From the Desk of Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski

From the Desk of Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski, September 2019
Posted on 09/24/2019
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A quick look outside and you can tell that the 2019-2020 school year is already well underway by how quickly the leaves are starting to change. The opening of this school year was probably the smoothest in my four years as Superintendent. This is a tribute to the dedication of all Westfield Public School team members, including administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, nurses, counselors, librarians, service providers, special education support providers, and custodians. Our staff is among the best in the region and they deserve recognition. 

Looking back on the 2018-2019 school year, there are a lot of items for our district to celebrate. We saw the transition of our fourth and fifth grade students from our elementary schools into Westfield Intermediate School. We also combined all middle school students at Westfield Middle School, which was named a National “Spotlight” School by the New England League of Middle Schools. We expanded band down to our fourth-grade students for the first time in many years. Westfield High School’s 1.2% dropout rate was the lowest the school has seen since the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education began collecting this data in 1993. WHS also received full accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. And Westfield Technical Academy graduated its first cohort of Aviation Maintenance Technology students. 

This year, I am very excited to share some of our new programs and initiatives for our students. The addition of three new staff members will provide students an increase in art, music, and technology instruction at our elementary schools. New technology instructors will provide for increased integration of technology into teaching and learning at an earlier age. At Westfield Middle School, every student has been assigned a Chromebook for use during the entire school day in a pilot of our 1:1 technology plan.  Westfield Intermediate School will adopt the 1:1 technology plan in the new year. 

This year at Westfield High School, we have introduced new career pathways in Criminal Justice, Hospitality, and Engineering. Addressing a significant job shortage in our region, WHS is also beginning a Health Career track in a partnership with Holyoke Community College and MassHire Springfield. The number of juniors and seniors participating in Early College coursework through Westfield Promise in collaboration with Westfield State University has doubled. Our collaboration with MassHire Holyoke in the John Reed Career Center at WHS has resulted in students going out on internships, job shadows, and employment prepared with a work-based learning plan, resume, and essential skill training. Westfield Technical Academy has added a state certified Electronics Program and Studio 120 for our new TV/Radio Communications Program. Both of our high schools have seen double digit increases in the number of students participating in dual enrollment opportunities at Westfield State, HCC, STCC, AIC, Baypath, and more.

On the district level, we have added 3,513 Chromebooks in three years as we continue to focus on the integration of technology into teaching and learning. Our district has partnered with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office to implement the Sandy Hook Promise, starting with “Start with Hello” week this fall. Our entire district will be celebrating Governor Baker’s designated “STEM Week” October 21-25. Meanwhile, our district focus continues to be developing relationships with students, families, and community partners and making instruction meaningful to the lives of our students.

Best wishes for a successful school year!

Stefan Czaporowski

Superintendent of Schools

Westfield Public Schools