Wednesday, November 27, 2013

PARCC Will Replace MCAS For Most BPS Students

In case you missed it in the news last week, the Massachusetts Board of Education voted to accept a two-year transition plan to the PARCC assessment. The original plan to implement PARCC testing called for all Massachusetts students begin taking the new assessment in 2015, but MA Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester has been listening to school and district leaders across the state and has advocated for a more gradual transition:
“I have heard a great deal from school superintendents and others about the importance of pacing ourselves so that schools can implement PARCC and other reform initiatives in a thoughtful way,”he said in the memo. “This transition approach is responsive to the field…”
Many of the concerns schools have is in regards to the online aspect of PARCC testing, something that is new to our state. In order to help facilitate this transition, Burlington has volunteered to help support students and educators across the state in this transition.
We are pleased to be participating in the Spring 2014 PARCC Field Test – and have asked PARCC to expand the sample of our students involved because we believe that this experience will be good for children in Burlington and across the state. The Burlington Community has generously provided us with the technological resources to expand our Field Test to include all students. We are also lucky to have talented people working in the district who are willing to learn from this experience and to share this knowledge with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and across Massachusetts.
Our plan is to use different devices at different grades (i.e. tablets, chromebooks, computer labs, etc.) to determine which environment is best for students. We will be conducting focus groups with students and teachers after each testing window and sharing this information with our stakeholders and other school districts to help prepare for what is ahead.  This district preview will help us to better prepare our students and curriculum for future test administrations.
Because our students are participating in the PARCC, we have the option of opting out of MCAS English Language Arts and Math testing at all grades except grade 10 . Our sophomores will have to take both PARCC and MCAS due to both the state graduation requirement and to qualify for the Adams’ scholarships.  In other words, it appears that we will not be administering the MCAS Test this year (aside from grade 10 and possibly Science in grades 5,8,9)
There are two testing windows for the PARCC assessments. The first, for the Performance Based Assessment (PBA), is March 24 – April 11 and the second, for the End of Year Assessment (EOY), is May 19 – June 6. The PBA consists of three testing sessions and the EOY consists of two. We will share more specifics in regards to dates for each grade as soon as we coordinate them with the DESE and PARCC testing officials.
We have been informed that we will not see the results of the Field Test.  Pearson (the creator of the PARCC test) may share district results but they will not be sharing individual school or student results.  While this may concern some parents, we feel confident in our ability to continue to show evidence of students growth through a variety of assessments that our staff members conduct throughout the year.
You may have lots of questions.  We have lots of questions.  We will be getting out more information as it becomes available.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Weekly Bulletin - November 22, 2013

News and Info

Burlington High School presents the madcap dark comedy, “Arsenic and Old Lace” in the Fogelberg Performing Arts Center of BHS on November 22 and 23 at 7pm and November 24 at 2pm. Tickets: $5 students/sr citizens, $10 adults. or 781-A-FUN-TIC.

PTO Info

Francis Wyman PTO Scrip Fundraising Program.

Place your Holiday orders now!  The deadline to order gift cards is THURSDAY, December 5th.   Information went home in backpacks this week. Your order, payment, and enrollment form must be received at Francis Wyman.  Your gift cards will be delivered back to you no later than Monday, Dec 16th using the method noted on your form.   Please remember to choose a delivery option!!!  Any questions contact Denise Griffin, PTO Scrip Coordinator at

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pumpkin Patch at Francis Wyman

Please enjoy this walking tour of the Fourth Grade Pumpkin Patch!  All fourth graders created a "character" pumpkin head based on a book they had recently read.  School looks wonderful with all these colorful gourds!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Picture Re-take Date Correction

The date for picture re-takes is December 3, not December 2 as previously stated on this blog.  The Parent Calendar to the right has the correct information.  Our apologies for any confusion.  

Friday, November 15, 2013

Weekly Bulletin - November 15, 2013

News and Info

  • Student pictures were sent home this week.  Please note that the classroom composite photos will be sent home after picture re-take day on December 2, so as to include as many students as possible.  If your child was absent on the original picture day, please have them prepared for getting their picture taken on December 2.  If you'd like to order additional photos, use the order form  in your package,  include payment,  and send back to school. If you are unsatisfied with your photos, send the entire package back to school on re-take day.  

  • Parents of 4th and 5th Grade Students: Our first concert is coming up soon! This year your child will be participating in the 4th or 5th grade Chorus.  All students in these grade will perform at two evening concerts.  The dates for these two concerts are- Wednesday, December 11, 2013 and Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Please put these dates on your calendar now. The Massachusetts State Standards in Music state that all students will sing, alone, and with others.  One of the ways we can assess that all students are doing this is through the Francis Wyman concerts. This is a large part of how the music department assesses each student. Therefore, a large part of your child’s music grade is based on attendance and participation in the two concerts.  If for some reason your child will not be able to make it to either concert, please contact us as soon as possible. Any excused absences need to be approved by the music department prior to the concerts.
    If you have any questions regarding our grading policies or other music related questions, please contact us or refer to our Francis Wyman music blog.

    Amanda Potts, Francis Wyman Chorus teacher 781-238-6812

    Lindsey Peabody, Francis Wyman Chorus teacher 781-238-6812

Friday, November 8, 2013

Weekly Bulletin - November 8, 2013


News and Info

The Francis Wyman Parent calendar should be ready to view.  Please check the right side of the blog for all upcoming dates!  

Parent Advisory Council - Is your child currently on an IEP?  Do you feel your child needs special education services?  If so then don’t miss our upcoming workshop on IEP process and development. 

On Wednesday, November 13th the federation for Children with Special Needs will present:

An IEP for my Child
This workshop takes parents step-by-step through IEP development, including how to articulate a vision,
using evaluations to write measurable goals, and measuring their child’s progress. This is a great opportunity to learn about the IEP process and how it works for your child. 
Location: School CommitteeRroom at Burlington High School
Doors open at 6:30 for networking presentation begins at 7:00

Sponsored by the Burlington Parent advisory Council
For more information contact us at

Thursday, November 7, 2013

PTO Fall Marketplace - Tomorrow, Nov. 7 from 5:00 - 9:00 pm


Tomorrow - November 7, 2013
5:00 - 9:00pm

Francis Wyman Elementary School

Admission is FREE

Shop with over 60 vendors from across New England.

Each vendor offers unique gifts such as jewelry, candles, glassware, apparel and more!

Including all these wonderful vendors there will be baked goods for sale, and raffles.

KidStuff Coupon Books will be available
for $25 each.

This is the perfect place to buy all your holiday gifts!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Weekly Bulletin

November 1, 2013

News and Info:

The school calendar is under construction.  Eventually, we hope to have a running calendar where you can check all future dates.  For now:

November 4 - Math Olympiad begins on Mondays, 2:45 - 3:45, grade 4/5
November 5 - Carnival Planning Meeting, 6:30pm, FW Library
November 5 - Parent Technology Night, 7pm, MSMS Library
November 7  - Fall Marketplace 5-9pm
November 12 - No school for students, Staff Development
November 13 - Used Bookstore Open for students, 8:30-9:00am
November 21 - Math Title I Coffee Hour, 9:00am
November 22 - Grade 3 Concert, 9:00am
November 27 - 1/2 day of School, Thanksgiving Break, ~11:30am dismissal
November 28, 29 - No School, Thanksgiving Break
December 2 - Report Cards Go Home
December 5 - No School for Students, Parent Conferences

Parent Technology Night
We have our second parent technology night of the year next Tuesday night.  Please visit for more information.  

Volunteers needed for our school Used Bookstore:  We are looking for volunteers for our used bookstore.  It is open once a month on Wednesday mornings, from 8:10-9:00.  Volunteers help set up the tables in the cafeteria with used books that are sold for 25 cents to students.  Then you will help pack up the books again. You can bring your children with you at 8:10 when you come to set up.  A CORI check and a Confidentiality meeting with Mrs. Astone is needed prior to helping.  CORIs need to be renewed every 3 years and the Confidentiality meeting with Mrs. Astone is only once.  If you are interested, please call Donna Murphy, Reading Specialist, at 781-238-6859 or email      Thank you.

Great news, Francis Wyman Physical Education is now on Twitter! Check us out at @FrancisWymanPE for the latest information on all the great things happening in the gymnasium at Francis Wyman as well as all upcoming PE assignments and projects.