SUPERINTENDENT’S UPDATE: Addressing hate in school sports — and beyond

Superintendent John Buckey
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Good people of Marblehead Public Schools:

Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh! Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Last week, I shared one of the core values from our Strategic Plan for Success (PfS), personal growth.

Another of our articulated core values — and arguably the most important — is student achievement.

At our next School Committee meeting, I will update the committee on iReady and how we are using student achievement data to support teaching and learning and to inform instruction.  Students at Glover, Brown, Village and Vets all took a fall assessment and a winter assessment in ELA and math via iReady.

Students and families receive individualized score reports and analysis of the grade-level standards. They can see their growth and areas for improvement. It helps to inform teachers on areas where there are opportunities for review and extension, meaning during WIN (what I need) blocks, students who need support can receive it, and students who can benefit from acceleration have those options.  

Music in Our Schools Month

March is Music in our Schools Month in America, and we are celebrating at the Brown School! Each morning, they have live performances in the lobby for students and staff to hear and appreciate. From the harp to the accordion to vocal performances, the Brown School community is enjoying the celebration of the language of music in its various forms. 

METCO Advocacy Day

Advocacy Day for METCO is being held at the State House on Tuesday, March 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Director Caja Johnson and I plan to attend and hope to be joined by a contingent of Marblehead stakeholders who want to lend support to ensure adequate funding for this vital program. Here’s the link about it:  

Nominate an outstanding teacher

We have excellent educators in Marblehead. Each year, there is an opportunity to recognize one of our outstanding teachers with the Margaret Voss Howard Teacher Recognition Award.  Please visit and consider nominating someone.  

Dollars for Scholars

In its 36th year, Marblehead Dollars for Scholars is sponsoring the third annual “Let’s Eat” during the month of March. Gift cards purchased at eight establishments (Shubie’s, Sea Salt, Caffe Italia, The Landing, Mino’s Roast Beef, Maria’s Gourmet, Soall and The Barrelman) will benefit Marblehead High School graduates. Ten percent of every gift card will go directly to need-based scholarships for undergraduate college students. Each year, close to $200,000 is awarded to graduating seniors and advanced standing students. Please participate. 

Public budget hearing

The FY24 Public Budget Hearing will be held at 7 p.m. at Marblehead High School on Tuesday, March 21. It is a hybrid meeting as well. This is an invaluable opportunity for the public to participate in the budget process, ask questions and seek clarification. 

Superintendent coffee

The March Coffee will be held Thursday, March 23 at 8:30 a.m. at Marblehead Veterans Middle School. The focus of the coffee will be continued conversations around the FY24 budget. And as always, it is an open forum for families and the community to bring topics of interest for the superintendent. 

Addressing hate in school sports

Today and tomorrow (March 17 and 18), I am attending the “Addressing Hate in School Sports” regional training with MHS Principal Bauer and Athletic Director Ceglarski. This program is sponsored by Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell, Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association and Massachusetts School Administrators’ Association. While the focus of this event may be on eradicating bias from athletics programs, the graffiti incident at Village School this week that involved vulgar, homophobic and antisemitic tagging on the exterior of the building affirmed that continued education and conversation about hate in our communities is more important than ever.  


I hope everyone wore green today to remain invisible to the leprechauns and to avoid getting pinched (Irish folklore). Having an Irish spouse, I am guaranteed to engage in another Irish tradition and have corned beef and cabbage for dinner. YUM! Enjoy the weekend.

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