Greetings Memorial-Spaulding Families,
I hope your week is going well thus far. I am writing with a few updates and important items for this week. Happy February!
Thursday is a special early release day this week. All students will be dismissed at 12:10 PM. There will be no ASCA classes, however the Extended Day Program will be open immediately after dismissal. All faculty and staff at our school (and across the district) will participate in Culturally Responsive Instruction training. During tomorrow’s training we will be looking at strategies to build student independence in all aspects of the school day (academics and social-emotional realms). This is an important aspect of our work at Memorial-Spaulding and fits within our vision of creating a school where students are highly engaged, connected to their classroom and broader school community and working toward becoming independent learners.
Interested in learning ways to talk about about race and racism with your child? The story starters program may be of interest to you. “Story Starters gives families age-appropriate tools and skills to have meaningful conversations about race and racism. Story Starters families learn from educators, racial justice advocates, and each other.” For more information, click HERE.
All families are invited to a NPS budget forum on Wednesday, February 8th @ Newton North High School. Click HERE for more information.
A few weeks ago it was brought to our attention that the RRFB (Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacon) at Brookline/Spaulding/Hartman was not working correctly. The Newton DPW (Department of Public Works) has determined that the RRFB is defective and needs to be completely replaced. The new RRFB should be in place within the next few days. Additionally for this location, I have been informed that a “raised table intersection” will be constructed. This measure will provide traffic “calming” in the area and, with the RRFB in place, should allow for a much safer intersection.
For families who drop/pick up children on Clifton Road: I have been asked by the Newton Police Department to request you do not block someone’s driveway when you are dropping off your child. I have learned that some parents are parking and walking their child down Clifton Path. If you are going to get out of your car to walk your child in, please be sure you are parked in a legal spot – otherwise you are subject to being ticketed.
Just a quick reminder for bus riders: All students getting off the bus who are in kindergarten or 1st grade, must be met by an adult. Please click HERE for full details and procedures put in place should an adult not be present when the afternoon bus arrives.
Each year we receive a handful of school transfer requests. These are submitted for a variety of reasons. Should you be interested in learning more about the process, click HERE.
Lastly, we often hear the word ‘equity’ in conversations, on the news, during presentations/lectures and in magazine articles. This term is sometimes being used in the place of the word ‘equality’. I want to take this opportunity to share our definition of the word here at Memorial-Spaulding. We understand that equality is everyone getting the same thing. This is a good idea in theory – and is sometimes appropriate. However, we are continually striving to create an equitable educational experience for our students. That means we are: working to differentiate curriculum and instruction to meet the needs of a variety of learners, striving to give each child the level of support they need in order to be an engaged and successful learner – and making thoughtful decisions that allow our students to work toward becoming independent thinkers. HERE is a graphic that defines our thinking. As always, we appreciate your support as we work to create equity at Memorial-Spaulding.
That’s it for now. Have a great remainder of your week – and stay warm.
Tom Morris, Principal