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1st Day of School is August 28th!


On behalf of the entire faculty and staff of Hiawatha, I’d like to sincerely welcome you to the 2019-2020 school year!

I hope you and your family have had a wonderful summer.  My family and I have enjoyed spending time at the lake and ocean with family and friends.

While I have been busy at school preparing for the school year and extending my own learning around literacy, building equity and social emotional learning, summer is truly a time to relax, reset and rejuvenate!  

 I am so delighted that you are part of our amazing learning community. I welcome and value your positive energy and dedication to your child’s education, and I look forward to working with you and your children.

We have an active PTO and lots of family events throughout the year which bring us together.

Our teachers and staff are dedicated to the growth and well being of your child.  We believe in a caring and nurturing environment for all students and their families.        

I am honored to be the principal of Hiawatha.

It is truly a privilege to be part of a community where parents, students, faculty and staff care for one another and strive to build positive relationships that support the academic, social and emotional growth of children. Please do not hesitate to contact me at 802-857-7736 or at  

With kindest regards,
Katherine Grykien


Important Information 

First Day of School Wednesday, August 28th, 7:45

For the first day of school, August 28, 2019, all children will assemble on the playground to meet teachers. At 7:45 AM, a tone will sound, and we will proceed into our building and respective classrooms.  This is an exciting day, and all of our families are welcome to come into those classrooms and relish this special occasion with your child.


At 8:00 I will invite all parents outside to the front of the building for a meet and greet. I will provide coffee, tea and some baked goods. This will be a chance for us to connect and mingle. 


Arrival and Dismissal

Our school is opened and staffed beginning at 7:30 AM.  We will be outside until 7:45 on the playground unless it is raining, storming or below zero degrees. 

The school day begins at 7:45 AM. Each class begins the day with Community Building at 7:55.  While we are building community throughout the whole day, this is an intentional time to focus on building relationships, developing social and emotional skills, creating and maintaining a meaningful classroom community, and beginning our day together. We will also use this time to have whole school meetings.

Any students that arrive after 7:55 with be considered tardy. They need to check in with Mrs. Michelle in the main office to get a “I’ve been buzzed in” slip before going to class. 


Kindergarten students are dismissed by the flagpole at 2:40 PM with their teachers.


All other students are dismissed at 2:45 PM. First graders are dismissed by the flagpole and second and third graders are dismissed by the main entrance. 


Every Tuesday there will be an early dismissal.  Kindergarten students are dismissed at 1:40 and first through third graders are dismissed at 1:45.  This is a district initiative to provide collaborative work and learning time for faculty and staff. 


Save the Date: EWSD Community Transportation Meeting

The Essex Westford School District invites all families and guardians to attend an informational meeting about the new K-8 busing system for the Village, as well as route updates for riders who have historically received transportation from the District. This meeting will take place on Tuesday, August 13 from 7-9 p.m. in the Essex High School Auditorium

All EWSD families/guardians will receive further information on bus routes and walking zones for the 2019-20 school year via email by August 9 and can bring any questions to the meeting on August 13. 

For more information on transportation, please visit:  

Jamie Smith, our district transportation manager, will also be at our Open House on Tuesday, September 17th, to answer any questions. 

Drop Off/Pick Up, Parking, Traffic, and Keeping our Children Safe!

With the addition of bus transportation this year, it is extremely important that we follow these rules.  I will be greeting families outside in the morning and helping with traffic and keeping our children safe.  Here are several expectations that we should abide to in keeping our children safe.

  • Only park in handicap parking spots if you have a legal permit on display in your vehicle.
  • Always follow the directions of crossing guards and stop at crosswalks.
  • Do not leave your vehicle unattended when in the drop off/pick up lane.  This creates a major safety issue and cars cannot exit when stuck behind an unattended vehicle.
  • Always park in the parking lots when planning to come into the building.
  • Always drop children off at designated spots.  Do not drop off in the middle of the road - this is extremely dangerous!


Visiting Hiawatha 

Our school has a security system.  At 7:55AM all doors are locked. The only way to enter is through the main entrance.  There is a small camera and button to push to let our administrative assistant, Michelle Murphy-Ertle, know you are outside.  Parents and visitors sign in at the main office and wear a visitor’s badge if they will be staying inside the building throughout the day. At 2:40 PM the doors are unlocked for dismissal.

Please make sure you exit out of our main entrance only.  The doors by the gym are not to be used as an exit during the school day.


A Respectful Learning Place

Of all our responsibilities at Hiawatha, our commitment to maintaining a respectful learning place for all children is the most important.  Each day we work with all of our students to ensure that interactions are respectful. Throughout the 2019-2020 school year we will continue to work with small student groups, classrooms, and our school as a whole to teach and practice respectful behaviors.  We will continue to use our school-wide expectations: Be Kind, Be Safe, and Be Your Best.  We recognize specific positive behavior by giving students bees. The students place these bees on our beehive board outside the gym.  Once we get 100 bees, we have a whole school celebration. 


School Communication

You will receive a biweekly newsletter from me via email to keep you up to date on all of our Hiawatha happenings and celebrations. You can also find up to date information on our website at If you would like a paper copy of our newsletter, please let Mrs. Michelle know, and we will be sure to accommodate you. We will also have copies outside the main office for your convenience.   


Our Hiawatha PTO

Our PTO is committed to providing enriching activities for our Hiawatha students.  These activities are supported by our parents and staff. Our PTO needs you! The PTO meets the second Tuesday of the month from 6:00-7:00. Childcare is provided. We hope to see you at our first PTO meeting Tuesday, September 10th at 6:00 in the music room! Please contact our PTO president, Nikki Mayhue at for any questions.



All volunteers must register with our district through our online registration platform annually. The application process includes a criminal record check. If you plan on volunteering for the upcoming school year, please take steps to complete this form.  The form can be found at

Four Winds

Once again, we are pleased to be able to offer our children exploration of their natural world through our parent volunteer program called Four Winds.  Sponsored by the naturalists from the Four Winds Nature Institute This integrated environmental program increases environmental stewardship.  It is a natural hands-on science program that is organized by parents. Rebecca Black will return as the parent leader.  She is looking for someone to co-lead with her. We will also be looking for at least two parent volunteers from each classroom.  Teachers support parents as they implement this science program. Please contact Rebecca ( directly if you would like to become a Four Winds volunteer for your child’s classroom or have any questions. 


Healthy Breakfast/Lunch Options

All classes have a breakfast/snack time in the morning. A daily vegetable (or salad) bar and breakfast yogurt bar are two offerings from a menu of healthy options children will enjoy.  With the intent to provide nutritional selections aligned with dietary recommendations listed on, children will be provided with many healthy options such as a yogurt bar with fresh berries and granola.  Whole grain cereal is available and in the winter, hot oatmeal. Bagels are available as well as high fiber-protein breakfast cookies. The vegetable bar at lunch provides an array of vegetables; there are also fruit selections as well as the published entrée that can be viewed on our website.  Prices are: Breakfast:  students $2.00 and adults: $2.50; Lunch: students $3.25 and adults $4.00.  Milk and/or juice costs 75¢. Please complete the application for free/reduced meals that is available online or by using the paper copy that you received in this packet.  You are always welcome to join your child for lunch! We will have a specific table that families can eat at with their children. Students are welcome to bring a friend to this table to eat with their families.  (No reservations required.)



Our faculty base lessons and units on national learning standards in math and literacy known as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for science instruction.  Each year our third grade students are administered the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) assessment. Here are three web resources that provide information on the CCSS, SBAC, and NGSS:, , and


Kindergarten Smart Start Tuesday, August 27 at 7:45

All kindergartners and their parents and/or guardians are invited to our first Kindergarten Smart Start! This is a chance for kindergarteners to experience what the first day of school will be like when the bell rings. All Kindergarten families and guardians please see the flyer included in this mailing. 


Pre-Kindergarten Open House Tuesday, August 27

Please join us for our Pre-Kindergarten Open House and school tour on August 27th. We will offer two sessions. Children who will attend the morning Pre-K program will meet from 9:00-10:00. Children who will attend the afternoon program will meet from 1:00-2:00. Come meet our teachers, hear about our program and tour the school.  

Hiawatha K-3 Open House Tuesday, September 17

Our K-3 Open House will take place on Tuesday, September 17  from 6:15 to 7:30 PM. All of our families & friends are invited to attend this annual event. Join us in the cafeteria at 6:15 for a welcome from Mrs. Grykien.  Classroom visits will follow. 

Contact Info


Principal - Katherine Grykien 857-7736


Administrative Assistant - Michelle Murphy-Ertle 878-1384  / Attendance Line - 857-7007


School Nurse - Reyna Maher 857-7740  


Guidance  - Scott Evans 857-7758 


Kitchen Staff - 857-7729


Website -


Mark Your Calendar!

Tuesday, August 13

EWSD Community Transportation Meeting


Essex High School Auditorium

Tuesday,  August 27

Kindergarten Smart Start- Kindergarten students ONLY


Pre- K Open House- Morning classes only


Pre K Open House- Afternoon classes only


Wednesday, August 28

First day of school 


Tuesday, September 10

PTO Meeting


Music Room

Tuesday, September 17

Open House


Wednesday, September 18

Picture day