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

Digital Citizenship Parent Coalition

Posted Feb. 25, 2020

Good Afternoon LPS Parents,

Bring a friend and a coffee to a meeting of the Longmeadow Digital Citizenship Parent Coalition!

At this grass-roots gathering you will meet other parents interested in raising good digital citizens. You will learn some ways that parents can encourage children to have a healthy relationship with technology. and you will pick up some tips, resources and advice to help your children navigate in a technology infused world.

This meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 2 at 8:45 in a large meeting room located in the LPS Central Office at 535 Bliss Road.

LPS is pleased to support this coalition that is by LPS parents, for LPS parents. For additional information on this event or the coalition, please contact Kristin Seeley at kristinseeley@msn.com

Respectfully,

Marty O'Shea

Superintendent

Week of February 24th, 2020

Happy Sunday Center families and welcome back!

Here’s your bedtime read aloud to start the new week...How many things will your child make in a day or in the week ahead? Listen to this story that celebrates the many forms of creativity.

Bedtime Read Aloud

Two promising district-wide events ahead for families:

Please join the Longmeadow community on Thursday, March 12, at 7:00 p.m., in the LHS auditorium for a special presentation by renown mental health counselor Jon Mattleman who will be speaking about "THE SECRET LIFE OF TEENS AND TWEENS. He will deliver a dynamic and fun presentation that focuses on what children from ages 11-21 are really thinking, what they fear, and why they don’t share more.

Additionally, Superintendent O'Shea invites you to register for JUST TALK ABOUT IT, a small group presentation to be held on Wednesday, March 11 at 9:00 a.m. in the large district office conference room located in the LPS offices at 535 Bliss Road.

March is around the corner so here’s some calendar reminders:

March 3rd - Helping Hands - Grade 5 & Kindergarten

March 11th - District Band Concert LHS 7-8pm

March 12th - District Special Programs - Minding your Mind: Secret Life of Tweens and Teens

March 13th - Professional Development Day - No school!

March 19th Parent Teacher Conferences ½ day for students- Evening Conferences

March 20th Parent Teacher Conferences ½ day for students

March 27th Spirit Day - Stripes and Polka Dots

We look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow, rejuvenated and ready to learn and grow in so many ways as we approach spring!!

My best to all,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Special Education Alliance of Longmeadow Meeting

Posted Feb. 10, 2020

Dear LPS Community:

This important message is from the LPS Parent Special Education Advisory Council:

The Special Education Alliance of Longmeadow (SEAL) is a Parent Advisory Council that offers information, support, and networking opportunities to parents. Please join us for our next meeting on Tuesday, February 11th at 7:00 PM in Room A-31 Pupil Services, 535 Bliss Road, Longmeadow. There will be a presentation By Deborah Finneran on MCAS : Access and Achievement for Students With Disabilities. For the full meeting agenda, and to learn more about future meeting dates and events, visit www.sealma.org.

Sincerely,

Marty O'Shea

Superintendent of Schools



Bedtime Read Aloud

Posted Feb. 10,2020

Here’s you bedtime read aloud voted by third grade students for their teacher to read! Enjoy and happy reading!

Week of February 10th, 2020

Hello Center Community,

We land this week half way through the school year with our 100th day celebrations on Wednesday! I look forward to the celebration and seeing all the fun ways classes will acknowledge the day.

Our Share the Love Food drive is Tuesday and Wednesday. Please drop off donations on the carline and our 5th grade safeties will assist. Thank-you for your ongoing generosity to the Longmeadow Food Pantry.

Procedures: I realize that I repeat this reminder quite often, but once again I request that families refrain from drop off at the back of the school. Additionally, we are concerned with dismissal time on Longfellow when families allow children to cross where there's no crosswalk. U-turns are also posing safety risks to members of our community on the narrow street. Please help us create the safest environment possible for our community by following our procedures. I have requested help from the LPD so you may see their presence in the days ahead.

Recently with the cold weather, dismissal is taking much longer than expected. So...we are also requesting that drivers not exit their cars on the carline at dismissal. We will happily assist you with seatbelts and getting your child into the car. We’re also asking teachers and families not to spend too much time talking when they walk children to the car...please know that we are not being abrupt or unfriendly, but again, small actions make a huge difference in our efforts to move things along.

Here’s our School Committee’s update for January and February: SC News

Spirit Day is Friday: Wear your pink and red for our Valentine’s Day celebrations. Please check in with your child’s teacher about any treats you might be sending with your child on Friday. All items will be checked by Nurse Autumn.

Winter break is February 17th through the 21st!! I hope families enjoy lots of time together and a little break from schedules and routines!

Have a wonderful week!

Warm regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Center School Report Card

February 7, 2020

Dear Parent or Guardian:

Every year, each public school and school district in Massachusetts receives a report card. Just as your child’s report card shows how they are doing in different subjects, the school’s report card is designed to show families how our school is doing in different areas. A link to our school’s report card is available at Center 2019 Report Card.

The report card includes multiple measures of a school’s performance – more than just MCAS scores. It represents a new way of looking at school performance, by providing information on student achievement, teacher qualifications, student learning opportunities, and more.

Report cards are designed to be useful tools for everyone connected to our school. Families can use the information to have meaningful conversations with us about what the school is doing well and where there is room for improvement. Community and education leaders can use the information to better understand how to support students and our schools.

School Improvement Plans geared to improve student achievement in our school can be found at Center School Improvement Plan.

Finally, if your child attends a school that receives federal Title I funds, you also have the right to request the following information about the qualifications of your child’s class room teacher:

  • Whether your child’s teacher is licensed in the grade levels and subject areas they teach,
  • Whether your child’s teacher is teaching under an emergency license or waiver,
  • The college degree and major of your child’s teacher, and
  • Whether your child is provided services by paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications.

We appreciate your ongoing support of Center School and invite your continued involvement and participation in our learning community.

For more information about what we are doing to improve student achievement, please feel free to contact us at 565-4290.

Sincerely,

Ms. Donna Hutton

Principal, Center School

To view the district’s complete report card, please follow this link:

Longmeadow Public Schools 2019 District Report Card

5 Quick Facts about the Report Card and Glossary

Center Letter .docx

Important Report Card Information

Posted Feb. 7, 2020

Center letter.docx
heart

Hello Families,

Please click on the links below for two opportunities. One opportunity is for Longmeadow Youth Track and Field sign -ups and the other is for a Parents' Night out on Valentine's Day sponsored by the LHS Drama Club. All the information you need can be found on each flyer!

Track and Field Opportunity

Parents' Night Out 2/14/20!

Dear Center School Families,

I trust report cards presented an opportunity to reflect with your child on his/her work and play as an ever-growing learner and very importantly, a positive member of our school community. We know that praising children when we notice their good efforts and strategies enhances their resilience and overall learning outcomes. One central goal of standards-based report cards is to keep everyone focused on learning goals from the very beginning of the year, including your child! I encourage you to continue to familiarize yourself with grade level standards Family Guides to Standards as well as continue your partnership with teachers to help your child meet individual goals.

Here’s our fun Bedtime Read Aloud for tonight-a must for super bowl/football fans! Bedtime Read Aloud: Super Bowl Edition!

Wednesday is World Read Aloud Day and our student Reading Ambassadors will visit classes to share a story. Mrs. Mulcahy led the students in a mock Caldecott contest once again this year. Caldecott Medal Home Page Both these endeavors provide an opportune time to discuss some favorite reads with your child.

Helping Hands is Tuesday for our first graders at 7:50 a.m. in the cafeteria. Siblings and families are always welcome!

February 11th & 12th - Share the Love Food Drive to support the Longmeadow Food Pantry. You may drop off on the carline in the morning.

February 14th - Valentine’s Day - Spirit Day: Wear your Red and Pink.

Many thanks from all our staff for your ongoing support and your engagement in your child’s learning. Please reach out with any feedback, questions, or just to say hello!

Warm regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

MCAS Dates

ELA

March 31st & April 1st: 3rd and 4th Grades

April 2nd & April 3rd: 5th

Math

May 5th & May 6th: 3rd and 4th

May 7th and 8th: 5th

Science

May 14th and May 15: 5th Grade

Teachers nominated for award

Congratulations to our nominees!

(From left to right) Tracy O'Gara, Vanessa Vigna, Paige Anderson and Nate Ferreira have been nominated for the Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award! This morning they were celebrated at a nomination breakfast with other nominees in the district. Congratulations to our teachers who are being recognized for their outstanding work with our students!



Report Card Message

Posted January 30, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Elementary students will receive their first report card on January 31st. The Elementary Report Card Committee began collaboration on this new report card almost four years ago with the goal of providing more accurate and meaningful information to students and their families on the students’ progress toward meeting year-end grade level standards. The Committee continues to meet to revise and enhance the information on student report cards. Standards represent well-defined objectives in each content area. The standards on our report card are derived from the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, which can be found at http://www.doe.mass.edu/frameworks/.

A standards-based report card requires a shift away from traditional grading practices. Traditionally, students have been awarded report card grades based on an average of homework, classwork, tests, and quizzes. Conversely, a standards-based approach reflects a student’s learning progression towards meeting specific standards in each content area. Standards-based grading also helps us remind students that learning is a process that requires growth over time. Standards-based grading fosters a growth mindset in students by providing multiple opportunities to demonstrate their learning.

Students have been receiving standard summary sheets throughout the semester, indicating performance on individual assessments. Because the report card standards incorporate multiple objectives, the full grade-level standard may not be reflected until June.

There are several important considerations when reviewing your child’s report card:

  • Not all standards are assessed each semester. (Indicated by a dash)
  • Some standards, as written on the report card, represent a compilation of several standards from the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework.
  • There is no equivalence between traditional grading and standards-based grading. For example, a 100% on one traditional assessment does not necessarily reflect that the student is meeting a standard in its entirety. The classwork you receive weekly from your student is your best indication of your student’s current performance.
  • The performance indicators are emerging, progressing, and meeting.
  • The indicators for the “Behaviors that Demonstrate School Success and Citizenship” are; rarely, with prompting, and consistently.

Please visit the district website for answers to frequently asked questions and a digital tour of the report card.

Sincerely,

The Elementary Report Card Committee &

Susan Bertrand

Assistant Superintendent for Learning

Copy of message: SBRC Parent Letter 2020.docx


calendar

MCAS DATES

Tuesday 3/31/2020 Grades 3 and 4 ELA

Wednesday 4/1/2020 Grades 3 and 4 ELA

Thursday 4/2/2020 Grade 5 ELA

Friday 4/3/2020 Grade 5 ELA

Tuesday 5/5/2020 Grades 3 and 4 Math

Wednesday 5/6/2020 Grades 3 and 4 Math

Thursday 5/7/2020 Grade 5 Math

Friday 5/8/2020 Grade 5 Math

Thursday 5/14/2020 Grade 5 Science

Friday 5/15/2020 Grade 5 Science


Week of January 27th

Hello Center School Families,

Here’s some reminders for the upcoming week:

Wednesday, January 29th: At 7 p.m., in the LHS Michael Mucci Auditorium, the Special Programs Committee will show a powerful documentary film titled "If They Had Known." The documentary focuses on the alarmingly dangerous partying culture that confronts many teens and young adults. For more information, please visit https://www.iftheyhadknown.com/. A panel discussion, led by local experts and allowing for attendee participation, will follow the film. Prior to the film, beginning at 6 p.m., the Special Programs Committee, in conjunction with the CLOSE Community Coalition, will host a resource fair featuring community agencies or support programs such as Learn To Cope, the Western Mass Parent Support Group, Youth Mental Health First Aid, Alex's Army, The Center for Human Development's Goodwin House; The Behavioral Health Network's A-CRA program. Please join this important community conversation!

Report cards will be distributed Friday, January 31st: Website for Families

Girls on The Run is still seeking and hoping for volunteer coaches for the upcoming spring season so Center can have a team!! For more information, please check their website http://www.girlsontherunwesternma.org/or contact the Local Director Molly Hoyt, molly.hoyt@girlsontherun.org, 413-320-1845

Here’s the link for this week’s Bedtime Read Aloud: Bedtime Read Aloud Happy Reading to all!

Helping Hands: Tuesday February 4th: 1st Grade helping hands meet in the cafeteria at 7:45 a.m.

Winter Break: February 17th -24th

Have a wonderful week ahead.

Warm regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal


If They Had Known

Posted January 21, 2020

Please mark Wednesday, January 29th on your calendars. At 7 p.m., in the Longmeadow High Michael Mucci Auditorium, the Special Programs Committee will show a powerful documentary film titled "If They Had Known." This 35-minute documentary focuses on the alarmingly dangerous partying culture that confronts many teens and young adults. For more information, please visit https://www.iftheyhadknown.com/. A panel discussion, lead by local experts and allowing for attendee participation, will follow the film. Prior to the film, beginning at 6 p.m., the Special Programs Committee, in conjunction with the CLOSE Community Coalition, will host a resource fair featuring community agencies or support programs such as Learn To Cope, the Western Mass Parent Support Group, Youth Mental Health First Aid, Alex's Army, the Center for Human Development's Goodwin House and the Behavioral Health Network's A-CRA program. Please join this important community conversation!

Woman reading to son

Week of January 20th, 2020

Good evening Center School Families,

Here's your Bedtime Read Aloud for tonight! Happy reading to all!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eugnNpvXjho&feature=youtu.be


Kid's stem night flyer

Stem/Parents' Night Out

Posted January 15, 2020

Good Afternoon Elementary Parents and Guardians,

The LHS Robotics Team is hosting a STEM/Parents' Night Out on Friday, January 24th from 6-9 p.m. at Longmeadow High School.

The evening will feature fun Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities, movies and snacks for children ages 6-12.

See the flyer for additional details!

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, January 17th

Good morning Center School Families,

This is a reminder that today is a half day for students. Our staff will be engaged in professional learning this afternoon at the high school; and we appreciate your prompt pick up at the 11:30 a.m. dismissal.

With the weekend forecast of snow, you may want to have your child visit lost and found this morning. There are several pairs of snow pants, many hats, mittens, gloves, and a couple winter coats.

Such a change in temperatures...brrr...please drop your child off at the front of the school in the carline-a procedure we consistently request you follow. We will have all students enter the front entrance today including our kinder, first graders, and 5th graders. Please tell your child not to wait on the esplanade.

Have a wonderful long weekend. Hope if we're snowed in, you enjoy some "extra" fun and relaxing family time.

Warm regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Message from School Nurse

Posted Jan. 13, 2020

Dear Center School Families,

Cold and flu season is upon us and the schools are already seeing an increase in many contagious illnesses. We would like to take this opportunity to remind families of some important steps that can be taken to limit the spread of illness within our schools. As always, our staff will work with the students to limit the spread of germs within the school by encouraging the following:

  • Frequent and diligent hand washing
  • Avoiding touching of eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with the inside of the elbow
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick

Students exhibiting any signs of illness will be referred to the health office for evaluation. Teachers and custodial staff will implement more stringent cleaning protocols for touchable surfaces.

We additionally ask families to help us limit the spread of illness by adhering to the following guidelines:

Children with one (or more) of the following symptoms MUST stay home until symptom-free for 24 hours:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever greater than 100.4 (without fever-reducing medication such as Tylenol or Motrin)
  • If prescribed antibiotics, children must have a full 24-hour dosage before returning to school.

As a precaution, please consider keeping your child home for:

  • Excessive stuffy nose or nasal drainage
  • Excessive or persistent cough
  • Lethargy or general malaise
  • Low-grade fever
  • Nausea

Thank you for partnering with us to create the healthiest possible environment for our students. Please reach out to your School Nurse with any questions or concerns.

Please read attachments for additional information.

Cold vs Flu Guide.pdf

Flu Fact Sheet.pdf

Flu Guide for parents MDPH.pdf


Week of January 13th

Hello Center School Families,

It was wonderful to complete a full week of learning! I considered it a perfect week because I was able to visit many classrooms-the favorite aspect of my work. I encourage you to continue to engage in your child’s learning by discussing the activities and happenings in the classroom and beyond. The teachers’ communications via newsletters and websites will provide the conversation starters! https://sites.google.com/longmeadow.k12.ma.us/new-ctr/faculty-staff

As promised, I’m thrilled to bring you the first new Bedtime Read Aloud of 2020! The endeavor fosters our commitment to building and enhancing a culture that promotes a love of reading and ways to share that reading with others. We hope you enjoy a unique time to listen in with your child each time we release a new favorite! Happy reading to all! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUAyJKRNf8U&feature=youtu.be

Here’s the link to the past read alouds- it's always fun to revisit a favorite story! bit.ly/ctrreadalouds

Report Cards will be distributed on January 31st. Just a reminder that this link provides useful information for families: https://sites.google.com/longmeadow.k12.ma.us/elementarysbrc/faqs . Behaviors that Demonstrate School Success and Citizenship are at the forefront of the standards- based report card at the elementary level. These behaviors promote your child’s success with the academic performance indicators. We encourage you to praise your child and celebrate successes with these behaviors as well as discuss specific ways to grow as learners and citizens. Teachers welcome your questions regarding any indicator assessed on the report card.

Aligned with becoming positive and caring citizens, we have been talking with students about the Peace Builder practice of seeking wise people in our lives. We agree to Seek Wise People when we notice hurts, when we are being hurt, or when others are being hurt, with words and or with actions. In addition, we teach children to Seek Wise People when they see, hear or feel bullying or bullying actions occurring to themselves or to those around them. You can support our work in this area by talking with your child about his/her “go to” wise person (or persons!) at school and the critical importance of reaching out for guidance and help and additional ways to take care of self and others.

Center School night at the Thunderbirds is just around the corner! The deadline to order is Wednesday!! Please contact Katie Force for more information or call in your order at 413-417-2296.

TREX Challenge update: We have collected 165.4 pounds of plastic film packaging and bags!! Keep sending plastic filming to school! Way to go cardinals!

Carline reminders: Please refrain from cutting into the carline from Longfellow Street; forming carlines at the back of the school where there’s a fire lane sign posted; drop offs anywhere around the school except at designated spots. Please remember that all these issues impact the safety of members of our community, most especially our students. Thank-you for your continued patience as we navigate ways to develop the most efficient procedures to get students in and out of school in the safest manner.

Is your child missing a winter hat? Gloves or mittens? A coat or snow pants?? All these items can be found outside the cafeteria for students to find!! The weather is extraordinarily unpredictable-60 degrees in January, oh my! It will likely get cold again so thanks for helping your child dress appropriately for outdoor recess.

Please contact Ms. Turrini or Mrs. Giuggio if your 5th grader is interested in the Green Screen Center School Sightings (CSS) Club. There’s still time to join!

I welcome any feedback or questions about your school community! Thank-you for your ongoing support and advocacy for your child!

Warm regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Calendar Reminders:

  • January 17th - ½ Day 11:30 a.m. Dismissal
  • January 20th- Martin Luther King Junior Day
  • January 21st - 4th and 5th Grade Chorus, Winter Concert at Glenbrook 7 p.m.
  • January 31st - Report Cards distributed



Martin Luther King Jr.

Hello Families,

There’s still an opportunity for students to join the following clubs!

Reading Ambassadors: Do you love reading? Do you want to be a leader of reading at Center School? Then join the Reading Ambassadors! The Reading Ambassadors are a group of third through fifth-grade students on a mission to spread the joy of reading at our school led by Ms. Fritz and Ms. Vigna. We’ll be meeting every other Thursday morning from 7:45 to 8:25 in the Community Room. As soon as we get our official roster, we’ll let you know all of the dates. You'll choose from a variety of committees like community readers, surprise book cover door decorating, reading newspaper, and MORE. If you’d like to be a Center School Reading Ambassador, sign up HERE. Check out this Center School Sighting report on Reading Ambassadors or this Center School Sighting report about last year's summer reading assembly for more information.

Green Recycling Club! Do you care about the environment?

This club will organize current collections and generate new ideas for our school to be more earth-friendly! We will meet after school on Thursdays until 3:30. The dates will be sent out once the number of students is determined. If you are interested, please fill out this google form.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1d4L0wTuwi_zs5ldjcApvaJfkVpbYWFFHG5zXc8FCn8I/edit Any questions should be directed to Ms. Fritz: vfritz@longmeadow.12.ma.us

Center School Sightings (CSS) for 5th Graders:

Will you be the next great movie maker? Come be a part of the Green Screen CSS Team and learn how to be all of these:

  • Cinematographer
  • Live-on-the scene reporter
  • Multi-source editor
  • News anchor
  • Director
  • Producer

It’s your time to shine as you get a say in how movies are made at our school, about our school! Center School Sightings newscasts are featured on websites, blogs, LCTV, for the whole community to check out. Join the team! Be behind the camera or live on screen! Club leader: Ms. Turrini. Days: Thursdays 2:45-3:45. Please sign up here: CSS Sign Up and direct questions to cturrini@longmeadow.k12.ma.us

Here’s some calendar dates to remember:

January 17th ½ Day for Students; PD for Staff

January 20th No School - Martin Luther King Day

January 21st Winter at Glenbrook MIDDLE SCHOOL 7:00 p.m.

January 29th District - Special Programs- Clay Soper: If They Had Known

January 31st Report cards go home.


students at assemblyStudents at assemblyStudents at assemblystudents at assemblystudents at assemblyCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel image

Scroll through to enjoy photos from our holiday assembly!

Cardinal in snow

Holiday Wishes

Dear Center School Community,

As we conclude 2019, and approach the winter break, I want to take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude to all who help make Center an amazing place to be.

Our school is truly a vibrant and caring community; and I’m deeply appreciative of the rewarding opportunities to learn from all of you, especially our students!

I wish you all Peace, Joy, Hope and Happiness during the holiday season and in the new year.

Whatever your beliefs and traditions, and wherever you may be in the week ahead, I hope that you are able to spend an abundance of time with your family and loved ones.

The new year will bring new learning experiences, new challenges, and new fun. I look forward to the adventures that lie ahead for our children and for us as a school community in 2020!

Have a joyful week...safe journeys... and warm memories to all!

Warmly,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Snowman

Week of December 16th

Thursday, students will enjoy the ballet, Lyra’s Quest, performed by the Artistic Dance Conservatory. There will be lots of holiday celebrations across grade levels throughout the week, including caroling from our 5th grade band. This is a good week for your child to bring home items from cubbies and lockers and check lost and found before Friday.

We’ll end our week with our annual all-school holiday sing-along. Center students explore the history and traditions of holidays around the world. In music class and in the library through literature, children learn about others and share their own stories and family traditions. Mrs. Morrisey and our teachers create musical experiences to share with the whole school, which include singing in different languages, storytelling, playing instruments, and dancing. Mrs. Morrisey and the 5th grade chorus will take the lead for us! Unfortunately, the gathering is a student/staff only event because we can’t accommodate families in the gymnasium. Hoping children will share some songs with you!!

Please reach out with any questions or feedback. Here’s some calendar reminders:

December 23rd -January 1st : Holiday Break

January 7th - Helping Hands Grade 2: 7:45-8:25 a.m. Cafeteria

January 10th -PTO meeting - Community Room 9-10 a.m.

January 17th - ½ Day for Students; PD for Staff

January 20th - No School - Martin Luther King Day

January 21st - Winter Concert Gym 1:15 -2:15 (PM at Glenbrook 7-8PM)

January 24th - Trimester 1 Ends

January 31st - Report cards

Warm regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

SEAL Meeting 12/10/2019

Posted Dec. 10, 2019

Good morning:

The Special Education Alliance of Longmeadow (SEAL) is a Parent Advisory Council that offers information, support, and networking opportunities to parents. Please join them for their next meeting on Tuesday, December 10th at 7:00 PM in Room A-31 Pupil Services, 535 Bliss Road, Longmeadow. There will be a presentation by Debra Finneran from Federation for Children With Special Needs - Understanding Basic Rights, 504 plans in Special Education. Brian Smith- Administrative Director from TDS Center for Communication and Social learning to speak regarding starting a local social group. For the full meeting agenda, and to learn more about future meeting dates and events, visit www.sealma.org.

Sincerely,

Marty O'Shea

Superintendent of Schools


Week of December 9th

Hello Center School Families,

We have full days ahead of us before the winter break. The Holiday Gift baskets will be lovingly wrapped on Thursday and delivered to our special friends. Please have gifts Many thanks for your generosity and gift of time to help us wrap.

The Scholastic Book Fair was a tremendous success. We hope you found some great reads and perhaps some gifts! Andrea Watson, Robin Lewis, and Samantha Root deserve our praise for all their work with coordination of volunteers, schedules, and set up. Well done with $4,900 in new books for the library and teachers' classrooms!!

Helping Hands: 3rd grade tomorrow morning in the cafeteria at 7:45 a.m.

Most of our students have been dressed well for the wet wintery weather. We’re hoping for some outdoor recess this week; and students will need to have boots. Know that wet sneakers/shoes are very uncomfortable for students and if they have PE, very problematic for the gymnasium floor.

Family Writing Night is Wednesday from 6:00 to 7:30 in the cafeteria. Families may park in the back of the school and enter directly through the cafeteria doors. We look forward to a memorable evening!

MCAS 2020 Schedule

ELA : March 31st & April 1st: 3rd and 4th Grade April 2nd & April 3rd: 5th Grade

Math: May 5th & May 6th: 3rd and 4th Grade May 7th and 8th: 5th Grade

Science 5th grade : May 14th and May 15th

NEX TREX School Plastic Film Recycling Challenge: Valerie Fritz, reading specialist and resident environmentalist, has entered center in the plastic film recycling challenge. She met with students to explain the challenge and you’ll see the bins across the school. Here’s some additional information for you to peruse. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hf60y0wRhII&feature=youtu.be trex-school-recycling-challenge-info-sheetpdf.pdf trex-recycling-posterpdf.pdf

Please reach out with any questions.

Kind regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal


Monday Morning

December 9, 2019

Good morning,

ALL students should enter through the main entrance this morning. The ramp, esplanade, back stairwells, and Longfellow sidewalks are slippery. First graders and kinder students will have assistance when they enter through the main doors.

We anticipate a very long carline, and thank-you for your patience. Please move all the way forward to the crosswalk when you drop your child off.

More weekly news later today...

Thank-you,

Donna Hutton, Principal


Book Fair Tonight!

Posted Dec. 4, 2019

Please come to the Scholastic Book Fair TONIGHT!!

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Center Community Room

Enter through the main doors!

See you tonight for some great book shopping!!

Book Fair Schedule for Students

Thursday 12/5/19

9-9:30 Brydges

9:30-10 McLean

10-10:30 Bombardier

10:30-11 Palazzi

10:50-11:20 Green

11:30-12 Craft/Kadis

12:30-1 McColgan

1-1:30 Serafino

1:30-2 Ferreira

2-2:30 Gildersleeve


Friday 12/6/19

9-9:30 Eaton

9:30-10 Silva

Cardinals

Snow Day #2

Posted Dec. 3, 2019

Hello Center Families,

Just an update on our Book Fair...the Wednesday schedule remains the same and our dedicated committee is ready to go for 9:00 a.m. tomorrow! Teachers will be in touch about rescheduled days and times. Tomorrow will be the night time shopping for our community from 6:00 to 8:00! Don't miss out on an opportunity for finding a new favorite or choosing the perfect book to gift someone for the holiday season!!

Wednesday Book Fair Schedule

9:00 - 9:30- Ms. Wright

9:30 - 10:00- Mrs. Moore

10:00 - 10:30- Mrs. Glading

11:00 - 11:30 -Mrs. Cummings

11:30 - 12:00 -Ms. Iancu

1:30 - 2:00 - Mrs. Salvatore

2:00 - 2:30- Ms.Anderson

Back by popular demand and coming in the new year-Center School Bedtime Read Alouds!! Here's our previous stories for you to revisit while we prepare for the next just right stories for our students. Best to all and hope to see everyone tomorrow! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD3NIkSDC1uTG3vznfvlfvg/videos

Donna Hutton, Principal

December 2nd

Hello and Happy Snow Day Center Families!

The Book Fair is still on for this week! Teachers will be in touch with families if your child’s schedule is changed because of today or any possible delay tomorrow. The late afternoon shopping is also still planned for tomorrow from 6:00 to 8:00 in the Community Room. Happy book browsing!

We love recess in the snow! PLEASE make sure your child has boots (a must because the playground and field will be snow covered and wet), a hat, warm coat, mittens or gloves so he/she can enjoy the fun in the snow this week. Our younger students will especially enjoy unlimited fun in the snow with snow pants!! We will provide indoor recess for students who are not dressed for the weather.

Snow accumulation brings fewer parking spaces for our school community. While the carline will become longer, please refrain from parking in the teachers’ lot in the back of the school during drop off or pick up; and from parking and drop off on Longfellow. We appreciate you following procedures and dropping your child off in the carline.

We’re excited to offer three school clubs for our students beginning after the winter break. Here’s the choices:

Reading Ambassadors: Do you love reading? Do you want to be a leader of reading at Center School? Then join the Reading Ambassadors! The Reading Ambassadors are a group of third through fifth-grade students on a mission to spread the joy of reading at our school led by Ms. Fritz and Ms. Vigna. We’ll be meeting every other Thursday morning from 7:45 to 8:25 in the Community Room. As soon as we get our official roster, we’ll let you know all of the dates. You'll choose from a variety of committees like community readers, surprise book cover door decorating, reading newspaper, and MORE. If you’d like to be a Center School Reading Ambassador, sign up HERE. Check out this Center School Sighting report on Reading Ambassadors or this Center School Sighting report about last year's summer reading assembly for more information.

Center School Sightings (CSS) for 5th Graders:

Will you be the next great movie maker? Come be a part of the Green Screen CSS Team and learn how to be all of these:

  • Cinematographer
  • Live-on-the scene reporter
  • Multi-source editor
  • News anchor
  • Director
  • Producer

It’s your time to shine as you get a say in how movies are made at our school, about our school! Center School Sightings newscasts are featured on websites, blogs, LCTV, for the whole community to check out. Join the team! Be behind the camera or live on screen! Club leader: Ms. Turrini. Days: Thursdays 2:45-3:45. Please sign up here: CSS Sign Up

Green Recycling Club! Do you care about the environment?

This club will organize current collections and generate new ideas for our school to be more earth-friendly! We will meet after school on Thursdays until 3:30. The dates will be sent out once the number of students is determined. If you are interested, please fill out this google form.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1d4L0wTuwi_zs5ldjcApvaJfkVpbYWFFHG5zXc8FCn8I/edit Any questions should be directed to Ms. Fritz: vfritz@longmeadow.12.ma.us

On December 19th, we are pleased to welcome back the Artistic Dance Conservatory to perform a ballet for our students. This year the ballet is entitled, Lyra's Quest. The students loved the performance last year and we appreciate Erin Lau’s outreach for a return visit. The performance is possible through funding from the PTO...thank-you from your community for the enrichment opportunity!

Warmly,

Donna Hutton, Principal

CALENDAR REMINDERS

December 10th- Helping Hands Grade 3: 7:45-8:25 Cafeteria

December 11th - Family Writing Night 6:00-7:30 Community Room, Center School

December 12th- Holiday Gift Basket gifts due: Holiday Gift Wrapping Community Room 8:30-3:30

December 16th - Holiday Gift wrapping Snow Date


Leaves - Be Kind

Happy Thanksgiving and Thank-you!

Good evening Center Families,

We dismiss at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow to begin the Thanksgiving holiday. The season ahead highlights our community’s spirit of generosity and giving. Many thanks for your donations to the Helping Hands Food Drive; and to Cecilia Gadelhak and PTO volunteers for their coordination and outreach to the Longmeadow Food Pantry, the Springfield Rescue Mission, and Loaves & Fishes Kitchen.

We continue our annual Holiday Gift Basket endeavor to help provide a joyful holiday for local children in need. Letters with information about the child your child’s class will gift to are in your child’s weekly folders. New and unwrapped gifts are due December 12th. We need volunteers to help wrap on the 12th at 9:00 a.m. If you are able to lend a helping hand, please contact Amie Tracy amietracy@me.com

Come to the Scholastic Book Fair!

December 3rd through 5th with a late shopping night on the 3rd

NEW THIS YEAR - eWallet! Set up the account in advance and skip the trip to the ATM eWallet-setuplink

If you would like to volunteer, please sign up using the following link https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080e4fa8ab2ca2fc1-center1

Don't forget to sign up for Family Writing Night. In this workshop, families will craft a poem together based on George Ella Lyon's poem, "Where I'm From" (listen to the author read her poem here!). After noticing the poem's elements and modeling pre-writing and drafting with revision throughout, families will use the patterns and structure to craft a "Where We're From" poem about their family. Teachers will be available to support families as they work through the writing process before we meet together at the end for the share. I have no doubt that every family will leave with new memories and a treasured keepsake. If your family is interested in attending this event, please register here.

On behalf of your Center School family, I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with the love and warmth of family and friends. Safe journeys to our many families who are traveling this weekend.

With gratitude and appreciation,

Donna Hutton, Principal



Helping Hands food drive


All Ages Family Writing Night

Family Writing Night

Posted Nov. 21, 2019

Hi Center Families!

I'm THRILLED to be hosting an All-Ages Family Writing Night on Wednesday, December 11th from 6:00 to 7:30 in the Center School Community Room. I will run it as a Writers' Workshop, so if you've ever wondered what that looks or feels like, you'll get to experience it firsthand alongside Center cardinals!

In this workshop, families will craft a poem together based on George Ella Lyon's poem, "Where I'm From" (listen to the author read her poem here!). After noticing the poem's elements and modeling pre-writing and drafting with revision throughout, families will use the patterns and structure to craft a "Where We're From" poem about their family. Teachers will be available to support families as they work through the writing process before we meet together at the end for the share. I have no doubt that every family will leave with new memories and a treasured keepsake.

If your family is interested in attending this event, please register here.

Questions? Contact me:

vvigna@longmeadow.k12.ma.us

Happy writing,

Vanessa Vigna


Back to the 80s!

Take a trip back in time with the LHS Senior Class and enjoy some school sponsored childcare. Please take a look at the message from LHS Senior Class President Sophie Lemire!! The attached flyers will explain this all in detail!

Hi Parents,

My name is Sophie Lemire and I am the senior class president at Longmeadow High School. I am pleased to inform you all that the Class of 2020 is putting on a production of the musical Back to the 80s for our senior class play. We would love it if you would join us for a trip back to high school in the 80s, a time many of you got to experience first hand :) Students can purchase tickets at lunch beginning next week. Tickets will also be on sale at the door of each show. VIP tickets (the first two rows) will be sold for $20 and regular admission tickets will be sold for $10. Showtimes include Thursday, November 21 and Friday, November 22 at 7:00 pm as well as Saturday, November 23 at 1:00 pm. The senior class has put time, work and effort into this production and we would love to share it with family, friends and the Longmeadow Community.

Thank you so much for your time and we hope to see you there,

Sophie Lemire and the Class of 2020


Week of November 18th, 2019

Hello Center School Families,

Lots of happenings to share with you, so thank-you for taking the time to read this message!

  • In an effort to gather feedback from our students, Fresh Pick- our food service vendor- developed a survey. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey with your child, especially if he/she buys school lunches on a regular basis. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Longmeadow_ES_19-20
  • Here’s a fun family night to consider-Saturday Movie Night sponsored by Longmeadow Baseball: lba_movienight_flyer.pdf
  • So excited our Scholastic Book Fair is just around the corner, coming our way the first week of December! The evening shopping is on December 3rd from 6:00 to 8:00. Here’s the day schedule for your child’s class: BOOK FAIR Schedule Fall 2019_20 .docx
  • The School Committee would like to increase the level of communication with parents/guardians, and community members, so they’ll be sending monthly updates this year. These updates include some of the highlights from the previous month, as well as a link to the meeting minutes for those who wish to read about additional items: School Committee Update Oct-Nov2019.pdf
  • Center’s School Council is reviewing our School Improvement Plan for 2019-2020. The final plan will be shared with the community in December.
  • Lost and Found items will be donated on Friday.
  • Reminder to make sure your child has warm clothing for cold days-hats, gloves, coats, and long pants.
  • Coming your way on December 11th: Family Writing Night with Literacy Coach Vanessa Vigna...more information soon!!
  • The PTO Center School Directory is available on the PTO website: https://www.centerschoolpto.com/directory.html
  • The carline is lengthening on cold weather days. Thank-you for adhering to our procedures and remaining patient with staff and our 5th grade safety members.

Have a wonderful week!

Kind regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Operation Gratitude

Posted Nov. 12, 2019

Our gratitude to the Watson family for organizing Operation Gratitude again this year; and to all of our students for donating their extra Halloween candy!! Center collected 445 pounds of candy to send to our troops!!

The three top classes are: Ms. Green 32.7 pounds; Mrs. Bombardier 56.7 pounds; and Mrs. McLean's class with 63.2 pounds.

On the eve of World Kindness Day, it's wonderful to celebrate the generosity of our community!

Enjoy a wonderful week!!

Kind Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Week of November 11th

Hello Center School Families,

At our Open House in September, teachers shared information regarding expectations for your child’s learning for the school year. Teachers touched on grade level standards or learning goals that drive teaching and learning. Educational standards are the learning goals for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. They are expectations. A curriculum is the detailed plan used to teach students the learning goals embodied in standards. Standards are statements. Curriculum includes many resources: activities, lessons, units, assessments, and can include all the texts used in a particular content area. Standards define what is to be learned by the end of a school year. Curriculum is the detailed plan for day to day teaching. You can think about the difference as Standards are the end. Curriculum is the means. Here is a link to DESE and the family page that provides useful information to help understand expectations for your child’s learning: http://www.doe.mass.edu/highstandards/

Here’s a snapshot of our curriculum...certainly not an exhaustive list of the many resources teachers use as a means to help our students meet grade level standards and reach beyond! More info to come about Art, Music, PE, Health, Technology Integration, and Library Media teaching and learning.

  • Science: Foss Science: students learn science by doing science. Each grade level completes a minimum of three “modules” each year, engaged in meaningful active learning. https://www.deltaeducation.com/foss/next-generation
  • Literacy: Facilitating a workshop instructional model, teachers follow the Units of Study in both reading and writing. Students develop their proficiencies as readers and writers by exploring varied genres with authentic engaging texts.

http://www.unitsofstudy.com/introduction

  • Mathematics: Through Math Expressions students learn through an inquiry-based curriculum focused on: Conceptual understanding; Procedural fluency i.e., know mathematical facts, compute and do the math; and Capacity i.e., solve a wide range of problems in various contexts by reasoning, thinking, and applying the mathematics they have learned. https://www.hmhco.com/programs/math-expressions
  • Social Studies: This year, teachers have access to Discovery Ed, https://www.discoveryeducation.com/solutions/social-studies-techbook/ an online resource and grade levels across the district will pilot a Pearson text as we work to clearly articulate the curriculum to meet the newer standards in History and Social Science.

Additional Happenings and Reminders

  • Wednesday is World Kindness Day: Who doesn’t love Mr. Rogers? Wear your favorite cardigan to school and spread some extra kindness!! World kindess day.jpg
  • November 14th and 15th: Family /Teacher Conferences: Dismissal at 11:30 am. Please be prompt at dismissal so our teachers have time to eat lunch.
  • November 27th: Dismissal at 11:30 am
  • Thank-you to our active duty family members who visited classrooms for Veteran’s Day: very special event for students and of course for their children!
  • Please make sure your child dresses warmly for outdoor recess. Students who like to wear shorts year -round should have warm pants available for outdoors.
  • Please check Lost and found when you’re here for conferences!
  • Please visit Teachers' websites for updates and happenings in the classrooms!

Warmly,

Donna Hutton, Principal


Health Office Notice

Posted November 7, 2019

Dear Center School Families,

Cold and flu season is upon us and the schools are already seeing an increase in many contagious illnesses. We would like to take this opportunity to remind families of some important steps that can be taken to limit the spread of illness within our schools. As always, our staff will work with the students to limit the spread of germs within the school by encouraging the following:

  • Frequent and diligent hand washing
  • Avoiding touching of eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with the inside of the elbow
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick

Students exhibiting any signs of illness will be referred to the health office for evaluation. Teachers and custodial staff will implement more stringent cleaning protocols for touchable surfaces.

We additionally ask families to help us limit the spread of illness by adhering to the following guidelines:

Children with one (or more) of the following symptoms MUST stay home until symptom-free for 24 hours:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever greater than 100.4 (without fever-reducing medication such as Tylenol or Motrin)
  • If prescribed antibiotics, children must have a full 24-hour dosage before returning to school.

As a precaution, please consider keeping your child home for:

  • Excessive stuffy nose or nasal drainage
  • Excessive or persistent cough
  • Lethargy or general malaise
  • Low-grade fever
  • Nausea

Thank you for partnering with us to create the healthiest possible environment for our students. Please reach out to your School Nurse with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal


November 6, 2019

Hello Center School Families,

With the start of November, teachers are preparing for conferences next week. As you know, we hold conferences twice annually. We consider conferences to be a valuable time to more “formally” touch base with families to discuss students’ academic and social emotional learning as well as discuss growth areas. Importantly, teachers will want to hear your insights, answer questions, and continue to grow partnerships to 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) assessment results with cover sheets that indicate your child’s progress towards meeting particular standards or “learning targets”.

One critical strength of standards-based reporting is communication! Here are additional benefits:

  • 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
  • Parents know in which curriculum areas their child needs more support or extension
  • Parents 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 schedules are tight 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.

I hope you enjoy lots of extra family time during the upcoming extended weekend. I also hope you take time to continue to talk with your child about Veteran’s Day and find a meaningful way to honor the individuals who have bravely served our country- past and present- including members of our own Center community!

A Few Reminders:

  • Operation Gratitude: Please consider donating extra Halloween candy to our troops by Friday. Students may bring extra bags of candy to school for the collection. Many thanks to the Watson family for organizing the endeavor! https://www.operationgratitude.com/express-your-thanks/halloween-candy/
  • With the forecast calling for the possibility of snow on Friday (!!), here is a brief reminder of the practices, and policies of the Longmeadow Public Schools to govern the closing or delay of school on days when the weather makes traveling for students dangerous. If the schedule is to be altered, we will attempt to make announcements on the television, the Longmeadow Public Schools website and over the School Messenger email and telephone service as early as possible on days of questionable weather. Our judgment in those circumstances will be based on the best information available at that time about road conditions throughout the area. The following situations may occur:

1. A one-hour delayed opening to allow for snow removal during relatively light storms.

2. A two-hour delayed opening to allow for snow removal and traffic clearance during more severe storms. Please stay tuned for school messages following a delayed opening announcement in case of worsening conditions warranting school closing.

3. School closing due to storms severe enough that safe paths to school cannot generally be maintained.

4. Early Dismissal is done only in the event of an unanticipated emergency. On the rare occasion when an emergency dismissal is necessary, announcements will be made on television and made using the School Messenger email and telephone service. Utmost caution will be exercised by school staff in the event of an early dismissal. Please know that in these instances school staff will remain at school until safe travel is provided for all students. Please be sure your family has contingency plans for children sent home due to an early dismissal.

  • With winter weather here already, we have colder days and unpredictable weather. Please support us by helping your child adhere to our winter dress. 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.
  • November 11th - Veteran’s Day- No School
  • November 14th and 15th - Parent and Teacher Conferences- ½ Day 11:30 a.m. Dismissal
  • November 27th - ½ Day 11:30 a.m. Dismissal
  • November 28th and 29th - No School- Thanksgiving Recess

Kind regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal


Two Days Left!

Posted November 6, 2019

Good Afternoon,

The window of opportunity to view a video version of the "Challenge Success" talk that was delivered to parents and staff on October 15 is quickly closing. The LPS community has until November 8th to view either the high school presentation linked here or the K-8 presentation linked here. The videos are thought provoking and have been well-received.

The next meeting of the Special Education Alliance of Longmeadow (SEAL) is Tuesday, November 12th at 7:00 p.m. in LPS central office conference room A-31 located at 535 Bliss Road. SEAL is a parent advisory council that offers information, support, and networking opportunities to parents. On Tuesday, there will be a presentation from special education supervisors at Williams, Glenbrook and LHS. Please attend to learn more about special education programming and upcoming SEAL outreach activities. For the full meeting agenda and to learn more about future meeting dates and events please visit www.sealma.org.

Let's hope we dodge the snow on Friday. If we don't and you need information on our inclement weather protocols, please review the attached letter below.

Have a great evening!

Sincerely,

Marty O'Shea

Superintendent

Inclement Weather Protocols

Happy Halloween!

Ahoy Mateys! Happy Halloween from your Center Staff! Arrrrr!


Halloween Parade

Posted October 31, 2019

Hello and Happy Halloween!

I know it might be problematic for many families, but we will wait until 1:45 to make a decision about whether the students will parade outside in their costumes at 2:00. Please consider this message the school notice-if you see there is no rain: we'll walk down the esplanade turn left and head towards Longfellow, travel down Longfellow to the playground, walk towards the cafeteria, walk past the cafeteria, travel down the driveway, walk past the front of the gymnasium, and back to the esplanade to enter the building. The green is much too wet and muddy to consider. If the rain continues-NO parade...

Lots of fun and creative activities happening-just saw owl pellet dissection in 2nd grade!

Have a wonderful day!

Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal


Week of October 28th

Happy Monday Center School Families,

The 16th annual Halloween Hustle was a tremendous success...the weather was absolutely perfect and many runners ran their personal best time!! So many “shout outs” owed for the success of the day! Katie Wartman chaired the event with her team of helpers sharing the work: Bianca Damiano Gonzalez and Megan Downey served as co-leadership chairs, helping with all aspects of the day; Jen Skelley Duval and Beth Benzaquin did the graphics, design, and illustration; Katie Sullivan helped with race timing logistics and Lindsay Maloni Kuntz was responsible for the decorating. Well done to all! https://www.facebook.com/LongmeadowCenterPTO/

Halloween Parade: The weather looks uncertain for our annual parade at 2:00 on Halloween day. Should the day bring rain, classroom celebrations will be held, but the parade will be cancelled. We will not decide until immediately before 2:00.

I want to introduce you to one of our lunch monitors who began her work with us at the end of last year. Jenny came to us through a new connection with Riverside Industries Inc. RSI is a Partner of Western Mass Employment Collaborative (WMEC). Jenny inspires us each day with her hard work and her love for our students, many of whom she has developed a special connection. Please take the time to read her story! https://www.wmecworks.net/success-stories.php

Calendar Reminders

November 5th - Helping Hands Grade 4; 7:45 a.m. in the cafeteria

November 11th - Veteran’s Day - No School

Parent/Teacher Conferences November 14th and 15th -Students dismissed at 11:30 a.m.

Have a wonderful week!

Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Teacher Learning

Posted Oct. 28, 2019

Teacher growth is closely related to pupil growth. Probably nothing within a school has more impact on students in terms of skills development, self-confidence, or classroom behavior than the personal & professional growth of their teachers. Roland Barth

Dear Center School Families,

Learning is a never- ending process, not only for our students but for our educators. Research indicates that for professional development to be effective and impactful it has to be directly connected to daily work with students, related to content areas, organized around real challenges of practice, continuous and ongoing, and able to provide teachers with access to resources and expertise.

Enhancing teaching practice is a complex and ongoing endeavor that can’t be achieved by going off to a workshop! Teachers continually work with others on ways to enrich their teaching, which positively impacts your child’s growth and learning. In our district, professional development takes place in varied ways.I want to share with you some ways that teachers grow their teaching craft.

Coaching: Several years ago, LPS invested in literacy coaches at the elementary level. Simplified, coaches help teachers take important instructional concepts they learn and apply them. A gifted coach, such as our own Vanessa Vigna, provides differentiated collaboration and support to teachers. It is well worth your time to visit Ms. Vigna’s blog: A Sea of Literacy Talk, rich with resources for anyone who wishes to enrich the literacy world of a child. You'll gain a deeper understanding of the innovative nature of a coach’s work and see how embedded the work is in our school culture. https://msvigna.com/

PeaceBuilders/CASEL Committee: Representatives across our staff will create a comprehensive crosswalk between CASEL competencies and PeaceBuilders. Collaboration is a powerful form of professional development where we learn from and with our colleagues, working on a similar goal and delving deeper into varied topics. This work will be impactful to our social emotional learning (SEL) work as well as your understanding of the social competencies.

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Pilot Evaluation Tool Program: A Center team was accepted into a pilot program where we will have an opportunity to use an evaluation tool to take a closer look at the effectiveness of the reader’s and writer’s workshop instructional model. We’ll join 20 selected schools/districts across the state, working under DESE’s How do We Know Initiative: Using, Building, and Sharing Evidence to Improve Student Outcomes. Opportunities to reflect on our practices fosters tremendous growth for all involved.

Foundations of Inclusive Practice: Our Special education team and I will attend an institute that will build our knowledge and approaches for implementing inclusive practice. At the conclusion of our time- intensive work in the institute, we will have a professional development presentation/course to share with our colleagues. The two driving goals for us are to look for ways to improve instruction and support for students with disabilities and to provide educators with powerful professional development on effective strategies.

Our new math specialist, Patricia Woodward, will continue her training in AVMR https://www.mathrecovery.org/ The district will send the elementary math specialists to the AVMR National Conference in November as well. We’re anticipating positive results with the implementation of math recovery as an intervention to increase students’ mathematical understanding and achievement.

Teachers have an opportunity to take Professional Growth Courses after school. The course offerings change throughout the year and are aligned with school and district learning and teaching goals. Additionally, teachers spend three Mondays a month after school working on collaborative endeavors within their teams and/or involved with Principal led training/sharing.

District Professional Development Days: The topics and offerings on these days are also aligned to our teaching and learning goals. On the October day, teachers chose from a menu of workshop topics offered by their colleagues. In the afternoon, Center educators had an interactive presentation with Jennifer Bogin, behavior specialist, focused on strategies for educators when working with children with challenging behavioral needs.

In a few short weeks we will hold parent teacher conferences. I will communicate soon regarding the goals of conferences. We expect to see all our families for this important meeting, so please be sure you have scheduled your time with your child’s teacher.

Your child’s growth and learning depend on our capacity to provide learning opportunities for our educators. It’s an area that we continue to work together to make meaningful and to grow, continually focused on the “real challenges of practice”. While I have tried to capture some of the learning opportunities in our school and beyond, this is not an exhaustive list. Many teachers also delve into learning in other ways through college courses, professional readings, and study groups. A teacher's work stretches far beyond the school day...

That said, know that we learn more in our day- to- day work with students than perhaps any other endeavor! Thank-you for your ongoing trust and support for our work. And thank-you for the privilege of working with your child.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Longfellow Drive Construction

Posted Oct. 24, 2019

Dear Center School Families,

I was informed today by DPW Director Mario Mazza that Gomes Construction will be starting the sidewalk replacement work on Longfellow Drive tomorrow. Mr. Mazza expects the replacement to last about a week. DPW/Police will be installing "No Parking" signs on Longfellow this afternoon.

  • There will be (more) limited parking for staff during this period. PLEASE do not park in the back parking lot in the morning when you drop off your child. We appreciate all families dropping off in the carline.
  • The replacement will be impactful to all students who walk to school via Longfellow. Know that extra safety precautions need to be taken by families and students.
  • Kindergarten families who usually park on Colton and pick up students in the back of the school are encouraged to pick up in the carline.
  • The carline may be longer than usual so many thanks for extra patience.

Thank-you for your understanding and help during the construction period.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Challenge Success Video - Must See TV!

Posted October 21, 2019

Good Morning,

If you missed last Tuesday's Challenge Success presentation, you can watch a very similar recorded version for free by using this link. Click on "rent" and then use the promo code "longmeadow" in order to watch it for free through November 8th. Please note that users will need to create a free Vimeo account prior to viewing.

Sincerely,

Marty O'Shea

Superintendent of Schools

Week of October 21st

Hello Center Families,

We have a full week of school ahead-yay! - and I know teachers look forward to a dynamic week of learning!

  • Digital Citizenship : A message from parent Kristin Seeley: Please feel free to contact her with questions or for more information. Email Kristin at kristinseeley@msn.com or call/text at 413-426-7240.

In an effort to promote healthy behaviors with technology, we are writing to you to ask for help in creating a parent-led coalition in partnership with our community stakeholders. The mission is to help our school-aged children navigate the complex digital world. We have heard resounding messages and alarmingly frequent instances from our administrators, teachers and counseling staff -- too much time is spent mitigating the effects of social media, screen time and gaming -- they need our help and support. Our elementary schools are already using Common Sense Media programming to demonstrate how students can manage technology time and behave appropriately online -- for example, being kind online, protecting privacy and personal information, creating digital awareness, etc. In a growing digital universe that is pervasive and often invasive, we will strive to help our children grow into productive, healthy digital citizens. We will delve into the specifics of healthy screen interaction and modeling good digital behaviors, and at this time ask that each PTO/PAC volunteer two members to join our Digital Citizenship Panel.

  • Halloween Reminders

Teachers will send families information about grade level activities. As you help your child choose a costume, please remember that Halloween at Center is a day for imagination and creativity. Please refrain from frightening costumes and masks. Parade October 31st at 2:00 weather permitting on the Green.

From Nurse Autumn Rodrigues: Reminders from LPS Wellness Policy:

  • No candy is allowed to be consumed at school.
  • Nothing home-baked OR home-made in any classroom
  • Anything brought into the classroom for consumption must have a clear label, be in original packaging, and list all ingredients.
  • Be mindful of your classroom allergens. If your classroom is nut free, nothing can contain nuts OR be processed in a facility that also processes nuts. That applies for all allergens. Please review your teacher’s website if you are unsure about the allergens in your classroom.
  • Everything brought into classrooms must be cleared by the nurse.
  • Please consider non-food items as treats for all celebrations. Many classrooms have already eliminated food items for celebrations. Some ideas include pencils, stickers, glow sticks, party games, small crafts, etc.
  • Halloween Hustle: October 26th 8:30 a.m. https://www.centerschoolpto.com/hustle.html
  • School Council: Here’s the link to the SC page that includes meeting dates, the School Improvement Plan, and the minutes to our meetings. https://sites.google.com/longmeadow.k12.ma.us/new-ctr/administration/school-council
  • LHS Halloween Spooktacular: October 26th 5:30-7:30 at Longmeadow High School. This is a fundraiser for Camp Sunshine led by the LHS Key Club. Come and join the fun!! $5 per trick or treater.
  • We are excited to let you know that there will be school- based after- school clubs coming your way very soon!! The clubs will fall under the following categories: Community Service Club; STEAM Club; School Leadership Club. More information coming your way very soon!!
  • My apologies, but another reminder to mark your child’s items with his/her name and encourage your child to check for missing items in the Lost and Found.

Thank-you and enjoy a terrific week!

Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal



End-of-Week Message

Posted October 10, 2019

Hello Center School Families,

I’m touching base with some end-of-the-week news and reminders:

  • Congratulations to Christina Fleming and Erin Linville. They will join parents Rachel Axtmann and Christopher Morgan on our School Council this year. Many thanks to all the parents who were willing to serve and to Gina Pantuosco, Sarah Smith, and Michael Barresi for their past membership. Here’s a link that provides more information about the role of the council: http://www.doe.mass.edu/lawsregs/advisory/schoolcouncils/

  • Please take a few moments to respond to the district Wellness Survey. Your response will provide helpful information to the work of the Wellness committee. It will take less than 5 minutes, I promise! Wellness Survey https://forms.gle/2L7aFrdiBRzSYjMj6

  • School Committee: During the annual School Committee Retreat, the Committee established a goal to increase their level of communication with stakeholders. This is the first of monthly newsletters that will highlight their important work for our district:School Committee Update.9.2019.pdf

  • Lost and Found items will be donated at the end of the week. Thank-you for marking items with your child’s name and for reminders to your child to check the area for items.

  • Halloween Spooktacular - The Annual LHS Spooktacular will take place on Saturday, October 26th. Please click on this link for the flyer: Halloween Spooktacular 2019.pdf

  • LEEF Gala: Join friends and community members at the 18th Annual LEEF Magic and Mystery Gala at Twin Hills Country Club, Saturday, November 2 at 6:30p.m. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here

October 14th- Columbus Day- No School

October 15th- Professional Development Day- No School

October 16th-PTO Meeting 7:00 in the Community Room: Please join us!!

Kind regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal



Week of October 7th

Dear Center School Families,

Here’s some happenings and reminders for the week ahead in our school community:

  • Helping Hands kicks off Tuesday morning with our 5th graders. Here’s the details for the endeavor. HelpingHands 2019-20 (1).docx Many thanks to all who contributed to the food drive for the Longmeadow Food Pantry. We collected just short of 300 pounds to begin to restock the pantry for the months ahead! Well done!
  • Lost and Found: Unhappily the lost and found is incredibly full at the start of the year. Please encourage your child to check the area outside the cafeteria for lost clothing items and lunch containers. It’s helpful if you mark your child’s name on items and we can return them to homerooms. Items that remain for a month will be donated.
  • Reminder about drop off and pick up: Longfellow Street is not a place to pick up or drop off students. We’re seeing students crossing on Longfellow where there’s no crosswalk. This is a significant safety risk for students. Thank-you for working with us to keep our children safe.
  • Allergies and nut-free classrooms: 10 of our classrooms are “nut free” classrooms. You received a letter from Nurse Rodrigues at the start of the year if your child needs to refrain from having a snack with nut products or other allergens that will pose a serious health risk to students in his/her classroom. We deeply appreciate you helping us provide a safe environment for all children by reading the label on your child’s snack choice.
  • MCAS Parent Reports: Families of students who took the test last year will receive the reports that were mailed on Friday. http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/parents/ Please reach out with questions.
  • Challenge Success: October 15th . ChallengeSuccess 10-15-2019.pdf
  • October 9th: No School Yom Kippur
  • October 14th and 15th : No School: Columbus Day and Professional Development Day respectively
  • October 26: Halloween Hustle
  • October 31st: 2:00 p.m. Center’s Halloween Costume Parade on the Green.
  • LEEF GALA: https://one.bidpal.net/2019leefgala/ticketing

Longmeadow Public Schools adheres to the CASEL framework https://casel.org/what-is-sel/to guide us in fostering the social emotional competencies of our students. We have formed a committee of educators at Center whom are working to articulate to our families the alignment of our PeaceBuilders program with the CASEL framework. The committee is excited for the work and anticipate sharing valuable resources by midyear. In the meantime, please be sure to take the time to read the monthly newsletters sent home regarding PeaceBuilders practices and visit the CASEL website to deepen your understandings of the competencies.

[endif]--

Teachers and interventionists have completed most screenings for the start of the school year. At Open House, teachers explained the WIN block and our RTI model. Here’s a great resource created by our staff and students to enhance your understanding: https://sites.google.com/longmeadow.k12.ma.us/centerstage/home

Conferences are November 14th and 15th and know our teachers are available and responsive at any time to answer questions and/or share insights with you about your child’s learning.

Thank-you for taking the time to read this message and for your ongoing partnership and support!

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

SEAL Meeting 10-8-2019

Posted October 4, 2019

The Special Education Alliance of Longmeadow (SEAL) is a Parent Advisory Council that offers information, support, and networking opportunities to parents. Please join us for our next meeting on Tuesday, October 8th at 7:00 PM in Room A-31 Pupil Services, 535 Bliss Road, Longmeadow. There will be a presentation from our preschool and elementary school special education supervisors from Blueberry, Wolf Swamp and Center School and learn about special education programs offered at the schools. Following the presentation, there will be discussion about upcoming SEAL outreach activities. For the full meeting agenda, and to learn more about future meeting dates and events, visit www.sealma.org.

Helping Hands 2019-2020

Posted October 4, 2019

Dear Center School Families,

In the spirit of teaching our students about the importance of community service, we will begin our seventh 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:

1. SCHEDULE:

Each grade level will be assigned a month to meet one morning in the cafeteria at 7:45 AM to make sandwiches with their grade level team.The students will go directly to their classrooms at 8:25.

Mark your calendars on the following Tuesdays:

October 8th-5th grade

November 5th-4th grade

December 10th-3rd grade

January 7th-2nd grade

February 4th-1st grade

March 3rd-K & 5th

April 7th- 4th & 2nd

May 5th- 3rd & 1st

June 2nd- all grades

2. 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.

3. WHO MAY COME:

Siblings are more than welcome to make sandwiches too. For example, our first date (October 8th) will be with 5th graders. If you have a 5th grader and a 2nd grader, feel free to send the 2nd grader to help. Parents are welcome to stay as well, the more helping hands the better!!

4. SANDWICH DONATIONS:

Center School parent Cecilia Rosalin Gadelhak (ccrosalin@gmail.com) will be coordinating this effort. She and I will be present with the students while they make the sandwiches; and Cecilia and Amie Tracy will deliver the sandwiches to the Springfield Rescue Mission, Loaves and Fishes Kitchen in Springfield and the Easthampton Community Center.

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

With appreciation,

Donna Hutton, Principal


Challenge Success

Posted October 3, 2019

Longmeadow Public Schools

Special Programs Series

Challenge Success – The Well-Balanced Student

The Longmeadow Public Schools is pleased to announce the Special Programs Committee (SPC) will host a community engagement program featuring Challenge Success on Tuesday, October 15th at 7:00 pm in the Longmeadow High School Auditorium. In a presentation titled, The Well-Balanced Student, Challenge Success will help community attendees learn research- based strategies for raising healthier youth by reducing academic stress and increasing child(ren)’s resilience, creativity, and well-being.

Challenge Success, a research-based organization working out of Stanford University, partners with communities who aspire to redefine success and create "more balanced and academically fulfilling" lives for their children. Additional information about Challenge Success can be found at www.challengesucces.org.

Also, during the afternoon of October 15th, LPS Middle and High School educators will engage in scheduled professional development with Challenge Success on practices that improve student well-being and engagement with learning.

There is no admission-fee for the evening event.

Challenge Success.pdf

ChallengeSuccess 10-15-2019.pdf

Please join us!!

Challenge Success hosted by the Special Programs Committee

Posted Oct. 1, 2019

The entire LPS community is invited to an evening presentation by Challenge Success and hosted by the Special Programs Committee. Challenge Success, a research-based organization working out of Stanford University, partners with communities who aspire to redefine success and create "more balanced and academically fulfilling" lives for their children. Middle and High School staff will learn from Challenge Success on our October 15 professional development day. Community members are invited to an evening presentation on the same day, beginning at 7 p.m. in the LHS auditorium.


Thank you on behalf of the Special Programs Committee,


Shelly Warren


Two Seats on Center's School Council are Open!

Posted October 1, 2019

Members Needed!

Please contact the PTO https://www.centerschoolpto.com/about-the-pto.html or Principal Hutton if you are interested in serving on the School Council. Meetings held once a month for one hour. Council determines days and times to meet to accommodate members' schedules.

A school council is a representative, school building-based committee composed of the principal, parents, teachers, community members and, at the secondary level, students, required to be established by each school pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 71, Section 59C.

Responsibilities of a School Council:

School councils are to assist principals in:

  • adopting educational goals for the school that are consistent with local educational policies and statewide student performance standards;
  • identifying the educational needs of students attending the school;
  • reviewing the annual school building budget;
  • formulating a school improvement plan.

Thank-you for considering!!

Open House Change

Posted September 26, 2019

Good morning Center School Families,

Because of the likely chance of showers late this afternoon, we’ll set up our PTO social in the cafeteria. For veteran families who have been to prior Open House evenings, this means the format changes and there will not be a “formal” welcome.

We hope you still stop by the cafeteria for a doughnut and cider treat before the first presentation at 6:30 or sometime during the evening as you travel around the school. Also, the music room and reading center are in this area and you’ll have a chance to visit and say hello! There will also be information from the PTO for the Halloween Hustle and LEEF Gala information-two community happenings you don’t want to miss!

Entrances: esplanade doors on both sides; main entrance; cafeteria doors in the back of the school.

6:10-7:45 Cider doughnuts and cider hosted by PTO in the cafeteria

6:30-7:00 1st Classroom Presentation

7:00-7:10 Travel time and opportunity to say hello to different teachers across the school.

7:15-7:45 2nd Classroom Presentation

Thank-you and see you this evening! Gentle reminder, the evening is for adults only!

Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal


Week of September 23rd

Hello Center School Families,

Fall Carnival: We had a perfect afternoon for the Fall Carnival!! We may have set a record for the number of families who enjoyed the event. A very big bundle of gratitude to Jen Alvord and countless volunteers, including the Key Club from LHS, for planning, for generously sharing time, helping hands, and fun spirits with our community. Most especially, we thank our 5th graders who are center stage at the carnival each year. Once again, their leadership and smarts were on full display and they awed us with their talents. We look forward to the Halloween Hustle on October 26th, which is the next PTO endeavor.

Biking and Walking to Center: There’s something incredibly special about watching arrival in the morning; and it always makes me smile to step back and observe. Our parents and students on bikes and so many walkers enjoying a healthy beginning to the day is one of the many benefits of neighborhood schools. That said, it’s been brought to my attention that families have concerns about safety along sidewalks both in the morning and at dismissal. I have reached out to our safety officer Carl Mazzaferro for assistance. In the coming days, he will be visible along busy paths to remind everyone of courteous and safe etiquette:

  • All bikers, students on roller blades, and scooter riders need helmets!
  • Tuck and tie shoe laces and pant legs.
  • Importantly: RIDE RIGHT and please -no more than two abreast so students and families don’t get run off the sidewalk!
  • Talk with your child about smart and appropriate speed.
  • Cross at crosswalks and be cautious when passing driveways.
  • When passing walkers, please give a polite shout out “On your left” or ring your bike bell.
  • Remind your child to stay off our neighbors’ lawns. This is an issue of concern when students ride four or five bikes side by side.
  • We have consistently reminded students to travel the sidewalk in front of the school and to never cut down the driveway near the gymnasium. There is a blind spot here that is a strong safety concern. We’re asking parents and guardians to follow this request as well.

Homework: Teachers will discuss the importance of the Homework Guiding Principles at Open House this week. Here’s a link to the document with helpful grade level resources: https://sites.google.com/longmeadow.k12.ma.us/homework/home You will receive many reminders throughout the year conveying that yes, our students from kinder through 5th grade have homework; and we ask you to partner with us to make sure your child is fulfilling his/her responsibility to read and practice math as assigned by your child’s teacher. Stop in to see our literacy coach Vanessa Vigna or reading specialist Valerie Fritz for some helpful guidance on Thursday evening.

Open House: Attached is the detailed message I sent over the weekend. Just a reminder to visit teachers other than your child’s classroom teacher between the two classroom presentations. All our teachers will not be available after 7:45. 2019 Open House Details.docx

Finally, many members of our community knew Lisa Gore from her time at Center School working in the preschool as a para professional. She died suddenly last week and there will be a celebration of her life tomorrow with services at the First Church of Christ. It feels like an appropriate time to thank all our para professionals for the important work they do for our students. They provide invaluable support to children and, like Lisa, touch many many lives. We remember Lisa with gratitude and fond memories of her gifted way with the little ones in the preschool.

As always, thank-you for your partnership and for your ongoing support of all our efforts.

Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Open House 2019

Posted September 21, 2019

Greetings Center School Families,

We’re looking forward to welcoming parents and guardians to our Open House on Thursday, September 26th. Center’s Open House format provides an opportunity for you to meet your child’s teachers, understand the goals and expectations for your child’s year, learn more about your child’s grade level curriculum and classroom environment, walk the hallways your child walks each day, and meet other families in your school community!

Open House Schedule: Note that there are two presentations at different times in each classroom to accommodate families with more than one child at Center.

6:10-6:25 Welcome and social on esplanade hosted by PTO with cider and doughnuts. If there is a chance of showers, we’ll set up refreshments in the café, so please stop in for a treat!

6:30-7:00 1st Classroom Presentation

7:00-7:10 Travel time and opportunity to say hello to different teachers across the school.

7:15-7:45 2nd Classroom Presentation

Important details:

  • Open House is for parents and guardians only. We’ll have other opportunities for family events that include our students.
  • Parent /Teacher Conferences are November 14th and 15th. Gentle reminder to kindly refrain from asking teachers about your child’s individual progress at Open House.
  • Please visit other teachers in your child’s school world:
    • PE teachers Ms. Gauthier and Mrs. Capotosto in the gymnasium;
    • Music teacher Ms. Drysdale- Morrisey in the music room adjacent to the café;
    • Library/media specialist Mrs. Mulcahy in the library;
    • Art teacher Mrs. Goldman in the art room located in the 5th grade hallway;
    • Technology Integration Specialist Mrs. Giuggio and dog assisted interventionist, Murphy, around the corner from the main office;
    • Literacy Coach Vanessa Vigna across from the library;
    • Our resource team, including our special education teachers and interventionists, will be in their classrooms to say hello https://sites.google.com/longmeadow.k12.ma.us/new-ctr/faculty-staff/support-programs.
  • The main entrance and the side esplanade doors will be unlocked for your convenience.

Please reach out to your child’s teacher or to me with any questions. We'll see you Thursday evening... Happy Fall and I hope you enjoy a wonderful weekend and week ahead !

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Please join your school community today!

2019 Fall Carnival

Posted Friday September 20, 2019

The weather looks perfect!

4:30-6:30

on the Town Green

Bring the whole family for games created and run by our very own fifth graders! Bravo to our 5th grade school leaders!!!

Celebrate the start of the new school year and experience Center School Spirit at its best.

Bounce House, hamburgs, hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy, bake sale, face painting, and a ticket store where prizes can be purchased with raffle tickets!!

See you at 4:30!!

https://www.centerschoolpto.com/carnival-942288-396479.html

Walking School Bus Postponed

Posted September 12, 2019

Good morning Center School Families!

Due to the rainy weather this morning, we are postponing our Walking School Bus. We'll plan the walk to school on another day to be announced.

Today is a good day to wear a raincoat and bring an umbrella to school if you will be waiting in the carline at the end of the day! Thank-you for practicing patience if you'll be dropping off and/or picking up in the carline on inclement weather days.

Have a good day.

Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Oops...this flyer was not attached to yesterday's message so here it is: Save the Date.pdf


Week of September 9th

Posted September 12, 2019

Hello Center Families,

Please join us to walk, ride, or roll to school on the first Walking School Bus tomorrow morning at 8:10 a.m. We’ll meet at the corner of Hopkins and Longmeadow Streets. The beginning of the year is always a bit overwhelming with so much information coming your way. I find it’s a good time to mark my calendar with important dates. Please see the attached Save the Date Flyer with the many interesting LPS Special Programs Committee events.

Here’s some more happenings that we know you will enjoy:

  • September 20th: Fall Carnival 4:30-6:30 on the green. Click here for details: https://www.centerschoolpto.com/carnival-942288-396479.html
  • September 20th: Cardinal Spirit Day: Crazy Socks Day
  • September 26th: Open House. 6:15 to 7:45
  • October 26th: Halloween Hustle: More detailed info coming at Open House!!
  • November 2nd: LEEF Gala: https://www.goleef.org/gala2019/ Please consider supporting LEEF at their major fund raiser of the year. LEEF funds amazing grants that enrich our students’ learning across the district. One funded project that each elementary school will enjoy is our “sensory paths”. You can travel the path at Open House when you cross our connector! The path provides an opportunity for some very intentional movement breaks for our students...and it’s so much fun! I’ll share more information about movement in our classrooms soon. Sensory Path

As we approach the end of our first full week, I want to share that your children have been delightful! They make us smile each day and it’s been a very good beginning. If you sense that your child might be having any issues with transitions, please don't hesitate to reach out to our teachers for support or to our adjustment counselor, Carol Connery. cconnery@longmeadow.k12.ma.us We can work together on developing strategies that will ease any lingering worries your child might experience...this is a standing suggestion for any time during your child’s journey with us.

Warm regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

A Few Reminders...

Posted September 5, 2019

Hello Center School Families,

  • Tomorrow is our first all -school peace rally. Ms. Drysdale Morrisey will lead the students with songs and we'll introduce all our new students. Students and staff are encouraged to wear cardinal red to show our Center School spirit.
  • Don't forget about Food Truck Friday sponsored by Close Community: tomorrow from 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm. Here's the details: Food Truck Friday.pdf
  • Mark your calendars for our first Walking School Bus on September 12th! We'll meet at the corner of Hopkins at 8:10 to walk, bike, or roll to school with community members. Here's the link to Safe Routes to School that provides more details about this community happening: http://guide.saferoutesinfo.org/walking_school_bus/. Please remind your bikers and walkers to follow all safety rules to and from school. Also, students need to be off their pedals and walk their bikes in front of the school.
  • Fall Carnival September 20th!! Please visit the PTO site to order your passes. Our 5th graders are busily planning their games for our annual family night. 5th graders: don't forget to order your class tee shirts! All the information you need can be found here: https://www.centerschoolpto.com/carnival-942288-396479.html

Thank-you for your ongoing support! Enjoy the beautiful weather days ahead!

Kind regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Save the Dates!

Posted September 4, 2019

Good Morning,

I hope this email finds your family settling into a happy, new school year! For your planning purposes, I am pleased to provide you with a schedule of talks and presentations sponsored by the Longmeadow Public Schools Special Programs Committee.

Our first event, Food Truck Friday and Community Talk, organized by the CLOSE Community Coalition, is scheduled for Friday, September 6th.

Bring your friends and neighbors and join us for Food Truck dining beginning at 5:30 and a panel conversation starting at 6:30 focused on how we can work together to help Longmeadow youth make healthy decisions relating to alcohol, marijuana, vaping and other substances.

Please note that the flyer below also recognizes events sponsored by our strategic partner, Bay Path University, through its Kaleidoscope Speaker Series.

We hope you are able to attend and participate in the events listed below!

Sincerely,

Marty O'Shea

Superintendent of Schools

Center School Message

Posted September 3, 2019

Good morning Center School Families,

What a beautiful day to start our week! We had our first fire drill this morning and the students did a wonderful job! 424 students and all our staff exited the building quietly and safely in less than two minutes!! The LFD was impressed.

Our arrival this morning went smoothly as well. Moving our first graders to the Longfellow side of the school for arrival helped tremendously as did having our new 5th grade safety volunteers to assist everyone.

We'll continue to monitor our procedures and work to make things run as safely and smoothly as possible for our community.

Have a wonderful week and know more messages about our beginnings will be coming your way...

Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal


Center School PTO

Posted September 2, 2019

Welcome Back from the Center School PTO!

Whether you are new to Longmeadow, new to Center School or a returning family, we wish you a warm welcome! The Center School PTO consists of volunteers who together work diligently to develop fun events and continue cherished traditions.

There's always lots going on, and we want to make sure you don't miss a thing. We’ve included some important information below to begin the school year.

Back to School Welcome Package

Please take a few minutes to complete the Back to School Welcome Package. The information you provide will help us communicate with you to keep you up-to-date on happenings around the school, and help you communicate with others in the Center School community.

Center School Directory

The Center School PTO publishes an electronic copy of the student directory every year. By providing your information in the Back to School Welcome Package, we'll be able to include your and your child(ren)'s contact information for others in the Center School community. The directory is only available to Center School families, and is password protected for confidentiality.

Weekly News

The PTO distributes a weekly e-newsletter (Monday mornings) which highlights upcoming events, announcements, volunteer opportunities, and keeps everyone updated on where your family contributions are spent. You can find the archive of this year’s e-newsletters on our Center School PTO website!

Upcoming Events

We look forward to hosting some fun events, beginning with the Fall Carnival (hosted by our 5th graders!) Friday, September 20th from 4:30 p.m.-6:30p.m. Stay tuned to our Events Calendar on our Center School PTO Website.

Fundraising and Family Contributions

We are super excited to start the new school year! Each year our PTO depends on fundraising and family contributions in order to provide your student with the enriching school experience that we have all come to expect. We can only meet these expectations with your help.


The PTO funds many cherished Center School traditions like the Fall Carnival, Halloween Hustle, Field Day, 5th grade Memory Books, and the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon, just to name a few (take a look at PTO Dollars at Work for more). Financial support from our Center School families allows the PTO to also pay for enrichment programs, author visits, provide technology upgrades, library equipment, playground gear, classroom supplies, teacher requests, school beautification, and family/community events.

Please consider making a contribution to help us continue supporting our Center School community. Thank - you!

We’re all looking forward to a wonderful school year!


Melissa Butcher and Debbie Farley, Co-Presidents

Lindsey Maloni-Kuntz, Vice President

Cecilia Gadelhak, Secretary

Keri Fazio, Treasurer

centerschoolptoweb@gmail.com

First Day 2019

Posted August 28, 2019

Dear Center School Families,

There was a touch of fall in the air this week perfectly timed to the start of the year. We’ve had a full week and a full day today making final plans for the first days ahead. I wish our families could peek into a teacher’s world …there’s extraordinarily thoughtful work that goes into the details of teaching and certainly into beginnings...and important beginnings it will be when your child-and your family-settle back into the familiar rhythm and routine of the school year.

I loved taking my final walk around the school at the end of our day seeing the “newness” of the classrooms, each unique to the teacher yet so inviting and warm…Now we just need your children with their energy and their spirits and all their hopes and dreams to share with us for the year ahead.

I read a story to our staff on our first day together each year. My choice this year was The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson. The story is beautifully poetic and the message is one that holds our hopes and dreams and encouragement for each student in our care.

There will be times when the world feels like a place that you’re standing all the way outside of...

and all that stands beside you is your own brave self — steady as steel and ready

even though you don't yet know

what you're ready for.

There will be times when you walk into a room

and no one there is quite like you until the day you begin

to share your stories.

Our hopes and dreams are that Center will be a place that “opens itself up a little wider” to make space for each child to grow in many unique and engaging ways. Guiding and teaching children as they learn and grow is the deep joy and honor of our work. We look forward to sharing this amazing journey with you.

The bell will toll tomorrow morning to welcome you at 8:25 a.m.! Please look for bright fluorescent signs with teachers’ names where students will line up. There will be lots of staff to help you. Our 1st and 5th graders will line up near the small playscape and you’ll find all other signs on the blacktop near the basketball courts. How exciting that we have 43 new students across all grade levels joining our community of PeaceBuilders! I know you’ll find ways to reach out and welcome families and students and quickly make them feel that they have a great big space in our school family.

I’m guessing that your child’s excitement is bundled with some nervousness tonight...I’ve heard from both new and veteran teachers that they share these emotions!! We’ll have a wonderful day tomorrow...assure your child that’s our promise!

Hope you can enjoy a peaceful evening and a restful night’s sleep...hard as it may be!

Yours in partnership,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Beginnings

Posted Aug. 23, 2019

Dear Center School Families,

This message is the first of communications to be sent before next Thursday 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’s 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 or permission! Each teacher will have her individual communication system in place with families so she/he knows where each student is going at dismissal. We suggest you place emergency contact information in a visible place on your child’s backpack. There are some great tags available that attach to backpacks.

First Day for 1st -5th grades Thursday, August 29th: We’ll see everyone on the playground at 8:25 AM. The bell will toll to signal the start of our new year!! Teachers will be on the playground; look for signs labeled with the teacher’s name. There will be lots of staff to assist you!

Arrival and Dismissal Procedures after Day One:

Arrival: 8:25 a.m. We do not have supervision before 8:25, so while we love our enthusiastic early bird cardinals, please time arrival as close to 8:25 as possible.

Grades 1, 2, 3, 4: Enter through the main doors

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

Our new 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, know that 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 along 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 p.m.

Grades 2, 4: Exit main entrance

Grade 1 & 3: exit Longfellow Street doors.

Grade K, 5: esplanade doors gymnasium side.

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

Kinder 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.

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

Students who attend after school programs will be walked to their meeting spots. Teachers will know who is going to which program on the first day.

LUNCH Fresh Picks Cafe https://longmeadow.nutrislice.com/menus-eula will continue as our lunch provider, and offer a wide selection of choices each day that include items such as Market Fresh Salads & Yogurt Parfaits, the Signature Café Entrée of the day and a Downtown Deli Sandwich option. Menus can be viewed by downloading the Nutrislice app. We post the menu to our website when it’s received. The cost of lunch is $2.75. You may set-up an online account using a Credit/Debit card to make deposits into your child’s account. Instructions for setting up your online account are available in print from your Food Service Director and posted on the Fresh Picks Cafe website. If you prefer, you may send a check with your child made payable to the Longmeadow School’s Lunch Program. Please make sure to include the child’s name in the memo line. We encourage parents to either utilize the online payment method or to send in a check. Cash can also be accepted.

SNACKS All students eat snack daily. Several of our classrooms are nut and other allergens free. As a precaution, it may be best to pack a nut-free snack the first day of school until you find out if your child’s classroom is nut and/or other allergens free. If your child is in a nut-free classroom, you will receive a letter the first week of school from Nurse Autumn. Also, all children can bring anything for their lunch that will be eaten in the cafeteria. We do have a peanut free table for any child requiring this space.

As always, I welcome your feedback and any questions. Enjoy a wonderful weekend.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Upcoming Dates to Remember:

  • Today- Class Assignments in the PowerSchool Parent Portal at 3:00
  • August 29- First Day of School, Grades 1-5
  • August 30- First Day of School Kindergarten
  • September 2- Labor Day No School
  • September 26- Center Open House: 6:15-7:45
  • September 30- Rosh Hashanah- No School
  • October 9- Yom Kippur- No School
  • October 14- Columbus Day- No School
  • October 15- Professional Development Day- No School
  • November 11- Veteran’s Day- No School
  • November 14 and 15- Parent and Teacher Conferences- ½ Day 11:30 a.m. Dismissal
  • November 27- ½ Day 11:30 a.m. Dismissal
  • November 28 and 29- No School- Thanksgiving Recess
  • December 23-January 1, 2020 School Closed for Holiday Break
  • January 2- School Resumes


Summer Greetings Fifth Grade Families!

Posted Aug. 20, 2019

Dear 5th Grade Families,

With August upon us, your 5th grader might be starting to think about the new school year ahead. Fifth grade is a year of tremendous growth, responsibility, and leadership. Your child will have the opportunity to take on Center’s traditional leadership roles including safeties and kindergarten buddies. The Fall Carnival is focused on the creativity and resourcefulness of our 5th graders who create the games for the community to enjoy. Please mark your calendar for September 20th for the Carnival, especially if your child is involved in fall sports. We usually have 100% participation from our 5th graders in this fun community event!! More detailed information will be coming your way soon.

Here’s some additional information for you as we gear up for new beginnings:

  • On August 23, 2019 class placements will be posted and live on the PowerSchool Parent Portal for all returning students.
  • Team 5 teachers are: Ms. Emily Green; Mrs. Jamie Quinn; Ms. Skylar Wright
  • If this is your first year at Center School, please join me on August 21st at 9:00 for a tour of the school. We’ll meet in the main office.
  • August 29th: First Day of School!! Please join us on the playground in the back of the school at 8:25 where our students will be greeted by teachers and staff.
  • After the first day, your child will enter the building through the esplanade doors on the gymnasium side of the school.
  • 5th Grade Supply List:

3 spiral notebooks

1 pair of adult scissors

1 accordion folder with 5 sections

1 sturdy folder with 2 pockets

Lined index cards (4 x 6)

Packs of lined paper, college ruled

Packs of Post-its

  • September 26th – Center School Open House 6:15-7:45 p.m.

Finally, here’s a helpful article created for teachers, but with great insights about 5th grade children. Knowing 5th graders.pdf

Please reach out to me with any questions. Email is the best way to reach me before my administrative assistants return in mid August. Team 5 and I anticipate a wonderful year of growth and learning! Enjoy the remaining weeks of summer!

Warm regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal


Week of June 3rd

Hello Center School Families,

Field Day was awesome!! The students had so much fun showing great sportsmanship and teamwork and we had perfect weather! I trust you heard about all the events and the incredible cardio drumming-terrific interactive assembly! Thank-you to Kristen Gauthier and Erin Capotosto for thoughtful and comprehensive planning. Each year they surpass the success of the year before, which takes incredible effort. We also had 70 parent volunteers!!! Our gratitude to everyone for making the day a wonderful memory for our students. Center School Sightings

It seems this is the time of year to extend lots of appreciation to many special members in our community. Tomorrow morning, Amy Nedwed will hold the final Helping Hands of the 2018-19 school year and it will be her final endeavor as the coordinator. For seven years Amy has passionately and lovingly organized monthly sandwich making with our students and families for communities in need. There’s no "thank- you" that seems big enough for her efforts and all she has taught our students about helping others and all that she has given to our neighbors. Please join us in the morning in the cafeteria and/or have your child attend-all grades are welcome!

Math Olympiads celebrates another successful year tomorrow afternoon. Congrats to all our mathematicians for their accomplishments. Colleen Cummings leads the team with the help of Jessica Reed. One of the main goals of the after- school program is to stimulate enthusiasm and a love for mathematics. Perhaps your child will be a future Olympiad member!

The Spring Concert is Thursday at Glenbrook Middle School at 7:00. Please join us and prepare to be impressed by our talented artists! Ms. Drysdale, Mrs. Lauser, and Mrs. Shrenker have helped grow the talents of our young musicians and singers. Hope to see many families on Thursday! There will be a bake sale at the concert to benefit Center School- thanks for support.

The last day of school is June 18th. The bell will toll at 11:30 when students will be dismissed for summer fun. Please remind your child to check lost and found for items and return library books this week. Please check your child’s lunch account and balance the accounts. Report cards will be distributed on the last day of school. We will not distribute cards before the 18th. Class lists will be posted in August. Final reminder to make sure you have access to the parent portal on Power School where you will go to check your child’s assignment. So many end-of-year reminders-thank-you for your support to help with these “housekeeping” tasks.

Enjoy a wonderful week! Please reach out to us with any questions.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Week of May 27th

Hello Center Families,

What a perfect Memorial Day weekend to begin the summer season! We’re hoping the good weather will stretch to Friday for Field Day 2019!

Field Day Reminders

-Students are asked to wear their field day color shirt and sneakers.

-Feel free to join your child for a family picnic on the town green from 11:30 – 12:00. If delivering food that day, please arrive promptly at 11:30 to ensure your child has enough time to eat.

-Please send along a water bottle with your child’s name on it. Water coolers will be available to refill their water bottle, but we will not be providing cups.

- Parent volunteers who are taking on team leader responsibilities are asked to pick up a packet of information from the gymnasium between 8:30-9:00 Friday morning.

Please direct Field Day questions to Ms. Gauthier or Erin Capotosto : kgauthier@longmeadow.k12.ma.us

Please remember that Field Day lunch is a picnic on the green and we strongly encourage families and students to pack a lunch from home so they can enjoy a full 30- minute break with family and friends without traveling to the cafeteria. The cafeteria has two sandwich options: sun butter and jelly or a cold cut (turkey) sandwich should your child choose to buy. A final count will be taken tomorrow so please help your child with the family decision.

Power School Reminder: Please make sure you know your PowerSchool Student Portal Access Number and ID. As a reminder, parents of students who will rise to grades 1st through 5th will need this information to access classroom assignments for the 2019-2020 school year. If you do not know your access number and ID, please contact the Center School office (via phone) no later than June 7th, 2019. If you do not have your access number and ID and do not check to ensure you have access to the portal, we will not be able to assist you with this information until school resumes. Classroom assignments are posted in August.

END of YEAR DRIVES: We have three collections for the end of the school year. Two collections are an opportunity to do some late spring housekeeping!

Animal Food and Supply Drive: Please help Girls on the Run collect food and supplies for Murphy’s furry friends at The TJ O’Connor Animal Shelter : Collection Dates: Wednesday 5/29 and Wednesday 6/5 during the carline drop off. Girls on the Run.docx

Reading Ambassadors: Collecting gently used books to be donated to our neighboring city schools. Bring in your books any day this week and next week!

Peacebuilders Help Their Community! Center School Peacebuilders will be collecting gently used and clean shoes. Donations will go to the Springfield Rescue Mission. Bring in your donated shoes during the week of May 28 – June 7. All sizes, all types welcome! Please be sure pairs are attached by using rubber bands or ties. peace feet .docx

5th Grade Memories: Mrs. Giuggio shared some fun memories with our 5th graders to help them see how much they’ve grown and how much they’ve learned! Enjoy the CSS that feature our graduating 5th graders through their elementary years!! https://docs.google.com/document/d/1o9IQjosSeVaROtiX3YLMqX0PPwpwDBzzJDk521vo3eg/edit?ts=5ce6cedf

The final weeks ahead are incredibly busy! We hope you and your child enjoy end-of-year traditions and celebrations. Please reach put with any questions and I look forward to seeing you in the days ahead.

Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Peace Feet

Posted May 13, 2019

Please consider donating gently used shoes for our community outreach to the Springfield Rescue Mission! Details below!

flyer for peace feet .pdf

Week of May 6th

Hello Center Families,

This is a busy time of the school year. Thank-you for your attention to the information below.

  • PeaceBuilders help others and this practice aligns with the CASEL social competency of social awareness. Your child received a choice board of activities Choice Board they can do to help others at school, at home, and in the community. Help us challenge our PeaceBuilders to complete as many of these activities as they can by the end of the school year. CASEL
  • Center School Peacebuilders will be collecting gently used and clean shoes. Donations will go to the Springfield Rescue Mission. Please bring in your donated shoes during the week of May 28th – June 7th Peace Feet
  • Tuesday and Wednesday: Math MCAS 3rd and 5th Graders
  • Tuesday morning 7:50: Helping Hands in the cafeteria Grades 1 and 3.
  • Thursday and Friday: Math MCAS Grade 4
  • Thursday: PTO Meeting on the playground after school.
  • Please make sure you know your PowerSchool Student Portal Access Number and ID. As a reminder, parents of students who will rise to grades 1st through 5th will need this information to access classroom assignments for the 2019-2020 school year. If you do not know your access number and ID, please contact the Center School office (via phone) no later than June 7th, 2019. If you do not have your access number and ID and do not check to ensure you have access to the portal, we will not be able to help you with this information until school resumes. Classroom assignments are posted in August.
  • Field Day is Friday, May 31st with a rain date of June 3rd. On Friday, teachers took a tentative lunch count for the day. For our new families, lunch is a picnic on the green and we strongly encourage families and students to pack a lunch from home so they can enjoy a full 30- minute break with family and friends without traveling to the cafeteria. The cafeteria will have two sandwich options: sun butter and jelly or a cold cut (turkey) sandwich should your child choose to buy. Thank-you for helping your child with the decision. A final count will be taken on Friday.
  • This week is Teacher Appreciation Week across the United States. While we can thank our teachers each day for their incredible work with students, Center will formally celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week next week-May 13th through 17th. The appreciation luncheon sponsored by our PTO is Thursday May 16th. Don’t forget to thank a teacher!! “One Book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” Malala Yousafzai

Kind regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Week of April 22nd

Hello Center School Families,

I hope you’re enjoying a wonderful spring break! We have many happenings in the coming months, so I hope students return rejuvenated and ready for the final months of our school year.

We ended our week before break with a fun spirit day planned by our student Reading Ambassadors. Students and staff dressed as a favorite book character and many brought in a book for a classroom book swap so students had a new book to read over break. Many thanks to our Ambassadors who continue to plan activities for the remainder of the year, so stay tuned!

Our PTO met last week and will begin to transition to a new executive board for the new school year. Please visit the PTO website to keep updated as well as see the many opportunities to volunteer for upcoming events. Center School PTO Site

The spring Scholastic Book Fair is coming April 30th to May 3rd! We are deeply grateful for the generosity of the PTO who allotted over $3000 of the fall book fair profit to our library. Mrs. Mulcahy ordered many new books to update the collection. The PTO also generously gifted each teacher with a $50 book credit to shop for books at the fair. We hope you will support the PTO and our community by browsing for some great new reads for your child or for gift giving.

Friday, April 26th is Longmeadow Walk to School Day. We hope to have a very short carline on Friday and each day when the weather is perfect for a walk or bike ride to school. We will meet near the corner of Hopkins at 8:10 and walk together to Center. Just a carline reminder: PLEASE refrain from cutting into the carline from Longfellow Drive. Many families have contacted me asking that I remind the community that the choice to cut in after families have waited in line can be frustrating. Thank-you for following the drop off and pick up procedures.

Your School Council will be analyzing the climate survey during the next two monthly meetings. We had 68% of our families respond! Thank-you for your constructive feedback and for all the insights provided with your responses. We’ll provide feedback to you before the end of the school year.

PeaceBuilders: We focus on helping students find ways to help others in their lives. This is the last of the six principles we focus on as a PeaceBuilders site. Teaching children responsibility through the practice of helping others is a life-long lesson that prepares them for adulthood. Thoughtful acts of kindness large and small will be explored. This important principle aligns with three of the CASEL core competencies: social awareness, responsible decision making, and relationship skills. Remember that Longmeadow Public Schools use the CASEL core competencies to frame our social emotional learning.

CASEL Core Competencies

Thank-you for taking the time to read this message and for reading all the messages that are sent your way. Enjoy the final days of your vacation. Please reach out with any questions.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Calendar Reminders

5/7 MCAS Math Gr 3 and 5

5/7 Helping Hands Grades 1 & 3

5-8 MCAS Math Gr 3 and 5

5/9 MCAS Math Grade 4

5/9 PTO Meeting on the Playground 2:45-3:45

5/10 MCAS Math Grade 4

5/14 MCAS STE Gr 5

5/15 MCAS STE GR 5

5/16 Teacher Appreciation Luncheon


MCAS 2019

Posted March 28, 2019

Dear Center School Families,

Tuesday begins the first round of MCAS testing in ELA (English Language Arts) for our 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students. The MCAS assessments provide parents and teachers with information about students’ proficiency with specific learning standards in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science/Technology. MCAS is administered each spring and the results are distributed to schools and parents in the fall.

While teachers have practiced specific MCAS questions with their students to familiarize them with the format of the assessment, the most important learning has been accomplished daily through core curriculum instruction! The MCAS is an opportunity for our students to apply their learning and demonstrate their proficiency as growing readers, writers, mathematicians and scientists.

This is the third year for administration of tests known as the "Next Generation MCAS”, which are designed to be computer -based and to more deeply assess students’ knowledge and ability levels. Students in Grade 3, 4 and 5 will participate in online testing, using Chromebooks, in ELA, Math and Science this year. All tests are untimed and writing is embedded in tests at all grade levels.

Here are ways you can help:

  • See that your child arrives to school on time.
  • Make sure your child is well rested and eats a substantial breakfast. Don’t forget to pack a healthy snack!
  • Encourage your child to persevere, do the best work possible, and to have a positive attitude!
  • Talk about the test in a positive way!

The testing schedule is below:

ELA

  • 3rd and 5th Grades- April 4th, 5th
  • 4th Grade- April 2nd, 3rd

Math

  • 3rd and 5th Grades- May 7th, 8th
  • 4th Grade- May 9th, 10th

Science

  • 5th Grade ONLY- May 14th, 15th

Note that in compliance with DESE/MCAS test security requirements, parents /visitors are prohibited from the testing areas on testing dates.

We ask for your help in striking a balance between encouraging students to do their best and minimizing test anxiety. We consider MCAS to be one piece of evidence used to measure student growth and progress, and we recognize your child’s individual strengths, passions, and talents may not be reflected in a test score. By working together, we can make your child’s testing experience positive and successful.

If you would like more information, visit http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/parents/.

I extend my appreciation for your support and cooperation. Please contact me with any questions.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Please Note: In compliance with DESE test security requirements, students are not allowed to have smart watches, cell phones, or other electronic devices during testing. If your child wears a smart watch, he/she may want to keep it at home. Teachers will collect any watches that are worn to school and return at the end of the school day. All cell phones are kept in back packs in the student’s locker turned off, which is the expectation each day. Thank-you for your assistance with this security requirement.

Week of February 4th

Posted Feb. 4, 2019

Dear Center School Families,

  • I want to share some news regarding the work happening with Social Studies this year. In June of 2108, the Department of Education adopted the new and long- awaited History and Social Studies Curriculum Framework, building on the 2003 and 1997 frameworks. Throughout this school year, the Social Studies committee will unpack the new standards and review the guiding principles, which now include a stronger emphasis on civics at all grade levels. Teachers will review the present resources being used and begin to explore additional resources that will meet the new standards. Here’s a link to the new curriculum frameworks: http://www.doe.mass.edu/frameworks/current.html 4th

4th grade teacher Arlene McLean serves as the district coordinator so we’re fortunate to have her expertise in the building! You can plan on hearing more about your child’s new learning in this curriculum area as the committee work progresses.

  • Please join us this Thursday for our Winter Walking School Bus. We’ll meet on the corner of Hopkins, weather permitting, at 8:10. If you typically drop your child off in carline, feel free to either park your car and join us or drop your child off on the corner of Hopkins. From there, the children can walk to Center with their classmates, school staff, and members of the Longmeadow Police Department.
  • Please support your child’s learning by making sure he/she prioritizes reading each day. Mrs. Mulcahy selects wonderful books to read to your child and is an invaluable resource to help your child choose great reads in our library! Your child’s teacher will offer suggestions as well.
  • PeaceBuilders focus: “Helping Children Notice Hurts”. Family Letter was sent on Friday.
  • The carline continues to be moving much faster. Many thanks for pulling forward and for using family name cards at pick up. These small things are making a huge difference.
  • Please make sure your child wears boots for recess. The playground is wet and snowy and we want children to be able to run and play across the entire area.

Have a wonderful week!

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

February 5th Helping Hands Grade 1 : 7:50 am in the cafeteria

February 7th Walking School Bus 8:10 am weather permitting

Seal Meeting: The Special Education Alliance of Longmeadow (SEAL) is a Parent Advisory Council that offers information, support, and networking opportunities to parents. Please join them for the next meeting on Tuesday, February 12th at 7:00 PM in Room A-31 Pupil Services, 535 Bliss Road, Longmeadow. The Federation for Children with Special Needs will be giving a presentation entitled "Understanding Basic Rights in Special Education (IEP and 504 Plans)". For the full meeting agenda, and to learn more about future meeting dates and events, visit www.sealma.org

February 18th -February 22nd Winter Vacation

Week of January 28th

Posted Jan. 27. 2019

Hello Center School Families,

Friday your child brought home the first semester standards- based report card. You found pertinent information regarding the report card in your child’s report card envelope. We hope that this information will allow you to best understand how your child is measured. We continue to welcome your insights and questions regarding the report card; and you may share directly with me or with your child’s teacher. We value your input and all feedback will be shared with the report card committee.

Monday, January 28th is a half day for students. Dismissal is at 11:30 am with no lunch served. Jetta Bernier, the Executive Director for Massachusetts Citizens for Children (MassKids), will present to all staff members on the topic of child sexual abuse awareness. Please be sure your child is picked up promptly at 11:30 so our professional development can begin in a timely manner.

Arrival time is proving to be problematic on cold and wintry days. While I’ve requested and appreciate that students not be dropped off before 8:25, we’re finding it difficult to begin at our 8:35 start time with ongoing drop off in the carline past 8:35. To expedite the drop off, we will extend the carline to the crosswalk for the remainder of the winter. This will only help if cars pull forward and do not stop and leave a space when dropping off children. Additionally, if we are short safeties, please encourage your child to open the door and hop out. We’ll make sure all children get into the building safely. Thanks for your patience waiting in the line and send me any brainstorms for additional improvements!!

The School Council is developing a climate survey which will be sent to all families at the end of March or beginning of April.

Our kinder through 2nd grade students have enjoyed and benefited (or will soon enjoy) a program from Shriners’ Hospital - “My Pals”- that helps children understand and respect children who are differently abled. Families have inquired about a similar presentation for our older students. We’ll explore what’s available because the Shriners program is only for our younger students.

Please remember that students will be outside for recess in the coming days and recess is close to 30 minutes. Appropriate cold weather dress is needed including hats, gloves, warm coats, and long pants.

PeaceBuilders will focus on the practice of “Helping Children Notice Hurts” in February. You will receive your parent letter on Friday. This practice aligns with and crosses into several of CASEL competencies (CASEL Social Competencies) including : relationship skills, responsible decision making, and social awareness. Remember that CASEL core SEL competencies and the CASEL framework guide our social emotional work with our students.

Thank-you for your ongoing support and I wish you a wonderful week ahead.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Calendar Reminders

February 1st Super Bowl Spirit Day: wear your favorite Super Bowl Team’s apparel or apparel of team you wish made it to the championship!

February 5th Helping Hands Grade 2

February 7th Walking School Bus 8:15 am weather permitting

February 18th -February 22nd Winter Vacation

2018 Vocal School Climate Survey Results

Posted Nov. 13, 2018

Good Afternoon Longmeadow Community,

I am pleased to provide the Longmeadow community with the results of a survey of students’ perceptions of school climate conducted in grades 5, 8, and 10 as part of the 2018 MCAS administration. Titled the Views of Climate and Learning (VOCAL), this new survey instrument is designed to provide schools with information on student perceptions of three dimensions of school climate: engagement, safety, and environment.

These are important indicators that relate directly to our strategic priorities and student learning. Research consistently demonstrates that healthy school climates positively and powerfully influence learning. Working with parents and students, the staff, administration and School Committee will use this information, along with other indicators of student success, to identify targets for growth and improvement.

Overall, the results are a positive reflection this community’s shared commitment to providing students with safe, supportive and challenging learning environments. As a district, Longmeadow was reported to have "relatively strong school climates," placing us in the top 15% of all Massachusetts School Districts. In districts with the strongest climates (the top 15% percent), students report

  • having inclusive relationships
  • that their teachers have higher expectations for student effort, perseverance, and academics.
  • having fewer bullying experiences
  • feeling that their school is safe and fair
  • that adults are caring and active in helping and supporting them
  • that they feel adults value their ideas and voices

This link will take you to folder with detailed reports that include:

  • Overall, average school climate index scores (with comparative district and state data), and
  • A summary of student responses to each individual survey item
  • Average index scores at each school for the three dimensions of climate: engagement, safety, and environment (with comparative district and state data).

Thank you for your support and interest. As always, I welcome your feedback and questions. Hope to see you at Rick Wormeli, Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. at the Glenbrook Auditorium.

Sincerely,

Marty O'Shea

Superintendent of Schools

Week of November 11, 2018

Hello Center School Families,

The teachers look forward to parent teacher conferences this week. The goal of the conference is to communicate the following about your child:

  • behaviors that demonstrate school success and citizenship;
  • transition to the grade;
  • present areas of strength;
  • growth areas;
  • garner your insights, answer questions, and continue to grow partnership with families.

As you know, the report card is now “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) assessment results with cover sheets that indicate your child’s progress towards meeting particular standards or “learning targets”.

One critical strength of standards-based reporting is communication!! Here are additional benefits:

  • Report cards have more meaning
  • Students are offered multiple opportunities and ways through which to demonstrate proficiency
  • Parents are aware of exactly what their child knows, is able to do, and next steps for progress
  • Parents know in what areas their child needs more support
  • Parents are empowered to increase their child's confidence and help their student set goals

We hope you will visit the Elementary Standards –Based Report Card Site in the coming weeks to help build your knowledge before cards are distributed in January.

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 schedules are tight 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.

I hope you enjoy lots of extra family time on this extended weekend. As the proud daughter of a career Marine, I also hope you take time to talk with your child about Veteran’s Day and find a meaningful way to honor the individuals who have bravely served our country- past and present- including members of our own Center community.

Calendar Reminders:

  • From Superintendent Marty O’Shea: Parents will be our partners in learning on this day as Rick Wormeli, a nationally known education consultant, will meet with teachers during the day and with parents in the evening. Mr. Wormeli's Special Programs Presentation is Tuesday, November 13th at 7:00 pm in Glenbrook Auditorium. He will talk to parents about how to authentically nurture their child's learning and academic engagement. Let's pack the auditorium for this compelling conversation!
  • Apologies for the continued reminder but please check lost and found when you are at school for conferences. Also, please write your child’s name on items.
  • The Center School Directory : The 2018-2019 Center School Directory is ready for use. Please check out the digital version on the PTO website, please note that it is password protected -the password is Cardinal: https://www.centerschoolpto.com/2018-2019-directory.html For all those who donated to the annual giving fund prior to 10/15, the printed version we offered as an incentive will be delivered to your child’s backpack in the coming weeks. Congratulations to 5th graders Sophia Crepeau and Siena-Claire Strain whose artwork is featured on the directory. Please see Sophia’s beautiful message!
  • Book Fair will be held Tuesday, November 27 - Friday, November 30th. The Book Fair is a great opportunity to get your holiday shopping completed and support our school. If you even have one hour to spare, please consider volunteering. Signup: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a094ea5aa23a0f58-fall

Yours in partnership,

Donna Hutton, Principal

"Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise,

trouble, or hard work...It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”

Center staff greeting students at carline!

Happy Halloween from your Center family!

Willy Wonka, Oompa Loompa, and Charlie

Second Grade Teachers

Third Grade Teachers

Fifth Grade Teachers

Specialists

Dog Assisted Intervention 2018-2019

Posted Oct. 10, 2018

Dear Center School Families,

I am excited to share information regarding the second year of Center's unique endeavor to benefit our students. The practice of using therapy animals in various settings such as schools and health care facilities is becoming more commonplace. Schools are using trained animals to enhance reading interventions and language goals and also for counseling assistance.

Our vision for our dog assisted intervention program is to enhance a student’s social and academic development through engaging lessons with dog assisted intervention developed for specific needs. Yes! We will expand our dog assisted intervention program at Center School.

Here’s some Q & A’ s about Dog Assisted Intervention:

How will students be selected?

  • Students will be recommended for the program through the RTI process, the structure we have in place to identify student needs.

RTI Center Stage

Who is Center’s intervention dog?

  • Murphy is a chocolate lab therapy dog, certified by an AKC registered organization. He has a calm and social temperament and has developed a solid foundation of training. There’s nothing Murphy enjoys more than working with children and the elderly to spread joy as only a dog can for those in need of his assistance. Murphy lives with his people, Mrs. Laura Giuggio and her husband. He feels very fortunate to be working with Center School!

Will Murphy interact with students other than students chosen for intervention?

  • Murphy will only interact with a small number of intervention students recommended for his services during a specific intervention period. When at Center on Wednesdays and Fridays, Murphy will take breaks in his crate.

How will families know if their child will work with Murphy?

  • If a child is recommended for intervention, families will receive a letter and a permission slip before November 1st. Families may opt out of the support. Permission forms will need to be signed and returned before work begins.

Is there a protocol in place for dogs in school settings?

  • The Longmeadow Board of Health has developed a protocol for the Instructional Use of Dogs in LPS classrooms. We are appreciative to Health Director Beverly Hirschhorn, as well as to Superintendent O’Shea and School Committee members Kerrin Morin and Stephanie Jasmin for their supportive guidance and advocacy throughout the process of realizing the pilot, which led us to where we are with the program this year. Please see the attached protocol for your review. Public Health Protocol.doc

There is a wealth of research that supports the powerful advantages of the human-animal bond to improve the literacy and language skills of children. The social emotional advantages such as confidence building, anxiety reduction, and motivation are well documented as well. We look forward to sharing the results of our second year with you.

Please reach out to me with any questions or feedback. Included are just a few links to articles about animal assisted intervention that you might find interesting.

Finally, and most importantly, I extend my gratitude to Mrs. Laura Giuggio. The dedication and commitment required to owning and training a therapy dog is extraordinary. I appreciate that she will share Murphy’s work with our community again this year.

  1. Why Schools Are Going to the Dogs
  2. Making Comfort Dogs an Everyday Part of School
  3. Research for R.E.A.D.


With enthusiasm,

Donna Hutton, Principal


K-8 Student Handbook

Posted Oct. 10, 2018

There was a glitch preventing families from acknowledging review of the handbook. It should be accessible now. Thank-you for taking the time to complete and apologies for the inconvenience.

Dear Center School Parents/Guardians,

Longmeadow Public Schools is pleased to provide the students and families of Longmeadow with a K-8 Student Handbook that articulates parent and student rights and responsibilities and serves as a disciplinary code of conduct. We believe that this handbook is a reflection of our deep commitment to establishing safe, supportive, and orderly learning environments where the expectations for staff and students are clear and widely understood. Additionally, we view this handbook as a reflection of the District’s firm and enduring commitment to creating schools that are welcoming, inclusive and free from discrimination, harassment and bullying. We hope that this document serves our families as a valuable reference and guide to the statutes, regulations, policies and practices that govern the operation of our schools.

The 2018-2019 Handbook is available on the LPS District Website under the Parents tab, at this link:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zWfDDuI2kp7PjW7RE0K_rP88KFZjzJ1K/view

or under the Parent Tab at our Center School site:

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

To ensure that this handbook is fully disseminated, we are requiring all families to complete this form to acknowledge that the handbook is accessible and has been reviewed.

Please click on the link below to acknowledge your review of the handbook.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1rFX3_PvdhgB1l33J1H7VOL_MQKy4aOu-8Sg0xilqxRc/edit

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal


Homework Website

Posted Sept. 27, 2018

Greetings Center School Community!

Last year was the first year that Longmeadow Public Schools implemented our new Homework Guiding Principles for elementary students. The link to the document is attached for our new families and for our returning families’ review. HWGuidingPrinciples.docx The principles represent a child-centered, research-based approach to homework. The principles are the result of the work of a team of educators who researched and discussed the efficacy of homework at the elementary level.

In our first year rolling out this initiative, we placed an emphasis on self-selected, independent reading at home. Through the “Year of the Reader”, students participated in a wealth of activities at Center aimed at promoting reading at home and ultimately growing a love of reading. Activities included: in-class book talks/recommendations, classroom reading challenges, bedtime read alouds, community readers, book tastings and more!

As we move into our second year implementing the guiding principles, we want to make you aware of a new resource available to our community. The Homework Guiding Principles Website contains materials for both parents and teachers. The site includes study tips, ideas for reading at home, book lists, math fluency activities and much more!

The site is arranged by grade level and subject areas correlating with the Guiding Principles. Please take a moment to visit and gain ideas for ways that you can discuss books with your child, practice math facts, and even study together!

If you have any suggestions for resources that might be valuable on this site, please forward them to me to share with the Homework Study Group for consideration.

Your support with the Homework Guiding Principles is invaluable. Thank-you for your partnership as we grow lifelong learners! Teachers will reference the grade level expectations for homework at the Open House tomorrow evening.

Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

& Homework Guiding Principles Study Group

https://sites.google.com/longmeadow.k12.ma.us/homework/home

Special recognition and appreciation to Paige Anderson and Erin Craft who created the site on behalf of the study group!

Helping Hands 2018-2019

Posted Sept. 11, 2018

Dear Center School Families,

In the spirit of teaching our students about the importance of community service, we will begin our sixth 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 7:45 AM to make sandwiches with their grade level team.The students will go directly to their classrooms at 8:25.

Mark your calendars on the following Tuesdays:

October 2nd-5th grade

November 6th-4th grade

December 4th-3rd grade

January 8th-2nd grade

February 5th-1st grade

March 5th-K & 5th

April 2nd- 4th & 2nd

May 7th- 3rd & 1st

June 4th- 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 2nd ) 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

See the links below to order your tee shirt and also a summary of last year's endeavor.

Tee Shirt order Form

Summary 2017-2018

Center Stage: Cafeteria to Café

September, 2018

Hello Center School Families,

Perhaps you have heard the news from your child about the transformation of our cafeteria. Music plays in the background, which we use as a measure of volume for student talk-if you can’t hear the music, it’s likely the noise level is too high. The walls have been painted tranquil blues with a pop of red for Cardinal school spirit. Curtains are hanging and the walls have art work by Eric Carle. Soon we will have students’ art on our ceiling tiles! And lastly, we have changed from long tables to round tables with bright primary colored seats that seat eight children-lunch buddies who will change consistently throughout the year. We placed all the condiments the students need at the center of the tables.

Transformation of the physical environment of the cafeteria-from blah to warm and welcoming.

Lunchtime should be an enjoyable part of the school day for our students. The lunch period provides a time for kids to relax, socialize with their peers, rest their active bodies and minds, and importantly, become nourished. Most of us agree that “traditional” cafeterias can have an institutional and industrial feel.

After many years of supervising the lunchroom with various attempts at fostering more positive social interactions for all children, I arrived at the realization that the environment needed to be modified to truly make our efforts successful. The broad goal was to design the cafeteria to look more like a café and make it more inviting for our students-a place where our students want to be! Most importantly, research unquestionably affirms that healthy eating and healthy interaction goes hand in hand with a positive cafeteria environment-emotional and physical- where children enjoy the time together and feel safe. While all the changes will hopefully prove impactful, the round tables provide the most consequential change to the space. The tables decrease the number of children in a space and provide a more social place to eat. The round tables ease the movement across the cafeteria and promote important conversation. Like so many experiences in your child’s elementary school years, lunchtime can provide one of the best contexts where appropriate social interaction and behavior is taught and modeled. The goal is to make the café as welcoming as possible so our students will have a more positive and successful day overall.

The transformation of the cafeteria was possible with lots of guidance and support from many community members. Our School Council worked with me to study many improvement possibilities. Thank-you to Rachel Axtmann, Gina Pantuosco, Michael Barresi, and Summer Williams. Superintendent O’Shea provided his support with Tom Mazza who helped secure our district funding.

I also want to take this opportunity to send “kudos” to our PTO for their support. The PTO is funding the purchase for the remainder of the tables, which should arrive by the end of the month. The café tables are only one of many purchases that the PTO has made in the past years, including $20,000 in iPads and chrome books. This is the kind of funding that enriches your child’s experiences at Center School; and I hope you will provide needed support to our PTO with all their endeavors, including the yearly donations’ drive. PTO Donation Page

As you know, we have lunch monitors who help supervise our students during lunch time. We are fortunate this year to also have high school students join us during our kinder lunch to lend a hand to our little ones. The 5th graders will rotate “buddy” responsibilities too and help the kinder children!

We have lots of helping hands, but can always use and will welcome more volunteers. If you are interested in becoming a parent/grandparent lunch buddy, please contact me. If I have interest, we will hold a meeting at a day and time TBA and brainstorm schedules and more possibilities to enhance the lunch and recess experience for everyone.

FYI

11:30-12:15: 1st and 3rd grades

12:00-12:45: 2nd and 4th grades

12:30-1:15: Kinder and 5th grades

We do not begin to dismiss children for recess until 15 minutes into the lunch time period.

Another way you can help? Read this short but important article about etiquette rules to model at home:

3 School Cafeteria Etiquette Rules

Many thanks for your partnership and ongoing support!

Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Placement 2018-2019

May 7, 2018

Dear Center School Families,

May is the month when we begin to look ahead to the upcoming year at Center School. The school calendar, staffing, space usage, and even schedules for the 208-2019 school year are planned. Detailed and thoughtful planning in many areas help provide the structure for strong beginnings.

One significant and carefully planned task is the formation of classes. We recognize that students and parents look forward to class placement with anticipation. My goal with this communication is to help you understand or revisit the process used at Center School to place students.

How many classes are planned at this time for each grade level in 2018-2019?

Kinder: 3 classes

1st: 3 classes 4th: 3 classes

2nd: 4 classes 5th: 4 classes

3rd: 3 classes

What is considered when forming classes?

Consideration of the following:

  • Ratio of girls to boys;
  • A balance of achievement levels;
  • Behavior factors regarding students;
  • Compatibility of students with each other;
  • Recommendations of past and present teachers, support staff, principal;
  • Social and emotional needs of students;
  • Learning styles of students;
  • Data from RTI team meetings. (Response to Intervention)

Who will form the class lists for next year?

The person who knows your child best as a learner is usually the classroom teacher. Teachers consult with resource team members. Special subject area teachers provide feedback too. I review class rosters with the teachers with ongoing review throughout the summer; changes are sometimes made based on recommendations and placement of new students.

When will I know my child’s classroom assignment for next year?

The assignment is not named on the report card in June. Assignments will be shared with families in August. You will receive information via School Messenger regarding the specific date that lists will be available in the parent portal of PowerSchool.

What if I prefer that my child have a specific teacher?

We respectfully ask that you trust the school team to determine the best placement for your child. We will not honor requests for specific teachers. We also request that you not place your child’s current teacher in an awkward or unprofessional position by asking her to comment on teachers in the next grade. We also suggest that you not form opinions regarding a teacher based on what you have heard. Each classroom is as unique as each child; and an experience that parents may have had with their child in a class may be totally different from what your child may experience in the very same classroom.

Very Important question: Do parents have input in the process?

YES. Your input began at the start of the year with your relationship with your child’s teacher. You provide insights and expertise about your child at conferences and through ongoing communications with your child’s teacher. You are invited to provide additional input by completing the Family Input Form attached. We also sent a hard copy of the form home with your child. (Please note that parent input forms are optional.) Family Input Form for Class Placement Process.docx

The classroom placement meetings are a time-intensive endeavor. Center School teachers and support staff strive to create learning environments that will support the diverse needs of our students. A “balanced” group of learners helps us achieve our goal of optimal growth and development for each child- both socially and academically.

I welcome any questions regarding the placement process. Thank -you for your support and for the trust you place in us to meet your child's needs.


Kind regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

FYI MCAS Schedule :

Tuesday, May 8 ~ Math Testing for Grades 3 & 5

Wednesday, May 9 ~ Math Testing for Grades 3 & 5

Thursday, May 10 ~ Math Testing for Grade 4

Friday, May 11 ~ Math Testing for Grade 4

Tuesday, May 15 ~ Science Testing for Grade 5

Wednesday, May 16 ~ Science Testing for Grade 5


Peacebuilders Night

Posted May 3, 2018

Good afternoon Center Families,

We will have the esplanade doors open this evening for our parents and guardians. Please do not come to the main entrance. Should showers move through the area between 6:00 and 6:20, please enter through the doors on the gymnasium side of the school. We'll hold our welcome in the gym should it rain.

Please remember to follow the rotations with your child's field day team color.

Many thanks and see you later this afternoon.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Read to Feed 2018

Posted April 26, 2018

May is Read to Feed Month!!

The Center School Cardinals will be working together as a community to help alleviate world hunger by supporting Heifer International!

Heifer International is an organization that helps families around the world and in the United States by giving gifts of livestock and training. The animals help families provide nutrition and income from selling products like eggs, yarn, or cheese. The training helps families learn to care for their animals so that they will continue to benefit from the gifts well into the future. https://www.heifer.org/

Step 1: Classes set goals for number of minutes to be read.

Step 2: Students seek out sponsors. Sponsors can offer an amount per minute or hour (which may motivate them to read more) or a flat rate. Sponsors may make their contributions online (a link will be posted on class webpages for easy access in the coming week ahead) or use the envelope provided in the Read to Feed Student Guide.

Step 3: READ, READ, READ for the whole month of May!

Step 4: Students turn in all materials at the end of the month.

Step 5: Classes will tally the number of minutes read and the amount of money raised. Together they will decide which animal(s) and/or supplies they would like to purchase.

Step 6: An all-school assembly will take place to celebrate our accomplishments!

We encourage you to talk with your child about what he/she learned from Miss Liz Woolsey from Heifer International about Heifer’s work at the assembly today. Students received a powerful message about how the organization is working to alleviate world hunger.

Check your child’s folder or backpack tomorrow for the Read to Feed packet.

Let's go PeaceBuilders!!

The more we read, the more we help!

With appreciation,

Your Center School Staff , Partners in making the world a better place!

Paws4Cardinals

Posted April 5, 2018

Dear Center School Families,

I am excited to share information regarding a pilot endeavor to benefit our students. The practice of using therapy animals in various settings such as schools and health care facilities is becoming more commonplace. Schools are using trained animals to enhance reading interventions and language goals and also for counseling assistance.

Our vision for our pilot is to enhance a student’s social and academic development through engaging lessons with dog assisted intervention developed for specific needs. Yes! We have developed a pilot for a dog assisted intervention program at Center School.

Here’s some Q & A’ s about Dog Assisted Intervention:

How will students be selected?

  • Students will be recommended for the program through the RTI process, the structure we have in place to identify student needs.

RTI Center Stage

Who is Center’s intervention dog?

  • Murphy is a chocolate lab therapy dog, certified by an AKC registered organization. He has a calm and social temperament and has developed a solid foundation of training. There’s nothing Murphy enjoys more than working with children and the elderly to spread joy as only a dog can for those in need of his assistance. Murphy lives with his people, Mrs. Laura Giuggio and her husband. He feels very fortunate to be working with Center School!

Will Murphy interact with students other than students chosen for intervention?

  • Murphy will only interact with a small number of intervention students recommended for his services during the pilot period. When at Center on Fridays, Murphy will take breaks in his crate.

How will families know if their child will work with Murphy?

  • If a child is recommended for intervention, families will receive a letter and a permission slip within the next two weeks. Families may opt out of the support. Permission forms will need to be signed and returned before work begins.

Is there a protocol in place for dogs in school settings?

  • The Longmeadow Board of Health has developed a protocol for the Instructional Use of Dogs in LPS classrooms. We are appreciative to Health DirectorBeverly Hirschhorn, as well as to Superintendent O’Shea, Kerrin Morrin, and Stephanie Jasmin, members of the SC policy subcommittee for their supportive guidance and advocacy throughout the process of realizing the pilot. Please see the attached protocol for your review. Public Health Protocol.doc

Will the program be expanded after the pilot period?

  • The intervention team will review the results of the pilot program including whether the goals and objectives for students were met, and make recommendations regarding the continuation and/or expansion of the program.

There is a wealth of research that supports the powerful advantages of the human-animal bond to improve the literacy and language skills of children. The social emotional advantages such as confidence building, anxiety reduction, and motivation are well documented as well. We look forward to sharing the results of the pilot with families before the end of the school year.

Please reach out to me with any questions or feedback. Included are just a few links to articles about animal assisted intervention that you might find interesting.

Finally, and most importantly, I extend my gratitude to Mrs. Laura Giuggio. The dedication and commitment required to owning and training a therapy dog is extraordinary. I appreciate that she will share Murphy’s work with our community.

  1. Why Schools Are Going to the Dogs
  2. Making Comfort Dogs an Everyday Part of School
  3. Research for R.E.A.D.

With enthusiasm,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Thoughts on Parkland, FL

Posted Feb. 23, 2018

Dear Center School Families,

The heartbreaking tragedy at Stoneman Douglas High School is likely resonating with families and perhaps even with some of our students at the elementary level. As educators of young students, we grapple with how best to address concerns children may express at school regarding what they see/hear through media or discuss with friends who might have more information than families have chosen to share with their children.

This tragedy, like all school shootings, begs the question of what we can do for our children in this moment as a concerned and thoughtful community.

Firstly, it is paramount to us that children, staff, and families feel that Center School is a safe, caring, and nurturing environment. It is also critically important that each of our students and staff member feel valued and connected. Our social emotional curriculum shares this message through our actions, daily activities and messages integrated into all we do as a community of learners…we need to look out for one another in respectful and caring ways.

Communication and open dialogue is key. If you see something, please say something and reach out to others for support and guidance. Let’s share any “noticings” of vulnerable members in our community. These are messages we give to children through our PeaceBuilders program: seek a wise person; notice hurts; help others.

Secondly, it is important for you to know that educators will not prompt a discussion about Stoneman Douglas at any grade level. If a student raises the issue, the teachers will address questions/concerns in a sensitive and developmentally appropriate manner. Teachers will also communicate with families if it appears their child needs more support regarding any conversation that may arise.

As a community, we can work together to make sure we are continuing to follow all safety protocols. All visitors must enter and exit the front office; and we greatly appreciate your cooperation at all times with this directive. Please do not position staff or students in an awkward situation by asking to be let into other entrances. Always let us know of any concerns you may have regarding any unusual happenings.

Our children are vulnerable but resilient and smart. Let’s reassure them that the important adults in their lives keep them safe. Community members such as educators and the police and fire departments are a team that keep a close eye on our schools and our community. This reassurance will go a long way to alleviate anxiety children might experience. The main message is that the adults in their world are here to help.

We welcome any insights from our families as well as any questions or concerns you may have as we return to school on Monday and beyond.

I hope your family will enjoy the final weekend of the winter break. Certainly, these times in our world make us hug our children a little stronger and appreciate each moment together.

Warm regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

February Reminders

Posted Feb. 16, 2018

Good afternoon Center School Families,

Lots of vacation energy and excitement from the students and staff today! I hope you enjoy a safe and relaxing week, filled with extra family time when you can slow things down a bit…

Here’s some reminders for the end of February and beyond:

Winter Break February 19-23, 2018- Schools will be closed for winter break from Monday, 2/19/18 through Friday 2/23/18.

March 9, 2018 will be one of our make- up days. This was previously a scheduled full day of Professional Development for staff. Students will have a half day of school on March 9, and be dismissed at 11:30 am. The make- up of the additional day lost will be determined very soon.

Parent /Teacher Conferences: teachers will be scheduling March conferences after the winter break.

Winter Walking School Bus has been rescheduled to March 8, 2018. Please join the community at 8:15 am on the corner of Greenacre.

Screenagers the documentary was recently viewed by the Longmeadow Community at Longmeadow High School in late January. The response was very positive and we are working to bring the documentary back for one more additional showing. Stay tuned for information on this.

Jetta Bernier, Executive Director of MassKids, will be coming to Longmeadow High School Monday, March 26th at 7PM. Massachusetts Citizens for Children (MassKids) is the oldest state-based child advocacy organization in the country. We hope that this forum will give parents the basic knowledge, skills and words they need to teach their children about personal sexual safety.

MCAS begins in April. Specific dates can be found on our school calendar: https://sites.google.com/longmeadow.k12.ma.us/new-ctr/calendar

Bedtime read aloud will be sent on Sunday! What a great week to listen to and read some wonderful stories!

I always feel privileged to serve the Center School community. I appreciate your ongoing supportive actions and words to me and to our committed educators.

Best regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Important dates:

  • February 19-23 School is closed for Winter Break
  • February 26th - Welcome back!
  • March 8th- Half Day of School- Professional Development for staff: Dismissal 11:30 am
  • March 9th- Half Day of School- Professional Development for staff: Dismissal 11:30 am
  • March 15th- Half Day of School- Parent Teacher Conferences
  • March 15th: Evening conferences
  • March 16th- Half Day of School- Parent Teacher Conferences
  • March 26th- Jetta Bermier- Enough Abuse Speaker
  • March 30th- No School- Good Friday
  • April: MCAS begins


Bedtime Read Aloud and Literacy Learning

Posted Feb. 6, 2018

Hello Center School Community,

On this Monday evening, we bring to you another bedtime read loud; a lovely story read by Mrs. Vanessa Vigna that touches on the “creative purpose of boredom”. What fun…enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fClrQQWr1hU&feature=youtu.be

There are many engaging literacy activities our teachers are undertaking throughout Center’s Year of the Reader, including the bedtime read aloud.

Did you know that Center has a book fairy? Yes, the book fairy is out and about leaving books around the school for lucky readers to borrow and then share with a friend. Maybe you’ll hear about your child’s lucky find soon!

What books are the educators and staff at Center reading? Look inside and outside classrooms for lists of books and recommendations. We love to hear what our families are reading too, so please make recommendations to us! Remember that the more we model our love for reading, the more our children will want to read.

Thursday was World Read Aloud Day. Check out the special CSS to see all the special guests who visited classrooms to read. A great big cheer for our community readers and to Mrs. Fritz and Mrs. Vigna for organizing the event.

http://centertechnology.blogspot.com/2018/02/center-school-sightings-episode-11.html

So many literacy activities are integrated into your child’s day… Reading workshop, book swaps and book shares, reading minute challenges, “mock” Caldecott book lists, daily read alouds, purposeful time for independent reading, book clubs…your child is surrounded by powerful literacy learning and incredibly passionate and dedicated teachers.

Our vision this year is to enhance our culture of reading. Our practices and happenings are each closely aligned with the Homework Guiding Principles that emphasize your child’s responsibility-and gift-to read. Our practices and endeavors are grounded in the hope and dream to create a love of reading in each child. There is no greater benefit to your child’s growth as a learner.

Is your child presenting as a reluctant reader? We strongly encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher, Mrs. Fritz, Mrs. Mulcahy, or Mrs. Vigna for ideas and recommendations. We’re here to partner with you so we welcome your questions.

We thank you for your ongoing support of our efforts. As a reminder, here’s the Homework Guiding Principles: Student and Parent Responsibilities as they relate to Reading.

Student Responsibilities are:

  • To read at home daily.
  • To choose a variety of reading texts that you enjoy throughout the school year.
  • To share your reading with classroom community and family as guided by the teacher.
  • To read the number of minutes recommended by your teacher, but reading beyond is encouraged and applauded.

Family Responsibilities are:

  • To become familiar with the guiding principles.
  • To ensure your children have time each day to devote to reading in a comfortable, quiet space.
  • To encourage your children to share their reading daily with family members through discussion, book choice, shared reading, or read alouds.
  • To model and share your own love of reading with your children.


We hope you LOVE tonight’s story. Looking for a lovely book to gift to your child? Here’s some suggestions:

https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/12/17/best-childrens-books-2017/

Yours in partnership,

Donna Hutton, Principal &

Your Center School Family