Dear Upham Community,

The first full week of school has quickly rushed by and it has been, fantastic! According to Adalyn Del Col (kindergartner), “It’s the best school…ever!” Teddy Shortsleeve (1st grade) has a different perspective, “Uh…come on Mr. Dees, it is just school.” Some of our veterans (5th graders) are excited about all of the activities associated with their final year at Upham. Rahim Tirmizi put it this way, “It has been awesome so far, but the homework…not so much.” Those sentiments are echoed in the Dees house as well. “Dad, you are a principal, can’t you do something? School would be awesome if they did not assign homework!” I have no power! I hope, as parents, you have had a smooth transition and that you think Upham is awesome, except for the homework.

New Faculty

I am sure some of your children have come home at the end of a long school day and during your “inquisition” talked about teachers who might not sound familiar. We had a very busy summer hiring or transferring teachers. Here is my attempt at introducing the new faculty at Upham.

Kelly Cote (Librarian), Christine Desrosiers(Art), Amanda Hockensmith (Art), Peter Knapp(Art), Allison Iannuzi (Music), Jenny Charney (World Language), Ariel Alinson (SKILLS), Renee Silva(Reading Intervention).

Allow me to clarify some of the changes. Mrs. Jauniskis(former librarian) wanted to increase her time and transferred to Sprague Elementary. We are very fortunate to have hired Kelly Cote (former Newton librarian). The Art program is a little more complicated. Mrs. Piwinski is out due to a professional leave and we had to share art teachers from Hunneywell and Fiske. Why are there three listed? Mrs. Desrosiers is out on maternity leave and will return in December. Amanda Hockensmith will be the interim until Christine returns. Peter Knapp will be here on Monday and Tuesday for art and Amanda will be here on Thursday. Allison Iannuzi is a transfer from Hardy’s music program. Allison replaces Mrs. Chaff. Jenny Charney is new our World Language teacher and she will be teaching Spanish to grades K-2. Ariel Alinson is our SKILLS program teacher. SKILLS teachers are the lead teachers for the autism spectrum programs. Renee Silva is a transfer from Bates. She will be helping out as a reading interventionist. Congratulations and welcome to all our new staff members.

Dogs On Campus

Dr. Lussier has asked us to send out a reminder of policy centered on dogs on the school grounds. I would also add that many of our students are afraid of dogs. Please be cognizant of the situation follow the policy. Thank you!

In order to ensure the safety of students and staff, dogs are NOT allowed on school grounds during school hours, including arrival and dismissal times, as well as at school-approved events and facility rentals. Service animals are allowed under the provisions of the Animals in the Classroom policy. Dogs are allowed on school property outside of these times subject to the provisions of Article 47 of the Town Bylaws. Violations of said bylaw are subject to a fine.

Lunch Bunch

Beginning this month, students throughout the grade levels will be invited to join weekly “lunch bunch” or “snack pack” groups. These groups provide an opportunity for students across classes to get together in a small group once a week for lunch to meet new friends and discuss a variety of topics related to establishing positive friendships. From year to year, the topics vary depending on student participation and presenting issues. Both lunch and snack groups are designed to reinforce social thinking and social problem solving taught through the Open Circle curriculum in the classroom.

Lunch and snack groups generally take place outside of the lunchroom / classroom in a smaller, quieter setting and are facilitated by speech and language pathologists and / or school psychology staff.

While everyone is welcome to participate on a rotating basis, students are also invited to lunch groups based on a teacher or parent’s recommendation and sometimes by random draw. However, this program is entirely optional and students are not required to attend.

If you have any questions about lunch bunch or do not wish for your child to participate, please contact the office or your child’s classroom teacher by Friday, September 16, 2016. Attached is the consent form. snack lunch bunch consent 2016.docx

Mark Your Calendar

Monday, Sept. 12

Start of full day Kindergarten

Thursday, Sept. 15

Back to School

6:30-7:00- K/1/2

7:00-7:15-Welcome Back

7:15-7:45- 3/4/5

Saturday, Oct. 1

Upham Sports Carnival

Monday, Oct. 3

No School

Rosh Hashanah

Monday, Oct. 10

No School

Columbus Day

Wednesday, Oct 12

No School

Yom Kippur

Thank you for your support and commitment to Upham. Your children are exceptional students and we are so fortunate to be able to influence them on a daily basis. Thank you for trusting us with your precious children.

Dare to Dream,

Mr. Dees