A Message from the Principal (June ’11)

by Jayne Wilkin, Principal
Appreciation: To the many, many parents who have volunteered in their children’s classrooms, on field studies, and who have supported other special projects. Also great thanks to all of our PTO officers, committee chairs, and volunteers who have extended learning opportunities for our students. Find our Volunteer Honor Roll later in newsletter!

A special note of thanks to these parents who have assisted in so many ways with School Council, special projects, or via PTO, who will be “leaving us” as their children move on to Sherwood:

  • Ada Cimpeanu: Paton People and videographer
  • Christine LeBlanc: former PTO Co-President
  • Karen Zeno: veteran of many Scholastic Book Fairs
  • Jean Dugan: Socials, Celebrations, and Pancake Breakfasts. Name it, Jean has done it!
  • Kathy Imparato: former PTO Co-President
  • Heather Sena: Volunteer Coordinator, Teacher Appreciation, Enrichment Chair, and grant-writer. She’s had a hand in almost everything while her children have attended Paton!
  • Tim Daly: Worcester Tornadoes Nights

Great thanks to PTO President Lorraine Daignault, Treasurer and Newsletter editor Mark Adler, Enrichment and Volunteer Chair Heather Sena, Vice President and Teacher Appreciation Co-Chair Katherine Guidi, Fundraising Chairs Christina Manos and Rachael Missall. I could go on and on about all of the committee chairs and volunteers. It truly “takes a village” to carry out all of the important work we do, and offer such important additions to our school program: community service learning projects, enrichment programs, field studies, social events, celebrations, open houses, and the fundraisers needed to support all of them.

I would also like to mention how much the Paton staff has valued the many teacher appreciation events, poems, gifts, and the financial support PTO has provided for $2000 for curriculum materials this year. Given our tight budget situation, PTO has been instrumental in insuring that we have the needed supplies and curriculum materials for the coming school year as well. We’re grateful for their funding of TeacherWeb, and hope that you are finding that a great resource at home.

Congratulations: To our fourth graders, who have been terrific examples of hard-working, enthusiastic, and responsible learners. It is with pride that we send them on to Sherwood Middle School to carry on this tradition.

As you know, our Book Blizzard was an outstanding success. Thanks to Allison Kiefer and Rosemary Royer for all of their efforts. Our Media Specialist, Martha Paine, was thrilled to order so many new books for the children to check out.

Yippee: Our MCAS “marathon” has ended. The tests have been boxed up and sent off for scoring. We expect to receive results in September. We appreciate the high rate of student attendance during the testing period. Third and fourth graders worked extremely hard on all sections of the tests.

Staff News: We say adieu to Mrs. Lachance as she retires. We’re in the process of interviewing to fill this position for the fall. Mrs. Carla Mack, one of our special education teachers will be leaving us in November, and we’re also interviewing for someone to take her position for the fall.

Grade Level teams for next year remain the same:

Grade One

  • Mrs. Karen Catalanotti
  • Mrs. Coreen Hawley
  • Mrs. Linda Lepiesza
  • Mrs. Kristin Kilgore

Grade Two

  • Mrs. Joan Carlson
  • Mrs. Ann Early
  • Mrs. Kristine Gustafson
  • Ms. Jillian Ward

Grade Three

  • Mrs. Pamela Darling
  • Ms. Nicole Cormier
  • Mrs. Sharon Lorah
  • Mrs. Wendy Moran

Grade Four

  • Mrs. Wendy Bell
  • Mrs. Barbara Connolly
  • Mrs. Colleen Kalagher
  • Mrs. Mary Beth Leifer

Students returning to Paton will learn who their next year’s teachers and classmates will be on the last day of school (in their report cards).

Upcoming Events: As you can see from the calendar, we have several events going on in June. We will work to keep students focused on learning until the last day of school on June 21. The last day of school is a half-day, but I’ve as yet to learn exactly what time dismissal will be. Watch Monday notices for that time. Please help us by continuing routines, homework, and reasonable bedtimes.

Two Open Houses are planned: for new students on June 6, 4-5:30 p.m., and for new or returning students on Sun., Aug. 28, 3-4:30 p.m. Appreciation to Melissa Wensky who is busy preparing for these. Student Council members will be providing tours of the building on June 6.

Renovation Work at Paton: It will be a loud, messy, and challenging summer here, as the first floor renovation begins on the day after school gets out. If you’ve been in the building recently, you will see boxes everywhere, as first floor teachers (excepting in the modulars) are busy packing up everything (yes, EVERYTHING) in their classrooms, for transport to the gym or trailers that will be placed behind the building. Asbestos abatement work will begin, as the 1950 era floor tiles are removed. This will be followed by removal and replacement of the subflooring, wall/trim painting, and finally installation of new floor coverings. With four subcontractors and the regular summer cleaning to be done, I’ve got my toes crossed that teachers will be able to set up their classrooms in late August in order for school to begin on time. Should there be a delay, I expect to notify you via the automated phone messaging system.

During the Summer Months: Please keep your children reading and learning! Summer reading lists are posted on our website. Thye offer many choices for children, with differing levels of text difficulty. Teachers can really tell if children have read over the summer, or not, as those who have not been reading typically lose ground. Summer readers often advance their skills by a level or two. The last Everyday Mathematics Family Letter of the year makes suggestions about summer math work that will help your children maintain or gain skills. This year we’ll be sending home summer calendars, with many fun ways to keep the mathematic part of the brain working. If math facts aren’t yet leaned for quick recall, that’s something you should definitely practice in the car, online, or via a game of Uno “war.” You can access our website for help in finding “Just Right” books, and suggestions for math learning. Children can also practice writing in journals, and by sending post cards and letters.

You can access grade level curriculum summaries on our website should you want to plan day trips to historic sites or museums. These often provide children with a great deal of background information that serves them well as they are learning new content in the next grade. Acton Discovery Museum, Broad Meadow Brook Sanctuary, Plimoth Plantation, Minuteman National Park, Harvard Peabody Museum, and Boston Museum of Science are all great suggestions. Most important is that you spend time as a family having fun !

The 2010-2011 school year: for students is scheduled to begin on Tues., Aug. 30. You’ll find elsewhere in this newsletter a student supply list. It specifies by grade level the supplies we’d like children to bring with them to school. You’ll see “core” items and “wish list” items. Anything you can do to help out with these materials is greatly appreciated. If financial circumstances present a problem, be reassured that we will not have any child go without. Last year several parents sent in “extras” which helped greatly, and I was able to purchase some of the supplies out of the building budget.

Lastly, on a personal note, I’m immensely grateful for the support, guidance, and assistance the Paton staff and parent community have afforded me this past year. Annette Hanson, our School Nurse, and Bruce Anderson, our Head Custodian keep everything running smoothly. A very special note of thanks goes to Katie Fox, who has quickly learned all she needs to know in her first year here. She continues to manage many tasks at once, all with patience, warmth, and good humor!

I will be in and out during the summer months. Should you need to reach me, please email (jwilkin@shrewsbury.k12.ma.us) or phone (508-841-8630), as I will check messages every week or so.

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