Exterior picture of the Paul Hanlon School
3rd graders playing a game in music class
Four kindergarteners sitting around a table
Three first graders outside on the jungle gym
A fifth grader reading a first grader
Second graders using hollohoops in PE.
A gorgeous rainbow over the Hanlon School


Hanlon Core Values

Welcome to the Paul R. Hanlon School, a K-5 elementary school where we strive to foster the best possible environment for teaching and learning.  At Hanlon, we celebrate and honor the similarities and differences of individual students while building a learning community where children feel safe, known, and challenged.  The Hanlon staff is committed to seeking continuous improvement, supporting high expectations, and providing challenging learning experiences that facilitate each child's cognitive, social, emotional, and physical growth. We value collaboration, perseverance, and risk-taking. We encourage all children to give their best, and to view their mistakes as learning experiences that build character and resiliency. Our core values guide how the Hanlon community learns, works, and plays together.


Achieve academic success in a safe and nurturing environment

Develop knowledge and understanding through exploration and discovery

Demonstrate effort, pride, respect and responsibility

Forms & Documents

Principal's Message

January 26, 2019

Dear Hanlon Families,

If you’ve walked the Hanlon hallways lately, you probably noticed the new artwork.  That’s because we celebrated International Creativity Month this January. As we prepare students to solve the problems of the world they will inherit as adults, we know that creativity is undisputed as one of the most important traits of a successful problem-solver.  


Celebrating Creativity at Hanlon is the brainchild of first grade teacher, Ms. Sharpe.  Along with Hanlon's Art, Library, and Music teachers, Ms. Sharpe and her first grade colleagues devised some school-wide experiences in creativity, and our first grade students led the charge!  We kicked-off Creativity Month at our January All School Meeting where we talked about creativity and introduced the book Not a Box by Antoinette Portis. Click here to listen to the story Not a Box read by our Hanlon students.

Click here to watch the video made by the first graders with the help of Instructional Technology Coach, Mr. Goguen.  


After the All School Meeting, the entire student body returned to their classrooms for some "Think Outside the Box" Creativity Time.  As they listened to a Creativity Playlist curated by Music Teacher Ms. Pickering, students started by choosing a line- curved, straight, wiggly, jagged- to decorate.  They used materials like pom poms, tissue paper, aluminum foil, crayons, and more to decorate their line any way they wanted. Art Teacher Ms. Miller created an instructional video to teach children a variety of techniques including paper sculpture and collage to make the designs pop off the page. There is no right or wrong way to make their creations!  

5th graders making artwork

3rd Graders making artwork

Artwork on bulletin boards in the Hanlon hallway


Chinese New Year

Many Hanlon families will be celebrating Chinese New Year beginning on Feb. 5th.  This year is the Year of the Pig. Here is a link to a 7-minute video from National Geographic Kids that might be fun to watch with your children.  If you’re staying local for February Vacation, there is a great Chinese New Year Parade planned in Boston on Sunday, Feb. 17th beginning at 10AM.  


Bingo Night

Many thanks to Leann Sullivan for coordinating our Annual Family Bingo Night, and to all the families who came out for a good old fashioned night of family fun!  Our next PTO evening event is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 8th. Be on the lookout for a paper flyer in your child’s backpack.


Valentine’s Day Planning

Valentine’s Day is just a few weeks away, and the stores are starting to show off their red and pink wares.  Although the intent of this holiday is to spread kindness and share positive sentiments, in recent years, it has become more ‘candy-centric.’  While I love a sweet treat just as much as the next person, passing candy in school has been problematic in the past for a variety of reasons. Before you make or shop for Valentine cards, please keep the following guidelines in mind:


  • No food items can be attached to Valentine’s Day cards. If a student brings in cards with candy attached, they will be sent back home with the child.
  • If your child chooses to participate in the Valentine’s Day card exchange, we ask that they bring in a card for all the students in their class. Classroom teachers will provide an updated class list.      



Ada Zhong and Ginny Causey have been working very hard behind the scenes to put together an impressive catalog of Mini-Course offerings.  The Mini-Course catalog can be found in the Announcements portion of this website and the Mini-Course pre-registration form can be found by clicking here.  There is still room in some of the courses.  



Parking and Morning Drop-Off have been going well this year!  Thank you to everyone for following our procedures and ensuring the safety of our children on foot.  If you or a caregiver transport your Hanlon student by car, please take a moment to review these procedures.  



January 7, 2019

Dear Hanlon Families,

Happy New Year!  I hope that most of you were able to take some time off to enjoy some fun and relaxation with your children this past week.  The teachers and staff came back rejuvenated, and teaching and learning are happening at high levels across the building.


WFE Spelling Bee

Hanlon School did very well at Friday’s Spelling Bee sponsored by the Foundation for Westwood Education.  We had thirteen teams participate, and two teams won! Congratulations to Rayna, Vivian, Rui Rui, and Amira for winning the 3rd grade prize.  Congratulations to Marie-Noel, Bella, Helen, and Layla for winning the 5th grade title!


Bingo Night

We hope to see many Hanlon families at our annual Bingo Night this Friday, January 11th from 6:30-7:30PM in the gym.    


Attendance and Tardiness

Did you know that you can see a record of your child’s absences and tardies at the top of his or her recent progress report?  School attendance is required by law beginning in Grade 1. Schools may excuse up to seven absences in a six-month period. If a child exceeds this number, the school is required to inform parents, thus letters from the school will be sent home.  Families are expected to arrange vacations during school vacation weeks, as doing so eliminates disruptions in the learning process. Attending school regularly greatly impacts students’ social and academic progress. While we want students to stay home when they’re truly sick, it’s important they attend school as often as possible.  Tardies also make a difference in how a child starts his or her day. The bell rings at 8:45 and instruction begins at 8:50. When a student enters the building even five minutes late, he or she is missing valuable learning time. If you are having trouble getting your child to school on time in the morning, please reach out to the teacher or to Ms. Cronin to see how we can help.  


MCAS Dates

If you have a third, fourth, or fifth grader at Hanlon, please make sure you have marked down the MCAS testing dates on your calendar.  A complete list of MCAS testing dates has been posted to the “News” section of this website, and can also be found by clicking here. If you are making spring travel plans, please try to avoid testing dates.  While we do build in time for make-up testing, we have found that children are more comfortable testing with their classmates.


Parent Program Tuesday, Jan. 8th

Our next parent program, "Having Difficult Conversations with Friends and Family Regarding Race and Racism" will be held on Tues., Jan. 8 at 7pm in the Westwood High School  Little Theater. Dr. Carroll Blake will lead an interactive workshop on race and racism in schools and society. Dr. Carroll Blake was the Lead Executive Coach for Male Educators of Color (MEOC) in the Boston Public Schools and former administrator and METCO Director for the Wellesley Public Schools



News from SEPAC

Dear Parents,

You are invited to attend two events in the month of January hosted by the Westwood Special

Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) and the Westwood Public Schools. During this

winter, the Westwood Public Schools is focusing on ways to continue to make our schools more

welcoming and inclusive. These two January events speak to the realities of this work,

particularly at the secondary age level, as students with disabilities prepare for the world of

college and career readiness. Please consider attending these events as we continue the

community dialogue on the important topics of young adult life in the community, success at

college and work, and the process to get there.

Screening of Intelligent Lives – Wednesday January 9, 2019 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm in the WHS Little Theater

Come view Dan Habib’s newest documentary on the lives of young adults with intellectual

disabilities and the history and impact of intelligence testing in the American education system.

Known for his previous documentary of his son’s educational experience, Including Samuel,

New Hampshire native Dan Habib continues his work investigating the ways that the education

system can support and impede inclusion for students with disabilities. Intelligent Lives

spotlights young adults who are diagnosed with intellectual disabilities; but the message of

creating a flexible and welcoming school system applies to all students.

See attached flyer for more information on this free screening.



SEPAC January Meeting - Monday January 14, 2019 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm in the WHS Guidance Department Lobby. Transition Planning presentation – WHS Guidance Department Head,Lynne Medsker, will share information about the services and supports at WHS for all students grades 9 – 12. WHS Special Education Department Head, Robin Fabiano, will provide an overview of the Transition Planning Form as part of the IEP process, referrals to adult agencies, and how the IEP can incorporate self advocacy, adult daily living skills as well as college and career readiness. WPS Transition Specialist, Jessica Pugliesi, will share a tour of the home base for the Transition Program in WPS and samples of student schedules and programs for students who continue their special education eligibility beyond the typical senior year.

See attached flyer for details on parking and entering via the doors nearest the WHS Guidance



Progress Reports

Families can expect to find January Progress Reports in their mailboxes very soon.  They will be mailed on Friday, Jan. 25th. Teachers work incredibly hard to write about current progress and to set goals for the second term.  The purpose of the progress report is to provide parents and guardians with information about how their child is progressing toward the grade level curriculum standards and benchmarks. If you have any questions about your child’s progress, please reach out to your child’s teacher.  If you do not receive a report card by Wednesday, January 30th, please let Ms. Goldstein know. Here are a few reminders about the report cards:

Grading is done on a 4 point scale:

            4 – Meets or exceeds June expectations

            3 – Steady progress towards June expectations

            2 – Progressing towards June expectations with additional time and support

            1 – Working on concepts and skills below grade level  

Given that we are mid-way through the year, if your child is progressing at the expected pace, he/she will receive a 3, indicating steady progress towards June expectations; this is where the majority of students will fall.  In some content areas, students may have finished a unit of study, in which case they could earn a 4. For the categories Respect, Responsibility, and Work Habits in Art, Music and Physical Education, students will receive ratings of Usually, Sometimes, and Rarely, the same as the November Status Report Grades. We hope you find the report cards helpful in understanding your child’s progress.  


Cold Weather

Now that winter is officially here, I’d like to share a few reminders.  Children play outside on the playground before school and at lunch recess, unless the temperature is below 20 degrees or raining hard. It is important to make sure children are properly dressed for the weather.  This is especially important for students who walk to school and for those who wait at the bus stop.

Winter jackets, hats, and mittens or gloves are appropriate for cold days.  Sweatshirts, fleeces, and light jackets that are worn inside will not keep children warm enough to prevent cold injury when playing outside.  They must have additional protective layers. Please be sure your child has the correct clothing so that recess can be enjoyed safely. Many children keep an extra pair of mittens stuffed inside a hat in their backpack just in case.  

In order for students to be allowed to play in the snow, students must have snowpants and waterproof snowboots.  If they come to school without snow gear, they must play on the hardtop areas. The structure is closed at morning recess, and students are asked not to climb the big snow piles at any time before, during or after school.  

Snow gear should be kept in a sturdy bag such as a reusable grocery store bag.  If you are the parent of a student in K-2, please take a few minutes to teach your child how to get in and out of their snow gear, and how to unpack and repack their snow gear bags.  Students who can dress for recess quickly get more time to play, and students who take off and repack snow gear quickly get more time for learning. If you practice with your child, the teachers will thank you!

Remember to label everything with your child’s name.  Labeled clothing is always returned to children when it arrives in Lost and Found.  If you need assistance with financing winter gear, or you know of a family in need, please contact Mrs. Cronin. Financial assistance will be handled respectfully and confidentially.


Holiday Fair

Many thanks to Dawn Khoury and Dori Parmalee for a successful Holiday Fair!  It was fun to see so many Hanlon children and their families shopping and preparing for the holidays.  Ms. Khoury has been coordinating the Fair for many years, and had done a tremendous job. The torch will pass next year, so on behalf of the Hanlon community, we’d like to give Dawn a huge THANK YOU for her leadership.  Thanks to the many volunteers who helped to shop, wrap, bake, sell, decorate, clean, etc. We appreciate all of you!


Notes from the Health Room

Physicals-All 3rd grade students are required by the state of Massachusetts to provide written documentation of a current physical completed by their health care provider.  The physical must be submitted to me by February 1, 2019 and must be dated February 1, 2018 or later. If you don’t have health insurance, you can visit www.MAhealthconnector.org . If you have a physical scheduled after February 1, 2019, please let me know. Also, please call me if you are unsure if you have turned in a physical exam for your child.


Emergency Information-Please check your emergency information in Aspen and update if necessary. It is very important that you can be reached in case of  an emergency. If your phone number or email has changed, please make sure you change it in Aspen.


Hand Hygiene-Please remind your children to wash their hands frequently during the school day. This helps reduce illness for your child as well as the school community.  All students are reminded to wash hands by their teachers before Snack and Lunch. Also, please remind children to cough into their elbow instead of their hands.  This will help reduce the spread of illness.


Absence Due to Illness-It is very important to let me know if your child has a fever or          contagious illness ie. strep throat, flu, skin infection, intestinal virus, mono,conjunctivitis, head lice etc.  This is important for control measures and to protect students and staff. This information will be kept strictly confidential.


Fever Guidelines-If your child has a temperature greater than 100, please call the school nurse at 781 326-7500 Ext 8424 or e-mail  egalvin@westwood.k12.ma.us.  We ask that students with a fever stay home for 24 hours after the fever is gone- without taking fever reducing medication such as Tylenol or Advil.  Often a parent will ask if an illness is going around. We only know what is reported, so please let us know.


Winter Clothing-Please make sure your child/children are dressed appropriately for the colder weather.  A winter coat, hat, and gloves are necessary since the children will be playing outside, if the weather permits. The Health Room can use any extra outgrown clothing, especially pants during this season.


Notes from Ms. Fass, Hanlon’s Occupational Therapist

Old fashioned play develops gross motor and fine motor skills, as well as providing needed sensory input to facilitate normal development.

For fun ideas to get your children moving inside,  go to https://theinspiredtreehouse.com/activities-index/.

- Keep moving!  Lisa Fass, OT




Hanlon School on Twitter

Follow @HanlonSchool_ps to see photos of our #HappyatHanlon kids!


School Committee

Did you know that Carol Lewis is Hanlon’s School Committee Representative?  If you have questions, contact Ms. Lewis at clewis-sc@westwood.k12.ma.us


PTO Updates & Information

PTO Board

Co-President: Serina Barkley
Co-President: Jason Hatcher
Secretary: Amanda Philips
Treasurer: Alison Gustie
Events Chair: Liz Collins


PTO Calendar

*Click here to access the PTO Google Calendar.  Click the +Google in the lower right hand corner to add it to your personal calendar.  

PTO Board Meeting Minutes

Click the date to read the minutes from August 30, 2017

Click the date to read the minutes from October 16, 2017

Click the date to read the minutes from January 24, 2018

Click the date to read the minutes from June 18, 2018

Click the date to read the minutes from October 15, 2018

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