As you know these next few days WPS will undergo a DESE District Review. The purpose is to examine the district’s operations against a set of standards and indicators that cover six areas: Leadership and Governance, Curriculum and Instruction, Assessment, Human Resources and Professional Development, Student Support, and Financial and Asset Management. These reviews are required by MA law. I have reviewed the documents on the DOE website (http://www.doe.mass.edu/apa/accountability/dr/ ). All of the protocols, as well as reports from previous District Reviews are on this page. The only person named in the reports is the superintendent. but other staff members may be identified by role. Based on the reports I scrolled through I did not see any information that could identify a particular staff member. The ones that I did read outlined the positives, and negatives, and made suggestions for new programs, positions, and professional development strategies that should be added. While it will be uncomfortable having our "dirty laundry" aired, the specific suggestions for improvement that are made will provide concrete arguments to support adding funds to the school budget. The one scary thing is that the DESE Review team has the ability, based on its findings, to designate a district as "level 4" --although MTA has stressed that this hasn't happened to any school districts in the past 3 years.
The DESE team is made up usually of former superintendents, and they will be spending much time in the Administration conference room reviewing documents, and interviewing administrators, and town of Weymouth finance and HR personnel. Parent groups, and elected officials will also be interviewed. They will visit schools to interview admin teams, selected teachers, and other staff members. They will be visiting classrooms (especially Math, Science, and ELA), to get a sense of the type of instruction WPS provides---small group, higher order thinkng, tiered instrction---as opposed to evaluating the lessons or teachers they observe. Classroom visits will last about 20 minutes. Refer to pages 22-24 in the Protocols for more information.
Some teachers and other staff members may have been asked to participate in specific meetings. These meetings are focused on the six standards, and if you were chosen it is likely because you have particular experience or information about these areas. All teachers are invited to participate in their building focus group with members of the review team. No evaluators are allowed present in these meetings. Your principal has sent out information as to the time and place of your building focus group.
Please let me know if you have questions or concerns.
Best of luck, these next few days.
President - WEA