This year’s School Council met for our first meeting on September 30. We have a full agenda this fall and invite you to read the minutes and upcoming agendas to stay informed of the School Council’s ongoing work. You can find the School Council under “Quick Links” on the Bates website. I am working to upgrade our website so that families can find all the important information about school easily. Currently you’ll find important news, including past Bates Buzz letters, listed under the “Announcements” section. Coming soon under the Families tab will be a link called “Backpack notices,” where you will find all of the important flyers and forms that are sent home via backpacks or email. If you have suggestions for additional information you would like to see added to the website, please email your suggestions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the September 30 School Committee meeting, Superintendent David Lussier reported on the district’s MCAS results. This presentation can be read on the School Committee page of the district website. The Wellesley Public Schools’ results show overall high achievement, growth over time and some gap reductions. The results also show writing to be an area for improvement across the district. At tomorrow’s PTO meeting I will share our school’s 2014 MCAS results. Bates continues to show high achievement also on the MCAS. After the meeting I will put the presentation on our website for all to read.
This spring all WPS students in grades 3-5 will take the MCAS. Wellesley will not participate in the PARCC, the possible replacement for the MCAS, this year. You can read more about the MCAS, the PARCC, the Massachusetts Curriculum frameworks and the Common Core on the Massachusetts Department of Education website: http://www.doe.mass.edu.
Today we gathered the whole school together for another successful community meeting. This meeting included song and with Ms. Fyvie’s help we made “rain.” Each classroom spent the last few weeks discussing and reading books about kindness, the “K” of our “KLB.” We shared some of the ideas classes came up with, including: “You will never regret kindness.” Classes shared the many things kindness means to them, including: “Kindness is including others,” and “accepting others for who they are.” We agreed that the world would truly be a better place if we all could be “a little kinder than is necessary” and shared our ideas for ways to be kind at Bates. Talk with your child about the kindness discussions and books they shared in school.
The faculty, staff and I have a shared vision for Bates this year that includes building community and maximizing learning opportunities for all students. We know you share this vision, too, and recognize that we work best when we work together as a team. I ask your help with three particularly important practices:
Arrive at school on time: by 8:30 a.m.
Arrive at school ready for the day.
Make your dismissal plan before school arrival.
At Bates we welcome students to arrive at school as early as 8;15 a.m. At 8:30 the school day begins. Students unpack their backpacks, order lunch, begin morning routines and get ready for the day’s instruction. When children arrive on time it supports the whole school community. I have noticed many Bates students arriving after 8:30. When students arrive after 8;30, the whole school community is impacted. The child’s teacher must also stop instruction to check in with the student, adjust the attendance, take his/her lunch order and communicate with the office. This takes away learning time from the whole class. Please help us to make the most of the school day by arriving on time for school.
I have also noticed some students forget snack, lunch and important materials for the school day. I ask that parents who choose to drop off forgotten items please bring the item to the office clearly labeled with your child’s name and class. We all help to deliver forgotten items to classrooms. While we expect that students will forget things on occasion, we believe even young children can learn to take responsibility for being organized and prepared for the day. Some families find charts and routines the night before school to be helpful with this. Thank you for your efforts to help your children arrive prepared for the day.
Finally, we appreciate that families make every effort to communicate with their child about his/her dismissal plan before the school day begins. In the event that your dismissal plan changes, please call the office before 2:00 p.m. (or 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday.) Please do not email classroom teachers about dismissal changes, as they cannot always check email during the school day. During the last hour of the school day we will deliver these messages to classrooms as needed.
Next week brings much excitement to Bates with:
Monday, October 13 – Columbus Day: No School
Wednesday, October 15 – Walk to School Day and School Spirit Day
Saturday, October 18 – Bates Pumpkin Fair
I look forward to seeing you in the coming weeks at Bates. Have a great long weekend!