A Message From The Principal (January ’13)

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 Friendly and Why Me Houses.

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

Student News: We’re pleased that 87% of our students are reading at or above grade level benchmarks. Many, many students are reading one year or more above grade level expectations. We’re working with those youngsters who are below benchmark, and need you to continue your efforts with at home reading too. Check my website for more information about how to accomplish that, look for the menu item “just right books.”

Curriculum News: Our major curriculum initiative this year is in the area of mathematics, differentiating instruction for those who are struggling and providing extension and enrichment for those who are strong math learners. Teachers are working on providing more small group math teaching in their classrooms and they have worked to support each other in these efforts, along with observing one another and working with our Instructional Coach Lisa Papazian on this goal.

We will begin our Math Facts Challenge this month, hoping every Paton student will strengthen his or her fast recall of math facts. Watch for more information coming home soon! During Paton Pride meetings on January 18th, students will showcase what they have been learning in math.

We are seeing very nice growth in children’s writing, during the second year of implementation of the Shrewsbury Writing Project. Teachers are asking children to develop their ability to write personal narratives, opinion/persuasive pieces, poetry and expository text.

During the first of three early release days, on Jan. 8th, classroom and special education teachers will continue with their work in one of four areas, to support the above curriculum goals: Differentiated instruction in mathematics, persuasive writing, using expository texts to do research, and project based learning.

Upcoming Events: We have an author visit scheduled for January 14th. 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 Trish Jones have been hard at work planning for another blizzard…….actually, our annual Book Blizzard in February. We expect to use monies raised to purchase books for our Media Center and technology for classroom use. Watch for more information coming home at the end of this month.

A reminder, there is NO SCHOOL on Jan. 21 (Martin Luther King Day).

Please check my website for all of the upcoming events http://teacherweb.com/MA/ShrewsburyPatonSchool/JayneWilkin/apt8.aspx

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” (wind chill) temperature on our new weather station, donated by SELCO. Mrs. Smith 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 2013 !

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