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HWRSD closing in on new principal for Mile Tree School

Date: 3/20/2014

By Chris Maza

WILBRAHAM – Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District (HWRSD) Assistant Superintendent for Learning Timothy Connor recently told the School Committee that they would soon have a list of candidates for the Mile Tree Elementary School principal’s position.

The candidate chosen would replace Rose Brosnan, who announced her intention to retire at the end of the 2013-2014 school year.

“We have collected an impressive group of resumes and we’re very encouraged and we hope to have a finalized list to you in the next couple of weeks,” Connor said during the School Committee meeting that followed the district’s budget presentation on March 11.

This keeps in line with a statement made by Superintendent M. Martin O’Shea in a letter to parents on Jan. 29 in which he addressed Brosnan’s retirement with parents of the school, said he hoped to complete the hiring process by late March or early April.

“Be assured that in the weeks and months ahead we will move thoughtfully, thoroughly and collaboratively through the comprehensive process associated with hiring the next great principal at Mile Tree Elementary School,” O’Shea said. “The active involvement of stakeholders – parents, teachers and district leadership – will ensure that we choose a principal who will understand, appreciate and embrace the Mile Tree community, and who will be an effective leader of this special learning community.”

Brosnan is retiring from the district after more than 30 years in education and more than a decade in the Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District. She served as principal at Soule Road School from 2001 to 2005 before being reassigned to Mile Tree.

“Since arriving in the Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District in 2001, Rose Brosnan has provided outstanding leadership to the children, families, teachers and staff in the HWRSD,” O’Shea said.

Connor also said there would soon be a presentation regarding the changes to the SATs, which will go into effect in 2016.

According to the College Board’s website, the new test will be offered primarily in print, but will be available on the computer in select locations and will feature evidence-based reading and writing, math, and essay sections. The test will be graded on a 400- to 1600-point scale with the evidence-based reading and writing and the math sections being graded from 200 to 800 points and the essay would be graded separately.

The test will have eight key changes with a focus on relevant words in context, command of evidence, math focused on problem solving and data analysis, “the heart of algebra,” and “passport to advanced math,” problems grounded in real-world context, analysis of science and social studies, “founding documents and great global conversation,” an essay focused on analyzing a source. There will also be no penalty for wrong answers.

School Committee member D. John McCarthy noted that he had read that elements of the SAT would be designed to come in line with the Common Core standards and that is something the district and committee should be aware of.