CENTER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

837 LONGMEADOW STREET | LONGMEADOW | MASSACHUSETTS | 01106 | P 413-565-4290

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

Bedtime Read Aloud 5

Posted Dec. 10, 2017

Good evening,

Here's your Sunday bedtime read alouds...two perfect choices this week for a snowy weekend and the coming of Hanukkah. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHDcf2KyGfA

Weekly reminders:

  • We love the snowy weather! Students will need to dress warmly and appropriately. PLEASE help the lunch monitors and me by making sure your child has a coat, hat, gloves, and boots. Boots are needed because the playground and blacktop will likely be snowy and wet. Snow pants are needed only if he/she wants to play in the snow. Keeping children inside for recess does not make any one of us happy!
  • Remember to send your child's gift for the annual gift baskets for children in need- a beautiful tradition that teaches so much about giving. Thank-you for your generosity.
  • Signed report card envelopes to teachers tomorrow. Thanks for completing the survey if your child received the pilot standards- based report card.
  • Spirit day Friday: Slipper Day.

Warm regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Bedtime Read Aloud 4

Posted Dec. 3, 2017

Hello Center School Friends,

Our fourth bedtime read aloud story reminds us that it sometimes just takes ONE voice to make everyone count-a perfect message for our PeaceBuilders' community! Happy reading and sweet dreams...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYUcg4wscQc

Warmly,

Your Center School Family

A few reminders for this week and beyond:

  • Please check the lost and found for coats, hats, sweaters, lunchboxes-so many items that need to be claimed!
  • Tuesday morning is Helping Hands for our third graders. 7:50 AM in the cafeteria.
  • Report cards will go home with students Friday, December 8th.
  • First Grade Family Literacy Night: Thursday, December 7th at 6:30 PM.
  • December 15th Spirit Day: Slipper Day!!

ColorCycle Program - Update!

Posted Nov. 28, 2017

All around Center School students and teachers have been collecting used markers that are ready to be discarded. The markers are sent to a facility where they will be converted into clean fuel. This fuel can be used to power vehicles, heat homes, cook meals and more!

To date, students have collected over 1056 markers!

Please continue to help support our efforts by sending your kids in with any used markers you may have around the house – even non-Crayola brands. Drop-off boxes are located around the school for your child to deposit the markers.

With the help of parents like you across the country, the Crayola ColorCycle program can keep tons of plastic out of landfills each year.

Remember, don’t throw out that used marker—ColorCycle it!


Bedtime Read Aloud 4

Posted Nov. 26, 2017

Hello Center School Friends!

We look forward to four full weeks of learning ahead! Enjoy tonight’s bedtime read aloud with a special guest joining our reading friend!

Happy reading and sweet dreams!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHhw2USGEzQ

Warmly,

Your Center School Family


Center Bedtime Stories Special Edition

Posted Nov. 22, 2017

Greetings Center Friends,

Surprise! A special edition of Center Bedtime Stories on the eve of Thanksgiving. We wish you the joys and blessings of family and friends on Thanksgiving, and of course, the joys of reading!

Sweet dreams...

With gratitude for you,

Your Center School Family

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzE2afHmNlc

Bedtime Read Aloud 2

Posted Nov. 19, 2017

Good evening Center School Friends...

It's Sunday and that means bedtime story time from your Center family! Story clue ...I'm guessing a lot of our friends were at the movies this weekend for the opening of this touching story brought to life!

Happy reading and sweet dreams...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NjrIAHl8cQ

Warm regards,

Your Center School Reading Friends

“If every single person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary-the world really would be a better place…”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NjrIAHl8cQ

Cold Weather Dress Reminder

Posted Nov. 14, 2017

Good morning Center Families,

It seems like winter weather is here with colder days and unpredictable weather. Please support us by helping your child adhere to our winter dress as stated in the Family Handbook:

  • The students are expected to dress appropriately for cold weather days. We will have outdoor recess unless the temperatures and/or the wind chill factor are such that it is determined to be unsafe or unwise to do so. Generally, 20 degrees or colder is

considered to be the threshold. Students must have coats, hats, gloves, boots [during snowy conditions], and long pants to play outside in cold weather. If it is determined that a student is not dressed appropriately and/or safely for the weather, we will provide indoor recess for the student.

If your child prefers to wear shorts, please have him/her wear long pants over shorts that can be easily slid on for recess. We also suggest that students keep gloves and a hat either in their backpack or their lockers/cubbies to be prepared for changeable conditions. Names on all items will help us return personal items from lost and found to students!!

Please contact me if your family needs assistance for winter weather clothing; and I will help meet your child’s needs with care and discretion.

With appreciation for your ongoing support,

Donna Hutton, Principal

The walking school bus is on this morning-see you at Hopkins or along the path to Center!

Center Bedtime Story: #1

Posted Nov. 12, 2017

Hello Center School Friends,

Here is your first bedtime story. Please remember to expand to full screen AND you can also subscribe to the channel!! We praise Ms. Valerie Fritz, our reading specialist and fellow lover of books for setting up the channel for us !

Happy Reading and sweet dreams my friends…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq8U_9MbzSs

Warmly,

Your Center School Family

After School Enrichment: Battle of the Books!

Posted Nov. 10, 2017

Dear Center School Parents,

I am writing to let you know of an amazing opportunity for Center School students. Center School's own Joy Bocchino and Jamie Quinn are offering Book Wars! This enrichment course is designed to get kids excited about reading. We have a number of students signed up, and ALL students grades 3-5 are welcome. This class starts Thursday, 11/16, so please register now. Below you will find more details, along with a link to online registration. Please don't hesitate to contact me at ssmith@longmeadow.k12.ma.us if you have any questions.

https://apm.activecommunities.com/longmeadow/Activity_Search/8585

New! Book Wars (Battle of the Books): Grades 3-5

Students in the exciting new class will form teams, read books, design uniforms, and compete to see who are the BOOK WAR JEDIS! Each week teams will focus on different aspects of the books and team strategy. The final battle will be held after Winter Vacation, date TBD. The battle will be either or both Family Feud and Relay style (depending on the number of student teams). Students are not required to read all the books. However, the more they read, the more they can help their team! MAY THE READING FORCE BE WITH YOU! A $10 material fee is required, payable to the instructor on the first day of the course. Instructor: Joy Bocchino

Book List:

Applegate, Katherine The One and Only Ivan

Barretta, Gene Lincoln and Kennedy a Pair to Compare

Blume, Judy Freckle Juice

Byars, Betsy Tornado

Fleming, Candace Boxers for Katje

Manes, Stephen Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days

Vernick, Audrey Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All Brother Baseball Team

Warner, Gertrude Boxcar Children

Winter, Jonah You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!

Activity: 7705.257

Location: Center School

Dates: Thursdays 11/16-12/21 (No Class 11/23)

Time: 2:45-4:15pm Fee: $50 per person

Center Stage Act 2: RTI

Posted Nov. 10, 2017

Center Stage

An informational curriculum corner to help families understand

their child(ren)'s educational experiences at Center.


Center Stage link: https://sites.google.com/longmeadow.k12.ma.us/centerstage/home


Hello Center School Families,

We present Center Stage Act 2, which focuses on our intervention model including the “WIN” block. The Response to Intervention (RTI) model achieves the following:

  • A systematic way of identifying student strengths and challenges.
  • Reduction in the time students wait to receive necessary instruction and intervention.
  • Close monitoring and documentation of student responses to quality instruction in general education classrooms-Tier 1-so we are less likely to “label” students too quickly.
  • Teachers, interventionists, and special education staff share responsibilities to ensure that all students can receive additional support using a seamless instructional system.
  • The use of best practices in Tier 1 and Tier 2 classroom instruction and supplemental intervention services.
  • Team problem solving.
  • Differentiation of instruction for all students.

Please click on the Center Stage link for additional information from our teachers and our 5th grade students regarding our intervention model.

Our goal is to meet the academic and social/emotional needs of your child; and we welcome questions and feedback at any time.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Bedtime Stories from Center School Staff

Posted Nov. 10, 2017

Greetings Families,

Your Center School family is excited to bring to you a new YouTube channel called Bedtime Read Alouds ! Each Sunday evening at 7:00 pm, you will receive an email with a link to our channel. A different teacher will read aloud to your child/ren every week. The read aloud book will then be available in a special section of the library for everyone to enjoy! The video will be stored on the channel and the students can go back and listen to the stories as many times as they wish. We hope our students will look forward to this special way to start school each week! The book and the teacher will be a surprise each week! Don't forget to check your email this upcoming Sunday evening!

This is one of many ways we are growing a love of reading with our students as we celebrate the "year of the reader"; and prioritize the importance of reading at home. Happy reading to all!!

Warm regards,

Donna Hutton and Your Center School Family

PTO NEWS: Directory is Ready!!

Posted Nov. 2, 2017

Good morning Center School Families,

The Center School Directory is complete! Thank-you to Beth Benzaquin for her work to organize the first electronic version of the directory. Congratulations to 5th graders Eleanor Choiniere, Nona Sheridan, and Vivian Welch. You’ll find their creative directory designs on the link : http://www.centerschoolpto.com/student-directory.html ; Password is Cardinal.

Lots of “shout outs” today…Our PTO and their committees have enjoyed a successful fall! Many thanks to Melissa Cybulski , Suzanne Kleeman and their volunteers for their work on the Fall Book Fair. It’s a joy to see staff, children and families select books that are sure to become family favorites!

The Halloween Hustle was also an overwhelming success. Ann-Marie Tonsing, Katie Sullivan, Katie Wartman, and many volunteers spent many hours organizing all the details needed for a fun and safe 5k run for our community. I think we may have set a new record for participation!

Looking ahead, please mark your calendar for the next PTO meeting on November 15th at 7:00 pm in the Community Room. As you are aware, many teachers at the elementary level are piloting the new standards based report this year. At the PTO meeting, I will hold a round table discussion about our new report card, which will be fully implemented at the elementary level in 2017-2018. Juliet Keenan, our special education teacher, will join me for the presentation and discussion. Mrs. Keenan has been an integral member of the district report card committee.

Please visit the PTO website and Facebook page often to keep up on happenings at Center School. There’s still time to support our PTO with a family donation. Financial support from families has enabled the PTO to pay for enrichment programs, author visits, technology upgrades, library equipment, playground gear, classroom supplies, teacher requests and training, school beautification, family and community events, and so much more!

http://www.centerschoolpto.com/donate.htm

As always, thank-you for your ongoing dedication and support for our students.

Your partner in education,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Fall Parent Teacher Conferences

Posted Oct. 23, 2017

One of the most important factors in a child’s success in school is the degree to which his or her parents are actively involved in the child’s education.”

Dear Center School Families,

Teachers are looking forward to positive and informative parent teacher conferences this week. Your child's teacher will share relevant work samples and assessments, as well as discuss beginning insights about your child as a learner.

We consider the October conference to be a goal setting conference. You will learn about academic and social goals for your child, with ways you can assist your child with learning at home. Importantly, teachers will continue to share ways you can assist your child with his/her reading at home as we implement the first year of our Homework Guiding Principles.

Here is an informative link from the Harvard Family Research Project. The tip sheet provides suggestions for a positive conference experience.

http://www.westmichiganaviation.org/system/assets/189/original/Parent-Teacher-ConferenceTipSheet-Parents.pdf

If you have a 4th or 5th grade child, you may have questions regarding the 2017 MCAS results. The Department of Education plans to send districts the family reports on or around October 25th. The district will mail the reports to families on October 31st, assuming we receive the reports on the 25th. Please note that schools received the results this week; and teachers are only beginning to delve into and analyze the scores. We will be able to discuss your child’s (and Center’s) performance in the weeks ahead. Here’s an interactive guide about the next-generation MCAS for families that I believe you will find helpful: http://www.doe.mass.edu/odl/e-learning/mcas-parentguide/content/index.html - /?_k=e82zj7

Please remember that students are dismissed at 11:30AM on Thursday and Friday. Kindly be prompt at pick up so teachers may begin conferences in a timely manner.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Other happenings/updates:

  • The DPW fenced in our field last week for fall maintenance: reseeding, aerating, dethatching. Fencing should be removed this week.
  • Students need to leave school grounds promptly at dismissal. If a student remains on the playground at 2:45, parent supervision is expected.
  • Book Fair is this week! Come support our PTO while choosing some great reads for your child! Also, here’s the link to the PTO website if you haven’t joined and/or made a family donation for 2017-2018: http://www.centerschoolpto.com/donate.html
  • October 24th : 7:00 pm at Longmeadow High School : John O'Sullivan: Creating a Player First Environment in Youth Sports
  • Don’t miss out on the family fun: Halloween Hustle October 28th!
  • LEEF Gala is November 4th: please support LEEF who generously fund many enrichment opportunities for our students! https://www.goleef.org/
  • November 7th: Helping Hands 4th Grade 7:50 am in cafeteria


Spirit Day!

Posted Oct 19, 2017

Friday, October 20th is our first spirit day and the theme is FALL FLANNEL!

Panoramic picture Monday, October 23rd

Posted Oct 18, 2017

Please make sure your child(ren) wears RED for our annual panoramic picture of the whole school. Thank you!

Halloween 2017

Posted Oct. 15, 2017

Hello Center School Families,

Weather permitting, we will hold our annual Halloween Parade on Tuesday, October 31st at 2:00 pm. The students and staff will parade around the town green. Our parade is open to be viewed by all family members, so please come join the fun!

Here’s a few guidelines for the day:

  1. Please use discretion when helping your child choose age and school appropriate costumes.
  2. It is best if a simple version of the costume is worn, i.e., not a lot of make up or pieces that would be difficult for your child to put on independently.
  3. Costume props that are replicas of weapons (swords, knives, guns, etc.) are not permissible.
  4. Costumes must not be too scary. Scary masks and/or gruesome costumes are not permissible.
  5. If a mask is worn, please make sure your child can walk independently and safely.
  6. You must check with your child’s teacher before any treats are sent with your child to school. Individual teachers will provide additional details of activities for the day.

Halloween is a day when we celebrate "imagination" with our students. Thank - you for helping us ensure a day filled with creativity and fun!

If religious, cultural, or personal beliefs do not allow your child's participation, they are not required to join the costume parade. We will provide a place for non-participants to stay during that time.

Have you signed up for the Halloween Hustle yet? There’s still time to get your walking or running shoes ready and support our PTO at our annual fall event!

http://www.centerschoolpto.com/

Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Longmeadow Elementary Schools iWalk to School Day is tomorrow!

Posted Oct. 4 , 2017

Join Center students, families, school leaders, and partners around our community to celebrate the benefits of walking/biking to school on International Walk to School Day.

Students and families, Superintendent O'Shea, Police Chief John Stankiewicz, Town Manager Stephen Crane, and members of your Center School family will meet on the corner of Hopkins and Longmeadow Street at 8:15 am. Let's create the longest "walking school bus" in Ma! And let's have the shortest carline ever!! If you walk a different route to Center , we'll meet you in front of the school with a special acknowledgement for each participant!

Visit http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/ for additional information about the event and for safety ideas for walkers and bikers!

See you in the morning!!

Helping Hands 2017

Posted Sept 29, 2017

Dear Center Families,

In the spirit of teaching our students about the importance of community service, we will begin our fifth yearlong effort to feed those in need of assistance.

Center School Helping Hands is a school –wide effort that provides our students an opportunity to work as grade level teams to make a difference by making sandwiches to help feed the hungry. Helping Hands is a collective endeavor that depends on the generosity of our Peace Builders community; and we anticipate another successful year!

Here’s how it works:

SCHEDULE:

Each grade level will be assigned a month to meet one morning in the cafeteria at 7:50 AM to make sandwiches with their grade level team.The students will go directly to their classrooms at 8:30.

Mark your calendars on the following Tuesdays:

October 3rd-5th grade

November 7th-4th grade

December 5th-3rd grade

January 9th-2nd grade

February 6th-1st grade

March 6th-K & 5th

April 10th- 4th & 2nd

May 1st- 3rd & 1st

June 5th- all grades

WHAT TO BRING:

Each family may voluntarily send in with your child sandwich meat, cheese, and bread to make sandwiches on their designated day. We suggest 1lb. meat; ½ lb. cheese; two loaves of bread, although any donated amount is appreciated. The number of sandwiches delivered each month will depend on donations.

WHO MAY COME:

Siblings are more than welcome to make sandwiches too. For example, our first date (October 3rd ) will be with 5th graders. If you have a 5th grader and a 2nd grader, feel free to send the 2nd grader to help. The more helping hands the better!!

SANDWICH DONATIONS:

Center School parent Amy Nedwed (amynedwed@gmail.com) coordinates this effort. She and I will be present with the students while they make the sandwiches; and Amy Nedwed and Amie Tracy will deliver the sandwiches to the Springfield Rescue Mission, Loaves and Fishes Kitchen in Springfield and the Easthampton Community Center. Kudos to Amy for spearheading the effort once again this year!!

Thank-you for your generous spirit of giving! A reminder notice will be sent each month.

With appreciation,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Please click on link to see the summary from last year. Also, provided is a link for a Helping Hands shirt!

NEW shirt order form-helping hands (1).docx

helping hands summary-2016-17 (1).docx

Longmeadow Public Safety Day

Longmeadow Fire Chief John Dearborn invites all residents to join us at Longmeadow Public Safety Day at the fire and police stations on Williams Street, from 10:00 to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 14, 2017. This years fire safety theme is EVERY SECOND COUNTS PLAN 2 WAYS OUT.

This event will provide an opportunity to get to know the firefighters and police officers protecting you and your community. Join Longmeadow firefighters for an auto extrication demonstration, information on fire safety, tours of the fire trucks, spraying a real fire hose. Join Longmeadow police officers for a K9 unit demonstration, tours of police cars and much more.

This event is perfect for the whole family! We hope to see you on Saturday October 14th.


First Special Programs Speaker of the Year!

Posted Sept 29, 2017

John O'Sullivan Flyer

Longmeadow Elementary Schools

iWalk to School Day

Posted Sept 28, 2017

Join Center students, families, school leaders, and partners around our community to celebrate the benefits of walking/biking to school on International Walk to School Day.

When: Wednesday, October 4th

Where to meet: Children who walk or bike to school, Superintendent O’Shea, Police Chief John Stankiewicz, Town Manager Stephen Crane, and members of your Center School family will meet on the corner of Hopkins and Longmeadow Street at 8:15 am. Let’s create the longest “walking school bus” in Ma!

If you walk a different route to Center , we’ll meet you in front of the school with a special acknowledgement for each participant!

Visit http://www.walkbiketoschool.org/ for additional information about the event and for safety ideas for walkers and bikers!

Get your sneakers ready and we'll see you next Wednesday!! Rain date is October 6th.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Center School is Automating Dismissals!!!

Posted Sept 25, 2017

We are consistently seeking ways to enhance our safety procedures at Center School. To make our dismissals both safer and easier for our students and families, Center School will be adopting an automated dismissal process starting on Monday, October 2nd 2017. Your cooperation is needed for the success of the program; and will be greatly appreciated!

The program, School Dismissal Manager (SDM), will allow parents and guardians to make changes to their child’s end of day dismissal plan securely online. It will no longer be necessary to write a note, call the school or email your child’s teacher when plans change before the end of the day. Each parent will have access to make changes on a two-week rolling calendar (or a future date). Please note – you will have up until 2:00 pm each day to make changes.

Details of the roll out:

Friday September 29th - After school is dismissed, you will receive an email with a user name (your email address) and temporary password. It will also have step -by -step instructions and detailed information so please read carefully! Once you change your password, you will be instructed on how to set up your child’s dismissal calendar.

NOTE – If you do not receive an email, please call the school on Monday or send an email to me.

October 2nd through 13thWe will use these 2 weeks as a transitional period. While we will still accept notes, emails and phone calls to the school for dismissal changes, we strongly encourage everyone to become familiar with the program. This period will primarily be used to make sure all parents are set up and have proper access to their calendars.

Monday, October 16thWe will no longer accept any handwritten notes, phone calls or emails to teachers or the school regarding dismissal changes. If you miss the cut off time or don’t have access to the system, you may call the office and we will enter your changes electronically. We will also assist you with enrollment in the system if you were not able to enroll during the above transitional period. Our goal is 100% participation in the system!

Please anticipate the email on Friday, September 29th, with additional information necessary to enroll in the automated system.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Open House

Posted Sept. 25, 2017

Center School

Open House

We look forward to welcoming our parents back to school!

Come meet your child’s teachers and get an “inside look” at your child’s schedule and grade level curriculum. You’ll also learn about academic and social learning goals for our students.

When: Thursday, September 28th

5:45-6:25 Social on the Esplanade hosted by our PTO

6:30-7:00 Classroom Presentations

7:15-7:45 Classroom Presentations

Please stop in to visit with our special teachers and resource teachers sometime during the evening too!

Betty Higham will be in the school office from 6:00 -7:30

if you'd like to stop in to complete a CORI

Visit the PTO, LEEF, and Scout tables at the Social!

Gentle and important reminder.... the evening is for adults only.

Thank-you from your Center School Family! See you Thursday!

Center School Directory

Posted Sept. 19, 2017

This year our student directory is going Digital!

The 2017-2018 directory will be a great resource for initiating playdates, gathering classmates or getting after school homework help. Please enter your information here:

http://www.centerschoolpto.com/centerschooldirectory.html.

After we have all students information, you will be able to reference it on our password protected directory.

Please input your information by October 1.

When you visit the PTO site, please sign up to receive the weekly email blasts-it's a great way to keep up on happenings!


Safety Reminders

Posted Sept. 17, 2017

Dear Center School Families,

I’m looking forward to a perfect weather day on Friday for our Fall Carnival. I hope many of you are planning on joining us for a fun family afternoon on the first day of fall. I also hope you’re enjoying this little stretch of summer weather!

The safety and well- being of each student in our community is our priority. Procedures are established mindful of the expansiveness of the Center School campus; and Center School educators work to be both responsive to and proactive about safety concerns. I extend my appreciation for your help with following our procedures. Here are some important reminders.

  1. Students enter the building at 8:30 am. While I love the enthusiasm of our early Cardinals, we do not have supervision before 8:30. 5th grade safety students’ arrival time is 8:25.
  2. Talk with your child about ALWAYS using crosswalks when traveling to and from school.
  3. I have a report that a few students have been turning down the driveway on their bikes near the gymnasium that leads to the parking lot. The driveway is very busy and this presents a serious risk to our students. All students should travel along Longmeadow Street directly in front of the school at both arrival and dismissal times.
  4. PLEASE PLEASE do not drop students off in the back of the school. The back stairs from the playground to the esplanade are not a designated arrival (or dismissal) spot. We are concerned with student traveling up the stairs unsupervised in the morning.
  5. We love our bikers! Let’s remind our bikers about courteous bike riding when they approach our walkers-slowing down and signaling that they're coming from behind.
  6. Coming event: International Walk /Bike to school : October 4th: more information soon!
  7. Lost and Found: we'll have an easier time returning lost items if you mark all your child's items with name and grade.

Have a wonderful evening!

With appreciation,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Fall Carnival Rescheduled

Posted Sept. 14, 2017

Hello Center School Community,

We've checked and rechecked numerous forecasts for tomorrow to help make a decision about whether to postpone the Fall Carnival...the forecast seems to indicate unsettled weather in the afternoon. Our 5th graders work so hard on their games and the PTO planning is time intensive. The concern is scattered showers spoiling the event for everyone.

We will postpone the Fall Carnival to September 22nd from 4:30 to 6:30. We hope to see everyone next Friday and fingers crossed for a beautiful fall afternoon.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Homework Guiding Principles

Posted Sept. 6, 2017

September 4, 2017

Greetings Center School Families,

In June, we shared with you the HWGuidingPrinciples.docx for our elementary students. The document is attached for our new families and for our returning families’ review.

The principles reflect an engaging, relevant, child-centered and research- based approach to homework. They reflect the comprehensive work of a teacher study group who read, discussed, and summarized current research and scholarly literature regarding the efficacy of homework for elementary students. The study group also examined the School Councils’ parent survey; and shared with colleagues all their discoveries along the path to creating the final document.

We ask you to notice that the principles mirror our strong belief that a student’s academic and social success is centered in the strong partnership of educators, students, and families, therefore we explicitly state responsibilities each holds. As we begin this new year and as your child eases into the school routine, please review the Family Responsibilities. We also request you discuss the Student Responsibilities with your child.

Note that the Guiding Principles do not articulate nor adhere to a “no homework” philosophy. Contrary, we are presenting an approach to homework that emphasizes the positive correlation of reading to a child’s overall school achievement and development as a life-long learner. The guidelines also emphasize the effectiveness of fluency practice with math facts and sight words.

We consider the 2017-2018 school year to be the Year of the Reader! You can anticipate school-wide happenings that focus on growing and enhancing a culture of reading.

We always welcome your feedback and insights regarding our work with your child. Please feel free to reach out to me or to your child’s teacher with questions. At our Open House on September 28th, we will have additional resources and helpful ideas related to reading at home as well as fluency practice. Together we will empower our students with the skills and dispositions to reach their full potential as learners.

Thank-you for your support.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Welcome Back 2017-2018

Posted Aug 30, 2017

Good evening Center School Families,

Tomorrow we’ll welcome your child with all the promise of a new school year. The enthusiastic spirit of the staff this week is energizing and everyone is excited to start anew…a new beginning each fall is one of the unique gifts in our teaching lives.

We will welcome twenty-one new families to our community this year. I’ll look forward to greeting them again and connecting with returning families. I encourage you to reach out to each other so that we can build relationships and offer support as the need arises.

You will have a fun opportunity to meet new people at the annual Fall Carnival on September 15th. Another upcoming school event is Open House on September 28th. This is an evening when parents and guardians will meet in the classrooms with teachers and learn about grade level curriculum and expectations. And please consider joining our PTO…another great way to be involved in your community!

It’s been a productive week for staff. Yesterday, our professional development focus was on the PeaceBuilders curriculum. We had the time and space for “solution building” and to create new activities to enhance the program as we move into our third year as a PeaceBuilders’ community. The practices of PeaceBuilders empower us to embrace a shared vision of who we strive to be as a community. The day was also a strong affirmation of our commitment to teach the whole child. Together, with you as our partners, we form an extraordinary Center School family. We deeply value your support as we work to grow your child into creative, empathetic, intelligent, and engaged learners and citizens.

It is an implausible myth that teachers take the summer off… our staff is comprised of teachers who never leave their teaching world at school. They consistently stretch themselves to find ways to enrich their work. Summer work and planning was ongoing and the thoughtfulness of their work will be evident in your child’s learning. The classrooms also look incredibly warm and welcoming! I am proud to lead such a hard-working, committed, and caring group of educators, always focused on meeting the needs of each child in their care. Know your child is in the very best hands.

On the eve of the new year, I imagine your dreams for your child are boundless and hopeful. We likely share many of your dreams. When our bell tolls in the morning-one of my favorite moments- think of it as a symbol of our promise to provide your child with a wonderful experience this year, a promise to realize our dreams for our students together. There are many extraordinary moments ahead and it will be delightful to share your child’s learning and growth with you.

Rest well this evening and I hope your child has already settled into sleep with joyful anticipation for the year ahead.

See you on the playground at 8:30!

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal


Arrival/Dismissal 2017-2018

Published August 26, 2017

Dear Center School Families,

This message is the first of August/September communications to help you navigate the start of the school year.

Please read the arrival and dismissal details carefully to help ensure the safety of our students.

First, we encourage you to review bicycle and walking safety with your child. Please remind your child to be considerate of walkers when riding their bikes to and from school.

We know students thrive with predictable routines. It is helpful if you develop and discuss the family “pick up” plan with your child i.e., where to meet at the end of the day, pick up on the carline, etc. It’s also extremely important for you to remind your child to stick with the family plan; the plan should never be changed by the student without family knowledge!

We suggest you place emergency contact information in a visible place on your child’s backpack. There’s some great tags available that attach to backpacks.

First Day: We’ll see everyone on the playground at 8:30 AM. The bell will toll to signal the start of our new year!! Teachers will be on the playground; look for signs with your child’s teacher’s name and you’ll know where your child should line up.

Arrival and Dismissal Procedures after Day One:

Arrival: 8:30 AM We do not have supervision before 8:30 AM, so while we love our enthusiastic early birds, please time arrival as close to 8:30 as possible.

Grades 2, 3, 4: Enter through the main doors

Grades K,1,5: Enter through esplanade doors –gymnasium side.

5th grade safeties will walk kinder and first grade students to their classrooms.

All bikers park bikes on the bike racks on the playground. Please do not park bikes near the entrance gate. For our new families, locks are not needed.

Bikers walk the Longfellow sidewalk to the front of the school and enter through appropriate entrances. Students should never travel to the back stairwell to enter the building in the morning. We do not have supervision in this area and we're appreciative of families who do not drop off/pick-up in an area that is not our designated drop off/pick-up.

Students should not travel the driveway on the side of the gymnasium. This area poses a serious safety issue as cars enter here for the parking lot behind the school; there’s blind spots and the sidewalk does not wrap around the driveway.

Dismissal: 2:45

Grades 2, 4: Exit main entrance

Grade 3: exit Longfellow Street door

Grade K, 1, 5: esplanade doors gymnasium side.

Teachers will escort their classes to the carline and to the playground.

Kinder and grade 1 families: If you meet your child on the esplanade, please stand near the railings away from doorways. We appreciate when you do not block the exit doors and/or the walkway to the esplanade as teachers have many students to walk in lines to appropriate spots.

I met with our LPD safety officer Sergeant Carl Mazzaferro. He’ll be with us the first week of school monitoring our procedures.

Our carline procedure can be found in the Family Handbook

https://sites.google.com/longmeadow.k12.ma.us/new-ctr/parents

You’ll find lots of helpful information in your handbook.

Carline families: Please note that cars traveling Longfellow Drive to Longmeadow Street will see a One Way sign-right turn only between 8 AM-4 PM. Vehicles exiting out of Green Meadow Drive, Morningside Drive, and Crestview Circle are permitted to turn left or right and travel in both directions.

As always, I welcome your feedback and any questions.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Class Lists 2017-2018

Posted Aug 14, 2017

Greetings Center School Families,

Happy August to you! My message is a reminder that on Friday, August 18th at 3:00 p.m. you will be able to log into the PowerSchool Student and Parent Portal to see what homeroom your child has been placed in for the upcoming school year. Your login and password were sent home with your child on Monday, June 19, 2017. Logging into the Portal will be the only way you will be able to see who your child's teacher is for the 2017-2018 school year. All veteran or returning parents can access the portal by visiting the Power School button in the parents tab of this website Parents. Please be sure to bookmark this tab! I’ve included a screenshot at the bottom of this email that will provide a visual of what you are looking at to find your child’s homeroom teacher.

For families new to the district, information explaining how to access the parent portal will be sent home during the first week of school along with many other school related items. New families, who registered prior to August 10, 2017, will receive a letter in the mail or an email message notifying you of your child’s classroom assignment. Kindergarten families can anticipate a welcome letter from their child's teacher to arrive in the mail by Friday.

Please note that the district does not have the capacity over the summer months to address questions or issues regarding the portal website, so kindly refrain from calling the school for assistance with the portal.

Please anticipate more news about our upcoming year in the next few weeks as we countdown to the first day of school!

ParentPortal screenshot.pdf

Warm regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Supply Lists

Posted July 31, 2017

Here are the Supply Lists for Grades 1 - 5

Important Upcoming Dates!

Posted July 6, 2017

Important upcoming dates:

August 18th: Visit Power School Parent Portal for teacher assignment

August 23rd: Incoming Kindergarteners visit with Principal Hutton 9:00 AND New Families and Students Visit with Principal Hutton 1:00

August 31st: First Day of School 1-12

September 4th : Labor Day, No School

September 5th : First Day Kindergarten

September 15th : Center School Fall Carnival on the Green

September 28th: Open House 6:00 pm

Guiding Principles for Homework

Posted June 20, 2017

Greetings Elementary Families, Attached is the Guiding Principles for Homework for the Longmeadow Elementary School community.

The principles reflect an engaging, relevant, child-centered and research- based approach to homework. They reflect the comprehensive work of a teacher study group who read, discussed, and summarized current research and scholarly literature regarding the efficacy of homework for elementary students. The study group also examined the School Councils’ parent survey; and shared with colleagues all their discoveries along the path to creating the final document.

Our goal is to share the document with you now, with an understanding that we will provide ongoing communication to deepen understanding of the guiding principles as we move into the start of the 2017-2018 school year and beyond.

We ask you to notice that the principles mirror our strong belief that a student’s academic and social success is centered in the strong partnership of educators, students, and families, therefore we explicitly state responsibilities each holds.

Finally, with summer here, it is appropriate to also notice that reading is at the forefront of the guiding principles. Our district summer reading initiative Many Books, One Community, supports the findings of the study group: No single activity has a greater benefit to a student’s academic achievement than choice reading! You will receive more information about the summer reading on the last day of school. The letter will be included with the report card.

We always welcome your feedback and insights regarding our work with your child. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have at this time. We additionally will survey teachers, families, and students in the spring of 2018 to assess how the community feels about the guidelines.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

HWGuidingPrinciples.docx

Summer Reading Information

posted Jun 20, 2017

Many Books, One Community...Building a Better World

Greetings Elementary School Families,

We are excited to share with you the transformation of our traditional summer reading endeavor “One Book, One Community”! We know that the single summer activity that is most strongly and consistently related to summer learning is reading! Research also shows us that the amount of free reading done outside of school enhances vocabulary development, reading comprehension, language skills, and a student’s knowledge of his/her world.

This summer we present to our community: Many Books, One Community! We ask that you join us in supporting and encouraging your child to choose and read many many books this summer, exploring self-selected topics! We also encourage families to join in the endeavor by reading with and reading to their child throughout the summer months.

Our elementary school communities focus is not only on academics but on growing caring and empathetic students. We will share Storrs Library’s summer reading program theme- Building a Better World. The Storrs Library staff is excited to assist your child with reading choices.

We are expecting our students to come to school on the first day bursting with excitement about their summer reads. Students will be prepared to share the one-or perhaps two!- favorite summer books with their new teacher and with their peers. Attached is a list of possible ways your child may share his/her book as well as some possible titles. Students may choose an activity from the list or come up with their own idea!

As you explore with your child the boundless choices of books, we share with you an important point to consider. Being read to or reading in isolation does not by itself automatically lead to strong literacy development and broader learning. The real link seems to lie in the verbal interaction that occurs between adult and child, and child to child before, during and after story reading.

We applaud you in your efforts to support us as we grow our students into lifelong readers who love and cherish the opportunity to get lost in a good story!

Sincerely,

LPS Elementary School Communities

Summer Reading Choices:

Book talks- Give a book talk about your favorite read.

Book Review- Share a book review with your class.

Musical Book Share- Quickly share a book with a partner (2 minutes) and then rotate a few times

Book Commercial- Record a commercial about their favorite book

Make Bookmarks- Create bookmark to go with a book for the next reader who reads it

Make Book Cover- Make a cover that would make other students interested in the book

Book Swap- Bring a favorite book, borrow a favorite book

Genre List- Keep tally list of summer books read in different genres (bar graph, pie chart, line plot)

Read Cliffhangers- Share with class a “cliffhanger” from the book you read without giving it away

Guess My Book- Write 3 clues about book and have students guess what book you are talking about.

Buddy Book- Plan with a friend to read the same book and then discuss.

Pick An Emoji- Pick an emoji to go with the book and explain why in a few sentences

If I Could Be Any Character- Share which character you would be and why- dress up?

Me As a Reader- Make a collage of who you are as a reader

Poster: Create a poster of your favorite summer read.

Any way to share is acceptable!

Happy summer reading!!