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Hopedale Public Schools District News

Hopedale Public Schools

Office of the Superintendent

25 Adin Street

Hopedale, Massachusetts 01747

                                                                                                                                                                                   August 24, 2017

Dear Family Members and Students,

I hope you have had an enjoyable summer and have created memories with family and friends.  Congratulations to all of our families whose children have moved onto their new college settings.  I wish them the best in this exciting new phase of life.  I am thrilled to welcome the rest of our students back to school next week.

Staff have been hard at work getting our buildings and classrooms ready for the opening of school next week.  Painting has been completed, floor waxing is done, and teachers are putting the finishing touches on their classrooms.   Staff members were in throughout the summer attending professional development opportunities, working on curriculum, and updating lesson plans.  As the new school year begins, our staff are rejuvenated and our schools look inviting.  We are ready to meet our students with excitement and energy.

Our sports program began today and while driving into work, it was a pleasant sight to see students and coaches back at work.  I am hopeful that our sports teams bring us as much excitement and enthusiasm as they did last year.

With school beginning next week, I thought I would remind families of a few important dates:

August 28 - First day of school for staff members only

August 29 - First day of school for students in grades 1-12

                  BBC Orientation

                  Kindergarten Orientation

August 30 - First day of school for BBC and Kindergarten

September 1 - No School

September 4 - No School       

A school system is the backbone of every community, and I am proud to say that our schools offer our students an exceptional education and experience.  We have a dedicated staff, rigorous curriculum, and supportive families who value education.  I appreciate the supportive system that Hopedale offers our students.  I look forward to the upcoming school year and want to officially welcome you back for the 2017-2018 school year.


Karen M. Crebase

Superintendent of Schools


May 2, 2017

Dear Staff, Families, and Community Members of Hopedale,

Memorial students and staff had the excitement of listening to Children's Author David A. Kelly on April 12th and 13th.  He met with groups of students in K-6th grade to discuss his path to becoming a writer and how to write stories.  Mr. Kelly also met with the Memorial School faculty during our afternoon of professional development on April 13th.

Memorial School Science Fair-April 7th-was a huge success with an all-time high number of student participants (over 70 entries!)  I was fortunate to participate as a judge and was thrilled to see the student work.  Thanks to all of the parents and community members who helped with this event.

Lisa Hanson (3rd grade teacher), Kelsey Slusarz (ELL teacher) and Barbara Mangano (Asst. Secretary) have been nominated for the Promising Practices-Teacher Recognition Breakfast due to their work with the Memorial School's Community Garden.  They will be honored at a breakfast on May 19th with other teachers throughout the Blackstone Valley.

Tomorrow is Memorial’s Walk/Bike to School Day.  It should be a fun morning for our staff and students.  We would also like to thank the Hopedale Fire Dept. for generously donated $450 to the Memorial School cafeteria to help families in need pay overdue lunch balances.

Our town Opioid Task Force has been working to develop our mission statement, goals, and logo.  We have allocated money to print materials and magnets for students, staff, and community members with information regarding how to get help if someone needs it.  We are working on developing a monthly series for the newspaper to help educate and inform our community about the effects of the opioid crisis.  This task force is working closely with our schools to ensure the health and safety of our students.

The JSHS hosted the Mr. Hopedale Pageant on April 12th.  It was a fun event, had a great turn-out, and highlighted some of the “unknown” talents of our students.  As our student representatives reported, the JSHS has many upcoming events culminating with our graduation ceremony during the first weekend in June.  It should be and exciting and eventful month.

I would like to thank John McCarthy for his service throughout the school year on the School Committee.  Although this is his last official meeting as our representative, he does plan to attend our June meeting for his final goodbye.  Mr. Atherton has already begun the process of finding John’s replacement and we are hopeful that he/she will be able to attend the June meeting so that John can pass the torch.  Thanks John for your work throughout the year.


Karen M. Crebase

Superintendent of Schools


April 6, 2017

Dear Staff, Families, and Community Members of Hopedale,

We have had an exciting month of events, competitions, accomplishments and community service.  I am proud to share some of these with our community.  I would like to congratulate the cast and crew of Shrek the Musical.  The sets, props, costuming, music, acting, and singing were exceptional.  It was a fantastic way to spend a Saturday evening watching the talents of our students.

Hopedale had 10 teams, which included approximately 70 students, competing in Destination Imagination this month in grades 3 through 9.  The students and coaches worked hard and the teams all were OUTSTANDING! It was obvious that students put a lot of time, energy and creativity into their solutions. Our 4th/5th Grade Team and 8th Grade Team advanced to the State Tournament and competed at WPI.  I would like to congratulate all of teams and the 25 teachers, coaches, and volunteers for making this program such a success.  I would especially like to congratulate our team members that competed at States.  The 4th/5th Grade Team consisted of Lizzie Brytowski, Matt Carroll, Leah Hodgdon, Layden MacDonald, Patrick Madden, Ellie Poitras, Katie Sheldrake and the 8th Grade Team consisted of Trevor Bache, Alethia Corbett, Tyler Doyle, Matthew Hayes, Madeleine Poitras, Luke Ruwe, and Joey Turenne.

Four Hopedale studentshave made it to theInternational DECA Competitionto be held inAnaheim, CaliforniafromApril 26th-April 30th!!  They will join12,000other DECA members from around theUnited States, Canada, Mexico,andChinato compete for a chance at top honors in their categories. All DECA members did an excellent job during their competition in March.  The team of Mitchell Siefring, Gerry Crepeau, and Cam Smith placed 2nd in the Financial Literacy Promotion Plan event and Kendall Zonghi finished in 2nd Place in the Principles of Finance Role Play event.  Mitchell, Gerry, and Cam’s team presentation included a 30-page paper and a 15-minute oral presentation based upon their financial literacy efforts.  The team shared information about the Financial Fitness Fair held in December as one of their major financial fitness efforts.  Kendall’s event required her to complete a 100-question multiple choice exam and then compete in two role plays.  She had 10 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to present which was quite intense.  Kendall placed 6th overall in Principles of Finance and 2nd in one of her role plays on which she received a 95 out of 100. These achievements qualified them for the International Competition in Anaheim.  I am thrilled to congratulate these four students on such a major accomplishment.  I would also like to recognize Mrs. Oliveri, who has guided DECA students to such wonderful achievements, and thank her colleagues for their support by volunteering at the DECA events.

Bright Beginnings Center had their annual art show.  The student work that was on display demonstrated the manner in which the staff allow students to design, explore, and create.  To view some incredible photos from the show, feel free to follow me on Twitter @kcrebasehps.

We had a fantastic turnout for the Empty Bowls fundraiser. Laura Welch, our art teacher, worked with students and staff throughout the year to make pottery bowls for the event.  Over 50 students helped to organize the event at which each attendee received a bowl and ice cream sundae.  Students raised over $1,600 which will be donated to charitable organizations. The support for this event was amazing and we are planning on holding it again next year.

Bill Gaine and Brian Kiesman brought four 11th grade boys, Nicholas Fayad, Daniel Hollis, Sam Parker, and Jake Wollensak to the MIAA Opioid Crisis Conference in Westboro. Attendees included students, teachers, administrators, guidance counselors, school resource officers, and community leaders. They participated in workshops dealing with the nature of addiction, teen brain development, signs and symptoms of use, the prevalence of drugs in communities, personal recovery stories, and related issues.  The boys will be sharing the information and their experiences with their respective sports teams and in Mr. Kiesman’s health classes. 

16 student leaders attended the Massachusetts Association of School Councils Conference in Hyannis.  It was packed with activities, workshops, keynote speakers, state elections, and awards.  In addition the Student Council raised $1,500.00 in donations by participating in the Polar Plunge. 

Congratulations to Alyssa Pool and Jacob Martin who were selected for Band All-States.  They had a fantastic time with very rigorous practice in order to be prepared for the All-State concert at Symphony Hall.  Also, congratulations to Mikayla Evens and Matthew Costanza for receiving the Commonwealth Award which recognizes leadership, foundation, and citizenship.

Commissioner Mitchell Chester spoke at Nipmuc Regional High School about the state of education in Massachusetts.  I was able to listen to Commissioner Chester speak about the educational improvements that have occurred over the past decade in order to increase student achievement in the state.  He shared data that demonstrated the steady growth that has catapulted Massachusetts to be the highest achieving state in the country according to NAEP results.  He applauded educators, volunteers, parents, and students for their dedication to education.

Staff are greatly appreciative of the professional development opportunities that are built into our school calendar.  On March 10th, Dr. David Pook presented to all district staff.  Dr. Pook was one of the original writers of the ELA standards and has traveled around the country working with educators to ensure rigorous implementation of these standards.  At the workshop, Dr. Pook provided us with training on developing text dependent questions, working on close reading skills, and maintaining focus on tier II vocabulary words.  He shared user-friendly documents that teachers have already begun using. 

On Tuesday afternoon, we welcomed our new PPS Director, Megan Ashton.  We look forward to having her begin her work with us on July 1st.  The school calendar for 2017-2018 school year was approved by the School Committee and is posted on our web site.  Spring sports are off to a difficult start due to the weather, but our athletes are persevering and working hard despite the rain.  We are looking forward to another thrilling season. 

Please feel free to follow me on Twitter @kcrebasehps.  I utilize it to share events that are happening around the district and the accomplishments of our students.  Enjoy the beginning of spring and let’s all hope for some beautiful weather.


Karen M. Crebase

Superintendent of Schools


January 9, 2017

Dear Parents, Students, and Community Members:

Welcome back from the holiday break!  The month of December brought a wonderful opportunity to see and hear our music students perform.  The auditorium was filled with family and friends as students at all levels performed at various times.  It was exciting to see our bands and choral groups perform from elementary to junior high to high school level.  It was easy to note the progression and development of our talented students from one level to the next.  It was quite impressive to note the large number of students we have participating in our music program.  I would like to recognize Tony Beaudry, Amy Carroll, and Christopher Chatham for the consistent dedication to our music program and in teaching our students.  In addition to the evening performances throughout the month, music students performed at other activities including the Hopedale Tree Lighting Ceremony, The Santa Parade, and the Council on Aging.

Staff and students had the opportunity to visit Victorian London when 7th graders transformed their classrooms into scenes from The Christmas Carol.  Visitors stepped back in time to see the graveyard, the Counting House, the Streets of London, Scrooge's house, and the Public House.  Staff and students were in character and performed throughout the day.

Another exciting event that took place during the month of December was the FinFit Fair.  Mrs. Oliveri worked with staff, students, and community members to plan the FinFit Fair.  The goal of the Fair was to educate members of the junior and senior classes about the importance of financial literacy.  The students did prep work before the fair, were assigned an occupation with an annual salary, and engaged in activities such as selecting homes, jobs, transportation, and insurance.  I would like to thank all of the parents and community members who participated throughout the day to make it such a huge success.

I am certain that our community was excited to notice that the Freedom Street Bridge reopened during the month of December.  Since many of our students walk over the bridge in order to get to school, our transportation director, Deb Brackett worked hard this past summer in order to assist families in temporarily transporting students to school by bus while the bridge was closed.  In order to ensure families had adequate time to adjust to the reopening of the bridge, we notified parents through the mail that we would continue to provide transportation to students until after the holiday break.  As students have now returned to their typical schedules, you may notice more students walking to and from school over the Freedom Street Bridge.

On December 9th, during early release, all staff members met in the auditorium for a presentation by the Safe Schools Program and addressed discussions and questions surrounding gender issues that impact our schools.  On Tuesday, January 3rd, as students had a final day of winter vacation, staff returned to school for a professional day.  Administrators and teachers did an exceptional job planning professional development opportunities for staff.  At the junior/ senior high school, teachers visited 5 presentations that were geared toward technology and included, Google Classroom presented by Talitha Oliveri, Twitter in the Classroom presented by Andrew Mainini, SmartBoards presented by Darius Corcoran, Computer Based Assessments-Preparing for MCAS presented by Derek Atherton, and Bring Your Own Device presented by Nick Toupin.  At Memorial, I started the day by presenting a workshop entitled High Leverage Questioning Strategies That Improve Instruction.  Teachers then worked in PLCs with follow-up work on analyzing questioning techniques and other defined topics geared toward school and instructional improvement.  At Bright Beginnings, Sue Mulready continued her workshop series entitled Positive Family Solutions.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year.  I am certain 2017 will bring out students and staff as much success as the 2016 school year. 


November 2, 2016

Dear Parents, Students, and Community Members:

October was an exciting month.  As the weather cooled off quickly, students got into the full swing of the school year.  We had many activities and events throughout the month and it was wonderful to see our students actively engaged in them.

Although our Seniors got off to a bit of a unusual start on their long weekend trip to Disney dodging a hurricane, students reported having an exceptional time.  After safely arriving, students spent the first evening and a portion of the first day socializing at the All Star Disney Resort.  As the rains slowed down and came to a stop, students went out Friday night to get some shopping done.  By Saturday morning, the skies had cleared, lines were short, and students enjoyed every possible moment.  This trip provided our Seniors and Chaperones with bonding opportunities and memories to last a lifetime.

I am proud to announce that on October 13th we inducted 25 new members into the Tri-M Honor Society.  The Tri-M Music Honor Society focuses on creating future leaders in music education and music advocacy. Tri-M is the only national honor society for student musicians in grades 6-12. We are fortunate to have an active Society led by Tony Beaudry and Chris Chatham.  In addition to seeing our students become inducted, we had wonderful performances from many of our student musicians.

On October 21st, PACE organized a Halloween Dance for our students at Memorial School.  There were about 200 people in attendance and the parents did a great job maintaining order and safely watching over and caring for the children.  In addition, staff members who attended said families appeared to enjoy the evening.

On Saturday, October 22nd, Kate Connors and Heather Griffin, the Sophomore Class Advisors, hosted the Class Ring Dance.  In a beautiful class officer-led ceremony, students received their class rings.  Parents were then invited onto the dance floor for a parent-student dance.  This was proceeded by a class dinner.  Students then had the opportunity to dance the night away at the Community House.

Since October was anti-bullying month, our schools had many activities and lessons supporting our anti-bullying curriculum and initiatives.  Mr. Miller and the Memorial Staff maintained a focus on anti-bullying lessons throughout the month.  Students have been working on the Stop, Walk and Talk strategy when faced with difficult situations.  Students are truly making use of the strategies they are being taught.  It was evident when participating in seventh grade training with students that Memorial School has worked diligently on bullying prevention. 

After attending this year’s updated bullying training, Mr. Johnson, assistant principal at the Junior/Senior High School, provided training for staff at a faculty meeting.  In addition, he planned the opportunity for all seventh grade students to attend bullying prevention training during the school day.  He gathered staff and students in the auditorium where we watched a video and had direct instruction.  Students were knowledgeable and participatory throughout the event.  We then walked over to the gymnasium where Mr. Johnson ran an activity for the students.  It was easy to note from this activity that it is important for all of our students to ensure that bullying does not happen.  It was an emotional morning and beneficial to the development of our students. 

The JH/SH appreciated the exceptional work of DECA, the Politics Club, and our Sports & Entertainment Marketing class under the leadership of Talitha Oliveria, John Mancone, and Mike Emus for planning a mock election.  November 1st held great excitement as students and staff had the opportunity to vote in this mock election.  The event was well planned and orchestrated and mirrored for our students, the experience of our adult voters.  In addition, students had the opportunity to hear Brian Murray, candidate for State Representative speak.  I would also like to share the exciting news that some of our Hopedale students participated in a 15 minute interview segment onWMRC 1490 discussing politics and our mock election.  If you have time, click on these links:


WMRC Radio Interview

I would like to thank all of the parents who provided feedback on the survey I sent regarding communication.  It was evident that the majority of our parents would like information in an e-newsletter format.  Many were interested in a monthly letter from the Superintendent but would prefer that it be sent directly to them.  I will be working on developing an e-newsletter format and have started constructing a Superintendent’s webpage that will be linked to our district website.  I would like parents and our community to feel connected to my office and know there is always an open invitation.  I appreciated receiving your feedback and comments.

November holds many exciting events and opportunities and I look forward to seeing our families throughout the month.


October 4, 2016

Dear Staff, Families, and Community Members of Hopedale,

As we complete the first month of school, I wanted to share how thrilled I am to be part of such a welcoming community.  As we returned to school and filled the hallways with much needed noise and commotion, it has been a constant opportunity to meet students, families, and staff.  I have learned a great deal about our schools and community and the unique opportunities we offer here in Hopedale.  I am looking forward to the future, but would like to highlight some events and information from September.  

I would also like to invite you to click on the link below and fill out a communication survey in order to assist me in knowing how to best meet the needs of our school community.  Communication is a key component of a successful organization.  As Superintendent, it is my goal to ensure open communication between our school community and our district office.


I will use the information from this survey to develop a communication plan that meets the needs of all of our Hopedale families. 

Thank you to all of our families who were able to attend our Back to School Nights over the past couple of weeks.  I would like to commend administration and teachers for the exceptional evenings at each building.  The strong parent attendance demonstrated the commitment that our families have in working with and communicating with our schools.  Administrators welcomed families and provided an overview, while teachers gave informative presentations in their classrooms.  I would also like to thank the students and school organizations who played a huge part in the success.  Thank you to all of the community.

Nature’s Classroom was a huge success.  Our sixth grade students attended a one week overnight educational program in Charlton at Nature’s Classroom.  Students had the opportunity to learn while experiencing the great outdoors.  During their morning field group, students gained a better understanding of dynamic interactions in the natural world, as well as interpersonal interactions among themselves.  During Special Interest classes, students had the opportunity to select from a variety of academic classes.  Evening activities were either academic or social and included things such as a Science Fair,Thursday Night Live, and Quest (team building).  In addition, a Night Hike was taken.  When Mr. Miller and I visited, the students begged us to allow them to stay at camp for longer than a week.  Staff and students appeared to be thoroughly appreciating every moment of the experience.

At JH/SH, Fall Sports have gotten off to a great start and our new athletic director, Bill Gaine, has been working hard in scheduling, managing game operations, and overseeing athletic eligibility and MIAA protocols. Additionally, he and his interns are currently revamping our athletic website ( to further promote our kids and inform our community. Thanks to our coaches, parent support, and our exceptional student-athletes for not skipping a beat in this new transition!

The Girls’ Volleyball Team and Field Hockey Teams are currently in first place in the DVC and Boys’ Soccer is in second.  In addition, the Volleyball Team has already qualified for the MIAA state tournament.  The Girls’ Soccer Team is off to a great start and we are looking forward to watching the team develop and mature under the leadership of our two new coaches. It seems quite possible that the Boys’ Cross Country team could earn a state title with Brandon Hall leading the way.  Izzy Doran finished 5th in a state-wide meet this past weekend for the Girls’ Cross Country team.  The girls have a young, athletic team with a great future ahead.  Ben Tammaro has been a stand-out on the golf team and has helped the team establish a third place standing in the DVC.  And, both our Football teams have provided excitement as they have combined for four wins throughout the season.

Girls Volleyball - 9-0

Field Hockey - 5-1-1

Girls Soccer – 2-5

Boys Soccer - 4-1-1

Boys Cross Country - 1st in DVC

Girls Cross Country – 1-1

Golf - 5-5

BMR/Hopedale Football - 1 - 3

Millis/Hopedale Football - 3 - 1

MCAS results were released to the public on September 26, 2016.  Administrators and staff will be reviewing this data during our Professional Development day this Friday, October 7, 2016.  They will work to identify the areas in which we have grown, the areas in which we are consistently strong, and the areas in which we need to continue to focus.  A report of MCAS information will be shared at the November 1, 2016 School Committee meeting.

Finally, I wanted to provide you with an update of the Freedom Street Bridge since its closure has an impact on our transportation routes and sports programs.  As some of you may have noticed, the work on the Freedom Street Bridge is just in the beginning stages.  I have been in communication with the town, and although there has been some holdup on the start date, the project is expected to be completed by the original projected completion date in late November.  We are working diligently to keep our bus schedules running on time while getting students transported to our fields for sports.

Enjoy the Fall season!


September 2, 2016 

Dear Staff, Families, and Community Members of Hopedale,

Welcome back.  I hope you had a rejuvenating and relaxing summer with your families.  I feel as though the summer passed rather quickly as we worked to get our schools ready for the return of students. 

Each school year brings a new beginning and the start of something special.  We have added some great new teachers to go along with the wonderful ones we already have.  I would like to welcome and introduce our new staff members:

  • William Gaine-Athletic Director        
  • Margo Austein-Out-of-District Coordinator
  • Debra Brackett-Transportation Director
  • Jessica Cecchi-Memorial Special Education
  • Meghan Asselin-JS/HS Special Education
  • Lisa Cotton-JS/HS Special Education
  • Suzanne Johnson-JS/HS Science
  • Timothy Vaillancourt-JS/HS Science
  • Debra Hodgens-JSHS English
  • Ronda Palin-JS/HS Mathematics
  • Lauren Galiardi-JS/HS Mathematics
  • Lindsay Kaska-Memorial Support Staff
  • Slavka Lee-JS/HS Support Staff

Monday, August 29th, our staff returned to school.  There was a feeling of enthusiasm as we began the day with breakfast.  Since most of the staff had been working in their classrooms throughout the summer, they had the opportunity to complete training, plan curriculum with colleagues, visit with students and parents, and put the finishing touches on their classrooms. 

On Tuesday, the staff at Memorial and JH/SH welcomed students back into the hallways.  I had the pleasure of starting my day with the Senior Class for arrival, school walk-through, breakfast, and class meeting.  Participating in the first day of school with Seniors during the start of their last school year was exciting.  Directly after leaving the Senior Class, I observed our incoming class of 2029 arriving for Kindergarten Orientation.  This was the perfect beginning for me as I could see how our students begin their school careers, note the development of students over twelve years, and how they end their school careers.  It is obvious that good things are happening within our schools.  I am excited to be part of the community and hope to contribute to the continued success and growth of our schools.

I would like to congratulate our administrators and staff on a successful first day of school, thank parents and family members for helping transition students back to school smoothly, and welcome our students to a new school year and grade level.

William Wordsworth, described the profound significance of what he called the “little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness”.  Every day, in our schools and classrooms, countless “little, nameless, unremembered acts” occur, by children, parents, and staff members.  Many of these kind acts will be remembered forever.  I am hopeful that each of your children encounter many of these kind acts throughout the beginning of the school year.  Welcome back to school!  


Karen M. Crebase

Superintendent of Schools


July 1, 2016

Dear Staff, Families, and Community Members of Hopedale,

I am honored to begin my tenure as the Superintendent of the Hopedale School District. I am looking forward to introducing myself to the Hopedale Community and to meeting your children throughout the summer and as the new school year begins.

My mission as your Superintendent is to maintain and continue the fantastic work of those who have been in this position before me.  When making the decision to explore options beyond the position in which I had been working, I read about the position in Hopedale.  After investigating Hopedale and this school district, I decided Hopedale would be the only school district to which I would apply.  The Hopedale School District is a perfect match for my skills and strengths and I will work diligently to ensure that I am a good match for you.

I believe in a quality and comprehensive education for all students. Hopedale strives toward academic excellence while providing opportunity for extracurricular programs and activities.  In addition, it is obvious as a visitor walks into any school building that there is a focus on positive, respectful, healthy relationships between staff and students. I truly appreciate that Hopedale has entrusted me to participate in overseeing the education of the young people within this community.

I plan to work to maintain and grow a rigorous teaching and learning environment that provides every student with a sense of belonging while helping students to grow intellectually, emotionally and socially. It is critical to every student’s success that they graduate from high school with the habits of mind and skills necessary to pursue and achieve their goals and dreams.

I was fortunate to have time prior to the end of the school year to visit schools and meet staff and students. I was able to attend the National Honor Society Induction and the Junior/Senior Prom.  I had the opportunity to visit classrooms, speak with parents, and meet with Principals.  I have greatly appreciated the support and warm welcome I have received.

Please feel free to stop by my office to say “hello” this summer or as the school year begins.  I look forward to the opportunity to make connections and get to know all of our families. 


Karen M. Crebase

Superintendent of Schools