Dr. Vanessa C. Beauchaine
Room: #Wrentham Public Schools Phone: (508)384-5430 Email: click here
Vanessa Beauchaine joined the Wrentham Public Schools in July 2015. She began her career as an educator in 1994 and has served students in Pre-K through the 8th grade as a paraprofessional, classroom teacher, special education teacher, and principal. Vanessa was also the principal of Roderick School for three years prior to serving in her current role as Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, ELE Director, and Title I Director.
Ed.D. in Educational Administration, Boston College
Principal Certification Program, MESPA/Northeastern University
Ed.M. in Elementary Education, Boston University
B.A. Colby College
Upcoming Events...Top of Page
May 7, 2021 - Roderick Playground Opening (1:30 pm)
May 26, 2021 - Early Release 11:30 am
(Early Release Day for Students - Professional Development for Staff)
May 28, 2021 - Memorial Day - Virtual Presentation 9:00 am
May 31, 2021 - No School
Learning in 2020-2021Top of Page
What would you like to know more about?
We try to provide timely updates through Dr. Cameron's updates to families on Wednesdays and Sundays. If you have any other questions that have not yet been answered, click the button below. Thank you!
Home Education Top of Page
Note from Dr. BeauchaineTop of Page
Looking Ahead to 2021-2022
As we close out the 2020-2021 school year, we have much to celebrate! Whether learning in fully-remote, hybrid, or in-person learning models, our students and their teachers, have done a remarkable job persevering in their pursuits. Both students and staff adapted well to the use of new tools and rethinking what teaching and learning can look like.
While this has been an unconventional year, it is customary at this time of the year to think about the kinds of summer learning that can help students maintain their learning momentum to have a strong start in September. Reading daily along with practicing math skills during the summer months can help to prevent learning loss.
Some students are already engaged in summer programs at the school such as the Academic Programs, Extended School Year, and Summer Institute that are occurring between July 12th and August 12th. However, we also have summer learning options that are both fun and engaging ways for students to stay on track whether they are at home or "on the road" this summer to start the 2021-2022 school year with confidence.
WPS families received information about the Summer Reading and Math Activities, which are accessible right from our website. If you are unable to access them, please click the button on the left side of this page to email me and I will be happy to assist you.
Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS)
Families of students in Massachusetts in grades 3 through 12 are familiar with the term MCAS. Each spring, we are used to the routine of administering the MCAS in English Language Arts and Math to Wrentham students in grades 3-6 and also administering the Science Technology & Engineering (STE) MCAS to fifth graders as well.
Changes This Year
This year, there is only one testing session per subject area, which limits the amount of time that students are spending taking the test and allows more classroom time to continue their learning. Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has also revised the MCAS guidelines to allow students who are learning in fully remote classes to take the test online. Test administrators run a Google Meet in the background so that they can monitor the students while taking the test akin to the way we do in the classroom. Students have access to the online proctor to ask questions and receive support.
Amidst the changes, the enduring message to students remains the same as we encourage them to simply try their best. MCAS provides a snapshot of student progress. The ultimate results mark how a student on one particular day met the content-related challenges included on the ELA, Math, or STE MCAS and does not capture a complete 360 degree view of student growth and progress overall. For that, we look to the evidence of student growth in the classroom with the teachers that students are with every day.
However, the results can be used to note trends across different standards, which may be used to inform other curricular decisions. The results may also point to areas for growth for particular students and can assist us in identifying supports that are necessary to accelerate learning and prevent learning loss in the upcoming year.
Taking Stock of the Process
With the first week behind us with simultaneous in-person and fully-remote MCAS, we are on a good path! Students and staff have been remarkably flexible and students are putting forth their best effort. Students are Meeting Challenges As Students, applying what they have learned and exhibiting persistance and perseverance with positivity.
Spring Parent-Teacher Conferences
As we look ahead to parent-teacher conferences, information about what families can expect at conferences as well as the focus learning areas for the past 45 school days will be sent to families via email on Monday, March 29th. The documents outlining the grade level learning focus areas through March 26, 2021 are also listed below:
Enjoy the time with the teachers and specialists you are able to meet with on March 31st and April 7th and feel free to join me at one of the open office hour times listed under Upcoming Events!
Typically, we have three reporting periods, or trimesters between September and June. This year, we altered the timeline for conferences and report cards to provide four opportunities for home-school communication about students' progress. This year's schedule is listed below:
December - Parent/Teacher conferences
February - Written report card with comments
April - Parent/Teacher conferences
June - Written report card with comments
Our first written report card of the year will be distributed on February 5th and reflects the learning progress made from the start of the year through January 22, 2021. All of our report cards from PreK through Grade 6 are standards-based in ELA and Mathematics and we will be adding Science and Social Studies in 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 respectively.
Unlike a "letter grade" of A, B, C, that reflects a percentage of "correctness", standards-based grading reflects the progress towards proficiency of specific learning standards. Students may have already mastered some academic standards this year. However, since we have only completed half of the year, it is likely that students are progressing towards the majority of end-of-year standards. It is expected that students will need additional learning opportunities to have sufficient practice to reach a level of proficiency by the end of June.
The academic standards describe specifically what students should be able to do, understand, and think about. Therefore, when students are first learning a new concept or skill, it is likely that they will need additional time and support. Gradually, with sufficient exposure and practice, students will progress closer towards mastery of that specific standard.
Families will receive a Report Card Brochure via email that will explain the different scales we use to communicate the progress each child is making towards the end-of-year grade level academic and personal development standards.
Happy New Year!
A brand new year elicits hope and the promise in all that CAN be. Over the past few weeks, despite the varied challenges that 2020 posed to so many, I have heard some positive reflections from friends and family members, inspiring recollections of small successes, as well as triumphs over the toughest of challenges. The cohesive action and resilience of our community to respond intentionally in the face of a pandemic is one among them. Our teachers' ability to continue to hone their craft to make learning opportunities engaging and effective is yet another.
Books are Mirrors and Windows: Reading helps us learn about ourselves and others
Sometimes, characters we read about in fiction as well as the real people we learn about in non-fiction texts serve as mirrors, reflecting images of ourselves or they serve as windows, helping us to "see" others' experiences. On a number of occasions, I have been asked for some recommendations for texts that provide multiple perspectives of historical events or holidays such as Columbus Day or those that provide an opportunity for students to "see" themselves in texts, characters they can personally relate to who look like them.
In the past there are a number of book lists that have been shared:
Recently, however, I learned about the annual book list curated by a group at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education. This year, the selections focus on stories of joy, love, loss, and resilience from multiple perspectives and addressing issues related to gender, race, ability, ethnicity, religion, and more. There are many different genres included across grades PK-8 included in this list: 2020 List for Young Readers.
If you are looking for other resources for your older children as well, visit the UPenn Graduate School of Education Educator's Playbook where both educators and parents can access the latest research and learn new tips for how to support our children at every level.
Do you have a suggestion for a future topic? Click the button on this page to provide your suggestion for an upcoming teaching and learning update.
Celebrating Successes and Looking Ahead
During the first two weeks in December, we invite families to join teachers for parent-teacher conferences. This is a time to celebrate all that our Wrentham scholars have accomplished, a perfect time for students to reset their goals, and identify how the adults at home and at school can support them over the coming weeks.
While we typically hold our first set of parent-teacher conferences at this time of year, there are some notable changes to this year's reporting schedule. This year, we modified our trimester reporting schedule to one that provides four opportunities over the course of the year for families to receive feedback on student progress:
- Fall conferences,
- Winter writtern report card with comments,
- Spring conferences, and
- June written report card with comments.
Families will soon receive a survey that will include opportunities to provide feedback about these changes. We would benefit greatly from your feedback, hearing about what works well, and what would make this process even better for you and your family. Families are also encouraged to ask a question or provide suggestions related to teaching and learning at any time by clicking the button on this page.
Hybrid and Remote-only Considerations
Hybrid and remote-only learning models present some unique challenges. Students can often find it challenging to stay on task and it can be tempting to engage in preferred activities that students are used to doing when they are at home. Students thrive when there is a consistent, predictable routine and can benefit from:
- Waking up at the same time every day whether they are learning at home or in school.
- Working in a quiet, distraction-free home-learning space. (Headphones are helpful as well.)
- Creating a schedule or task list each morning with set meeting times.
- Setting a timer to complete individual tasks.
- Building in mindfulness and movement breaks.
- Setting expectations for when the learning day is done.
Our mental health team has put together a phenomenal resource with additional recommendations and helpful executive functioning strategies for families. Please click here for more information.
Do you have a suggestion for a future topic? Click the button on this page to provide your suggestion for an upcoming teaching and learning update.
Student Learning Progress
This fall has been a source of bright moments within the Wrentham Public Schools! Our WPS scholars are making the most of their time with their classmates and teachers and they remain eager to learn. We are fortunate to have been able to maintain the in-person days within the hybrid learning model and we are currently increasing our ability to provide opportunities for students to have greater contact with teachers on the "remote" learning days. Thank you for providing your feedback and suggestions along the way through the periodic surveys. With your input, we are continuing to refine the remote and hybrid learning models for the betterment of our students.
As we look ahead to parent-teacher conferences, information about what families can expect at conferences as well as the focus learning areas for the past 45 school days will be sent to families via email. The documents outlining the grade level learning focus areas through November 20, 2020 are also listed below:
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to submit your questions to me by clicking on the button on this page. I look forward to hearing from you!
WPS Summer Scholars
Congratulations to all of our Summer Scholars who participated in the summer learning opportunities right from our website. Read on to see what titles were on WPS Students' "must read" lists and the favored Math activities.
Grade Level Book Recommendations: Check out these "MUST READS" from our Scholars:
PreK and K: Franklin the Turtle, Otis the Tractor, and Pete the Cat series top the lists!
Grade 1: Danny and the Dinosaur books and many selections by Mo Willems were the favorites!
Grade 2: Pig the Pug and Bad Guys series as well as the Dragon Masters series were read often!
Grade 3: Cleary's "Ramona" series, Magic Treehouse books, and the Puppy Place series were a hit!
Grade 4: Fourth graders preferred Babysitter's Club, the Dogman series, and the non-fiction "Who was..." and "What was..." series!
Grade 5: Fifth grade sports enthusiasts enjoyed books by Jake Maddox as well as the Warrior Cats series.
Grade 6: Babysitter's Club and the Saddle Club series were popular as well as Greed Mythology selections by Rick Riordan.
Favorite Math Activities and Explorations:
Out of all of the scholars, there were students in grades 1 through 6 who participated! When students are looking to continue their learning, here are some suggestions from each grade level based upon the summer participation:
Grade 1: Freckle and the daily Bridges activities
Grade 2: Math Fluency Games (found on our website) and Freckle
Grade 3: Math Fluency Games and Freckle
Grade 4: Freckle, Math Fluency Games, and Zearn
Grade 5: Freckle, Math Fluency Games, Talking Math (Illustrative Math) and Zearn
Grade 6: Freckle, Math Fluency Games, Talking Math, and Zearn
CONGRATULATIONS to all of our Summer Scholars! Each summer scholar will be receiving a certificate to acknowledge their commitment to continuous growth and learning, one of our Core Values!
Welcome to the Wrentham Public Schools!
While school will look and feel different during the 2020-2021 school year, our focus on providing rigorous learning opportunities for Wrentham students remains the same. Most students will be learning in the hybrid model and attending school two days a week in person and learning from home on three days, others are engaging in a “remote only” learning model and are learning from home each day.
Over the past six years, we have gradually adopted the workshop model for English Language Arts for both Reading and Writing PK through Grade 6. Through professional development, collaboration between and among teachers, and periodic coaching opportunities, we have seen marked growth. Our students see themselves as accomplished readers and writers.
After conducting a Mathematics curriculum review, Wrentham adopted Bridges in Mathematics and Number Corner for grades K-3 and Illustrative Math for grades 4-6 in the spring of 2020. The programs are similar in concept to one another and provide students with opportunities to develop deep mathematical understanding, build proficiency with skills, and increase in their ability to solve complex problems. Both programs provide a coherent progression of skills and concepts, provide support for student learning in ways that are accessible to all students through multiple learning modes, and supports teachers as confident facilitators of mathematical discourse.
Our dedicated teachers work collaboratively to review, revise, and refine their lessons and units in Social Studies and Science as well. We will continue to focus on the development of lessons that are taught through inquiry-based pedagogy. It is not only what students know and are able to do, but what they are thinking about. With teachers skillfully asking questions that continue to foster students to reflect, observe, and refine their understanding of the world around them, we can build upon students' natural curiosity as students explore, create, and innovate.
Our specials team provide opportunities for students to engage with Technology, Music, comprehensive wellness through Physical Education and Health, Art, and Library. Throughout the year, there are opportunities for students to showcase their work through performances and presentations. We encourage you to follow our Instagram account to see examples of their learning in action as well.
As the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, I am committed to working with students, families, and staff to optimize the learning opportunities for all of our students. From time to time, families will receive requests for feedback through brief surveys. Your feedback helps us to learn and grow as a district and we are grateful for your active involvement.
Please return periodically throughout the year as updates about the general education curriculum, Title I, and English Learner Education will be linked to this website.
WIth best wishes for an exciting year of learning,
Vanessa C. Beauchaine, Ed.D.
Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
Grade Level Learning Expectations for FamiliesTop of Page
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has published user-friendly guides to the curriculum frameworks for all grade levels. (Guides are also posted in Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese as well.)
You may access them by clicking the link here: Grade Level Learning Standards
New to WPS?Top of Page
If you are new to Wrentham and would like to be connected with a host family to help you connect with other Wrentham families and to learn more about the WPS experience, please email me and I will be happy to assist you! We are glad you are here!