Weekly Email

Posted on: December 4, 2023

Hello Everyone!

Sorry for the long email but lots of IMPORTANT information this week!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and were able to get some down time. It has been pretty hectic with report cards and holiday season. This is a tough stretch but we will get there as long as we work together.

Introduction:

In case you haven’t met our new Grade 8 ELA and Social Studies teacher, her name is Abigail Hillinger and she is in room 201. Please go by and say hello! We welcome her to Saltonstall and are so happy she is here with us.

Reminders:

Here is the calendar that has been updated through the end of December. I will finish the rest of the calendar during the holiday break.

SQR:

Our School Quality Review will be held tomorrow – Lots of details so please make sure you are prepared.

The schedule is here – please make sure you are where you are supposed to be – But do not change what you do. This is going to help us with some recommendations. I had to change the schedule because of the STAR testing. Please do not get nervous as they are here to help!

Student panel – Students will go to Jes’ office from 12:50 – 1:20

Each teacher please select one student from each class in grades 3-8.

 

Teacher Panel – You will be meeting in Jes’ office from 1:20 – 2:00

Correia – Goodwin will cover

Grundy – Jaelyn will cover

Benoit – Abbene will cover

Milliken – De la Cruz will cover

Clarke – Perry will cover

Claveau – Galpert will cover

Nicole Connolly – No coverage needed

Tentindo – No coverage needed

Costin – No coverage needed

Felton – No coverage needed

Unknown People in the Building:

I just want to reiterate that NO DOOR SHOULD BE PROPPED OPEN EVER! We received another email about strangers trying to get into school buildings. There has been some evidence that someone entered Salem Academy and took pictures. I want people to be very vigilant. If you see anyone walking around the building that does not have a visitor badge on, please either call the office or ask them who they are. Giselle is not allowing people into the building without making sure she knows who they are. All visitors must report to the office and wear a badge. Let me know if you have any questions.

Report Cards:

I have received questions from parents regarding report cards. Our report cards are standards based and many students should not be at a 3 in December – or maybe they are in the wrong grade. However, both STAR and last year’s MCAS tell a different story. Many standards are taught throughout the year or we do not assess the full standard. Please be careful when you are grading students. We will work on this during PD coming up – before the next grading period.

Star Reports for Families:

The district has changed their mind about STAR. The district would like all teachers to explain WHAT STAR is. However, we are going to print and send home the new STAR report after the students have completed this new round. Please see this handout that explains what STAR reports should be used at caregiver/teacher conferences. The district is requiring all schools to print and give out the STAR report found in the HOW of the handout. If you have any questions, please reach out. Giselle will print out the family letters and get them to you prior to the conferences so you have information for parents. Please make sure you let them know how to read them as you will not be with them when they receive them.

Conferences:

I received an email over the weekend from a parent that was told parent conferences MUST be in person. This is not true. We PREFER conferences to be in person. However, if a parent or caregiver cannot make an in person conference, please allow them a time to meet virtually. We use google meet for our conferences. 

We will have a Spanish and a Portuguese translator available for conferences (12:30 – 3:30 and 6:00 – 8:00). Giselle will send out a sign up sheet tomorrow for you to request the translator at your conference. Please make sure you sign up with your room number so we know where to send the translator. If you have not sent out a parent square for conferences, you should do that ASAP! Also, if you could please share your list with Giselle, that would be great. Please make sure you follow up with families if they have not signed up. Support staff, please help classroom teachers with follow up phone calls to get all of our families signed up for a conference.

Some of the teachers have approached me about using one of our next staff meetings for more time during this caregiver/teacher conference time. I am willing to give you 1 meeting which is 1 hour and a half. The teachers would like to be able to work pretty much straight through so that they can accommodate all caregivers. This gives you 6 and ½ hours for conferences. If some of you cannot stay through, it is OK – You can make up the time another way. 

I will be keeping track of those that want to stay and the hours you will be offering conferences. Sorry I did not come around last week, but will be around on Tuesday. Conferences are scheduled from 12:30 – 3:30 and 6:00 – 8:00.

Wednesday Schedule – No Enrichment:

No enrichment this week or next week – However, we have Pride! We will have a few 8th grade students that will speak about responsibility at the beginning of the assembly. Tatiana and Madison will then talk about the new initiative we are starting. At 9:20 ish we will be sent to classrooms. Please use our Pride Buddy sheet to see where you go. Jes will be updating the 8th graders (for all new students). Here is the half day lunch schedule

Friday Fun Days:

Thank you to everyone that participated in Crazy Hair Day. This next one is easy – Make sure to wear your grades colors!

December 8th – Saltonstall Colors 

    Grades K – 2: Yellow

    Grades 3-4: Red

    Grades 5-6: White

    Grades 7-8: Blue

December 15th – Decades Day – Can be any decade

December 22nd – PJ Day

Panorama Survey: (from Ellen Wingard)

All staff should bring their computers to morning CPT – Please take the survey before you do anything else. We need to get it done. Also, all students in grades 3-8 should take this survey as well. They can access it through classlink. Surveys close Friday.

Please use this link to start the survey.

Winter Concert – K-4:

Ms. Boonstra is having a winter concert at 2:00 on Thursday, December 21st. I will provide more details as it gets closer. All siblings are invited to attend. However, those in grades 5-8 will not fit in the auditorium.

Clubs:
Please let me know if you would like to do a club starting in January. We need to start getting the word out so we can get the students involved.

Also, I am looking for someone to run a Junior National Honor Society. It should start in January. PLEASE! You will get paid.

Superintendent Messages: 

  • Panorama Surveys close this Friday, December 8th. 

  • Students in grades 3-8 should take the survey as well. Please make sure to schedule a time for your students to take the survey.

  • Heat should be on 68 – If your room is too cold or too hot, please let Raffy know.

  • Outside lighting – if there are any issues – let Raffy know.

  • Access Testing is coming soon. Schedule and details to follow soon.

  • Please share with your staff: Our school nurses throughout the district have observed a rise in visits from colleagues seeking advice on health and medical matters that do not constitute emergencies. We are grateful to have a team of highly trained and experienced nurses on staff. However, it is important to recognize that their primary responsibility is to ensure the health and safety of our students on a daily basis. The health offices in our schools are consistently busy with student activity.  For non-emergency health concerns, we strongly encourage staff to consult with their own primary healthcare providers. Our nurses do not have access to your complete medical history and are unable to provide medical advice beyond advising you to contact your doctor. They are, of course, always available to respond promptly to staff emergencies and will continue to do so. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in directing non-urgent health inquiries to personal healthcare professionals.

I hope you all have a fabulous week. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. If you don’t ask, you will not know.

Bethann

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