middle school students. The Doyle returns to our portfolio as a warm and charming building tailored to the needs of our youngest learners. Complementing the launch of these facilities, we have developed a new instructional strategy (will be shared publically at our Sept. 9 school committee meeting). As part of this strategy, we have launched a number of new programs and student focused initiatives.


• A Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Program at the High School

• 1-to-1 Chromebook initiative at the Galvin and our fourth grade classrooms

• New Chromebook labs for our elementary schools

• Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics enrichment courses at the Galvin (Computer Assisted Design, Automation and Robotics)

• Piloting two math programs (grades K-8)

• A phonics curriculum pilot (grades K-1)

• Engaging, updated and Common Core aligned English Language Arts curriculum units with corresponding texts (K-12)

• Library media specialists (grades K-8)

• Increased counseling and social/emotional support for students at the Galvin

As a school district, we have taken many bold and important steps to enhance your child’s learning experience. We are grateful for your support as we embark on these improvement efforts and look forward to your continued advocacy in the coming year. We pledge to maintain constant communication with you throughout the year regarding this work on our district website (wakefieldpublicschools.org), my blog (suptzrike.blogspot.com), twitter (@suptzike), Facebook(www.facebook.com/wakefieldps) and regular e-mail correspondence via school messenger. I will also continue to host office hours throughout the community on Fridays. These one-on-one meetings can be scheduled with my executive assistant, Karen Fitzpatrick, at 781-246-6400 Ext. 6939 or e-mail at karen.fitzpatrick@wpsk12.org.
Finally, please visit our district website to download important beginning of the year student information forms. We ask you to carefully read through this information and return those documents requiring signature to your child’s school on the first day. While you may still receive some school specific forms, we have worked to ensure consistency of critical documentation across schools.

We look forward to an outstanding school year. It is our privilege to serve your families as we pursue educational excellence in Wakefield.
Steve Zrike