A Message From The Principal (January ’11)

By Jayne Wilkin, Principal

Appreciation: Thanks to everyone who brought in hats, mittens, games, books, clothing, and toys for our giving tree and “snowman” gifts. I had the pleasure of walking by it many times a day as your generosity grew and grew. Many children and families had special holidays because you cared enough to share your prosperity with them.

Congratulations to Mrs. Gustafson’s class, and all of you, who donated so many books to the U. Mass Medical Center’s pediatric AIDS clinic. Mrs. Gustafson’s brother reports that they are able to give many children a book to take home with them after they’ve had an appointment in the clinic.

The staff and I are thankful for the PTO sponsored cookie swap and holiday luncheon. Appreciation to Katherine Guidi, Chris Stearns, and Heather Sena, and all of you who sent in goodies, which communicated your appreciation to our terrific faculty. We are blessed with a wonderfully supportive parent community at Paton!

We’re grateful to the Shrewsbury Cultural Council, who recently approved two grants for Paton: $250 to help with the cost of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “visit” in March, and $450 to help with admission costs for the fourth graders’ attendance at a play about immigration in April.

We’re pleased that our second graders continue to be reliable weather reporters each day, using their observations and accessing our backyard weather station, purchased with Kyle Johnson grant funds. Want to know what the “feels like” temperature is in the center of town? Check our website!

Student News: The fourth grade chorus, under the direction of Mrs. Georgia Demarky-Anderson, worked so well together in their fantastic winter program.  Students viewed it during Paton Pride meetings, and parents during an evening performance.

We’re pleased that 89% of our students are reading at or above grade level benchmarks. We’re working with those youngsters who aren’t, and need you to continue your efforts with at home reading too.

School Council: We presented our School Improvement plan to our School Committee On the evening of Dec. 15th, and it was accepted by them. This plan is posted on our website at http://schools.shrewsbury-ma.gov/egov/docs/1292600513_40130.pdf should you wish to review it. Great thanks to Council members, Mark Adler, Gary Alperson, Lorriane Daignault, Coreen Hawley, Mary Beth Leifer, Elyse Malins, Christina Manos, and Sarah Matthews.

Upcoming Events:  We have an author visit scheduled for January 13th. Nationally published author and Shrewsbury resident, April Jones Prince, will meet with first graders and speak about the writing and publishing process. Thanks to PTO for funding this enrichment program.  (Mrs. Prince will be back in March to meet with second graders).

Mrs. Royer and Mrs. Daignault have been hard at work planning for another blizzard, actually a Book Blizzard, in January. Watch for more information coming home soon!

A reminder, there is NO SCHOOL on Jan. 17 (Martin Luther King Day).

We’re hopeful that the High School Robotics Team will also visit this month, in support of the fourth graders’ technology unit about simple machines. We also hope to have “Dr.” LeBoeuf in to speak with our third graders about the properties of sound.

During Paton Pride meetings in January, students will showcase what they have been learning in math. We’ll also be celebrating the efforts of students who accumulated three or more hours of math fact practice in December of 2010.

Winter’s Here: Please send your children appropriately dressed to be outside at recess for temperatures of 20 degrees and above. We use the “feels like” temperature on our backyard weather station to make this determination, but you can find similar information at home on weather.com. Mrs. Hanson advises the 20 degree benchmark to prevent breathing problems for children with cold-onset asthma. Inside, due to fuel costs and our need to conserve energy, thermostats have been set at 68 degrees. Please have your child keep a sweatshirt in his/her locker.

My best to you and your families for a Healthy, Happy 2011 !

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