Dear Wilbur McMahon Families,
Per Governor Raimondo's announcement today, Rhode Island's school buildings will be closed to students for the next two weeks (March 23, 2020 to April 3, 2020). As a reminder, all district-sponsored extra-curricular activities and non-essential meetings are cancelled until further notice.
In place of brick and mortar schools, the state-wide expectation is that all staff and students attend distance learning during these 10 days -- which will count towards the state minimum of 180 days of instruction. Learning provides a structure and focus for our children during these uncertain times, and family support will be essential. Virtual or distance learning is new to all of us; however, we have taught our students to be self-directed learners and quality producers, so we are ahead of the game.
As we embark on this new virtual journey, we will monitor and assess implementation and make adjustments as needed. We anticipate there may be bumps in the road, but know that the Wilbur McMahon community has a growth mindset, and we will all figure out this "new normal" together for as long as it lasts.
While the doors to our building remain closed, the Little Compton School Department will continue to support all students and families. For instance, during the next two weeks, starting Monday (March 23rd), we will offer, to families who responded in the affirmative to the "lunch" question in the survey, free “grab and go” breakfast and lunch packages to Little Compton students, 18 and under, Monday through Friday between 9:00am and 11:00am. Respondents may pick up these free meals at the front entrance of the school building. Chartwells staff will be available to pass out the packaged breakfast/lunch to each family, and WMS staff will be making deliveries if needed. WMS will be (confidentially) reaching out to all families who "signed up" and reminding them to drop in each morning.
Recently, I have been in contact with Susan Sisson of the Little Compton Wellness Center (115 East Main Road) – an organization that epitomizes the culture of generosity that defines the town. To that point, Wilbur McMahon families who are experiencing financial strain and food scarcity during the state’s shutdown are welcome to visit the center this Friday or Saturday – from 9:00am to 10:00am to pick up bags of groceries for their families. Ms. Sisson will be expecting some new faces at the Food Bank. In order to receive free groceries, no documentation is required except proof of residency. Please note: after Saturday, the food bank will be closed for a few weeks due to COVID-19 protocols. However, if you reach out to WMS Counselor/Social Worker Mary Elizabeth Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org), we will be able to access the pantry on your behalf to meet your family’s needs.
As we shift from face-to-face instruction and pivot to virtual learning, I want to stress that our school is much more than bricks and mortar. Wilbur McMahon School is about relationships, learning, and inspiration so all can thrive. It sure does take a village -- now more than ever.
Before the end of this week, you will be hearing from your child's teachers and other staff members -- and so the shift to virtual schooling will begin. Once again, be well and well cared for, and care for the well being of others -- but at a distance!
Below, please see a listing of additional organizations and descriptions from their web sites that Ms. Miller has organized for your perusal.
East Bay Community Action Program (EBCAP) - People come first at East Bay Community Action Program (EBCAP). We are a private, non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization. We are mission-driven. When a resident walks through our doors, we get to know them personally. Then, we connect them with the right services, at the right time.
The services we offer help make sure everyone can reach their full potential. This may mean solving immediate challenges, like access to food or housing. Or, it may mean getting and staying healthy for life. There’s medical and dental care, behavioral health care, human services and community programs. We help children, youth, families, adults and elders. EBCAP has over 20 services. And all from one place!
Getting started with EBCAP is easy. Our EBCAP’s Community Programs and Children & Youth Services directories make it simple to find the right starting point. And, every door is the right door at EBCAP. Any staff member will help connect a client with the help they need.
Let EBCAP help you find medical, dental, behavioral and social services. If you live in East Providence, Barrington, Warren, Bristol, Tiverton, Little Compton, Portsmouth, Middletown, Newport or Jamestown, we’ll care for, and about you! To find a Primary, Behavioral or Dental Health Center near you, click here.
BH Link - https://www.bhlink.org -- is a behavioral health facility designed to provide immediate assistance to a person in crisis by providing innovative crisis intervention services, and connecting people to ongoing treatment and care. Services are provided by our professional team of registered nurses, counselors, psychiatrists, phone screeners, and peer specialists. Our clinicians will listen to clients’ concerns and take the necessary steps to get people through their crisis, and help make connections to longer term services if needed.
- BH Link Hotline, (414-LINK; 414-5465): a one-stop, statewide 24/7 call-in center that connects people to appropriate care and resources, when they or someone they care about is experiencing a behavioral healthcare crisis
- BH Link Triage Center: a 24/7 community-based walk-in/drop-off facility where clinicians connect people to immediate, stabilizing emergency behavioral health services, and long-term care and recovery supports
Kids’ Link RI™ - is a hotline for children in emotional crisis. A program offered in collaboration with Gateway Healthcare, Lifespan, Hasbro Children's Hospital and Bradley Hospital, Kids’ Link RI is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for children suffering from behavioral problems or psychiatric illness.
Call 1-855-543-5465 if your child is:
- Feeling excessive anger or sadness
- Lashing out at siblings, friends, and adults
- Having behavior problems at school
- Having severe worries
- Hurting himself/herself or others
The free hotline, 1-855-543-5465, connects parents and caregivers to children’s services in Rhode Island, and helps parents determine the best place to go for treatment and counseling.
With this confidential hotline, parents and caregivers can dial a toll-free number, to speak to an experienced clinician.
Children and Adolescents:
Your child deserves a happy and healthy future. With our evidence-based, person-centered approach, NCCHC will help your child reach his or her potential. We serve children and adolescents with emotional, and behavioral challenges, such as anxiety and depression, substance abuse, and more by using a variety of therapeutic approaches, including dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).Our team of therapists, psychiatrists and support staff work with family members along with your child to achieve a sustainable recovery. We provide individual, family and group therapy, along with Weekday Walk-In. (No appointments or referrals required).
WEEKDAY WALK-IN M-F (9-2)
24/7 CRISIS HOTLINE: 846-1213
NCCMHC’s team of therapists, psychiatrists, and support staff work together to help you
determine your own unique path of recovery. We believe that recovery is a collaborative journey, where you work with our team to choose your own unique path of recovery based on your particular needs and lifestyle. That’s why NCCMHC helps you from the moment you walk into to our Weekday Walk-In with no appointments necessary from 9-2 Monday through Friday. We also work with existing centers in the area to get you the personalized care you deserve. We provide individual, family, and group therapy.
For those needing more support, NCCMHC teams work together with clients with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse disorders. Also NCCMHC is always available 24/7 to help you by calling our crisis hotline.We will help you through any crisis and provide on-going treatment and support on your road to recovery. In addition we have a variety of housing options and vocational support available to help you through your journey toward a happier and healthier life.
WEEKDAY WALK-IN M-F (9-2)
24/7 CRISIS HOTLINE: 846-1213
Dr. Laurie Dias-Mitchell
Superintendent of Schools
Little Compton School Department
Little Compton, RI 02837
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
No subject is off limits -- well, maybe the superintendent's age and .... ;-)
Thursday, March 19 at 9 a.m.
Tuesday, April 7 at 6 p.m.
Tuesday, May 26 at 3:15 p.m
Dear Wilbur and McMahon School Community,
Welcome to the 2019/20 school year. It is an honor to be a part of educating and nurturing Little Compton's most precious resource — our children, as they grow and develop into their best and highest selves.
Our first week went smoothly on the school side, but transporation glitches (apologies to all who were affected) tested everyone's patience; yesterday, I met with First Student's Location Manager for over an hour. Staff changes and tweaks to some of the bus routes threw off bus-stop times and wreaked havoc with our families. The bus yard, drivers and monitors did get a handle on the majority of issues by the end of school today. I thank First Student for their ongoing commitment to safety and reliability, and I thank each of you for your forbearance. Let's all look forward to a better week on those buses!
As your school superintendent, I am committed to building on and advancing the academic rigor, curriculum relevance, and healthy relationships that Wilbur McMahon is known for. This work requires the participation of the entire school community as we live our shared commitment to educational excellence. What does educational excellence look like? Well, as always, I see it as a three-ingredient mix consisting of school Safety, student Engagement, and student Achievement. As Little Compton is a town surrounded by the sea, I have come to call our shared mission to further advance Wilbur McMahon School our shared SEA of objectives. Please take a peek (below) at some of the innovations added to our school during the last school year (2018/19), and join me -- along with district and school staff, as we kick-start another spectacular year of learning and growth. Please note: my door is always open, my contact information is below, and stay tuned for the dates/times/locations of the monthly gatherings that I will be hosting "Coffee and Conversation with the Superintendent." I will have tea, too, if you are so inclined!
SY 2018/19 SUMMARY OF INITIATIVES
Choose Love Training, all staff - grades 7 and 8
Open Circle, training for specialists and support staff
Additional Walkie Talkies and Centralized Charging Station
Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Training for Support Staff
Upgrade of Fire Stop Materials throughout the school facility
Upfront Funding for Renovations/Safety Upgrades to the building (40% reimbursement)
Water System Consultant - Completion of an Operations and Maintenance Plan (EPA funded)
Youth Mental Health First Aid Course (8 hours) offered to staff and community members (Bradley Hospital)
BOKS Pilot (Building on Kids Success)
$50,000 Grant Long-Range Capital Improvement Plan
Upgraded Dismissal Procedures (safety protocols in place)
Logistics Module activated and populated in ASPEN
Locked Doors at All Times (all entrances and classrooms)
Main Office Reconfiguration for ease of access /improved work-flow
Building-Wide Emergency Communication System put into place
Blackout Shades/All Interior Glazing
AED Signs Throughout School
All Staff CPR/First Aid/AED Certified, including many substitute teachers and assistants
Restorative Practices Training for Counselor/Social Worker
Investigation Training for WMS Admin Team
Title IX Training/Certification HR Director
Chains/stanchions added across WMS exterior access points on east and west side
Active-shooter training continuation (ALICE) with LCPD and LCFD
Choking protocols signage added to cafeteria
Blackboard Connect Texting Feature for real-time communicaion with stakeholders
Principal's Weekly Update for Families
One School, One Book for all staff: The Power of Our Words by Paula Denton
Island Moving Company Partnership: Nutcracker performance
Island Moving Company Partnership: Text into Movement
Island Moving Company Partnership: Math into Movement
Master Gardener Course at URI - Two WMS Staff members/Oasis Committee members completed the course
CORE Partnership: Who Am I
CORE Partnership: Art Courses
Superintendent's Monthly Coffee & Conversation gatherings for stakeholders
Newport Gulls Partnership (health/wellness program and camp scholarships for students)
Principal's Daily Update for Staff
WMS PST Incorporated on state level
School Garden Mentor (URI Master Gardener)
National Geographic Geo Bee and Scripps Spelling Bee participation
Professional Development for teachers across the content areas
Numerous guest speakers/trips in the field for students in all grade levels
ZAP - Zeros Aren't Permitted implemented in our middle school
Food Service Dashboard (Expedited Eligibility); good nutrition means better learning
Addition of Sonic Steamer to food services program (grant funds and local funds)
International Baccalaureate Research Phase - three site visits (parents, staff, administrators, School Committee)
Approval for WMS Leadership Team:
(Coaches/Coordinators in ELA, Social Studies, Math, Science)
ASPEN Scheduling Module activated and populated (automated scheduling of students/staff)
High School Transition for 8th Graders, College/Career Counselor
Participation in Lion's Club Educator Recognition Program
Chromebooks for All Support Staff (and training)
Staff serving as Senior Project Judges at Portsmouth HS, Class of 2019
REAP Grant (Chromebook cart for WMS Library)
FUSE RI Partner District - Cohort 5 (Our teachers are loving the FUSE framework!)Regards,LaurieDr. Laurie Dias-Mitchell28 Commons
Superintendent of Schools
Little Compton School DepartmentLittle Compton, RI 02837Email: email@example.com
Office: 401-592-0363Cell: 401-542-1116ARCHIVED CONTENT from 2019 School YearRICAS bits and bytes (Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System)Dear WMS Families,
The news is in regarding RICAS 2018, and Rhode Island has a lot of work to do. At WMS, each grade level achieved above the state average in ELA and Math -- and that puts us in a rock-solid position for future growth. WMS is ranked in the top 25% (aggregated data) of all public schools in the state. This is a good start -- in spite of the fact that RICAS is the third summative assessment in Rhode Island in just four years (NECAP 2014; PARCC 2015, 2016, 2017; RICAS 2018). This constant change is confusing for educators and students and is surely counter-productive. Massachusetts has taught and tested to the same summative assessment for 20 years (MCAS), and this consistency has paid off. Below are some questions and answers (from the Rhode Island Department of Education) to guide your review of your student’s Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System (or RICAS) score report.
Why does this score look different from years past?
The test your child took in the 2017-2018 school year – the Rhode Island Comprehensive Assessment System (RICAS) – is different from the test used in prior years. Last year was the first year of the RICAS, which will now give our state a direct comparison with student performance in Massachusetts. Rhode Island learning standards remained the same, but the expectations are higher on the RICAS, so you may see changes from how your child has performed in the past.
Why did Rhode Island change tests?
Massachusetts is considered not only a national leader, but also a global leader in education, and we want to position Rhode Island to have the same kind of long-term, consistent strategy around public education. To do that well, we need to be able to directly compare student performance. Testing time for RICAS is also a little shorter than our previous test, which is good news for students and teachers.
What is a growth score?
When you transition to a different test, and especially a more challenging test, a direct year-over-year comparison becomes impossible. The growth score can help you make sense of how your child performed. Basically, it shows how your child performed on RICAS compared to his or her peers who scored similarly on the PARCC in previous years. A Student Growth Percentile (SGP) describes your child’s learning over time compared with his or her peers, that is, other students who had similar scores on previous state tests. An SGP is a number between 1 (least growth) and 99 (most growth). If, for example, your child has an SGP of 80, we can say your child showed more growth than 80 percent of his or her academic peers.
What will my child’s school do with this information?
Test scores are only one measure of student performance, but teachers can learn more about your child’s academic needs with these results. RICAS provides objective feedback on your child’s progress through elementary and secondary school grades. When students are
What can I do with this information?
Reach out and talk to your child’s teachers about the results. Set up a meeting, so you can discuss how you and your child’s school team can support his or her academic goals. At home, talk to your child about his or her day at school to reinforce the material being learned. Make school attendance a priority every day, establish daily reading routines in your home, and stay connected to your child’s school. Children whose families stress the value of education are more likely to find it important, as well.
Warmest regards,Water test results
Dear WMS Community,
Below, please find the notice that we are required, by law, to provide the school community regarding water-test results. For further information, feel free to contact me and/or contact the Rhode Island Department of Health at 401-592-0363. For more information on reducing lead exposure around your home and the health effects of lead, visit the EPA's web site at www.epa.gov/lead, or call the National Lead Information Center at 800-424-LEAD, or contact your health provider.Winter bits and bytesDear Little Compton Families,
The winter season is upon us. Snowy conditions are a welcome treat for those who love winter sports, but they can wreak havoc when it comes to work and school routines. I am aware that my decision to open or close our school in bad weather affects the entire school community, and I also understand that our students are better served -- both academically and socially -- by being in school. However, as always, the top priority is the safety of our students and staff.
The decision to cancel school or enact a delayed start will happen by 5:30am and will be based on the following information: weather factors (road conditions, amount of snow and ice accumulated, ongoing precipitation); building conditions (such as whether we have electricity and heat); campus conditions (bus drop-off area, sidewalks); weather predictions (it is preferable to avoid making a decision based on weather predictions --which are not always accurate, but sometimes this is unavoidable).
Another point of consideration is the actions of neighboring school districts. Throughout the evening, I communicate regularly with the other East Bay superintendents, in particular Portsmouth, as that is where our Little Compton high school students matriculate. I am also in constant contact with our Head Custodian, who works closely with the Little Compton Public Works Department and the Little Compton Police and Fire Departments.
When it comes to our children and staff, a safe commute to and from school takes priority over all other decisions. This means, bus runs may run late at times due to changing conditions or delays on specific roads. In addition, there are times when an early release of school is required due to an emerging storm that could impact the safety of students and staff. We will make sure we communicate with you throughout the process. Any delay, cancellation, or early release will be on our web page and also communicated through our emergency notification system, Blackboard Connect. These will also be broadcast on most media sites through the Rhode Island Broadcasters Association Closing Network.
Although I will do my absolute best in this process, I know that often no perfect decision exists.
I hope this explanation brings some clarity to how weather-related decisions are made.
Warmest regards during these wintry months,