CENTER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

837 LONGMEADOW STREET | LONGMEADOW | MASSACHUSETTS | 01106 | P 413-565-4290

Center Elementary School’s vision for education is foremost focused on fostering a child-centered environment where our students are responsible and respectful members of their learning community. Students develop a strong sense of self and a desire to contribute to their community in a positive manner. Our vision for academic learning is to nurture highly motivated and independent students who approach learning with enthusiasm, critical thinking, creativity, and perseverance. Inherent in our vision is the guiding principle that all students can learn at high levels; and will reach their full potential through the collaborative efforts of their teachers, families, and school leaders.

"All students, regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or homelessness, have equal access to the general education program and the full range of any occupational or vocational programs offered by the district."

SCHOOL HOURS

8:30 AM - 2:45 PM

TO REPORT AN ABSENCE

PLEASE CALL 413-565-4290

SUMMER HOURS

8:00 AM - 3:00 PM

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Center School Directory

Posted Sept. 19, 2017

This year our student directory is going Digital!

The 2017-2018 directory will be a great resource for initiating playdates, gathering classmates or getting after school homework help. Please enter your information here:

http://www.centerschoolpto.com/centerschooldirectory.html.

After we have all students information, you will be able to reference it on our password protected directory.

Please input your information by October 1.

When you visit the PTO site, please sign up to receive the weekly email blasts-it's a great way to keep up on happenings!


Safety Reminders

Posted Sept. 17, 2017

Dear Center School Families,

I’m looking forward to a perfect weather day on Friday for our Fall Carnival. I hope many of you are planning on joining us for a fun family afternoon on the first day of fall. I also hope you’re enjoying this little stretch of summer weather!

The safety and well- being of each student in our community is our priority. Procedures are established mindful of the expansiveness of the Center School campus; and Center School educators work to be both responsive to and proactive about safety concerns. I extend my appreciation for your help with following our procedures. Here are some important reminders.

  1. Students enter the building at 8:30 am. While I love the enthusiasm of our early Cardinals, we do not have supervision before 8:30. 5th grade safety students’ arrival time is 8:25.
  2. Talk with your child about ALWAYS using crosswalks when traveling to and from school.
  3. I have a report that a few students have been turning down the driveway on their bikes near the gymnasium that leads to the parking lot. The driveway is very busy and this presents a serious risk to our students. All students should travel along Longmeadow Street directly in front of the school at both arrival and dismissal times.
  4. PLEASE PLEASE do not drop students off in the back of the school. The back stairs from the playground to the esplanade are not a designated arrival (or dismissal) spot. We are concerned with student traveling up the stairs unsupervised in the morning.
  5. We love our bikers! Let’s remind our bikers about courteous bike riding when they approach our walkers-slowing down and signaling that they're coming from behind.
  6. Coming event: International Walk /Bike to school : October 4th: more information soon!
  7. Lost and Found: we'll have an easier time returning lost items if you mark all your child's items with name and grade.

Have a wonderful evening!

With appreciation,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Fall Carnival Rescheduled

Posted Sept. 14, 2017

Hello Center School Community,

We've checked and rechecked numerous forecasts for tomorrow to help make a decision about whether to postpone the Fall Carnival...the forecast seems to indicate unsettled weather in the afternoon. Our 5th graders work so hard on their games and the PTO planning is time intensive. The concern is scattered showers spoiling the event for everyone.

We will postpone the Fall Carnival to September 22nd from 4:30 to 6:30. We hope to see everyone next Friday and fingers crossed for a beautiful fall afternoon.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Homework Guiding Principles

Posted Sept. 6, 2017

September 4, 2017

Greetings Center School Families,

In June, we shared with you the HWGuidingPrinciples.docx for our elementary students. The document is attached for our new families and for our returning families’ review.

The principles reflect an engaging, relevant, child-centered and research- based approach to homework. They reflect the comprehensive work of a teacher study group who read, discussed, and summarized current research and scholarly literature regarding the efficacy of homework for elementary students. The study group also examined the School Councils’ parent survey; and shared with colleagues all their discoveries along the path to creating the final document.

We ask you to notice that the principles mirror our strong belief that a student’s academic and social success is centered in the strong partnership of educators, students, and families, therefore we explicitly state responsibilities each holds. As we begin this new year and as your child eases into the school routine, please review the Family Responsibilities. We also request you discuss the Student Responsibilities with your child.

Note that the Guiding Principles do not articulate nor adhere to a “no homework” philosophy. Contrary, we are presenting an approach to homework that emphasizes the positive correlation of reading to a child’s overall school achievement and development as a life-long learner. The guidelines also emphasize the effectiveness of fluency practice with math facts and sight words.

We consider the 2017-2018 school year to be the Year of the Reader! You can anticipate school-wide happenings that focus on growing and enhancing a culture of reading.

We always welcome your feedback and insights regarding our work with your child. Please feel free to reach out to me or to your child’s teacher with questions. At our Open House on September 28th, we will have additional resources and helpful ideas related to reading at home as well as fluency practice. Together we will empower our students with the skills and dispositions to reach their full potential as learners.

Thank-you for your support.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Welcome Back 2017-2018

Posted Aug 30, 2017

Good evening Center School Families,

Tomorrow we’ll welcome your child with all the promise of a new school year. The enthusiastic spirit of the staff this week is energizing and everyone is excited to start anew…a new beginning each fall is one of the unique gifts in our teaching lives.

We will welcome twenty-one new families to our community this year. I’ll look forward to greeting them again and connecting with returning families. I encourage you to reach out to each other so that we can build relationships and offer support as the need arises.

You will have a fun opportunity to meet new people at the annual Fall Carnival on September 15th. Another upcoming school event is Open House on September 28th. This is an evening when parents and guardians will meet in the classrooms with teachers and learn about grade level curriculum and expectations. And please consider joining our PTO…another great way to be involved in your community!

It’s been a productive week for staff. Yesterday, our professional development focus was on the PeaceBuilders curriculum. We had the time and space for “solution building” and to create new activities to enhance the program as we move into our third year as a PeaceBuilders’ community. The practices of PeaceBuilders empower us to embrace a shared vision of who we strive to be as a community. The day was also a strong affirmation of our commitment to teach the whole child. Together, with you as our partners, we form an extraordinary Center School family. We deeply value your support as we work to grow your child into creative, empathetic, intelligent, and engaged learners and citizens.

It is an implausible myth that teachers take the summer off… our staff is comprised of teachers who never leave their teaching world at school. They consistently stretch themselves to find ways to enrich their work. Summer work and planning was ongoing and the thoughtfulness of their work will be evident in your child’s learning. The classrooms also look incredibly warm and welcoming! I am proud to lead such a hard-working, committed, and caring group of educators, always focused on meeting the needs of each child in their care. Know your child is in the very best hands.

On the eve of the new year, I imagine your dreams for your child are boundless and hopeful. We likely share many of your dreams. When our bell tolls in the morning-one of my favorite moments- think of it as a symbol of our promise to provide your child with a wonderful experience this year, a promise to realize our dreams for our students together. There are many extraordinary moments ahead and it will be delightful to share your child’s learning and growth with you.

Rest well this evening and I hope your child has already settled into sleep with joyful anticipation for the year ahead.

See you on the playground at 8:30!

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal


Arrival/Dismissal 2017-2018

Published August 26, 2017

Dear Center School Families,

This message is the first of August/September communications to help you navigate the start of the school year.

Please read the arrival and dismissal details carefully to help ensure the safety of our students.

First, we encourage you to review bicycle and walking safety with your child. Please remind your child to be considerate of walkers when riding their bikes to and from school.

We know students thrive with predictable routines. It is helpful if you develop and discuss the family “pick up” plan with your child i.e., where to meet at the end of the day, pick up on the carline, etc. It’s also extremely important for you to remind your child to stick with the family plan; the plan should never be changed by the student without family knowledge!

We suggest you place emergency contact information in a visible place on your child’s backpack. There’s some great tags available that attach to backpacks.

First Day: We’ll see everyone on the playground at 8:30 AM. The bell will toll to signal the start of our new year!! Teachers will be on the playground; look for signs with your child’s teacher’s name and you’ll know where your child should line up.

Arrival and Dismissal Procedures after Day One:

Arrival: 8:30 AM We do not have supervision before 8:30 AM, so while we love our enthusiastic early birds, please time arrival as close to 8:30 as possible.

Grades 2, 3, 4: Enter through the main doors

Grades K,1,5: Enter through esplanade doors –gymnasium side.

5th grade safeties will walk kinder and first grade students to their classrooms.

All bikers park bikes on the bike racks on the playground. Please do not park bikes near the entrance gate. For our new families, locks are not needed.

Bikers walk the Longfellow sidewalk to the front of the school and enter through appropriate entrances. Students should never travel to the back stairwell to enter the building in the morning. We do not have supervision in this area and we're appreciative of families who do not drop off/pick-up in an area that is not our designated drop off/pick-up.

Students should not travel the driveway on the side of the gymnasium. This area poses a serious safety issue as cars enter here for the parking lot behind the school; there’s blind spots and the sidewalk does not wrap around the driveway.

Dismissal: 2:45

Grades 2, 4: Exit main entrance

Grade 3: exit Longfellow Street door

Grade K, 1, 5: esplanade doors gymnasium side.

Teachers will escort their classes to the carline and to the playground.

Kinder and grade 1 families: If you meet your child on the esplanade, please stand near the railings away from doorways. We appreciate when you do not block the exit doors and/or the walkway to the esplanade as teachers have many students to walk in lines to appropriate spots.

I met with our LPD safety officer Sergeant Carl Mazzaferro. He’ll be with us the first week of school monitoring our procedures.

Our carline procedure can be found in the Family Handbook

https://sites.google.com/longmeadow.k12.ma.us/new-ctr/parents

You’ll find lots of helpful information in your handbook.

Carline families: Please note that cars traveling Longfellow Drive to Longmeadow Street will see a One Way sign-right turn only between 8 AM-4 PM. Vehicles exiting out of Green Meadow Drive, Morningside Drive, and Crestview Circle are permitted to turn left or right and travel in both directions.

As always, I welcome your feedback and any questions.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Class Lists 2017-2018

Posted Aug 14, 2017

Greetings Center School Families,

Happy August to you! My message is a reminder that on Friday, August 18th at 3:00 p.m. you will be able to log into the PowerSchool Student and Parent Portal to see what homeroom your child has been placed in for the upcoming school year. Your login and password were sent home with your child on Monday, June 19, 2017. Logging into the Portal will be the only way you will be able to see who your child's teacher is for the 2017-2018 school year. All veteran or returning parents can access the portal by visiting the Power School button in the parents tab of this website Parents. Please be sure to bookmark this tab! I’ve included a screenshot at the bottom of this email that will provide a visual of what you are looking at to find your child’s homeroom teacher.

For families new to the district, information explaining how to access the parent portal will be sent home during the first week of school along with many other school related items. New families, who registered prior to August 10, 2017, will receive a letter in the mail or an email message notifying you of your child’s classroom assignment. Kindergarten families can anticipate a welcome letter from their child's teacher to arrive in the mail by Friday.

Please note that the district does not have the capacity over the summer months to address questions or issues regarding the portal website, so kindly refrain from calling the school for assistance with the portal.

Please anticipate more news about our upcoming year in the next few weeks as we countdown to the first day of school!

ParentPortal screenshot.pdf

Warm regards,

Donna Hutton, Principal

Supply Lists

Posted July 31, 2017

Here are the Supply Lists for Grades 1 - 5

Important Upcoming Dates!

Posted July 6, 2017

Important upcoming dates:

August 18th: Visit Power School Parent Portal for teacher assignment

August 23rd: Incoming Kindergarteners visit with Principal Hutton 9:00 AND New Families and Students Visit with Principal Hutton 1:00

August 31st: First Day of School 1-12

September 4th : Labor Day, No School

September 5th : First Day Kindergarten

September 15th : Center School Fall Carnival on the Green

September 28th: Open House 6:00 pm

Guiding Principles for Homework

Posted June 20, 2017

Greetings Elementary Families, Attached is the Guiding Principles for Homework for the Longmeadow Elementary School community.

The principles reflect an engaging, relevant, child-centered and research- based approach to homework. They reflect the comprehensive work of a teacher study group who read, discussed, and summarized current research and scholarly literature regarding the efficacy of homework for elementary students. The study group also examined the School Councils’ parent survey; and shared with colleagues all their discoveries along the path to creating the final document.

Our goal is to share the document with you now, with an understanding that we will provide ongoing communication to deepen understanding of the guiding principles as we move into the start of the 2017-2018 school year and beyond.

We ask you to notice that the principles mirror our strong belief that a student’s academic and social success is centered in the strong partnership of educators, students, and families, therefore we explicitly state responsibilities each holds.

Finally, with summer here, it is appropriate to also notice that reading is at the forefront of the guiding principles. Our district summer reading initiative Many Books, One Community, supports the findings of the study group: No single activity has a greater benefit to a student’s academic achievement than choice reading! You will receive more information about the summer reading on the last day of school. The letter will be included with the report card.

We always welcome your feedback and insights regarding our work with your child. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have at this time. We additionally will survey teachers, families, and students in the spring of 2018 to assess how the community feels about the guidelines.

Sincerely,

Donna Hutton, Principal

HWGuidingPrinciples.docx

Summer Reading Information

posted Jun 20, 2017

Many Books, One Community...Building a Better World

Greetings Elementary School Families,

We are excited to share with you the transformation of our traditional summer reading endeavor “One Book, One Community”! We know that the single summer activity that is most strongly and consistently related to summer learning is reading! Research also shows us that the amount of free reading done outside of school enhances vocabulary development, reading comprehension, language skills, and a student’s knowledge of his/her world.

This summer we present to our community: Many Books, One Community! We ask that you join us in supporting and encouraging your child to choose and read many many books this summer, exploring self-selected topics! We also encourage families to join in the endeavor by reading with and reading to their child throughout the summer months.

Our elementary school communities focus is not only on academics but on growing caring and empathetic students. We will share Storrs Library’s summer reading program theme- Building a Better World. The Storrs Library staff is excited to assist your child with reading choices.

We are expecting our students to come to school on the first day bursting with excitement about their summer reads. Students will be prepared to share the one-or perhaps two!- favorite summer books with their new teacher and with their peers. Attached is a list of possible ways your child may share his/her book as well as some possible titles. Students may choose an activity from the list or come up with their own idea!

As you explore with your child the boundless choices of books, we share with you an important point to consider. Being read to or reading in isolation does not by itself automatically lead to strong literacy development and broader learning. The real link seems to lie in the verbal interaction that occurs between adult and child, and child to child before, during and after story reading.

We applaud you in your efforts to support us as we grow our students into lifelong readers who love and cherish the opportunity to get lost in a good story!

Sincerely,

LPS Elementary School Communities

Summer Reading Choices:

Book talks- Give a book talk about your favorite read.

Book Review- Share a book review with your class.

Musical Book Share- Quickly share a book with a partner (2 minutes) and then rotate a few times

Book Commercial- Record a commercial about their favorite book

Make Bookmarks- Create bookmark to go with a book for the next reader who reads it

Make Book Cover- Make a cover that would make other students interested in the book

Book Swap- Bring a favorite book, borrow a favorite book

Genre List- Keep tally list of summer books read in different genres (bar graph, pie chart, line plot)

Read Cliffhangers- Share with class a “cliffhanger” from the book you read without giving it away

Guess My Book- Write 3 clues about book and have students guess what book you are talking about.

Buddy Book- Plan with a friend to read the same book and then discuss.

Pick An Emoji- Pick an emoji to go with the book and explain why in a few sentences

If I Could Be Any Character- Share which character you would be and why- dress up?

Me As a Reader- Make a collage of who you are as a reader

Poster: Create a poster of your favorite summer read.

Any way to share is acceptable!

Happy summer reading!!