Medfield Public Schools – Medfield, Massachusetts

March 26, 2024

Medfield Public Schools

Student-Centered Education at Its Best


A Vibrant School District Boasting High Student Achievemen

In the charming community of Medfield Massachusetts, Medfield Public Schools upholds a commitment to providing a student-centered education, fostering the core values of inclusivity, respect, responsibility, and continuous growth.

For Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Marsden, this extends not only through the student body but also to staff, as he highlights, “That’s something that we focus on in our core values. They define how adults behave within the district and how we treat each other and our students. By our example, students will  behave in a way that’s consistent with our core values.” “We are fortunate to have an outstanding faculty and staff in Medfield.”

Medfield Public Schools has recently undergone an eight-month review of its strategic plan, involving parents, students, teachers and administration in outlining a new mission and vision for the district. Dr. Marsden relays. “Our vision is to empower students to make a meaningful difference. We feel like we have a strong academic program, and we focus certainly on rigor in making sure students do well academically, but we also pride ourselves on developing the whole child.”

Early Education Initiatives

The district places a strong emphasis on early education, boasting a robust preschool program that accommodates various needs in the community. “We try to make sure that we can educate and get as many of our young students in as possible,” Dr. Marsden asserts.

“We want to support them, and we want to make sure that they can get right into the culture of our district as soon as they can. If there are any needs that those students may have, we feel like any interventions that we make in the early years will pay off for them in the subsequent years.”

With a waiting list of over 60 children, efforts have been made to expand the preschool offerings, utilizing available space in two elementary schools. Currently, Medfield offers a full-day tuition-based kindergarten program, but there are plans to transition to tuition-free over the next three years.

“We value early education, we think it’s important. Right now, about 90% of our students are in full-day kindergarten.  We want to make sure we have that experience for all of our kids.”


Elementary/ Middle School  Excellence

Medfield Public Schools prioritizes reading and literacy, evidenced by the district’s success in statewide testing. “Our teachers are always looking to improve their instruction and learning, so much so that we have an outside consultant working with our elementary teachers, doing  professional development on reading instruction,such as model lessons, observations and feedback,” describes Dr. Marsden. Currently, in its first year, he says this approach will be continued as the district moves towards a science of reading approach  instead of the current workshop model.

The district emphasizes design thinking, with librarians overseeing Makerspace activities at all elementary schools. “Sometimes kids will be in the library doing STEAM activities that get them thinking and developing problem-solving skills, which has been successful,” Dr. Marsden shares. Middle school expands on this, further incorporating technology and design thinking.

“We also have scientists that come in at the 4 and 5 levels that work with our kids in problem-solving, and that’s been positive as well. It’s of high interest, kids love it, and we try to get them to understand the world around them a little bit better, and what’s going on outside their classroom.”

High School Achievements

With an impressive 93% of students attending four-year colleges, Medfield Public Schools has earned a reputation for preparing students for higher education. Dr. Marsden boasts, “We’re a suburban community that prides itself on students going to competitive schools.”

Additionally, the district supports students through initiatives like the Regis College partnership for future educators, through a Department of Education grant. Marsden elaborates, “Students that are interested in going to school for education can take a course after school that gives them college credit.”

Additionally, senior students are encouraged to pursue passion projects, promoting real-world skills and engagement during their final year. “They choose something that they’re excited about that they want to work on for the rest of their schooling in Medfield. And they have both internal and external mentors that work with them on the project,” Dr. Marsden portrays.

Student projects run the gamut, from working in an elementary classroom, to app development, to blogging. “It’s an interesting way to keep kids engaged in the second half of their senior year. This project allows them to be off-site, working on something that they’re passionate about, and keep that motivation going to the end of their school year.”

Student-Centered Learning

Medfield’s success is attributed to a student-first culture, where educators and staff prioritize the well-being and growth of students.

“I think that’s what drives the work every day, we understand why we’re here,” says Dr. Marsden. “We’re also fortunate to have a supportive community where parents have high expectations for their kids and all of us. That’s an important piece of our overall success too, because we understand that we’re here for the kids, and we have great family support. That partnership among the students, the teachers, and the parents is just really, really strong.”

The district focuses on student-centered learning, promoting higher-order thinking skills and student involvement in their education. “At the elementary and middle school level, you see a lot of student-led instruction where students are a part of the learning, they’re not just being spoken to,” he conveys.

“There is a time for that direct instruction, but we want to make sure that kids can use those higher-order thinking skills and apply the learning in a variety of ways.” At the high school level, the focus shifts to preparing students for what comes next, while still creating a student-led environment.


Safety Measures and Student Well-being

Safety is a top priority in the district, and measures include locked exit doors, buzz-in systems, cameras, and a strong partnership with the local police department. New teachers undergo safety protocol training, underscoring the focus on student and staff safety. “Learning is important, developing the whole child is important, but safety is the most critical thing that we do,” says Dr. Marsden.

Another approach Medfield Public Schools takes is ensuring each student has a trusted connection within the school system. “We think that’s an important piece of school, is to make sure that every kid has someone they can talk to,” he stresses. “And the other piece at our high school is that our students make meaningful connections with their peers. Over 90% of our students are either playing a sport, involved in theater, or the band.”

The district excels in sports, winning 27 state championships in 11 sports since 1997. Medfield also takes pride in its impressive achievements in band, orchestra and theater , all of which showcase student talents and promote a sense of engagement and belonging. “Every time you go to an event, whether it’s theater, band, or a sporting event, you are just so proud of what they do outside the classroom. It’s so impressive and just incredible,” Dr. Marsden shares.

Future Investment and Plans

Detailing a five-year collaboration with the state to fund the construction of a new net zero elementary school, Dr. Marsden notes that the town’s governance model mandated a 66% majority vote at the town meeting for the new school’s approval. Despite obtaining 62%, they fell short of the required threshold, leading to exclusion from the state program.

“That puts us back into applying to the state for that additional funding to get back into the program. We still have a school building committee that meets every month. Unfortunately, we’re not back into the state program, which at the time would give us $21 million in reimbursement toward our new building.”

“We’re still working on that particular piece,” he depicts.

Other ongoing investments include roofing upgrades and solar installations throughout the district, taking advantage of both cost savings and sustainability opportunities.

Looking Ahead

Moving forward, Dr. Marsdon discusses ongoing initiatives for Medfield Public Schools, encompassing the exploration of adjustments to school start times and the transition to a science-of-reading approach for literacy instruction.

Looking to the future, he says the district continues to focus on responsible budgeting, professional development, and cultural responsiveness, particularly in light of increasing diversity.

“We frame it around belonging because we  believe promoting that sense of belonging is important to everyone,” he maintains.

“Support for mental health is a long-standing priority that we have within our district, and we continue to work on that. We’ve always tried to make sure that we have enough staffing to support our students and provide programming that they need and deserve. That’s important to us.”

This inclusive, supportive, and holistic approach is sure to bring continued success to the students of Medfield Public Schools for the foreseeable future.


Medfield Public Schools

What: A Student Focused and Highly Successful School District

Where: Medfield, Massachusetts



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