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September 15, Principal Letter

posted Sep 16, 2014, 6:11 AM by Diane Lang

 Hello Small School Parents and Guardians,


I continue to be impressed by the kindness, caring, and level of rigor I am met with every day in all classrooms. I enjoy starting each day with the whole school morning meeting. It is a delight to be member of Small School.


As a way to get to know the Small School community, I have been completing neighborhood walks. I will continue this practice. In addition, I have ridden the bus with the students. This gives me another perspective into our community and how students begin and end their day. Jack O’Brien is a highly gifted bus driver and we are fortunate to have him.


As part of my first two weeks at school I joined every classroom and completed a lesson on giving put-ups. I talked about a student named Peggy who had a very challenging day and was given the chance for a do-over day. We discussed the importance of being kind to others and the impact that kindness has on the learning environment. Please ask your child about how Peggy’s day was able to improve.


I have been joining classes during the classroom morning meetings. It gives me an opportunity to learn student names and become familiar with individual classroom rules and routines.


Each week I complete learning walks in classrooms during an academic portion of the day. A visit may last anywhere from 10-20 minutes. These allow me to observe the curriculum, teaching strategies, and student learning. It is also an opportunity for me to get to know student names. J


Academic Open House

Next Tuesday, September 23, we will be holding our annual Academic Open House. During this time, students and parents explore the classrooms to learn about the curriculum and learning targets for the year. I will be providing a brochure on the State of Small School which includes school data from last year.


K-2 students will join their classrooms from 5:30-6:00 p.m. and be in the café from 6:00-6:30 p.m.


3-5 students will join their classrooms from 6:15-6:45 p.m. and be in the café from 5:30-6:00 p.m.


There will be pizza for students in the café. Unfortunately, I do not have the budget to allow for adults to have pizza as well. This is something I will explore for next year.


Small School Transition Team

This team continues to hold regular meetings.  You can find minutes of the meetings posted on the Small School website under the Small Transition Team Meeting tab. We have begun the process of defining overall themes and we will be developing specific plans where appropriate.


End of the Day Routine

Thank you to all of the K-2 parents and guardians who have dispersed into different sections in the front of the building. It has made the end of the day less hectic and confusing for students and staff.



Signage for the Parking Lot

It was brought to my attention by a kind father that there used to be a sign posted in the parking lot, left of the school, alerting people to drive counter-clockwise. The sign was not replaced when it fell down last spring. With the help of Dana Ferrante, custodial foreman, the sign has been located and will be reposted shortly.



Academically Gifted (AG)

The AG services for students in grades 4 and 5 will begin this week. Students in 3rd grade, throughout the district, have not been identified yet. The MAP scores being collected this fall will help with this process. Once students have been identified, a model of delivery and schedule will be shared.


Student-Parent-Teacher Conferences

In October we will have our conferences. At these meetings, students set goals in math and language arts based on their current level of skills. You will be receiving information from your child’s teacher for dates and times.



Important dates:


Friday, September 19: Neighborhood Walk 4:15–5:30 p.m., Sawyer, Stanford, and School streets


Wednesday, September 19: PTA Ice Cream Social, 6:00-7:30 p.m.


Tuesday, September 23: Neighborhood Walk, 4:00–5:00 p.m., Randall and Free streets


Tuesday, September 23: Academic Open House, 5:30–6:00 p.m., K-2 classrooms; 6:15-6:45 p.m., 3-5 classrooms


Wednesday, September 24: Early Release Day at 12:30 p.m.


Friday, September 26: PTA Happy Wheels Night 5:30-7:30 p.m.


Monday through Friday, October 6-10, MAP testing for students in grades 2-5


Monday, October 13: Columbus Day, no school


October 14-24: Two-week window for student-parent-teacher conferences







Diane Lang

Small School Principal