From the Principal's Desk
As you have probably noticed, the exterior of our building has undergone significant repairs. Beginning this summer, crews have done extensive work by repointing the bricks and making repairs to our roof. To improve the appearance of our building, they also painted some of the window grates and concrete walls, replaced vents, and even washed our windows. Repairs are now nearly complete. Currently, the crew is down to one truck and they are working on a few minor repairs. We appreciate the thoughtful way in which they consulted with our staff to keep the noisy work to non-instructional times and the care they put into improving our school building.
I want to remind parents of students in grades three through five that the dates for MCAS testing are as follows:
- Language Arts: March 18 - April 5
- Math: May 7 - 21
- Science and Technology: (grade 5) May 7 - 21
Please avoid scheduling appointments that would keep your child out of school during this period.
As the winter holiday season approaches, I want to remind you of the Newton School Committee's policy regarding gifts. The policy states "No teacher in the performance of regular duties shall receive presents from the pupils under his or her direction." Each year I remind families of our policy and most comply. However, when some families send in gifts, it places the teacher in an awkward situation. While teachers appreciate your kindness, they do not want to violate school policy or upset the feelings of the child who has brought the gift. It can also be upsetting to the children and families who follow the rules. These people feel disturbed to see some children giving gifts when they were told they should not (even though they wanted to). It is wonderful that families wish to acknowledge the hard work of our dedicated staff. The staff would be delighted to receive notes, pictures, or poems to thank them for their service. You may also honor a teacher through a donation to the PTO. Thank you for adhering to these guidelines.
On November 21, we will be holding our annual Autumnfest, a school-wide sharing of songs of the season. As we celebrate this season of giving thanks, I want to thank you for your ongoing support of our work as we focus on providing an appropriately challenging academic experience in a respectful environment. Whether you are volunteering here in the building or working behind the scenes, we appreciate your ongoing involvement. On behalf of the staff, we all wish you an enjoyable holiday.
Audrey Parad Peller
John Ward Elementary School
10 Dolphin Road
Newton Centre, MA 02459