Leaps and Bounds
Issue 17 January 19, 2007
72 Deerfield Avenue
781-326-7500 x-1504 (Fax: 781-320-0189)
Saturday, January 20th: Saturday Budget Forum, WHS Little Theater
Wednesday, January 24th: Early Release Day, K-5 dismissal at 11:25AM
School Site Council 3:00 – 4:15PM
Tuesday, January 30th: PTO Meeting 9:15AM
Wednesday, January 31st: Early Release Day, K-5 dismissal at 11:25AM
Deerfield Science Fair 6:00-8:30PM
Wednesday, February 14th: Early Release Day, K-5 dismissal at 11:25AM
PTO Ice Cream Social
Thursday, February 15th: Deerfield Book Fair
Deerfield Book Fair
Friday, February 16th: Book Fair
February Vacation Begins When School is Dismissed
Monday, February 26th: School Reopens
Wednesday, February 28th: Early Release Day, K-5 dismissal at 11:25AM
Message from the Principal…
As you know, last year the Westwood Public Schools faced some difficult decisions at budget time that resulted in the elimination of several positions and programs at every school. At the elementary level we had to cut specialist teachers, necessitating the DEAR time in place of an art, music or physical education class. Across the town, class size has grown such that there are classes of 26 and 27 at early grades. This may not have impacted Deerfield this year, but we are not immune from the loss of funds for teachers going forward.
At the Thurston Middle School, class size is also a concern, with classes above 30 in some subjects and physical education topping off above 40. Westwood High School has seen significant impact such as increased class sizes, decreased flexibility within the master schedule to accommodate schedule and level changes, and an inability to offer certain courses this year such as Environmental Science, Latin IV, Chorus, AP Statistics, and the ninth grade Reading and Research class.
This fall I worked with the other members of the Administrative Council to identify our budgetary needs and priorities for next year. During these conversations, we continually came back to our guiding principles, beginning with academic excellence. These principles include: ensuring a challenging and appropriate curriculum for all students, ensuring a wide-range of educational experiences, and minimizing increases to class sizes. We built a budget based upon what we feel we need to provide the high level of education to which our community is accustomed.
At the elementary level, we are recommending additional classroom teachers to better meet the class size guidelines that we believe best support student learning. We are asking for a restoration of the specialist teachers to provide programs for our children commensurate with state guidelines. We area seeking restoration of full time library/media specialists to respond to the need for expanded understanding of literacy and technology across curriculum areas.
The Superintendent presented his recommended FY’08 budget for the district to the School Committee and to the public on Thursday, January 11th at 7:30 pm in the Little Theater. The School Committee continued discussing the budget recommendations at their meeting on Thursday, January 18th. In addition, on Saturday, January 20th from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, district administrators and directors will present their budget recommendations in a public budget forum in the Little Theater at the high school. The schedule for the day is as follows:
9:00-9:45 Presentation by Elementary Principals
9:45-10:30 Presentation by Middle School Principal
11:00-11:45 Presentation by High School Principal
11:45-12:15 Presentation by Director of Technology
12:15-1:00 Presentation by Directors of Art, Music, PE/Health, Library/Media
Superintendent Antonucci has said repeatedly this fall that his goal is to have no budget question go unanswered. He will be a guest at our PTO Meeting on Tuesday, January 30th at 9:15AMto discuss his proposal and answer your questions. In the upcoming weeks and months, important budget decisions will be made. I encourage you to become educated about the issues and to stay involved. Attend School Committee and PTO meetings, read the budget documents as they are posted on the Westwood Schools web page, and speak with your School Committee members. Become informed about the proposed funding for the K-5 schools as well as for the middle school and the high school.
Have a wonderful weekend,
Science Fair Information
Everyone should have received a confirmation of their project registration last week. Thank you to all of you for quickly submitting any missing project titles. This Monday, January 22nd will be the absolute last date for any changes that need to be made. If you have any changes to your project you must submit them to Monica Esposito firstname.lastname@example.orgDeerfield students to come to the Science Fair whether or not they are participating. It's a wonderful time to support your fellow classmates as well as a time to view some truly spectacular projects. We hope to see you there. or Ruthie O'Shea email@example.com by this date. Those students registered for the Science Fair will receive an informational packet with set up instructions on Monday, January 29th. We encourage all
MCAS DATES For Spring, 2007
Grade 3: March 19, 21, 22; May 14, 15
Grade 4: March 20, 26, 27, 28; May 21, 22
Grade 5: March 29, 30; April 3; May 16, 17, 23, 24, 29, 30
NOTES FROM THE HEALTH ROOM…
Save The Date
The annual Deerfield Wellness fair will be held on Wednesday March 7, 2007 from 6 - 7:30 PM. Come and have fun stamping your passport as you travel through various fitness and health stations. Raffle prizes will be awarded at the end of the night. Please be on the lookout for volunteer requests. We will need parents to help with the health stations, and will be looking for 5th graders willing to lend a hand at the fitness stations. Hope to see you there!
Deerfield PTO Meeting - Tuesday, Jan. 30th, 9:15 A.M.
Please mark your calendar! Mr. John Antonucci, Superintendent of Schools, will be our guest speaker. With the budget being a hot topic, we've asked if Mr. Antonucci could present an overview of what to expect based on his budget presentation, and the town’s financial situation. He will also present an informative discussion on just what an override is and how it affects our schools.
We Want YOUR PTO Meeting Topic Ideas
The Deerfield PTO would like to hear YOUR PTO meeting, focus topic ideas! Please email DeerfieldPTO@aol.com to offer suggestions or comments regarding focus topics which can be presented, such as:
- Homework Topic- Information regarding the School district guidelines for homework, presented by a teacher rep.
- Conduct Procedures - How does our school enforce proper conduct and reward with positive reinforcement?
Please Support Deerfield PTO's On-going Fund-Raising Efforts
~ Donate all used ink and toner cartridges - we receive $3. for each one!
~ Collect and have your child bring in: Box Tops for Education Box Tops
~ DeerfieldSchoolLogo T-Shirts ~ Long Sleeve T's ~ Sweat Shirts. Support the Deerfield PTO and look great while doing so! Contact Deerfield-Logos@comcast.net.
School Budget Update
Submitted by April Allegrezza, Deerfield Committee Chair for “Yes for Westwood”
At the School Committee meeting last Thursday evening, Superintendent Antonucci formally announced that the schools will need a $2.9 million override if we are to restore lost programs and positions and regenerate our schools to a top-notch level of performance. You can find the Westwood Public Schools Executive Finance Summary on the website, www.westwood.k12.ma.us. Please take ten minutes to read this very important document. In it, Superintendent Antonucci clearly explains the serious cuts that will occur if an override is not passed. Some of these cuts include an increase of fees and class size, the loss of additional programs and the possibility of eliminating some specialists’ areas (resulting in more study-halls and “D.E.A.R.” periods at the elementary level).
Please take time to become informed and involved with the school budget process. Following are a list of dates for very important meetings designed to enable every parent to become educated on the school budget:
· Sat., Jan. 20th from 9 AM-1 PM – Superintendent Antonucci will hold a Budget Forum at the WHS Little Theatre.
· Wed., Jan. 24th at 7:30 PM at the Senior Center- “Yes for Westwood” meeting. All are welcomed!
· Tues., Jan. 30th at 9:15 AM-Superintendent John Antonucci will speak about the budget at the Deerfield PTO meeting.
· Mon., Feb. 26th at 7:30 PM in the WHS Little Theatre-Rep. Bob Coughlin will speak on the state aid funding formula and its impact on Westwood’s school budget. This event is sponsored by the “Westwood 411” committee.
Over the last several months, a group of Westwood residents has organized the “Yes for Westwood” committee. We have worked with the Westwood School Committee, the school administration, and the town administration doing a careful analysis of the school budget. We have looked at the program changes, steps taken to increase efficiency, and efforts to raise funds from alternative sources. We have looked at the reasons why we have had so many cuts while it appears that property taxes are rising. You can see the results of this work on our website www.yes4westwood.com. The “Yes for Westwood” committee is still in need of many volunteers. If you have any questions or would like more information about “Yes for Westwood” please plan to attend our next meeting on Wed., Jan. 24th at 7:30 PM at the Senior Center or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you cannot volunteer but would like to help, please consider making a donation. All donations may be sent to:
11 Windmill Lane
Westwood, MA 02090
Tickets on sale for the Dance Party of the Year!
Tickets for the 13th annual WESC Dinner, Dance and Auction will be on sale at the following Westwood Elementary Schools - in the Downey School lobby on Saturday, January 27th from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm, in the Sheehan School lobby on Saturday, February 3rd from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm and in the Hanlon School Lobby on Saturday, February 10th from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm. Tickets are $65 per person and may be purchased with cash or checks. Reserved seating for full tables of ten may be purchased on January 27th only. Please note that payment and names for all tickets purchased must be submitted at that time. The purchase of a table is not required to attend – seating is available for all on an unassigned basis.
The Westwood Elementary Schools Coalition (WESC) extends to all elementary school parents an invitation to the ‘Dance Party of the Year’! Join us as we go back to the 70’s for an evening you will not forget, featuring a fabulous dinner, an extensive array of exciting auction items and dancing and fun with our special guest, Karen Blake of Oldies 103.3! Plan now to celebrate with us on Saturday evening, March 10, 2007 from seven to midnight in the Grand Ballroom at Lombardo’s in Randolph! Don’t forget to wear your dancing shoes – 70’s attire optional!
This event offers an excellent opportunity for you or your business to support our children and our schools. You are invited to join us as a WESC sponsor, advertiser or auction donor. Our Event Program is received by over 1,000 families with young students in Westwood and is a showcase for all advertisers as well as highlighting all sponsors and auction items. For information on donor levels and advertising opportunities please consult our website at www.wesconline.orgPO Box 474, Westwood, MA 02090. Thank you for your support.. All donations are tax deductible to the extent provided by law and may be sent to WESC,
WESC is a not-for-profit volunteer organization which raises funds through one annual fundraiser for the Parent Teacher Organizations of the five elementary schools within Westwood. Over the last twelve years, WESC has raised over $785,000 through the generosity of local businesses and families. These funds enrich and support the educational opportunities of all our young students. Special thanks to our Silver Sponsors, Bay State Federal Savings Charitable Foundation and Roche Brothers, for their generous support. For more information please visit: www.wesconline.org.
Westwood Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, sex, religion, disability, nation origin or sexual origin.