From the Principal's Desk
Next week students in grades 1-5 will assemble to review the procedures for safe arrival and dismissal with an emphasis on how to use the Blue Zone safely. As I often remind the students, the rules are made to keep you safe; following them, even when it's not convenient, is important for our community. Students will bring home a contract and should review the rules with their parent(s) or any adult who picks them up at school. I hope this will help to improve the current level of compliance since traffic has been increasing as the weather gets colder. Our neighborhood was not built to handle the current level of traffic at dismissal. Adherence to the Blue Zone and other posted rules is essential for the safety of ALL students.
This year, I have the pleasure of welcoming Kristin Capezio as my intern. Ms. Capezio is enrolled in the leadership progam at UMass Boston and will be shadowing me several hours a week as part of her program. Currently, Ms. Capezio is the Program Manager at the Underwood School After School Program. With your permission, she may be joining meetings as part of her experience. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to nurture an upcoming leader.
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 literacy or music fund as well as a gift to the Newton Schools Foundation "Honor Thy Teacher" campaign. Thank you for adhering to these guidelines.
During this season of thanks, I want to be sure to express the gratitude of the Ward staff for the many ways you contribute to the important work of educating all children. We appreciate your partnership in the process as we work to create the optimal learning environment for our children. I hope that you and your family enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Audrey Parad Peller
John Ward Elementary School
10 Dolphin Road
Newton Centre, MA 02459