Walk to School Wednesday – 5/2/12

On Wednesday, May 2nd, Mass in Motion© and Chartwells School Dining Service, are encouraging Melrose elementary and middle school students to walk/bike to and from school in order to promote healthier lifestyles. Encouraging healthy changes in our everyday behavior will promote positive changes in our students, parents and community.

Did you know that students are encouraged to get 60 minutes of exercise daily? Just by walking to and from school with a parent can give students a chance to gain some exercise, fresh air and quality one-on-one time. This dedicated day is an opportunity for Melrose children to get even more active!

Are you ready for a breath of fresh air? Parents, this is a chance for some volunteerism while reducing some traffic congestion and pollution. If your student is old enough to walk to school without an adult please encourage them to walk with other students. Otherwise, please join your child if you can.

Chartwells will be rewarding participating adults with a hot cup of coffee and students with a healthy frozen juice treat when they arrive at school.  I hope to see you all out and about Wednesday morning!

Thinking about next year ….

In last week’s e-Notice (4/9/12) I mentioned class placement for next year.  I will continue to do so over the next few weeks, but wanted to provide a more detailed explanation as well.

From the e-Notice … “Also at this time of the school year, the staff begins the complicated process of developing class assignments for next year. Winthrop will continue to “roll up” the current class configuration from grade level to grade level, and I’m excited that we’ll again have three Kindergarten classes next year. The placement process has many layers as all educators in the school work hard to ensure that each student is in a position to succeed academically and socially. You will not be notified until August as to who your child’s home room teacher will be. At that time, alterations will not be made. If you have a specific concern regarding the placement of your child next year, please contact me as soon as possible. Specific teacher requests will not be honored as it is impossible to provide a fair and consistent process when teacher requests are allowed.”

Historically, student placement is one of the most difficult job functions of both teachers and administrators, as we are sticklers for perfection and want what is best for all our students.  Most of us are also parents ourselves, and know this is a difficult process at home as well.  As this is my first year at Winthrop, I want to assure you our focus will be in creating good instructional groupings of students, taking into consideration academic proficiencies, social/emotional needs, friendships, and keeping in mind students who did not work well together this school year.  Additional factors include keeping a balanced gender split, as well as dividing students from “sending” classrooms evenly throughout the next grade level.  An overall goal of elementary schools is for students to have a broad range of experiences, and to adapt to a variety of personalities and learning styles, while becoming more comfortable in what works for him or herself.  Please also remember what was best for an older child may not be the same for a younger child.  Every student is unique!

Winthrop teachers have been asked to direct any particular parent requests for placement to me, and I ask that if you have concerns or information specific to your child’s placement you contact me as soon as possible.  One of the most difficult issues to navigate are parent requests that come after the placement process has begun.  A change to one student in one classroom has a domino effect on every other student and classroom at that grade level!

End of the Year Crunch

I was working with the third grade teachers the other day when one of them asked how many weeks were left in the school year. The answer (9 weeks plus a day) came as a bit of a shock to us, even though we were all fully aware of the date!

There are many opportunities for families to join us at the end of the school year, but those functions also put stress on working parents as they are primarily scheduled during the day.  Also, with May 22nd as the final testing date for the May MCAS administration, and our lack of snow days this year, most of our end of the year events are crammed into a short few weeks.

I hope with this much advance notice families will be able to prioritize and attend whichever events are most important to you and your child(ren.)

  • Wed, 5/23 Ice Cream Social and Family Book Fair Night
  • Tues, 5/29 Academic Day
  • Thurs, 5/31 5th Grade Parent Info Night @ MMVMS – 7pm
  • Mon, 6/4 Spring Concerts
  • Thur, 6/7 Spirit Day
  • Mon, 6/11 Gr 5 Moving On Ceremony

All spring concerts will be held on the same day this year, however to accommodate families in the All Purpose Room we will continue the alphabetical split.  Students with last names beginning with A-L will perform at 8:30AM, and students with last names beginning with M-Z will perform at 10:00AM.  Each concert is anticipated to last approximately 45 min – 1 hour.

Tuesday, June 12th is the last day of school, and it is a full day.