Growing by ...
Leaps and Bounds
Issue Number 7, October 16, 2009
Westwood Public Schools does notdiscriminate on the basis of age,
race, color, sex, religion, disability,national origin or sexual orientation
Message from the Principal
How does a good school get even better?
Since the MCAS scores were released in late September, teams of teachers have analyzed the results across the system and at Martha Jones in particular. This data provided one source of information about where to focus our attention. One outcome has been the planning and implementation of additional math and literacy workshop times not only on long Wednesday afternoons, but also within the school week. With the help of specialists and assistants, teachers are able to break students into small groups across a grade level to provide extra practice, reinforcement, or extensions of important concepts and skills.
Professional development is another essential component of school improvement. Faculty meetings, "short Wednesdays," and common planning times for grade level teams provide teachers with time deliberately set aside to meet with one another to analyze student work samples and assessments and plan the appropriate next steps of instruction. This works requires a kind of attention that is different from the day-to-day writing of lesson plans or preparation of materials.
We also need your help to reinforce our work and help Martha Jones get better. Make sure your child is memorizing the appropriate math facts. Five minutes a day on addition/subtraction or multiplication/division facts is time well spent. Look at graphs and charts together and discuss how the information is organized. Share the ways you use math in your work and daily life. Read together and encourage your child's independent reading as well. Take an interest in your child's homework and ask him/her to explain the thinking behind a math solution or written assignment. Plans are also underway for parent forums on math and literacy and the expansion of the early morning math league to include grades 3-5.
One goal at Martha Jones never changes - for a good school to get even better. This year as we focus on ways to improve our children's competence and understanding, we all have a part to play. Hopefully, our combined efforts will all add up - whether on full days of professional development, on "short" Wednesdays, during workshops, or in our living rooms.
Have a great weekend,
School Calendar for October
Grade 5 Winter Concert - 2:00 PM
October 23 - MJ Family Night - Halloween Fair 6-8 p.m. - DONATE CAN GOODS
October 20 - Art Matters Training Session 7:00 p.m.
October 28 - MJ School Site Council 3:15 p.m.
October 28 - Joanie Geltman, Guest Speaker WHS Auditorium
October 16 - Math League forms due
October 16 - Milton Academy Saturday Course applications due
October 30 - Box Tops for education due (lobby)
November 19 - MJ Marketplace 6-9 p.m.
December 23 -
Early Release Days
October 21, 2009
- K-5 dismissed at 11:50 a.m. (no lunch) This is a question the faculty and I continue to ask of ourselves. One way is by focusing on specific areas of student need and planning interventions to improve instruction and learning. This year our target is two-fold - both math and reading comprehension.
FIRST MONTHLY WALK TO SCHOOL
Martha Jones News
One way we are trying to be more responsible is by conserving energy at Martha Jones. Congratulations to all who were able to join our first walk to school day of 2009-2010. Once a month we hope to get everyone who is willing and able to walk to school. Another goal is to continue to reduce garbage in the Dining Room. Whenever possible, please send lunches, drinks, and snacks in recyclable containers. Go green!
MILTON ACADEMY SATURDAY COURSE
Reminder to fourth grade parents to return the short application by this afternoon (10/16) if your child is "independently motivated and would enjoy challenging and creative Saturday courses." All fourth graders returning the application are eligible for the lottery. Families not chosen by lottery may also apply directly to Milton Academy. The phone number is 617-898-2275.
There is a position available on the Martha Jones' WESC Committee for a volunteer to help develop local business relationships. This position would require a limited time commitment and would entail contacting local businesses for sponsorships, advertisements, and auction item contributions. If interested, please contact either Donna Kutzer or Nancy Deehan.
Everyone will be receiving WESC's annual appeal letter next week. Please remember the important change this year that 100% of your tax-deductible WESC donation goes directly to Martha Jones School. Thank you in advance for your generosity.
MARTHA JONES HALLOWEEN PARTY - HELP WANTED!
Friday, October 23, 6-8 p.m.
The event of the season is only days away!We need your help to make this party a success. We are still in need of parents to help serve refreshments, monitor doors and hallways, serve as Haunted Hallway guides and run the games and crafts. Please return the sign-up sheet sent home in your child's backpack last week or email
firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for your half-hour slot. You can also click here to print the volunteer form from MJ website.
The Martha Jones Halloween Party is a family-friendly event that includes a Moonwalk, Games, Crafts, Treats of all kinds, Tattoos and Face Painting, a DJ Dance Party and of course the famous Haunted Hallway promising more fun, more surprises and more terror!
Get in the spirit, lend a hand and have a great time!
MJ KIDS CARE NEEDS YOUR OLD HALLOWEEN COSTUMES!
The night of the Halloween party we are requesting donations of canned and other nonperishable food items to support the Westwood food pantry. Please bring something with you if you can.
As you get ready for another exciting Halloween this month, please consider donating your old costumes to support "Happy Halloween for Children In Need". Martha Jones Kids Care and the other elementary schools in Westwood lend their support to the Ouellette family that conceived of this program and have donated over 4,000 costumes to needy families in six years! Help us make 2009 a record collection year!
There will be a collection box in the front lobby of Martha Jones for donations starting Monday, October 5th. Any Halloween items are appreciated: party supplies, costumes, face paint, paper goods, etc. If donating gently used costumes, please wrap each costume in a plastic bag and label it. Example: (Girls size 4 - Snow White). Thank you for any and all donations!!!
Please join us on Tuesday, October 20th from 7-9 p.m. at Suzanne Becker's home,143 Clapboardtree Street for a parent volunteer ArtMatters training session.
Not familiar with the ArtMatters program? Each year parent volunteers are trained to bring an art appreciation program, called ArtMatters, into each classroom. Each class receives three presentations a year, each on different subjects. The parent volunteers first spend an hour with the ArtMatters creator, Jane Blair, at which she reviews the chosen topic and explains all the paintings and materials. Each trained volunteer then picks a day over the next three weeks to go into their child's class and present the program. The program is for 45 min (25 min for Kindergarten) and is one of art appreciation (looking at and talking about the subject and/or artists). You do not need any background in the arts - You will learn everything you need to know on October 20th to present an informative and fun program to your child's class. You can present just once, or multiple times - it is up to you. This time around we will be learning about Portraits in Grades K, 1 and 5, and DaVinci in Grades 2, 3 and 4. This program is as interesting for the adults as it is for the kids, so please consider joining us! ArtMatters is an enrichment program sponsored by the PTO but parent volunteers are what bring it to life. Please contact Suzanne Becker at
email@example.com, or Jennifer Kinnear firstname.lastname@example.org if you will be joining us, have any questions or would like to learn more.
MJ MARKETPLACE - NOVEMBER 19th 6-9 p.m.
Save the date! We are looking forward to our 2nd Annual Martha Jones Marketplace. Please save the date to Shop Local and Support our school.
If you have been involved before, we look forward to your return, if not, welcome aboard! We look forward to your participation in this exciting event. For an application and event info please contact Jenn Burkart 781-329-3334 or email@example.com SCRIP SHOPPING CARDS
The PTO will be selling Shopping Cards again this year. Order forms will be sent home November 9th and all orders will be filled by the second week in December, just in time for the holidays. For those of you new to the program, Martha Jones School is able to purchase shopping cards at a discount from various retailers, due to its non-profit status. We make a profit on the discount and that profit is used to fund and support various programs for our students.
This is how it works:
You purchase: $100 LL Bean Shopping Card
You pay: $100 check made payable to the Martha Jones PTO
You receive: $100 LL Bean Shopping Card
Martha Jones School receives: $15 since the discount for this retailer is 15% of $100
The shopping cards are the same ones you buy at the store and can be used for everyday expenses such as coffee, food, gas, gifts, clothes.....they are also great for birthday and holiday gifts. Popular retailers who participate in this program include Stop & Shop, Shaws, Barnes and Noble, CVS, Panera Bread, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, PF Changs, LL Bean, Cold Stone Creamery, ITunes, Legal Seafood. Check out
www.glscrip.com for a complete list of participating retailers. Health Room News
GRADE 3 PHYSICALS
State law requires that all students attending public schools have a physical exam every 3 to 4 years. In Westwood, physicals are required for all students before entering kindergarten, Grade 3, Grade 6 and Grade 9, transfer students from another school system, and every year for high school interscholastic sports. I sent this info out to all of you in May of second grade. If your child had a physical any time after January 01, 2009, that physical will fulfill this requirement. Please forward a copy to me.
I still have not received many of the Grade 3 physical forms
. Please forward your child's form to Celeste Mahoney, School Nurse as soon as possible and by February 1, 2010. Any grade 3 student who does not have an updated physical exam form submitted by 02/01/10 will not be able to attend school until it is submitted. If you have any questions contact Celeste at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you! We will collect from October 5th through October 20th. For more information contact Marcia Stankard WESC