CENTER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

837 LONGMEADOW STREET | LONGMEADOW | MASSACHUSETTS | 01106 | P 413-565-4290 F 413-238-6126

Center Elementary School’s vision for education is foremost focused on fostering a child-centered environment where our students are responsible and respectful members of their learning community. Students develop a strong sense of self and a desire to contribute to their community in a positive manner. Our vision for academic learning is to nurture highly motivated and independent students who approach learning with enthusiasm, critical thinking, creativity, and perseverance. Inherent in our vision is the guiding principle that all students can learn at high levels; and will reach their full potential through the collaborative efforts of their teachers, families, and school leaders.

"All students, regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or homelessness, have equal access to the general education program and the full range of any occupational or vocational programs offered by the district."


SCHOOL HOURS

8:30 AM - 2:45 PM

TO REPORT AN ABSENCE

PLEASE CALL 413-565-4290

SUMMER HOURS

8:00 AM - 3:00 PM

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Open House 2021

Good evening Families!

We’re incredibly excited to welcome you to Center School’s Open House on Thursday, September 23rd from 6:00-7:30. And yes, we are in person!! By now, you have received the “invitation” with information from your child’s classroom teacher. We will hold two sessions and classes are divided alphabetically to minimize the number of adults in the classroom. There is some flexibility for sessions, but please be sure to reach out to teachers with requests if your assigned session is problematic. Masks are mandated at all times while inside the building.

Our Shared Goals for Open House

We strive to create the strongest and most effective partnerships with our families. When we work closely together for and with your child, we create a teaching and learning community where children will become the best learners and citizens imagined.

Some things you will hear about are:

  1. grade level learning expectations across the curriculum.

  2. the workshop model as an instructional framework.

  3. procedures and routines.

  4. what it means to be a peacebuilder and how the peacebuilder's way of being is embedded in our work.

  5. standards based assessment.

  6. support systems in place, including the WIN (what I need) block.

  7. what your child’s day looks like!

  8. ways to support learning at home.

  9. conferences. Open House is not an evening for individual conversations with the teachers about students, but know teachers look forward to this time in November.

Excitedly, you will have the opportunity to more “formally” meet your child’s teacher, see your child’s classroom, and (re)visit and travel the hallways your child travels each day.

At this time, each grade level is assigned a “specials” teacher for a six to seven week rotation. Please stop in to meet and greet your child’s “specials” teacher at 6:30 or at 7:15. No worries, we will be around to help you find classrooms and there are signs posted!

Kinder and 1st grade: PE : Gymnasium Mrs. Gauthier and Mrs. Capotosto

2nd Grade: Library/Media : Library (in the connector) Mrs. Mulcahy

3rd Grade: Technology Integration: Technology room (near the main office) Mrs. Giuggio

4th Grade: Art: Art room (5th grade hallway) Mr. Wong

5th Grade: Music: Music Room (outside the cafeteria) Mrs. Morrisey

If your child receives special education services, our resource teachers will be in their classrooms. Please expect a message from the teacher with details on room locations. Mrs. Coviello; Mrs. Dryburgh; Mrs. Erricolo; Mrs. Grant.

When you arrive at the school, please enter the building from the esplanade doors. The other doors across the school will not be open. We'll have grade level signs at each esplanade door so you know the easiest door to enter.

Mr. Dutko and I will be on the esplanade to welcome you. Also, our special education supervisor Juliet Keenan; our literacy team: Vanessa Vigna, Valerie Brown, and Julia Longo; our math specialist Patricia Woodward; Speech and language pathologist Marissa Matt; and our adjustment counselor, Katie Irizarry will be part of the welcome team. Our PTO executive board will also have representatives to say hello. We will not have a “formal” presentation when you arrive, just a warm welcome, some helpful information/handouts, and lots of help with navigating your way around as needed.

Finally, on the first day of school for the staff, I read a winning book called Hugo and the Impossible Thing. Hugo is a tenacious little bulldog who has the courage to tackle the Impossible Thing at the edge of the forest. So many layers of meaning for me in this simple tale, as we all have faced our own seemingly impossible things throughout life -as will our students. In the story, Hugo persists with courage, curiosity, and “unsinkable” spirit. Importantly, his success is found with the help and the smarts of many friends along the journey.

Thank-you for partnering with us on this remarkable journey through your child’s elementary years. We trust you will discover, if you have not already, how invaluable we consider the school to home connection is to your child’s growth and success.

See you Thursday!

With anticipation and appreciation,

Donna Hutton, Principal


Week of September 6th, 2021

Hello Center Families,

Shana tovah to our families celebrating Rosh Hashanah!

This message is to convey calendar happenings and a few procedural reminders for our shortened week ahead.

BIKERS: We LOVE seeing children riding and rolling to school each day! Please remind your child (and adults please remember) to ride safely past our walkers. “On your right” is a polite and safe way to approach our walkers and importantly, please slow down! It’s our shared responsibility that our community members have a safe route to school and then home from school each day.

Save the evening for our Open House, which will be in person on Thursday, September 23rd from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. Lots of details coming your way from the teachers and me.

Center School Fall Carnival: Yes, one of our favorite community events is back and our 5th grade students will be taking the lead! Hope to see everyone Friday, September 24th on the green at 4:30! Details can be found at https://sites.google.com/view/longmeadow-center-pto/carnival-tickets

School Council Members for the 2021-22 School Year: Staff : Ashley Miller Catherine Grant Skylar Wright Julio Longo Community Member: Karen Rafferty Parents: Chris Morgan Christine Fleming Jennifer Collins Elizabeth Morgan. Our first meeting is Monday, September 13th at 4:30. We’ll be planning our monthly meetings for the school year on the 13th, which will be posted for the public. School Council

PTO Meeting: Monday, September 13th at 7:00 PM in the cafeteria

Lunch time outside is wonderful and we continue to maximize outdoor spaces for recess, snack, and lunch! Please continue to talk with your child about school lunch choices and whether it is a choice they will enjoy. We are organizing a few volunteers to help us at lunch so thank-you of you sent us a message to help out!

Girls on the Run: Phenomenal program for our girls in 3rd, 4th, 5th grade. Ms. O’Brien, 4th grade teacher, and Mrs. Frick, kinder assistant will be our coaches this year! Teachers have the sign up information for you and it can also be found on our school website. https://ctr.longmeadow.k12.ma.us/home

Please reach out with any questions. I hope you enjoyed a wonderful long weekend.

Kind regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal




First Day 2021

Posted Aug. 30, 2021

My Center Community,

Hello on the eve of the first day of the 2021-2022 school year! I extend a gracious “welcome back” to everyone. I’m guessing your child’s supplies are set to go, backpack ready, an important decision about lunch already made, story read...whatever the planning, it will be etched in your child’s memory as a treasured “tradition” that marks the start of a new school year. If your child’s excitement is peppered with some nervousness tonight, reassure your child that so is ours! Such expected feelings when anyone any age begins something anew...

I spent a good part of my time at Center today as I always do the day before school begins-one of my traditions! It’s calming to walk the school halls and take a final peek at classroom spaces that are created for the exuberance of children. And the classrooms look AMAZING! I appreciate each detail in place, knowing how teachers thoughtfully plan “beginnings” that will foster a child’s wonderment and passion for learning. While our world remains somewhat out of order, rest assured that we commit to doing what we do best, which is caring for kids socially, emotionally and academically through whatever circumstances we may find ourselves. We are at all times mindful of the importance of school in a child’s world.

Socially and emotionally, we remain committed to PeaceBuilders practices. Center School Cardinals are peace builders in their classrooms and communities. The “peace builder” way of life is integrated into our days; and you can anticipate hearing lots about Social Emotional Learning (SEL) from me and your child’s teacher along with varied happenings in classrooms and across the school. Our adjustment counselor, Mrs. Irizarry, has created a site that will provide helpful SEL information for families as well. Mrs. Irizarry's Counseling Corner Murphy, our beloved intervention dog, is back this year and will hold office hours for any child needing some pawsitive reassurance...Teachers coordinate with Mrs. Guiggio and Murph as needed.

Academically, we hold a promise to families to provide responsive teaching to each child. Responsive teaching encompasses many practices that we will communicate more fully to you in the time ahead, including ways we will grow our commitment to inclusive practices. Inclusivity is an essential focus if we are to continue to cultivate learning communities that truly meet the needs of each child. We also strive to create a school environment where all our actions and words will demonstrate to you, our community, that our work with children mirrors our commitments.

Tomorrow morning beginning at 8:25 am we will greet our students on the playground. Look for signs with the individual teacher’s name.

1st grade and 2nd grades: signs will be on the walkway near the small playscape,

3rd and 4th grades: signs will be on the blacktop near the basketball court and bike racks.

5th grade: signs will be on the walkway near the cafeteria doors

We'll see our kinder children at orientation tomorrow! Teachers have emailed families details.

Please remember to share dismissal plans with teachers. No worries please about your child navigating before and after school, especially if you are new to Center-teachers will be with kids until connections are made! We know the first week is all about getting routines in place, which will bring your child confidence and security.

We are excited to continue to maximize outdoor time for lunch, snack and recess. We’re fortunate to have an expansive outdoor campus and we have several new picnic tables for the students to enjoy! Thanks for packing kid friendly containers and such that can be managed independently! If you are a family member who is interested in helping at lunch, please call our office and let Amy Tyler know your availability. I’m hoping to develop a volunteer family group to assist us during lunch this school year. Mrs. Mulcahy is seeking library help too...Yay!! our valued volunteers are back!!!

Finally, your Center family will appreciate your kindness, patience, and support as we navigate another extraordinary year together. During our opening professional development day, the staff came up with a list of reasons that we’re proud of Center School. Our students, our families, and our strong sense of community are on our list. So away we go/grow...here’s to a year of adventures as a strong community that works together and never loses sight that it’s all about the kids, everything... always.

With joyful anticipation,

Donna Hutton, Principal

PTO Message

Posted August 28, 2021

Hello Center School Families,

Today is the last day of the PTO FUNdraiser, where all donations are matched up to $20,000!

If you haven't received their newsletter they sent out this morning, sign up here, or check your spam folder (some have been going there). You don't want to miss all their amazing announcements.

Here is the message they would like you to see today:

"We've said it once (well really a bunch) but we'll say it again.... THANK YOU!

Today may be the final day of the PTO FUNdraiser, but you can support us throughout the year with just 'cuz donations or almost more importantly volunteering your time for one of our fabulous committees.

Whether time or money, it all matters to make a big difference for our kids and Center School Community.

DONATE HERE

Please consider donating today, as this will be the only time your donations are matched dollar for dollar, up to $20,000 from a super generous donor (and unfortunately, we are currently less than half way to that goal). We really appreciate it. Not only are we a new board, but also having to start from scratch. Please help us do all the amazing things for the kids and school this year!

Thank you so much!

Center School Arrival /Dismissal Procedures

Posted August 25, 2021

Hello Center Families,

Countdown to our first day!! This message provides important procedural information for the start of the 2021-22 school year! I know lots of information is coming your way at the start of the year, so much appreciation for your time and attention to the messaging.

Monday August 30th : First Day of School for 1st though 5th Graders. Teachers and staff will meet and greet all students on the playground on the first day and walk students to classrooms. After the first day, here are the procedures:

Arrival and Dismissal: Please note that supervision begins at 8:25 am. Students should not arrive on school grounds before this time. Before school play/lingering on the playground is not permitted. The playscape is off limits before school and then again until after 3:30 pm. Students and families are asked to leave school grounds at dismissal-2:45 pm. Play/lingering on the playground area after school is not permissible at this time.

Carline: If you are driving your child to school, please follow the carline procedures. Enter the carline on Longmeadow Street -not Williams Street-and travel in the one -way direction to the front of the school. Please pull all the way to the front of the carline before stopping to drop off your child. Your child will exit the car from the passenger side and go directly to the grade level entrance doors. There will be staff on duty to assist students. Do not drop your child off in the back of the school or on Longfellow Street -this presents a safety hazard for our children and for our community.

Bikers/Walkers: Students park bikes in the back of the school on the bike rack. No bikes shall be parked near the entrance gate on the playground, which is an emergency exit. Students then walk directly to grade level entrance doors to line up. At dismissal, all students will walk bikes up Longfellow Drive to the front of the school, off pedals, and may ride bikes once past the gymnasium. Students will be supervised by staff as they exit the school and staff will escort students to appropriate spots.

Please take time to talk with your child about safety rules walking and biking to and from school. Reviewing the use of crosswalks, courtesy to walkers, and general safety rules that help keep our wonderful students safe and well will be appreciated.

Arrival Entrances and Dismissal Exits

Kindergarten: Esplanade doors on the gymnasium side of school (left building when facing school)

1st grade: Esplanade doors on the gymnasium side

2nd grade: Esplanade doors: main building side

3rd grade: Arrival main doors; Exit Longfellow Drive side doors

4th grade: Main entrance

Mrs. McColgan and Mrs. O’Brien: Arrival and dismissal Longfellow Drive side doors

5th grade: Cafeteria doorways: back of the school

Families and caretakers need to wait on the tree belt or on the playground to meet bikers and walkers at dismissal. Please do not wait on the esplanade as a meeting spot as you will block classes exiting the school. Please be mindful that we are working diligently to minimize congestion at all areas across the school and we need your full partnership to achieve this goal.

HEALTH OFFICE: The first day arrival and all arrival days are busy times for our school staff. If you are a family who needs to drop off important medication, please contact the nurse to coordinate the drop off as soon as possible. It will be difficult to accommodate you at 8:25 am on the first day of school. Nurse Spear is at school the remainder of this week from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm espear@longmeadow.k12.ma.us

Finally, and importantly, family dismissal plans are critical to your child's safety. Please provide your child's teacher with the expected plan and always inform the teacher of any changes should they occur. Students should not change plans on their own, such as leave school with another child/family unless the school is informed of the change. We appreciate if you will reinforce this expectation with your child.

Fresh Picks Lunch Menus: We encourage you to pack your child’s lunch if you are unsure that your child will enjoy the choices to ensure that lunch is not wasted-the kids need healthy nourishment each day! Each day is one hot or one cold lunch choice. Please check the school website for posted menus under the parent tab. We will eat outside each day this year weather permitting! We have several new picnic tables added to our collection; and the children loved “picnic” style across the playground-a silver lining we will maintain from last year.

Please reach out with any questions.

Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Health Office News

Posted Aug. 19, 2021

Good evening,

Nurse Autumn Rodrigues is leaving Center School. She has accepted a position in her home town, bringing her school nursing talents and care to a new school community. We wish her the very best and send her off with our deepest gratitude for her nine years of service to our children and families. I’m pleased to introduce our new nurse with her welcome letter below.

Hello Center School Community!

I’m so excited to introduce myself. My name is Erin Spear, and I am thrilled to be your new school nurse. I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Fairfield University and earned my Nurse Practitioner Master’s Degree at UMASS - Boston. I have worked as a nurse for over twenty years in many medical subspecialties including emergency, cardiothoracic surgery, primary care, long term care, and home care.

For the last several years I have been working in the Longmeadow school district as a substitute school nurse. I was fortunate enough to spend some time at Center School last Fall and met quite a few of you. I look forward to meeting and collaborating with more families and children this year. I hope to optimize all student’s health, keeping them healthy and ready to learn! Please feel free to email me (espear@longmeadow.k12.ma.us) or give me a call to say hello….I’d love to hear from you!

Regards,

Nurse Erin Spear

Getting to Know the New PTO!

Posted Aug. 19, 2021

Hello Center School Families!

While we enjoy these last few weeks of summer and start to think about the excitement of the new school year, we’d like to take the opportunity to introduce the new Center Elementary PTO. The new PTO Executive Officers were sworn in at the end of last school year and have been working diligently over the summer months to set us up for success in the coming year with a new website, social media pages, robust payment processing accounts and procedures, and new governing bylaws. We encourage all of our families to get to know the new PTO in a variety of ways:

Visit the Website

Get to know the PTO Board, upcoming events, how to volunteer and to sign up to receive the weekly e-newsletter. You can also follow the PTO on Facebook and Instagram.

Weekly e-newsletter

You must sign up to receive the e-newsletter! Each Monday, the PTO will send the “Cardinal Corner” e-newsletter that will highlight events for the week and other fun PTO announcements or activities for students and parents. Don’t miss out!

Volunteer

The PTO cannot do what we do without the help of our wonderful Center School parents and caregiver volunteers! Choose from a variety of opportunities to get involved.

SAVE THE DATE!

Be on the lookout for emails and posts next week with details about the Center PTO Virtual Fundraiser August 23-27 in support of our beloved Center School traditions, including the 5th Grade Carnival, Halloween Hustle, Scholastic Book Fairs, Teacher Appreciation Week, and more! Every dollar donated will be matched through the generosity of an anonymous donor - up to $20,000!

We’re looking forward to an awesome year working together!!!

Sincerely,

Center School PTO Executive Board Members


Calendar Happenings

Posted July 19, 2021

Hello Center School Families,

Here’s some calendar reminders as we move towards August when you begin to think about another school year beginning. Please remember that teachers have posted grade level supply lists on their websites and each grade level teacher requests the same supplies.

August 19th 9:00 am: Principal’s Tour of Center School for students and their families new to town and/or new to Center School. (This is not the visiting day for kinder children and families.)

August 20th 9:00 am: Welcome back to “in person” learning cohort c students! Come by to say hello and get reacquainted with Center School!

August 20th : Classroom teacher assignments released via PowerSchool Parent Portal. Kindergarteners will receive a welcome letter from their assigned teacher in the mail on the 20th. New families will receive an email with teacher assignment as you will not have access to PowerSchool until school begins.

August 30th - First day of school for our 1st through 5th graders. Welcome back greetings and line up on the playground at 8:25 am.

August 30th - Kindergarten Orientation for incoming Kindergarten students and Families. Teachers will provide all the information needed in their welcome letter.

August 31st - First day of school for Kindergarten students!

You can anticipate additional communication and details as needed before school begins. Enjoy a wonderful August filled with all your favorites of the summer.

Warm regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal



Message from the PTO

Posted June 4, 2021

Good Morning Center School Families,

We are excited to announce the launch of the Longmeadow Center PTO! While there is still work to be done, the PTO is eager to start working with our Center School families. We encourage you to engage with us online or at one of our upcoming events. Please see below ways to start staying connected!

NEWSLETTER

If you are interested in receiving the weekly newsletter, which includes important school reminders and updates, you MUST subscribe (or re-subscribe) to be on the new email list. Signing up is easy! Complete the three-question-only registration form and voila...you're signed up! You can also enroll anytime though the PTO website.

WEBSITE

The Longmeadow Center PTO website is a great way to learn about the PTO, upcoming events, and volunteer opportunities. Be sure to bookmark for quick reference!

SOCIAL MEDIA

Like us on Facebook and Instagram! Former pages will be removed in the coming weeks so be sure you're following the new pages to get the latest and greatest throughout the week.

COMMUNITY MEETING

On Thursday, June 10th at 7:00pm in the school café (enter from the back of the school-café doors), the Officers of the Longmeadow Center PTO invite you to join the Community Meeting for an introduction and sneak peek at future plans. Details and more information will be posted and sent via email so subscribe to the mailing list today!

Questions? Contact the PTO anytime at longmeadowcenterPTO@gmail.com

Sincerely,

Center School PTO Executive Board