It’s been a long time since we’ve seen the rain. Here it is, too bad it had to arrive on picture day since pictures are usually taken outside. Oh well, we made the best of the situation inside school. Individual pictures were taken on Thursday. Class pictures will be taken on picture retake day, which is usually in November.
As I stated to parents during Back to School Night, we had some excellent news to share in regards to our MCAS testing from last spring. Through the hard work and great efforts of students and staff, Fiske School earned Level 1 status from the Department of Education. This is the highest rating from the state given to schools making effective gains through test scores in English language arts and math. I also want to thank you – parents and families – for continued support of your children’s learning at school and at home. It shows in so many ways beyond MCAS scores.
This news was also shared at Tuesday’s School Committee meeting and with a presentation that can be found at this link: http://www.wellesley.k12.ma.us/sites/wellesleyps/files/file/file/mcas_sc_report_2014_9-30-14.pdf
Here’s an update on our peer-to-peer mistreatment program, which is entering its fourth year at Fiske. For families new to Fiske, we respond to peer-to-peer mistreatment in a variety of ways. First, the vast majority of students show expected school behaviors on a daily basis that support the Fiske Fundamentals of being Fair,Inclusive, Safe, Kind and Encouraging.
For minor infractions such as a student cutting another student in line, a staff member will solve the problem in the moment. As a staff, we refer to these as yellow behaviors.
For infractions in which a Fiske Fundamental is broken (something like name calling, excluding a student from an activity or making rude gestures) students will fill out an orange peer-to-peer mistreatment form. Staff will discuss the incident briefly and may provide a consequence, if necessary. These are known as orange behaviors in which a child may feel hurt by another student’s actions or words.
Finally, for behaviors in which involving hitting, name calling (considered to be a Civil Rights violation) or swearing a staff member will fill out a red form and inform me. I will meet with the student to discuss the behavior. Students referred to me will usually call home from my office to let their parent or guardian know of the incident and our ensuing discussion. A consequence comes with these red behaviors, which we consider most likely to do harm.
A couple of points on our peer-to-peer mistreatment program:
- All discussions about mistreatment are done by staff with the goal of a child learning from his/her behavior. Our consequences are not meant to be punitive, but provide the opportunity for the child to think and learn from their experience.
- Behavior thresholds are determined through a survey of our fourth and fifth graders each year. In other words, we are guided by our students’ feedback on what mistreatments need to be addressed by staff.
- Through constant and consistent feedback amongst students and staff, we refine our responses. Fiske staff also gains valuable feedback from our second through fifth grade students on how they feel about school. Last year 95% of fourth and fifth graders stated that they felt welcomed at school by adults. Any percentage above 60% signifies a strong cultural element according to Stan Davis, who has consulted with the Fiske staff about this programming.
- New and experienced Fiske staff receive a review each school year to make sure we are all providing the same message and are consistent with our follow through.
First, a PTO-hosted Principal Coffee is scheduled 8:30-9:30 this Friday morning, October 3 in the library. A main topic of discussion will be traffic at Fiske, especially at the Cedar Street intersection. Of course, you are welcome to drop by and discuss any matter in this public forum.
Second, I want to remind car line drivers to please make sure to place their orange place cards in their passenger side windshield. These place cards with your child’s last name, helps staff identify vehicles for students, so we can make car line as efficient and safe as possible.
Have a great weekend!
Antony J. Colannino
Fiske Community News 10/1/14