Office 587-1540 Volume 5 No. 2 October 2017
A Message From Mr. Canata,
As we enter our second full month of school, I can only say that time seems to be moving at a very quick pace. One thing I am certain of is that Leeds hit the ground running. A completed master schedule as well as classroom and individual student schedules were in place in a very quick and efficient time. I credit the entire teaching staff to ensure this was done right. As a result of their efforts, it is safe to say that all of the students were back in the swing of things right away.
There is much to report about the last few weeks and there are several items of interest coming up.
It has been a very busy time. We have held the first PTO meeting and our first School Council meeting, had several safety drills including fire evacuation (one planned one not!) and bus evacuation. We held a very well attended Back To School Picnic, a forum regarding the police presence in our school and reignited the Gardening Education Program. We have held a community meeting focusing on hurricanes, hurricane relief efforts and peace. Our Before and After School Programs are up and running rather strong under new leadership. Mrs. Cox is running Early and Late Bird and Mrs. Daniels is running LEAP. The Gaga Pit is the most popular thing I have ever seen on a school playground. A beautiful, new, pavilion has been built out back which can be used as an outdoor classroom space or as a place to enjoy the shade while reading. The roof construction appears to be nearing the end as the materials kept on the property are slowly dissipating. I join many in looking forward to a bucket free building when it rains! On the academic front,the district RTI (Response To Intervention) plan continues to evolve providing teachers with up to date and relevant information on how to best meet student need. Differentiation is a common theme as we try to meet the needs of those in need of something extra whether that be on the supportive end or the higher level thinking end. Inclusionary practices continue to evolve as several professionals are working together in various classrooms together. We are implementing Math Investigations 3, utilizing Mystery Science curriculum, expanding our use of technology and educational software to provide both a challenge and remediation in reading and math with Lexia, Symphony Math and Raz-Kids. We also expanded the activities and the amount of books available in our library. We also held our annual Open House which was absolutely packed, positive and I hope informative.
Looking ahead this month we have our popular Halloween Happenings! For the fifth year in a row, we have once again teamed up with Patterson Farms, and the wonderful Northampton Buildings and Ground Crew to provide every student with a pumpkin to celebrate Halloween.! The pumpkins will be delivered directly to school where students will eventually be allowed to bring them home to enjoy.
Also, five years ago, Leeds brought back the tradition of hosting a Halloween Parade. This very simple but popular event brings out many families and the students all get incredibly excited to dress up. This year’s parade will take place on Friday October 27th at 11:30 (note: families who do not celebrate Halloween or students who do not wish to participate will be provided with an alternative). Student costumes are expected to be school appropriate. Costumes with weapons and other accessories are discouraged. Masks that are brought to school can be worn once the parade begins. There will not be time allowed for excessive makeup or hair care.
For the third year, TRUNK OR TREAT and Fall Festival , a family and community event is taking place Saturday, October 28th from 1:30 to 3:30 in our school parking lot. A flyer will be going home describing the event and we are hopeful many Leeds families will take part fully displaying our Leeds community spirit!
This month also brought us an amazing Open House on October 10th and the important Parent and Teacher Conferences from the 23rd – 27th.
We also celebrate the Fall Harvest in our own school garden behind the school on October 18th.
We are in New England so enjoy the beautiful foliage that is soon to be completely surrounding us!
SCHOOL COUNCIL NEWS
We have elected three new members of the School Council, Bill Brown, Carla Imperial, and Dave Champoux, they join returning members Hannah Durrant- West and Erin Mahon-Moore. They join faculty members, Holly Taylor, Annette Bischoff, Erica Lamanna, Laurie O’Shepa , Patti Kline and Mr. Canata. The School Council serves as an advisory group to the principal and focuses their efforts on engaging families in a variety of ways. This year, be looking for a Math night and a Literacy night, a World Cafe, and expansion of the classroom (parent) representative program, expanding our commitment to social justice, and working alongside the PTO to provide our students and families with a wonderful elementary school experience. You don’t have to be an elected member to attend the meetings but this is a great opportunity to do some meaningful work on behalf of the children.
Our PTO is a hardworking group who puts in tremendous time and effort bringing much needed funds to our school while providing amazing experiences. The current elected board is Kate Agresto, President, Kaitlyn Ferrari, Vice President, Adena Calden, Secretary and Cristina Fox and Kristen Munson, Co-Treasurers. Under the board’s leadership, things began happening right away with Tissues and Tears for our Kindergarten families and the Back To School Picnic. They are currently reviewing the submissions for the t-shirt contest, running the Florence Bank Customer Choice Awards, are getting ready for our Genevieve’s catalog sale, collecting Retail Rewards and planning several movie nights. Please check their website which has a link on the school’s website.
The PTO is here to support every child and all parents by right are members . All are invited and welcome to be a part of this group. With over 320 students benefitting from their efforts, please consider coming to a meeting, the next one is on Tuesday October 17th at 6:30.
FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT
As part of the transition to statewide computer-based testing, students in grades 4, 5, 7, and 8 will take computer-based MCAS tests in spring 2018 in ELA and Mathematics. The grades 5 and 8 STE assessments will also be computer-based. As in 2017, there will be exceptions for students who require a paper-and-pencil version.
For grades 3 and 6, districts may elect to have their schools do either computer-based or paper-based testing (CBT or PBT). This decision may be made by school, grade, and subject area.
I am required to inform the Department of Education of our testing mode decisions for grades 3 and 6 by October 13th. As has been the case in the past, I want to make these decisions with input from staff, parents, and guardians. To gather stakeholder input, an anonymous survey has been placed on the district homepage.
John A. Provost, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
SPEAKING OF MCAS
Some might be wondering why in years past, have MCAS results been released at a much earlier date. This year, due to the results being the New Generation MCAS there has been debate and a delay with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. It is anticipated that the projected statewide results to school districts will be released and made available towards the end of October.
HURRICANE RELIEF EFFORTS
As a community, in addition to teaching curriculum, we are also trying to create global citizens. As a school we are all thinking of ways to support the victims of the hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico. There is a large collection bucket in the office. One class already had a bake sale raising over $300.00, another class held a pencil sale on Open House night raising over $200.00 and there is a candy corn guessing jar in our library! Our School goal is $2,000.00 if met Mr,. Canata will be coming to school with his hair colored green. Be looking for updates regarding these efforts. www.leedspto.org/hurricane-relief
It is election day at Leeds on November 3rd and back by popular demand, our amazing volunteer, Mr. Jim Mias will be manning the voting booths so students will be able to vote …for…their favorite colored t-shirt! The PTO generously purchases school shirts yearly for the community and this year there was another contest for its design. We were unsure of the color so we are putting it to a vote. The candidates will all be visible and campaigning before the big vote so students can make an informed choice!
The 5th grade is preparing for their annual rite of passage, The four day/three night trip to Becket, MA from November 6-9. The trip is always an amazing experience for the children and it happens as a result of the complete dedication and organization by our 5th grade teachers and many years of collective fundraising by the PTO in support of this program. All grade levels begin and have the opportunity to fundraise for this trip beginning in Kindergarten to alleviate its substantial cost.
- Leeds Harvest Week October 17th – 20th (Tues -Fri)
- October 17th – PTO 6:30
- October 18th – Community Meeting – Hosted by the 4th grade @10:15
- October 27th – Halloween Parade
- October 28th Trunk or Treat
- Conference Week October 23rd – 27th (half days)