Superintendent’s Office Hours for Week of January 15, 2017

Good Morning,

Superintendent of Schools John Doherty will hold office hours during the following dates and times this week.

  • Wednesday, January 18 (8:00-9:00 a.m.) at Barrows,
  • Friday, January 20  (6:45-7:45 a.m). at RMHS (come to the main office)
  • Saturday, January 21 (9:00-10:00 a.m.) at the Reading Public Schools Administration Offices.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Reading Public Schools Administration Offices at 781-944-5800.

Pathways Newsletter for Week of January 15, 2017

Good Morning,

We hope you are enjoying this long weekend.  Attached is a copy of this week’s Pathways Newsletter.  In this Newsletter, there is information regarding the FY18 budget, the Martin Luther King Celebration tomorrow, and positive strategies to avoid stress, anxiety, and burnout.  There are also photos from Coolidge, Barrows, and Wood End.

The School Committee will meet on Thursday, January 19th at 7:00 p.m. in the RMHS Library Media Center to continue discussion of the FY18 Budget.  There will be a public hearing at 7:00 p.m., followed by a presentation of the facilities budget.

Superintendent Office Hours will be held this week on Wednesday (8:00-9:00 a.m.) at Barrows, Friday, 6:45-7:45 a.m. at RMHS (come to the main office), and Saturday (9:00-10:00 a.m.) at the Reading Public Schools Administration Offices.

Have a great rest of the weekend and week ahead!



FY18 Superintendent’s Recommended Budget

Good Morning,

Below is the link to the FY18 Superintendent’s Recommended Budget.  The Reading School Committee will be hearing presentations on the budget, beginning on January 9th.  The dates are below.  When each presentation has been given, there will be a live link to the presentation on this blog post.  If you have questions, please contact the Reading Public Schools Administration Offices at 781-944-5800 or by email at 

FY18 Superintendent’s Recommended Budget

FY18 Superintendent’s Recommended Budget-MUNIS Version

School Committee Budget Presentations Begin Monday

On Monday, January 9th, the Reading School Committee will begin to hear presentations from Superintendent John Doherty on the FY18 Superintendent’s Recommended Budget.  The meeting schedule for January is as follows:

•         Monday, January 9 (Overview, Administration, and Regular Day Cost Centers)

•         Thursday, January 12 (Special Education and District Wide Services Cost Centers)

•         Thursday, January 19 (Public Hearing, Town and School Facilities, Questions)

•         Monday, January 23 (Questions and Discussion)

•         Thursday, January 26 (Scheduled School Committee Vote)

All meetings will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the School Committee Conference Room at the Reading Public Schools Administration Offices.  When the School Committee votes in late January on the budget, it will become the School Committee budget, which is then presented to the Town Manager.  The Town Manager then presents a full Town budget to the Finance Committee which is within the available revenues for the Town.  The School Committee budget will be presented in March to the Finance Committee of the Town who votes whether to refer the budget as is to Town Meeting or refer with changes.  Town Meeting then has final approval authority.  By statute, Town Meeting can only vote the “bottom line” of the School Committee budget.  It may vote to increase or reduce the total dollar value, but it cannot specify the line item to which the increase or decrease is to be made.

Once the School Committee votes on the budget, the timeline for the next steps in the budget development process is summarized below.

FY’17 School Committee Budget Presentation to Finance Committee-March 15, 2017

Annual Town Meeting -April 24, April 27, May 1

On Tuesday, we will post copies of the Superintendent’s FY18 Recommended Budget on our Reading Public School media sites.  Copies of the budget document will be available at the Office of the Superintendent, the Reading Town Library, the main office of each school, and on the Reading Public School’s website at  For additional information or clarification, please feel free to contact the Central Office Administration for assistance at 781-944-5800 or by email at .

Superintendent’s Office Hours for Week of January 8th

Superintendent of Schools John Doherty will be holding office hours this week during the following dates, times, and locations.

Tuesday, January 10 (2:00-3:00 p.m.)-Coolidge Middle School

Thursday, January 12 (7:15-8:15 a.m.)-Parker Middle School

Saturday, January 14 (9:00-10:00 a.m.)-Reading Public Schools Administration Offices

All are welcome to attend.  We hope to see you there!

Pathways Newsletter for Week of January 8, 2016

Good Morning, Everyone,

We hope that you are having a great weekend and that you were not affected too much by the snow.  The link below is for this week’s Pathways Newsletter.  In this week’s edition, we have some FY18 budget information, an article about Building Critical Skills on the Internet, an article on a major research study about later High School times, and Two Secrets to a Good Life Backed by Ancient Wisdom and Research.  We also have photos from Wood End.

Have a great rest of the weekend and week ahead.


Pathways Newsletter for Week of January 1,2017

Good Morning and Happy New Year!

We hope that you had a great and relaxing holiday season with family and friends.  Below is this week’s Pathways Newsletter.  There are stories and information regarding upcoming School Committee Meetings, 8 Reasons Why School Secretaries Deserve More Credit, Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions This Year; Redesign Your Life, The Most Important People in the Room, and Three Great Resources to Help Students To Fight Off Fake News.  We also have photos from RMHS, Parker, Wood End, Joshua Eaton, and RISE.

Have a great day and week ahead.


Teacher and Staff Professional Learning

The following blog post was created by the Reading Public School Elementary Principals

Why was my teacher out?

Throughout the school year, families may hear from their children that their teacher was out for part or all of the school day due to professional development, training, or attending workshops.  Although we try to limit the amount of time our teachers are out of the classroom, this time is important learning time that directly benefits students and student achievement.

What’s the deal with Professional Development?

Over the course of the school year, district staff members participate in a variety of academic trainings that complement the work they are doing in their classrooms with students.  Staff engage in professional development across various areas of their practice.  This year alone, elementary teachers have participated in professional development opportunities around Writers Workshop, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), Restorative Practices, Just Words, Safety Care QBS training, Open Circle, Youth Mental Health First Aid, Lesley Trauma Sensitive Schools, Linda Mood Bell Training, and more. These efforts support our ongoing district and school improvement plan goals, which are tied directly to student performance.

Why do teachers need professional development?

The field of education is one that requires both seminal knowledge (influential foundational understanding that has been proven by research over time) as well as current and innovative practices (similar to the many other professional roles that require both core knowledge and ongoing trainings and certifications.) Over the course of the school year our district provides training opportunities for staff. The goal of the district is to ensure that our teachers are current and relevant and able to bring their learning right back to their classrooms.

Why can’t they do that all during the summer?

There are many professional development opportunities that occur during the summers for our staff, however that is not enough.  What research shows about adult learning and development is that the best professional learning opportunities are ongoing, parallel the work of teacher Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), provide opportunities for collaboration, and are supported by coaches.  In Reading, ongoing professional learning efforts are supported at the building-level, district-level (through PLCs), as well as through the work from the district Literacy, Math, and Data Instructional Coaches. The partnership between the professional development trainings and the ongoing learning collaboration helps all of our adults learn and strengthen their skill sets. Strategies that teachers learn are best implemented during the school year when they can authentically work with students. When a teacher can attend a professional learning day and return immediately to the classroom to implement, it is more likely to create growth and learning for both our staff and our students.

If your teachers are out for professional learning days – it’s good news!  They’re continuing to grow in their practice in order to provide the best support for our learners.


We invite you to reach out to your principal.

Happy Learning!

Heather Leonard, Barrows Principal

Julia Hendrix, Birch Meadow Principal

Eric Sprung, Eaton Principal

Sarah Leveque, Killam Principal

Joanne King, Wood End Principal

Want to learn more?

Below are key points pulled from summary research collected by the Center for Public Education about effective professional learning;

  •  “Short,one-shot workshops often don’t change teacher practice and have no effect on student achievement(Yoon et al, 2007; Bush, 1984).
  •    In order to truly change practices,professional development should occur over time and preferably be ongoing.Studies show that effective professional development programs require anywhere from 50 to 80 hours of instruction, practice, and coaching before teachers arrive at mastery (French, 1997; Banilower, 2002; Yoon et al., 2007).  \
  •    Coaches/mentors are found to be highly effective in helping teachers implement a new skill. In coaching, teachers work with a master educator before, during and after a lesson, getting feedback on their implementation of a newly learned teaching skill.Numerous studies have shown coaching to be successful at changing teacher practice and improving student learning (Showers, 1984; Slinger, 2004; Knight 2007; Batt, 2009; Stephens et al., 2007; Knight and Cornett, 2009). Before coaching, however, teachers need to get a solid foundation of knowledge about the teaching strategy. This presentation of knowledge should be active, not passive (Roy, 2005; Richardson, 1998).  Further, modeling by the coaches has been shown to be very effective at helping teachers grasp a new teaching approach before they attempt implementation (Roy, 2005; Goldberg, 2002; Rice, 2001; Black, 1998; Licklider, 1997).
  •    Professional development is best delivered in the context of the teacher’s subject area. Regardless of whether teachers are working with coaches or in professional learning communities, teachers need to be working with the content they teach. Teachers don’t find professional development on generic topics useful (Peery, 2002; Redding and Kamm, 1999; Dunn and Dunn, 1998).  However, professional development that focuses on teachers analyzing the specific skill and concept they’ll teach in their discipline is not only well-received by teachers, but has also been shown to improve both teacher practice and student learning (Bland de la Alas and Smith, 2007; Carpenter et al., 1989; Cohen and Hill, 2001; Lieberman and Wood, 2001; Merek and Methven, 1991; Saxe, Gearhart, and Nasir, 2001; Wenglinksky, 2000; McGill-Franzen et al., 1999; Darling-Hammond et al., 2009).”

Pathways Newsletter for Week of December 18, 2016

We hope all is well and you are enjoying this wintry weekend. Below is this week’s edition of the Pathways Newsletter.

As always, there are a lot of great learning experiences going on in our school district and this week’s edition and the next edition will be capturing what has been going on in the last few weeks.  In this week’s edition, we use the power of a well-known inspirational story to capture the positive impact that teachers have on student’s lives.  In addition, there are stories on the Sandy Hook Promise and Four Ways that Teachers can Reduce Implicit Bias in the Classroom.  There are also photos from RMHS, Killam, and Barrows.

Have a great weekend and week ahead.  We hope that you and your families have a happy and healthy holiday season!


Stay Informed About the Reading Public Schools

Stay Informed About Reading Public School Happenings

The Reading Public Schools is offering community members the opportunity to stay updated on current school and district events.  If you currently are not a family in the Reading Public Schools and you would like to stay connected with school and district happenings and events, please contact Linda Engelson at the Reading Public School Administration Offices at 781-944-5800.  Through email and social media, we will keep you updated on the important school and district events, School Committee meetings, dates and times of Superintendent Office Hours, and other important school information.

We also have several opportunities for you to stay connected via Social Media.  Those avenues include:

  1. Reading Public School Website:
  2. Superintendent’s Blog:
  3. Reading Public School Facebook
  4. Twitter @ReadingSchools

For further information, please contact the Reading Public Schools Administration Offices at 781-944-5800.