Superintendent's Update - November 14, 2022

November 14, 2022

Dear Shrewsbury Families, Colleagues, & Community Members,

This week is American Education Week, which recognizes the importance of schools in ensuring we enjoy a strong, democratic nation. It is therefore fitting that this evening at a reception we will honor our educators who have earned the noteworthy achievement of being granted "professional status" (similar to "tenure") after three years of successful work in our school district.  We have not held this reception since the fall of 2019, so we will be honoring three cohorts of outstanding educators who earned this distinction during an extremely challenging time for schools due to the pandemic.  Please see the attachment linked at the bottom of this message for a list of the recipients, and please join me in congratulating them.  We are proud to recognize these skillful, dedicated educators who are making a positive difference for our students every day, and whom we hope will have long, fruitful careers in Shrewsbury!

Please also note the following two important opportunities for your voice to be included in determining the future direction of the school district:

1) Where do you want our schools to focus for the next five years? Please attend our interactive public forum on strategic planning on Wednesday evening at SHS: Our school district has begun the work to create an updated strategic plan for the next five years as our current plan comes to a conclusion.  I am pleased that we are partnering with Focused Schools, an organization who will assist us in identifying our strengths and needs and ensuring that we have robust input from all of our stakeholders.  As part of that process, you are invited to attend an interactive public forum to provide feedback for our next strategic plan on Wednesday, November 16 at 6:30pm at Shrewsbury High School.  I am hopeful that many SPS parents and caretakers, staff members, older students, and community members will join us for this important discussion; if you plan to attend, please complete the RSVP form here so we can effectively plan for the number attending (to translate this form, see the short video here).  I am excited for the work ahead, where we will seek to create a plan that builds on our successes and focuses our efforts on important areas for improvement.  

2) Please share your perspective regarding sleep health and potential changes next year to school start times: Our school district has convened a Sleep Health Advisory Committee to consider how to improve students’ health and well-being through better sleep, including the potential of changing school start and end times for the 2023-2024 school year.  On December 14, this advisory committee will be presenting potential options for changes in school schedules to the School Committee.  To help inform this process, you are invited to share your general perspectives and questions related to students’ sleep health and the potential benefits and challenges of changing school start and end times.  SPS families and staff are invited use the following link to a) review short summaries of the research on sleep health and potential benefits and challenges of changing start times, and b) then share your thoughts and rate the importance of what others share:  This exchange will be open through November 17.

Thank you for your continued support of our schools and thanks for sharing your feedback!

Joe Sawyer
Superintendent of Schools

Professional Status Reception 2022 Program 

This site provides information using PDF, visit this link to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software.