Dear Upham Community,

Can you believe it? Yes, we will be all in beginning April 5! I cannot wait to have everyone in at the same time. I know the teachers are excited to have everyone return as well. There will be no changes to arrival or dismissal. Our schedule will remain the same as the hybrid schedule. We’ve decided to continue with it in case (this will not happen) we have to return to a hybrid program. We will keep with the 6 feet of distancing for lunch and snacks while in the classroom. This means for third through fifth grades we will find distancing outside of the classroom into the hallways. Recess will remain the same with classrooms playing in a designated zone. Beginning April 5 the teachers (3-5) will no longer be providing lessons through Zoom or Google Classroom. In the case of sickness due to COVID-19 (this will not happen, I hope), we will work with the individual teachers for assignments and homework. Wednesday’s will be full in and we will dismiss at 12:00 PM. Please look for the survey from WPS today in regards to returning to full in person. In the interim, if you have any questions or concerns please reach out to me.


We are moving forward with the MCAS testing. If you are planning to opt-out of this year’s offering please contact me for the details.



May 11-5th grade

May 13-4th grade

May 14-3rd grade

May 25-5th grade

May 27-4th grade

May 28-3rd grade


June 1- 5th grade

Finally, I want to share an article from Psychology Today. It turns out that people underestimate the impact of a small compliment – saying something as simple as “I love your scarf” – and overestimate the psychic effort involved in giving it. Each day I greet the students as they walk into the school or while opening the car door. It is amazing what a small positive comment can do to the attitude of the children as they prepare to enter the building. The researchers had people take a few seconds to pay an out-of-the-blue compliment to a same-gender stranger. Some details:

  • Just before giving the compliment, participants were anxious that the recipient would feel awkward and annoyed.
  • Those predictions significantly underestimated how flattered, happy, and pleased most recipients felt.
  • After the compliment, the mood of those who gave it improved significantly.
  • But blinded by their own discomfort, they didn’t see the impact on the other person.
  • Third-party observers could see the positive impact of the compliment.

“The biggest challenge is getting out of our own head,” says Erica Boothby, one of the researchers (University of Pennsylvania). “We tend to be overly focused on our own ability to give a compliment effectively, or worried about what the other person will think of us.” Better to think about how we would feel receiving a positive comment, and realize that most other people will have the same reaction. “A few kind words can go a long way,” she says.

Thank you for your support. It has been a major part of our ability to meet the needs of the children. As we move into some normalcy, I cannot imagine going through this “mess” without your support, kind words, and welcomed encouragement. Thank you!

Dare to Dream,

Mr. Dees


Principal’s Message
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