Dear Bates Families,

I hope everyone who was able to attend the Bates Pumpkin Fair last weekend had a wonderful time. What an impressive fair we have each year, and this year was no exception. Thank you to Kelly Barry and Susan Zimmer, our Pumpkin Fair co-chairs, as well as the many volunteers and families who came to support the fair. From the spectacular haunted house and pumpkin patch to the games, raffles and treats, the day a huge success because of our supportive Bates community.

With pumpkins comes Halloween. Families are invited to join us on Monday, Oct. 31 at 8:45 a.m. for our annual Halloween parade. Students who wish to parade should come to school in costume and bring a change of clothes for after the parade. Please remember that costumes should be appropriate for our K-5 community. We ask that students not wear masks or face paint to school. There will be fun alternative activities in the gym with Bates teachers for students who do not wish to participate in the parade.

As many of you know, Jacqui Martell is expecting a baby very soon. I am pleased to announce that we have hired Marissa Donnelly to teach art in Jacqui’s absence. Marissa has worked at the Schofield School and most recently in the Newton Public Schools, filling the role of long-term substitute art teacher. Marissa has already met some of the students at Bates and looks forward to getting to know our entire community. Marissa will work alongside Jacqui next week and take on full teaching responsibilities around October 31.

At Bates we offer several ways for parents to learn about your child’s experience in school. If you have not done so already, please be sure to sign up for a parent teacher conference in the coming weeks. (For the sign up links, please see my email from Monday, Oct. 17 or call the Bates office.) In addition, I will meet with parents to share Bates 2016 MCAS results at the PTO meeting on Friday, November 4 at 8:45 a.m. in the Bates cafeteria. This information will also be available afterwards on our website. My presentation will include specific information about the MCAS test and how we prepare our students for this experience. Finally, throughout the school year we will offer opportunities for parents to learn more about social emotional learning and about math instruction in school. I will share information about these opportunities in the near future.

I look forward to seeing you at school in the coming weeks.

Warm regards,

Toni Jolley

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