Fiske Elementary School
Wellesley Public Schools
Learning • Caring • Innovating

Wow, where’s spring now? We seemed to have skipped right to summer – at least for a little while. As Mark Twain, a resident of Hartford, CT, was fond of saying, “If you don’t like the weather in New England just wait a few minutes.”I wanted to reiterate my offer to speak with any parents who have heard/read my news about resigning as Fiske principal. I have had quick discussions here and there, but I am always open to hearing from you to help you sort out how you may be feeling.The beginning of the end of school becomes very busy very quickly. As a parent of my own fifth grader and kindergartener, my wife and I are currently doing the dinner on the run shuffle as we shuttle our children to dance, lacrosse, soccer, band concerts, ice cream socials etc. In all this movement we still have much to do and learn at school.Currently we are giving Math MCAS tests to third through fifth graders and preparing for our annual Music Around the World Concert. This is a mixture of hard work and lots of excitement, which sums up the end of the school year. In this vein, I know there is a lot of work to be done before both the school year closes, and I move on. I am committed to making sure the school year ends on a high note, and school is left in good order for the next Fiske principal.To this end, I wanted to let parents/guardians know that if they wished to provide feedback for class placement for next school year to please do so. Parent input is not a requirement for class placement for current students in grades kindergarten through grade four, but something the Fiske School offers to assist our placement teams made up of grade level teachers and support staff.Staff will begin to meet at grade levels in the coming weeks and information ranging from general considerations like gender to the more complex of peer-to-peer interaction will be used to help develop class lists. While there is no secret formula to the creation of a unique and special classroom of students, I am confident that our staff will make classes in which all children will be given the best possible environment to learn.While you trust us to make decisions based on both individual students and the whole class makeup, you may want to provide valuable input into your child’s unique learning style, strategies that have been successful or any other information you may think helpful. You may send this kind of information to me in a letter or email.We value such input, but I would like to emphasize that you write to your child’s need without requesting a particular teacher. There are a number of reasons for this including the complication it may create for 50 or more other students as we look at their social/emotional development, academic need and the diversity we pride ourselves in cultivating and celebrating.I will read letters before passing them onto each grade level team to consider. In this way, the information you provide will be shared with the teachers making the placements. Any letters that are received requesting a particular teacher will be disregarded or returned.Please make sure emails/letters are received in my office by Friday, May 22.Another matter I need to communicate is our packing up process for the close of school. As I’ve stated before, all Fiske classrooms have to be packed up, so they can be moved out on Friday, June 19. Having all classroom materials out by this date will also enable contractors and subcontractors to start our extensive renovation work on Monday, June 22.In conjunction with the superintendent’s office, Fiske School staff will hold a couple of packing days at the end of this month in preparation for a pre-move day on Wednesday, June 3. Staff will use these dates and times to pack up a majority of their classrooms to alleviate the pressure of getting everything ready the final week of school. In addition, the PTO has generously offered to support Fiske staff by soliciting and organizing volunteers to assist with the packing and provide some refreshments. If you’re interested in volunteering, the moving dates are Wednesday, May 27 (12:30-6:30) and Thursday, May 28 (3:30-9:30). Please be on the lookout for notice from the PTO about how you may be able to help.These packing dates will mean that much of the typical classroom materials (like teacher guides, already used curriculum materials and some books) will be packed up. I have asked staff to pack at least 50 percent of their classrooms and some may pack a bit more. Even though this means classrooms may look a little more bare than usual during this time of year, teaching and learning will still be happening. Much research around student learning has determined that the single most important factor to children learning is the teacher in front of them. Please know our teachers are committed to teaching until the final minutes of school.In addition Wellesley School Committee has approved an additional half-day for Fiske and Schofield Schools only. This additional half-day will be Wednesday, June 17. All Fiske students will be dismissed at noon on this day. Families will need to make arrangements for childcare on the afternoon of June 17 as it was originally scheduled as a full day. WCCC will be offering child care for its students at their usual half-day time and METCO students will go home at the usual half-day time. The reason for this additional half-day is to allow Fiske and Schofield staffs three additional hours to pack.Have a great weekend!Sincerely,Anthony Colannino

Joseph E. Fiske Elementary School
45 Hastings Street • Wellesley • Massachusetts • 02481
Phone 781-446-6265 Anthony Colannino, Principal • Beth Watson, Secretary   CORE VALUES
Academic Excellence • Commitment to Community • Respect for Human Differences • Cooperative and Caring Relationships

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Fiske Community News – May 7, 2015
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