Happy New School Year! Welcome back!
Yes, we’re back. With such a long, hard winter and new, earlier return to school, the summer did feel exceedingly short. Like me, I hope you enjoyed some family time away from the daily hustle and bustle of your work schedules. A favorite summer activity of mine is to simply bury my toes in the beach sand and read while my children play in the sun and surf.
Even though I work most of the summer, it’s a different kind of work with a different pace. I always make sure that I unplug from the on-demand world for at least a few days in a row to spend quality time with family and friends. This included trips to Saratoga and Chicago for the Colannino family. As I ask students here at school, I’m finding a lot of Fiske families made a trip north to Maine – aptly called the Vacation State.
On the school side, I, along with some help from Fiske teachers, was busy hiring staff. This included:
  • Katie Catalano, Kindergarten Teacher
  • Michelle Solek, Grade One Teacher
  • Anne Gayner, Grade Four Teacher
  • Jaymee Mannix, ELL Teacher
  • Kelly Cracchiolo, Literacy Specialist
  • Sara Biondo, Building Assistant
  • Kristen Ferraro, Kindergarten Teaching Assistant
  • Katie Joy, Kindergarten Teaching Assistant
  • Andrea Broverman, Kindergarten Teaching Assistant
In addition, we’ve had some changes in our special education teaching assistants. Most of these staff members have served as special education teaching assitants in other Wellesley Schools. They are:
  • Elizabeth Caressimo
  • Jared Lanyon
  • Stefanie Sampson
  • Jessica Sears
Speaking of kindergarten, we had a wonderful first day of school – 53 students ready to go and not one tear in the bunch. I wish I could say the same for the adults. Starting kindergarten can be an anxious and exciting time for both child and parents/guardians. (I should know. My youngest child, Stella, is going off to kindergarten this week.) At Fiske, I do believe our soft opening – individual appointments, in which student and parent could meet with their teacher and see the classroom before their first day – helped immensely.
Today when a kindergartener was asked what my job is, he promptly answered, “He keeps us safe!” Yes, I start with safety everyday. To this end, I would like to remind parents/guardians of a few important safety features of drop off and pick up at school.
Students should be dropped off while staff is on duty, 8:15-8:30. Any students dropped off after 8:30 should be done so through the main door and students should report to the office.
If you are dropping off students in the driveway, please pull forward to as far as the flagpole, if space is available, as this helps other cars pull in behind your vehicle.
Do not park vehicles in the driveway. Parking is available in our lower parking lot adjacent to PAWS for parents wanting to walk their child to the 8:15 recess areas.
There is no parking on Hastings Street or at the corner of Madison Road.
Students should get out on the curbside/passenger side of vehicles.
All students – walkers, bus riders and parent drop off – should walk behind the building to the two playgrounds. In rain, snow or freezing cold, students should walk to the gym and sit with their classes.
Parents walking home with their student should wait for their child in the school sidewalk area around the flagpole.
Children being picked up in the car line wait for their vehicles in center sidewalk area with staff on duty.
Drivers should stay in their vehicles and follow directions of the staff on duty to pull up and stop when requested.
Once vehicles are stopped, students will walk on the sidewalk to their ride home. Placing the PTO orange place card with your children’s last name in the dashboard also helps us get children to their rides in a timely and safe way.
There is no parking on Hastings Street or the corner of Madison Road. Parking is available in the lower parking lot adjacent to PAWS for parents/guardians, who want to park and get out of their vehicles.
In rainy, snow or freezing cold, students car line students are dismissed from the gym with staff on duty bringing them out to their vehicles. 
An important note – I am currently working with the police department, school department and town officials to limit parking on Madison Road. For the time being, cones will be put out on the corner, so vehciles do not park in the crosswalk or block the sight lines of our crossing guard.
I thank you for following these important safety rules. If you are having a different adult pick up or drop off your child, please let them know of these important rules.
One last reminder – our Back to School Night on September 17 is for parents and guardians only. This is a night set aside for teaching staff to discuss the upcoming year’s curriculum and classroom expectations.
Of course, a big shout out to our PTO Wild West set for September 20, 10-2 at Fiske. This is a wonderful event that kicks off our school year in an exciting way. Please make plans to attend or even help out by volunteering. I’ll see you there!
Anthony Colannino
Fiske Principal
Fiske Community News 9/3/14
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