Principal's Corner

9.23.21

It was an exciting week at Rowe School! We had families at the school on Monday evening for our Open House, our first in two years and our first one held outside. Each class set up in a different place outside, displaying student work in a creative way, and showing and telling families what their students have been, and will be, doing. It was a great turnout, and it was nice to see students and their families spending time at the school again. Fingers crossed. Wednesday was picture day, and it's always fun to see who comes dressed up for their student photo. There will be a retake day in November, the date to be announced. The soccer practices continue, with almost 2/3 of our students involved. Great participation, and thanks to the staff and family members making iot possible. Look for some games next month. Sunday was "Talk Like A Pirate Day", Wednesday was the first day of Fall, (plus Mrs. Lively's Shepherd's Pie - woot! woot!), academics are starting to percolate in each classroom, and I'm sure there are things I'm missing, but like I said, it was a busy week!

If you haven't yet turned in the consent forms to enroll your student in our rapid testing program, please do as soon as possible. This symptomatic and in-school close contact testing will give students a chance to stay in school and not have to quarantine if they receive negative test results. If you don't know what I'm talking about, please call Lydia, the school nurse, at 512-5103 today!

I saw a quote this week from British writer Vivan Greene that resonated with me, and seemed to reflect our last eighteen months, and what I see our staff and students doing everyday. I hope you enjoy it. Have a great week: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.”

9.9.21

As we come to the close of week three, I want to recognize the efforts of all the staff who have once again reinvented the Rowe School, physically and from a teaching and learning standpoint, and are making it work every day. We could not be having the effective and engaging in-person learning that is happening every day without the efforts of each of them. The families generally are more familiar with what the teachers and the teaching assistants are doing, which is both amazing and non-stop during the school day, but people behind the scenes like Mr. Jim, the custodian, Mrs. Lively and Miss Mary in the kitchen, Nurse Lydia, Laurie, and a host of others who have also worked so hard to make this possible. And having the cooperation of the families regarding masks, keeping kids home when they're sick, etc., helps make it all work. It takes a village.

There is a slight change in the schedule at the end of the month: Monday, 9/25, will not be a Professional Development day, staff and students will have school, and lunch will be Hamburgers or Cheeseburgers. Please get your paperwork in, it's important. All the forms we need were sent by email, and are on the school website. I came across an interesting article about "Tips For Coping With COVID Anxiety This Fall And Winter". Here's the link: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/09/04/1033672045/6-tips-for-coping-with-covid-anxiety-this-fall-and-winter

If you haven't responded yet, please fill out the Three Question Survey about a Q & A get-together. I'll share the results next week, and schedule a meeting for families that have questions. Have a fun weekend.

9.2.21

So many of our students did so many interesting things over vacation, it's been great to hear all the stories. We have a number of new friends at the school this year, and it's been a treat to watch the students welcome their new friends into our community. It's also been exciting to watch the classes start to come together as working units, already working hard together, and to see the students playing together at recess. The classes have been working on defining what Rowe School's core values: Kindness, Community, Responsibility, and Perseverance, look like in each classroom.

Thanks to everyone for making sure your students arrive at school with a mask, paying attention to symptoms, and keeping your students home if they're sick. These things, in coordination with all the mitigation measures we're implementing at school, give our students the best chance to continue in-person learning this year.

A quick reminder: Our school day starts at 8:30, students are welcome on the playground anytime after 7:45, breakfast is served in the classrooms around 8:45. Also, please remember, our parking lot is one way, in and to the right, around the circle, and out. Please don't try to turn around and exit from the wrong side of the lot, and remember that it is illegal to pass a school bus when its RED lights are flashing.

A couple of schedule notes: Our Open House will be outside on Monday, September 20, exact time and more details to come. Our first fire drill will be next week, and teachers in all the grades will work with the students to get them ready. September's School Committee meeting is Thursday, September 9, at 4:00 p.m., all are welcome.

There was an interesting article online about how classroom political discussions and controversies, handled in a developmentally appropriate way, can help prepare students for civic participation. I hope you find it interesting: https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/54968/how-classroom-political-discussions-controversies-too-prepare-students-for-needed-civic-participation

6.10.21

As the school year winds down, it also feels like it speeds up. Even though we don't have some of the typical end-of-the-year activities like the Primary Class play, Authors Tea, or Talent Show, there is still a lot going on. The 5/6 class is Kayaking this week, Field Day is happening next Tuesday, and all the classes are getting outside as much as possible while still wrapping up academics. Graduation is Wednesday, 6/16 (6:30 at the school), and the last day for students is Thursday, 6/17. Next Monday is a 2:30 release, and Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are 12:30 release days. Though each graduate is only able to have six attendees at graduation this year due to COVID, we're looking forward to when graduation is once again a celebration for the whole school community. Summer is an important time for students learning, even if they are not in Summer School. In addition to playing and swimming, having students read everyday, finding time to talk about the books they're reading with them, talking about math as you shop or cook with your student, these things will benefit them and help prevent the "summer slide". Summer is also when students and families spend more time in the water. I found an informative article about water safety, here's the link: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/water-safety/water-safety-for-kids.html

Check your email next week, we'll be sharing the plan for our reorganizing of the Preschool to Grade 2 classes. There will be some exciting changes that we feel will benefit students academically and socially. Stay tuned.

6.4.21

As we near the close of the school year, I want to take a moment to recognize the efforts of all the staff who reinvented the Rowe School this year, physically and from a teaching and learning standpoint, and made it work every day. We could not have had in-person learning without the efforts of every one of them. The families generally are more familiar with what the teachers and the teaching assistants are doing, which has been both amazing and non-stop during the school day, but people behind the scenes like Mrs. Lively, Miss Mary, Mrs. Griffin, Laurie, Mr. Jim, and a host of others have also worked so hard to make this possible. And having the cooperation of the families regarding masks, distancing, etc., helped make it all work. It takes a village.

The last weeks of school are exciting and a little chaotic, but we're going to make the most of it. Give us a call if you have any questions, and enjoy the sunny weather this weekend.

5.27.21

Lots of engineering going on at the school this week. Thanks in part to a grant from the Rowe Cultural Council, we were able to bring Jay Mankita to the school (virtually) to work with each class on designing simple, and some not-so-simple, engineering projects out of commonly found objects. The students were excited by it, and were creative. You can visit Jay's website, www.playfulengineers.com, for ideas on how to contiunue this engineering work at home.

There was also lots of smiling going on at the school this week. Following the new guidelines, students (those who choose to) and staff (those who are vaccinated) are able to remove their masks outside. It is exciting, and a little emotional, to see so many smiling faces after over a year of masks.

Next week is June already,m which means three weeks left of school. It is hard to believe we're at that point, but with the stress of the past year, I think everyone is ready for a break. Refer to my email from earlier this week about the updated travel guidelines if you're thinking of traveling between now and the end of school, or just call us at the school if you have questions.

5.13.21

It feels like a particularly busy week here at Rowe School, although I could probably say that every week. In addition to all the usual learning activities that the teachers are always leading, the 3/4 class took the ELA MCAS on Wednesday, the 6th graders participated in mediation training, and the Primary Classes had two days of special art and activities.

Since MCAS was canceled last year, students in grades 3 and 4 were taking the test for the first time, and they did really well, sticking with it even if it was hard and doing their best. The remaining MCAS schedule is 5/6 ELA on 5/19, 5/6 Math on 5/26, and 3/4 Math and Grade 5 Science/Technology on 6/2. Even though we couldn't do Peer Mediation this year, Ms. Lapointe worked with the 6th graders for two days this week on the life skills of listening and empathy, which will serve the students well in the future. And while Ms. Lapointe was with the 6th graders, Kara worked with the Primary classes on some fun art and activity projects. Great cooperation to benefit the students!

Two quick notes about arrival time and meals: we ask that students get to school by 8:15 so they and their classmates can start the day's activities together, and we can get breakfast and lunch information to the kitchen in a timely manner. Late arrivals make it more disruptive and confusing for everyone. We also ask that you work with your student to be sure about whether they're having school lunch. Mrs. Lively and Mrs. Stafford get the lunch orders first thing, and then cook the exact number of lunches that are ordered, because we can't use leftovers like we have in past years. We will never let a child go hungry, but if they don't order school lunch, and don't end up bringing a home lunch, it creates a problem.

Graduation update: with the last day of school scheduled for Thursday, 6/17, graduation is scheduled for Wednesday, 6/16, at 6:30, outside the school. More details will come soon, as we process the latest state guidelines on what is allowed. Thank you for your patience.

5.6.21

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, which at Rowe School means it's Staff Appreciation Week. That's because without everyone who works at the Rowe School, the teachers could not do the amazing work they do with students. Thanks in advance to the PTP for all they do to show the staff how appreciated they are.

Next week promises to be a busy one at the school. We begin our MCAS testing for grades 3-6 with the 3/4 class taking their ELA MCAS tests on Wednesday, 5/12. The following Wednesday, 5/19, it's the 5/6 taking their ELA MCAS. Please have your student rested and ready to take the test, please do your best, as we will as well, to lower students' stress about it. It's just another test, just on the computer. Let me know if you have any questions. We'll also be getting students outside to their Outdoor Classroom, down to the beach at Pelham Lake Park, or walking the trails investigating nature. And, oh yeah, we'll be teaching students reading, writing, math, etc. when we're not doing something else exciting.

The School Committee will hold its May meeting on Thursday, May 13 at 4:00 p.m. The agenda will be posted on the school website with the Google Meet connection information. If you can't find it, let me know and I'll email you the information.

We have sent invitations out to students we have identified that would benefit from added instruction during Summer School. Please send the letter back in, indicating whether or not your student will be attending Summer School this year, and talk with your student's teacher if you have any questions.

There's an article I found about the benefits of Summer School for childrens' education. Here's the link: https://catapultlearning.com/2021/02/01/summer-school-programs-for-elementary-students/#:~:text=The%20Rand%20research%20also%20shows,of%20loss)%20for%20students.%E2%80%9D

4.15.21

A thank you in two parts:

1. Thank you for working with us on adapting the schedule this week, allowing us to have a half-day of school Tuesday. Fourteen school staff received their second shots Monday, and a number of them were out Tuesday, so the flexibility was helpful.

2. Thank you also for working with us throughout the year on following the guidelines for keeping us learning in-person: masking, distancing, keeping your child home (and tested or evaluated by a physician) if they exhibit possible COVID symptoms, masking if you're carpooling with members of another family. Now as we come to April vacation, it is tempting to want to loosen up on the restrictions, but please continue the vigilance that has kept us in school all year. We have less than eight weeks to go, it's hard, but we can get through the rest of the school year in-person if we work together.

I found an interesting article this week entitled "You’re Vaccinated. Your Kids Are Not. What Now?".

Here's a link: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/13/well/family/parents-vaccinated-not-kids.html?searchResultPosition=1.

I hope you find it useful. Have a great vacation, and enjoy the snow in the forecast, and the spring weather next week.

4.8.21

We've had some beautiful weather these last few days, and the students and teachers have been able to get outside for more of their learning.

  • The 3/4 hiked to the vernal pools on Davis Mine Road, the spent time in their outdoor classroom writing reflections in their nature journals

  • The Primary Class hiked to Percy's Point, and has been collecting various items from the forest to make collages

  • The 5/6 class is spendng recess building, climbing, and playing in the woods, after completing a maple sugaring project from sap collecting to syrup over pancakes

I look forward to a time when parents and guardians can visit the classrooms, both inside and outside, again to observe and/or participate in what their student's class is doing.

Vacation is coming, and please remember: if your student travels out of Massachusetts for more than 24 hours, they must quarantine for ten days before coming back into the school. I know that after being under the COVID restrictions for more than a year, as the weather warms up, and vaccines are happening, it is natural to want to do the things we haven't been able to do for so long. Please consider how close we are to finishing the school year in-person, and whether you can hold out just a little longer. Let us know your plans if you decide to travel.

I saw an interesting article about what depression looks like in young children, I learned a few things, and wanted to share them with you.

How to spot depression in young children: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/01/well/family/depression-young-children.html

3.25.21

We interrupt our regularly scheduled Principal's Corner to bring you this updated travel policy from Superintendent Franzoni:

"The NBSU Leadership Team and School Nurses met this afternoon to review our travel policy and discuss modifications in accordance with the recent guidance from the CDC and the state of Massachusetts. The new policy will read as follows:

Travel outside of the state is still not recommended, but for those families and individuals who do travel out of the state of Massachusetts for more than a 24-hour time span, in order to return to in-person learning at their NBSU school building, the student or staff member must do the following:

  1. Produce a negative COVID test taken 3-5 days after returning to the state of Massachusetts

  2. Complete a ten-day quarantine period

  3. Exhibit no symptoms of the virus

If a family does not have their child tested for COVID after traveling outside of the state​ ​for more than 24 hours, then the mandatory quarantine period will be 14 days.

Travel outside of the state for less than 24 hours does not require a quarantine period.

​We still recommend avoiding travel out of state at this time to help us in our effort to keep our school community safe, and our school building open. The NBSU districts have been open safely for in-person learning since early September due to the collaborative effort by all stakeholders to follow the safety guidelines both in and out of school. We ask you to remember that your actions do not only impact the health, safety, and educational opportunities for your child, they also have an influence on whether or not all of the children and staff in the school are able to continue learning in-person in a safe, healthy environment. Please consider this fact before making those out-of-state travel plans.​ ​Thank you for your consideration. Stay safe, avoid travel out of state, and get vaccinated!​"

We now resume our regularly scheduled Principal's Corner:

Conferences are next week, schedule yours with Laurie. Wednesday, 3/31 is a regular day of school, and Thursday and Friday, 4/1 and 4/2, are 12:30 release days.

And please continue to send students with the gear they need to be outside every day: boots, hats, mittens, and snow pants...it is still icy, muddy, and wet in many areas around the school. Thanks!

3.18.21

A quick reminder that tomorrow is a Professional Development day for school staff, so there's no school for students. The staff will be looking at this year, thinking about next year, thinking about what we've learned, what we want to keep doing, and what we'd like to bring back to the way it was done before. Some of this will depend on what the State guidelines allow us to do, and some on what we've found worked well this year. We'll be sending a survey out within the next month to get your feedback as well.

There are some amazing art projects on display right now on the school's Facebook page. If you're not a member of Rowe School Community Facebook page, I encourage you to join. There you'll see what is going on, inside and outside the school, with the different classes. It's not the same as being able to be in the school, but it's the best we're going to do this year, and the pictures of the kids are just adorable. Search for "Rowe School Community" on Facebook, ask to join the page, and we'll get you in. You'll love what you see.

3.11.21

There has been a lot of conversation around the ruling by Jeffery Riley, the Massachusetts Commissioner of Education, that elementary schools must return to in-person learning (K-5) as of April 5. Luckily for Rowe, we are already in-person five days a week, so we are not affected by this. In addition, the Commissioner stated that families will retain the choice to have their students learn remotely through the end of this school year. Long story short, nothing has to change for us here at Rowe School.

What has changed is that school staff are now eligible to receive the vaccine, so that should be happening over the next few weeks. Again, things will not change here at the school: we will still be wearing masks, maintaining proper hygiene and physical distancing, but hopefully with a little less anxiety. If you have questions about either of these items, please contact me or Mrs. Griffin.

Thanks to the PTP for finding a fundraiser that is do-able during a pandemic. Please consider ordering some Flower Power fundraising catalog that went home this week.

Conferences are starting in less than three weeks, so call Laurie to get a time that works for you. We have so much to tell you about what your student has been up to at school.

3.4.21

Here are two quotes from this week:

"At this level of cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained… Now is not the time to relax the critical safeguards that we know can stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Not when we are so close."

-and-

“Eliminating the mask mandate Is like folding up your umbrella in the middle of a rainstorm because you're not getting wet”

The first is from CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, and the second is from an unknown comedian on Twitter, but they both resonated with me. As vaccines continue to be rolled out (school staff will be in the next group to be eligible), and the number of cases and hospitalizations due to COVID start to fall, it is tempting for some to ease up on some of the restrictions we have all been under for so long. Next Friday will be one year since the school was closed due to COVID. But now is NOT the time to ease up. If we keep doing what we've been doing, keeping everyone safe, there's a great chance that we can continue learning in-person at Rowe School through the end of the school year. Please continue to do your part of that effort.

We are working on our schedule for the MCAS test for students in grades 3-6, which will be administered in April and May. The state has said there will not be "accountability" this year, meaning the test will not be used to hold schools accountable for student test scores. The test results will not be used for any purpose other than for the school to better understand our students' learning. One of my issues with the test is we think we do a pretty good job of understanding where our students are at and what they need already, due to our caring and committed teaching staff and the fact that we are able to work with our students in small groups. Add that to the year that we have all had, and I'm surprised (and not surprised) the state is still requiring students, staff, and families to go through the process of taking these standardized tests. As a public school in Massachusetts, we are required by law to administer the tests, but please know that we will do so in as a low-impact and low-stress way as possible. If you have questions or concerns about the MCAS tests, or anything else for that matter, please call or email me. I'll end with one more quote, this one offers a great perspective on standardized tests: "Measuring a plant doesn’t help it to grow". Have a great week.

2.25.21

It's been great to see everyone after a week of vacation! I think we collectively lost half a mouthful of teeth, and grew a collective five feet! Thank you to everyone for doing your part to keep your family safe, and help keep us learning in-person. As the state continues its push to get students learning in-person, please note that it doesn't change anything at Rowe. Families that have chosen to have their students learn remotely can continue to do so through the end of this school year. No one is sure yet what next school year will bring, but we're hoping to be back to as close to normal as possible, with Preschool back in the building. Cross your fingers, wear your mask, and get your vaccination when you're eligible!

This feels like a good time for a reminder about what is and isn't allowed for travel. Mrs. Griffin and I will be sending an updated summary of the guidelines later today, please check your email. In a nutshell, if you travel anywhere outside of Massachusetts (except North Dakota or Hawaii), for anything other than a transitory (grocery shopping, for instance) or required (doctor's appointment) visit, you have to quarantine for 14 days upon your return, and that quarantine cannot be lifted due to a negative COVID test. Please check your email later today, and let us know if you have any questions.

I'm sad that families can't visit the school this year and see all the amazing teaching and learning that is happening. The staff and the students have adapted to our new "normal", and the staff has focused on the social and emotional health of the students as a top priority. It's been inspring to see how everyone has stepped up in a time of crisis, I couldn't be prouder of our Rowe School community.

2.11.21


I hope the coming vacation is as relaxing and rejuvenating as you want it to be. It looks there will be some snow, and reasonable temperatures (not much in the single digits), so it should be a good time to enjoy the snowy outside or cozy inside with the family. As we head into this week of vacation:

-please keep the travel guidelines in mind. If you travel to any state other than Hawaii, you are required to quarantine for 14 days from when you return, regardless of a negative COVID test. If you're planning to travel over vacation, please let us know, and we can figure out a plan for your student.

-please keep the gathering guidelines in mind as well, avoid large gatherings, and mask up and meet outside of you're gathering with people from outside your bubble.

-following the guidelines in both of these areas, and the guidelines about masking and staying physically distant, will help keep us learning in-person.

Everyone, students, staff, and families, have been working hard this school year, it's not the time to let up now. If you have questions, please call us. Thank you for all of your support this year, it does take a village.

2.4.21

The Rowe winter has definitely arrived, it was fun to watch students playing in snow that was almost too deep to walk through, and there's more on the way next week. Thanks to Mr. Mike and the Rowe DPW for getting the parking lot and walkways cleaned up. I hope the day off was restful. One note for families dropping students off in the morning: please don't let students out of the car until they can safely step from the car to the sidewalk, and wait for a signal from me or Mrs. Griffin. We're working on getting more of the sidewalk cleared to speed up the drop-off process, but until then, please help us keep everyone safe.

Three COVID notes:

1. Please don't send your student to school with anything to be handed out to other students. We're trying to keep the risk of possible germ spread as low as possible, so passing things out from home is something we are not doing this year.

2. Super Bowl Sunday is this weekend, and many of us Patriots fans are excited that Tom Brady is back in the big game, even if he's with the wrong team. Please follow the guidelines and avoid large gatherings, like Super Bowl parties, to help keep us learning in-person. Everyone, students, staff, and families. have been trying so hard this school year, and while vaccinations are getting closer, it's not the time to let up now. If you have questions, please call Barbara or me, and Go Bucs! (I've never written that before)

3. We have a week of school next week, then it's February vacation, so please keep the travel guidelines in mind. If you travel to any state other than Hawaii, you are required to quarantine for 14 days from when you return, regardless of a negative COVID test. If you're planning to travel over vacation (if you can avoid it, please do), please let us know, and we can figure out a plan for your student.

1.28.21

Although they're all interesting, this was an unusual couple of weeks. A snow day Wednesday, a professional development day on Friday, a holiday last week...students won't know what a full week of school is anymore. Next week should be back to a regular schedule. Speaking of the snow day, notice was sent out by phone and email, as well as on the school's Facebook page, on WWLP (Channel 22), WGGB (Channel 40), and WHAI and WIZZ radio stations. If you DIDN'T receive both a phone call and email about school being canceled, please let us know so we can update our lists.

Tomorrow there is no school for students, it will be a professional development day for staff. There is one more scheduled for this school year, on Friday, March 19th. Save the date!

The state has entered Phase 2 of the vaccine roll-out and school staff members are listed as third in this phase, after the vaccination process has been completed for individuals who are 75+ first, then individuals who are 65+, as well as those who have two comorbidities. It's important now, and will be even after the vaccines are administered, to continue to be vigilant with masks, hygiene, and physical distancing to help us continue learning in-person. I know it can be wearing, but don't let up now.

I found an interesting article about reducing the risk of infection while riding in a car with people not in your household. Here's a link:

Reduce the risk while riding in a car

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/16/health/coronavirus-transmission-cars.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

1.21.21

It's been another exciting week, both here at Rowe School, and in for our country. Here at Rowe School, the 4th grade is learning to juggle, the Primary Class is learning and writing about what makes a good friend, the 5/6 class has published their New Year's resolutions...and let's not forget today's lunch was roast pork! In the outside world, a new President and Vice-President were inaugurated Wednesday. All of the classes have been approaching this important event in a way that makes developmental and curricular sense. We didn't watch the event live, but there were many great videos to choose from, some of which the classes enjoyed on Thursday. Especially significant were those of Kamala Harris being sworn in as Vice President, and Amanda Gorman reading her inspiring poem. These are important examples for our girls (and our boys), and for our students of color, that anything is possible, and being gritty and pushing through will get you far. Below are links to some of these videos.

The cold weather is definitely here, along with some snow, so please be sure your student comes to school with enough gear and layers to be comfortable outside.

Next week's schedule is slightly different: there is no school for students on Friday, January 29, it is a professional development day for staff. Reports cards are scheduled to go home on Thursday, January 28. Have a great weekend, and thank you for following the guidelines to help us stay safe and keep learning in-person!

Our White House: An Inaugural Celebration for Young Americans

https://youtu.be/eTcItNMR-V8


Joe Biden's Swearing In

https://youtu.be/h4JT-IhUoTg


Joe Biden's Inaugural Speech

https://youtu.be/aL28PQ3LwNY


Kamala Harris' Swearing In

https://youtu.be/OsugsEiTEbc


Amanda Gorman!

https://youtu.be/LZ055ilIiN4

1.14.21

The events of the last nine days have been unprecedented for our country, it can be hard for us as adults to wrap our heads around what it means for us. It is also challenging for us as educators, as it is for parents and guardians, to figure out how to translate these events so students can have the context and the facts to understand what is happening, in a way that doesn't leave them too unsettled. Each family approaches issues like these in different ways, and we at the school try to be respectful of all perspectives, and keep the focus on facts, whether we're discussing current events, history, social studies, or science. When we talk with the students about current events, which is an important part of the school experience, I trust the teachers to do so in a non-partisan, objective, fact-based, and developmentally appropriate way, regardless of how they may feel about a particular issue. Some families may feel we say too little, some may feel we say too much, and I've heard from both this week. Please don't hesitate to reach out to your student's teachers or to me if you have questions, concerns, or kudos about what is going on in your student's classroom. Below is a link to three pages: "Strategies for Respectful Classroom Discussions of Tough Topics", "Supporting Students During Difficult Times", and "Talking About the Riots at the U.S. Capitol With Young Children" so you can see how some of us approach challenging issues with students. I'm interested in your feedback.

We are staying updated on the Mass. DPH guidelines as cases rise in various parts of the state, and as the timetable for vaccines becomes clearer. We will continue to follow the guidelines from the state and the Rowe Board of Health to make sure we are keeping our students and staff as safe as possible, and to keep us learning in-person.

Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, so there will be no school. The following week, Report Cards will be coming home. More on this next week.

Here are the links:

Strategies for Respectful Classroom Discussions of Tough Topics: https://drive.google.com/file/d/10xRYF2GHUGRQlSJ_F1l8FIMzwE3vV4ji/view?usp=sharing

Supporting Students During Difficult Times:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cuptPnhZJLRrnrc8vQeoyK376i2uGv03/view?usp=sharing

Talking About the Riots at the U.S. Capitol With Young Children:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/110iEtvyOvD45iZTxfFIg6dPZPIQ6ZeFI/view?usp=sharing


Talking_To_Children_About_Violence.pdf

1.7.21

It's been great to see everyone this week, the kids are excited to be back, and the staff has jumped right back into making the students feel safe and getting them engaged with their learning again. I appreciate everyone working together to keep us learning in-person, the efforts of students, staff, and families are making it possible.

Attached to this newsletter is a flier for a virtual workshop entitled "Basic Rights: Understanding the IEP". It's free, and will offer valuable information for families and school staff involved in the special education process. I encourage you to consider joining this meeting if you have questions about the IEP process, or want to learn more. If you need more information, please let me know.

Now that we're in the thick of a Rowe winter, it's more important than ever that students come with the layers of clothing they need to be comfortable outside. We have some extra pieces if a student forgets something one day, but we're depending on them coming from home prepared for the cold. If you have questions, contact your student's teachers.

I found an interesting article from the National Association of School Psychologists about "Talking to Children About Violence", which might be helpful after Wednesday's events. It's on the homepage of the school website, and I'll email it out as well.


12.23.20

I hope that your family has a holiday break that is filled with joy, relaxation, and fun. I know that without the support of all of our families, the teachers and staff at the school would not be able to do the amazing work they are doing to keep students engaged and learning, whether in-person or remote. We are all part of this effort, so thank you for doing your part. I also hope that you follow the guidelines so that we can continue learning in-person, safely, in the new year.

Please check your email, or the school Facebook page, for a detailed letter from me and Mrs. Griffin about how to stay safe over the holidays. The vaccine news is hopeful, but we are months away from that having any significant impact. Until then, let's keep doing what we're doing, and keep the Rowe School in-person in 2021!

12.18.20

Well, that was quite a snow day! So many great pictures on the school Facebook page, it was fun to see what everyone was doing. Next week is a short one, full days Monday and Tuesday, with a 12:30 release on Wednesday (lunch is served), then we're off until Monday, January 4th.

What we've been able to accomplish so far by keeping the kids learning in-person I believe is the best thing for our students, and the effort on the part of the staff, families, and students to help make that happen has been extraordinary. We have no confirmed cases of COVID in our schools, symptomatic students and staff are following protocols by staying home and getting tested, and we are mitigating the potential spread of asymptomatic COVID by following safety guidelines. I know I start to sound like a bit of a broken record, but adhering to the guidelines, as hard as it will be over the coming two weeks, is the best thing we can do to keep in-person learning happening, and keep our families, and others families, healthy.

If you have any questions about the guidelines, please contact Mrs. Griffin or me. Remember: “The best Christmas gift you can give: Wear a mask, avoid other COVID-19 risks”. Enjoy the weekend, stay warm, and we'll see everyone Monday.

12.13.20

From pajamas to crazy hats, crazy hair to sports gear, school spirit was evident this week! Thanks to the PTP for organizing it, and collecting non-perishable food items for Good Neighbors. You can still send an item or two in tomorrow.

Hanukkah starts tonight, and Christmas and New Year's will be here soon after. As hard as it was to follow the guidelines over Thanksgiving, it will be even harder over the coming weeks to wear a mask, stay physically distant, and limit the people we interact with, but those are the best tools we have to stay safe, and keep our students learning in-person. Traveling anywhere but Hawaii will necessitate a fourteen-day quarantine, please keep that in mind as you make your plans.

We have a full week of school next week, and then a 12:30 release on Wednesday, December 23 for the holiday break.

12.3.20

Thank you. Thank you to the families and staff that had a quieter-than-hoped-for Thanksgiving by not seeing all of the family members you're used to spending the holiday with. We hope that everyone's sacrifice will help keep us learning in-person. There is positive news about a vaccine that could be widely available in the first quarter of next year, but until then, wearing a mask, staying physically distant, and limiting the people we interact with are the best tools we have to stay safe, and keep our students in school. It's easy to get tired and let down our guard, but please stick to the guidelines, especially through the upcoming holidays, and we'll get through this together.

Check your email today, there is a letter from our nurse, Mrs. Griffin, about why Rowe School is not participating in the rapid testing initiative pilot study. We will also be evaluating the CDCs new quarantine guidelines, to see if there needs to be a change in our policy.

Many of the amazing things that are happening inside and outside of the school are posted on the Rowe School Community Facebook page. If you're not a member, search for the page on Facebook and ask to be accepted, you'll be glad you did!

11.24.20

As COVID cases are rising across the state, we ask that you keep the guidelines from the Mass. Department of Public Health at the forefront of your planning. Adhering to these guidelines will give us the best chance to continue in-person learning if everyone, students, staff, and families, do their part. By protecting yourself and your family, you are protecting the learning of all the students in the school, the families that support them, and the school staff who are working every day to keep the students safe and learning. If you get together with others that are not part of your household, wear a mask, stay physically distant even with family and friends that are not part of your household, and limit your inside gathering to ten or less people. If you travel to a state that is not considered lower-risk (any state other than Vermont or Hawaii), please let us know and be prepared to quarantine for fourteen days regardless of obtaining a negative COVID test result. If you are planning to travel, please let us know in advance so we can prepare to help keep your student learning remotely during their quarantine period.

If you have any questions, call Mrs. Griffin or me at the school. In case you need to reach me over the break, my cell phone is 413-446-4949. I hope you have a happy, healthy, and safe Thanksgiving break.

11.19.20

Next week is Thanksgiving, and we get a special preview today with Mrs. Lively's turkey dinner with all the fixin's. It's a little bittersweet, because we have an amazing meal, but some of our students that are not learning at school right now can't share the meal with us. For me, it reflects the bittersweet nature of the coming holidays. What is typically a festive time spent with friends and family will this year be a festive time spent with those in your direct family or social bubble. It will be different, and we will all miss seeing people we're used to spending time with (and admit it, there are a few people you see every year that you won't miss!), but by staying within our bubble, staying masked and socially distant when we are outside our home, we can all have a direct impact on keeping the Rowe School community safe and learning in-person. Please do your part. I know everyone is tired of COVID-19 and the restrictions we have to follow, but now is not the time to let our guards down. On the bright side, your student can probably guide you through a Thanksgiving family Google Meet or Zoom call with ease! Here is a link to the State's latest COVID travel guidelines: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order#lower-risk-states-. The only safe states to travel to and return without quarantining are Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and...Hawaii!

Next week, we have regular days of school Monday and Tuesday, a 12:30 release Wednesday (lunch is served), then no school Thursday or Friday. Enjoy the time off, I'm thankful for what we have here at Rowe, and know we can continue as we are if we all follow the guidelines.

11.12.20

Thank you to everyone for helping to make our first foray into all virtual conferences a success. While it's not the same as in-person, it's still a valuable tool to help you learn more about your child as a learner, and to help the teachers learn more about your student as a person. Some of the students even led their own conferences.

After this last blast of beautiful weather, it's bound to turn colder, so please make sure your student has the appropriate gear to be outside every day. Being warm and comfortable allows students to work outside safely. Hats, gloves or mittens, coats, snow pants, warm socks, and boots are all important.

Finally, as we approach the holidays, and as we see COVID cases rise across the country and across the state, please keep the guidelines from the Department of Public Health at the forefront of your planning. Adhering to these guidelines will give us the best chance to continue in-person learning. By protecting yourself and your family, you are protecting the learning of all the students in the school, the families that support them, and the school staff who are working every day to help the students learn, and keep them safe. Wear a mask, stay physically distant even with family and friends that are not part of your household, and if you travel to a state that is not considered lower-risk, please let us know and be prepared to quarantine for fourteen days regardless of obtaining a negative COVID test result. If you have any questions, call Mrs. Griffin at the school. The latest "Notes from the Nurse" with more detail on COVID-related guidelines, is on the school website, and I found an interesting article about the importance of wearing a mask. Here's a link:

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/11/11/933903848/wear-masks-to-protect-yourself-from-the-coronavirus-not-only-others-cdc-stresses


11.5.20

Principal's Corner - 11.5.20

This week's Professional Development day was very helpful for the teaching staff. First, they were able to work on plans for supporting the present in-person and remote students. Next, and as important, they were able to work on plans for what to do if we are forced at some point to go to all-remote learning. This involves preparing the in-person students to be ready for the procedures and routines of remote learning, should that be necessary. Whatever the situation, I know the Rowe teaching staff will be prepared to support our students in an engaging and productive way.

Conferences finish up tomorrow, thank you for working with us in this new way of connecting with families. I hope you were able to get what you needed from the process.

Next week, there will be no school on Wednesday, as we celebrate Veterans Day. Other than that, it will be a regular week, with 2:30 dismissal Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and a 12:30 dismissal on Friday. The weather looks like ti will be warm and sunny, but please make sure to have your students bring everything they need to be comfortable outside no matter the weather.

This may be a few days late, but I read an interesting article entitled, "How To Talk To Kids About The Election". Here's a link:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/30/parenting/election-stress-kids.html?searchResultPosition=1

10.29.20

My crystal ball is feeling a little cloudy, as I write this Thursday morning. Looking at tomorrow's weather, I see 1-3" forecast overnight and 1-3" forecast for tomorrow. I'm more concerned with a lot of rain, turning to snow at midnight, and the temp falling to 30 degrees by early morning. The smaller roads (especially dirt roads) will be challenging. I hope to make a decision before the end of the day Thursday. If we do not have school, it will be considered a snow day, not a remote day or a blizzard bag day. Once a decision is made, everyone will get a call and an email, it will be on the school's Facebook page, on WWLP and WGGB TV, and on WHAI and WIZZ radio. If we do not have school, and you DON'T get a call or an email, let us know so we can update our lists.

Two quick reminders:

-Next Tuesday is a Professional Development day for staff, there will be no school for students, remote or in-person.

-Conferences are next week, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Please call Laurie to reserve your spot. Wednesday is a full day of school, with conferences after, Thursday and Friday are 12:30 releases, with conferences after.

Have a happy, safe, and socially-distanced Halloween. Wear at least one mask!

10.22.20

We appreciate the families adjusting to the new pick up times. With the students dismissed at 2:30, the teaching staff has had more time to plan with their co-teaching groups. And with the 12:30 dismissal on Fridays starting tomorrow, we are able to meet as a group for the first time since the first week of school, to work together to support each other and the students in the best way we can. Thank you for working with us.

The Rowe Board of Health, after discussing the issue with Mrs. Griffin and me, has decided there will NOT be Tailgate Trick or Treat this year at the school, and there will be no trick or treating in Rowe this year. You will see more information coming later today, but I wanted to let you know as soon as possible.

We appreciate everything that is being done to keep us all safe and learning in person: families and staff following the protocols for reporting symptoms and getting tested as needed, staying home when sick, maintaining physical distancing, masking, and hand-hygiene according to guidelines. It will get more challenging as the colder weather begins, so please continue the important work you're doing. In addition to keeping us learning in-person, the efforts you and your family are putting in could be the reason someone else is alive today. Seems like it's worth it. And VOTE!

10.15.20

It was a short, but still busy, week at Rowe School. The mix of rainy days and beautiful fall days led to a range of both indoor and outdoor activities. There are great pictures from all the classes on the Rowe School Community Facebook page. If you're not yet a member, find the page on Facebook and ask to be invited, and we'll get you set up.

Our new schedule starts next week. School starts as usual at 8:15, dismissal will be at 2:30 Monday-Thursday, and at 12:30 on Fridays. This change will allow the teaching staff to have the time to adequately plan for the challenging and exciting opportunities facing us, for both the in-person and remote students.

Usually at this point in the school year I'd be telling you what a great time we had on our hike, the next field trip that was in the works, or the Cultural Study we were about to launch, but none of those things are happening right now. Instead, the teaching staff is working hard to make the indoor and outdoor learning as engaging and as relevant as possible for all our students, and working every minute to keep everyone safe.


10.8.20

It's been quite a week here at the Rowe School. We've had the first staff and students referred to their primary care physicians to take COVID tests due to their exhibiting some cold or allergy symptoms that could have been something more serious. Rather than take a chance, they all stayed out of school until their results came back, thankfully all negative so far, and now they are back teaching and learning This is how the system should work, when someone has symptoms that could indicate COVID, we act as if they have it and proceed accordingly. With families being vigilant at home, and Mrs. Griffin and the teaching staff doing the same at school, we're doing our best to keep everyone in both places safe.

We lost the 5/6 tent in Wednesday's windstorm and hopefully will have a replacement up soon. Then Picture Day was Thursday, and we did pictures outside for the first time. A little bit of normalcy in an anything-but-normal year.

Remember, students should be at the school by 8:15, if they arrive after that it causes problems with breakfast and lunch plans, and with morning routines, so PLEASE try your best to get your students here by then. If you know your student is going to be later than 8:20, please call the school and let us know, and let us know the plans for breakfast and lunch.

There is no school Monday, it's Indigenous People's Day. Take time this weekend and learn a little about the Native Americans that lived around here before it was settled by Europeans. The Abenaki and Nipmuc tribes were two examples. Here are two links to some information:

https://historyofmassachusetts.org/native-american-tribes/

https://www.visitma.com/blog/2015/11/massachusetts-native-american-trail/

10.1.20

It''s hard to believe we're into October already, which means we're finishing up our fourth week of school. The students are doing a great job following the teachers' guidelines about staying safe, and the teachers are doing a great job using the new situations we're in as a starting point for a new way of educating our students, and as importantly, making them feel safe and welcomed.

Please strive to have your students here by 8:15, with the new systems we have in place it really complicates things when they are late. We know things happen from time to time, but please shoot for 8:15. If students come in after 8:20, make sure they check in with Laurie in the office. We appreciate everyone following the guidelines about what students can (and can't) bring with them to school. We also appreciate everyone who has turned their paperwork in on time.

To repeat a couple of points about the drop-off and pick-up line: please wait for the cars in front of you to leave before you pull out, unless directed by a staff member, and it is ILLEGAL to pass the bus when the red lights are flashing and the STOP sign is extended from the driver's side. Please let me know if you have any questions I can answer about this (or anything else).


9.24.20

Students (both in-person and remote) will not have school tomorrow, Friday, September 25. It is a professional development day for teaching staff. We're back on our regular schedule next Monday.

It's been going well here at school, non-stop from the time the students arrive until they leave, in a more intense way than in other years. Staff are working every moment to keep the students and everyone safe, while still providing an engaging learning environment...no easy task. Check the school's Facebook page for great pictures of what's going on, posted by staff. If you are a member of the Rowe School community, and you are on Facebook, but not yet a member of the Rowe School Community Facebook group, send me an email and I'll send you an invitation.

One quick reminder - if your students are having breakfast in the morning, they need to be here by 8:15. If you know they're going to be in after 8:30, let us know with an email or a call, and tell us if they're having home or school lunch. It really helps!


9.17.20

As we come to the close of week two, I want to take a moment to recognize the efforts of all the staff who have reinvented the Rowe School, physically and from a teaching and learning standpoint, and are making it work every day. We could not be having in-person learning without the efforts of each of them. The families generally are more familiar with what the teachers and the teaching assistants are doing, which is both amazing and non-stop during the school day, but people behind the scenes like Mr. Mike, Mrs. Lively, Mrs. Griffin, Laurie, and a host of others have also worked so hard to make this possible. And having the cooperation of the families regarding masks, distancing, etc., helps make it all work. It takes a village.

Next Friday, 9/25, is a Professional Development day for staff, students will not have school, in-person or remote. Please get your paperwork in, it's important. All the forms we need were sent by email, and are on the school website. Have a fun weekend.


9.10.20

It's been quite a week so far here at school. Meeting new friends, seeing old friends, meeting new teachers, seeing teachers you know, learning new procedures, learning new games, staying safe, and having fun, inside and outside! Please let us know how it is going for your student, early reports are good. Thank you for your patience at drop-off and pick-up, it's going more smoothly every day. We're looking forward to a full week next week, 8:15 drop off and 3:00 pick up. We're glad your students are with us.


9.6.20

This year continues to be one unlike any other, and that continues as we prepare to open for in-person learning on Tuesday, September 8th. The staff has been working over the summer to get ready to provide the best possible educational experience for students given the restrictions we are currently living under.

Here’s a quick look at our plans for reopening the school this fall. The first day of school for students is planned for Tuesday, September 8. We are planning to return for in-person learning, except for those families who opted for remote learning for their students in the most recent survey. A quick note about remote learning: It will be structured differently than in the spring. The teachers are working to create a remote learning plan that mirrors the in-school experience, so all students are getting (roughly) the same material.

In order to begin in-person learning in as safe a way as possible, each class (Primary, 3/4, and 5/6...we are not offering Preschool this year) is going to be it’s own “bubble”. Each bubble will have dedicated teaching staff assigned to it (teachers and teaching assistants), and the students and staff will not mix with the other bubbles. There will be a few adults who go between these groups, for nurse or special education-related reasons, etc., but that crossover will be minimized. Each class will have two indoor learning spaces, and a tented, outdoor learning space. Over the course of the school day, students will move between their three spaces as directed by the teachers. Lunch, recess, and specials will also be only with their group.

Unless it’s an emergency, we are not allowing family members (or other adults) into the building. Students will have assigned seats on the bus. Between the number of students in each class, and the space that we have available inside and outside the building, we are in as good a position as possible to offer in-person learning for students while adhering to the State's guidelines for safety.

As I’ve said before, I know the Rowe School staff is the right group to handle this challenge in a positive and child-based way, These past five+ months have been challenging for all of us. It’s been hard on our families, having to juggle having students at home with the need to work, it has been hard on the staff as they try to provide what students and families need in this unprecedented situation, and it has been hard on the students, their routine has been upended, they haven’t been able to see their friends or the teachers and staff they depend on. And as we move back to in-person learning, it is going to be especially challenging for the teaching staff, who are both trying to keep the children safe and provide them with something close to a normal school experience, knowing that nothing about this is normal. The staff is trying their best to manage both the safety and education aspects of this challenge, and we are looking forward to partnering with our families to make this work. As always, if you have questions or concerns, please call me at 413-512-5201. You can also email me at wknittle@roweschool.org. I look forward to hearing from you.

7.8.20

This has been a time like none other for the Rowe school. Since the schools were temporarily closed on March 13th, and closed for the remainder of the school the year in mid-April, the students, families, and staff have been adjusting to a new normal in delivering eduction. The first few weeks were about keeping kids connected with their education. Since the beginning of April, however, it’s been about that and more. We have found that it is as much about supporting the families, as anything else. This quarantine has been difficult for all of us, but probably most of all on families with more than one student at home. With this in mind, the Rowe teaching staff has worked hard to craft engaging and developmentally appropriate lessons and activities, much of which the students don’t need to be on a computer to do, especially for the students in the Preschool and Primary Classes.

From live, online Math lessons and reading groups in the 3/4 and 5/6 classes, to videos sent home to families to replicate the structure of the days of the week in Preschool, the entire teaching staff has been active to keep students engaged, active and learning. We realize that not everyone has equal access to the internet and computers, and that having one or more students at home and trying to stay on top of their academics can be a challenging situation for many families, especially if they are not working, working from home, or going to work every day. Teachers and Teaching Assistants have been doing whatever is necessary to support students and families, including exchanging pen-pal letters to keep them writing, working with the students in small online groups to read and discuss books and fables, to meeting with students outside, at safe distances, at student and staff homes to lead instruction. Some sessions take place in the evening to accommodate working families. The building is closed, but school is open, and whether we are at school or not, the staff continues to do whatever it takes to support students and families, adapting their efforts every week as we discover what works, and what doesn’t, in this new “normal”.

The staff will work over the summer to be ready or whatever education looks like in the fall, whatever we are allowed to do in terms of gathering students and staff together for learning. We appreciate the support of the Rowe School Committee, the North Berkshire School Union administration and staff, the folks working in and out of Town Hall, and the Town of Rowe as we navigate these unfamiliar waters. We are expecting to have some sort of recognition ceremony for our graduating 6th graders in June, please stay tuned, it would be great to have the support of the people of Rowe to show them that even though everything is different, the well-wishes are the same for the next part of their journey.

If you have thoughts or questions, please be in touch with your calls and emails. I look forward to hearing from you. Please call 413-446-4949 or email me at wknittle@roweschool.org.

3.12.20

There are many things that I could write about this week...the Primary and Preschool classes tapping trees and making syrup, the multiplication spy game in Miss French's math class, the hats and breads that Mrs. Lively and Mrs. P's after-school community service activity group have made...but I'm going to focus on what the school is doing to reduce the risk (as much as possible) to our community from the spread of COVID19.

Yesterday I sent this statement from Superintendent Franzoni: "Effective immediately all school-sponsored field trips, after school events, and professional development trips will be discontinued for students and staff in all North Berkshire School Union #43 districts. This will include all dances, concerts, fundraisers, and community activities at the schools. After school learning activities and daycare at the schools will not be impacted by this policy. This plan will be in effect through at least Monday, April 27 pending updates from the DPH, Governor Baker, and Commissioner Riley. Please do not hesitate to contact the Rowe School or Superintendent Franzoni at 664-9292 if you have any further questions." This means we are postponing next week's Spaghetti Supper, as soon as it is rescheduled we will get the word out. At the school, Students, staff, volunteers, and families are reminded to do the following:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, if unable to wash, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

• Cover your coughs or sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve (not with your hands)

• Stay away from people who are sick and stay home when you are sick

Mrs. Griffin and I are in regular contact with our Central Office, the Mass. DPH, and the CDC to make sure we are acting in the best way we can to keep all members of our community safe, and our students' learning on track. Please contact us if you have any concerns or questions. I found a couple of interesting and timely articles on the subject, I hope you find them useful:

https://www.vox.com/2020/3/10/21171481/coronavirus-us-cases-quarantine-cancellation

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/10/social-distancing-coronavirus/

2.29.20

One of these weeks, we'll be able to ski again. We're now scheduled to finish our ski days next Thursday, March 5th. The weather seems to change so much these days, from warm to cold, from rain to snow. Please make sure your students have appropriate clothing to be able to play outside when the weather cooperates.

I understand there have been some questions about Nurse Kate not being here. What I can tell you that she is no longer working at Rowe. We wish her well. If you have questions, please come see me.

I hope you can join us for the Spaghetti Supper on Wednesday, March 18th. In addition to the delicious meal, this event is an important fundraiser for the 5th and 6th-grade field trips to Washington, D.C. and Nature's Classroom. Please come and enjoy a great meal and support a good cause.

The next School Committee meeting is Thursday, March 19th at 4 p.m., the next PTP meeting is Wednesday, March 4th at 8 a.m., I encourage you to join us and learn more about what's going on at the school.

We have been working with our friend, Ted Watt from the Hitchcock Center for the Environment on science and Project Based Learning this year, and the students and teachers have enjoyed the time, and we've all learned a lot. He'll be coming back at least four more times this year, thanks again to a STARS Grant. Ask your student what they like about Mr. Ted. The Hitchcock Center is open to families and the community second Saturdays of the month, thru June, from 9am-1pm. Stop by and join them for free Saturday Family Science Programs from 10-11am on the second Saturday of each month. Registration for their Summer Camp is open as well. Learn more and register here: https://www.hitchcockcenter.org/programs/children-and-family-programs/

1.30.20

With the one postponement, next week will be our fourth and final Winter Enrichment Day at Berkshire East, and we're looking forward to it. So many never-evers have become skiers, and last year's skiers are challenging themselves (safely) on new and exciting trails.

Reports cards are coming home today, with this newsletter, for grades K-6. Report cards went home Thursday for Preschool. The depth of analysis and feeling our teachers give to each student's performance is always impressive. Let us know what you think!

Thanks to everyone who came to the potluck and movie night last Friday, a good, and delicious, time was had by all! Thanks to the PTP for organizing it.

I found an interesting article about the benefits of doing math at home. I hope you enjoy it: https://t.co/CppVUhdBCt

1.21.20

Ski Day #2 is coming up. We're looking forward to a great day of skiing, the weather will cooperate this week.

Friday is Pot Luck and Movie Night. We hope to see you at some or all of it, whatever works for your family.

Report cards go home next Wednesday. The staff put a lot of thought and time into them, so please look them over thoroughly, and if you have questions, email, call or make an appointment. We want to give you as accurate a picture as possible of your child as a learner.

Our report cards are comprised of three parts: the evaluation of the students' work based on Massachusetts state standards, teacher's evaluation of students' work habits and social development, and the narratives that explain more of what has been going on in the classroom, and a more detailed description of the student's effort and results. I've posted a link in the Principal's Corner section of the school website and the Rowe School Community Facebook Page that might help explain them a little better, I hope you find it useful. https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/rethinking-report-cards/

Update - 1.16.20

The weather didn't cooperate today, thanks everyone for your flexibility and understanding, our most important job is to keep all the students safe, and it didn't feel like we could do that with the conditions we would have faced on the mountain. Fingers crossed for another good ski day next week, and our last day of skiing will now be Thursday, February 6. The bus will leave the school at 8:30 next Thursday, and we will be leaving the mountain at the regular time next week (2:45), and NOT sharing a bus with the Mohawk students, so we expect to be back at the school shortly after 3:00 on Thursday afternoon.

1.14.20

Fingers crossed for another good ski day this week. The weather is (sort of) cooperating, and the kids are looking forward to it. The bus will be leaving the school on time this week (8:30, we ended up leaving 45 minutes late last week. We will also be leaving the mountain at the regular time this week (2:45), and NOT sharing a bus with the Mohawk students, so we expect to be back at the school shortly after 3:00 on Thursday afternoon. I appreciate everyone's flexibility and patience.

Speaking of Thursday, School Committee meets Thursday afternoon at 4:00 in the Library, so after a good day of skiing, join us if you like.

Mrs. Lively and Mrs. P. are starting an after school Community Service activity for students in grades 3-6 on Tuesday, January 28. Look for a permission slip coming home this week.

I don't generally like to be the bearer of bad news, but I read two articles recently that highlighted possible safety concerns for children using social media sites like Tik Tok and some popular apps. Links to the articles are below:

https://www.learningliftoff.com/what-parents-should-know-about-the-tik-tok-musical-ly-app/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/11/22/apple-says-its-app-store-is-safe-trusted-place-we-found-reports-unwanted-sexual-behavior-six-apps-some-targeting-minors/?arc404=true

I hope you have a great day

1.10.20

A great day of skiing yesterday. The conditions were great, and the weather wasn't too cold. So many students skied for the first time, or tried new trails, and are proud of their development as skiers. Thanks to the chaperones and staff who make the day possible, and to the PTP for the financial support.

I hope you'll be able to join us for our Community Pot Luck, Movie Night at the school on Friday, January 24. More information will be coming soon. Should be a fun night!

Next week is a full week of school, the next early release Professional Learning Day is Wednesday, January 29.

If you have any interest in running an after-school program at the school (it pays...a little), please let us know. We're always looking for family members or community members who are interested in sharing their passions or interests with our students.

January's School Committee meeting is next week, Thursday, January 16th at 4 p.m. at the school.

I saw an article in the New York Times recently with some simple advice about staying healthy, and I wanted to share it. I hope you like it:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/03/opinion/simple-health-advice.html

1.2.20

Happy New Year! I hope your break was as restful and fun as you hoped it would be. Being back for two days and then the weekend is a nice way to ease back into the routine of school.

We're looking forward to our first day of skiing next Thursday! We have a number of students who have never skied before, and it's always exciting. Thanks in advance to all the chaperones, we couldn't do it without you. One note for next week: please make sure your students have warm gloves or mittens, dress in layers, and have good, long (non-cotton) socks. Everyone has a better day when they are warm enough! We will serve breakfast at the school, the bus will leave for Berkshire East at 8:30, so please have your skier to school on time. Lunch is served at the lodge, please check to see if you want your student to have school or home lunch, so Mrs. Lively doesn't make too few (or too many) sandwiches. Please check with Laurie about the end of the day, the bus leaves Berkshire East around 2:45, if other arrangements haven't been made, students will be brought back to the school for dismissal (bus or pick-up). And remember, ski equipment can't go on the regular school bus, bring it to the school and we can take it on the bus that transports students to Berkshire East.

We're already working on the budget process for next year, and if you have suggestions, please let me know.

This week's link is to a different kind of article, one that lists 24 things to do with kids during the winter. Enjoy! https://www.thespruce.com/fun-kids-winter-activities-2997492

The Early Edition - 12.9.19

"Kami sangat tertarik", which means "we are very excited" in Indonesian. Our Cultural Study performance is Thursday, we've been rehearsing, and the gym will be decorated with beautiful art and animals that our students have been created. We can't wait for you to see the gym and enjoy the performance. Everyone, students and staff, has been working so hard to get ready, with a special shout out going to Mr. Crean and Mrs. Kitchen for their efforts.

We hope you and your student can get here around 6:00 on Thursday so you have time to walk through the hallways and the gym to see the work that your students have been doing during our study of Indonesia. Please keep your students with you during this time, it is not the time for them to be running around the hallways or the gym. Students must be in the cafeteria at 6:15 to get ready, and the performance will start at 6:30. Bring your dancing shoes, we've got some great Polish musicians (and one Rowe resident) joining us. We hope you "Nikmati acaranya"! (enjoy the show!)

We will be making a video of the performance and will try to share it through email, let me know if you are interested in getting a link to the video of the performance. We are traveling to Smith College in Northampton on Friday to see an Indonesian Gamelan orchestra in person, that will be exciting too!

Next week is a mostly full week, there is NO early release on Wednesday, we have a 12:30 release on Friday (lunch is served), and students will be making gingerbread houses (Thanks, Miss Kim and Miss Wendy!) on Thursday.

I came across an article about the five best toys of all time. I hope you get a chuckle: https://www.wired.com/2011/01/the-5-best-toys-of-all-time/

12.5.19

Our Cultural Study is winding down. We will have a full day of mini-courses tomorrow, and our performance celebrating the music and culture of Indonesia is one week away! Next Thursday, we'll be rehearsing during the day, and we ask that students and families arrive at 6:00 to view all the amazing artwork that will be on display in the gym, and at 6:15, students will go to the cafeteria to get ready for the performance, which begins at 6:30. We ask that students wear white (or light) tops and black (or dark) bottoms for the performance. We also ask that during the time when students and families are enjoying the art that they stay together, so parents and guardians can keep an eye on their students; it is not a time for students to be running and playing in the gym or the school. The students (and staff) have been working hard on all parts of this performance, I think you'll be amazed and entertained. The following day, Friday, December 13th, K-6 students are traveling to Smith College top experience an Indonesian Gamelan orchestra.

Blizzard Bags went home Wednesday with students. They are due back next Wednesday, December 11th. Rowe School is “adopting” a family for the holidays, to help make their holidays a little brighter. Each class is adopting a member of the family, and students in those classes can, if they choose, purchase gifts for a specific family member. The deadline for donations is December 13th. Order forms for our new Rowe School apparel are due Friday morning, December 6th, AT THE LATEST. You'll receive them by December 20th. If you are purchasing a gift, please contact Kerri McLatchy.

I hate to be a nag, and I know mornings can be difficult, but it is important that your student be at school by 8:25 so they are ready to start their day with their classmates. The is a LOT of learning that goes on in the first section of the day, and by coming in late, your student can lose out on that learning and have a difficult transition to the school day. Everyone will benefit, including you, if your child starts the school day on time.

A few quick scheduling reminders: Wednesday, 12/11 is a Professional Learning Day, students are released at 1:50 and after-school child care is available. Wednesday, 12/18 is a full day of school. Our last day of school before the holidays is Friday, 12/20, it is a 12:30 release, and lunch will be served.

I found an article about alternatives to the standard ways we tend to praise students:

https://www.leadinggreatlearning.com/five-alternatives-to-good-job/

11.27.19

It's almost December! There's a lot going on at the Rowe School this month. Next week are Mini-Courses where students get to do cooking, crafts, and activities all related to our study of Indonesia. And the following week is our Cultural Study performance, on Thursday, December 12th. The show starts at 6:30, and students need to be at the school by 6:15 to get ready for the performance, but you'll want to come early (anytime after 6:00) to look at all the amazing art our students have produced over the last few months displayed in the gym. Then we (K-6) travel to Smith to see an Indonesian Gamelan Orchestra. Lots of fun stuff happening!

The Holiday Bazaar, sponsored by the PTP, is coming in December! Students will get to choose gifts for loved ones from hundreds of possibilities, and the 5/6 students will help wrap and label their purchases.

Thank you for continuing to keep our students safe in the parking lot at arrival and dismissal by not passing buses when their red lights are flashing, only going one way around the parking lot, and keeping your student close to you as you cross the lot.

I'm sorry to have to share news like about the found shell casings, but I appreciate the understanding that we're trying to keep everyone safe. As soon as we know more, we will let everyone know.

Someone shared this post with me, about grit being more important to success than brains or brawn, and I thought you might enjoy it:

https://nypost.com/2019/11/04/grit-more-important-to-success-than-brains-and-brawn-west-point-study-finds/

11.21.19

Next week is a short but busy week. We have full days of school on Monday and Tuesday, and a 12:30 release on Wednesday, with lunch being served at 12:00. Monday we have a visit from a professor of Indonesian music and dance. She will visit each classroom.

Yesterday we had a reunification practice, with assistance from local and state authorities. In this practice, students were “evacuated” to the gym, bus students left the school at the regular release time, and students who are usually picked up are reunified with parents or guardians through a multi-step process. That you to everyone for their patience as we practice drills like this. With the students, we focus on this as a practice for us all to keep safe, and don't focus on some of the more disturbing aspects of why we practice these procedures.

As we come to the Thanksgiving break, I am thankful to work in a community of learners such as what we have here at Rowe School. That includes students, staff, families and community members, all of whom are contributing to the learning of our students in their own generous way.

I encourage you to come to the school if you have time and observe or volunteer in your student's classroom. There is no better way to know exactly what's happening in your child's education.

I hope your family has a wonderful Thanksgiving, a safe (though short) vacation, and you have the time you want with family, friends and food this long weekend.

As the holidays approach and life feels increasingly busy, I'd like to share with you an article I liked about the importance of slowing down and daydreaming​.​​

http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2012/06/01/why-daydreaming-isnt-a-waste-of-time/

11.14.19

Thanks to everyone who took the time to have a conference with their student's teacher. Working together is the best way to help your child be the best learner they can be.

There are a couple of interesting and unusual things happening next week. On Monday, an American who lived in Indonesia for two years is visiting the school to talk with each class about her experiences.

Wednesday afternoon, (a full day of school) we are having an evacuation/reunification practice, with assistance from local and state authorities. Students will know it is coming, it will not be a surprise. We are practicing what to do if we have to evacuate from the classrooms to the gym, and then be released to families, or to the buses, from there. With the students, we focus on this as a practice for us all to keep safe, and don't focus on some of the more disturbing aspects of why we practice evacuations. A letter with more detail will be coming home.

In all the classrooms and the specials, the staff has been working with students helping them learn more about Indonesia and get them ready for the Cultural Performance on Thursday, December 12th - save the date! Ask your students what they are learning about Indonesia. You might be surprised!

I came across an article about how to help your child succeed at school. I hope you find it useful: https://www.nytimes.com/guides/smarterliving/help-your-child-succeed-at-school?searchResultPosition=1&redirect=true

11.7.19

It's always encouraging to see so many families join us for conferences, it's an important time for parents, guardians, and teachers to work together to figure out how best to help our students as learners both at school and at home. Tuesday was a useful day of Professional Development for the school staff. We identified a few areas where we want to focus on with students, including math facts and handwriting. You'll be hearing more from the teachers.

We're doing Blizzard Bags again this year. Please let me or your student's teacher know if you have any questions. More information will be coming home soon.

We're starting the work in each classroom, and in our specials classes, to learn more about the culture, art, music, geography, and history of Indonesia. If you, or someone you know, has any connection to Indonesia and would be willing to share their knowledge with the students, please let me know. An expert in Indonesian music and dance visited the school this week, and an Indonesian artist will join us in December. We will be visiting Smith College in December to experience an Indonesian Gamelan orchestra. This year's performance will be Thursday, December 12th - save the date! Ask your students what they are learning about Indonesia. You might be surprised at what you hear!

There was a lot to digest in the materials that went home regarding the MCAS results for students who took the tests last spring. Let me know if you have any questions.

I came across an article last week about the connection between screen time and reduced brain development in young children. I hope you find it interesting: https://www.wvtm13.com/article/mris-show-screen-time-linked-to-lower-brain-development-in-preschoolers-1572951863/29695410

10.29.19

This one's a little early, because there's some important Halloween safety information included.

Everyone had lots of fun at Tailgate Trick or Treat last Friday, and at the Community Pot Luck and Halloween Dance! We had well over 100 people attend, a record for us. A good time was had by all. It was great that so many could share a good time together. As many families prepare to enjoy trick-or-treating somewhere other than our school parking lot, keep safety in mind. According to the National Safety Council, "Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year." So please, be safe. I've included some of the Council's suggestions for safe trick-or-treating here: https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/autumn/halloween

Conferences are here! Family conferences are happening next week: Wednesday, 11/6 from 3:30-6:10, and Thursday and Friday, 11/7 or 11/8, from 12:30-3:10. Call Laurie to set up your time. Please note: next week is an unusual week. We have a full day of school on Monday, 11/4, no school on Tuesday, 11/5, a full day of school on Wednesday, 11/6, and 12:30 release days on Thursday and Friday, 11/7 and 11/8. And there is no school (Veterans' Day) on Monday, 11/11. Got all that? Call us if you have any questions.

The kick-off to the study of Indonesia was exciting and informative. We had a delicious luncheon of Indonesian specialties, thanks to Mrs. Lively and Miss Brooke. Save the date: the Indonesian performance is on Thursday, 12/12.

We will be using Blizzard Bags again this year to reduce the number of days we have to make up due to cancellations caused by snow. Thank you to those families that provided feedback about last year's process.

I found an interesting article on how to make the most of family conferences. I hope you find it useful: http://mindfullifetoday.com/how-to-make-the-most-of-your-parent-teacher-conferences/?mc_cid=96c8c47b98&mc_eid=7365f01eea

10.24.19

Friday is Trunk or Treat at the school, starting at 5:30 min the parking lot, followed by the Community Potluck dinner at 6:15, and a Halloween Dance after that. For the Potluck, if your last name begins with …..

A-F - Please bring an Appetizer or a Salad

G-P - Please bring a Dessert

Q-Z - Please bring a Main Dish

Good news!: We have been told by the National Weather Service that Rowe has experienced two hard frosts in October, so we are going to start having Forest Fridays at the Park beginning this Friday, and all students will be going outside for recess.

Conferences are coming! Family conferences are happening the week of November 4th. They can be scheduled Wednesday, 11/6 from 3:30-6:10, and Thursday or Friday, 11/7 or 11/8, from 12:30-3:10. Call Laurie to set up your time. Please note: the next week is an unusual one. We have a full day of school on Monday, 11/4, no school on Tuesday, 11/5 (it is a Professional Development day for teachers), Wednesday, 11/6 is a regular day, (with conferences after school), then 12:30 release days on Thursday and Friday, 11/7 and 11/8. There is no school on Monday, 11/11 due to the Veteran's Day holiday. Got all that? Call us if you have questions.

Please join the PTP at their next meeting, Wednesday, 11/4 at 8 a.m. at the school. You can learn more about the PTP and how it benefits your student and our school.

10.17.19

The K-6 students are taking a field trip to the Montshire Museum in Norwich, Vermont on Friday, October 18, and it's going to be fun. We'll be leaving the school at 7:30 in the morning and will get back at 4:30. The bus to and from school will not run for elementary students, and there will be no breakfast served. I am confident we won't be late returning this week, but in case we are, I have figured out how to make notification calls from the road, in case we need to get a message out. Ask your student about the museum tomorrow evening.

We appreciate everything families are doing to get your students here by 8:20, it really helps when students start the day on time in the classroom. If, however, the fates conspire against you and your student come to the school after 8:25, please make sure they (or you) stop in the office and let us know whether they are having home or school lunch. It makes a BIG difference.

Congratulations to the Rowe Phoenix soccer team on the occasion of their first away game, this past Tuesday at Hawlemont. Their final game is Thursday at 4:00 at Rowe. Come out and support the team!

Next Friday, October 25 is "Trunk or Treat" at the school starting at 5:30, followed by a Community Pot Luck Dinner at 6:15. Hope you, and your trick-or-treaters can make it!

I found an article about sensitivity to other cultures when it comes to Halloween costumes. It may be geared to an older group, but I think it is an important message to consider: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/10/23/halloween-cultural-appropriation-questions/780479001/

10.10.19

We're looking forward to tomorrow's hike up Mount Greylock, and thank you in advance to the chaperones who will be hiking with us. The buses will leave the school at 8:30, so please plan accordingly. We expect to be back by 3:15, but may be a few minutes late. Our next field trip is next Friday, October 18, when the K-6 students will be visiting the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont. For that long trip, we will be leaving the school at 7:30 and returning at 4:30.

We have been in touch with the Mass. Department of Public Health, the Rowe Board of Health, and the Rowe Town Nurse about an update on the EEE risk level, as soon as we know more, we'll let you know.

Students in grades 4-6 will be bringing their Spring 2018 MCAS results home with them today. Please look it over, and contact your student's teacher if you have questions. There is also a letter coming home with students who have been absent or tardy (after 8:25) so far this year, indicating the number of days absent or tardy. We appreciate everything you do to try to have your student at school on time, it really makes a difference.

Rowe School's first soccer game is today, starting around 4:00. There is no practice for the PreK-2 team.

Save the date: Trunk or Treat is at the school on Friday, October 25th, at 5:30 pm, followed by a Community Potluck Dinner at 6:15 pm.

I found an article on how

parents can become more engaged in their students' learning. I hope you find it useful:

http://inservice.ascd.org/parents-need-to-learn-five-ways-to-engage-parents-in-student-learning. (The link will be in the Principal's Corner section of the school website and Facebook page)

10.3.19

Due to the rain in the forecast, we have to postpone our hike up Mt. Greylock to next Friday, October 11. A new permission slip has gone home, please get it back in this week. if you want to chaperone, please indicate that on the slip as well. Let me know if you have any questions

Two things are coming home next week. Families of students in grades 4-6 will receive their Spring 2019 MCAS results. Please look it over, and contact your student's teacher if you have questions. There is also a letter indicating the number of days absent or tardy for your student so far this year. Please try to have your student at school on time, it makes a difference.

The PTP met this week. Look elsewhere in this newsletter for information about upcoming plans and about the PTP in general. Please participate in the clothing Swap this Saturday. The organization does so much for the school, and will only be strengthened by more participation. I encourage you to consider participating in a way that works for you. Their meetings are the first Wednesday of each month at 8:00 am.

One big event the PTP helps organize each year is the Trunk or Treat, which will happen at the school on Friday, October 25th, followed by a Community Pot Luck Dinner. If you're new to the school, ask someone about it. It's a fun Rowe School tradition. You can always call the school for more information.

9.26.19

Soccer is taking Rowe by storm! We have 36 kids signed up to play soccer, almost half the school! It's great to see that there's so much interest. And now's your chance to cheer on the Rowe Phoenix in their first two games: Monday, October 7 at Hawlemont, Thursday, October 10 here at Rowe. The games will likely start around 4:00 or shortly after, and crowd support will really help. I hope you can make it. More details will go home to soccer families soon.

The next event is our hike for students in grades K-6, Friday, October 4th. We’re hiking Mt. Greylock, so it's going to be fun and beautiful. If you want to chaperone and haven't signed up, do so this week!

There will be a letter coming home next week detailing the number of days your student has been tardy and absent during the month of September. We will be doing this for two reasons: to comply with the Rowe School Committee policy regarding absences, and to reiterate our strong feeling that having students in school, and at school on time, is vital to their education. Breakfast is served until 8:20, students are in the classroom and school starts at 8:25, students who arrive after 8:25 will be marked tardy, but we really encourage you to have your student to school by 8:20. To arrive after that disrupts the morning not only of the student who is tardy, but also that of the other students in that class. There is an article about how being late to school affects students' learning in the Principal's Corner section of the school website and Facebook page. : https://www.swan.wa.edu.au/articles/swan-blog/students-who-are-late-to-school-and-how-it-affects/


9.19.19

Aaarrrghhh! It's Talk Like A Pirate Day!

It was great to see so many people at our Open House! Your support of your student's education is a big part of their success. Students were excited to show their families their classrooms and what they've been doing. You're always welcome to visit and observe any time, or to volunteer. Just coordinate your visit with your student's teacher.

Next week is another Professional Learning Day. On Wednesday, September 25, students are released at 1:50 to allow teachers to continue their learning. Free childcare is available from 1:50-3:20, please let Laurie know if your child will be staying.

Please get your remaining paperwork in, especially the hike permission slip, it helps us keep your student's information and your contact information up to date, in case there is an issue at school, and/or we need to contact you. We will be testing the email and phone contact systems soon, so please make sure the phone numbers and email addresses we have for you are current.

As students come back to school, there is at times, certainly in the older grades, the opportunity to use the internet for school assignments. I found an article called the 'Parent’s Guide to the Internet', which might offer some guidelines. Please let me know if you find it useful. https://www.vpnmentor.com/blog/the-ultimate-parent-guide-for-child-internet/

9.12.19

Next Wednesday will be another of our Professional Learning (PL) Days. On these Wednesdays throughout the year, students are released at 1:50 p.m. and teachers will use that time to collaborate with colleagues on strategies for increasing student engagement and learning. All of the PL days are listed on the school calendar that was in the packet and is on the website. PL days will also be listed in the newsletter. There is free after-school childcare available on PL days from 1:50-3:20 pm. We ask that if you plan to have your student stay during that time that you let the school know by phone, email or note by Wednesday morning. If they are staying, please send your student to school with appropriate clothing and footwear to go outside and a water bottle.

Please remember that our school day starts at 8:25. Thank you to everyone who is getting their students here by that time. If your student arrives after that, they are missing important time in the classroom that will help start their day off well, and are disrupting the work of those students who are already here when they arrive late. Students will be marked tardy if they arrive after 8:25. Please do what you can to get your student here on time, for everyone's benefit.

Those families that pick their student up at school, thank you for your patience as you wait for students to board the bus. Even though it is the law to wait while the red lights are flashing on a school bus, that doesn't make it any easier to wait at the end of the school day. And thank you as well for following the one-way rule in our parking lot.

Our Open House is scheduled for next Wednesday, 9/18, from 6:30-7:30 pm. Please come see what's happening in your student's classroom, meet the teachers and have a chance to ask questions. I know you're going to like what you see.

Specials are in full swing: Art, Spanish, PE and Music are happening for all grades. Ask your student about what they're doing!

I found an article about how to kick-start your child's school year. I hope you find it useful: https://www.scholastic.com/parents/school-success/school-life/back-to-school/10-teachers-tips-kick-starting-new-school-year.html

9.5.19

So many of our students did so many interesting things over vacation, it's been great to hear all the stories. We have a number of new friends at the school this year, and our student population is at 73, our biggest since opening the new school in 2014. It's been a treat to watch the students welcome their new friends into our community. It's also been exciting to watch the classes start to come together as working units, already working hard together, and to see the students playing together at recess. The classes have been working on defining what Rowe School's core values: Kindness, Community, Responsibility, and Perseverance, look like in each classroom.

Thank you to everyone who is working so hard to get your students here on time. It makes a big difference for the success of their morning at school, and for the students in their class as well. A quick reminder: Our school day starts at 8:20, students are welcome to arrive anytime after 7:30, breakfast is served from 8:05 to 8:20. So if you want your student to eat breakfast, they need to arrive before 8:20, and students who arrive after 8:25 are marked tardy. Also, please remember, our parking lot is one way, in and to the right, around the circle and out. Please don't try to turn around and exit from the wrong side of the lot, and remember that it is illegal to pass a school bus when its RED lights are flashing.

A couple of schedule notes: Our Open House will be on Wednesday, September 18, at 6:30. Our first fire drill will be next Wednesday, September 11. Teachers will work with the students to get them ready. September's School Committee meeting is Thursday, September 12, at 4:00 p.m. in the Library.

One final note about EEE: I appreciate your flexibility and understanding around this situation, for the first time in my life I'm wishing for an early frost, and we can get back to normal for recess and Forest Fridays. We'll keep you updated.

There was an interesting article online about how to raise an "Upstander", someone who recognizes when something is wrong and takes action. I hope you find it interesting: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-to-raise-an-upstander_l_5d5e0df2e4b0dfcbd487ea20

8.30.19

It's been a whirlwind three days, new faces to get to know and old friends to catch up with. Students are already excited about the project based learning they're going to be doing in various classes, the books they're taking out of the Library for reading, and the challenges that they are overcoming in math. I encourage you to come observe a class, get in touch with your student's teacher to arrange a time.

Remember that our school day starts at 8:20. Students are welcome to arrive anytime after 7:30. Breakfast begins being served at 8:05. Pledge is at 8:20. If you want your student to eat breakfast, they need to arrive before 8:20. Students who arrive after 8:25 are marked tardy.

Our Open House is scheduled for Wednesday, September 18th, 6:30-7:30. I hope you can join us and learn more about where your student spends their days.

For our Cultural Study this year we are "traveling" to Indonesia. If you have or know someone who has, a connection to or information about Indonesia that could be shared with our teaching staff or our students, please be in touch.

I'm excited about our plan to have two soccer teams, the information and a sign-up sheet went home today, and is on the school website. I also sent an email today with a general call for adults interested in leading an after-school activity, I hope you'll consider it. I also sent information about the next after-school activity: a school newspaper. There will be more announcements coming shortly about after-school activities, please stay tuned.

There was an interesting article online about how parents and guardians can get involved with their students' reading, and how it will benefit the students' progress. I hope you find it interesting: https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/54229/a-reading-program-that-starts-with-a-promise-parents-make-to-their-kids



8.16.19

We're looking forward to seeing everyone in a little over a week, Wednesday, August 28th! I hope you and your student(s) get the most sun, swimming, reading, and relaxation out of these last week that you can.

Just a reminder that our school day starts at 8:20, breakfast is served from 8:05-8:20, if you want your student to have breakfast, they should arrive before 8:20. Students are welcome at the school anytime after 7:30, and students that arrive after 8:25 will be marked tardy. Also note that the first three days of school, Wed., Thurs., and Fri., 8/28, 8/29 and 8/30, are all 12:30 release days, lunch will be served, and there is no after-school childcare.

I found a list of back to school resources for families and thought you might find it useful: https://www.edutopia.org/article/back-to-school-resources-parents I'll be sending it via email as well.

6.12.19

It's hard to believe that the school year is coming to an end, with Preschool's last day yesterday, and everyone else finishes today. It seems like it goes faster every year. Yesterday was an exciting field Day for PreK-6, and students in K-6 spent the afternoon at Pelham Lake Park. This week also held Author's Teas, the Talent Show with a special performance by Mrs. Lively (check out the Rowe School Community Facebook Page), our first all-school Awards Ceremony. Graduation is tonight at 6:30, and all are invited.

It was quite a year at the Rowe School. We created a play about a game warden being saved by the forest animals, designed presentations about animals and habitats, did a story walk at the Town Library, "visited" Poland and the Polish Cultural Center, traveled to Pine Hill Orchard, we hiked Negus Mountain and skied at Berkshire East, had a Pot Luck and Movie Night, Tailgate Trick or Treat, and Spaghetti Supper, learned about addition, fractions and algebraic equations, read about animals, trucks, and wizards, learned Spanish, wrote about our families, vacations and favorite things, learned through Project Based Learning, made beautiful art, sang songs and played our instruments, and played with our old friends and made new ones. We're looking forward to more fun and excitement next year.

May the summer bring you all the rest, relaxation, fun and family time you want. Email is the best way to reach us during the summer, and check the website for updates on calendars and the schedule.

Summer School starts on Tuesday, June 18. Call us with any questions.

We work with the students all year to increase their level of empathy, here are some book suggestions for various ages that can help continue that process over the summer. I hope you find it useful: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/books-that-teach-empathy I also found an interesting article about how encouraging your student to read during the summer can help them as they head to school in the fall, I hope you find it interesting: http://www.readingrockets.org/news/10-tips-stop-summer-slide

6.6.19

As the school year winds down, it also feels like it speeds up. The Primary Class play was this afternoon (it was AMAZING!), and their Authors' Teas are Friday and Monday. The 3/4 class spent today at the Park with Mr. Ted from the Hitchcock Center, and he is joining is Monday (6/10) for a BioBlitz! all-school nature activity. The Talent Show is next Monday (6/10) Field Day is next Tuesday (6/11), followed by Graduation on Wednesday, 6/12 (6:30 at the school). Preschool's last day is Tuesday, 6/11, with a 12:30 release. The last day for K-6 is Wednesday, 6/12, with a 1:00 release. There's more going on, check the newsletter and the calendar on the school website for updates.

Speaking of graduation, the 6th graders want everyone to know that graduation is a celebration for the whole school community, and that everyone is welcome, and that it will be a more joyous celebration if more of the Rowe School community is there to wish our graduates well. They (and I) hope you can make it.

Summer is an important time for students learning, even if they are not in Summer School. In addition to playing and swimming, having students read everyday, finding time to talk about the books they're reading with them, talking about math as you shop or cook with your student, these things will benefit them and help prevent the "summer slide". Summer is also when students and families spend more time in the water. I found an informative article about water safety, here's the link : https://slate.com/technology/2013/06/rescuing-drowning-children-how-to-know-when-someone-is-in-trouble-in-the-water.html

5.30.19

Don't miss the excitement tonight, our annual Art an Music Night. The fun starts at 6:00. This is where our students show all the amazing art they've been working on throughout the year., and hear the great stuff coming out of Music class and instrument lessons. Performances start at 6:30, but get there early so you can tour the "art museum" set up in the gym, and please have your students in black (or dark) bottoms and a white top.

If you have a student in the 5th and 6th grade, they'll be taking an overnight field trip to Red Gate Farm in Ashfield next week. It's a great opportunity for our students to learn about life ​on a working farm, as well as the importance of hard work and collaboration, and there'll be time for play and fun too. They'll be attending with students from some of the other elementary schools, which will give them a chance to make or solidify friendships. Thanks to financial help from Red Gate Farm, we're able to keep the cost reasonable for each student.

There is a lot going on over the next few weeks between now and the end of school, so please keep an eye on the newsletter and the school website for up to date information. Something new we're doing is a "BioBlitz", a culminating event for our work with Mr. Ted from the Hitchcock Center. That'll be Monday, June 10, from 9:00-11:00, if you'd like to join us.

Summer's coming, and it's a great time to encourage your student to be reading. Series are always popular, and can really encourage a reader to move from one book to the next. Ask your child's teacher for book recommendations, or follow this link for some ideas: https://imaginationsoup.net/book-recommendations-age/

5.22.19

Don't miss the excitement next Thursday, May 30, at our annual Art and Music Night. The fun starts at 6:00. This is where our students show all the amazing art they've been working on throughout the year., and hear the great stuff coming out of Music class and instrument lessons. Performances start at 6:30, but get there early so you can tour the "art museum" set up in the gym, and please have your students in dark pants or skirts and a white top. We ask that your students remember that even though it's after school time, the rules for behavior in school still apply. (Walking feet, hands-off, indoor voices, etc.)

The 3rd and 4th grades have set up a "story walk" at the Town Library, and has been at the Park for Forest Fridays, recently with Mr. Ted from the Hitchcock Center. Ted has been working with the other classes as well, as part of a STARS grant we worked on for this year. He and the students have been out in our field and forest, and down at the Park. The Primary Class has also been learning at the Park. All students will visit East Cemetery for a Memorial day observance next Tuesday, with assistance from Rowe resident, and Navy veteran, John Magnago. If you've seen students out and about, it's for good reasons.

The after-school activities continue this week: there is Gardening on Monday, Cards on Tuesday, and Creative Writing on Thursday. If you think you might be interested in running one next year on WHATEVER it is you're passionate about and would like to do with kids, let's talk! There's a small stipend, and money for supplies.

I found an article about many ways parents can encourage emotionally intelligent behavior in their children. It's a guide to resources for learning more about character development. I hope you find it useful: https://www.edutopia.org/social-emotional-learning-parent-resources

5.16.19

Thank you to the voters of Rowe for supporting the school budget at their Town Meeting this week. We will continue, as always, to offer the best academic and social/emotional education for all our students, and appreciate the vote of confidence.

There is a fun activity happening at the school next Tuesday night: Game Night! it's free, it's for students and families to participate in fun and engaging learning activities focused on board games and puzzles, and it's from 5:30-6:30 on Tuesday. It's put on by the Parent Advisory Council (PAC) of the North Berkshire School Union (NBSU), who will share ideas for games you can play at home with your child to develop fine motor skills, language, reading, and more. A flyer went home Wednesday in backpacks, or check your email for more details.

We finished up MCAS testing this week, everyone worked hard and did their best. Results will be sent home in September. We will always comply with state mandates, but we believe that the best way to gauge our students progress is through long-term interaction, discussion, and authentic assessment that evaluates the whole child, as opposed to a standardized snapshot like the MCAS.

Save the date: Thursday, May 30 for Art and Music Night, beginning at 6:00 at the school. See the amazing art your students have been creating, and hear our singers and players demonstrate what they've been learning this year.

I came across this interesting article on teaching children to self-regulate, specifically how to deal with feelings and stress, I hope you find it useful: http://www.heysigmund.com/how-to-self-regulate/ (the link is also on the Rowe School Community Facebook Page

5.9.19

Next week promises to be a busy one at the school. We finish our MCAS testing for Math for grades 3-6 tomorrow, and for Science and Technology for grade 5 on Tuesday and Friday of next week. We have gardening, card games, and creative writing After School Activities on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, respectively. And, oh yeah, we'll be teaching students reading, writing, math, etc. when we're not doing something else exciting.

Rowe Town Meeting is Monday, May 13 at 7:00, with a Special Town Meeting starting at 6:30. The School Committee will hold its May meeting at 4:00 that afternoon. We will continue, as always, to strive to offer the best academic and social/emotional education for all our students, and appreciate the support of the Town of Rowe, and then greater Rowe School community.

Check the calendar in the newsletter and on the School's website to keep track of all the events going on between now and the end of school.

We have sent invitations out to students we have identified that would benefit from added instruction during Summer School. Please send the letter back in, indicating whether or not your student will be attending Summer School this year, and talk with your student's teacher if you have any questions.

Here's an article I found about the benefits of Summer School for childrens' education: http://www.parenting.com/article/summer-school-kids

5.2.18

Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week, which at Rowe School means it's Staff Appreciation Week. That's because without everyonewho works at the Rowe School, the teachers could not do the amazing work they do with students. Thanks in advance to the PTP for all they do to show the staff how appreciated they are.

Among the many things I love about our school is the amount of interesting things that are going on around the school! The 3/4 class is incubating eggs, the Primary class wrote letters about being gritty kids, the Preschool are learning about seeds and plants, and the 5/6 class is making maps. We are blessed with a beautiful and resource-full area to educate in, and a dedicated and resourceful staff to take advantage of it. The 3/4 and 5/6 classes worked hard on the ELA MCAS test last week (next week is Math, and the week after that, 5th graders finish up with Science and Technology).

There is a LOT going on between now and the end of the year, we'll do our best to keep you updated. Check the newsletter, the calendar on the website, and your child's folder for information.

No link this week, just a quote that I came across and thought was useful: "Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you." - Frank Lloyd Wright. Have a great week.

4.25.18

As I mentioned before vacation, there is a lot going on between now and the end of school (Tuesday, June 11 for Preschool, Wednesday, June 12 for K-6, Graduation on Wednesday, June 12, 6:30 at the school), so please check the calendar in the newsletter and on the website for updates. Here are just a few highlights: Monday, April 29 - Primary Class goes to Mass MoCA and there will be an Arbor Day presentation at 2:45 at which all students will receive a tree to plant, Wednesday, May 1 - it is a 1:50 release, Tuesday, May 7 - Preschool and Primary Open House and Registration for next year, it is also the first Math MCAS day, and "That's A Cool Job!" Day is in the afternoon, Wednesday, May 8 - 3/4 goes to Mass MoCA, and it is a 1:50 release, Thursday, May 9 - Preschool goes to Mass MoCA. Please call the school with any questions.

Be sure to catch a hard-hitting Rowe Phoenix baseball game, check the newsletter for dates and times.

There are a couple of meetings coming up that I encourage you to attend: the Parent-Teacher Partnership (PTP) is meeting Wednesday, May 1 at 8 a.m., and the Rowe School Committee meets Monday, May 13 before the Rowe Town Meeting. Both organizations do so much for the school, in different ways.

We have just started MCAS tests for grades 3-6, here's some information on how families can help students before and after the tests. I hope you find it useful: http://www.readingrockets.org/article/how-help-your-child-prepare-standardized-tests

4.4.18

Conferences are well under way here, they started yesterday, and continue today and tomorrow. They are such an important way for parents and guardians to her directly about their students as learners and members of the school community. Thanks you for taking the time to participate in your child’s education.

I’m going to repeat a couple things that went out in an email earlier this week:

-MCAS testing for students in grades 3-6 will start after vacation, on Tuesday, 4/23. We’ll send a complete schedule home. Please try as much as possible to have your student in school those days, it’s challenging for them to have to make up the test.

-Please keep students under adult control when walking in the parking lot. It make take a minute or two more, but it’s worth the time in peace of mind.

-The 5/6 class, along with Laurie Pike and me, will be in Washington next week, leaving early Monday and coming back late Friday.

Next week is an early release on Wednesday, 4/10. Thanks again for your understanding with the schedule switch this Wednesday. After that, it’s vacation, and I hope you have a good one.

Though we are required to have our students take th3 MCAS tests, we feel they are only one snapshot of our students as learners, and try not to have them stress about them. Here’s a link to a related article: https://knowledgeworks.org/resources/using-social-emotional-learning-prepare-learners-high-stakes-tests/?fbclid=IwAR1vSMN2IP570PYRyfuxB2hPP90THavBBeaUlnnKn-Hs7OWRzWMZ4gJufH0

3.28.19


The first week of April will be busy here, with Family Conferences Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, April 3, 4 and 5. Wednesday is a 1:50 release, and conferences are from 1:50-6:10. On Thursday and Friday, students are released at 12:30, with conferences from 12:30-3:10. Check with Laurie to get a conference time with your students' teachers.

We are starting MCAS testing next week, the 3/4 and 5/6 classes will be taking their ELA tests, on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 2 and 3. As with any assessment, we try to keep the stress level to a minimum, because stressed students don't test well. Please remind your students that they will be promoted to the next grade no matter what their MCAS score is and that the test is as much a measure of the way the teachers have been teaching as it is a test of their knowledge. They should try to get a good night's sleep before the test, eat a good breakfast, and try not to worry. Standardized tests show only a small part of them as a student.

The 5/6 class is heading to Washington, D.C, on Monday, April 8, returning Friday, April 12. It should be an exciting trip!

I usually include a link to an article of some kind at the end of each column, but I wanted to share a quote from the book (and movie) Wonder I really liked. We stress it with the students regularly, but I think it pertains to all of us in our dealings with other people, andourselves, every day. The quote is: "When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind". When you add my other favorite aphorism, "Assume best intentions", it offers the possibility for a pretty positive day (or week...month...year...life).

3.21.19

Spring is finally here, though you wouldn't know it by looking outside. It looks like it'll be getting a little better over the next week or so, but still have your student bring appropriate clothing for going outside, meaning boots and snowpants for the time being.

Thanks to everyone who came out for the Spaghetti Supper, a great meal and it raised money for a great cause. A special thanks to Mr. Beebe, Mrs. Lively, and Mrs. Barnes for organizing, and to all the volunteers who prepped, cooked, served, and cleaned up.

The first week of April will be busy here, with Family Conferences Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, April 3, 4 and 5, and Kids In Concert happening at the same time. Check with Laurie to get a conference time with your students' teachers.

I found an article entitled "Teachers Weigh In: What I wished parents asked at conferences". I hope you find it interesting: https://www.understood.org/en/community-events/blogs/teacher-tips/2019/02/25/teachers-weigh-in-what-i-wished-parents-asked-at-parent-teacher-conferences

3.14.19

You wouldn't know from looking out the window, but the official first day of Spring is less than a week away, but one never knows up here on the hill. We're making plans to get the students working outside when the weather permits, and planning to build on the work the students have been doing in Science (and other classes). Please make sure your students have appropriate clothing to be able to play and study outside no matter what the weather.

I hope you can join us for the Spaghetti Supper, next Wednesday, March 20. In addition to the delicious meal, this event is an important fundraiser for the 5th and 6th grade field trips to Washington, D.C. (this year) and Nature's Classroom(next year). Please come and enjoy a great meal and support a good cause.

Please look for the letter coming home today that details some changes we are instituting at dismissal time to make it less chaotic and more pleasant for all of us. The biggest change for parents and guardians picking up students will be that we'll be asking you to stay on the gym side of the lobby, and let the bus students line up before you leave with your student. The letter has more details, let me know if you have a question.

In addition to the academic learning we work with the students on every day, we also work with them on social-emotional learning: how to be a good friend, a positive member of the school community, how to be their best self. We have been a bit more explicit this year, speaking to the students about the importance of being kind, and how it feels when someone is excluded. If you're interested in continuing the work at home, contact your student's teacher for suggestions. Here's an article that has some simple suggestions:

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-27967/7-fun-ways-to-teach-kindness-to-kids.html

3.7.19


Another crazy weather week! March certainly came in like a lion, let's hope it knows enough to go out like a lamb.

A few families had questions about how the decision is made to cancel school, have a delay, or to have school as scheduled. We are on the same bus contract as Mohawk, so typically when Mohawk has school, we have school, and when they have a cancellation or delay, we do too. The Mohawk Superintendent, Mr. Buoniconti, or his busing coordinator, Robin Pease, is in touch with the Highway Departments in all of the hilltowns, including Rowe, to make sure it is safe for the buses to travel on the roads, and if it weren't, they would cancel school or call for a delay until the roads were safe, as they did this week. Keeping our students safe is our top priority. Let me know if you still have questions, and I'll do my best to answer them.

5th and 6th-grade parents, we're going to need all of your help at the Spaghetti Supper, the big fund-raiser for the trips to Washington, D.C. (this year) and Nature's Classroom. The students act as waiters, and traditionally, the parents do the prep and cooking. We'll be in sending information home, but please plan on helping out on Wednesday, March 20th, it helps keep the costs of the trips down for everyone.


2.28.19

One of these weeks, we'll have a full day of school. I guess winter isn't going away entirely. Looks like another possible storm Sunday into Monday, we'll keep you updated. Please make sure your students have appropriate clothing to be able to play outside no matter what the weather.

I hope you can join us for the Spaghetti Supper on Wednesday, March 20. In addition to the delicious meal, this event is an important fundraiser for the 5th and 6th-grade field trips to Washington, D.C. and Nature's Classroom. Please come and enjoy a great meal and support a good cause.

The next School Committee meeting is Thursday, March 21st at 4 p.m., the next PTP meeting is Wednesday, March 6th at 8 a.m., I encourage you to join us and learn more about what's going on at the school.

We have been working with our friend, Ted Watt from the Hitchcock Center for the Environment on science and Project Based Learning this year, and the students and teachers have enjoyed the time, and we've all learned a lot. He'll be coming back four more times this year, thanks to a STARS Grant. Ask your student what they like about Mr. Ted. The Hitchcock Center is open to families and the community second Saturdays of the month, thru June, from 9am-1pm. Stop by and join them for free Saturday Family Science Programs from 10-11am on the second Saturday of each month. Learn more and register by following this link:

https://www.hitchcockcenter.org/programs/children-and-family-programs/additional-programs/

2.7.19

Play and such...

We have been having some crazy weather, I'm sorry that I have to be the bearer of bad news (or good news, depending on your perspective). We always send the cancellation or delay message out by phone and email, if you're not getting one or the other, please let us know. We also post it on the Rowe School Community Facebook page, list it on Channels 22 and 40, and give the information to WHAI and WIZZ radio stations.

A couple quick schedule notes: The all-school Valentine's Dance is Friday night, information has been sent by email, and a phone call is coming Thursday late afternoon. Next Wednesday is Outdoor Science day, students will be spending the day outside doing science related activities. Ted Watt, our friend from the Hitchcock Center, will join us, please send your student prepared to be outside for most of the school day. It is a 1:50 release, and after-school childcare is available.

Yesterday was Global School Play Day, and we participated at Rowe School. It was a great day, with students learning how to make safe and fun choices, and how to be kind, in the context of a day of play. "Play is critical for children’s development...when children play, they engage with their environment in a safe context in which ideas and behaviors can be combined and practiced", according to pathways.org. We'd be interested in any feedback you have, or what you heard from your student about the day. Here's a link to the complete article:

https://pathways.org/news/articles/importance-of-play-in-childrens-development/

2/1/19

It's been a little chilly...

It certainly has been one chilly week, even for Rowe! Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and we can have a full week of school and our last day of skiing next Thursday. The K-6 Blizzard Bags were due today, and Preschool Blizzard Bags are due Monday. It's possible another one will come home next week to turn Thursday's cancellation into a Blizzard Bag day. Stay tuned.

Sorry that our sleepover didn't work out last Friday, but the potluck and movie night was delicious and fun. We'll try it again in a few months, hopefully at a time when more families will be able to come!

I'm interested to hear any feedback you have on report cards. Our goal is to accurately and sensitively tell you about your student as a learner, let us know how we're doing on that task.

Coming home next week will be information about two upcoming activities: Global School Play Day and Outdoor Science Day. Global School PLay Day is Wednesday, February 6, and is about raising the awareness of the benefits and necessity of play in school. Outdoor Science Day is when we spend an entire school day outside, doing science-related activities. Look for more information soon.

Our next PTP meeting is Wednesday, February 6 at 8 am, come and have input into the school dance, scheduled for Friday, February 8. This month's School Committee meeting is Thursday, February 21 at 8 a.m. in the school library. Please join us if you can.

There was an article in the New York Times about kindness, I'd like to share it with you: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/28/opinion/kindness-politics.html

1/25/19

Last ski day is next week

Next week will be our fourth and final Winter Enrichment Day at Berkshire East, and we're looking forward to it.

Tonight is our Potluck Dinner, Movie Night, and Sleepover! You are welcome to come to any or all of it: just the Potluck, just the Movie Night, just the Sleepover, or all three! For your student to the sleepover, they need a signed permission slip, and gear to sleep in. Students in grades PreK-2 must be accompanied by a chaperone. Please note, there will be no nurse at the school during the sleepover.

Reports cards are coming home today, with this newsletter, for grades K-6. Report cards went home Wednesday for Preschool. The depth of analysis and feeling our teachers give to each student's performance is always impressive. Let us know what you think!

Blizzard Bags are coming home today as well (and Monday for Preschool) to make Thursday a Blizzard Bag day instead of a snow day, so we will not have to make it up in June.

Here's an interesting article about the benefits of doing math at home, hope you enjoy it: https://t.co/CppVUhdBCt

REPORTS CARDS NEXT WEEK

1/18/2019

Ski Day #3 is in the books. A great day of skiing, lots of effort by gritty kids to try new trails, and work together with their classmates. Lots of effort, too, by our gritty chaperones. Thanks! Next week is the last week, then we’re back to our regular Thursday schedule.

Report cards go home next week (Wednesday for Preschool, Friday for K-6). The staff put a lot of thought and time into them, so please look them over thoroughly, and if you have questions, email, call or make an appointment. We want to give you as accurate a picture as possible of your child as a learner.

Next Friday is Pot Luck, Movie Night and Sleepover. The permission slip is coming home today (K-6) and Monday for Preschool. We hope to see you at some or all of it, whatever works for your family.

Our report cards are comprised of three parts: the evaluation of the students’ work based on Massachusetts state standards, teacher’s evaluation of students’ work habits and social development, and the narratives that explain more of what has been going on in the classroom, and a more detailed description of the student’s effort and results. Yjis link might help explain them a little better, I hope you find it useful: https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/rethinking-report-cards/

NOT TOO WARM…NOT TOO COLD…JUST RIGHT!

1/11/2019

Another great day of skiing yesterday. The conditions were great, and the weather wasn’t too cold (unlike today!). So many students tried new trails, and are proud of their development as skiers. Thanks again to the chaperones and staff who make the day possible, and to the PTP for the financial support.

I hope you’ll be able to join us for our Community Pot Luck, Movie Night, and Sleepover at the school on Friday, January 25. More information will be coming soon. Should be a fun night!

You should have received a link to a survey about your nneed for or interest in an after-school program at the school. Please fill it out when you have a chance.

January’s School Committee meeting was postponed due to illness. The meeting is rescheduled to Wednesday, January 16th at 4 p.m.

I saw an article about kids and screen time. I thought you might find it useful: https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/26/health/screen-time-cognition-study/index.html

FIRST SKI DAY IN THE BOOKS

1/4/2019

What a great day of skiing yesterday! We have a number of students who have never skied before, and it’s always exciting. Thanks to all the chaperones, we couldn’t do it without you. One note for next week: please make sure your students have warm gloves or mittens, and good, long (non-cotton) socks. Everyone has a better day when they are warm enough!

Our two SCA/Americorps members are starting next week, and will be with us through March. They’ll be running a Tuesday Afternoon Adventure Club after-school activity starting soon, look for the permission slip coming home soon. Also, watch your email for a survey about your families interest in a regular, weekly after-school program. We’re interested to see how many families would find it helpful, and how many days a week you would prefer.

We’re already working on the budget process for next year, and if you have suggestions, please let me know.

This week’s link is to a different kind of article, one that lists 24 things to do with kids during the winter. Enjoy!

https://www.thespruce.com/fun-kids-winter-activities-2997492


THANK YOU

12/21/2018

I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Hanukah, a Happy Solstice, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy Kwanzaa, and I hope you all have a relaxing and fun vacation. I also want to thank all of you for trusting us with the education of your child, it is a responsibility we take very seriously. Happy New Year as well, and we’ll see everyone in 2019!

“MIŁEGO PRZEDSTAWIENIA”! (ENJOY THE SHOW!)

12/13/2018

“Jesteśmy bardzo podekscytowani“, which means “we are very excited” in Polish. Our Polish performance is tonight, we’ve been rehearsing today, and the gym is decorated with beautiful art and animals that our students have been created. We can’t wait for you to see the gym and enjoy the performance. Everyone, students and staff, have been working so hard to get ready, with a special shout out going to Mr. Crean and Mrs. Kitchen for their efforts.

We hope you and your student can get here around 6:00 so you have time to walk through the hallways and the gym to see the work that your students have been doing during our study of Canada. Please keep your students with you during this time, it is not the time for them to be running around the hallways or the gym. Students must be in the cafeteria at 6:15 to get ready, and the performance will start at 6:30. Bring your dancing shoes, we’ve got some great Polish musicians (and one Rowe resident) joining us. We hope you “miłego przedstawienia“! (enjoy the show!)

We will be making a video of the performance and will try to share it through email, let me know if you are interested in getting a link to the video, or a copy of the performance.

Next week is a full week, there is NO early release on Wednesday, and we have a full day on Friday (lunch is served), and students will be making gingerbread houses (Thanks, Miss Kim!) on Thursday.

I came across this article about helping children and parents enjoy the holidays. I hope you find it interesting: https://centerforparentingeducation.org/library-of-articles/places-to-go/helping-children-and-parents-enjoy-the-holidays

ONE WEEK TO PERFORMANCE!

12/6/2018

Our Cultural Study performance celebrating the music and culture of Poland is one week away! Next Thursday, we’ll be rehearsing during the day, and we ask that students and families arrive at 6:00 to view all the amazing artwork that will be on display in the gym, and at 6:15, students will go to the cafeteria to get ready for the performance, which begins at 6:30. We ask that students wear white (or light) tops and black (or dark) bottoms for the performance. We also ask that during the time when students and families are enjoying the art that they stay together, so parents and guardians can keep an eye on their students; it is not a time for students to be running and playing in the gym or the school. The students (and staff) have been working hard on all parts of this performance, I think you’ll be amazed and entertained.

It’s not too late to donate non-perishable food items at the school which will be brought to the Good Neighbors Food Pantry in Charlemont for their December distribution. Ask if you have questions.

I hate to be a nag, and I know mornings can be difficult, but it is important that your student be at school by 8:25 so they are ready to start their day with their classmates. The is a LOT of learning that goes on in the first section of the day, and by coming in late, your student can lose out on that learning and have a difficult transition to the school day. Everyone will benefit, including you, if your child starts the school day on time.

A few quick scheduling reminders: Wednesday, 12/12 is a Professional Learning Day, students are released at 1:50 and after-school child care is available. Our last day of school before the holidays is Friday, 12/21, it is a regular school day. There is an all-school holiday sing-a-long at on Thursday, 12/20.

Here’s a link to an article about alternatives to the standard ways we tend to praise students:

https://www.leadinggreatlearning.com/five-alternatives-to-good-job/


IT’S ALMOST DECEMBER!

11/29/2018

It’s almost December! There’s a lot going on at the Rowe School this month. Next week are Mini-Courses where students get to do cooking, crafts, and activities all related to our study of Poland. And the following week is our Cultural Study performance, on Thursday, December 13th. The show starts at 6:30, and students need to be at the school by 6:15 to get ready for the performance, but you’ll want to come early (anytime after 6:00) to look at all the amazing art our students have produced over the last few months displayed in the gym.

The Holiday Bazaar, sponsored by the PTP, was a big success! Students got to choose gifts for loved ones from hundreds of possibilities, and the n5/6 students helped wrap and label their purchases. It was fun to watch them working with the younger grades. Thanks to the PTP, and especially Wendy Norcross, for organizing such a great, and hopefully annual, event. The 3/4 class is collecting non-perishable food items for the Good Neighbors Food Pantry. Please send something in if you can.

Thank you for continuing to keep our students safe in the parking lot at arrival and dismissal by not passing buses when their red lights are flashing, only going one way around the parking lot, and keeping your student close to you as you cross the lot.

Lastly, it’s great to see students playing on the playground after school, but please make sure to close the gate leading from the playground to the parking lot (down by the slide) before you leave. Thank you!

Someone shared this post with me, about what children do at school each day, and I thought you might enjoy it:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/if-you-only-knew-the-amazing-things-your-child-does_us_5829da7fe4b057e23e314793