Founders Memorial School Newsletter - August 31, 2018Posted by Wendy Cobb on 8/31/2018 5:00:00 PM
Welcome to the 2018-2019 School Year!
Our first week of school is behind us. Staff and students have been getting to know each other, connecting with old friends, building new friendships, practicing routines, and diving into learning! There is a lot of team building going on across the building. Our first day was a hot one, that's for sure, however students were very engaged, having fun, and taking the heat all in stride. Next week the predicted weather is hot and humid once again. We encourage you to send your child in with a water bottle so we can keep them hydrated. We are all very excited to have our students back! It's going to be a great year. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you have.
DROP-OFF Time and Parking Lot Safety!
We recognize there has been some confusion with the buses this week. The bus garage staff and administration staff are working out the kinks and we are hopeful things will be ironed out soon. Bus dismissal at the end of the day at Founders has gotten dramatically better and quicker. We understand your frustration and appreciate your patience.
Parents are able to drop off students as early as 7:45. If students take a bus that drops off before that time, between 7:30-7:45, those students are spending time in the cafeteria, having breakfast or drawing. There is adult supervision during this time. Please do not drop your child off before 7:45. We've had several students being dropped off as early as 7:15. We do not have the staff available to safely monitor students at that time.
SAFETY - We are noticing some very unsafe driving during morning and afternoon drop-off and pick-up times. It is critical that families driving between FMS and EMS are driving very slowly and are mindful of their surroundings. We've also had some folks dropping students off in front of the building. This area is off-limits to all traffic, except buses, at all times. This is a FIRE ZONE and there is no parking allowed at any time. Also, we ask that you not park or drop off in the spaces that are reserved for individuals with a handicap, unless you have a permit to do so.
Playground Modeling Plan
During thiis first week of school classrooms are modeling routines, talking about expectations, working on things such as Cooperation, Assertiveness, Responsibility, Empathy, and Self-Control. CARES - using a Responsive Classroom approach. Responsive Classroom is an evidence-based approach to education that focuses on the strong relationship between academic success and social-emotional learning (SEL). "The Responsive Classroom approach empowers educators to create safe, joyful, and engaging learning communities where all students have a sense of belonging and feel significant." Go to the RC website for more information. https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/
Much like a classroom teacher would model what's expected in the classroom, we are working with students and modeling recess expectations, including but not limited to; how to use the playground structures safely and appropriately, how to line up and transition into lunch after recess, and ideas for developing friendships and being kind to each other, as well as a vareity of games and strategies for being safe. We are slowly rolling out different aspects of recess time, in order for students to be successful. This week they learned how to use the small play structure, the swings, how to line up, and ways to transition into recess. Other things we are doing this year to help make recess more successful for all students are:
- More adults, including teachers, at every recess time.
- Lunch will follow recess this year
- We will gradually open areas of the playground. Students will not be allowed to do anything at recess without it being taught first. We understand this may be upsetting for some students. We share with them that this is for everyone's safety and success at recess.
- We will directly teach recess games.
News From the Cafeteria
The Essex Westford Child Nutrition Programnhas taken the pledge to reduce waste and take plastic straws out of our cafeterias!
**Paper straws will be kept in very limited supply at each kitchen for those who require them**
A snippet from the EWSD Parent-Child Handbook
Regular attendance at school is essential for academic progress. Vermont law requires regular school attendance by students. Parents and guardians of students enrolled in school (regardless of their age) are required by law to ensure their children’s attendance at school. We believe regular attendance is necessary to assure academic growth, as well as the development of responsible work and study habits. If your child will not be in attendance, please call the school before the start of the school day and state the reason for the planned absence.
Valid causes for an absence include: illness, observance of religious holiday, death in the family, family emergency, or situations beyond the student’s control. Valid causes are reported to the school by the parent or guardian in writing or verbally. Parents or guardians should call the school’s attendance line as early as possible to report their child’s illness. Reporting absences to the school is an important method of enhancing student safety - we want to make sure that every student sent to school arrives at school. Parents or guardians requesting that excused absences be granted must make a written application in advance of the absences to the school principal.
Tardy students must report to the school office as soon as they arrive so that there is an accurate count of people in the building for safety reasons. Being late for school puts students at a disadvantage. Incidents of tardiness will be recorded and letters of concerns will be sent from the school when a pattern of tardiness is documented. School personnel are always available to provide parents with strategies to assist them in getting their children to school on time.
If your child must leave school before the end of the day, send written permission, including the reason for early dismissal and the student’s destination, to the office. To pick up your child, sign the early dismissal log in the school office. School personnel will call the child’s teacher to send your child to meet you in the office. Parents please respect our request by staying at the office and not going to the classroom, as often times this can be disruptive to the learning.
A student is truant if he/she is absent without a valid cause or excuse. Letters will be sent from the school when there is concern about the number of student absences.
Truancy: Staying in school is the first step to good education. A student shall be declared truant if that student has had any absence from school for more than 20 days during the course of the year.
Per state law, school interventions shall occur after a student misses 10, 15, 20 days. Continued truancy shall result in affidavits being filed with appropriate State agencies and the State Attorney General’s office.
Important Dates for your Calendar:
Monday, September 3 - Labor Day - No School
Friday, September 14 - Picture Day
Thursday, September 27 - Open House and Spaghetti Dinner (5:00-7:30)
We hope you all have a safe and happy holiday weekend!