Volume 6 No. 3 November 2018
A Message from Mr. Canata
As I sit to type a few words,the Red Sox are celebrating their fourth World Series title in the last fifteen years. For those of us who grew up here routing for them, I think it is still a strange reality for us to witness this sustained level of success. The Red Sox and all successful major sports franchises are constantly rebuilding, constantly trying to improve, constantly experiment with new strategies and new and innovative approaches to their work. They also develop their employees, engage their fans and hopefully by doing so they create sound long term investments in the organizations future.
In many ways this can be strongly compared to Leeds Elementary School. I have the pleasure of witnessing the daily work and effort that goes into creating a sound community for children, a welcoming environment for families and a safe and supportive workplace for the employees. I only can dream that the revenue stream for the Red Sox and for public schools was comparable. Perhaps, we could trade for a day and let us have the revenue generated through the sales of Mookie Betts jerseys and they could host a bake sale!
It sure seems November was upon us very quickly! Due to our crazy and windy New England weather the beautiful foliage wasn’t able to be enjoyed for very long. Soon enough the temperature will drop and the beautiful white blanket of snow will be everywhere. I like to take the time and space in the November newsletter to reflect and think about the the important Thanksgiving holiday that is celebrated this month. I have written in the past that the holiday is meant as a day that we can recognize, acknowledge and hopefully be able to take some time and reflect on the many things in our lives that matter . The things that not only are we thankful for but also make us happy. I am thankful for: my family, my friends, my health, working with kids, a job which excites and challenges me daily, great coworkers and colleagues, laughter, the servicemen and women who protect our country, and of course being part of the wonderful Leeds community! I hope all enjoy their holiday and are able to spend time with those you all care about.
By the time many of you read this, our 5th grade will be on their way to Becket for what I refer to as the annual elementary school’s right of passage; Nature’s Classroom. This amazing four day and three night field trip has always proved itself to be a rewarding experience for the kids and I cannot thank our 5th grade teachers and staff for their commitment to making this a reality. I am hopeful that this year’s class has a lot of fun, works together, proudly represents Leeds and takes the time to appreciate the opportunity.
As announced on a recent robocall, there are two drives happening in the foyer. The first is the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts peanut butter and jelly drive which will be happening until November 14th. The second is a food drive to benefit the Northampton Survival Center being run by a middle school student until November 21st. Boxes are visible in the foyer for donations.
Holidays are Approaching
Over the past several years, we have reached out to our families during the holiday season to ask for assistance for the many Leeds families for whom the holidays are not an easy time. The response has always been heartwarming in the form of various donated gift cards. It is not uncommon to receive cards for local places like Walmart, Target, Big Y, and Stop & Shop. These have been welcomed and then distributed to families so they can help to provide something for their children.
Leeds status has changed with regard to our eligibility as a Title I school. Among the many obligations as a Title I school, is the dissemination and collection a FAMILY, STUDENT AND TEACHER COMPACT. You will find the compact at the end of this newsletter, please fill this out and return it to your child’s homeroom teacher. The compact has been written in such a way that the pledges presented are common sensical, in all likelihood and happening consistently but it is nice to see them in writing. As a reminder of what everyone’s responsibilities are.
School Council Election
Due to turnover, there are three (parent) vacancies on the school council. The school council is an advisory board to the principal. The functions as determined by law are:
- Adopting educational goals for the school that are consistent with local educational policies and statewide student performance standards
- Identifying the educational needs of students attending the school
- Reviewing the annual school building budget
- Formulating a school improvement plan
The commitment is two years and would require 4-6 meetings a year plus additional time for varied initiatives the council wants to take on. If you are interested, please contact Mr. Canata directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If more than three people express a desire to serve an election will be held.
Lost and Found
If your child is missing any belongings; jackets, hats, pants, water bottles, lunch boxes, etc. etc. etc. please have them check the lost and found pile which is growing at a rapid daily rate.
Winter is Coming
Make sure children are dressed appropriately for the season. Several students do not like to wear coats or jackets while playing outside but we maintain a practice in which they do when it is above 32 degrees. To support us in this practice we point out how parents and guardians had them dressed for school. If there is snow on the ground and students want to play in it, snow pants, gloves, hats and boots are required.
Code of Conduct Task Force Adopts Philosophy Statement
The district has undertaken a near year long effort to review, revamp, and modernize its student handbooks and codes of conduct. The following is the Philosophy of Student Conduct and Support that will appear in the revised Code of Conduct.
The Northampton Public Schools believe that all students have the right to be educated in an environment where they are safe, respected, and are accepted for who they are. We believe that by teaching students strategies to manage conflict and to problem solve together, relationships will be nurtured and repaired as needed. As a result, students will be able to gain the skills and knowledge they need to be engaged citizens in a global society.
The following guiding principles from our core social and emotional learning curricula inform all Code policies and practices.
Teaching social and emotional skills is as important as teaching academic content.
How we teach is as important as what we teach.
Great cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.
How we work together as adults to create a safe, joyful, and inclusive school environment is as important as our individual contribution or competence.
What we know and believe about our students—individually, culturally, and developmentally—informs our expectations, reactions, and attitudes about those students.
Partnering with families—knowing them and valuing their contributions—is as important as knowing the children we teach.
Essential Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Competencies
Our core social and emotional learning curricula promote the following five essential cognitive, affective, and behavioral competencies identified by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL).
The ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior. The ability to accurately assess one’s strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a “growth mindset.” Self awareness skills include:
- Identifying emotions
- Accurate self-perception
- Recognizing strengths
The ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations — effectively managing stress, controlling impulses, and motivating oneself. The ability to set and work toward personal and academic goals. Self management skills include:
- Impulse control
- Stress management
- Organizational skills
The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports. Social awareness skills include:
- Appreciating diversity
- Respect for others
The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. The ability to communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed. Relationship skills include:
- Social engagement
Responsible Decision Making
The ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety concerns, and social norms. The realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and a consideration of the well-being of oneself and others. Responsible decision making skills include:
- Identifying problems
- Analyzing situations
- Solving problems
- Ethical responsibility
- 11/12/18 No School Veterans Day
- 11/14/18 – Kindergarten Information Night
- 11/15/18 PTO Meeting @ 6:00
- 11/21/18 Community Meeting (time to be determined)
- 11/21/18 half day
- 11/22-11//23 Thanksgiving break