• Please share your input about the MERSD arts!

    Posted by Heather Leonard on 4/30/2024

    This year MERSD is completing the Arts & Cultural Vitality (ACV) Index which is a structure to help us review our arts programming. Specifically, it is a field tested, self-evaluation rubric to examine our district arts & culture. ARTS includes visual and performing arts (visual arts, music, and theatre.) Our Arts Council is made up of staff, administrators and community members who are reviewing our arts programming by examining artifacts and data. We are seeking your input! Please complete this brief 10-question survey to share about your experiences with MERSD arts programming. Please share your feedback by May 10th.


    Your input is appreciated: https://forms.gle/WEv1ZFn1BbmyCtnz6

    Comments (-1)
  • DESE Grant Award! Genocide Education

    Posted by Heather Leonard on 4/8/2024

    MERSD is excited to share that we were awarded a competitive grant from DESE to support Genocide Education. We received a total award of $30,000 that will be utilized to acquire curriculum materials, support teacher PD, provide student field trips/learning experiences, and provide stipends for curriculum development to meet the Genocide Education state law


    This effort, led at the secondary level by History/Social Science department head Lauren Dubois, will be integrated across the remainder of this school year and into the 2024-25 school year.  These efforts are a wonderful compliment to the History/Social Science curriculum review currently underway across MERSD.


    Comments (-1)
  • STEAM Showcase

    Posted by Heather Leonard on 3/22/2024

    The MERSD STEAM Showcase expanded beyond grades 6-12 to include all grades K-12. Under the direction of STEM Department Chair Kristi Umile, MERSD celebrated learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math through showcases of student learning experiences and displays from community partners. The student, staff, and community engagement created a wonderful evening, sharing learning and excitement in STEAM.

    CLICK HERE to view more images from our event

    Comments (-1)
  • MERSD Wellness Advisory Committee

    Posted by Heather Leonard on 2/29/2024

    Today is the first meeting of the MERSD Wellness Advisory Committee. 

    The Manchester Essex Regional Schools Wellness Advisory Committee is a group that includes caregivers, teachers, school staff, students, and/or members of the community. This group will focus on a holistic approach to wellness that includes but is not limited to:

    • Social Emotional Learning
    • Physical Health and Nutrition
    • Mental Health
    • Comprehensive Health and Physical Education instruction

    The committee will focus on the health and well-being of everyone in schools, assessing wellness policies and practices, setting and monitoring goals, and identifying and completing action items. Based on Massachusetts mandates (105 CMR 215.000), the wellness advisory committee must meet at least 4 times per year (or quarterly) and meeting minutes and agendas will be made available to the public. During the 2024 year, the committee will meet February 29, May 9, October 3, and December 12 at 3:30pm. The committee will provide updates to both the superintendent and the school committee on goals and objectives.

    More information will be shared with the broader community as the committee continues to work!

    Comments (-1)
  • DESE Report Cards

    Posted by Heather Leonard on 2/5/2024

    Every year, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education releases a report card for each school and district in the state. Just as a student's report card shows how they are doing in different classes, school and district report cards are designed to show parents and community members how a school or district is doing in different areas. Report cards highlight a school or district's strengths as well as any challenges that need to be addressed in order to make sure the needs of all students are being met.

    You can view our MERSD 2023 Report Cards on our website: https://www.mersd.org/domain/265

    Comments (-1)
  • DESE Grant Award! Investigating History

    Posted by Heather Leonard on 1/11/2024

    MERSD is excited to share that we were awarded a competitive grant from DESE to support the field test of Investigating History Curriculum. We received a total award of $23,730 that covers teacher professional development, substitutes, print student and teacher curriculum resources, and internal costs for field test of the curriculum. The Investigating History curriculum field test is being done in concert with our district-wide history/social science curriculum review process K-12. Through the grant we have also created a network of districts (Reading, Wakefield, Watertown, and Hamilton/Wenham) to build professional learning communities, allowing teachers to share their experiences and practices.

    The Investigating History curriculum is designed to allow our students to deeply engage in exploration to understand more broad perspectives about our world and historical events in a culturally responsive manner. The nature of this inquiry-based curriculum supports our teacher’s efforts to engage our students in authentic learning experiences and raise the bar for rigorous learning in history and social sciences. Our teacher’s efforts to facilitate this learning are to be commended, and the discussion and engagement coming out of our field test classrooms are powerful experiences for our students.

    Read more about the grant HERE

    View Investigating History HERE

    Comments (-1)
  • Congratulations to the MERHS Freaky Friday Performance

    Posted by Heather Leonard on 11/20/2023

    It was wonderful to enjoy the performance of Freaky Friday by the MERHS Performing Arts group this weekend. Congratulations on this achievement!

    Freaky Friday

    Comments (-1)
  • Curriculum Review: History/Social Science

    Posted by Heather Leonard on 10/26/2023

    This year, we are engaging in a curriculum review process for grades K-12 in History/Social Sciences.  The purpose of a curriculum review allows us to take a deep examination of DESE Frameworks/Standards and research from the field to evaluate our MERSD curriculum.  The team will then engage in analysis of needs and make recommendations for next steps with our curriculum.  Finally, the curriculum review process may result in actionable steps that then will require ongoing support for implementation of any changes.  

    Please VIEW HERE to learn more about our MERSD Curriculum Review Process.

    This year, our school will be using Investigating History, a new history curriculum developed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in collaboration with Primary Source, a global education nonprofit based in Watertown. MERSD received a DESE grant which allows us to fund a field test and all associated Professional Development for our teachers. We chose to field test these resources because, with the updated History/Social Science standards in recent years, this resource allows us to engage in rich learning experiences while exploring potential curriculum materials. This tool will be an evaluated component during our K-12 History/Social Science Curriculum Review Process.

    Comments (-1)
  • What is MTSS?

    Posted by Heather Leonard on 10/6/2023

    What is MTSS? Multi-Tiered System of Support is a framework that provides data-informed decision-making processes to implement evidence-based instructional supports and strategies to ensure each of our students receive a high-quality educational experience. Please visit our Curriculum & Instructional Technology website to read more about our MERSD MTSS framework and approach. As a district, we have started building our MTSS framework at the elementary level with a focus on academics. As we move forward, we will continue to expand our development into secondary levels and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) areas.

    Curious to learn more?  Check out these resources from MA DESE:

    Comments (-1)
  • What does the Director of Curriculum do?

    Posted by Heather Leonard on 9/12/2023

    I am excited to be joining MERSD as the Director of Curriculum and Instructional Technology. I will be working through the steps of my ENTRY PLAN as I get to know the school district, Essex, and Manchester communities. The community survey is still open, and I am happy to set up meetings to hear more from you in-person.

    What does the Director of Curriculum do anyway?

    When we use the word “curriculum” we mean far more than just textbooks. Curriculum includes all aspects of student learning experiences. Curriculum in schools includes pacing, assessment, curricular materials, and instructional methodology, all of which align to our MA State Frameworks. The work supported by the Curriculum office will ensure vertical and horizontal alignment, provide high quality professional learning opportunities, and facilitate collaborative teams that are responsive to our student needs and research in the field.

    Comments (-1)