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


April 7, 2017

Dear Hanlon Families,

You may have heard your child(ren) talking about our newest All School Theme: Inclusion.  This theme is very near and dear to my heart, and you may not know it, but the idea was formulated with the help of the Hanlon Site Council.  You may remember that Site Council is a group of parents, staff and community members who care deeply about school improvement.  In our discussions, we have talked about the perception that Westwood can be somewhat homogenous, and that the world our children experience here doesn’t necessarily look like the world they will enter as adults.  This means that we have to work harder to prepare children to become contributing citizens in a global environment.  


At the elementary level, we focus on building the foundations that will enable kids to engage in difficult, yet important topics and conversations in ways that are age appropriate for each grade level:  we take a proactive approach to teaching things like empathy, tolerance, perspective-taking, debate, and … active inclusion.  We teach students that our differences make us interesting, and that despite visible and invisible differences we have a lot in common.   


After hearing about the discussions happening in Site Council, a group of Hanlon teachers got together to form the Inclusive School Committee.  They have put together a series of experiences to promote this idea in classrooms and around the building.  Teachers, support staff, and I have been reading aloud from books that embody the Inclusion theme.  You can see some of the books on the list here.  Students have each written sentences that begin with “I feel included when…”  These sentence strips will be linked together to make a large paper chain the will be presented at our next All School Meeting.  We have also planned several “Mix It Up at Lunch” days, where children will sit with peers that they typically might not sit with.  We will provide games and icebreakers to get them talking and hopefully making some new connections.  Many more ideas will be explored and implemented later this year and next year.  Stay tuned for more information about how you can support these ideas at home!



Students got a taste of Africa on Monday when the storyteller Eshu came to share his folktales.  After telling several stories to audiences in the gym, he spent the rest of the day in 5th, 2nd, and Kindergarten classrooms helping students write their own creative stories. You can visit Eshu’s website here.  Many thanks to Serena Valentino for coordinating Eshu’s visit, and to our Hanlon PTO for funding the program.  


Science Fair

Congratulations to all of the young scientists who displayed their work at our 3rd Annual Science Fair!  Hanlon students investigated and designed the coolest projects: Which cereal stays crunchy in milk?, How to dissolve gummies and Peeps, Hand Germs, Bread Mold, Bouncy Eggs, Soda Corrosion, Wind Turbines, and many more!  It was a great night for science and a great night for kids!  Many thanks to the volunteers and coordinators who made this night a success- especially Michelle Peck, Sara Michelmore, Stephanie Finegold, and Jennifer Crawford.  


Looking for Something to Do Over April Break?

Here is a link to the Cambridge Science Festival - an excellent city-wide festival that takes place annually during the April School Vacation week.  They have many, many different hands-on, engaging ways for families to explore science concepts.  The event makes it seem as though the entire city is an open-air science museum.  If you are around during Vacation Week, check it out!  


Tech Tidbit

Recently, grade two students participated in a series of lessons about the internet, online safety and the district’s CLEAR policy. The following concepts were introduced:

  • The internet is millions of connected computers and devices that communicate and share information. In other words, a world-wide network of computers.

  • The internet is a tool that can be used to find information, play games, shop, enjoy music, pictures and videos, communicate with friends and family and get work accomplished.

  • The internet is like a neighborhood (there are safe and unsafe places).

  • Key safety points: 1) ask parents first, 2) only communicate with friends & family, 3) stick to “just right" places, 4) don't share personal information 5) use strong passwords, 6) report cyberbullying.



Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held on the afternoon and evening of April 12th.  Spring conferences are a great way to connect with your child’s teacher to discuss your child’s growth so far this year.  If you have any specific questions or concerns you would like your child’s teacher to address, it is often helpful to share them with the teacher ahead of time so he/she can be adequately prepared to address these items during conference.



It’s time to order your Hanlon Yearbook!  Yearbooks cost $35 and must be pre-ordered for families who want them.  We do not order extras.  Go to  Go to Order: Yearbooks.  The password is Hanlon2017.  Orders are due by Friday, April 28th.  


Kindergarten Registration is Open!

If you or someone you know has a child who is eligible to join our 2017-2018 Kindergarten class this Fall, this is the time to register.  Planning for next year is already underway!  Here is the link to the online registration portal.  


Bus Registration

Bus Registration for the 2017 - 2018 is now open and runs through June 30th. All information is available on the district website.


School Committee

Did you know that Tony Mullin is Hanlon’s School Committee Representative?  If you have questions about the Superintendent Search, the Proposed Budget, or anything else regarding Westwood Public Schools, contact Tony at





PTO Updates & Information


The PTO would like to thank everyone who came to the Saint Patrick's Day Parent Social, as well as those who placed bids and made donations in their absence. Together we raised over $6,000 to support the teachers and students of Hanlon School.

We'd also like to thank all of the Room Parents for organizing the Silent Auction class baskets and to all of the families for their generous contributions. The night could not have been a success without all of your support!

The Hanlon PTO

Save the Date:

Book Fair- Thursday April 27, 8AM-7PM- Hanlon Gym
Ice Cream Social- Thursday April 27, 5:30-6:30PM- Hanlon Cafeteria
Art Show- May 10, 5:30-7:00PM Hanlon Gym
Hello Hanlon Families! Your PTO is asking for your help. 
We have many opportunities for volunteers and would love to have you join us!  We are seeking people to fill positions for next year.  A great way to learn about what's involved is to shadow current PTO leaders.  Next year, we will need an Events Coordinator (Board Member- 2 year position).  Please contact Amanda Drainville (PTO Event Coordinator) if interested.

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 23, 2016

Click the date to read the minutes from October 13, 2016

Click the date to read the minutes from December 7, 2016

Click the date to read the minutes from February 7, 2017

Click the date to read the minutes from April 9, 2017

Scheduled Meetings

  • Thursday, June 1 at 7:30PM

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