A Message From The Principal (November ’10)

By Jayne Wilkin, Principal

Appreciation: Kudos to Sheri Taylor and Cindy Wyman and their committee for a fabulous Fall Social, which all of the children definitely enjoyed.

Thanks also to our many parent chaperones who will be traveling with students on upcoming field studies.

Classroom News: Teachers have been preparing for parent conferences, and will see most every parent.  We value parents’ continued support of children’s learning.  Please ask what you can be doing to help your child excel.  Nightly reading and math facts practice are two concrete examples.  Please ask about the “just right” level of text your children should be reading, and what fact mastery is expected.  The first report card of the year will be sent home on Dec. 13th.

Student News: Students in all grades showcased their science learning during Our Paton Pride meeting on Oct. 29th.  Kudos to emcees Loren Cardani and AJ Orteyza for leading those meetings, as well as to all of our student presenters.  First graders studied the story of sand, second graders explained about frog life-cycles and the observations they made of tadpoles.  Third graders discussed the lifecycle of trees and children from grade four shared their posters displaying changes to the earth’s surface., resulting from earthquakes, volcanoes, and glaciers.

Hewan Weldai and Cailin Zadravec will share our community service learning plans with our School Committee on the evening of Nov. 3rd.  Ms. Kalagher’s class will sing Everyday Heroes, accompanied by Loran Cardani playing the recorder, and Felice Xie and Aileen Chen playing violin.  This song addresses ways everyone can be a hero through small actions to help others.  Great appreciation to these youngsters’ parents for permitting them to showcase our school.  Tune in on Channel 29 sometime after 7pm!

Upcoming Events: Jim Parks from Wingmasters will be here this month, allowing the second graders to see live, rescued owls close up, supporting their study of nocturnal animals in science.  Thanks to PTO for funding this wonderful program!

In early November, grade 3 will travel to Plimoth Plantation to continue their study of Massachusetts history.  To support science learning, grade 2 will travel to Harvard Peabody Museum for a program about animal adaptations, and to see the “Hall of Mammals.” Grade 4 will also travel there for a program about rocks and minerals, and then tour their extensive earth material displays.  Appreciation to PTO for funding a portion of the transportation costs for these trips.

Our Paton Pride meeting on Nov. 19th will highlight our Community Service Learning projects for the year:

October/Early November: Winter Coat Collections, and leftover Halloween candy donations for Rachel’s Table and St. Anne’s Human Services

November: Thanksgiving food baskets for Paton families in need

December: Mrs. Gustafson’s annual book collection for the pediatric AIDS clinic at U Mass, and our Giving Tree and gifts for Paton students

April: Messages and treats for the troops in Afghanistan

As always, do only what you feel you can to help others in need.

Having our children help members of our community who are less fortunate provides the foundation for caring, responsible citizens of the future.  It also helps us all appreciate the many advantages we may sometimes take for granted.

Reminders: The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is a full day off for students and staff.  Perhaps this will allow you to avoid some of the travel delays common to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Students cannot achieve at high levels unless they are in attendance at school.  Please make every effort to have your child at school each day, and on time.  Teachers work hard to provide high quality instruction; an essential part of this is the discussion and interaction between students in class.  There is no way that can be replicated for absent children.  We strongly discourage absences for vacations, and cannot provide missed work in advance if a child is absent for that reason. There is a long weekend coming up in January, as well as three week-long vacations later this year for travel.

It is disruptive to the whole class when children arrive late to school and when they are dismissed early.  Your children will tell you that there is work to be done and learning to be accomplished at both the beginning and end of the day.  Please do everything you can to avoid having your son or daughter be tardy or dismissed early.

Please save these dates for grade 3 and 4 MCAS testing:  Please do not make appointments that will interfere with your child’s attendance.   All third and fourth graders must be tested, according to Massachusetts Dept. of Education regulations:

Eng. Lang. Arts: March 22 – April 6

Math: May 10–20

Please enjoy my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, later this month, and take a minute to reflect on all that we have to be grateful for.

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