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Principal Update

Wednesday Early Release Day (12:30 PM) for all students – No ASCA Classes!

Memorial-Spaulding Families,

During this week’s early release afternoon, all faculty and staff members will be engaging in ongoing training called Courageous Conversations about Race. Through this training series staff members explore implicit bias and how it may be impacting teaching and learning within our school – and, of course, how to ensure we create equity for our students of color.  

Please join us for this month’s PTO meeting to be held on Thursday, February 7th at 7pm at the school (Teacher’s Lounge). RSVP if you plan to attend.

The Kids Heart Challenge Fundraiser is taking place during the month of February.  For more information click HERE.

Now that snow, ice and cold weather is here, please be sure your child is appropriately dressed for recess. Hats, gloves, snow pants and boots for play in the snow – otherwise your child will be asked to stay out of the snow.

The International Festival is on the horizon, March 21st!  Click HERE for more information – and learn how to sign up for a table and/or a performance.

Did you know we now have a Friday Morning Concert Series?  This is a time for us to showcase the talent of experienced Memorial-Spaulding musicians – and it takes place during the 10 minute arrival window (8:20-8:30). If your child has achieved a high level of performance on his or her instrument – let me know and I will forward your contact information to the FMCS parent coordinator.  Parents – are you an accomplished musician who would like to share your talent? You are welcome to play on Friday mornings too! Simply respond to this email and let me know!

Considering travel plans during the 2019-20 school year?  Please make every effort to avoid pulling your child out of school.  Click HERE to see next year’s school calendar.

Schoolwide PJ Day on Friday, February 15th. All students are welcome to wear school-appropriate sleepwear that day.

MCAS Testing Dates for grades 3-5: Click HERE

K Screening appointments can now be set up by calling Francie @ 617-559-9600. If you have a child coming into K, you may wish to consider coming to the K Parent Orientation Feb 26 @ Brown Middle School @ 7pm – Snow Date: 27th

Principal’s Update

Good Evening Memorial-Spaulding Families,

I hope you are embarking upon a joyous Thanksgiving holiday. Whether you are traveling, staying at home this holiday, or working – I wish you a lovely time with your family.  

A few short items:

Great news to share! Our outstanding art teacher, Alexandra Etscovitz, has been named 2019 Art Teacher of the Year by the Massachusetts Art Education Association!  In the award letter, they cite Alexandra’s passion, dedication to the arts and creative learning as reasons for the award. We are incredibly fortunate to have such an amazingly talented and visionary art teacher at our school. Congratulations Alexandra!   

One of Alexandra’s initiatives is the school-wide arts integration work – (embedded into academic curriculum). In the coming weeks your child’s teachers will be holding a grade level arts integration event and all families are invited to attend. Please keep an eye out for the day/time of your child’s arts integration showcase! Check out this VIDEO

We invite all families to join us as we embark upon a community service project to collect coats, hats and mittens through Circle of Hope. Collection will run from Monday, Nov. 26th through Friday, December 31st. For more information click HERE

Picture retake day will happen on Monday, December 3rd. More information HERE

Please consider attending the Newton Family Conference on December 1st. This will be an amazingly powerful event that brings together families from every school in Newton. Invitational letter from Superintendent Fleishman and registration link HERE.

REMINDER: 12:00 dismissal on Wednesday!

Principal’s Update

Dear Memorial-Spaulding Families,

I hope you are enjoying the beautiful fall weather. With all the rain we have recently received, sunny days are all that much more special – and the fall colors are beautiful.

A few quick items for you this week.

Thursday is an early release day. All students will be dismissed at 12:30pm. Please plan accordingly.

NewTV Program featuring Margie Ross-Decter – “School Matters”.  Margie would like to film a few students for a very brief clip that will be shown on the program. If you would like your child to be a part of this group (and be on the TV show), please come to school on Thursday at 12:30pm (Early Release Time).  You must be present for your child to be filmed on Thursday. To see the pilot episode of the show, click HERE

We now have a Friday Morning Student Concert Series happening at our school featuring students who have accomplished an intermediate or advanced playing level on their instrument. My hope is that this will take place every Friday morning in the Main Hallway.  This past week we enjoyed the work of pianist Norman Lu.  Ask your child if s/he heard the music last week. Thanks to Aytul Farquharson (Parent Volunteer) for coordinating these events!

Once again we are dealing with the tragedy of gun violence, this time in Pittsburgh. We, at school, do not raise the issue unless students come in talking about it – and we generally speak with students on an individual basis. We are careful not to inadvertently inform children who may know absolutely nothing about these sorts of tragic events. For some advice on how to talk with children about such things click HERE.

Might your family qualify for free or reduced lunch?  If so, you can complete the application by clicking HERE

This school year, the City of Newton is providing bags of non-perishable food for Newton families in need. The bags will be filled with staples to help insure that all our families with need have breakfast/lunch fixings on non-school days. Click HERE for more information

Responsive Home Workshops to be held at the Education Center. This is an amazingly practical and effective approach to help children develop the internal motivation to work hard, be kind and make good choices. We use the Responsive Classroom/School approach at Memorial-Spaulding (along with all Newton elementary and middle schools). It is something worth checking out. For more information click HERE

Imilonji KaNtu Choral Society will visit us next week for a concert (grades 3-5) and sharing time for all students (K-5). They are visiting the US from Soweto, South Africa. Thanks to Boston City Singers Youth Chorus for sending their visitors our way! See and hear the chorus HERE

Enjoy this Halloween Day!

Tom Morris, Principal

 

 

 

Principal’s Update

Good Evening Memorial-Spaulding Families,

A few quick items:

Back to School Night is Thursday evening! This is your opportunity to visit the classroom and learn more about your child’s day at school.  If your child is in grades K-2 you should arrive at 6:00pm. If your child is in grades 3-5 you should arrive at 6:40 (and report to the auditorium). Click HERE for more detailed information.

Memorial-Spaulding Flu Clinic is Wednesday, October 3rd. I highly recommend your child receive the flu vaccine. Please click HERE for more information and HERE for the necessary forms.

School picture day has be reschedule to Monday, October 15th.  

Kindergarten Families only: Amy Kelly, NPS Director of Social/Emotional Learning will present a special workshop just for you! The workshop highlights the Responsive Classroom approach and how you can harness these powerful ideas at home. Click HERE for more information.

Thursday is a 12:30 early release day for ALL students.  

Enjoy this rainy, dark evening.

 

Tuesday Update

Hello Memorial-Spaulding Parents,

Today was a perfect day for Color Day!  The weather was beautiful and it was a great day to be outdoors.  Thanks to Ms. Komow for all her hard work and to our outstanding volunteers!

Books Needed: We need gently used books for our annual summer book swap.  Please send them in tomorrow (Wednesday) or Thursday at the latest.  The book swap is scheduled for Monday, June 18th.

Gifts to Teachers:  Did you know Massachusetts has a law that speaks to giving gifts to teachers (and all public employees).  Before you spend money on a teacher gift, check out the law HERE.

The Newton Health and Human Services Department has asked that I send out a letter about smartphone use with students.  Letter is available HERE.

 

 

Principal’s Update

Greetings Memorial-Spaulding Families,

I hope you have been able to get outside and enjoy this beautiful weekend weather.

Thanks to Sue Welch and Amy Severance for providing great resources to engage children in academic work this summer – and prevent the dreaded “summer slide”.  Click HERE for literacy ideas and resources and HERE for math.  One additional idea brought up by a parent: When going on a driving trip allow your child to listen to the first part of a book on tape.  If they like the story, then give them the book.  Sounds like a brilliant way to support your child’s summer reading.

The instrumental music demonstration is coming up this week!  3rd graders will have the opportunity to see, hear and touch an array of band instruments.  Given the fact the music inspires a myriad of life-long learning skills, I encourage you to seriously consider this option for your child going into 4th grade.  Registration paperwork will be coming home this week with all 3rd grade students.  Click HERE for more information.

Is your child (currently in grades K-4) not coming back to Memorial-Spaulding for some reason?  Please let us know by emailing Francie:  francie_sheehan@newton.k12.ma.us

The International Fair was a great success!  Thanks to the many volunteers who dedicated their time and energy to pull off this event.  Between the amazing food and cultural activities, the outstanding performances (60 acts with costumes, poems, dances, instrumental performances and singing) and those who helped to set up and clean up – this was a quintessential Memorial-Spaulding evening.  Much appreciation to all!

As you may know, we have been allocated an additional 4th grade classroom for next year.  This means we will have four 4th grade classrooms, and we lost one Kindergarten allocation.  Like this year we will have twenty-two classrooms at our school.  Please click HERE to see next year’s staffing list.

Color Day is Tuesday – please make sure your child has sunscreen and a water bottle.

Family end-of-year picnic with Food Trucks!  Friday, June 22nd starting at 12 noon on the Memorial-Spaulding field.  Please join us!  (All students are dismissed at 12 noon on Friday, June 22 – last day of school.)

Principal’s Update

Memorial-Spaulding Families,

I hope you are enjoying the warm summer-like weather.  It has been wonderful for students to be outdoors – not only for recess, but for learning experiences.  We have several nice outdoor learning spots – including Kayla’s Garden.  It is my hope to one day build a functional outdoor classroom learning space in the Garden. Stay tuned….

Color Day 2018 is coming up on Tuesday, June 5th.  Color Day is a Field Day experience where our children spend the morning outside engaged in activities that call for strategy and teamwork.  In order for this day to be successful we need more parent volunteers.  Come spend the morning outdoors and have fun with us!  (Color Day ends at 12 noon).  You may click HERE to sign up as a volunteer.  WE NEED YOU!

The Newton Special Education Parents Advisory Council is currently accepting nominations for Newton faculty and staff members who have done outstanding work with students receiving special education services.  Click HERE for more information.

Pokemon Cards Banned:  It has come to my attention that some students are bringing Pokemon cards to school during the day.  Please know that Pokemon cards are not permitted in school (or on the school bus).  If a child needs to bring cards to school for any reason, then they must be in the backpack during the school day – and bus ride home.

Have a delightful evening.

Principal’s Update

Hello Memorial-Spaulding Families,

Happy Wednesday!  With only 6 1/2 weeks of school remaining, we are in the throws of planning for next school year.  The student placement process has begun and we are starting to work on options for next year’s school schedule. At the same time, teachers are working hard to make sure students are well prepared to advance to the next grade level.

Student attendance rates have been very good lately. For the past few days we have had only 6 children absent for the school day! This means there are 450 children in attendance and (even though the weather is getting warm) they are quite focused on learning. When children are in school on a consistent basis we see dramatic increases in overall student achievement.  Nice work parents!!  Keep ’em coming!

Boston City Singers Youth Chorus will visit Memorial-Spaulding on Monday, May 21st in order to audition children for their 2018-19 season. This is the organization with whom I travelled to South Africa last summer.  They consistently provide high quality programming and amazing opportunities for young singers.  Check them out HERE.  Parent permission form to audition is required.  Access the form HERE.  Forms should be returned to our music teacher, Caroline Frick.

Many thanks to the Social Event Committee for an amazingly wonderful evening this past Saturday at the Dedham Hilton. This was an wonderful opportunity to have fun and get to know one another outside of the school setting. Much appreciation for all the hard work it took to pull of such an event in a few short weeks.

Last week I asked that parents send students to school with a plastic water bottle instead of glass (due to the fact that glass can be dangerous if it breaks). I have been asked to mention the possibility of bringing in an metal water bottle – which is more environmentally friendly. The next time you are in the market for a children’s water bottle, consider metal.

Our grounds are looking good!  Thanks to Robin Welch, Katharina Elbert and the entire Beautification Committee for their hard work.

Enjoy the beautiful day!

Principal’s Update

Memorial-Spaulding Families,

It would seem that summer has arrived!  As the temperature rises, please made sure your child comes to school with a water bottle.  We prefer you send a bottle that is plastic – not glass – as we have had a few broken glass bottles this year.

This is National Walk/Bike to School Week!  Our Safe Routes to School volunteers will be at both the front and back entrances on Friday with fun swag to hand out to children.  Given the beautiful weather – please consider walking/biking to school as much as possible between now and the end of the year.

Gardening/Grounds Clean Up Day is scheduled for this coming Saturday between 1-3 PM.  Please join us!  Bring your rake, hoe, shovel and gloves – and come make our school look beautiful.

Now that the weather is turning nice, I need to remind you that the playground/field is not accessible to visitors during school hours.  This includes kindergarten students/parents who are dismissed at 12:30.

It is time to start planning to student placement in next year’s classes. Please click HERE for a letter explaining the process and HERE for the parent input form. You are invited to complete a form if you believe it is necessary – however it is not required. Should you wish to complete a form, it is due back to school by Friday, May 4th.

Dealing with your too much screen time with your child?  HERE is something that may be of interest  Check it out.

Have a great day – and enjoy the weather!