Dear Bates Families,

It has been such a pleasure to welcome our students back to Bates.  Our first week of in person learning has been a great success.  We’ve prioritized the teaching of new routines and practices that help to keep us all healthy and safe.  Our students at home and in school have responded positively to all the new expectations and routines.  

A few highlights of our first week include:

  • Students are wearing their masks beautifully!  Even our youngest learners have adjusted to this new requirement.
  • Eating outdoors has gone really well.  Each day students spread out across the playgrounds, courtyard and Kelly Field to enjoy their snack and lunch.  Each child has a blue bag that serves as a carryall and a waterproof layer under a towel.  
  • When students line up or transition, they are faithfully using their “line up spots” and floor decals to maintain 6’ distance.  
  • Hand washing has become efficient and routine.  Hands are always washed before eating.  Hand sanitizer is used when hand washing is not possible.

Hybrid Instruction Grades 2-5

As many parents and guardians have already experienced, hybrid instruction is different from full remote learning.  Learners at home connect with the teacher and learners in the classroom at specific times throughout the day.  At other times at home learners are required to work independently.  As we teach and learn within the new hybrid model we are identifying best practices with our technology and pedagogy.  We are working diligently so that we get better and better at this each day.  Thank you for your continued support and partnership in this new model.

Staffing News

I am pleased to announce that we have hired Lucas Swanson as the music teacher at Bates this year while Beth Perry teaches in the WPS Remote Learning School.  Mr. Swanson has already made a successful transition to Bates and is enjoying getting to know the Bates students.


Our students are required to bring many tools back and forth to school each day, which results in full, heavy backpacks.  We continue to examine ways to lighten the load and will do so whenever possible.  It is recommended that student backpacks have ample room for iPads and books and padded shoulder straps.  

Lunch Orders

Lunch orders will now be taken in school each morning for that day’s lunch, as in the past.  Students will no longer be asked to order two days in advance.  Orders must be placed by 9:00 a.m. so if your child is late to school and would like to order lunch, please call the Bates office to place the order.   In addition, the USDA has extended the offer of free meals to all students through September 2021.  

Elmwood Road

The WPD has let me know that due to a staffing shortage there may not be a regular crossing guard at Elmwood Road for the time being.   If you have concerns, please contact Safety Resource Officer Kathy Poirier.

Dress for the Weather

We plan to eat outdoors every day.  Students are assigned seats under one of our two tents in the event of wet weather.  Please send your child to school with appropriate outerwear and an extra layer for indoor use as well as open windows can make for chilly classrooms.

Visiting School

Parents and guardians are asked to refrain from entering the building unless prior arrangements have been made.  If you are coming to drop off an item for your child at school, please ring the bell, label the item with your child’s name and teacher and leave the item in the bin outside.

Important Dates

Due to the holiday on October 12, Wednesday, October 14 will be a full day of school.  Cohorts A & C will be in person and cohort B will be learning remotely.  

In addition, please mark your calendars for Bates Back to School Night, which will be held over Zoom on October 21 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.  Classroom presentations are scheduled as follows:

6:00 – 6:30 pm              Kindergarten and Grade 1

6:45 – 7:15 pm              Grades 2 and 3

7:30 – 8:00 pm              Grades 4 & 5

Parent teacher conferences begin Tuesday, October 27, which is a half day for both in person (Cohort B) and at home learners.  Sign up links will be sent by email next week.

I hope you enjoy the long weekend ahead.

Warm regards,

Toni Jolley

Bates Buzz

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