A Message From The Principal (March ’12)

by Jayne Wilkin, Principal

Appreciation: to Trish Jones and Rosemary Royer for their efforts readying for our Book Blizzard, and congratulations to Nora Brady for having her poster selected to publicize this event! We are 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 and to purchase some IPads for teachers to check out for their students to use. We will be celebrating all of this reading during the March 13 Paton Pride meetings, when Harriet Tubman “visits.”

Shrewsbury Cultural Council

We appreciate a $250 grant from the Shrewsbury Cultural Council, which will help fund this program. An actor from Historical Perspectives for Children will portray Harriet’s early life as a slave and the role she played in the Underground Railroad in her later life.

In February and March, first grade teachers host parents and community members who share with the children the goods and services they provide, as part of the social studies curriculum. 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. 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 20-30 (English Language Arts)
  • May 8-18 (Mathematics)

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

Playground News: We are so pleased that playground fundraising has ended, and we are so grateful to so many families, businesses, and organizations, who made substantial donations. The equipment has been ordered ($65,000 worth), and Kiran Adapta will soon be working to arrange for the community build day on Saturday, May 19. Watch for details; we’ll need lots of help! We still need access to augers, asphalt cutters and perhaps equipment for regrading.

Upcoming in March (and beyond): I’d like to call our attention to a parent information evening, coming up on Tuesday, Mar. 13, beginning at 6:30 pm, and immediately preceding our regular PTO Meeting.  I know you’ve heard about the Shrewsbury Writing Project. This is your chance to learn more about it, to understand how students’ writing develops over the grades, what and how teachers are teaching, and the many ways you can support your child at home in developing his/her writing skills. Our shared Instructional Coach, Lisa Papazian, will provide this information to you, answer your questions, and share Paton’s students’ work.

We will again have “whole grade celebrations,” beginning with the fourth grade sharing of projects from their Invention Convention on March 2. They will also share their research about the many contributions immigrants have made to our country on Apr. 5 & 6. Other grades will share their learning in the coming months: Grade 2 students will tell about their True Stories of Achievement research on Apr. 11. Third graders will share their biography presentations on Apr. 12. First grader will share Readers’ Theatre on the afternoon of May 11. Watch for more details from your child’s teachers.

Kristen Serocki and Alisson Johnston and their volunteers are readying for the annual Scholastic Book Fair, which begins on March 9, and ends with the culminating Ice Cream Social on the evening of Mar. 16. Proceeds from the Book Fair will help PTO 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 5.The Paton Pancake Breakfast is scheduled for Saturday, Mar. 31. The town-wide Road Scholars race will be held on Sunday Apr. 1.

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