A Message From The Principal (March ’11)

By Jayne Wilkin, Principal

Appreciation: to Alison Keifer and Rosemary Royer for their efforts readying for our Book Blizzard, and to Shruti Miadam for the colorful posters and her artwork that she’s donated. We’re all looking forward to learning how many hours of reading Paton students accumulated! We’re hoping sponsor pledges will allow us to add some new titles to our media collection. We will be celebrating all of this reading during the March 8 Paton Pride meetings, when nationally published author Jeannine Atkins visits, and awards Book Blizzard prizes.

We appreciate a $250 grant from the Shrewsbury Cultural Council, which will help fund this month’s “visit” from Laura Ingalls Wilder. An actor from Historical Perspectives for Children will portray Laura’s early life in the Midwest, which laid the foundation for her many books. The Council has also been generous to our fourth graders, with a grant in the amount of $450, which will help with the admission price to a play about immigration, which will take place next month at Mechanics Hall.​

In February and March, first grade teachers will be hosting parents and community members who will share the good and services they provide, as part of the social studies curriculum.  Second graders will be visited in March by NECN Meteorologist Matt Noyes, supporting their study of weather. Third graders benefitted from Music Teacher Kathy LeBouef’s presentation about sound. Our fourth graders were inspired by the High School Robotics team members and the robot they built. These enrichment opportunities are all provided at no cost to us!

Classroom News: We continue to be focused on increasing student achievement in all areas of the curriculum. The federal No Child Left Behind legislation requires each school to “outdo” the levels of proficiency from the previous year’s student performance. Third and fourth grade teachers and students are preparing for MCAS testing that will happen in March and April (English Language Arts) and May (Mathematics). Please save these dates, and avoid making appointments or planning travel that will affect attendance during the MCAS testing periods. Every third and fourth grader must participate during these testing windows:

  • March 22- Apr. 6 (English Language Arts)
  • May 10-20 (Mathematics)

Paton and the school district are penalized in scoring if students are absent and don’t take the complete test.

We are beginning to hold mid-year teacher meetings to focus on each area of our curriculum, celebrating successes and problem-solving about areas of need, including professional development and instructional resources to support children’s learning.

Playground News: An inspection of our 15+-year-old playground equipment raises several safety issues, which will warrant preventing students accessing it, once the snow mountains melt.  New equipment is very expensive and will require a considerable amount of money to purchase. PTO President Lorraine Daignault has some terrific ideas for several ongoing events to raise the money that will be needed. Your feedback and help will be needed. Thanks to Desmond and Jackson Lane’s dad, Jeff, for chairing the committee, which will investigate options, and make recommendations for replacing the structure and swings.

Upcoming in March (and beyond): We will again have “whole grade celebrations,” beginning with the fourth grade sharing of projects from their Invention Convention on March 4th. They will also share their research about the many contributions immigrants have made to our country on Apr. 7 & 8. Other grades will share their learning in the coming months: Third graders will share their biography presentations on Apr. 14th, and grade 2 will tell about their True Stories of Achievement research on Apr. 13th. First grade will share Readers’ Theatre on May 6th. Watch for more details from your child’s teachers.

Karen Zeno and her committee are readying for the annual Scholastic Book Fair, which begins on March 11, and ends with the culminating Ice Cream Social on the evening of Mar. 18. Proceeds from the Book Fair will help to fund enrichment programs, field study transportation, and curriculum resources. Ice Cream Social profits will fund fourth grade celebration activities.

Shrewsbury author April Jones Prince will visit with our second graders to talk about the process of writing a biography, as she shares her book about Jackie Robinson, on March 10th.

Due to so many snow days in Jan. & Feb., second trimester report cards will be issued a week later than planned, on April 4th.

The Paton Pancake Breakfast is scheduled for Saturday, April 9th. Watch for more information coming home in the next few weeks. The town-wide Road Scholars race will be held on Sunday Apr. 10th.

Spring IS coming!

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