Archive 2008 - 2019

Holliston School Committee News

by Lisa Kocian

This is a condensed verasion of the newsletter sent to HR by email.

Holliston in the News

Ever heard of “reading” pictures in a book? Well, if your child goes to Placentino, he or she probably has. Education writer Deborah Farmer Kris, who lives in Holliston, recently wrote an article for the website PBS Parents that describes an innovative approach to teaching literacy and how it has helped her first grader, a student at Placentino. Kris writes about the “three kinds of reading” and interviews the expert behind “The Daily Five,” a literacy model used at Placentino that helps kids see that becoming a reader goes well beyond sounding out words.

#Holliston Innovates

For a peek at what teachers were up to during the Jan. 12 Professional Development Day, look no further than Twitter. To showcase their work on innovative classroom lessons, teachers tweeted about virtual reality, plickers (an app that makes quizzes more like a game), and creating a project-based learning experience around pollinators

The dozens of teacher-led workshop options available included Teaching for Artistic Behaviors, Using Games to Teach in a Social Studies Classroom, PBL (Project-Based Learning) 101, Mindfulness for Teenagers, Foster Flexible Thinking with Thinker Tasks, and Graphing with MatLab.

For more on #HollistonInnovates, see Dr. Brad Jackson’s blog, Rekindling Holliston’s Innovative Spirit, which now includes a mid-year update on district-wide innovation efforts.

The 21st Century Schoolhouse

Several School Committee members and school administrators attended state Sen. Karen Spilka’s “Metrowest Kids Initiative Social-Emotional Learning Forum” this month to hear about social-emotional learning (SEL) in other districts. Holliston has been expanding its efforts in SEL for the last few years, and we continue to strive to learn about this important area of growth.

One focus of the forum was the exSEL Network (Excellence Through Social Emotional Learning), made up of nine Massachusetts school districts who are trying out new practices in SEL. The network’s goal is to use data and research to find new ways of better meeting the social-emotional needs of students.

Volunteers Needed!

Please consider supporting Laps at Lunch, a new program that provides Miller students with an opportunity to move their bodies, connect with friends, and relieve stress during their lunch period. It has quickly become a favorite part of the day for many students - but it cannot happen without volunteer support.

This is a great way for parents - or even local grandparents or family members - to be a part of the student day and school community.

All volunteers must have an active CORI on file. Please use this link to sign-up (coverage needed between 11:00-12:55, but any portion of that time would be appreciated).

School Committee Members

School Committee members are Holliston residents elected to three-year terms. All Massachusetts School Committees have three main purviews:

  1. Hire and evaluate the superintendent;

  2. Prepare and approve school budgets, which are subject to final approval by the town;

  3. Create and amend policies.

Our agendas, meeting minutes, and policies are available on our web site at

Feel free to contact any committee member with questions or comments. Please note we all have new email addresses:

Anne Louise Hanstad, Chair

Stacey Raffi, Vice Chair       

Martha Devoe               

Lisa Kocian                        

Cynthia Listewnik     

Andy Morton          

Joan Shaughnessy 

Copyright © 2018 Holliston School Committee, All rights reserved.