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

The Scholastic Book Fair is BACK LIVE !!!

Posted Dec. 2, 2021

The Center School Community Room will be transformed into our very own book store next week!

Beginning Monday, December 6th through Thursday, December 9th, students will visit the book fair with their classes.

Check out our book fair homepage and get ready to fill your bookshelves! Every purchase from the book fair earns rewards for our school. Our last in person book fair in 2019 allowed us to receive almost $5,000 in books for our school library and teachers’ classrooms!!! Bravo for the gift of reading!

Volunteering

We still need book fair volunteers! Sign up here to come be a part of this fun experience. You are more than welcome to come during your child's shopping time and help them. We just kindly ask that you do not sign up to volunteer during this time. If you have already done that, please select another time slot.

A great way to help your child during their visit, as well as help the book fair, is to choose volunteer slots around your child's visit. We greatly appreciate your help in making this a successful book fair! *Volunteers must have an up-to-date CORI on file, since volunteering will take place in the school. Please check with the front office if unsure of your CORI status.

eWallet

Don’t worry about scrambling for cash at the last minute for your child on their Book Fair Day! Set up their own eWallet account. They will be able to spend up to whatever limit you choose. Grandma and Grandpa can even add money to their account!

*Any balance left on the eWallet will not be refunded. The remaining funds can be saved and used for a future book fair (we will have one in the spring), spent on Scholastic online shopping, or donated to our library to buy books. If you want to donate it, please let us know. Scholastic actually matches all donations to our library.

Tuesday, December 7th

5:00 - 7:00pm: Shopping Night!

The book fair will be open evening hours for parents to enjoy shopping (kids are welcome). Load up on gifts for the holidays while supporting Center School! We will also be selling cardinal gear, in case you missed getting your store order in. We can't wait to see you there!

Thank you for your ongoing support and happy browsing and happy reading!!!



Holiday Baskets

Posted Nov. 28, 2021

Dear Center School Families,

It is Holiday Gift Basket Time!

This holiday season, we will continue our special tradition of giving that began over 26 years ago at Center School and has grown here and across the district over the years! The Center School PTO is thrilled to sponsor the YWCA of Western Massachusetts domestic violence shelter again this holiday season. The YWCA continues to experience a surge in families seeking help during this very challenging time, and they are so grateful for the generosity of our Center School community. With your help, we will bring joy and happiness to many local children in need.

Each classroom will be collecting gifts - one basket for a boy and one basket for a girl. Your child’s teacher will distribute more specific information in the coming days. Please try to include your child in the gift selection process. We are always looking for ways for the students to be actively involved in our community service projects - as Peacebuilders - helping others in many different ways.

Collection baskets will be placed in the classrooms between Monday, November 29th and December 10th. Your child may bring in their donation at any time during this period. Additionally, you will know the age of the children, but not a name and particular gift preferences as in past years.

Although we will not be wrapping the gifts again this year, we will be looking for some parent volunteers between 8:00AM and 10:00AM on Monday, December 13th, to help collect the baskets and prepare them for pick-up. In the event of a snow day, we will move this effort to Tuesday the 14th. Here’s the Sign up Genius link!

We thank you so much for your generosity and we wish you all a healthy and happy holiday season!

Sincerely,

Center Elementary School PTO


Week of Thanksgiving 2021

Happy Sunday Center School Families,

I extend my best wishes to you for a safe and happy Thanksgiving. May your celebration of the holiday, one that is so much about the blessings of family and friends, be one that is equally safe and joyful. As we begin the holiday season, the weeks ahead will be busy and full, so we thank-you for your ongoing attention to the many happenings coming your way!

  1. The Girls on the Run are collecting items this week for the Thomas O’Connor Animal Shelter. Gently used and even new pet supplies are appreciated. There will be drop boxes on the esplanade and outside Ms. O’Brien’s (GOTR coach) room. Thank-you for your generosity helping the girls achieve success with their service project.

  2. December 6th -9th: Scholastic Book Fair! Teachers will provide families with the schedule for their classes. What a perfect time to shop for new and interesting books for holiday gift giving!

  3. November 29th through December 10th: The Center School PTO is thrilled to be able to participate again this year in creating gift baskets for children in the care of the YWCA of Western Massachusetts Domestic Violence Shelter. All the details you need are coming your way Monday. This endeavor continues to be a favorite tradition at Center!

  4. Brrr...late autumn weather with outdoor recess, snack, and lunch (when we are able) is much too chilly for shorts and tees. Please help students to enjoy the fresh air by dressing warmly for the weather. Sweats over shorts is the answer for kids who don’t want to give up their shorts. We will provide indoor recess for students not dressed for cold weather days.

  5. The Test and Stay Program is fully operational in the LPS. If you wish to consent to the program as the parent/caregiver of an LPS student, you may still do so using this link: COVID-19 Testing Consent for LPS Schools.

  6. Center Stage: Hooray for the return of our Beautification Committee led by Carly Picard!! Gratitude to her and her corps of volunteers. The fall clean up makes our beautiful school shine!! Well done gardeners!! Enjoy the pictures of their work on the PTO Facebook Page

  7. We welcome the return of our 5th grade safeties to assist on the carline after the Thanksgiving break. They will now be known as our Student Leadership Team with expanded leadership roles; and you can anticipate hearing more about their work soon!

Enjoy this brisk fall day and a wonderful holiday week ahead. Safe travels to all.

Respectfully yours,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Wednesday, November 24th: Dismissal 11:30 am No Lunch

Week of November 8th, 2021

Hello Center School Community,

We have a short week ahead with no school on Thursday and Friday. Here’s a few updates for this week.

  1. November brings colder weather days. Please be sure your child is dressed warmly (coats, hats and gloves as needed) for outdoor snack, lunch, and recess. If your child likes wearing shorts into the winter months, please place long pants in back packs so students can enjoy outdoor time.

  2. During November, PeaceBuilders lessons and activities are focused on the practice of Giving up Put Downs. Giving up put downs helps build trust between individuals as none of us likes to feel embarrassed and insulted nor do we trust people who make us feel this way. We’ll help kids recognize subtle put downs as well as pointing out more direct ones by simply saying, “That’s a put down”. Through each practice of the program, our students are learning emotional “agility”, growing their ability to handle more complex social situations with a flexible variety of solutions. Social emotional learning is keenly focused on relationship skills as articulated in the CASEL wheel. Communicating effectively, developing positive relationships, practicing teamwork and collaborative problem-solving, resolving conflicts constructively, and standing up for the rights of others are each integrated into the practices that will characterize our young peace builders.

  3. PTO Community meeting is Wednesday, November 10th at 7:00 pm in the cafeteria. Fall clean-up : Thursday, November 11th 9:00 am. Help beautify our grounds and ready garden beds for the spring!

  4. MIDDLE SCHOOL INFORMATION! The Longmeadow Public Schools invites the public to attend one or both of two public forums being held to provide the community with the opportunity to learn more about the physical plant needs of our two middle schools. Following a brief presentation on a recent Facilities Condition Assessment and a Statement of Interest that was submitted to the MA School Building Authority, participants will have an opportunity at the forums to ask questions and share feedback. If you are interested please choose from an in-person forum on Monday, November 8th, at 7 p.m. in the Longmeadow High School auditorium. If you are interested in this in-person event, please register by emailing: dgeorgantas@longmeadow.k12.ma.us or use this very simple google form. A live, interactive broadcast will be held on Monday, November 15th at 7 p.m. The YouTube broadcast can be viewed using this link. Our intention is to record this virtual forum for re-broadcast. If you are interested in this virtual event, please register by emailing: dgeorgantas@longmeadow.k12.ma.us or by using this simple google form We will use the name and email contact information to provide attendees with a chance to provide feedback after the forum. Community members interested in learning more about the facility needs of our middle schools can review information posted to the Longmeadow Public Schools website.

Finally, teacher, friend, and colleague Valerie Brown is doing well after her surgery Friday. Thank-you to our incredibly thoughtful community members for your words of support and care.

Best to all,

Donna Hutton, Principal

More Information for Conferences

Posted November 2, 2021

Hello Center School Family,

The Longmeadow Public School district commits to meeting the needs of our students through the framework of MTSS , which is a tiered system of support. The level of support students receive is based on their behavior and academic needs and is driven by school and student data-much of what you’ll hear about at conferences. Here is a summary of tiered support:

  1. Tier I : These are supports available to all students through the general education program. For example, we provide our students with a high quality literacy curriculum through the Reader’s and Writer’s Units of Study. The units provide options for how students learn, what materials students need to learn, and how students express what they have learned and allows students to access rigorous standards- based instruction.

  2. Tier II: These supports are in addition to the supports that are provided in the tier I settings. Generally, tier II is provided in small groups facilitated by the classroom teacher or through an interventionist. This support provides additional opportunities to practice skills necessary for core instruction OR strategies for enrichment. At this time, we do not have a math specialist at Center School. Our math specialist unexpectantly resigned and we are presently searching for a replacement. Additionally, our Reading Specialist Valerie Brown will be undergoing surgery on Friday, therefore we will not be adding any new students to the reading center for intervention. Mrs. Brown will leave detailed plans in place for a substitute teacher until her return. Mrs. Brown will be in our thoughts and prayers as she undergoes treatment for breast cancer. Her prognosis is good; and we’ll count the days with her students until she returns to us healthy and strong. It goes without saying that teachers will do their best to meet the needs of our students during this challenging time, within tier I and tier II instruction.

  3. Tier III: This tier provides more intensive support. These are often interventions that occur individually or in very small groups. Note that tier III is NOT synonymous with special education. Students with disabilities may not need tier III support and students not identified with a disability may in fact need tier III supports. Regarding special education, we are working to fill an open special education teaching position. The position has been open since the start of the year and we may be close to filling it soon! Families received additional information about this situation at the start of the year. Special education families may reach out to Special Education Supervisor Juliet Keenan or to me with questions.

Collectively, we deeply believe that all students are capable of success. Teachers and support staff are working to meet the needs of each child in our care, optimizing teaching and learning to the best of our abilities and creativities with the resources and talents available to us. I will continue to strive to build solutions with our teams to our staffing challenges. I want you to be aware of how extraordinarily hard the teachers are working and how proud I am of their efforts.

Please reach out to me with any questions about this shared information. I realize this is a lot of information about our framework, but I’m hoping that by growing your understanding of how things work within our school, it will be helpful background knowledge as you hear more about your child’s progress this week.

We look forward to welcoming you to school tomorrow and Thursday.

Have a good evening.

Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal



Conferences 2021

November 1, 2021

Hello Center School Families,

With the start of November, teachers are prepared for conferences this week. As you know, we hold conferences twice annually. We consider the conference to be an invaluable meeting to more “formally” touch base to discuss a student’s academic and social emotional learning as well as discuss growth areas and goals. Importantly, teachers will want to hear your insights, answer questions, and continue to grow partnerships as we work together to help your child be the best student possible.

The elementary report card is “standards –based” and will be distributed in January and June. At the conference, your child’s teacher will discuss progress referencing the standards. Families receive (or will begin to receive, depending on grade level) classroom assessment results with cover sheets that indicate your child’s progress towards meeting particular standards or “learning targets”. Work samples and beginning of the year assessments will also be shared, and importantly, observations and insights from the teacher about your child as a learner and as a member of a school community.

A critical strength of standards-based reporting is communication! Here are additional benefits, especially critical during this extraordinary time in education when students may present with varied and unique needs across learning areas.

  • Students are offered multiple opportunities and ways through which to demonstrate proficiency

  • Families are aware of exactly what their child knows, is able to do, and next steps for progress

  • Families know in which curriculum areas their child needs more support or extension-more information about tiered support is coming your way this week.

  • Families are empowered to increase their child's confidence and help their student set goals

While January seems far off, we hope you will visit the Elementary Standards –Based Report Card Site in the coming weeks to help continue to build your knowledge before cards are distributed.

Elementary Standards-Based Report Cards

Here’s some helpful ideas to prepare for your conference:

  • Talk with your child about school. What does he/she feel are strengths and growth areas? Is there any special topic your child wishes you to talk about with the teacher?

  • Time is precious: prepare notes with topics you want to discuss and questions you may have about your child’s learning and progress.

  • Please be on time. The meetings are closely scheduled and teachers want every minute possible with you!

  • Respectfully discussing any differences and celebrating successes will help teachers partner with you to find the most effective ways to work with your child. Teachers value and appreciate your insights.

  • Do you want to know ways to support learning at home? Teachers will offer suggestions!

  • Please thank our teachers for their work. I know they will thank you for your ongoing support and advocacy for your child.

  • Provide feedback to your child after the conference. Always emphasize the positives and discuss the action plan for growth areas.

  • If you want to meet with your child's special teacher, please reach out to the teacher for a day and time.

A Few Calendar Reminders:

  1. Wednesday, Nov. 3rd and Thursday, Nov. 4th: Half Days : Dismissal at 11:30 am: Please be prompt so teachers have time for lunch before conferences begin.

  2. November 11th - Veterans Day - No school : Please talk with your child about Veterans Day and find a meaningful way to honor the individuals who have bravely served our country- past and present- including members of our own community!

  3. November 12th - Professional Development for Staff: No school for students

  4. November 24th - Half Day with dismissal at 11:30 a.m.; No lunch served for students.

  5. November 25th & 26th - Thanksgiving Recess - No School

Anticipate additional communication this week regarding teaching and learning.

Respectfully yours,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Fall Fun!

Posted Oct. 31, 2021

Hello Center School Community,

Friday was awesome and Center “rock stars” planned a day full of imaginative fun for their students...pumpkin decorating, 5th grade buddy activities with our littlest cardinals, literacy and math games with Halloween themes, cooperative games...the return of our parade -YAY!- they truly rocked it!

And the fun continued Saturday with the 17th annual Halloween Hustle. Chairperson Katie Wartman and her dedicated group of volunteers pulled off an amazing morning despite the rain! Over two hundred runners participated with close to 300 registered!! Volunteers were up and about at 5:00 am preparing the course and putting into place each well planned detail! Many thanks from all of us, and yes, you rocked it too!!

Enjoy the pictures and visit the Center School PTO Website and PTO Facebook Page for more ! I'm sure teachers have many fun pictures to share on their sites as well!

If you’re celebrating Halloween, I hope that your child has a fun and safe time with friends and family.

You can anticipate a weekly message from me tomorrow regarding calendar updates and more details regarding conferences.

Best to all,

Donna Hutton, Principal


Center Teachers are Rock Stars!!

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Week of October 25th, 2021

Hello Center School Families,

The last week of October will be a full and busy week! Here’s some reminders for your family.

  1. Conferences are approaching November 3rd and November 4th . Reminder that these days are half days for students-11:30 am dismissal. Please be sure you signed up with your child’s teacher for an important conference time to discuss your child’s progress.

  2. Halloween Hustle: It’s not too late to walk or run on Saturday, October 30th! Sign up for a morning of community fun!

  3. Our students will enjoy a day to celebrate imagination and creativity on Friday, October 29th! Grade level teams are planning activities to integrate into lessons to celebrate Halloween and eight+ weeks of learning and effort! Weather permitting, our annual costume parade returns at 2:00 on the green. Teachers will provide additional details for the day.

  4. Tutoring for Extended Absences Due to COVID-19: If your child is absent from school for an extended period because of COVID-19, your child may qualify for tutoring provided by the district. If you find your child in this situation, please contact me or Assistant Superintendent of Learning, Susan Bertrand, at sbertrand@longmeadow.k12.ma.us for more information.

  5. PTO : School Directory: 1. You can fill out your info to be included here in our directory form. The more people we have the more useful it can be! (Don't worry! It is protected by a pin number assigned specifically to you, not just available to the whole wide web.) 2. Visit our Directory website to connect with our community! Did your child bring home someone else's jacket? Look them up! Does your child want to set up a playdate with their new bestie? Look them up! Do you want to send out invites to a birthday party for the whole class? Search by teacher! Together we can make a super useful directory grow! Please fill out your student’s information today.

  6. We continue to enjoy lunch and snacks outdoors as much as possible. The week ahead looks problematic so we may be back in the cafeteria. A gentle reminder to review lunch choices with your child as we continue to see too much waste when children do not like the choices.

  7. LEEF Gala November 6th: 20 Years of LEEF Celebration! It's not too late to purchase tickets!

  8. November 11th Veteran’s Day: Please send in a picture to share with the community of a beloved veteran in your family! Pictures will be displayed in our library and classrooms.

  9. November 12th: No School: Professional Development for teachers.

Finally, teachers are giving lots of thoughtful and caring attention to their weekly messaging to families. Thank-you for taking the time to keep up on their communications and kudos to our partnerships!

Respectfully yours,

Donna Hutton, Principal


Halloween Hustle!

Posted Oct. 11, 2021

Deadline for Tee Shirts is October 14th!!! Don't miss out!!


Carnival '21: Lots of Praise!

Posted Oct. 3, 2021

Hello Center School Families,

Each month, teachers and staff focus on one of the six principles of the PeaceBuilders program with a goal of integrating the practices into our way of life at Center School. How timely that October’s focus is on praising others. By teaching praise, we teach children how to look for the good in themselves and also in each other. Praising people for the kind things they do is a key skill of being a peacebuilder. This message is full of praise for members of our community.

We enjoyed an extra special first day of the month on Friday with the much anticipated return of the Fall Carnival. Praise to our 5th grade students and their families for taking center stage by creating and managing games that entertained hundreds of children for two hours of carnival fun! Parents and LHS Key Club members operated the grills, the prize booths, and the bounce house- so many volunteers everywhere to praise! The positive spirit of our community was high with so many enjoying the opportunity to be together once again for a favorite Center tradition. Bravo 5thgrade for your collaboration and leadership!!!

The carnival takes an enormous amount of planning and co-chairs Karen Finn and Karola Hesselberg-Thomsen are to be praised for coordinating an amazingly successful afternoon. It simply would not have taken place without their committed work. And , importantly...our PTO is definitely back and as strong as ever!!! We owe heaps of thanks and praise to the executive board: Samantha Root, Samantha Rivera, Katie Talbert, Emily Fialky, Evelyn Pratt, & Melissa Schettler. They are an incredibly hard-working and thoughtful group who've navigated almost insurmountable obstacles to rebuild our PTO in a short amount of time. The carnival is a preview of many amazing community happenings coming our way . so stay tuned and keep finding ways to get involved!

The 17th Annual Halloween Hustle! is set for October 30th! Get your walking/running footwear ready for the return of another cherished Center School community event! Praise to Katie Wartman for taking on the chair for the event again this year!

Center School Directory: If you want to be included in the directory, the information is being collected via google doc and here is the link: Directory Information The directory is very helpful for play dates and other happenings when you want to reach out to your child’s friends and other families. Praise to Beth Benzaquin and Kate Haber for their work on pulling this together.

Finally, you may recall that the PTO held a matching donor drive the week school began. The executive board began their tenure with zero funds remaining in the treasury. With the generosity of our community, $6400 was raised. Our matching donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, presented me with a $10,000 donation to the PTO... I’m in awe of the individual’s generosity and humility and I express our collective appreciation for providing incredible funding that will help the PTO with their work for and with kids.

I continue to be humbled by the generosity of time, money, and resources everyone gives so selflessly to enrich the education of our students. Your involvement in endeavors big and small helps us to be the vibrant community we are and will continue to be. I praise all of you and wish you a wonderful week ahead.

With appreciation,

Donna Hutton, Principal


Week of September 27th, 2021

Hello Center Families,

We loved the energy at Open House and thank you for your positivity and hopefulness for the new year! October and November will be busy, so please mark your calendar for important happenings.

The Fall Carnival is rescheduled for Friday, October 1st. Tickets are still available! Please join us for this fun community event where our 5th graders will shine! Tickets

LEEF (Longmeadow Educational Excellence Foundation) is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year!!! The annual GALA is scheduled for November 6, 2021, at Twin Hills Country Club. Use the following link to purchase tickets and review sponsorship opportunities. https://one.bidpal.net/2021emeraldgala/welcome

Monday, October 11th: No School

Monday: October 18th; School Council Meeting 4:30 pm.

Friday, October 29th: Halloween: Celebration of creativity and imagination! We will hold the parade on the Green at 2:00 , weather permitting. Teachers will provide classroom details.

Wednesday, November 3rd: Dismissal at 11:30 am : PM Conferences

Thursday, November 4th: Dismissal at 11:30 am : PM Conferences

Thursday, November 4th: Evening conferences: 6:00 pm to 8:00

November 11th: No School : Veterans Day: Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor individuals who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime. Please have your child bring a picture of anyone in your family who served for our PeaceBuilders community to honor.

November 12th : Professional Development : No School

Enjoy the day ahead!

Kind regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal


TREX CHALLENGE 2021

Thank you to all of the families who have jumped right into our recycling programs! We have two initiatives happening. The first is the Nextrex challenge. Trex, the company that makes Trex decking and furniture, is sponsoring this endeavor. We are collecting plastic film/bags for recycling. Please take a look at all the different plastics that can be brought to school. The bags inside cereal boxes have been added! (Please just make sure to shake out the cereal crumbs.)

WE HAVE ALREADY COLLECTED 73.4 POUNDS OF PLASTIC! AMAZING!

Keep up the good work and Trex may send us a bench for our playground!

A special thanks to Lorenzo and Gianluca Trotta for helping weigh the plastic.


Kindly please throw frozen food bags, apple/grapes bags, and potting soil bags in the trash. Unfortunately, they can’t be recycled.

The Colorcycle program recycles old markers (any kind). Since we signed up a few years ago, Center School has kept over 10,000 markers from entering the landfill!! We will also be recycling old pens, mechanical pencils, glue sticks, and crayons. These items are collected from the classrooms but please send them in from your home as well.


Center School Cardinals are Peacebuilders for our Earth!





Details/Reminders for Open House

Posted Sept. 23, 2021

Hello Center School Families,

We'll see you this evening at our Open House! Here's Room Numbers for Center Open House .pdf f to help you locate classrooms around our two buildings.

Please remember:

1. Enter the buildings via the esplanade doors: look for the red and white tent at the top of the esplanade.

2. Masks mandated while inside the school.

3. Adults only please this evening and one family member per child.

4. PLEASE do not change your assigned session!

5. Don't forget to visit the specials teachers and the resource teams!

6. Amy Tyler will be in the main office beginning at 6:15. This is the perfect time to complete /update your CORI check. Note they are good for three years.

7. Thank-you for being mindful that the evening is not for individual conferences.

7. Open House ends at 7:30!

Warm regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal


PSI After School LEGO Robotics

Posted Sept. 22, 2021

Sign up now! We are excited to be back and will begin next week after school. We are limiting the class to 12 students, first come, first serve and registration is online https://www.psinquiry.org/new-page-1

Center_PSI After school LEGO robotics Fall 2021.pdf

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