Archive for ‘Principal’

October 28, 2013

Paton PTO General Meeting Minutes For Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

PTO General Meeting Minutes For Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

1. Principal’s report

a. Mrs. Bell reports several PTO-sponsored programs have been enjoyed by the students already this school year. These include a visit from Johnny Appleseed for Paton’s first graders. Paton fourth graders are in the middle of cartography program that included a presentation for the entire grade on cartography that was held in the gym. The school is very appreciative of the PTO for fundraising for those events.

b. The surface on the new playground is now complete and up to all standards. Recent upgrades were done to improve safety and accessibility for all children using the facility. Mrs. Bell thanked Lorraine Daignault, Paton PTO Fundraising Chairperson, for all of her hard work on playground efforts.

2. PTO President Melissa Wensky’s update

a. Mrs. Wensky reports the PTO is looking forward to pumpkin painting party on October 18th. The PTO is using Sign-up Genius to recruit volunteers for help with clean up and for helpers to assist with the snack table. There is also a need for large tubs to keep cold drinks.

3. Book fair update

a. Paton parents Jessica Goldsmith and Kelly Lagrander have been named as the new co–chairs of the event. Mrs. Goldsmith reports she has met with the former co-chairs for assistance in taking over the event. All volunteers slots have been filled and that they are all set for delivery of the materials in time for the event, which begins October 31st and ends November 8th.

b. Work has also started on the ice cream social, a fundraising event for the fourth grade which is held during the book fair.

4. Fundraising update

a. The three-week Paton Curriculum Campaign was launched at the beginning of October. As of the October 8th meeting, $3000 had been raised to support specific enrichment programs throughout the year. Fundraising coordinator Lorraine Daignault reports she is receiving good feedback from people pleased to be able to sponsor specific programs with the campaign.

5. Corporate giving update

a. Coordinator Danielle Wolfus reports Box Tops are rolling in and the program continues to be a strong, popular fundraiser for the school.

b. Mrs. Wolfus also reports she is seeing double the number of people who are enrolled in retail rewards programs, such as Stop & Shop and Target rewards cards. The board hopes to continue outreach to alert more members of the community about how to enroll in these programs.

6. Volunteering update

a. Volunteer coordinator Sarah Merolle reports most slots for volunteer opportunities are filled. Several people have come forward to volunteer to chair events. Gaps still exist for movie night, which takes place in the spring.

The next general meeting will be held November 12th at 7pm in the Music room


August 26, 2013

5 questions with Mrs. Bell

As we kick off the 2013 – 2014 school year at Paton, we are also starting out with a new principal!  Mrs. Wendy Bell was selected last spring  to replace Jayne Wilkin, who retired at the end of the school year in June.

Up until this year, Mrs. Bell served as a teacher at Paton for 13 years.  You can read more about her career and personal life on her Teacherweb profile page.  We wanted to find out more and took a few minutes to ask Mrs. Bell about some of the highlights of both her personal and professional life so far. Here she tells us why she became an educator, and which teacher changed her life when she was a student.

When you were in elementary school, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I flip-flopped many times between becoming a third grade teacher or an astronaut. Very different career paths for sure! At the time, the space program was receiving a lot of attention and astronomy really intrigued me. I even had an astronaut Cabbage Patch doll that has since been passed down to my daughters.

What lead you to education as a career path?

Undoubtedly, it was my second grade teacher, Miss Nyland. She was young, fun, and took a genuine interest in each of her students. She challenged me and encouraged me. Two years later, before my family moved out of state, she took me out to lunch to say goodbye. She made such a lasting impression on me and I wanted to be a teacher just like her. Making connections with students has been such a big part of my career, and I believe it is one of the keys to being an effective educator. She taught me that at a very young age.

Biggest “aha” moment in your career as an educator?

I’m not sure that there is just one, or even that there is an “aha” moment! Every time a student overcomes obstacles and has success is such a blessing to watch. We pour our hearts and souls into educating our students and teaching them how to struggle through problems. When it finally “clicks”, it is so satisfying! I also really enjoy it when former students come back to visit me. I love to watch them grow and see what they’ve become. I was invited to the Shrewsbury High School graduation last year by a student who visited me at least 3 times a year from the time he left third grade right up to this day. For a teacher, that is such a gift. To know that you have made an impact on a life. I feel so happy every time I think about that.

What is your favorite movie and why do you love it?

My favorite movie has to be Hoosiers. I must have watched that movie 100 times in college. We watched it on every van trip to our away basketball games and we watched it before every home game. There is just something about seeing an “underdog” become victorious. Hoosiers is hands-down the most inspirational sports movie; a classic that everyone should see at least once!

Complete this sentence: “Each day that I head to Paton, I strive to…”

….model respect and provide my teachers and students with the tools, strategies, and support they need to excel.

Mrs. Bell with her twin daughters, Lexi and Audrey

Mrs. Bell with her twin daughters, Lexi and Audrey

Mrs Bell with her son, Tyler

Mrs Bell with her son, Tyler

March 4, 2013

A Message From The Principal (March ’13)

by Jayne Wilkin, Principal
Français : Clara Barton
Clara Barton will “visit” on March 12.

Appreciation: to Trish Jones and Rosemary Royer for their efforts readying for our Book Blizzard. 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 help purchase an interactive whiteboard system for a classroom.  We will be celebrating all of this reading during the March 12 Paton Pride meetings, when Clara Barton “visits.”

read more »

February 25, 2013

A Message From The Principal (February ’13)

by Jayne Wilkin, Principal

Appreciation: We have been pleased with our Math Facts Challenge in January. Thanks to so many families who supported their children’s work to build automaticity of the recall of math facts. We will select 60 children who met the goals their teachers set for them, by lottery (from each class) to attend a Holy Cross Men’s basketball game against Lafayette University during Feb. vacation week. Thanks to PTO for purchasing tickets for a parent chaperone to also attend the game.

We appreciate PTO’s funding of local author April Jones Prince’s visit. The first graders enjoyed learning more about how she develops her ideas into books, and why editing is as important when you’re an adult as when you are in first grade! April will be back on March 4 to meet with second graders to speak about biography writing, and share her book about Jackie Robinson.

read more »

January 25, 2013

Principal Search Begins!

Survey Money

by Joe Sawyer, Superintendent of Schools and Barb Malone, Director of Human Resources

Dear Paton Parents & Caretakers,

We have launched the search for the next principal of the Walter J. Paton School, and we are asking for your help.

Please take a few minutes to complete the survey at the link below in order to provide us with your feedback about Paton in order to help us select the best candidate.  We would appreciate it if you would complete the survey by January 31.

Link to survey: 

Link to job posting for Paton Principal:

Your opinions are important to us.  Thank you so much for your assistance.

January 2, 2013

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.

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December 19, 2012

Paton Wins Two John P. Collins Awards

The Shrewsbury Education Foundation has awarded two John P. Collins Awards for Excellence to the Paton staff.

Jayne Wilkin, Principal of Paton, was recognized for her work in Leadership.

Mary Benjamin, a child-specific aide at Paton, was recognized for her work as a Paraprofessional.

The Paton community is invited to the Shrewsbury Education Foundation Grants and J.P. Collins Awards Recognition Dinner to support our two educators. The dinner is also a fundraising event to support the grants, and will take place on Saturday, January 19 at Cyprian Keyes Golf Club. The cost is $65 per person, plus there will be a cash bar.  A portion of the ticket fee is tax-deductible.

More information about the dinner will become available soon in the Community Bulletin which is sent out by the Shrewsbury Public Schools.

We hope to see all of you there!

— —

The Shrewsbury Education Foundation (SEF) works to stimulate, strengthen and support the creation and implementation of innovative educational programs and enrichment activities that benefit students of the Shrewsbury Public Schools.
Since its inception in 1992, SEF has awarded over $250,000 in grants to Shrewsbury Public schools for innovative programs reaching students at every level, from preschool to high school.
Through its all-volunteer effort supported by charitable contributions, SEF fills a vital gap for Shrewsbury students. SEF grants allow dedicated educators create new learning vehicles that cannot be supported as financial resources have tightened. SEF grants encourage creative approaches to educating the whole child—further meeting their intellectual, psychosocial and health needs
December 4, 2012

A Message From The Principal (December ’12)

by Jayne Wilkin, Principal

Appreciation: To Paton Families, for your contributions for Thanksgiving baskets. Third graders assembled eight dinners for Paton families who enjoyed a bountiful Thanksgiving feast, thanks to you all. All remaining food was donated to the Worcester County Food Bank.

Thanks for PTO’s partial funding of bus transportation, which allowed our second graders (Animal ABCs) and fourth graders (Rocks and Minerals) to learn from their visits to Harvard Peabody Museum. Third graders had a terrific experience at Plimoth Plantation earlier in November, as they learned more about Massachusetts’ history. We appreciate all of you who helped to chaperone. I was reminded by more than one of you how respectful and well-behaved our children are when they go on field studies.

Second graders enjoyed the Wingmasters program, where they got to see owls close up. Thanks to PTO’s funding of this enrichment program. Jim Parks tells us year after year what great knowledge our students have about these nocturnal animals, leading to their thoughtful questions. I am also impressed with the research reports the second graders are writing about the nocturnal animals they are studying.  The children have enjoyed their owl pellet dissections, also made possible through PTO funding.

A respectful community:  As important as it is for children to acquire their academic skills, it is also critically important that they develop into respectful, caring, responsible members of our community. That is why we value  “Paton Pride” and community service learning so much. Having children become caring citizens, who help those who may not have all that they themselves enjoy is one way to accomplish this. I am always pleased when that sense of community responsibility comes from, and grows within, the children themselves. You’ve already helped your children understand that many do not enjoy the food that your family does via the Thanksgiving food basket collections recently completed.  Kris Gustafson and her class add to these efforts through their December children’s book collection to benefit Friendly House and the Why Me residence. We again will be accepting donations for Student Council’s Giving Tree at School. Watch for more information coming home about both of these projects in red folders.

Every teacher spends time each week implementing the responsive classroom curriculum, to build students’ social competencies. This is done largely through morning meetings, where the focus is on working (and playing) together as members of classroom and school communities. Children who periodically have trouble remembering to show respectful behavior experience logical consequences, for example, if they have trouble playing respectfully on the playground, they need to make amends, often losing a recess to do so.

Upcoming Events: We have a Paton Pride meeting coming up on Fri., Dec. 7, where the focus will be on the children’s science learning. First graders will share the story of sand, several second graders will share their nocturnal animal reports, third graders will act out the life-cycle of a tree, and fourth graders will share their poster projects about changes to the earth’s surface.

Standards Based Report Cards will be issued on Dec. 10th. They will provide you with a tremendous amount of information about what your child knows and is able to do. You’ll receive detailed information about your child’s progress toward the Massachusetts learning standards in English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, music, art, physical education, and (in grades 2 and 4) health. Report cards will also provide information about the habits of mind, or the ways of behaving that support learning. You should have a clear sense about any skills that your son/daughter needs extra practice or support in.  Please be in touch with teachers if you need any additional information about how to support your child’s learning. I’m sure they have already shared some ideas during the November conferences. Reading every night at home in “just right” books, practice of math facts, and completion of nightly homework go a long way to help your child succeed academically. Having your child in school everyday, health allowing, and on time go a long way to helping your child succeed.

Most all children need ongoing practice with basic math facts. While that occurs some during class, it is very important that regular practice of facts take place at home.  With concentrated effort, we see nice gains in fact knowledge.  Almost all children can achieve efficient recall of math facts, given practice over time. Automatically knowing basic number facts is AS IMPORTANT to learning mathematics as is knowing words by sight for reading. Once learned, the more important focus on math operations, concepts and problem solving are the focus. Good fact habits are called fact power in Everyday Mathematics. Math games (found in the student reference books) and practice with fact triangles are the primary means of building efficient recall. Websites also offer game-like practice (see our curriculum links for suggestions). Many of our students are very successfully using to build their math fluency.  We again appreciate PTO’s funding of the IXLMath website for all students.

Here are the grade level expectations for math fact efficiency:

  • Grade 1 Easy Addition and Subtraction facts by the end of the grade
  • Grade 2 Easy and Hard Addition and Subtraction facts by the end of the grade
  • Grade 3 All Addition and Subtraction facts as well as Multiplication and Division facts by the end of the grade
  • Grade 4 Addition and Subtraction Facts along with all Multiplication and Division facts, including x11 and x12, by the end of the grade

Easy facts:

  • plus 0, 1, 2, 5, 10 and doubles
  • minus 0, 1, 2, 10, and that number
  • multiplication through 10 x 10


Winter approaches:  As we move into the colder weather I’d like to remind you to send your children appropriately dressed to be outside at recess for temperatures of 20 degrees and above. We use the “feels like” temperature to make this determination. We’re excited to have a new weather station funded by SELCO, which will soon be set up so the second graders can again report on indoor or outdoor recess each day. 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.

Holiday Gift Giving:  Last year I was surprised and pleased to receive gifts from several students at Christmas. I am very appreciative of the thought behind them; however the school and individual classrooms need so many things. So if you’re thinking of a gift to me or to the school, please consider adding a book to our media collection or a gift to your child’s classroom. As always, the best gift of all to me is the support you provide to your children, their teachers, and our school.

My wishes for a wonderful holiday season!

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