Hudson Schools work toward curriculum goals

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Hudson Schools work toward curriculum goals
Anlina Chen celebrates after the graduation. (photo/Sarah Freedman)

HUDSON— At the June 11 meeting of the School Committee, it learned what strides had been made in the district improvement plan’s curriculum goals.

Superintendent Brian Reagan said the vision for the plan had not changed in recent years, but a review of what activity has been accomplished “helps us sort of drive our work.” 

The district’s job in August is to decide what ongoing projects continue at the level they need to reach. Adjustments are made, he said. 

The four strategic objectives are high quality instructional practices, educating the whole child, innovative educational practices and climate and culture. Work in particular has been going on in the area of instructional practices.

Assistant Superintendent Kathy Provost said, “Basically, the goal of this strategic priority was to identify instructional practices across the district.”

Staff have identified all of the practices they will be working on for a couple years, she said. She believed that together as a team “we can make a difference for students.”

The objective is to build capacity at all district levels to ensure all educators are using high-quality practices to support student learning, according to the presentation to the School Committee. The district has also hired Mass Insight, which completed the equity audit for the schools, to consult a committee to inform on equity-based practices.

There are 20 members across all three elementary schools and Quinn Middle School on a committee to examine the literacy curriculum. The committee looked at reading, writing, language and instructional values.

“We created a mission, vision and values document that is going to help us when we are starting to look at new curriculum,” Provost said.

The goal is to pilot a new literacy program in the near future after focusing on components of vocabulary, comprehension and fluency in a rubric review, she said.

The School Committee heard about Choose Love, which is the social emotional learning programming for the district under the improvement plan objective of educating the whole child. Choose Love is handled by the office of student services under Director of Pupil Services Catherine Kilcoyne, student services staff member Julie Daniels and school psychologist Kristina Hughes, among others.

The idea of “you just need to do this,” and the students will end up in the right place through control is not the goal, she said. Kilcoyne said that “is not how we are working with children in our schools.”

Provost said that “if we’re growing healthy humans, if that is our goal, then building trust, relationships, encouraging, guiding, … those are the tools that our students need for success.”

With the collaboration of a steering committee and adjustment counselors in the schools, she said, “Our social emotional learning intervention is about curriculum.”

“So we didn’t have a curriculum ever, ever here in Hudson,” Provost said.

And, after the choice of seven different curriculums, she noted, representatives from the all school levels decided on Choose Love.

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Reagan also congratulated the Class of 2024. He said it was “an absolutely beautiful day” at Morgan Bowl with great speeches from the students.

He said, “We wish them well.”

The Class of 2024 were accepted into colleges and universities like Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Stonehill College and Northeastern University. Others opted to enlist in the United States Marine Corps or enroll in the evolution program, which is a transition program designed for students aged 18-22 who receive educational services as they become adults at Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School.

At graduation, Reagan talked about being resilient, which means to be “able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.”

To be resilient is to accept change, he said, and furthermore to find the positive in these difficult moments. For the graduating class, its difficult time was the COVID pandemic that impacted the students’ education until sophomore year.

Reagan said, “It did give you a chance to test your resilience.”

After the ceremony on June 1, some of the graduates shared their advice and future plans. Tyler Oliveira encouraged his fellow graduates to “be creative.” He will be going to the Assabet Valley Collaborative evolution program. 

Hailey Pearlstein had family come from California to see her graduate. She said of her future at Worcester State University, “I’m looking forward to learning what I love.”

Graduate Anlina Chen noted, “I finally did it.”

She looked to her future at UMass Amherst and added, “UMass 2028!”

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