Creating Connections - December 18, 2015

A weekly message from Interim Superintendent Dr. Marco C. Rodrigues

December 18, 2015 - Volume 1, Issue 2

Superintendent's Message

With the holiday break just around the corner, I want to express my gratitude and appreciation to all the members of the Worcester Public Schools community for your dedication to our children.  This week as I met with my Student Advisory Council at Doherty High School, I was very impressed by the students’ positivity and enthusiasm.  This is testimony to the wonderful things that are happening everyday in our schools.  The holiday season is a busy time of the year for all of us, creating some unwanted stress.  We must remember to pause for a moment, reflect on its true meaning, and then celebrate the gifts of life - family, friends, relationships, and health (good food too!).  Please take some time during the break to spend with a loved one, replenish your energy, and plan something nice for yourself.  You deserve it!!   I wish you and your family a joyous and relaxing holiday season and a new year filled with great accomplishments and good health.  I look forward to continue connecting with you after the holiday break.

Celebrations and Updates

Defibrillator Donation

Ten Heart Start Defibrillators (each costing $1,000.00) were donated last week to the Worcester Public Schools by the Josh Thibodeau Helping Hearts Foundation.  Deb and Ralph Thibodeau of Holden started the foundation in memory of their son Josh who collapsed and died from cardiac arrest while attending soccer camp.  We want to thank the Foundation for their generosity and their efforts to prevent more young people from dying from sudden cardiac arrest.  It is an honor to be part of Josh’s legacy.

Learning Forward Annual Conference

Congratulations to Dr. Susan O’Neil and her team from Worcester Arts Magnet – Deb Mantyla; Lisa Regele; Amy Benoit; Michelle Maloney; and Colleen Dyer – on their very successful presentation at the Learning Forward Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.  Their fully-enrolled session entitled “Increased Student Achievement Through Close Reading and Writing” highlighted the wonderful work being done in this reading and writing initiative, which has now expanded to seven schools in the Burncoat Quadrant. Thank you for highlighting the wonderful work happening in our district.

Dr. Rodrigues


On Monday, December 14th, State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg joined me to announce a new program called $eedMA.  The initiative will provide each Worcester Public School student in next year’s kindergarten class with a $50.00 deposit for a college saving account.  $eedMA, which is being piloted in Worcester, will also provide financial education to help students and their parents better understand basics like budgeting and saving money, banking and planning for retirement.

Holiday Open House

Students, staff, and, community celebrated the holiday season at a Holiday Open House at the Durkin Administration Building on Tuesday, December 15th.  Performers included the Burncoat Brass Ensemble, Claremont Academy Bells, Doherty High Jazz Band, Sullivan Middle School Jazz Band, and the Goddard Elementary School Chorus.

Holiday Open House "guests"

District Business

School Committee

At the School Committee meeting held on December 3rd, Ms. Tracy Novick requested that the Memorandum of Understanding between the Worcester Police Department and the Worcester Public Schools be placed on the WPS website when it is made public.

At the School Committee meeting held on November 19th, Miss Biancheria requested that the Administration provide the number of students that received a Certificate of Attainment for 2013 to 2015.

  • 2012-13:   72 students
  • 2013-14:   68 students
  • 2014-15:   69 students

At the School Committee meeting held on December 17th, Good Harbor Technology presented the School Safety and Security Assessment Report.

Upcoming Week's Events

Holy Cross Women’s Basketball

The Holy Cross College Women’s Basketball Team has extended an invitation to the Worcester Public Schools to attend the Lady Crusaders vs Dartmouth basketball game on Monday, December 21st, 11:15 a.m. at the Hart Center.  2,834 students from 16 district schools grades 2 through 8 will attend.  In addition to watching the game, team members and athletic staff from the college will interact with students focusing on Health, Nutrition and Physical Fitness.  

Holiday Vacation

December 24th – January 1st