Category Archives: Schools

Superintendent’s blog

The Superintendent of Schools, Jeffrey Marsden, has started a monthly blog, which is now into its second month, and which I highly recommend.  This month Jeff explains the issues behind the changes in the music program at the Dale Street School, which gave me the information I needed to appreciate the issues of the situation and to better understand the solution that has been crafted. I also liked the solution of appointing a citizen and schools committee to study whether the current solution is the right one.

I do not usually get to see the School Committee meetings on Medfield.TV, so I greatly appreciate having Jeff write about what is going on and pushing that information out to me to read on my own schedule, when I am able.  This is exactly how the town should be delivering information to its residents on how their town is being run.

The town government should exist to get its residents the services that they want and are willing to pay to have, but in the process of doing that, those running the town government must figure out exactly which services those are and in which amounts the residents both want the services and are willing to pay for them.  The first step towards accomplishing that goal is by making sure the residents have full information on which to make their decisions, and Jeff’s blog is a great step towards making information available to we residents.

To me this blog is a huge step in getting me the type of information that I, as both a resident and a parent, want about the schools, delivered in a format that works well for me, and so I applaud Jeff for starting the blog.  Thanks Jeff!  You have made me one happy reader

Boys State & Girls State

20141030-legion-boys & girls state At the Legion last night twelve of the seventeen MHS seniors who spent a week last summer at the Legion run Boys State and Girls State, held at Stonehill College in Easton, recounted their experiences to the crowd of over a hundred in attendance at the Legion’s monthly dinner meeting. Each of the dozen students spoke about what the experience had meant to them, and each was remarkably eloquent, poignant, or in turn funny.  The experience had clearly made strong positive impressions on each student, and for some it had been life changing.  More than one student recounted the benefits to them from meeting others from backgrounds so disparate from what they have know in Medfield.

Boys State and Girls State are the Legion run opportunity for high school students to learn about the American political and governing processes by actually taking part in mock government elections and functions, as well as taking courses.  The students are divided amongst separate towns, elect their own leaders from amongst their own members, and deal with legislation.

20141039-Legion-Boys & Girls State-2Last summer the students also got to participate in the actual political process, as some researched and took a position against the then pending legislation in the Massachusetts legislature that would have allowed cell antennae to be located virtually anywhere regardless of local zoning.  The students submitted letters against the legislation to the legislature that Representative Shawn Dooley said last night helped to put a face on the opposition and to defeat that legislation.

Medfield’s Legion sends more students to Boys State and Girls State than any other city or town in the state.    Around 700 students in all participate.  Karl Schwartz, past Legion Commander, recounted that when he took the program on 17 years ago no students were being sent by the Legion to participate, and that the program has been gradually built up over the years.  Today the students compete for the slots, as the demand to participate exceeds the monies  available to send students. 20141039-Legion-Boys & Girls State-3

MAHS on 11/10 at MHS

Notice today to MHS parents regarding the MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey coming on 11/10.  Extremely useful data is derived from this long running survey -

October 27, 2014
Dear Parent or Guardian,

To make sure we continue to give the best possible education and services to children in Medfield, we want to learn about their attitudes and behaviors with regard to a variety of health-related topics. Inorder to accomplish this, students at Medfield High School are being asked to participate in the MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey. The questions on the survey cover many topics including alcohol, tobacco and other drug use; violence and safety; nutrition and physical activity; sexual behaviors; and mental health.  This project will continue to help our district develop and enhance its health education and prevention services. We will be giving this survey to students in grades 9-12 on Monday, November 10th.

The survey is anonymous, meaning your child will not put his or her name on the survey and no one will know what he or she writes.  There will be no identifying information on any of the surveys.

Completing this survey is volnntary.   Your child’s grades in school will not be affected by whether or not he or she participates.   Your child can also decide not to take the survey or skip any question he or she does not wish to answer.

The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment is a Federal Law that requires us to notify you ahead of time about the survey, and give you the chance to look at it, so you can let us know if you do not want your child to take part. Ifyou would like to see the survey before deciding, a copy will be available in the main office from Thursday, October 30, 2014 through Thursday, November 6, 2014.

If you DO NOT want your child to take part in the survey, please complete the form below return it to the main office secretary by Friday, November 7, 2014.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Susan Cowell, Wellness Content Specialist.

Robert Parga

Emailed report card

Kudos to Medfield High School for emailing the report cards.  Great way for them to get us the information.

School enrollment decline

From the DOE via the Boston Business Journal, via Charlie Glew -

School District    Medfield
Enrollment, 2013-2014    2,674

Enrollment, 2008-2009    3,004
5-year enrollment change    -11%

Enrollment, 2003-2004    3,047
10-year enrollment change    -12%

Enrollment, 1993-1994    2,116
20-year enrollment change    26%

MSBA pays 40% of Wheelock boiler

The Superintendent, his management team, and the School Committee got the Mass School Building Authority (MSBA) to pay for 40% of the needed new boiler at Wheelock School.  Congratulations and thank you to them!  This was the email this afternoon from Jeff -


Dear Pete,

I wanted to let you know that I have just returned from the Mass School Building Authority (MSBA) board meeting in Boston and they voted to approve our boiler replacement project for the Wheelock School. This project will replace the 45 year old boilers currently in use at the Wheelock School.  As you may remember, I went before the Board of Selectmen in February to ask for your support to apply for this grant program. The School Committee also voted to support this project on January 27,2014. This is an exciting opportunity for us as the MSBA will reimburse the Town of Medfield 40% of the project cost; saving the citizens of Medfield thousands of dollars in capital costs. MSBA will be sending along a project timeline that will outline key dates for the project, including when funds need to be allocated. In addition, the School Committee and I did not submit an application for a new Dale St. School during this round of grants as we believed it would negatively impact the other building project priorities in town. Lastly, I think its important for the Selectmen and you to know that Mike Sullivan was a great help during the Statement of Interest (SOI) process and gave the application his full support.
On behalf of the School Committee, the students and staff of Medfield, I want to thank the entire Board of Selectmen for their continued support.

Jeffrey J. Marsden, Ed.D

Medfield Public Schools

Follow me on Twitter @JeffreyJMarsden

MCPE partners with Green & Clear Cleaners

This from Susan Maritan for the MCPE -

MCPE and Green & Clear Cleaners Partner Up to Help Medfield Schools

Medfield Coalition for Public Education is pleased to announce a partnership with Green & Clear Cleaners to raise money for the Medfield Public Schools. It’s very easy for the public to get involved. Here’s how the program works: mention MCPE and get 10% off your personal cleaning order for that visit. For every subsequent visit, Green & Clear Cleaners will donate 10% of the total order to MCPE! Please note, business shirts, specialty items and alterations are not included in the 10% donation.

This is a great opportunity for people to be eco-friendly AND help the Medfield public schools at the same time.

Green & Clear Cleaners is located at 258 Main Street in Medfield in the Donut Express Plaza.