RCTV will be airing a new program, RPS Today, that explores curricular and extracurricular events in the Reading Public Schools and celebrates the district’s talented students, educators, and school personnel. The show is hosted by Dr. Sherri VandenAkker, a professor at the Springfield College, School of Professional and Continuing Studies, Boston campus, twenty-year Reading resident, and parent of two Reading Public School students. Two episodes are scheduled to air this spring with more planned for fall.
In the first episode, VandenAkker interviews Dr. John Doherty, Superintendent of Schools, about the new science materials and technology programs the district has purchased to align with the recently updated 2016 Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework with funds approved by Town Meeting. VandenAkker and Doherty also discuss elementary and middle school trips to Nature’s Classroom; the district’s middle school and high school Science Olympiad teams—including the state championship team from Coolidge Middle School; and district participation in First Lego League and First Robotics Competition. The show closes on an interview with Reading Memorial High School students Ashkita Rao and Mathias Kools, members of the Reading Robockets, who demonstrate the team’s award-winning robot.
In the second episode, VandenAkker and Doherty will provide an overview of the K-12 district curriculum in the visual and performing arts and discuss why studying the arts improves student outcomes across the curriculum. In addition, Doherty will discuss numerous opportunities for Reading students to participate in the district’s widely lauded annual drama productions, award-winning bands, stellar singing groups, and celebrated visual arts shows. The episode will include footage from VandenAkker’s visit to a 5th grade music class at the Joshua Eaton Elementary School and from the 2017 district-wide Arts Fest celebration. RPS Today can be found on Facebook.