Growing by ...
Leaps and Bounds
Issue Number 13, December 4, 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
Although the Thanksgiving holiday is long past, once again the gargantuan Martha Jones turkey continues to adorn the walls outside our Dining Room. As you probably know, the turkey gains its stature from hundreds and hundreds of colorful feathers. Each of our 17 classes was designated a feather color to make a grand total of more than 360 beautiful plumes. Every student wrote a few words or sentences beginning, "I am thankful for...." Thanks were given for everything from shin pads to a warm and cozy bed to my pet bird to my brother who makes me laugh.
There's a reason for keeping the turkey up into December. It's more than inertia, or that the turkey looks fantastic in the hallway, or respect for the time Mrs. McDonough puts into the coordination of the feathers each year. Partly the turkey remains up because the prospect of the upcoming holiday season is daunting. Who's really ready for the busyness of December? But mostly the turkey continues to adorn the hallway as a reminder. For many of us, it's often easier to complain about the stress of balancing work and family and friends, or recite a litany of hurts and wrongs, than to recognize the wonderful surprises in each day. Throughout the day - students, teachers, parents, and visitors stop to read the feathers. I suspect they walk away with a little added lightness in their step, and thoughts about all the reasons to be thankful.
The Thanksgiving turkey has become an important tradition at Martha Jones. Each feather represents one member of the Martha Jones community, each feather crammed with thanks - not for a perfect life, but for the very real and personal sources of happiness that surround us. In the words of one very wise second grader, "I am thankful for my friend, even though we sometimes fight; she is always there for me." Words of thanks worth remembering in any month -- not just in November.
Have a wonderful weekend. Good luck with the ongoing December frenzy!
School Calendar for December
Grades K-5 dismissed at 11:50 AM (no lunch)
School Holidays:(no school)
December 24-January 3 Winter vacation
December 9 Site Council 3:15 PM
December 17 School Committee @WHS 7:30 PM
November 1-January 9 Anton's Coat Drive
December 11 Donations for Children of Haiti due
December 4 WESC Book Fair @ Barnes & Noble
December 8 Grade 1 trip to:
If you give a mouse a...
WESC Online Auction
December 10 School musical - 7:00 PM
December 11 Author visit, grades 4-5, Greg Tang
December 23 Grade 5 Winter Concert - 2:00 PM
January 6, 2010 ArtMatters Training Session
Martha Jones News
5TH GRADE CONCERT
The 5th grade Winter Music Concert will be on Wednesday, December 23rd at 2PM in the dinning room. Please come and support our 5th grade musicians! You will hear music from the 5th grade string students, the 5th grade Jazz Quintet, the 5th grade band, and the 5th grade chorus. If you would like to take your 5th grader home with you after the performance, please bring in a note to their classroom teacher. Looking forward to sharing our musical growth with all of you!
LOST & FOUND
The Lost & Found is reaching epidemic proportions. There are more than 100 garments (jackets, sweatshirts, coats) in the overflowing box and coat rack in the lobby. Any items left after the December break will be given away. After that - the Lost & found will be emptied once/month. Please label your child's clothing - that way there's a hope items can be returned.
Site Council,comprised of parent and faculty representatives will meet on Wednesday, December 9th at 3:15 PM to review the parent forum surveys and determine a schedule for this year's discussions.
ROSA PARKS WALK
Thanks to the many families who joined us for the December walk to school and our 5th annual Rosa Parks walk. Special thanks to the WHS chorus and student council guest speakers, Catherine McCusker, Caroline Kiley, and Ryan Diomede.
Thank you to those families who have already made their donation to Martha Jones through the Westwood Elementary School Coalition (WESC). We have raised 30% of our goal to date. Please consider making a donation to keep our great extra programs alive at Martha Jones. One hundred percent of your tax-deductible donation comes directly to our school. No donation is too small and all are greatly appreciated. Please make checks payble to WESC and send to school in your child's backpack. Thank you for your support.
WESC ONLINE AUCTION IS UNDERWAY!
The winter WESC online auction is now live. This special event will run from December 2nd - 11th. This is a great opportunity to find a special gift and support our schools at the same time.
COATS, COATS, COATS
Make room in your closets and do not forget to bring in your coats for the Anton coat drive. Donations will be accepted through January.
A collection box is set up in the school lobby. Thank you!
WESC APPEAL UPDATE
Click here for the auction.
WESC Book Fair @ B&n
REMINDER - PARTICIPATE IN THE DECEMBER 4th WESC FUNDRAISER AT BARNES & NOBLE!
Help our teachers to have well stocked classroom libraries and make a dent in your holiday shopping. Buy books, games, music, movies and more. Stock up on Starbucks coffee and Cheesecake Factory cheesecakes for those holiday get-togethers. Everything you buy using the book fair voucher (except for gift cards) counts towards the book fair totals (go to the the link below to access the voucher). Don't forget to forward a copy of the voucher to friends and family to use at their local Barnes & Noble. And be sure to visit the Walpole store with the kids for a Polar Express event at 7:00 p.m.
Contact Linda Robrish @
email@example.com with any questions.
Click here for the voucher
Thank You From the 4th Grade!
The fourth grade students and teachers would like to thank Mrs. Antonia Nedder and Mr. Bryan Wilson for sharing their life experiences with them.
Antonia Nedder, mother of fourth grader Joseph Nedder, spoke about her participation in the renowned Tanglewood Festival Chorus. When she's not writing, litigating, or driving her three children around town, Antonia sings with the Chorus and also accompanies the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Also on stage, Bryan Wilson, brother of fourth grader teacher Katie Wilson, spoke to the fourth grade about his hobby of being a stuntman and actor. Bryan shared his experiences being on the sets of Nickelodeon's Drake and Josh, Disney's movie Enchanted, and NBC's Law and Order.
Both Antonia and Bryan conveyed the importance of having a dream and working hard to achieve that dream. Their "real life" experiences of auditioning, practicing, and getting back on their feet when rejected really resonated with the students.
If you have a life experience, travel story, career, or anything else to share with the fourth grade, please get in touch one of the fourth grade teachers. Thank you!
Thank You from Frosty's Friends!
The Do-Something Minicourse would like to extend a warm thank-you to all students, families, teachers, and staff members who donated to the Frosty's Friends cause. With your help, we have raised $459 dollars, which is over $100 more than our goal! We are very grateful to all of you because we were able to change the holiday season for 8 children in the Boston area. From backpacks with wheels to jewelry kits, we have purchased special gifts, and will be wrapping and sending them off this week. We even have money left over to donate directly to the organizations that keep these kids safe and happy, such as shelters and after-school programs in and around Boston. As you're beginning your own holiday shopping, please know that you have made a difference in someone else's holiday experience. Thank you! From, Mrs. Kyvelos and the Do-Something Friends.
"Same & Different Like Me!"
PARENT VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR
2ND GRADE DISABILITY AWARENESS PROGRAM
Westwood Public Schools second grade disability awareness program: "Same and Different Like Me" takes place from January - June in each elementary school lasting approximately 2-3 weeks. This is an exciting hands-on program focusing on three areas of disabilities: Deafness and Hard of Hearing, Blindness and Visual Impairments, and Physical Disabilities. The curriculum is delivered primarily by parents, second grade teachers, and guest speakers. Our curriculum was designed specifically for parents to teach the program and is very "user friendly". No previous teaching experience is needed!
The Program Objectives:
Provide knowledge and experiences that help students think critically about what a disabling condition is and how having a disability is only one of many factors that make a person who she/he is.
Identify three major disabilities: physical, visual, and hearing.
Identify and explain how adaptive equipment helps a person with disabilities function as a productive member of our society.
Volunteers are needed to make this program a continued success! Below is a list of voluntary positions and a description of the responsibilities involved in each role. If you are interested, please contact the Director of Wellness, Judith Wine
Please specify the position that interests you and which school your child attends.
1. Elementary School Parent Coordinators: Each of the five elementary schools has one School Parent Coordinator.
Coordinating the three disability units (deafness, blindness, and physical disabilities) with the second grade teachers.
Coordinating parent volunteers to teach each of the units.
The time commitment for this position is approximately 8-10 hours.
2. Parent Teaching Volunteer: Each elementary school has many parent volunteers.
Teaching one of the three units (deafness, blindness, and physical disabilities).
The time commitment for this position is approximately 1-3 hours.
Parents can volunteer for more than one unit.
3. Elementary School Kit Coordinator: Each school has three "hands-on" kits for each unit (deafness, blindness, and physical disabilities). These kits include a variety of adaptive equipment for students to experience.
Keeping inventory of all the kits in your elementary school.
Assessing the condition of the equipment
Contacting the Director of Wellness when equipment needs to be replaced and re-ordered.
The time commitment for this position is approximately 6 hours.
4. Elementary School Guest speaker Coordinator: Each school has guest speakers come to the school to speak to students on the three areas of disabilities (deafness, blindness, and physical disabilities).
Accessing the list of guest speakers provided and coordinating guest speakers for your elementary school.
The time commitment for this position is approximately 3 hours.
: firstname.lastname@example.org 781 326-7500 x 8121
Help the Children of Haiti
Helping the Children of Haiti - Deadline December 11
Girl Scout Troop 7517 is sponsoring, Jane Howard, a local resident, who is going to Haiti on a mission in January. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. This mission has built a clinic, an orphanage and a school in the poorest part of Port au Prince.
We're collecting the following items for the children of Haiti.
(collection box in MJ lobby)
Used hard sided suitcases-which are left there
School supplies-pens, pencils, protractors, solar powered calculators
Toiletries-travel sizes, toothbrushes, toothpaste
Solar powered flashlights
Kids sizes socks & underwear
Small new toys
First Aid supplies
Kitchen items-unbreakable bowls or cups
Please contact Louise Tharrett at email@example.com
with any questions. Thank you for your generosity.