From the Principal's Desk - October 24, 2014

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From the Principal's Desk


Show your school spirit

We are excited about our monthly Community Meetings and want to encourage students and staff to wear blue and white or any Ward School t-shirt/sweatshirt to show their school spirit on meeting days. The next meeting is on Monday, November 10.  At that time, the second grade students will be presenting a program to remind us to be polite.

Remaining meeting dates are as follows:

December 2; January 8; February 6; March 2; April 7; May 7; June- last day of school

Kindergarten Assessment

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, together with the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, are requiring kindergarten teachers to implement an assessment tool to measure growth and learning. All kindergarten teachers were recently trained to use the Teaching Strategies GOLD. This is part of a statewide initiative called the Massachusetts Kindergarten Entry Assessment (MKEA). This year, teachers will implement two domains, social-emotional and cognitive. In both the fall and spring teachers will complete a rubric based on their observations of behaviors such as participating cooperatively and constructively in groups and using classification skills. This is intended to assist teachers in getting to know each child's strengths, interests and needs so that lessons can be planned to support student growth.

Food Policy

I want to clarify the policy pertaining to bringing food to school. Since we have a number of children and adults with food allergies, guidelines were developed by the Newton Public Schools to minimize the risk of exposure to food allergens that may pose a threat. We also want parents to have the ability to control food choices for their child. The district guidelines include the following:

* There is no sharing/trading of food

* We avoid the use of food for classroom and school-wide functions during the school day

* If the teacher feels it is appropriate to use food as part of the curriculum, the teacher will check with the school nurse and notify parents in advance of the project or activity

Please do not send in any candy or other food treats to be distributed to children in the class. We do not send food home with students since it has the potential to cause a threat to a younger allergic sibling. We appreciate avoiding or limiting food containing nuts, especially in classes in which children have life threatening food allergies. In our café we have separate tables labeled for children who bring food containing nuts or hummus since these foods pose a high risk to some of our students. The arrangement is in place during snack time in classrooms where children have these life threatening allergies. Students are asked to wash their hands, especially after eating these foods. Thank you for your support in helping to keep our children safe.  

Ward School Circus

Each year, one of the Ward School traditions is the Fifth Grade Circus. Our fifth graders are actively engaged in developing their own acts for this event. We are all looking forward to the entertaining jugglers, clowns, and acrobats that will be performing for the entire school. You are welcome to join us in the Ward gym on November 20 at 9:00. (Please note this change of date.)

I look forward to seeing you at the Halloween Hoot next Friday at 9:00.