MCAS English Language Arts Testing

MCAS English Language Arts Testing Begins THIS Week

  • Grades 3 & 5: Tuesday, March 29 & Wednesday, March 30
  • Grades 6 & 8:  Thursday, March 31 & Monday, April 4
  • Grades 4 & 7: Tuesday, April 5 & Thursday, April 7

Staffing Changes Next Year

Our school continues to grow each year.  Next year, we will only have two grades with three sections (grades 6 & 8).  All other grades will have four sections.   Here’s an update on staffing changes for next year:


Kindergarten:  Liz Exton will return in September from her maternity leave. We thank Rachel Kurnosfor her fine work as Liz’s long-term substitute from January-June.

Grade 2:  Katie Grenzeback will return from her year-long leave of absence. We thank Allison Cavalieri who did an outstanding job filling in for Katie this year.   She will be seeking a primary teaching position – hopefully in Brookline. Jillian Starr Coggeshall, who will begin a maternity leave in April, will also return in September.

Grade 5:  We will be hiring a new permanent fifth grade teacher to teach the additional section. That process will get underway this week.

Grades 6-8

Staffing is complicated because we will have 3 sections of sixth grade, 4 sections of seventh grade, and 3 sections of eighth grade.  Keep in mind that 5 sections is a full-time teaching load at grades 7/8.

Here’s my best attempt at a clear explanation. (Current fifth grade parents:  Fear not!  We will hold an informational meeting for you in May.)

Grade 6Peggy Avakian (English), Maxine Hunter (Science) and Lora Smid (Math) will continue to teach their content areas in sixth grade and serve as sixth grade homeroom teachers.   As they had done in previous years, they will also each teach one section of seventh grade in their content area.  Meanwhile, Greg Porter (Social Studies) will continue to teach sixth grade, but he will teach two sections of seventh grade Social Studies and lead a seventh grade advisory.

Grades 7/8: Our 7/8 teachers, Alison Closter (English), Charles Deily (Math), Kate Hollander (Social Studies) and Ryan Keser (Science), will continue to teach all three sections of eighth grade and two sections of seventh grade. In English, Science and Math, the remaining two sections of seventh grade will be taught by either a sixth grade teacher or a part-time teacher. In Social Studies, Mr. Porter will teach both of the remaining sections.

For seventh grade, it is important to keep in mind that students will have the same curriculum regardless of which teacher they have.  In each content area, teachers meet by department during Friday Collaborative time to plan together.   When creating the schedule, we make sure that students get at least one or two of the teachers they will have in eighth grade.  We believe our students benefit from  having 1-2 teachers who know them from the previous year.

Student Services

Guidance:  Holly Zito  will return from her year-long leave of absence. We express our appreciation to Rosemary Healea, who covered for Holly this year.  Part-time counselor Alissa Ovadia will return as her position represents the much-needed permanent increase we received in this area due to last spring’s override budget.

Math Specialist:  Anu Advani will return from her year-long leave of absence.  Thank you to Laura Koplow for her fine work in this role this year.   We received a small increase in math specialist time last year and anticipate receiving a second increase this year – again as a result of the override.  We will be hiring someone to fill this newly configured part-time position.


We will be receiving small increases in Art, Music, PE/Health, and World Language to accommodate our continued growth. These part-time assignments will be finalized this spring.

Rick Rogers

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