Dear Hunnewell Community,

I wish you all a Happy New Year and hope you all enjoyed a relaxing break with family and friends! 

Sadly, I do have some somber news to share about our beloved white oak tree that stands at the entrance to Hunnewell. Late last week, we received an updated report commissioned by the Natural Resource Commission (NRC) on the condition of the tree in our front courtyard. Unfortunately, the news wasn’t good and based on a thorough report by an arborist, the oak has now been classified as a “high risk tree.” On Tuesday, January 7th, the School Committee will discuss the report and the appropriate next steps. The full report on the condition of the oak tree will be made available on the WPS website tomorrow. 

Out of an abundance of caution, we have taken the interim step of closing off the front entrance of the school, which includes the entire courtyard area. As a result of this precaution, I have altered our arrival and dismissal plans, as well as plans for anyone who needs to visit the school during the day.  

Before School Care:

  • Please access the Hunnewell Library through the door facing the Cameron Street Lot. As you face the school, this door is on the left side of the building. 

Morning Arrival:

  • Morning Mingle: Morning Mingle will remain the same. You will still access the back playground from the gate on the Brooke Path or the sidewalk on the south side of the school (between the playground equipment and the modulars).

  • Band: Please use the original 1938 entrance. There will be someone available to monitor this entrance.

  • Car-line: If you arrive between 8:15 and 8:28, you will still participate in Morning Mingle. If you arrive arrive after 8:28, you will use the original 1938 entrance. Ms. Beckwith will be stationed at the door. You will still be marked tardy if you arrive after 8:30.

 Dismissal:

  • K Students: No change to dismissal plans. You will meet your student at the original 1938 entrance.

  • Students in Grade 1-3: After the K students have been dismissed, the teachers in grades 1-3 will dismiss the students at the original 1938 entrance. To minimize congestion at the door, the teachers will escort their students to a safe place on the sidewalk. As usual, your child’s teacher will make sure your child connects with you or their “trusted” adult. 

  • Students in Grades 4 and 5: Students in grades 4 and 5 will be dismissed out the back doors at the end of the 1956 wing. They will be directed to the front of the building along the north side of the building (adjacent to Wellesley Free Library).

Visitors:

  • All Visitors (including late arrival/early dismissal):  Please enter through the original 1938 entrance. The door will be locked for security reasons and a monitor will be there to assist you. 

Please do not hesitate to contact the main office with any questions you have about this plan. All Hunnewell staff will be on hand to support a safe arrival and dismissal. I will keep you posted with additional updates as they become available. As always, I thank you for your ongoing support to ensure a safe arrival and dismissal of our students. 

I look forward to welcoming you back to school tomorrow morning! ​​​​​​​

Warmly,

Ellen


PLEASE READ! Important Update on White Oak Tree and Arrival/Dismissal Changes

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