Dear Bates Families, I hope you had a restful and enjoyable Thanksgiving break.  It was wonderful to see so many of you at our first all school assembly on November 26.  I was amazed by our students’ reflections on the many reasons they have to be thankful and by their beautiful singing.  I want to thank Beth Perry, our music teacher, for her hard work in planning and preparing our students for this special performance.  As you know Monday, December 1 was a professional day for all Wellesley Public School teachers.  Appropriately, it was a learning-filled day for the Bates teachers.  We spent some of our day listening to Jessica Minahan, author of The Behavior Code.  Jessica presented on the topic of supporting students with anxiety in school.  We found the discussion to be insightful and practical.  Our school psychologist and special educators are undertaking more in-depth training with Jessica.   I expect we will share some of what we’ve learned with parents in the coming months. Over the past month the staff and I have met with our school safety officer Evan Rosenberg to review and practice our crisis protocols.  Our planning and practice was led by the Wellesley Police Department.  While this review of protocols is ongoing, the staff and I feel as though we are informed and prepared to respond to a number of different crisis scenarios.  For a number of reasons the Wellesley Schools are not practicing or discussing our crisis protocols with our students.  If you have any questions about our work in crisis response, please feel free to contact me.  In addition, I would be happy to take questions at the next PTO meeting on Thursday, January 8 at 1:30 p.m. At this week’s Community Meeting we gathered the whole school together to start planning and getting excited for the Magnificent Day of Play on December 10.  Immediately students were buzzing with ideas and inspiration. If you have not done so already, I ask you to help your child start collecting cardboard, boxboard and other recyclable materials to use in class on Wednesday.   Your child should bring these in to school Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.  If you have larger boxes to donate to the school, you can bring those to the gym stage.  If your child has a particular box in mind for his/her project, please send it with your child to his/her classroom on Wednesday.  If you would like to help during the day, please email your child’s teacher with your availability.  Thank you for your support for the Magnificent Day of Play.    Finally, on Tuesday night I provided an update to the School Committee regarding our current work on our School Improvement Plan.  Our School Council will continue to revise and improve the plan to reflect our ongoing practice.  You can find the Bates School Improvement Plan on our school website.  A few dates in the coming week: Tuesday, December 9 – Voting Day (Special Election): lunch in the classrooms Wednesday, December 10 – The Magnificent Day of Play Thursday, December 11 – Walk to school day   Warm regards,   Toni Jolley      

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