Category: From the Principal

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!

Principal’s Update

Dear Memorial-Spaulding Families,

I hope you had a wonderful school vacation week. It seems as though warm weather has descended upon us and, hopefully, spring has truly arrived.

We have finished our English Language Arts MCAS testing (except for a few make up sessions) and will embark upon Math MCAS starting Friday, May 4th.  See upcoming MCAS schedule HERE. Please make every effort to have your child in school on time on his/her testing days.

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 May 4th.

School gardening day is this Sunday from 1-3 PM. Please join us as we work to make Memorial-Spaulding look beautiful. Bring your garden gloves, wheel barrel, shovels, rakes, clippers, and small buckets to help spread mulch, clear away leaves. (Put your name on your tools.) Sign up here by April 25th and get a free t-shirt! Bring your friends…it’s going to be lots of fun!

Opportunity for Memorial-Spaulding Families to have fun this coming weekend at a Podcast Playdate. Check out the invitation HERE. A few tickets are still available.

Speaking of fun, our annual 5th grade vs. staff volleyball game will happen on Friday afternoon. Thanks to Ms. Komow for organizing this awesome event each year.

Have a productive week!

Tom Morris, Principal

Principal’s Update

Dear Families,

Memorial-Spaulding Community Gala: I have been asked by the PTO to reach out to you regarding our upcoming Community Gala event. An important part of our school’s vision is to create and foster a sense of community at Memorial-Spaulding. Saturday, May 5th will be an evening to celebrate our wonderful school community and get to know one another. All teachers have been invited to attend at no charge. Please consider sponsoring a teacher’s ticket. You may purchase tickets for yourself and donate a teacher ticket through the link below. Please consider joining us on May 5th @ 7pm at the Hilton in Dedham. I hope to see you there!

https://ms2018fundraiser.yapsody.com/event/index/225326/an-evening-for-memorial-spaulding

Folk Dance Share: This week our wonderful music teachers, Ms. Ghantous and Mrs. Frick, invite families of K-3 students to stop in for a music lesson on Folk Dancing. Click HERE for the schedule. Please join us if you can.

MCAS: ‘Tis the season for MCAS testing in grades 3, 4, and 5. Please be sure your child is at school on time and ready to go on his/her testing days. Click HERE for the schedule.

Other Upcoming Events:
International Night (Rescheduled) – May 31
Color Day – June 5

I hope you are having a delightful weekend.

Warm regards,
Tom Morris
Principal

Principal’s Weekly Update

Dear Families,

From time to time it is essential that we review school safety/security protocols.  In this way, we can all take responsibility for keeping our children safe and focused on learning during the school day.  I would like to remind you of several aspects of safety in our school.

School Security: 

Ways that staff can help keep us safe:

  • Office personnel will closely monitor the door cameras prior to buzzing a visitor into the building.
  • Staff should greet visitors in the hallway and direct them to obtain a visitor’s badge.
  • All staff will continue to practice lockdown and shelter-in-place protocols with students.

Ways that parents can help keep us safe:

  • Sign in every time you enter the building during school hours – either in the main office or at the greeter’s desk in the main hallway.
    • Please treat our greeters with respect and follow their directions.  They are volunteers and have been instructed to require everyone to sign in and out.
  • When dropping off something for a child, you must leave it with a greeter or in the main office with Francie.
  • Obtain a yellow visitor badge and wear it during your stay.
  • Sign out when leaving the building.
  • If you are in the building for any reason and happen to encounter an adult who is not wearing a visitor badge (or NPS Identification Tag), please ask if you can help – and direct them to the office.

Food Safety: According to the Newton Public Schools Policy, food is not permitted for student celebrations and children are not permitted to share food during snack and lunch.  We have many children with potentially life-threatening allergies. Please help us keep everyone food safe.

Health Safety:  Prior to sending your child to school, please be sure he/she has been fever free for 24 hours.  Access the latest letter from the Newton Health Department HERE

Kindergarten registration packets are available in the main office for any family who needs one.  Please stop by and see Francie you are in need of a packet.

If you are traveling for the break, have a safe and enjoyable trip.

 

 

Principal’s Weekly Update

Dear Memorial-Spaulding Families,

I hope you are staying dry on this very rainy afternoon. Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education, Cynthia Paris visited our school this morning. She and I toured several classrooms to observe teaching and learning. She noted the positive, productive buzz in the building and students highly engaged in learning. This child-centered, academic atmosphere is commonplace at Memorial-Spaulding!

Please join us on Thursday morning @ 8:30 am in the Cafe for a Principal’s Coffee focused on Social-Emotional Learning.  Psychologist, Dr. LuAnn Keough and Social Worker, Sally Mazur will discuss ideas and resources that promote student’s social and emotional development and well-being.

Kindergarten Screening dates are set for March 6th and 14th. All incoming K families should call Francie to set up an appointment on one of those days.  617-559-9600.

MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System) will be administered in April and May to all 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. Our goal is to have all students here during MCAS testing days. Click HERE to access the testing schedule. Please let your child’s classroom teacher know if you will be away on one of your child’s testing days.

Informational Evening for All New Families: All new families (K-5) are welcome to attend an informational evening on May 17th @ 7pm in the auditorium. This is an event for parents only (not students). Whether you have an incoming K student, or you are new to our school community with older child(ren) – you are welcome to join the PTO and Principal to learn more about our school community.  No RSVP necessary.

Our annual International Festival will be held from 6pm to 8pm on Thursday, March 8th. What an inspiring way to celebrate the diversity of our school and the world around us! This amazing event teaches all of us to embrace our differences and celebrate our common humanity. To make this year the best year ever, we need YOUR help. Please sign up at http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e094da4a72ca13-2018 to get involved and represent you country/region/culture by 1) Hosting a Table 2) Performances

We are looking for a HUGE showing of countries this year. If you have a country that you are from, you have family from, or you just have an interest in, please come help us explore the amazing cultures around us! If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Lia McKay at lmckay24@gmail.com  Thank you! – The International Festival Committee

Have a productive and happy week.

Principal’s Weekly Update

Hello Memorial-Spaulding Families,

Today, November 28th, thirty-three children arrived to school late at Memorial-Spaulding. Tardiness causes undue stress for children, as well as missed opportunities for social connections during morning meeting, and missed instructional time.  Please make every attempt to have your child to school on time.  

Invitation from Dr. Henry Turner at Newton North High School to hear Dr. Sanjiv Chopra (Internationally renowned motivational speaker and author,  Professor of Medicine and former Faculty Dean, Harvard Medical School).  Check out the invitation HERE

Fitness Peek Week is Coming!  Click HERE for details

Would you like to know more about Inclusion at Memorial-Spaulding?  Please join me and the Special Education Parents Advisory Council on December 7th @ 8:30am in the Cafe.  For more information click HERE

Did you know the Memorial-Spaulding Cafe received several upgrades over the past couple years?  A new ventilation system has been installed, as well as a fresh coat of paint.  It is looking good and the air is moving!

Three questions to ask your child everyday in order to foster conversation.  Check it out HERE

Reminder: Integrating the Arts Morning is Friday @ 8:30am.  All parents are invited!

Principal’s Weekly Update

A Bubble presentation occurred last Friday.  It was an amazing event for all our students.  Thanks to the Leif Family for facilitating this wonderful event.

Our annual Halloween Party is coming up this Saturday at 4pm.  I hope to see you there!

Responsive Home Workshops will be offered again this year by the Social Emotional Learning Department.  Click HERE for more information.

Enjoy your week!

 

Principal’s Weekly Update

Office Dawn Fleming of the Newton Police Department conducted a bike safety presentation with all students over the past two weeks.  Her message included various ways to stay safe while biking, including wearing a helmet at all times. Ask your child what he or she learned from Officer Fleming.

Communication is one our school’s Core Values.  At a recent All School Meeting we discussed the important elements of this skill.  We focused on “using your words” (sharing feelings with others) and “listening” (using your eyes, ears and body).  We will be focusing on communication this year and how it can benefit our entire school community (students, teachers and families).

Principal Coffee – Memorial-Spaulding Sped PAC (Parent Advisory Council) to meet this Friday – October 20th @ 8:30 am in the Cafe. All parents of current special education students are invited to attend.

Facilities Update: The arrival of our new front doors and benches have been delayed due to various national weather issues (hurricanes and flooding).  I have been informed the new doors should be installed over Thanksgiving break.  The benches have arrived and should be installed within the next couple weeks.  During the month of November we will have several trees planted in the front of the building.

Although it was a bit chilly this morning, it sounds like our beautiful weather will continue throughout the week.  Not too hot, not too cold – good weather for learning!  Have a delightful week.

Principal’s Weekly Update

This year, the Newton Public Schools will provide interested elementary school families with opportunities, information and resources on talking to children about issues of race, culture, and identity. Upcoming meeting Oct 10th. Click HERE for more information.

Principal Coffee – Memorial-Spaulding Sped PAC (Parent Advisory Council) to meet on October 20th @ 8:30 am in the Cafe. All parents of current special education students are invited to attend.

Sodexo, our Food Service Company, would like your feedback.  Click HERE to complete the online survey.

Smile! School Picture Day is coming up – October 10th.