May 13, 2016

Post date: May 13, 2016 5:20:42 PM

Dear Parents,

What a beautiful week it has been! Outdoor recess has been fabulous for the students.The only drawback has been the black flies, but this too shall pass and we will take it in lieu of raining and/or cold weather!

Congratulations are in order for the 4th and 5th grade students for completing the Smarter Balanced assessment. As a staff we noticed a major difference in the testing efforts with the students this year; they took their time and really managed the testing well. We, as a staff, also managed our end of things a little differently this year in that we assured for students taking their time and taking the test seriously. Thank you as well for your support in this endeavor. I also always feel the need to couch these statements with the understanding that the Smarter Balanced testing is not the end all and be all for us or the students. There are far more important and significant defining factors about our children than their scores on a standardized assessment. As an educational community DES and the SAU as a whole understands and embraces this mantra. The 3rd and 6th grade students will start their testing next Tuesday and will continue on through the 26th of May. I wish them the best of luck through the testing and would just remind you to ensure they have a good breakfast each day and a good night's sleep the night before a test.

I wanted to take a minute and remind you that when picking up your child or visiting the school during the time of 2:15 to 2:45, you really need to park in either the side or lower parking lots as opposed to the front parking lot. If you park in the front parking lot, it will be during our dismissal time and you will most likely be blocked in by the buses.

I also wanted to inform you that the magazine drive has been extended to Monday. The students have certainly been excited to return their completed forms and/or postcards. If you need extra, please let us know. Thank you to all of you who have participated.

I have exciting news to share about next year. The 5th and 6th grade teachers and I have organized a combined 5th and 6th grade team for the 2016-2017 school year. What this means is students in 5th and 6th grade will have the opportunity to learn from three different teachers: Mrs. McCormack, Mrs. Virta and Ms. Harrison. All three of these teachers are excited about the venture and will serve the 5th and 6th grade students well. For those of you who wrote letters describing your children as learners, we will be using this information when creating homerooms, as the homeroom teachers will be responsible for teaching writing along with their core subject as well as all homeroom duties. The basic format of this team will be that each teacher will teach a subject (math, reading or science/social studies) and the students will rotate through within grade-level groups. The sixth grade will be a student grouping as well as the two fifth grade classes. Such a setup as this will create far more opportunities for success for the students, not to mention greater opportunities for collaboration among the 5th and 6th grade teachers. This is a true win/win.

The sixth grade will be hosting its second annual car wash for the 6th grade trip to the Boston Museum of Science on Friday, May 20th from 2:00 to 5:00. Thank you to all of you who supported the sixth graders last year. The car wash raised plenty of funds for the students to attend the Museum of Science and we are hoping to do the same this year. There is no set amount requested, simply what you feel comfortable donating.

I hope everyone is able to take some time to relax and enjoy some family time this weekend.


Owen Harrington​