Schools welcome families back via letters

by beth on August 22, 2018

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Southborough school doesn’t start until August 29th, but K-8 principals have already started welcoming new and returning students and families.

Letters and newsletters started going out by email last week. I’m rounding up some highlights.

(Note: This post is to keep the community informed about our schools. Please don’t rely on just my excerpts for schools your kids attend. Links are provided for the full documents in case you missed the email.)

Finn Elementary School (K – 1st grade)

The welcome letter from Principal Ryan to families of Southborough’s youngest students reminded them of open houses being held next week. It also included important information for parents who want to get involved in the school:

Our first Parents’ Coffee is on Thursday, September 6 th from 9:30-10:30am and will be held in the Finn School Cafeteria. The focus will be on the beginning of the school year themes: volunteering opportunities, communication, medical concerns, etc… For those parents that can’t make it, the presentation will be available online, on our website.

The Finn School Council is in need of 3 parents to join our Council. Meetings are monthly, starting at 3:15pm- 4:15pm, and our first meeting will be in October. If you’re interested in joining please send me an email and I’ll give you more info.

Woodward Memorial School (2nd – 3rd grade)

A welcome letter from Principal Mucci previewed that teachers and students will see some tech upgrades. Plus, online videos will be used to teach school rules: 

The district has upgraded technology infrastructure within the building and has equipped Woodward with a new cart of Chromebooks and other student devices. . .

We created a collection of videos to help teach our new students and remind our returning students of rules and expectations around Woodward. These videos are aligned with our schoolwide approach to proactively teaching positive behavior called PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports). We use PBIS to help our students have a safe, positive learning environment and to provide consistency in all areas of our school. The videos demonstrate the expected behavior in common areas around our building including the cafeteria, hallways, and staircase as well as critical times throughout the day like dismissal and lunchtime. You can access these videos during Open House by downloading the I-Nigma app on your smartphone and scanning the QR codes posted around the building in the designated areas (similar to a walking tour). If you would like to preview the videos or watch them at home, they will be available soon on the Woodward homepage under the Open House information. Please also check out the Grade 2 Orientation Video for additional information.

It also notified families that changes to the driveway have been postponed until next year. But there have been other outdoor improvements:

We have cleared brush and debris along the rear property line providing for additional recreational space for our students. . .

We are very excited to announce that our Story Walk installation will be complete for the start of the year. Our Storywalk will begin near the covered picnic tables on the north side of the building and end at the Outdoor Classroom on the south side of the building.

(If you aren’t familiar, you can read about the StoryWalk projects here.)

Neary Elementary School (4th-5th grade)

Principal Valenti’s welcome letter also told families to expect an improved look for the school grounds, plus its entrance:

We are grateful and delighted to see our courtyard being spruced up by one of our Southborough boy scouts as part of his Eagle Scout project, and we are looking forward to seeing his progress throughout the year. In addition, our front hallway was freshened up with new paint colors, and the classrooms, learning spaces and hallways look fantastic

In other news, the letter introduced four new Education Support Personnel (ESPs). And it reminded parents to check out the online Virtual Backpack each week for school, SOS, and community event information throughout the year.

Trottier Middle School (7th – 8th grade)

The newsletter has important information and helpful tips. That includes a preview of two changes for this year

  • The assignment planners will be given out free this year, thanks to a donation
  • The school is launching an online hub for work and assignments-

One big addition to Trottier this year is CANVAS – CANVAS is an online resource for students (parents can access CANVAS through their student’s account) to access classroom material and stay connected with teachers. We recommend you take the time to explore your classes in CANVAS as the first month of school unfolds.

Students are encouraged to keep dress casual for the first two days of school:

Because we have field activities, please don’t wear dressy clothes to school for 1st 2 days — appropriate, comfortable, summer clothes will work. (We do have a dress code at Trottier; you can find it on our website under “Our School” – Student Handbook)

Parents are reminded of the drop-off and pick-up changes implemented last year to make it “smoother and safer”.

8th graders are invited to volunteer as Curriculum Night Tour Guides or to speak at Opening Assembly. Anyone interested was encouraged to email Principal Lavoie. (The latter opportunity came with a August 24th deadline for a draft of what the student would like to say.)

The Opening Assembly is part of the school’s soft open:

At Trottier, we do not have regular classes on the first two days of school. Instead, we celebrate the beginning of the year with assemblies and field activities, as well as having study skills sessions and community building activities to help you learn about the school and get ready for a great year. We will also review school procedures and other logistical details.

The second day will feature Summer Reading Discussion Groups and ” a mini-schedule with shortened periods so that students may meet most of their teachers.”

1 who_s_there August 22, 2018 at 6:34 PM

What about Algonquin – ARHS? Is that not considered half a Southborough school?

2 beth August 24, 2018 at 5:15 PM

I didn’t get a hold of any letter in time to run a post before vacation. So I just focused on the K-8 school sitter actually in Southborough.

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