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

Week of May 10th, 2021

Good evening Center School Families,

The days are becoming longer and more beautiful and I’m sure your child is loving more outdoor time with spring sports and play. The teachers will continue to work to make each day of learning valuable right up to June 16th, even as kids start to talk summer break and expected end-of-the-year spirit and energy emerges. We appreciate your herculean efforts and partnership to help keep your child focused on the routines and responsibilities of school in the days ahead.

Class placements for 2021-22: Each year Center School sends family input forms home for feedback to assist our teams with class placements. We will not send these placement forms this year. That said, please share with your child’s teacher any insights you feel are important to consider with placement. Additionally, a gentle reminder that a request for a particular teacher will not be honored and often positions your child’s teacher in an awkward manner. If your family had an experience with a particular teacher in prior years and you would like a different experience for the younger sibling, please reach out to me directly with this request. You can expect to receive the date in August that you will know your child's placement, which is usually a week or so before the start date of the new year. At this time, we anticipate four sections at each grade level. Kindergarten sections will be determined based on enrollment numbers.

Week of May 10th: Cradles to Crayons Collection! Thank-you in advance for your generous donations of clothing all this week to help those in need. Boxes will be placed at each entranceway. Cradles to Crayons Letter

Wednesday May 26th (Rain Date May 27th). Instrumental Demo Night at LHS field for rising 4th and 5th graders interested in instrumental music. Flyer with details was sent home with students in 3rd and 4th grades.

Friday, May 28th: Cardinal Spirit Day Theme: Vacation themed day! Dress like tourists to your favorite escape, beach goers, etc. Write about your favorite place to vacation!

Have a wonderful week ahead!

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

MCAS Schedule

Welcome May!

Posted May 3, 2021

Hello Center School Families,

Happy May ...Here’s a few calendar reminders for the start of the month!

  1. May 7th Cardinal Spirit Day - Wacky/Tacky Clothes Day!

  2. Cradles to Crayons Clothing Collection: The week of May 10th: The donated clothes should be new and very lightly used and range in size from newborn to youth large. All types of clothing are welcome: shirts, pants, sweaters, etc. Items like underwear, socks, and pajamas will have to be new. Cradles to Crayons Details

  3. MCAS Schedule: See below

  4. Center School Hats available designed by Mr. Wong! Hurry and order your hat soon!!

5. May Newsletter from the Nurse Autumn: Health Office Newsletter

Have a wonderful week!

Donna Hutton, Principal

MCAS Schedule

Cradles to Crayons

Posted April 27, 2021

Please help our middle school peer leadership group with this endeavor, represented by former Center School student Francesca Trotta. https://project351.org/

Dear Center School Families,

We will be holding a drive to support Cradles to Crayons. Cradles to Crayons is an organization based in Boston. They supply clothing to kids in need throughout Massachusetts. To learn more about this organization click here.

The donated clothes should be new and very lightly used and range in size from newborn to youth large. All types of clothing are welcome: shirts, pants, sweaters, etc. Items like underwear, socks, and pajamas will have to be new.

We will be collecting these items the week of May 10th. Boxes will be located where students enter at the beginning of the day and outside of the front entrance doors. Let’s see which grade can collect the most clothes! Each item counts and will be donated to families that need an extra hand!

As your family is finding items think “Quality = Dignity”. This thought will ensure that each piece of clothing makes the child feel cared for and loved. If you have any questions feel free to reach out. If you would rather make a monetary donation instead of clothes use this link to support Cradles to

Crayons: https://givebutter.com/theambassadorfund

Best regards,

Francesca Trotta

Week of April 12th, 2021


Hello Center School Families,

I trust you’ve enjoyed the stretch of beautiful weather! This week marks a full week before spring break so here’s some reminders and happenings.

  1. Spring Break Travel: If you're traveling over this upcoming vacation, please be aware that LPS are following COVID-19 travel guidelines/advisories. Please inform Nurse Autumn Rodrigues if you are traveling so she can provide guidance on your child’s re-entry to school on April 26th. Informing Autumn before the break will ensure you have the information you need so your child’s return is not delayed.

  2. MCAS is scheduled to take place in May. The calendar was sent to 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade families.

  3. Friday, April 16th: Spirit Day is a day of magic and wizardry before vacation with reads of favorite magical books during the day! Capes and wands a must!

  4. SCHOOL COUNCIL: We will have open seats on our Center School Council for the 2021-2022 school year. Please reach out to me if you are interested and I will provide any additional information needed. Elections will be held before school ends in June. School Council

  5. Embrace Race 20 best Picture Books for your collection! Some great reads to add to your family read aloud collection!

  6. Earth Day ’21: Celebrated while we’re on spring break, but always on Center Peace Builders’ minds! Our first graders will offer our community some Earth-friendly advice each morning this week. Here’s how our community can be “planet heroes”:

    • In its lifetime, one reusable bag can prevent the use of 600 plastic bags.

    • Recycling one can of soda will save enough energy to power a tv for three hours!!

    • Shutting down a computer when it's not in use cuts the energy consumption by 85 percent.

    • For every mile walked instead of driven, nearly one pound of pollution is kept out of the air.

    • Some more Save the Earth Tips: https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/nature/save-the-earth/topic/save-the-earth-tips

  7. Mrs. Gauthier and Mrs. Capotosto are planning an active and fun day for our students in lieu of our traditional field day, which is not feasible with Covid-19 constraints. That said, we know with our PE teachers’ smarts and creativity, our students will have a blast! More information coming your way soon.

Have a wonderful week ahead. Love the shorter carline and seeing all the walkers and bikers each morning! Please remember the start time for our students is 8:35 am.

Warm regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Week of April 4th, 2021

Hello and Happy Monday Center School Families,

Just a few reminders to begin our week.

  • We begin a new schedule this week, as Wednesdays move to in-person for Cohort A & B students, with a 1:45 pm dismissal. All other days remain a 2:45 pm dismissal.

  • A book recommendation and an inspiring story in honor of Autism Awareness at Center: If you’ve ever felt different, if you’ve ever been low,if you don’t quite fit in, there’s a name you should knowThe Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin

  • Lunch will be outside this week with the forecast for beautiful spring days ahead! Thanks for placing hand wipes in your child’s lunch bag-doesn’t have to be antibacterial, just something to clean hands after eating.

  • Next Spirit Day is Friday, April 16th: Wizard Day: Bring your wands and cloaks for a day of magic and wizardry before vacation! Read some favorite magical books all day! Friday, May 7th Wacky/Tacky Clothes Day: Anything goes! Dress in your wackiest clothes!

  • Equity and Anti-racism Initiatives - The Center for Leadership and Educational Equity has issued its Equity Audit Report. The report is the culmination of an inquiry that began in December, 2020, focused on how LPS can equitably serve the academic and social needs of all students and families. Going forward, the report will inform strategic planning, professional development and classroom instruction. A preliminary report was issued to the School Committee Tuesday evening. An overview, in the form of a slide deck is attached for your review.

Have a wonderful week ahead!

Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Week of March 28th, 2021

Good Sunday morning Center School Families,

We have a short but busy week ahead for your child. This week marks the final week of “remote” Wednesdays for Cohorts A and B students, beginning five days of in person learning the week of April 5th. A reminder that students will be dismissed on Wednesdays at 1:45 pm beginning 4/7 to provide collaboration time for teachers and staff. This is invaluable team work that benefits our students, so our appreciation for prompt pick-ups so we can take full advantage of the time.

At Thursday’s PD , we're anticipating the critical and ongoing work of creating inclusive schools with a workshop focus on Anti-racist Instruction for PreK-8: Integrating Racism and other Critical Topics into Your Lessons. We will reflect on how we can provide accurate, developmentally appropriate information and activities for all students, particularly younger ones. Our community will:

  • Define the traditional gaps to how racism is/is not explored in grades PreK-5

  • Explore a framework that integrates and acknowledges historical and current events, while honoring students' lived experiences

  • Build and get peer feedback on a plan to implement this model into daily instruction.

The School Library Journal is a great resource for families to explore books to add to your child’s collection and read articles about social justice issues.

Opening day for baseball is April 1st for all our baseball fans. We’ll hold an all school Cardinal Spirit Day Tuesday, so your child can wear favorite team apparel and yes, hats will be allowed all day!

Autism Awareness Day: Joined by the international community, hundreds of thousands of landmarks, buildings, homes and communities around the world come together on April 2nd, Autism Awareness Day, to Light It Up Blue in recognition of people with autism and those who love and support them. Cardinals can wear blue on Monday, April 5th to show our special love and support to members of our community and beyond.

Thank-you for your help with drop off and pick up procedures. Also, tardiness has decreased-yay!! We’re really enjoying seeing the return of so many walkers and bikers each day on nice weather days !!

Happy Pesach to our families celebrating Passover this week.

Enjoy a restful Sunday. Please reach out with any needs.

Kind regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

  • April 1st- Professional Development Day for Staff- No School

  • April 2nd- Good Friday- No School

  • April 19th-23rd- April Break- No School

Procedures and Such

Posted March 23, 2021

Good morning Center School Families,

This message is a gentle reminder that children may enter the school building at 8:25 am. We are seeing an increased number of students arriving late to school. Any child arriving after 8:35 am is marked late. Thank-you for helping your child have a smooth beginning to the day with an on-time arrival.

At dismissal, please remind your child that he/she must leave the school property immediately after school.

The spring weather promotes many more walkers and bikers, which we love! We are reminding the students of safety procedures. One strong concern is that all bikers and walkers need to travel down Longfellow to Longmeadow Street at dismissal-not across the playground and down the driveway. Driveway travel by students poses significant safety risks and should your child choose to travel that way, families will be contacted. Trust we are providing consistent reminders of this rule.

Finally, students need to practice courteous behavior on bikes, rollerblades, and scooters. With all our little ones traveling by foot, we need kids off their pedals and wheels in front of the school, beginning at the driveway.

Thanks for your support. Enjoy the lovely spring day ahead. We’re planning on enjoying lunch outdoors each day this week!

Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

"In Person" Learning: WEDNESDAY CHANGE

Posted March 19, 2021

Hello Center School Families,

Tuesday evening, the School Committee held a meeting during which Superintendent O’Shea as well as members of the LPS administrative team shared updates and recommendations based on the most recent guidelines from DESE. These guidelines mandate that schools across the state of Massachusetts move to more in-person learning with specific time on learning hours directives to be met. COVID-19 Guidance

A five day in person schedule for all K-5 students and staff will begin the week of April 5th, 2021. M-T-Th-F will maintain the elementary level 8:25am to 2:45pm schedule.

Please note that beginning Wednesday, April 7th, and each Wednesday thereafter will be an in-person learning day for elementary schools beginning at our usual 8:25 a.m. start and concluding at 1:45 p.m. Our intent is to maintain this early release schedule for Wednesdays for the remainder of the school year. This revised Wednesday schedule ensures we meet our structured learning requirements for students and allows staff to preserve some essential collaboration and planning time each week. Wednesday, June 16, 2021 is our last day of school and this will be a half day for students with a dismissal at 11:30 a.m.

The next few weeks will be utilized to thoughtfully plan for our new schedule. The timeframe also provides the opportunity for staff and families to prepare and make arrangements for this change.

As always, please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal


Week of March 15th, 2021


Hello Center School Families,

It’s an exciting week as we return our Cohort A & B fifth graders to their first week of four days of “in person” learning! With the 5th plan in place we now celebrate increased in person learning across each grade level! Kudos to our entire community for their time intensive work to realize each plan. Please tune into the School Committee meeting this evening at 6:30 pm when Superintendent O’Shea will update the community on additional implementation plans that adhere to the DESE Guidelines, including information regarding Wednesdays.

This week we will also return playground games to our students’ recess choices, including kickball, soccer, and foursquare. The playscape will also reopen to our children’s delight. Please know that teachers are modeling and reviewing expectations with children so they fully understand how we will maintain any necessary mitigation protocols with these increased choices. We’ve also returned to lunches outside when weather permits. It’s a giant picnic on the playground throughout our lunch hours-distanced of course!

Tomorrow, Wednesday, concludes the round of conferences for March. It is a half day with asynchronous learning for your child in the morning. I hope you have found the meetings productive and informative. We still anticipate many days of learning and growing ahead of us with your children.

Finally, I trust there are many parallel pandemic story arcs lived by your family during the past year, filled with a multitude of emotions. I hope the time ahead brings you joy that epitomizes the beginnings of healing from all we’ve lost. For me, the incredible joy of kids being back with us, more choices returning; and personally this weekend, seeing my almost 88 year- old fully vaccinated Mom hold her great granddaughter for the first time was overwhelming. May you also enjoy many of these kinds of cherished moments that felt so audacious just a few short weeks ago.

Thank-you for your ongoing support. Please reach out with any insights or questions.

Be well.

Donna Hutton, Principal

Calendar Reminders

Book Fair: Week of March 29th: More details coming your way soon!

April 1st- Professional Development Day for Staff- No School

April 2nd- Good Friday- No School

April 19th-23rd- April Break- No School

May 31st- Memorial Day- No School

June 16th- Current Last Day of School

Week of March 8th, 2021


Happy Sunday Evening Center School Families!

Here’s a few reminders for the week ahead.

Conferences: Wednesday, March 10th and Wednesday, March 17th are family/teacher conferences. Thursday, March 11th is our conference evening date. Just a reminder that teachers have planned asynchronouslearning activities for your child on both the 10th and the 17th. The spring conferences are an integral aspect of our school year with the opportunity to more formally discuss your child’s progress, so please be sure you have coordinated a time with your child’s teacher. If you would like to meet with a special subject teacher, please contact the teacher for a separate conference time.

We’re excited to welcome our 5th graders in cohorts A and B to four days of “in person” learning on March 15th

Carline: We often tell the students to “practice patience” when needed in situations that try our calmness. I’m again asking that all our families adhere to the carline procedures. It can especially problematic when families cut into the carline from Longfellow or pass cars to cut into the carline after families have been waiting their turn. This poses a safety concern as well as irritation to families who wait their turn for pick up. Looking forward to better weather days when we see more bikers and walkers, but until then, thank-you for your help with moving the carline along in a safe manner.

Lunch: As soon as the weather permits, we will again have students eat lunch outside on the field and/or on our picnic tables. We will continue to enjoy outdoor recess as much as possible too. No need for winter weather gear at this time!

MCAS Grades 3-5: As of this week, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is moving ahead with the testing in ELA & Math for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders , and Science for 5th graders. Cohort C student will also be required to test at this time. The assessment is abbreviated with one day of testing in each subject area. The window for testing is May 10th-June 11th. We will keep you informed should the window or the testing requirement change.

It looks like we’ll enjoy a bit of spring this week! Have a restful evening and looking forward to another week of teaching and learning with our extraordinary students!

Warm regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Mark your Calendar:

  • April 1- Professional Day for Staff- No School

  • April 2- Good Friday- No School

  • April 19-23- April Break

  • May 31- Memorial Day- No School

  • June 16- Last Day of School


First Week of March 2021


Hello Center School Families,

As we begin a new month and day 101(!!) , I’m looking forward to the warmer weather and seeing more bikers and walkers each day. Until then, please help us expedite the carline. First, always pull completely forward when you’re able, have your child open his/her door if a staff member is not there to do so, and please do not exit cars and/or park in spaces to drop off or pick up. At pick up, please roll down your window and let staff know your child’s name and grade or place a placard with child’s name / grade in your passenger side window. If you have the laminated cards we sent home last year, please use those to help us out!

Thank-you to the many volunteers who will help us celebrate Read Around America on March 2nd. Kudos to Mrs. Mulcahy for the organization and her ongoing work to help our children LOVE to read and LOVE to listen to a good story! Mark your calendars for our online Scholastic Book Faircoming in March! Here’s the link to bookmark: Online Book Fair!! Thanks for your support and happy reading this week and beyond!

Conferences are just around the corner. Please help our teachers by signing up for a time that works for your schedule. Evening conferences are March 11th. March 10th and 17th are the daytime conferences.

Please reach out at any time and enjoy a restful evening.

Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Welcome Back!

Posted Feb. 22, 2021

Greetings Center School Families,

Welcome back as we begin the second half of the school year together and look ahead to the 100-day celebration of learning and growing on Friday! Beginning tomorrow, we will welcome our 4th graders in cohorts A and B to their first week of four days of in person learning. We will now have our kinder through 4th graders with us four days a week-safely following guidelines and protocols. In addition, our cohort C children at these levels will benefit from a dedicated teacher and a shared community experience.

It’s truly been “all hands on deck” each time we’ve achieved our goal to increase the in person time for our students. Behind the scenes, some teachers shift positions, physical spaces need new set ups, our custodial crew’s work doubles, schedules are ever-evolving, new hires are welcomed and provided professional development, ongoing intense team efforts are demanded, and you our families show patience and grace with each step of the process. When we are able to bring back more students, the satisfaction of work well done is deeply felt by all. There have certainly been speed bumps along the way, but collectively we have much to be grateful for and to celebrate together, especially with so many days left to the school year! And know we continue to work on building solutions for our 5th graders. The hard work, tenacity and creativity within our community has benefited our children and I’m deeply grateful to our staff and for the support of our families.

Let’s continue to work together in all the ways we have control over to bring about a good stretch of time where we can remain in person. Please review the MA Covid 19 Travel Order if your family traveled this week and reach out to Nurse Autumn Rodrigues with questions and guidance. Continue your adherence to protocols that enhance a collective responsibility to create a culture of safety and well -being for our school community. We always welcome your questions and insights and request your ongoing understanding of our work as we navigate the novelty and at times uncertainty of life during a pandemic.

Here’s some other reminders:

  1. Students should be dressed warmly for outdoor recess each day. Boots/waterproof shoes help kids enjoy the fun of the snowy playground.

  2. The carline will be increased this week. As much as feasible, please pull forward to drop your child off and for pick up. Please refrain from exiting your car on the carline.

  3. Thank-you for volunteering to read on March 2nd for Read Across America Day. You may contact Jen Mulcahy with any questions: jmulcahy@longmeadow.k12.ma.us

  4. School lunch continues to be no charge this year. Please take the time to review the menu with your child so he/she enjoys the option if they choose a school lunch.

Be well.

Donna Hutton, Principal

Read Across America!

Posted Feb. 10, 2021

Dear Center Families,

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021 is National Read Across America Day. Launched in 1998 by the National Education Association (NEA) and guided by a committee of educators, NEA’s Read Across America Day is the nation’s largest celebration of reading.

The goal of this day is to create and celebrate a nation of diverse readers by reading aloud books that allow us to see ourselves, as well as books that allow readers to see a world or characters that might be different from them. Due to pandemic restrictions we are not able to have guest readers in our classrooms. Instead, we are inviting you, our parents and caregivers, to consider reading and sharing a book of your choice with your child’s class via the classroom teacher’s Zoom or Google Meet link at 9:00 am on the morning of March 2, 2021.

Some themes to consider when choosing a book to share might include:

Empowering Student Voice

Fostering Inclusiveness

Activating Young Citizens

Exploring Families and History

Practicing Empathy

Cultivating Compassion

Promoting Respect

Developing Passion and Perseverance

Building Community

If you are interested in this opportunity, please email me by Friday, February 19, 2021. Please include your child’s classroom teacher in your reply. Guest readers will be chosen at random if there are multiple volunteers for each classroom. Once guest readers are confirmed we will share the link to connect you with your child’s classroom. Please keep this a secret from your child! It will be great fun to unveil our surprise guest readers at 9:00 am on the morning of March 2nd.

Thank you for helping us continue the celebration of National Read Across America Day! Happy Reading!

Kind regards,

Jennifer Mulcahy / Center School Library Media Specialist

jmulcahy@longmeadow.k12.ma.us

Helping Hands Food Drive!

2/4/21 - Mindful Parenting Webinar

January 15, 2021

Hello Center School Families,

With our return to “in person” learning, increased “in person” learning for our k through 3rd grade students, and vaccinations on the horizon, the new year brings real grounds for hope. That said, I want to be transparent about the undeniable challenges faced when we have teachers absent. Already this week, across a couple grades at Center, these challenges became very real.

Here are possible scenarios that I need you to be aware of as we begin and strive to sustain a stretch of in person learning in our community.

  • I will exhaust all efforts to secure “coverage” for a classroom when a teacher is absent. The availability of substitute teachers presents an entirely new set of challenges, which is the optimal and obvious choice in all situations.

  • With the exception of kindergarten, we do not have staff to move around to cover an absence. This can also be problematic as our valued kindergarten assistants provide lunch supervision for our youngest students.

  • If a teacher will be absent for an extended period such as for a covid- related protocol, we may have the teacher teach remotely and have a proctor in the classroom with the students. This choice helps us maintain the momentum of in person learning.

  • If we are unable to secure coverage of any sort for our students who are here for in person learning, the students may be 1. fully remote with their teacher 2. fully remote with asynchronous lessons if the teacher is ill.

  • On remote days for our hybrid students and on Wednesdays for k-3 students, a teacher absence due to illness will likely mean asynchronous lessons.

I hope this information brings clarity to situations when we find a teacher will be absent; and you will be able to prepare for an unexpected scenario that requires a change in your family’s plans.

Student absences: If you are choosing to keep your child home from in person learning for a period longer than a week for reasons other than illness, we will contact you for a move to cohort c. These will be important conversations between home and school so we can work to understand a family’s circumstance.

Finally, I’m working to be judicious with my communications to families as I am copied on each teacher’s necessary messaging to families- weekly communications to you and sometimes daily. So, thank-you for taking the time to read all our messages. I continue to be impressed with ways teachers are helping families and families are helping their children with learning. The partnership we hold with you is integral to successes for children. I know how much you are navigating and convey the appreciation of our community for your support, understanding, and grace as we work through this time together. I’m also sending our collective wishes that we all continue to share the responsibility for one another’s well -being through responsible choices and that you and your family remain healthy and resilient.

Please reach out with any questions or feedback.

Respectfully yours,

Donna Hutton, Principal


Week of January 11th, 2021

Good morning Center School Families,

We are scheduled to return to in-person teaching and learning on Thursday, January 14th. We well see cohort B students in grades 3rd , 4th , and 5th grades and all our in-person students in kinder, 1st , and 2ndgrades. Note that the plan to return 3rd grades to four days in- person learning is scheduled to begin January 19th. More information will be sent to our third-grade families in a separate communication.

Superintendent O’Shea conveyed to our community the necessity to keep windows cracked to ensure that rooms are well-ventilated and that we have optimal air exchange. Please be sure your child is dressed warmly both for the cooler classroom temperatures and for the outdoor times during the day.

I’m thrilled to share that the Caldecott Contest has returned again this year thanks to the generosity of LEEF and the creative endeavors of Mrs. Mulcahy! I hope you’ll take the time to enjoy the rich library of books in the collection this year and pick your own favorites with your child!

Mock Caldecott Library

We continue to ask that you help us to grow our culture of shared responsibility for the safety and well -being of each member of our community. To realize this goal, please familiarize yourself with the travel orders set by the state of Massachusetts. We expect families to report out of state travel to Nurse Rodrigues and submit documentation in accordance with the requirements of the MA Covid 19 Travel Order covidresults@longmeadow.k12.ma.us.

Here’s some important calendar reminders:

  • January 12- SEAL Meeting 7:00 PM

  • January 18- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day- No School

  • Report Cards: January 29th

  • February 15th-19th - February Winter Break

Have a wonderful week ahead.

Respectfully yours,

Donna Hutton, Principal


December 21st, 2020

Good afternoon Center School Families,

I hope your child connected with us today for our annual holiday sing along! Thank-you Mrs. Morrissey for bringing us together with the gift of music to celebrate the season. Thank-you to Hazel too! We'll post the recording of the event soon if you missed it or if you'd like to view it again.

It’s wonderful to see grade level happenings taking place remotely-powerful presentations, super reader celebrations, poetry cafe and so many other celebrations of community and learning. With all the craziness 2020 brought us in each of the many roles we manage in our lives and the need to be incredibly tolerant of uncertainty, there is still so much joy to be found. My hope for you is that you will find the joy in your lives through the holiday season and throughout the new year.

Tonight, on this winter solstice, Jupiter and Saturn come so close that they appear as a very bright light in the night sky. Jupiter and Saturn align every twenty years, but this unique view has not been seen since the days of the earliest astronomers!! Let’s take this wonder as a sign of hope for the new year ahead...

And finally, here is Cardinal Hopes a video montage of hope and wishes to our students and families from your Center School family.

May 2021 bring to you and your loved ones all that’s been missed and waited for and wished for so patiently this year. Relax, rejuvenate, and be safe and be well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GH3G85czZZs

Warmest wishes,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Calendar Reminders

Winter Break December 24th through January 3rd. School resumes January 4th-in person or remote to be announced by Superintendent O'Shea

December 19, 2020

Hello Center Families,

I'm excited to announce that on Monday afternoon, Mrs. Morrisey will lead our annual holiday sing-along streamed live on YouTube at 1:30 pm. Each year we gather to celebrate the season through song and movement and we look forward to the event reimagined on Monday!! The sing-along will be an all school event!

Link to sing along: Center Holiday Sing Along: Streamed Live!!

Thank-you for your generous donations to help children and families in need-47 gift baskets-amazing community outreach! Each year, this endeavor is not possible without a member of our community taking on the time intensive coordination. Debbie Farley and her family accomplished extraordinary work and we are so appreciative that in the midst of a pandemic we were able to continue the tradition. Bravo to all for your caring during this season and always.

In an effort to bring joy to our community, the Longmeadow Fire Department has put together a “Santa Run”. The Santa Run is being held on December 20th at 3:00 PM. The Fire Department will be doing a Facebook Live for the event to let folks know where Santa is and his ETA to that street. The LFD would like to remind everyone to wear masks, social distance, and remain with their immediate family group.

I hope you enjoy more of the snow this weekend with lots of fun outdoor time.

Be safe and be well.

Warm regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

December 3, 2020

Dear Center School Families:

I hope you had a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday! I am reaching out to all the Center School families, SPECIFICALLY those who have traveled over the Thanksgiving holiday. The Longmeadow School District is requesting the appropriate documentation, if needed, so that students may safely return to school on Monday, December 7, 2020.

I have included the current travel restrictions below. If your child(ren) is/are over the age of 10, please provide a copy of his/her negative Covid results. If your child(ren) is/are 10 and under, please provide a copy of both parents/direct caregivers’ negative results as required per the travel order. If you are choosing to quarantine, please let me know by calling the school or emailing me: 413-565-4290 arodrigues@longmeadow.k12.ma.us

If you have not traveled out of MA, this does not apply to you and please disregard.

Thank you for your continued effort to keep our Center School community safe for all staff and students.

Note: All test results can be sent to covidresults@longmeadow.k12.ma.us. Please include the school(s) your child(ren) attend(s) in the subject line.

MA Travel Advisory

If you plan to travel out of state, all family members and companions who travel, must either: Quarantine for 14-days upon returning to MA (all members regardless of age) Or Have a COVID test and have received a negative result no longer than 72-hours before your arrival in Massachusetts. Or obtain a test when you arrive in Massachusetts, and quarantine until you receive a negative result. Tests must be FDA EUA-approved molecular (PCR) SARS-CoV2 tests. If you have a child 10 or under AND all other traveling family members/companions meet the testing requirement, children 10 and under do not need to test.

  1. If children 10 and under are traveling independently, they must meet all requirements.

  2. If the family members/traveling companions of children 10 and under DO NOT participate in Covid19 testing either prior to returning to Massachusetts or upon arrival, children under 10 must quarantine for 14-days upon arrival to Massachusetts.

If you are vacationing/visiting other states and meet either of the two criteria below, you are exempt from the travel restriction:

· 1. Your travel is to a lower-Covid19-risk state. Please check the website lower-risk-state for an up-to-date list before and while you are traveling as this list changes weekly.

· 2. You are traveling through a higher-risk state, and are only stopping for reasonably required activities such as at a rest area, or to board a flight.

For a full list of travel regulations please go to https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order

If you have any questions, please contact me at 413-565-4280 ext. 2.

Thank you for your cooperation and for sharing the responsibility to keep our community safe and healthy.

Sincerely,

Nurse Autumn Rodrigues


November 24, 2020

Hello Center School Families,

The district will be fully remote the week of November 30th. Special programs will be in person. Please note that students are expected to login to all synchronous lessons that teachers post as well as special subject times and any breakout sessions. We appreciate your support to keep the strong and engaged momentum going for your child’s learning.

Conferences begin December 2nd. This is a half day of asynchronous learning for students. Teachers anticipate sharing progress and goals with families so please be sure to sign up for a meeting time.

Thanksgiving week I am grateful for the time we have been given thus far for “in person” learning and for the talented teachers supporting our remote learners across all grades. I’m grateful for my entire extraordinary staff who inspire me with their dedication and tireless work to make learning happen for kids under the most challenging of circumstances and to keep Center a joyful community. I’m grateful for the continued opportunity to do the work I am passionate about; and the honor to serve the community I have grown to love and care for over the years. You, our families, make the work I accomplish and the work teachers accomplish possible-for that I am deeply grateful.

The school life we knew pre-pandemic seems far away at the moment, but it feels like hope is coming with a vaccination on the horizon for which we can all be grateful and feel a sense of renewed hope.

And for children...my goodness, they are our world...I enjoy listening in at lunch as students interact with one another and often engage me with conversations and stories. A second grader shared with me a story she wrote with a prompt If I built a school. She said her school would have a huge dome covering that would protect us from the virus and we wouldn’t have to wear masks-everyone would be safe and strong. So, I use our young friend’s imagination as my wish for all of you. May your celebration of the holiday, one that is so much about the blessings of family and friends, be one that is equally safe and joyful.

Be well.

Respectfully,

Donna Hutton, Principal


Holiday Gift Basket Time!

Posted Nov. 19, 2020

Dear Center School Families,

It is Holiday Gift Basket Time!

We will continue our special tradition of giving that began over 25 years ago at Center School and has grown here and across the district over the years. The Center School PTO is thrilled to sponsor the Springfield YWCA’s domestic shelter gift giving program! The YWCA is experiencing a surge in families seeking help during this very challenging year, and they are incredibly grateful for the generosity of our Center School community. With your help, we will bring holiday joy to many local children and families in need.

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

Gifts will be dropped off at school between 8:25 and 9:00 AM on December 7th, 8th, 10th and 11th. Collection baskets will be placed near your student’s entrance door. Baskets will be labeled with the teacher’s name. We will not be able to wrap the gifts at school this year. Additionally, you will know the age of the children, but not a name and particular gift preferences as in past years.

We thank you so much for your generosity and we wish you a healthy and happy beginning to the holiday season.

Sincerely,

Debbie Farley, Coordinator and the Center School PTO

School Photos!

Posted Nov. 18, 2020

Hello Center School Families,

School pictures have arrived! They will be sent home with your student on their next in person day. Cohort C students can pick up their photos at the school office. Please note that the class photo is not included in these orders. The class photos will be distributed separately after retakes have been completed.

Retakes - Retakes will be available, date to be announced soon. If your child needs a retake, please contact Amy Tyler in the school office atyler@longmeadow.k12.ma.us

IMPORTANT- If a retake is requested, please send your student to school with their package on the retake day. Your child will need to give the complete package to the photographer on retake day. Sarah Gallagher cannot produce a new package until the original package is returned in full.

Digital files will be sent out via email. If you ordered Package C or a digital file and you do not receive the link via email, please check your junk folder or email Sarah@SarahGallagherStudios.com

Need more photos? Visit SarahGallagherStudios.com and click on the Center School link.

Please email Sarah with any questions regarding your order! Sarah@SarahGallagherStudios.com

Brrr...keep warm today!!

Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal


November 9, 2020

Good Monday Center School Families,

The weather has been stunning and we’ll continue to enjoy outdoor time during the school day-mask breaks, snacks, lunch.

Attendance: If your child is sick and unable to attend classes, you must call the school and report the absence. If your child is home sick but feels well enough to attend class remotely, they will be marked Remote Present if a phone call to the Health Office is made. We will be marking students absent if they join class remotely on a day they should be in person, but are choosing to remain home for “convenience” purposes.

For students in kinder, 1st, and 2nd : if your child is absent, the teacher will provide work to be completed at home as needed. Students will not join our cohort C classes.

Wednesday is Veterans Day, a day that gives us the opportunity to show our gratitude for the sacrifices our veterans made to protect our freedoms. Because Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military — in wartime or peacetime.-let’s share the responsibility to talk with our young learners about the significance of the day.

Helping Hands Thanksgiving Food Drive

When: Nov. 16th & 17th & Nov. 19th & 20th

Where: Collection boxes will be located on the tree belt during morning carline

What is needed : canned food and non-perishable items

Donations will benefit the Longmeadow Food Pantry and The Springfield Rescue Mission

Calendar Reminders

November 10th: SEAL Meeting 7:00 pm Via Zoom Link Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/95640149774?pwd=cTFoRXIvNVN4dVFoaHEzK0pQQjhldz09 Meeting ID: 956 4014 9774 Passcode: 850445

November 11th : Veterans Day - No School

November 25th : 1/2 Day for Thanksgiving Break

November 26th and 27th : Thanksgiving break - No school

Parent/Family Conferences: 8:35 am -11:30 am : December 2nd, 9th ; Evening Conferences: December 3rd : students will be provided asynchronous opportunities on December 2nd and 9th.

Have a wonderful week ahead.

Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal


October 30th, 2020

Hello Center School Families,

We enjoyed the children’s costumes this week! Halloween fosters so much imagination and fun energy! The October snow added another layer of excitement to our day today. Thanks for joining in the school spirit!

Here’s some more news to end our week.

  1. Nurse Autumn Rodrigues will send a monthly Health Newsletter. Here’s her first edition! Health Office Newsletter Please read the important health information.

  2. The special subject classes rotate for our students beginning Monday.

  • K & 4th: PE

  • 1st : Music

  • 2nd: Library/Media

  • 3rd: Technology Integration

  • 5th: Art

  1. We will continue to keep windows open as a measure to optimize air flow in the classrooms and throughout the school. Please have your child dress warmly! When the weather is quite cold, we only “crack” the windows and have placed air purifiers in each classroom, in large spaces and in the cafeteria.

  2. Family/Teacher conferences were moved to December 2nd, 3rd, and 9th. There are no conferences in November therefore no half days as previously scheduled. More information regarding conferences will come from teachers as we move closer to scheduling.

  3. Join the CLOSE Coalition in a Halloween Howl. When: Saturday, October 31st, Halloween night. 7 p.m. sharp. Details: It's simple. Go outside, wherever you are at 7pm, and howl at the moon. Why? It's Halloween and we're in a pandemic, that's why. We're all in this together so let's howl at the moon together! Make and post a video of your howl and we'll pick our favorite one - win a gift card to the eatery of your choice in Longmeadow! Just tag your video with #LongmeadowHowl

  4. Thursday, November 5th begins the first day of increased in person days for students in kindergarten, first, and second grades. Please be aware that the carline will be increased at arrival and dismissal times. We thank you for adhering to all our procedures that help us maintain a safe environment for our community.

I hope you enjoy a safe and restful weekend. Thank-you for your ongoing support and partnership during this extraordinary time.

Kind regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal


October 26th, 2020

Dear Center School families,

We continue on through the fall season as we reach week seven of the school year! As teachers have likely shared, you can anticipate a few changes in your child’s schedule in the coming days.

  1. Specials will rotate on November 2nd. Grade level classes will begin with a new special teacher for the next seven weeks. For in person students, this means the special teacher will also join the classes for lunch and some “break out” sessions for grades 3, 4, and 5.

  2. We plan to begin four days of in person learning for our k, 1, and 2 Cohort A and B students on November 5th. More details forthcoming next week although current arrival and dismissal procedure will remain in place.

  3. Center will celebrate Halloween on Tuesday for Cohort A and Friday for Cohort B. Students may wear a comfortable costume to school-one that students do not need to change and one that requires no assistance throughout the day. Cohort C students may wear costumes on Tuesday or Friday or both days! Please be aware that teachers are not permitted to distribute any “treats” from home on Halloween or on any other day throughout this year. Thank-you for not positioning our staff in an awkward way with their students as anything that is sent in will have to be sent back home.

  4. We have been enjoying lunches outside this year and plan to continue weather permitting. We’re excited to have new tables on the playground for children to be seated although the grassy area and playground has worked out well on so many lovely fall days. While children wash hands after lunch, we encourage families to place hand wipes in lunch bags for your child to use after eating.

  5. Masks: Note that if your child’s mask proves problematic-not staying up to hide mouths and noses-we will change the mask for a well-fitting mask. We praise the children for understanding our shared responsibility for the safety and well-being of our community. We thank our families as well for your ongoing support of all safety protocols.

  6. Upcoming Calendar Dates:

November 5th: New plan for “in person” for cohorts A/B begins

November 11: Veteran's Day - No School

November 25: 1/2 Day for Thanksgiving break

November 26 and 27: Thanksgiving break - No school

Have a wonderful week ahead and please reach out with any questions.

Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal



Picture Reminder

Posted Oct. 8, 2020

Hello Center School Families,

This is a reminder the school picture days begin next week!

The deadline for orders is Tuesday October 13th.

Thank-you and please reach out to the main office with questions.

Order Your School Photos Here

Picture Day 2020

Posted Oct. 6, 2020

Hello Center School Families,

We are pleased to announce that Sarah Gallagher Studios will be photographing our school pictures this year. The photos will be taken over a period of 5 days between October 14th-20th. Please connect to the link for additional details including the order form and schedule. Please note that Sarah Gallagher will follow all safety guidelines at all times during the photographing. We will not have parent volunteers this school year. Thank-you for respecting and following our protocols. All orders must be received by October 13th.

Please reach out to Mrs. Tyler with any questions.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Center School Picture Day


Important Procedures Cohorts A & B

Posted Sept. 18, 2020

Hello Center Families,

This message provides important procedural information for families who have chosen the hybrid model. Students will begin in person learning next week.

Cohort A: in person Monday and Tuesday

Cohort B: in person Thursday and Friday

Cohort C: fully remote teaching learning commences again on Monday.

Wednesday: fully remote all students

Arrival and Dismissal: Please note that supervision begins at 8:25 am. Students should not arrive on school grounds before this time. Before school play/lingering on the playground is not permitted. The playscape is off limits from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm. Students and families are asked to leave school grounds at dismissal-2:45 pm. Play/lingering on the playground area after school is not permissible at this time.

Carline:

If you are driving your child to school, please follow the carline procedures. Enter the carline on Longmeadow Street -not Williams Street-and travel in the one -way direction to the front of the school. Please pull all the way to the front of the carline before stopping to drop off your child. Your child will exit the car from the passenger side and go directly to the grade level entrance doors. We will not have 5th grade safeties to assist at the start of the year. There will be staff on duty to assist students. Do not drop your child off in the back of the school or on Longfellow Street so as to avoid the carline-this presents a safety hazard for our children and for our community.

Bikers and walkers:

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

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

Entrance and Exit Points:

Kindergarten: Sidewalk leading into the gymnasium located directly in front of the gymnasium

1st grade: Esplanade doors on the gymnasium side of school

2nd grade: Esplanade doors: main building side

3rd grade: Longfellow Street side doors

4th grade: Main entrance

4th grade: Ms. Freitag: Cafeteria doorways: back of the school

5th grade: Cafeteria doorways: back of the school

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

Monday arrival and all arrival days are busy. If you are a family who did not drop off important medication on the scheduled day, please contact the nurse to coordinate the drop off as soon as possible. It will be difficult to accommodate you at 8:25 am. espear@longmeadow.k12.ma.us

Please remind your child that the lines into the building will be physically distanced. There are red dots painted to mark the spacing. “Spread your cardinal wings” or “airplane arms” are helpful reminders!

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

Fresh Picks Lunch Menus: We encourage you to pack your child’s lunch if you are unsure that he/she will enjoy the choices just to ensure that lunch is eaten. Each day is one hot or one cold lunch choice this year. https://longmeadow.nutrislice.com/menu/center-elementary/lunch/2020-09-18

Please reach out with any questions. Happy Friday to all!

Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Welcome First Day 2020

Posted Sept. 14, 2020

Good morning Center School Cardinals and Peacebuilders!

Welcome back to a brand-new school year that will be filled with learning and fun. We can’t wait to get started!!

Here’s a fun video from your Center family. The bell tolls in the video and we’ll ring it live at 9:00 am so you might hear it from your home!

Enjoy a wonderful day and know you make us feel brand new!!

Fondly,

Your Center School Family

PS Hope you’ll get up and dance with us!!

Principal's Message First Day 2020

Posted Sept. 13, 2020

Good evening Center School Community,

The eve before the first day of school forever amplifies excitement and anticipation in the life of an educator. So many hopes and dreams abound with a new class...I trust your child may be feeling the same emotions today! Teachers and administrators thoughtfully plan to make each student’s beginning one that will inspire enthusiasm for learning in the year ahead. The positive energy at orientation last week was much needed and proved what we know to be true. Schools are the heart of a child’s world and the heartbeat of a community.

Never has our responsibility to the children in our charge been greater, more challenging, and exciting at the same time. We continue educating your child using the technologies and tools available to reimagine ways to teach children with developmentally appropriate practices. For students in the hybrid plan, the synchronous/remote teaching/learning will be three days weekly and for Cohort C students, each day. Know that whether your child will be in person or fully remote, we are one community; and we’ll continually strive for inclusiveness.

As a school community, we go about our work embracing a deep gratitude that we have the capabilities to realize this model. We understand the daunting challenges that face our distant colleagues in some schools across our state and country, challenges that we have the resources to surmount. Kudos to our IT team led by Nick Jorge for their remarkable accomplishments.

So, we begin the 2020-2021 school year with a promise to continue to put forth our greatest efforts and resourcefulness as we travel this extraordinary journey with you. The educators are well-prepared to do what they do best-take care of the children in their charge. Some lessons and practices may be imperfect at times, but the care for children always takes precedence in our day to day school world. I am immensely proud of the dedicated work of our staff to get the reopening plan to an optimal level. I’m also proud of their collective desire for ongoing learning, which is necessary even as we settle into our routines.

We ask for your partnership and your promise to help us grow and enhance our culture of shared responsibility for each child’s education and well-being. The African proverb, it takes a village to raise a child , takes on great importance. We will continually ask this from you with humility, knowing the multitude of challenges faced by our families during these unprecedented times.

You can expect an email from me in the morning at 8:35 am with a link to a short video to start Center’s first day. We felt the need to create a shared experience as is our tradition on the first day, and we hope you enjoy our moments of unburdened fun. I think you’ll sense the excitement from the staff!! In addition, please accept the video as encouragement from your Center family to create many freeing family moments to sustain you through the events that are shaping our lives that at times leave us reeling.

We wish our students an awesome first day and week filled with wonder and enthusiasm. May this be a year of tremendous growth for all...To parents, caretakers, and all who will be a part of our “village”, keep your hopes high, practice patience, take care of yourselves as you care for so many others, and seek your inspiration from your child’s joyful spirit and often uncomplicated view of life.

Our students will sustain our spirits and our hopes and dreams no matter what evolves this school year. Thank-you for your trust and for the privilege of working with your child.

Rest well this evening knowing your child is in caring hands.

Respectfully yours,

Donna Hutton, Principal


Important Message form the Health Office

Posted Sept. 11, 2020

Dear Center School Families,

If your child currently takes any prescribed daily medications or emergency medications such as epi-pens or inhalers, we kindly ask that you bring them to school next week in order to have them in the health office for the start of in-person attendance on September 21st.

The nurse is available to accept medications under the tent in front of school on Thursday, September 17th from 9am - 12 noon.

Please mark your calendar and be sure to contact the school on Monday after 9:00 am with questions.

Sincerely,

Erin Spear, School Nurse


Reminders Orientation this Week!

Posted Sept. 9, 2020

Good morning Center School Families!

Here’s some orientation reminders for this week:

Your child may bring a backpack to carry the Chromebook and other materials teachers may distribute.

Teachers will greet families and students at designated areas:

Kinder: basketball court on the playground in the back of the school

1st grade: doors on the left side of the esplanade, gymnasium side

2nd grade: doors on the right side of the esplanade, main building side

3rd grade: Longfellow Street: doors on the side of the main building

4th grade: main entrance

5th: cafeteria doors in the back of the school

Families A-G: Wednesday, September 9th k,1,2 9:00 am to 10:30 am

3, 4, 5 1:00 pm -2:30 pm

Families H-R: Thursday, September 10th k,1,2 9:00 am to 10:30 am

3, 4, 5 1:00 pm -2:30 pm

Families S-Z: Friday September 11th k,1,2 9:00 am to 10:30 am

3, 4, 5 1:00 pm -2:30 pm

Families and caretakers meet and greet the teachers, say goodbyes, and then students enter the building and go to the classrooms with teachers.

Students line up physically distanced to enter building.

All participants-parents, caretakers, staff, students must wear masks for the duration of the orientation and at all times on the school campus.

If children are reluctant to leave parent/caretaker, know we will adhere to only children in the building. Please talk with your child and discuss this expectation.

No food or drinks will be allowed during the visit.

Please meet your child at dismissal time where they entered the building. Thank-you for meeting your child promptly at the end of the orientation!

If you are registered for Cohort C, did not pick up your child’s device and will not be attending orientation, please reach out to your child’s teacher to plan a pick-up of materials.

Kind regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Reminder: Class Lists

Posted Sept. 3, 2020

Good morning Center School Families,

Just a reminder for new families with students in all grades and families with kindergarten children that you will receive an email on Friday, September 4th, by 3:00 p.m. with your child's teacher assignment.

For those returning families, you will access your PowerSchool Parent Portal account to obtain this information after 3:00 Friday afternoon.

If you have medication drop off for your child, arrangements will be made with you by the school nurse the week of September 14th. She will contact you via email to coordinate.

Have a wonderful day...countdown begins to the first day!

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal


IMPORTANT: ORIENTATION INFORMATION!

Posted August 31, 2020

Good evening Center School Families,

These are truly extraordinary times and your school family is working together to achieve the very best experiences for our students and families this school year. Our partnership with you has never been more needed and appreciated, so on behalf of our staff I convey our deep gratitude as we approach our new beginnings. We’re excited and looking forward to welcoming you back to Center at our orientation. We anticipate extending a warm welcome to new families in our community too!

Note that you will receive your child’s teacher placement on Friday by logging into the Power School Parent Portal. If you are a new family, we will contact you with your child’s teacher placement on Friday via email. Also, kindergarten families will receive a welcome message from teachers through email.

As we move closer to our reopening, we will continually emphasize the importance of our shared responsibility for the well-being and safety of our school community. We trust you will adhere to the protocols and partner with us as we model for our children the expectations in place for each routine and protocol in their school world.

To begin to realize this shared promise, here are the protocols for orientation:

  1. Families will meet teacher teams at designated areas on school grounds. The entrance will be the planned entrance where the students enter and exit each day when in- person schooling begins.

  2. Here are your assigned areas:

Kindergarten: Sidewalk leading into the gymnasium in the front of the gymnasium.

1st grade: Esplanade doors on the gymnasium side of school

2nd grade: Esplanade doors: main building side

3rd grade: Longfellow Street side doors

4th grade: Main entrance

5th grade: Cafeteria doorways

  1. Cones will be placed near the area to show students where to line up physically distanced.

  2. All participants-parents, caretakers, staff, students will wear masks for the duration of the orientation and at all times on the school campus.

  3. Families and caretakers meet and greet the teachers, say goodbye, and then students enter the building and go to the classroom with teachers.

  4. Parents/caretakers will meet and pick up children at the same area that they said their good-byes at the ending time of the orientation.

  5. If children are reluctant to leave parent/caretaker, know we will adhere to only children in the building. Please talk with your child and discuss this expectation.

  6. No food or drinks will be allowed during the visit.

Families A-G: Wednesday, September 9th k,1,2 9:00 am to 10:30 am

3, 4, 5 1:00 pm -2:30 pm

Families H-R: Thursday, September 10th k,1,2 9:00 am to 10:30 am

3, 4, 5 1:00 pm -2:30 pm

Families S-Z: Friday September 11th k,1,2 9:00 am to 10:30 am

3, 4, 5 1:00 pm -2:30 pm

Additional Information:

  1. CHROME BOOKS for students in grades 1-5 and iPads to our kinder children will be distributed at the orientation only to students who did not receive one in the spring.

  2. Teachers will provide families with a daily schedule and all the pertinent information needed to more fully understand the learning plans in action before we begin September 14th

  3. Daily schedules at each level will be consistent and predictable therefore you will know when your child needs to be logged in for a synchronous lesson. Note that hybrid remote days and fully remote days for students hold no expectation for a child/teacher to be synchronously connected all day-six + hours . Essential components of the lessons will be synchronous; and support after the synchronous lesson will take many forms including breakout sessions, asynchronous lessons; and certainly, time for your child to work on tasks away from the screen. Again, this will be more clearly outlined and understood once we begin, you receive more communication from teachers, and you have your child’s schedule in hand.

  4. If you cannot attend the orientation, please wait to contact your child’s teacher on Friday.

Please revisit the Center School Reopening Plan for additional information. Center School Reopening Plan

Families whose Children are registered for Cohort C (Fully Remote Plan)

If your child is registered in Cohort C and you choose to forego the in-person orientation, you may pick up your child’s device and other classroom materials on Tuesday, September 8th. We’ll be set up in the tent in the front of the school for distribution. Here’s the alphabetical break down by family name for pick up:

A-G 10:00-10:30

H-R 10:30-11:00

S-Z 11:00-11:30

Know that our teachers are organizing classrooms and finding creative ways to make things look wonderfully engaging and inviting...it will be heartwarming to be with everyone again in person and remotely. Be well, keep your hopeful spirits and please reach out with questions.

Respectfully yours,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Center School Reopening Plan

Posted August 21, 2020

Good afternoon Center School Families,

Here is the link to the Center School Reopening Plan.

Center Reopening Plan

The plan provides information regarding guiding principles, learning expectations, logistics, safety information, etc. as it applies to the 2020-2021 school-year. Information will continue to evolve and this will be a living document, subject to updates.

The plan will be posted on our school website as well. More detailed information will also be sent out to students and families about topics such as orientation, class lists, etc. This document will help us all begin to understand school in this unique year ahead.

Thank- you for your patience and partnership as we anticipate the beginning of our school year. We look forward to welcoming our students back to school!

Yours in partnership,

Donna Hutton, Principal

IMPORTANT: Registering Students for Cohorts

Posted August 21, 2020

Good Friday morning Center School Families,

Please take a moment when you receive this message, if you have not already done so, to complete the registration for the learning program you are choosing for your child. We are anticipating the ability to develop class lists and provide other pertinent information to you by September 4th but we need your registration.

By Monday, August 24th at 9:00 p.m. K-12 LPS child(ren) must be "registered" by parents/caregivers for a learning program using this form (detailed information included in the form): IF you completed the form, it does not have to be completed again, thanks!

Learning Program Registration for the 2020-2021 Academic Year

If you sent me a separate email or left a voicemail with your choice, it is critical that you also complete the form. The form is necessary. I appreciate your help with the important work we need to complete/finalize after we receive this information.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Reopening Plans

Posted August 18, 2020

Good afternoon Center School Families,

I hope that you have enjoyed the leisure of the summertime... It is certainly a season that brings us rejuvenation for ourselves and for our families.

Throughout this summer, administration has met with groups of educators, a Reopening Task Force (composed of parents, staff, administration and town personnel), School Committee, individual parents, and our colleagues to address safety, academic, and social and emotional issues. We trust that the reopening of Center School will be robust because of the collective efforts of a caring and intelligent community focused on children.

I extend my deep gratitude for your patience as we worked to develop plans for a much- anticipated return to our school.

Here are some important dates and information as we approach the beginning of the school year. September 4th- Families will log into the Parent Portal through PowerSchool to see your child’s classroom assignment for the upcoming school year. Kindergarten students will receive their class placement on or around September 4th via email or through the USPS.

September 9th, 10th, 11th- Welcome Back to Center and Orientation: Teachers will meet and greet students and families in small groups. Stay tuned for your assigned day, time and format for the orientation sessions.

September 14th- First Day of School: fully remote all grades

September 21st - First Day of “In Person” School for Cohort A : Cohort A: Last names beginning with letter A through LaP******. Cohort A students come to school in person Monday and Tuesday; fully remote on Wednesdays,Thursdays, and Fridays.

September 24th- First Day of “In Person” School for Cohort B: Cohort B Last names beginning with letter LaR**** through Z. Cohort B students come to school in person Thursday and Friday; fully remote on Mondays,Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.

Cohort C: Students who have opted out of “in person” learning are remote Monday through Friday. Families will receive their teacher assignment on September 4th and then a schedule with all other "cohorted" students after September 4th and before September 14th.

Please note that I have received many requests to change cohorts due to family circumstances. At this time, we are not in a position to honor any request to change cohorts. The cohorts have been formed in an effort to balance class size safely, and meet students’ academic and social needs.

Supply lists have been posted to the grade level teachers’ websites found on the school website page. Each grade level teacher is asking for the same supplies, so you can visit any one of the teachers to see your child’s list.

The Center School Reopening Plan will be posted on our school website later this week. The reopening plan will include detailed arrival and dismissal procedures, technology information, student orientation information, social emotional learning support, food services, and other pertinent information that has been thoughtfully developed over the past several months. We will continue to reflect, update, and refine this information as needed for the safety of all members of our community.

Please reach out to me with any questions or to share your insights. As always, I believe our best work for children and for our school community is accomplished with a collaborative and solution building mindset.

I look forward to seeing everyone soon. Heartfelt wishes that this message finds you healthy and strong with hopeful spirits. Enjoy this lovely day.

Respectfully yours,

Donna Hutton, Principal


June 19th, 2020

Dear Center School Community,

The parade was wonderful and the staff is filled with happiness that we were able to give our students a fun send off for the summer. We'll share the pictures on the school website soon. We’re overwhelmed with gratitude for the creativity, resiliency, and spirit of community among our school family that shined brightly this year. Teachers reflect that “together apart” takes on poignant meaning as they/I have connected with children and families in ways undreamed-of since March 13th.

And our students...they continue to inspire and drive us to realize the very best of ourselves as educators and as the consequential people in children’s lives. Whatever the complicated times ahead might bring, we promise to keep evolving and growing. We’ll turn all that we’ve been through into wisdom to build solutions for the trajectory education may take in the coming year. With humility, we ask for your continued trust, partnership, and perhaps more than anything, shared hope for the best in the days, weeks, and months ahead.

Enjoy the last day of the 2019-2020 school year with all the fun happenings in our classrooms. To all the families who have sent the most beautiful messages my way, please know I’m working on sending each one of you my heartfelt appreciation.

Please check in for communications from the district and from Center throughout the summer months. Class placements will be ongoing as our circumstances evolve; and please know that if you have sent teachers and/or me feedback, it will be thoughtfully considered. Plan on all the information you need to be provided in a timely manner before we begin anew in August. Report cards are in the mail. If your child is on an IEP, progress reports will be mailed separately from the report card.

Now let’s savor some much- needed offline time! Thank-you for keeping your child reading and for all the opportunities you will provide for experiential learning. Summers are for family and friends and I hope yours will be fun, safe, and memorable.

Please reach out to me with thoughts and questions throughout the summer. Email is the best way to reach me. I will be onsite at Center, but our front office is not available until August.

Take good care. Be well. Congratulations and deep appreciation to all....I knew we could do this...

Respectfully yours,

Donna Hutton, Principal


Countdown to the Finish Line 2020

Hello Center School Families,

It’s been challenging but fun to keep up with all the exciting happenings across each grade level for the past two weeks! I’m touched by all the ways that our teachers and families are finding to bring the end-of-year celebrations to our students. I hope your child is excited for summer days and the summer weeks ahead; and I hope that the celebrations bring lots of joy.

Just a reminder to take advantage of a consultation with Ms. Vigna for your child’s summer reading. Detailed information can be found at Summer Reading Resources. Students have been involved with lessons to prepare for their best summer reading!! Thank-you for your important support and partnership to keep reading momentum strong!

Center's tradition of a 4th grade musical production is a favorite among students, staff, and families. Bravo to our 4th grade teachers, Mrs. Morrisey, and our talented students for their production of The Show Must Go Online, because of course, remote learning will not stop this spirited group from moving ahead with a production! The online show was a time intensive effort and students are enjoying seeing the display of talents in 4th grade. Enjoy the show if you haven’t yet seen it!

Our awesome 5th graders celebrated the completion of their elementary school years on Friday-their “step up” day. Here’s their video graduation celebration. Center School 5th Grade Class of 2020 We LOVED going door to door to deliver their certificates! The step- up parade will be one of our many treasured moments to remember about this cohort. They will be missed.

We look forward to seeing you Thursday morning for the reverse parade! The start time is 9:30 am. Here’s a reminder of the procedure:

  1. Families, please form a one-way carline beginning at the corner of Longfellow. We’ll wave you forward at the start of the parade ! You'll hear the bell toll at the start of the parade as well, to signal the end of the school year and the beginning of summer break!

  2. Families will follow the one-way carline route-the route that's our regular drop off procedure- heading to Williams Street.

  3. Please remain in a single carline.

  4. Students may not exit cars at any time when they pass the staff and the school.

  5. Families will travel at a very slow speed throughout the route.

  6. Please, one family per vehicle!

Enjoy this prelude to summer days.

Warmly,

Donna Hutton, Principal



Reverse Parade at Center!

Posted June 7, 2020

We invite you to Center School’s Reverse Parade!

Your Center Family would love to see our students and families to wish you a happy summer!

Center Staff will stand along the tree belt in front of our school!

When: Thursday, June 18th 9:30 am

Rain Date: Friday, June 19th 9:30 am

Procedure:

  1. Families, please form a one-way carline beginning at the corner of Longfellow. We’ll wave you forward at the start of the parade ! You'll hear the bell toll at the start of the parade as well, to signal the end of the school year and the beginning of summer break!

  2. Families will follow the one-way carline route-the route that's our regular drop off procedure- heading to Williams Street.

  3. Please remain in a single carline.

  4. Students may not exit cars at any time when they pass the staff and the school.

  5. Families will travel at a very slow speed throughout the route.

  6. Please, one family per vehicle!

  7. We’re soooo excited to see you in person !!!!

Please reach out to me with any questions!

Warm regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Three Updates from LPS

Posted June 5, 2020

Good Afternoon LPS Families,

I am writing this afternoon with some information on the re-opening of LPS schools and the 2020-2021 school year budget. You might also be interested in the links to the LHS AP art show at the end of this email.

School Reopening - The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has announced that communities will receive prescriptive school re-opening guidance during the week of June 15. I hold out hope that we will have a traditional opening, but I anticipate that we will be expected to follow a hybrid model, with some schooling being provided remotely and some provided in-person. I also anticipate that students will attend on a rotation, with only half the student body attending at anytime. LPS has developed a large, multi-disciplinary Reopening Advisory Task Force with parent/caregiver representation coming from the Parent Curriculum Advisory Council. Students, teachers, town officials, the LPS School Committee and LPS administrators are also represented. Until we are in a position to post the roster, you can email the group your thoughts or feedback at this address: reopening@longmeadow.k12.ma.us. As I have said on other occasions, the LPS community can expect that remote learning plans, should they be necessary, will be more robust next year and will feature clearer time on teaching and learning requirements, and more live interaction. We will also move toward greater learning platform standardization. Other preparations are underway. Professional development focused on the tools and pedagogy of remote learning is being planned. We are also working closely with town officials to secure and purchase health and safety supplies including, but not limited to, hand sanitizing dispensers and electro-static sprayers. Chromebooks will be also made available to all students in grades 1-12.

20-21 School Year Budget - Revised revenue projections announced by the town of Longmeadow recently required the LPS School Committee to revisit the fiscal year 2021 budget. To respond responsibly to these revised projections, LPS needed to identify $350,000 in savings and expenditure reductions on what was a $38,107,246 budget. I have attached the slide deck showing the administrative recommendations that were presented to and approved by the School Committee on Tuesday evening. You will see that the expenditure reductions prioritized health and safety, current levels of direct service and class size. The reductions do, however, mean that the plan to modestly increase elementary library staffing will not be implemented and also that a new career education position at LHS will be implemented mid-year, rather than in September. With the revised budget we were able to protect staffing levels to address 3rd grade class size at Center School and Blueberry Hill and 7th grade at Williams. I should cautiously note that the budget picture is never entirely settled. Staffing requirements and operational costs for next year will become clearer after we sort through the re-opening guidance described above. Additionally, state and federal grant revenue will not be fully known until later this summer. If the situation evolves, I will keep you informed.

LHS Advanced Placement Art Show - For your enjoyment I am pleased to provide you with links below to a 2d and 3d exhibit showcasing outstanding artwork created by LHS senior art students in the Advanced Placement Art & Design courses at Longmeadow High School. The exhibit is a strong testament to the art education students receive in grades Pk-12!

https://sites.google.com/longmeadow.k12.ma.us/hgodin/courses/ap-2d-art-design/gallery-ap-art-2d

https://sites.google.com/longmeadow.k12.ma.us/3dimensionalart/3d-ap-studio-art/2020-3d-ap-studio-art-show

AP students work with diverse ideas, materials, and processes to create their art and these portfolios exemplify the rigor, commitment, and accomplishment that AP Art students can achieve, even while working remotely! Thank you to AP Art Teachers Hilary Godin and Mariel Gross for inspiring these talented artists.

My best wishes to all for an enjoyable weekend!

Respectfully,

Marty O'Shea

Friday Shine a Light on Specials

Posted June 5, 2020

Happy Shine a Light on Specials Friday!

Here’s your link to the website and don’t forget to pop into scheduled grade level zoom meetings with our Specials’ teachers extraordinaire! Specials

For a Friday pick me up, here’s the link to the Cardinal Challenge Yourself Day Highlight video. Highlights Cardinal Challenge Yourself Day! 2020 Thanks to Mrs. Capotosto for compiling your highlights!

Great job Team Center School!

Have a good weekend...breathe...one day at a time.

Donna Hutton, Principal

June 1st: Important Curriculum Message

Good Monday evening Center Families,

Friday is Shine a Light on Specials ! Your child will visit the Specials! website throughout the day and focus remote learning on one or more activity from each teacher: Art, Music, PE, Library/Media, and Technology Integration. Students will receive zoom invites from special teachers as well!

SUMMER READING: Please take time this week to focus with your child on preparing for summer reading! Classroom teachers have sent information to families; and lessons from this important unit will take place in the coming days. Literacy coach, Ms. Vigna has developed an exceptional program that includes everything your child and your family needs for a successful summer filled with reading. Intro for Readers and Caregivers Visit Ms. Vigna’s page for Summer Reading Info Sessions These resources are invaluable and worth setting aside the time to delve into before your summer begins. You may even set up consultation time with Ms. Vigna to develop a custom reading list based on your child’s interest! I hope you will explore this program, partnering with your Center educators to help children keep on the path to reading and learning success throughout our break.

Thank-you for the pictures and videos from Friday’s Challenge Day ! Mrs. Gauthier and Mrs. Capotosto are compiling everything to share. Awesome day! Here’s the Challenge Yourself Day video if your child didn’t have the opportunity to try out some of the fun!

Heading to the finish line of the 2019-20 school year...I know you are ready for the promise of some rest from remote learning. We thank you for keeping your child engaged and for hanging in there in the days ahead as teachers still want to take full advantage of every minute with your child before the 19th.

Be well...

Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Hello Center School Cardinals and Champions!

Posted May 28, 2020

We hope you get a restful night’s sleep and take on some awesome challenges tomorrow! Friday is Challenge Yourself Day !

Here’s the link for you: Center School Challenge Yourself Day

Please send pictures or short videos to Mrs. Gauthier, Mrs. Capotosto, your teacher, and/or Mrs. Hutton so we can share in the fun.

Looks like a pretty nice day tomorrow...maybe you can plan a picnic lunch like we have on field day right in your own backyards!

Take care my friends and enjoy your Friday!

Warmly,

Your Center Family

CARDINALS' “Challenge Yourself” Day!

Posted May 26th

On Friday, May 29th students will take a break from their remote learning routine for a variety of challenges that will test them both physically and mentally.

Mrs. Gauthier and Mrs. Capotosto created challenges for students at each grade level. Get ready to have some Center School fun! The video will be sent to families via School Messenger before Friday!

Here’s some equipment/supplies that will be helpful.

Not a problem if you don’t have all the items listed below. The items in parenthesis are suggestions that could be used as well.

  1. A timer (phone, computer or stopwatch)

  2. 1 to 3 Balloons (tissue paper or plastic bags)

  3. A variety of balls/different sizes (stuffed animals or balled up socks)

  4. A beanbag (balled up socks)

  5. A hula-hoop (laundry basket)

  6. A soccer ball (a ball that can be used to dribble with your feet)

  7. A jump rope (an imaginary rope)

  8. Cones (items that can be used to represent cones)

  9. A tennis racket (your hand)

Reach out to Mrs. Gauthier and Mrs. Capotosto with any questions!

Return of Library Books

Posted May 21, 2020

Hello Families!

It's a beautiful day today and the same weather is forecast for tomorrow! If you want to swing by the school with library books, we placed a return box right outside the front entrance door. Thank-you! And, you'll be able to see the stunning signs celebrating our LHS seniors on the green! It's special to walk the line and see their beautiful faces!

Best to all,

Donna Hutton, Principal

LPS Update

Posted May 19, 2020

Good Morning LPS Community,

I have three quick items for you this morning

Superintendent Broadcast: I am preparing a video broadcast to update the Longmeadow Community on number of topics including the school budget for the 20-21 academic year, the LHS graduation, current year remote learning plans and some initial thoughts on recovery and reopening. I would like the address to be reflective of your concerns and questions. The Google Form linked here can be used to submit your questions. The form will not collect names or email addresses. Please submit your questions by Wednesday afternoon.

Music for our souls: This Thursday at 7 pm, LCTV will air this year's final Longmeadow High concert on all its television channels, as well as its YouTube channel. The evening will include several virtual ensemble performances, some feature solos by some LHS seniors, and a special tribute to the music department's graduating class. Please tune in!

Digital Citizenship: I am passing along a valuable and timely resource from the Longmeadow Parent Digital Citizenship Coalition. The flyer pictured below might help you thoughtfully engage your child(ren) in an important conversation about on-line digital safety.

Respectfully,

Marty O'Shea

Superintendent of Schools

May 18th, 2020

Hello Center School Community,

There’s lots of learning continuing and amazing activities happening across grade levels in the coming weeks so let’s keep engaged and connected!!

Ms. Gauthier and Mrs. Capotosto are excited to announce:

CARDINALS CHALLENGE YOURSELF DAY !!!

They’ve created challenges for students at each grade level! On Friday, May 29th students will take a break from their routine remote learning for a variety of challenges that will test them both physically and mentally. Get ready to have some fun!! More details coming your way next week!

Saturday many of us were reminded to continue to look for inspiration in our community, and it happened when most needed. Mrs. Serafino and Mrs. Erricolo ran their first 26.2-mile marathon across town with some double loops past many of your homes where cheering teachers, families, and students lined the route! It was incredible to see...I even chatted with curious townspeople at the finish line who joined us to celebrate! We all need these joyful moments... Here’s a video capturing just some of our Cardinal spirit and the determination of two special ladies! I’ll gradually put together more of the many pictures and videos for everyone to enjoy. Marathon '20, Marathon '20

Finally, if you were unable to pick up your child’s belongings because of your circumstances, please contact me via email before Friday. dhutton@longmeadow.k12.ma.us.

Have a good day and hope you find your inspiration in big and small ways throughout the week.

Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

May 15, 2020

Dear Center Families,

It’s very still at Center now on this lovely afternoon...This was a week and certainly a day fraught with strong feelings. For our teachers, packing the students’ belongings was beyond difficult especially seeing classrooms frozen in time since March. And closing a classroom usually comes before the start of summer with anticipation and excitement... For parents and caretakers who came for your child’s bag filled with belongings-I wish I could have somehow found a way to make it feel less strange and emotional.

I heard from parents an ongoing incredulousness at our circumstance. The quietness and the tears as you moved in and out of the school, waving or saying hello was heart wrenching... So many stories of what this day may have meant to you.

To our 5th grade families...if your child is the last student in your family to journey with us or your only child, I promise we will find a time to physically gather with you at Center to say a real good-bye and a heartfelt thank-you- I don’t know when or how but we will gather! If we’ve learned one thing from this moment it’s how much loss we feel for the experiences in our lives that later become our treasured memories. So together we’ll use that wisdom and look forward to creating the opportunity.

I do hope when all our students unpacked bags, they found comfort and joy in the familiar. I heard from some families that it was like a birthday or holiday gift, which made me smile! Kids are so resilient and in these times with no guarantees, that reality gives me strength and hope on the most difficult of days.

Once again I say to everyone, hang in there...lean on your school family if we can help in any way to ease any complexities in the days and weeks ahead. I know we’ll continue to celebrate the creative and extraordinary ways our community is coping with our new everyday lives. Thank-you for the gift of our school community. I welcome any outreach from you if I can return the gift.

With hope and partnership,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Important for Tomorrow's Pick-up!!

Posted May 14, 2020

Hello Center School Families,

Just a couple important reminders and requests when you pick up items tomorrow:

  1. Place library books inside the wooden bin at the main entrance on your way into the building.

  2. If you are returning classroom books, please place them directly outside your child’s classroom. Please place a "post it" on books with your child’s name or place a piece of paper inside the book with your child’s name so teachers can track returns. Kinder families, place the books on a table in the classroom.

  3. The Lost and Found rack is in the entry way for you to check for items.

  4. Nurse Autumn will be here tomorrow for families to pick up any medications or EpiPen’s. She may not be available again for some time, and a nurse must sign off so please contact her for coordination. arodrigues@longmeadow.k12.ma.us

Here is the schedule of times for pick up by your family’s last name:

  • A-F (9am-10am)

  • G-L (10am-11am)

  • M-R (11am-12pm)

  • S-Z (12pm-1pm)

Please contact me with any questions. Enjoy the beautiful sunshine today!

Regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Important! Pick-up of Belongings!

Posted May 12, 2020

Dear Center School Families,

We will provide an opportunity for you to retrieve your child’s belongings this Friday, May 15, 2020. For families who also need to obtain medication from school, Nurse Autumn will be available. Please contact the nurse via email if you will be picking up medication and she will provide specific information and protocol regarding the pick-up. arodrigues@longmeadow.k12.ma.us It’s critical that you take advantage of the medication pick up this Friday because a nurse must be present. Please do not visit the nurse’s office for other issues.

Here is the schedule of times for pick up by your family’s last name:

  • A-F (9am-10am)

  • G-L (10am-11am)

  • M-R (11am-12pm)

  • S-Z (12pm-1pm)

Important guidelines:

  1. Adults only may enter the building at assigned time.

  2. Masks must be worn when entering and throughout the time in the school building. According to CDC guidelines, the best way to protect yourself from germs when running errands and after going out is to regularly wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

  3. Enter through the main doors and go directly to your child’s locker/cubby.

  4. Please do not linger or congregate in the building.

  5. All your child's personal items are bagged and placed inside or in front of your child’s cubby or locker with the name clearly visible. With the exception of kindergarten, where cubbies are in the classroom, you will not enter the classroom. Classrooms will be locked, as will bathrooms.

  6. Exit the building through the nearest exit. You do not have to travel back through the building to the main doors if the classroom is close to an exit.

  7. If you have been recently tested for Covid-19, are experiencing any flu-like symptoms or are ill in any way, please do not come into the school.

  8. We need you to know that items that are not retrieved will not be stored and will need to be discarded or donated.

  9. You may return library books. Leave the library books in the boxes placed inside the main entrance.

We thank our teachers for their work to organize their students' belongings. We greatly appreciate their efforts. As I expected, it was a task fraught with emotions...

Please reach out with any questions.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Mother's Day Read Aloud

Posted May 10, 2020

Good Sunday evening Center School Families,

I hope you found special ways to celebrate moms today. Here is your bedtime story read by Mrs. Glading You Made Me a Mother !

Reminder that the Center School Bedtime Read Alouds are archived so you can listen to favorites again and again!

Enjoy a peaceful evening.

Donna Hutton, Principal

Happy Friday!

Posted May 8, 2020

Good Friday morning Center School Families,

Thank-you for the thoughtful ways you celebrated our staff this week...videos, parades, letters, pictures, chalk art...endless gifts from your hearts to express your gratitude. It feels like intentionally taking the time to send a word of encouragement or appreciation is especially meaningful during this time of upside-down life.

We developed a plan for teachers to come into the school building this week and next to organize your child’s belongings and gather needed resources for the six weeks ahead. We’ll plan time for families to gather left items at dates to be determined.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms in our community and to all the women in our lives who inspire and support us!

Finally, I’m inspired to share our Center School Song- feeling our school spirit! Your partnership and advocacy continues to press us forth and keep us strong...

Be well.

Respectfully yours,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Voluntary Social Gatherings for Students!

Posted May 6, 2020

Dear Center School Families,

With the extension of the school closure and the potential desire for some additional fun school connections, we would like to offer a weekly 30 -minute virtual social gathering facilitated by a Center School staff member for your child with his/her class. This gathering will strictly have a “social” focus!!

The gathering will be scheduled through Zoom. Please see the attached document with your child’s classroom day, time, meeting ID, and password for you to join. Kindly let us know if you need the phone number for the dial-in option. We will begin the schedule starting with the Thursday groups this week.

The facilitators will prepare activities and/or conversation starters to engage the group. Activities may include Scavenger Hunts, I Spy, Charades, Peaks and Valleys Conversation, etc. Almost like a virtual indoor recess!

Most of our students are now familiar with the virtual platforms being used through remote learning and students are growing their understanding of the “etiquette” needed for the platforms. As always, we have confidence that our students will demonstrate appropriate behavior while engaging with the group. The students should “mute” as they are admitted into the gathering. It will be helpful if students stay on mute when they log-in so the facilitator can introduce the activity quickly and allow the students plenty of time to interact and enjoy the fun!

There is no need to let your classroom teacher know if your child is attending or not. Participation is completely voluntary on a weekly basis. If you have specific questions about the gatherings, please e-mail Juliet Keenan at jkeenan@longmeadow.k12.ma.us. We are looking forward to “seeing” you soon!

Sincerely,

Center School Social Gathering Facilitators

Virtual Social Gatherings Schedule.pdf


Important Information: Report Cards

May 5, 2020

Dear Blueberry, Center, and Wolf Swamp Road Families:

As you know, our elementary educators are committed to standards-based teaching, learning and assessment. Your child’s progress is determined by an ability to independently and consistently demonstrate the standards in multiple ways across curriculum areas. Students are also given many opportunities to demonstrate learning and to receive ongoing teacher feedback on their efforts, a component that is at the heart of standards-based work.

With remote teaching and learning, there is a continued commitment to standards-based teaching and learning with a lens on the Department of Secondary and Elementary (DESE) content standards, as well as more finely tuned essential learning content standards at each grade level. Assessment of remote learning involves “check-ins” and varied formative assessments to provide both academic and social-emotional support. Teachers will continue to provide this feedback on the learning opportunities that closely align with content standards, learning opportunities that you and your child now know as “must do’s”. That stated, the end-of-the-year report card that will be issued will not assess whether your child has met standards during this remote learning period.

Teacher/student interactions that are so much a part of your child’s learning are also vital to assessing progress in both a reliable and valid manner. We simply cannot fully replicate all that occurs in the classroom through remote learning. Therefore, your child’s progress up to March 13th will serve as the baseline for progress on the end-of-year reporting. Importantly, this “baseline” will inform our work with your child for the upcoming year.

When our schools physically open, teachers will work with each child to complete the assessments of progress towards the prerequisite standards. There should be no worry regarding “regression”. Our unprecedented circumstance compels us to commit to “course correct” as needed to meet individual learning needs when we return to school.

The report card will include an indicator of your child’s overall efforts on teacher assigned work during the closure period and will additionally help inform our work when we return. The indicators for teacher developed lessons/activities are as follows:

  • Progressing: Student participated in lessons/activities and demonstrated progression of skills during the remote learning period.

  • Emerging: Student participated in lessons/activities, but not with consistent engagement during the remote learning period.

  • Indicator not determined: Student did not participate in lessons/activities during the remote learning period.

Teachers can be available for a fifteen-minute scheduled conference before June 1st if you would like to discuss your child’s progress as of March 13th. If you choose to schedule a conference, the teacher will share information that would have been shared had conferences taken place. Please reach out to your child’s teacher (s) to request a conference and a time will be provided to accommodate schedules.

We continue to appreciate your partnership and your efforts to support your child’s learning. Please reach out with questions regarding the report card or as always, any issue that we can be of assistance.

Respectfully,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Amy Stec, Principal

Elizabeth Nelson, Principal

Teacher Appreciation 2020

“Work is love made visible.”

May 3rd, 2020

Dear Center School Community,

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week! Hooray to our teachers!! Attached is a Teacher Appreciation Video I created that serves as a “shout out” to our teachers and our entire staff for their extraordinary work. (I so wanted to reach out to Mrs. Giuggio for her expertise; and hope she appreciates my novice attempt here!!!) The video is my humble effort to capture my deep gratitude for our teachers’ work with children.

There are so many roles that everyone is trying to balance these days, and I see our staff accomplish the balancing act with selflessness and dedication. And they work tirelessly with a new resourcefulness unimagined 8 weeks ago... Incredibly impressive and yet true to the people I have grown to know.

I believe one of the strongest traits that our staff exemplifies is humility. Humility allows them to appreciate that they will always have much to learn. Their collaboration and collegiality leads us to shared successes. I consistently see them share their talents and discoveries with each other with generosity and grace and stretch themselves to grow. Humility is at the heart of our work at Center and critical to this moment.

I am appreciative and proud to be Principal of this amazing community.

Thank-you to our teachers, our staff, and all the members of our community who make Center special.

Good job!

Respectfully yours,

Donna Hutton, Principal

My appreciation to the families and students who helped me with pictures for the video. To our entire community, please know these beautiful children represent all our students, just as the staff included represent all our colleagues.


Poem in Your Pocket Day

Posted May 1, 2020

To wrap up National Poetry Month, this week we celebrated Poem In Your Pocket Day - we choose a favorite poem, write it down and keep it in our pockets all day so we can easily share. Here are two Center Cardinals sharing their favorite poems with you!

Poem.mov
Poem In Your Pocket Day!.mov

April 26th Read Aloud

Good Sunday evening Center School Families,

Quick preview of choices for the week ahead...

Here's tonight's read aloud from Mrs. Palazzi: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD3NIkSDC1uTG3vznfvlfvg

Looking for some PE fun? Target math fitness is a great choice this week!! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Pb0Fwf4cPIGNDsMrLF4FmoCPKUfzLqHV/view?ts=5ea5c7f4

Music -second grade echo song but fun for all!! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Og0tjHY33A9l9Hqa3hCjR_MsYdd4oXiU/view

Take a technology tour of this week's activities with Mrs. Giuggio: https://sites.google.com/longmeadow.k12.ma.us/technologyremotelearningopport/home

And don't forget your creative spirit with some awesome art activities! http://centerschoolart.blogspot.com/

Week seven mantra...breathe...

Be well...school is closed but our hearts and minds are open and here for you.

Donna Hutton, Principal

Reflection April 24th, 2020

Dear Center School Families and Staff,

During any school year, spring is the start of anticipation and planning for many happenings. We anticipate students to be well settled into their routines, but begin to show eagerness and readiness for approaching transitions. We plan celebrations of learning and growth, field trips, step-up’s, and our favorite orientation to welcome our incoming kindergarteners and fledgling Cardinals. There’s always so much left to do in April right through June because teachers never feel there is enough time to accomplish all there is to accomplish with their students. Yet now is the time when there’s also a sense of wonder and gratification at how much children have grown...

So many predictable and familiar rituals mark the seasons of any school year and bring us a sense of security. Consequently, it was an intensely sad moment for so many when Governor Baker announced the inevitable news that we would not return to school this year. My mind flashed to a million different things at once but what overwhelmed me was remembering a picture sent to me by Lily, a 5th grader, where she was holding up a calendar with her hopeful countdown to normalcy with the heading: “Let the 4th be with you”. Lily perfectly channeled our community’s dream that we might be able to somehow will a comeback on May 4th. If only our children’s wonderfully magical thinking could will us to a different place...a different time.

If you are a reader of fantasy, perhaps you are familiar with the unwitting hero of Lord of the Rings, Frodo Baggins. Without digressing too much, Frodo questions why he bears the burden of the circumstance set before him with the ring. He laments, “I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish this had never happened.” The wizard Gandalf with his extraordinary wisdom responds, “So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to do is to decide what to do with the time given to us.”

I grieve with you our losses during this time given to us. Yet, what has been revealed to me about our community helps me cope with the continued hard emotions we may share. Throughout our community and especially in our children, teachers, staff, and families is grace, adaptation, creativity, and resiliency. We are living a story our children and grandchildren will tell. I believe their stories will carry themes of faith in the boundless possibilities realized through the power of enduring solidarity and found hope during the most uncertain of times. This generation of children will also wonder at how masterfully the wise people in their lives supported them, teaching them the importance of caring for others above all else.

So, in this profound moment, we will continue to power forward with you in the weeks ahead. Remote learning resumes Monday and we graciously ask that you continue to support your child, mindful that it should not come at the cost of the social emotional well- being for your family. We encourage you to please reach out for support you may need from us with a promise that we can and will build solutions to the best of our creative imaginings. So much of this work is novel to all of us and we acknowledge that it’s far from perfect, therefore we can appreciate the remarkable efforts taking place and build solutions to our challenges at the same time.

Speaking with teachers, I can convey to you that it means a great deal to each teacher to hear from you. If you have not connected or checked in with your child’s teacher, please take a moment to send a short email expressing this is how we’re doing.

Finally, I also need you to know that our spring plans for traditions that are special and important to kids and families will be reimagined, wanting children to experience them in some form. We will need time and space to figure out all endeavors; and know we will keep you informed along the way. This certainly includes our 5th grade celebration.

For now, let's hang in there together... I wish you a relaxing weekend and endless creative ideas for social distancing that bring your family joy.

With respect and solidarity,

Donna Hutton, Principal

LPS School Closure

Posted April 21, 2020

Good Afternoon Staff and Families of LPS,

Sadly, but not unexpectedly, MA Governor Baker announced moments ago that all schools in Massachusetts will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year.

This is troubling news that will require great sacrifice, but our steadfast commitment to each other will endure. I have no doubt that the strength of our learning community will continue to sustain us through this troubling period.

Thank you for your patience and support as we prepare direction and information in response to this announcement.

Respectfully,

Marty O'Shea

Superintendent


Monday, April 20th, 2020

Hello Center School Families,

No time sensitive information in my message-just sharing new resources and some news to mark some important celebrations this week.

National Library Week is April 19th-25th, and a perfect week to shine the spotlight on Mrs. Mulcahy’s Library Media Remote Learning- from Patriot’s Day to Poetry Month to Earth Day-so many books and resources to enjoy! Additionally, Mrs. Mulcahy registered Center School for Tumble Book Library, which is another great resource if you want more access to ebooks and audiobooks. There’s graphic novels included in the library, too! Book levels span from kinder to 6th grade. No sign up needed! Username: Center Password: trial

Bedtime Read Aloud: The Scarecrow read by Mrs. Hutton

Earth Day Read Aloud: The Loraz read by Ms. Eaton

Earth Day April 22, 2020 While we’re learning from home, please remember to save any markers, pens, or crayons that run out or break. Once we return to school, we'll collect them so we can send them out for recycling! TREX Challenge: Center recycled 351 pounds for the first time entering the challenge! Thank-you to all participants and to Ms. Fritz for helping us to always remember to be “green” Cardinals for our earth!

100 Ways to Play from the Boston Children's Museum

I hope our students enjoyed lots of outdoor fun over the long weekend!

Warmly,

Donna Hutton, Principal


April 17, 2020

Dear Center School Families,

Just a Friday reminder that we will take a pause from remote learning on Monday, April 20th and again on Friday, April 24th. Teachers will be in touch on Tuesday morning, April 21st, with students’ plans for the three- day week.

Spring is blooming around us and I find my peace and solace in looking for these signs of hope. Much gratitude still coming your way from your entire Center family for your partnership and efforts.

Be well,

Donna Hutton, Principal

April 15th, 2020

Good Wednesday morning Center School Families,

No urgent messages except the TREX challenge...just some fun items for mid-week.

Yay, a mid-week Read Aloud/Sing Along story from Mrs. Morrisey!!

Murphy is so hungry these days just like all of us at home! Murphy's Hungry!

Here’s Ms. Vigna's Favorite Picks from the Scholastic Book Fair The Book Fair is open through April 19th.

Thank you to all who have participated in the Trex challenge! The total weight will be submitted on April 15, Wednesday evening at 8 pm. To date, we have recycled 299.8 pounds of plastic film/bags. I know that the plastic bag ban has been lifted due to the circumstances so there may be more out there. If you have any film or bags at home, please weigh them and send the weight to vfritz@longmeadow.k12.ma.us. I have my child get on the scale and record the weight. I then have him get on the scale again holding the bags. I subtract the second weight from the first to get the weight of the plastic. Once you have sent me the weight, you can drop the bags off at the local Big Y or Stop and Shop. There are collection bins at the entrances and Trex picks the plastic up from there. Thank-you for your participation and your efforts to make the earth a cleaner place!

From Close Community: #ChalkofLongmeadow Longmeadow needs to see and feel the love! Let's keep "chalking" about how wonderful our community is and how proud we are to be neighbors in these difficult times. Break out the sidewalk chalk and write an inspirational message or draw a cheerful picture for everyone to see! Place your writing on the end of your driveway or your sidewalks so anyone walking or biking by can see.

No sidewalk chalk? No problem! Be creative with signs, drawings, etc. Or better yet, make your own chalk! https://www.pbs.org/parents/crafts-and-experiments/how-to-make-sidewalk-chalk Take photos of your messages and art work and post them on Instagram, Facebook, or twitter with the hashtag #ChalkOfLongmeadow. We'll collect all of the photos we see online each Sunday on https://www.instagram.com/closecommunity/ until the stay-in-place is lifted and make a mosaic of all the things that make Longmeadow a safe, healthy, and happy place to live! Don't forget to support our brave and tireless healthcare workers, especially! There'll be some prizes for the most creative and most inspiring messages and art, so keep on chalking! PLEASE remember, avoid completing these projects in friend groups and please adhere to the social distancing guidelines.

Respectfully yours,

Donna Hutton, Principal


April 13, 2020

Good evening Center School Families,

As promised, the PTO brings you the Scholastic Virtual Book Fair! Enjoy browsing and shopping with your child until April 19th. Many thanks for your support of our PTO and hope you find some great new titles to add to your collections.

Here’s your Sunday Bedtime Read Aloud from Mrs. Palazzi. Sweet dreams to our Cardinals...I hope the celebrations of Easter were special.

Specials Website: Classroom Teachers will include this link on their remote learning platforms with reminders. Your child can include the special subject class with other remote learning tasks on the day they would have been scheduled for the special.

And just for parents and guardians :Some Good News: John Krasinski If you are a fan of The Office, you know John Krasinski and will likely enjoy his episodes! Episode 2 is not to be missed if you are a fan of Hamilton!

Be well and reach out to connect for anything at anytime.

Warm regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

For Our Center School Cardinals

Posted April 9, 2020

Good morning Center School Community,

For our families observing Passover and Easter, may you find wonderful ways to celebrate hope and the promises of spring with the love and support of your family and friends.

I continue to be inspired by your commitment and resilience as we journey through one of the most challenging periods of our lifetimes together. Our promise is to continue to search for the best ways to teach our students and remain connected to their hearts and minds.

I’m sharing a video for you to enjoy with your child(ren) that includes a message from each member of your Center School family. I borrow from the lyrics in the soulful song that plays to express the collective sentiment from us:

Our lives, our dreams are closer than we think...

You are the light beneath the storm...

Our ongoing gratitude and respect for all you are balancing these days and for your extraordinary support for our educators. May the long weekend bring you many peaceful and joyful moments.

For Our Center School Cardinals

Respectfully yours,

Donna Hutton, Principal

*Huge shout out to our LHS colleagues who moved us to create our own video; and to Laura Giuggio and Karen Palazzi for their creative and loving efforts!!

LPS School Calendar

Posted April 9, 2020

Dear LPS Community,

On the afternoon of Friday, April 3, MA school districts received a notice from the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education offering districts the option to use part or all of the April vacation week to sustain learning and teacher-student connections. The announcement gives districts the option of “counting” remote learning days held over April vacation toward state Student Learning Time regulations. In effect, this new MA DESE interpretation means that for each day of instruction held from Tuesday, April 21 to Friday, April 24, the school year will be shortened by one day.

Tonight, the Longmeadow School Committee thoughtfully reviewed and approved a recommendation to schedule three remote learning days over April vacation. This approach will solidify new educational routines and nurture the remote learning connections that have been growing in recent weeks, while also protecting family time with two days off during the week. More specifically, remote learning will be scheduled Tuesday, April 21 through Thursday, April 23. Monday, April 20 (Patriots’ Day) and Friday, April 24 will be days off. This decision also means that the last day of school in Longmeadow will be rescheduled from Wednesday, June 24 to Friday, June 19. On a related note, staff and families should be aware that Friday, April 10 is also a day off from school.

Our goal throughout the closure period has been to prioritize the health and well being of all members of the Longmeadow Learning Community. As such, if the rescheduled remote learning days are not supportive of your child(ren)’s well-being or your family’s unique needs, please use your judgement about how your child(ren) approach the learning expectations and convey the need for flexibility to your child(ren)’s teachers or principal. As always, we respect families as our educational partners, as together we continue to face this crisis with great resolve and fortitude.

Respectfully,

Marty O’Shea

Superintendent of Schools

Remote Learning from our "Specials" Teachers

Posted April 7, 2020

Good evening Center School Families,

Art, Library/Media, Music, PE, and Technology Integration are an important part of your child's day. We realize that your child is focused on the must do's from classroom teachers and perhaps work from our interventionists. That said, we want you to remind you that the special teachers are posting weekly lessons for your child to explore and to keep connected to them! There's some awesome activities on each site!!

A suggestion from the teachers is to go to the site on the day of the week that your child is scheduled for the particular special!

Here's the link to the website. I'll send a message on Mondays as a reminder for the week.

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

Thank-you and enjoy a peaceful evening.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

April 5, 2020

Good Sunday afternoon Center School Families,

Teachers will be communicating with you, if they have not done so already, to provide the information you and your child need for remote learning in the time ahead. Special education teachers and specialists will be in touch with their families and students by Tuesday, April 7th. Thank-you for navigating through the messages from April 1st. We deeply appreciate and are in awe of your ongoing partnership during this disquieting time. Please continue to reach out to us with your feedback and insights.

Thank-you to Mrs. Goldman for tonight’s Bedtime/Anytime Read Aloud !

I’m excited to let you know that Mrs. Watson and our PTO are working to bring the Scholastic Book Fair to our students and families -virtually! Your child will be able to shop online for some new books to enjoy. More information is coming your way soon!

The sunshine Sunday was so wonderfully welcomed and needed. I hope you enjoyed some outdoor activities. Sending hopes for continued strength and well-being to all...

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal


Family Letter Remote learning update April 1.docx


April 3, 2020

Good Friday morning Friends,

When we gather for all school assemblies, we sing favorite songs led by Mrs. Morrissey. Here's your Friday song/sing along for your child to enjoy -a favorite for years!! Perfect for a rainy Friday...we'll keep this on our read aloud page for you to revisit.

Do you let the light in?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPxH9-SO25k&feature=youtu.be

Warmly,

Donna Hutton, Principal


April 1, 2020

Dear Elementary Families,

We wish to provide for you a follow up to Superintendent O’Shea’s communication on March 29th in which he conveyed the district’s plan to frame our students’ remote learning in a manner that will provide refinement in the following areas.

  1. Enhanced Structure: Your child’s Remote Learning will become more intentionally structured. We will adhere to the MA DESE recommendation that students engage in meaningful and productive learning for approximately half the length of a regular school day. We recognize that children need additional time for reviewing assignments and organizing their work. Additionally, it is expected that students have time for play, physical activity, and arts-based exploration. Teachers will provide “teacher directed learning” following these guidelines:

  • Reading: 30 -minute lesson minimum three times weekly.

  • Writing: 30- minute lesson minimum three times weekly.

  • Math: 30- minute lesson minimum three times weekly.

  • SS/Science: The current Learning Opportunities structure will continue that provides a student varied choice to reinforce, apply, and deepen prior learning.

  • Art; Music; PE; Library/Media, Technology: Minimum of three structured learning opportunities per week.

Note that lessons may be presented in many formats and include different components that encompasses 30 minutes.

II. Video Conferencing: Following the guidelines that were issued to families and staff on March 25, educators may have begun using Zoom or Google Meet as a tool to maintain essential teacher-student connections. These tools may be used prek-5, but the decision will be left to the discretion of the teacher. Therefore, lessons in the above areas may be pre-recorded or may be synchronous lessons.

Importantly, we recognize the confounding issues that abound in providing synchronous learning to our youngest students. Many teachers have recorded read alouds, morning meeting messages, and various other activities that help children maintain familiarity and connection to the routines of their school world. That said, we hold no expectation that teachers at this grade span will teach through synchronous lessons. If implemented, we trust teachers will utilize it as they deem developmentally appropriate for children and manageable to families.

III. New material and concepts: While teachers will continue to reinforce, apply, and deepen prior learning across curriculum areas, introduction of new material and concepts will begin. Teachers will collaborate with their grade level colleagues, interventionists, and special education teams to determine new and essential learning in reading, writing, and math creating a flexible scope and sequence that is mindful of the learning standards.

Teachers will inform families of the determined time that will be considered “protected time” to plan with colleagues. Teachers will not be available during this time frame although students will still have Learning Opportunities in place.

IV. Feedback/Assessment: In grades PreK-5, student demonstrations of learning will continue to be shared with the teacher, when practically possible. Additionally, teachers at each grade level will determine and include the number of must do’s each day in reading, writing, and mathematics. The must do’s will be assignments/tasks that teachers will use to provide more specific feedback to students as well as provide for teachers an assessment of learning. Many students are familiar with this term and will understand that the task must be completed prior to other learning opportunity choices.

V. Intervention: Reading and math specialists and tutors will begin more focused intervention with their current students next week. Families can anticipate additional contact from specialists with the necessary information to move forward next week.

VI. Special Education: Special education services will continue, framed with new guidelines. The Longmeadow Public School District has been closely tracking state and federal advisories on how to provide equity and access for all learners. Longmeadow will continue to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to all students. Working collaboratively, principals, classroom educators, and special education teachers will provide resources, supports and services to ensure access and continuity of learning. Families can anticipate additional contact from special education teachers with the necessary information to move forward next week.

VII. Timeline: We know that families may have seen evidence of the shift described above this week, but plans will not be fully operational until Monday, April 6th, the end date of the original closure period that shaped our initial plans. We kindly ask for your patience as plans take shape. Plans will look slightly different at each grade span as teachers will be mindful of developmentally appropriate ways to facilitate learning in the most optimal way possible under these historical circumstances.

Our educators commit to continue and maintain strong and ongoing communication with families that demonstrates responsiveness to unique needs. As elementary school communities and as a district we are mindful of the disorienting circumstances that we find ourselves and we strive to demonstrate empathy, flexibility, and support to our students and families. We also strive to bring a semblance of normalcy to your child’s school world through our practices and decision making, knowing we provide a sense of familiarity, security, and comfort.

It is critical to us that students continue learning through these guidelines if they are motivated by their work. However, if at any point the learning becomes a struggle for your child or you, please pause, and contact your child’s teacher.

We encourage and welcome your insights and feedback in the days ahead. We send you our deepest wishes for the continued well -being of our precious students and of you our families.

Respectfully yours,

Donna Hutton, Principal Beth Nelson, Principal Amy Stec, Principal

Center School Wolf Swamp Road School Blueberry Hill School

Attach: March 16th Remote Learning Guidelines

Copy of Family Letter

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

Good Wednesday morning Center Families,

Just a few news items for you and our young friends this morning.

Ms. Fritz vfritz@longmeadow.k12.ma.us wants you to know the TREX challenge ends April 15th. Families can report the weight of any bags they are collecting and she will add it to Center’s total. The total now for Center is 299 lbs- woohoo!! Great job Center recycling!

Here is a Virtual Tribute to Tomie de Paola, a beloved author and illustrator of nearly 300 books, created by Mrs. Mulcahy.

Wednesday’s Bedtime/Anytime Read Aloud ! Thanks Mrs. Brydges!

Well, Murph is a busy boy and keeping his person quite active. Look what he’s up to this week! Murphy at School!!

Continue to check out Ms. Gauthier’s and Mrs. Capotosto’s site for ideas to stay active and keep fit! PE At Home Learning

We’re still loving the cardinals! Keep them coming and don’t forget to place the picture in your window!

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

“Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”

March 30, 2020

Hello Center Families,

With some rainy days ahead this week, you may need a Plan C on some days. If your child has introduced you to or you are aware of the sometimes-mind-numbing capacity of You Tube, here’s one of many other places to visit that provides a wealth of material for learning at home. Mark Rober is ex-NASA and offers a new video every month where he sets a challenge, researches and builds. What kid can resist a science class that explores why the sky is blue or if farting makes you weigh less...It is a brilliant launchpad for science/engineering exploration and learning. Mark Rober

Math Engaged is filled with fun card games! All you need is a deck of cards!

Here’s your Bedtime/Anytime Read Aloud to start the week! Center Read Aloud Library offers a wide- ranging choice of read alouds from your Center family.

Mrs. Goldman's Blog is updated with art activities and lessons for all grade levels.

There is something about being at home that makes us all want to eat more and kids may want to empty the entire fridge before morning snack. Some tips to deal with this:

  • Continue to pack lunchboxes so everyone knows what they have for the day

  • Leave out snacks in a central location for grazing

  • Leave ingredients and a recipe to help keep kids busy and fill them up

  • Rotate who creates the daily meal the whole family will eat from what’s available in your staples.

Keep those beautiful Cardinal pictures coming our way!! When you walk, the pictures will be found in home windows and on windows in the front of the school.

Reminder from Superintendent O’Shea: Beginning Friday, students in grades 3-12, whose parents have not withheld permission, may be invited to Zoom or Google Meet sessions. Parents/Guardians and educators should note that staff may use their own professional judgment when deciding if and when Google Meet or Zoom are appropriate to use during the closure period. Each platform must be used within the March 16 “Guidelines for Remote Learning” primarily to

  • maintain appropriate teacher-student relationships and social-emotional connections.

  • explain or enhance learning opportunities that teachers have developed.

  • monitor student progress or student understanding of the learning opportunities that have been developed.

Also remember that we are “staying the course” with the Guidelines for Remote Learning issued on March 16th while DESE guidelines are thoughtfully reviewed.

Finally, continue to remember to do whatever your child needs to feel safe and secure during this disorienting time and know we are here to help. During google meets with teachers, I learned that they will reach out to individual families whom they have not heard from in some manner in the past two weeks. Thank-you for any reassuring return messages.

Be well.

Donna Hutton, Principal

March 27, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians...

I walk almost daily at the Quabbin, which is very close to my home. It’s peaceful and provides the quieting of my mind that we all search for of late. A mom and daughter hand in hand were walking to the side of me and the small child broke the silence and asked her mom, “When will it be gone?” Mom questioned, “When will what be gone?” “The virus thing,” she answered. Without missing a beat her mom said, “We’re making the best of it right? Let’s look for the eagle today.” And off they went...sidling up more closely, hand in hand... sure of each other.

Well, life as we know it is upended...I’m confident that the May 4th date prompted hard emotions for all, hard emotions that are common these days...

We think of parents and guardians and caretakers in our school world constantly-as much as we think of the children. Teachers and families share stories with me about what our students’ days may look like; and the stories can be funny and contrastively poignant as you grapple with the demands of this moment.

So, Friday’s message is to say that You are champions to us. Champions if you are essential workers and you have to figure out and structure days for your child without your physical presence. Champions if you are compelled to work from home and help with your kids’ passwords and platforms, meltdowns and calmness, quiet moments and boisterous moments, creative activities, padlets, flipgrid, google classroom...

You also continually navigate the complexity of physical distancing. I know you understand that your child may be experiencing profound loss as you recreate as best as possible the familiarity and comfort of his/her social world. All of this is such arduous and loving work. Such balance each and every day. Days are likely filled with questions with unknown answers like the mom with her precious child at the Quabbin. I’m also keenly aware of the financial burdens that have or may evolve as the days move ahead. I strongly encourage you to reach out to me if this burden is something we might be able to assist you with or perhaps point you in the appropriate direction. I promise the outreach will be discreet.

I offer no platitudes at the end of this second week physically away from the community we all love. I also have no assured list of recommendations that will work well for every family as we continue efforts to help you help your child with learning opportunities.

But please always remember that we get it...your circumstances will determine what your child’s day looks like and the learning opportunities chosen...and there simply is no right or wrong or best practice or need to worry that you are not doing enough, because your best in the moment is enough.

When we are physically together again, the educators in your child’s life WILL help your child at whatever place we land. And I will sustain my hope that we will land softly at the end. Building solutions to help our students meet success when we return is our ongoing work and our commitment to you. Tacit in all our messaging is our deep gratitude for your patience and partnership as remote learning continues and evolves. And no hesitations please to provide us with your story to help us with our work.

Finally, to you our Champions: As you steel yourselves for the weeks ahead, I encourage you and hope and pray that you practice radical self -care each day, radical care for your child’s emotional health above allelse. We are here for you and for our students and wish you continued well -being and resilience.

...Donna Hutton, Principal


March 26th, 2020

Hello Center School Families,

What a beautiful day to enjoy some outdoor time adhering to critical social norms that will continue to keep your family and vulnerable members of our community strong and healthy.

Just a short message to remind you that tomorrow is a Cardinal spirit day. Families can send teachers and me pictures of stripes and polka dots day! If your child wants to dress up a favorite “lovey” or favorite stuffed animal, include them in your photos.

Thank-you and be well.

Donna Hutton, Principal

March 25, 2020

Good Wednesday morning Center School Friends,

Today is a perfect day for a special hello from Murphy with his tail -wagging positivity! Enjoy!

Murphy Says Hello

Murphy Goes Hiking

We begin today to share a "Wednesday" Bedtime/Anytime Read Aloud...don’t forget to revisit weekly favorites as you listen to our new additions.

Wednesday Read Aloud

Keep those Cardinal pictures coming our way. We love the expressions of creativity and especially love seeing cardinals in windows when we drive/walk safely and responsibly around our community. You’ll also see the pictures hanging on Center School's front windows in the days ahead...

More messaging to come later today...

Best,

Donna Hutton, Principal

March 23, 2020

Good Monday morning Center School Families,

What a beautiful weekend for walks and bike rides; and I hope you found lots of creative ways to enjoy the outdoors.

While we responsibly practice physical distancing to keep our families safe and well, we want to continue to find creative ways to keep us “connected” to our school community and even continue to show Center School spirit.

This week and beyond, when your child has a moment for some artistic fun, please suggest that he/she draw a Cardinal with a positive word or message and place the drawing on a front window. When students safely take their walks/bike rides with their family, they will see the positive and spirited messages from Center friends around neighborhoods. Also, if possible, take a picture of the drawing and send it to me or to your child’s teacher to use in our messages. We look forward to seeing many unique cardinals, bright and cheerful across the town.

Here's messaging from our special teachers.

Children's Authors doing Read Alouds & Activities

From PE: Hello Center School Cardinals! We wanted to say hello and hope you are enjoying the fun and creative websites and fitness activities we've provided while you are learning from home. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or if you've found a fitness related website or app that you think we would enjoy. We would also be interested in getting some pictures of how you are being active. We'd love to see those smiling faces! Missing you all. Take care. Mrs. Capotosto & Mrs. Gauthier ecapotosto@longmeadow.k12.ma.us kgauthier@longmeadow.k12.ma.us

From Art: Check out Mrs. Goldman's Blog for some art activities and ideas.

From Music: Mrs. Morrisey's Movement Share

From Mrs. Mulcahy: Ideas from Library

Be well,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Bedtime Read Aloud

Posted March 22, 2020

Hello Center School Community...

Here’s your Bedtime Read Aloud...After the Fall by Dan Santat.

Have a peaceful evening...


Warmly,

Donna Hutton, Principal

March 20th, 2020

Good morning Center School Families,

Today begins the first full day of spring, a season of newness and hope. Here’s a Spring Read Aloud to enjoy. As the days meld into each other, I hope you find a way to make the approaching weekend a rejuvenating time, while keeping strong and safe.

Teachers are maintaining ongoing contact with one another and with me. Our administrative team communicates daily. Like everyone who is responsibly maintaining social distancing, our communication helps us feel connected to our school world and remain responsive to you. I know teachers are reaching out to you, our families, in many different ways to help you navigate the Learning Opportunities. Teachers are also creating appropriate, acceptable, and impressively creative ways to stay connected with your child. That said, it is very important for us to continue to hear from you, so many thanks for the feedback and questions coming our way. As your child settles into school days at home, we will do what we reasonably can accomplish to ease any challenges you may be facing.

I remind you to continue to check websites and your emails for updates from Center and from the district. We’ll send resources your way and all School Messengers can be found on Center’s website for your review. Center School Website

Have a peaceful day...Perhaps a rainy Friday is a good day for a Virtual Field Trip.

Yours respectfully,

Donna Hutton, Principal


March 19, 2020

Good morning Center School Families,

Our 5th grade announcers begin each day at Center with messages... the Pledge of Allegiance, birthdays, moment of silence, and a “thought for the day”. On Fridays, many students wait for the “Friday” song, which is usually a dance/movement song. Here’s a song for your child to enjoy tomorrow morning: Piano Guys: Friday Song And here's a site to choose a poetry minute any day and any time: Poetry Minute for Elementary Kids

I’m sharing with you a link with resources for supporting students and parents around issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially related to our school closings. The document is sectioned into categories: resources for parents and teachers, resources for elementary school students, middle school students, high school students, and general mental health supports. This resource reflects the collective dedication, care and commitment of our social workers and school adjustment counselors. My sincerest appreciation to Mrs. Connery and her colleagues for their collaborative efforts, as we know this will benefit our entire learning community.

Support Resources (icon located under parent tab on our school website page)

Support Resources for Families and Teachers

If you feel you may have missed any of my communications, we post all messages on the Center School website: https://sites.google.com/longmeadow.k12.ma.us/new-ctr/home

As always, please don't hesitate to reach out for any reason... Your Center School community misses you and sends our wishes for continued strength and well- being to all.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal


Week of January 25, 2021

Hello Center School Families,

As you know, during the 2020-2021 school year, we are using i-Ready as one tool to determine our student's strengths and needs in reading and mathematics. i-Ready includes a diagnostic tool that measures student strengths and needs in the fall, in the winter, and once again in June. I-Ready is not a test. Because it is a diagnostic tool, teachers use the results to help personalize your child's learning and monitor progress. Your child will be administered the i-Ready diagnostic this week.

There are many ways teachers capture how well students are progressing and the administration of i-Ready is one means. Teachers rely on both formative assessments, which are integrated into the teaching and learning process for immediate feedback to children; and summative assessments, which are used to evaluate student learning at the conclusion of a given unit of study.

The standard based report card will be distributed on Friday. Standards-based grading is the practice of providing accurate feedback to students and their families relative to the student’s progress towards meeting year-end grade-level standards. It is important to convey that the pacing during this school year will be different from prior years, therefore you may find that your child is “emerging” or “progressing” towards meeting a standard in specific areas. Additionally, teachers will only assess standards that have been taught thus far in the school year.

Students will continue to move towards exploring and meeting standards as we progress through the year; and we highlight that teaching and learning in a standards-based classroom is cyclical.

Families often ask what to focus on and how to support their child’s learning in the midst of a pandemic, especially with the hybrid learning model and remote learning. Perhaps as important as ever is the need for our ongoing partnership to encourage and praise a child’s effort and resiliency. With our teachers, continue to foster your child’s enthusiasm, engagement, and interest in varied topics. We also ask that you discuss with your child each behavior that demonstrates student success, which are indicators on the report card. These behaviors represent characteristics and dispositions that lead a child to sustained success as a growing learner and citizen.

As never before, you hold a unique window into your child as a learner. We welcome your insights and your questions regarding your child’s progress.

Other Items

1. Students should dress in layers that can be added or removed with varying room temperatures. Also, please be sure your child wears warm clothing on cold weather days.

From DESE: Tentative Testing Windows for Grades 3–8

Schools will administer the MCAS tests to schools during the following windows. While the ELA window is one week shorter in 2021 than the testing schedule that had been planned for 2020, schools will be administering only one test session for each subject area to students in 2021.

Subject Area Test

Testing Window

ELA

April 5–May 7

Mathematics

April 26–May 28

STE (Grades 5 and 8)

April 27–May 28

  1. Students will celebrate Valentine’s Day before the winter break. Teachers will provide grade specific details this week.

  2. February 15th-19th - February Vacation No School

  3. Report cards for in person students will be distributed directly to the student on Friday. Cohort A and Cohort C cards will be mailed to families.

  4. Mrs. Morrisey is on leave until the April break. Mr. Benjamin Green joins our community for music education.

  5. Save the Date: Mindful Parenting webinar February 4th 7:00-8:00 pm. More information on the way!

  6. Drum roll...and some wonderful books to add to your child’s collection: Center School's choice for the Mock Caldecott Medal winner is...

On Account of the Gum written and illustrated by Adam Rex Here's a funny introduction to the book by the author/illustrator Adam Rex.

Center School's pick for the three Caldecott Honor Books:

Black is a Rainbow Color written by Angela Joy, illustrated by Ekua Holmes

In a Jar written and illustrated by Deborah Marcero

Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball written by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Frank Morrison

Have a wonderful week ahead. Be well, be safe, stay strong.

Respectfully yours,

Donna Hutton, Principal