Letter From Principal McManus

Dear Families,

On behalf of the entire Memorial-Spaulding staff I’d like to thank the PTO board members and all other family volunteers for helping us make the first week of school so successful.  We are off to a terrific start. The teachers are getting to know your children on an individual basis. The students are settling in and are feeling more comfortable in school with classroom routines and expectations.

Thanks to the support of the 5th grade class from last year and the City of Newton, the children are really enjoying recess with the new basketball hoop, blacktop area, and wood chips under the structure.  This year we have set up our schedule so all the children go outside for recess first and then go inside to the café for lunch.  With recess first, they have the opportunity to connect with their grade level friends that they may not see during the day because they are in different classrooms. This makes recess a great time to socialize and have fun. After recess they can go to the bathrooms to wash their hands and then go to the café for lunch. When they walk into the café we expect them to sit down with their lunch if they bring it from home or go into the lunch line to receive the lunch they have purchased from Whitsons. While all of this is happening during the first 5 minutes of lunch, we are asking the students to begin eating without talking.  This new routine has been very effective in creating a smooth transition into the cafe and a much calmer lunch atmosphere while giving the students have plenty of time to eat and then socialize a little bit more during the last 15 minutes of lunch.  We’re noticing the children are eating more of their food and they do not feel rushed. When they return to their classrooms they are nourished and ready to learn.

 Emergency Forms

  1. Please note that Emergency Contact Information sheets are coming home.  Please review the information on the sheet, sign, and return.  If anything is incorrect on the form, please mark it accordingly. 

Back To School Picnic- Monday, Sept. 10th

  1. Please join us Monday September 10th, 2012 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Our picnic will be located around the playground area.  Bring your own picnic dinner for your family. There will be popsicles and tattoos for the kids. So, grab your blankets/chairs and join us for a night of fun!

ALL CHILDREN MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT!

 Open House- Thursday, September 13th from 6:30-8:10

  • Open House is an important and early opportunity to meet your child’s teacher, spend time in the classroom, ask questions, and learn about academic goals for the year.  It is also a time to hear from Ms. McManus about the upcoming year at Memorial-Spaulding, and meet the special area teachers to ask any questions you may have.  The PTO will also be there to share all their plans for the year

 Parking Reminders:

  • No parking, pick up or drop off in staff parking lot.  Thank you!!
  • Neighbor of Memorial-Spaulding School have asked us to remind families to please respect the no parking signs around the neighborhood and keep the neighborhood streets free of litter.
  • Blue Zone- please follow blue zone rules

 Helpful Websites:

 Memorial-Spaulding School Council Family Representative Needed

I need 1 more family representative for our School Council this year. Currently we have Jen Russell and Emily Rosenbaum as the family representatives. The School Council meetings are held once a month on Monday afternoons from 4:00-5:30.  If you think you may be interested or have any questions, please touch base with me.  lisa_mcmanus@newton.k12.ma.us

 What is Understanding Our Differences (UOD)?

  • UOD is a unique disability awareness program implemented in the Newton Elementary Schools for all 3rd, 4th & 5th graders.  Through UOD, students receive a seven part curriculum featuring information, interactive learning activities & inspirational guest speakers. Topics include (but are not limited to) Deafness & Hard of Hearing, Learning Disabilities, and Chronic Medical Conditions. 

 What can you do to help?

The UOD program is run almost entirely by trained parent volunteers.  There are two ways you can get involved:

Volunteer: Volunteers help with one or more unit presentations by leading small group activities with the students.  Total time commitment: 1 hour of training & 2 hours of helping in the classroom: 3 hours total per unit.  You can help with as many unit presentations as you would like to.  We always need more helping hands!

Grade Coordinator:  These individuals help with the logistics of running the unit in the schools.  This includes contacting teachers in advance, attending a training on the unit & coordinating the volunteers.  Total time commitment: Approximately 8-10 hours per unit. 

We specifically need a Grade Coordinator for the Memorial Spaulding 3rd Grade class.  Please consider taking on this fun & worthwhile volunteer opportunity!

How do I get involved?

Contact the  UOD Program Director, Maren Oslund at MOslund@UnderstandingOurDifferences.org.

See you at the picnic and at Open House.

Best,

Lisa