Dear Bates Families, The cold weather has arrived! We encourage students to play outdoors as much as possible, so we make every effort to send classes outside for recess and morning arrival. In the event the temperatures or wind chill is below 20 degrees, we will signal an indoor arrival with an orange flag out front. We will soon have another flag displayed out back as well. As on rainy days, children should proceed into the gym (K-2) or cafeteria (grades 3-5) to visit with friends until 8:30. If you use the car line to drop off in the morning, please plan for a little extra time on these days. Thank you for your help with a smooth arrival. The teachers at Bates have been especially busy these last few weeks, attending professional development opportunities that enable us to continually grow as educators. They attended technology training in the district, learned to administer a new reading assessment, went to Vermont for a writing conference and one of our teachers even presented at a state conference. We try to minimize the time teachers are out of the classroom during the school day, but we know these exciting opportunities greatly benefit all students. Wednesday afternoons are another opportunity for teachers to grow, reflect and plan together. We have spent some of this time working on our school-wide response to peer to peer behaviors. This work began over a year ago as a result of a grant that supported all Wellesley schools to work with Stan Davis, author of the book Schools Where Everyone Belongs. This fall we have worked with Stan Davis again to revise our behavior response plan. The result of our work is a set of behavior expectations that encourage student behaviors that “help others learn.” This plan also helps the adults to consistently identify consequences and learning opportunities for times when students engage in behaviors that “stop others from learning.” We know parents are important partners in this work, so I will share our revised plan with you in December. Teachers are involved in ongoing technology training across the year. Recently both the district and our generous PTO purchased iPads to be used in our classrooms. We are learning new ways to use these iPads as a small center activity and in some grades in a 1:1 environment for a project. While we are excited about the opportunities, we are very thoughtful about how the iPads will be used to expand learning opportunities. You will receive more information from your child’s teacher about new technology in the classroom. As you may have read in my email earlier this week, there will be a Thanksgiving themed all school assembly next Wednesday, November 26 at 10:45 a.m. Please note the new start time. Families are invited to join us for this special event – a time for students to perform and for all to share in song and reflection. Students will return to their classrooms afterwards for noon dismissal. I remind you that December 10 will be the Magnificent Day of Play. We know it will be an awesome day of creating things out of cardboard and other recyclable materials. Each child will be encouraged to bring in one brown bag full of recyclable materials to use that day. In addition, larger cardboard boxes are needed. If you have boxes, please bring them in on December 8 and 9 to the gym stage. We ask that boxes not exceed the size of a school desk. Small and medium size shipping boxes are perfect for robots, rocket ships, games and other endless possibilities. If you would like to help with the Magnificent Day of Play, please email your child’s teacher. We could use extra hands to help children find and share materials and cut cardboard and tape. It will be a great day! Finally, I wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving and a restful vacation. Best regards, Toni Jolley
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