| Growing by ...
Leaps and Bounds
Issue Number 23, March 12, 2010
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 school will be closed for students next Friday, teachers will be engaged in professional development to improve instruction for children in their classrooms. One core value of the Westwood Public Schools is to promote a culture of continuous improvement and reflection. The professional development that takes place throughout the year, and specifically next Friday, embodies that core purpose. I thought you would be interested in learning about our work.
The focus of professional development in Westwood, under the leadership of Dr. Avalin Green, has shifted from reliance on outside "experts" telling teachers what to do to teachers collaboratively studying what works and what doesn't for their students. Long Wednesdays and faculty meetings are routinely devoted to analysis of student work samples and assessments, determination of what students know and what practice is needed, and follow-up plans for intervention across the learning spectrum.
The professional development focus on Friday will be two-fold.
Barbara Lindsay, Literacy Coordinator for the K-5 schools, will provide an overview of recommendations from the extensive English Language Arts review. In addition, Barbara will introduce the literacy wiki - with a focus on both the literature guide used by teachers and the handwriting component. Faculty will then have time to become familiar with the wiki on their classroom computers.
The afternoon will be devoted to a better understanding of executive functioning. This means the ability actively to problem-solve: planning, initiating, and executing tasks or assignments. Psychologists from each of the elementary schools will share an overview, developmental progression of executive functional skills, and strategies/accommodations for teachers to use back in the classroom. The discussion will help faculty gain perspective and resources to assist all children who struggle with organization. The teachers and I feel enormously grateful to work in the Westwood Schools with its unfailing emphasis on learning for students and teachers. Thank you for giving us this time!
Have a wonderful weekend.
School Calendar for March
March 19 - Professional Development Day - no school for students.
There will be no Leaps & Bounds.
March 16 PTO 9:15 AM, MJ Library
March 17 Site Council 3:15 PM (date change)
March 23 Grade Four - Long Composition & ELA
March 24 & 25 Grade Five - ELA
March 29 & April 1 Grade 4 - ELA
March 16 Music Class 1k & 2Ma
March 17 Music Class 1s & 1M
March 17 Beantown Jumpers - Enrichment grade 1
March 19 Jazz Quintet performs at Seaport Hotel
March 22 Body Safety program in grade 3
March 26 "Curious Creatures" - K Enrichment
March 26 "Magnets" - Grade 3 Enrichment
March 26 Family Night - International Theme 6:30-8:00 PM
April 9 Health & Fitness Fair 6-7:30 PM
Martha Jones News
Next week, in the spirit of being eco friendly and celebrating St. Patrick's Day, the students and faculty at Martha Jones are going to try to be as "green" as they can. The Student Council chose the following activities to get students motivated to "be green:"
1. "Mystery Lunch Day" - one day next week chosen at random, a count of how many reusable containers each class has will be taken at lunch. The class with the highest number of containers will earn points on the March Motto Madness" basketball bulletin board.
2. "1 Can, 1 Class" - Each class will only have one trashcan in their class for the whole week and it will not be emptied until Friday. The class with the least amount of trash for the whole week will receive points on the March Motto Madness" basketball bulletin board.
3. Bike/Walk to School - Teachers will tally how many of their students walk or bike to/from school each day. The class with the most students each day will receive points on the March Motto Madness" basketball bulletin board.
Additionally, Mrs. Thurston will be collecting household items to reuse in future art projects, classrooms will be holding "spring cleanings," and every morning, the Student Council will be giving a tip on how the students can be eco friendly for that day. Please help us make Martha Jones the greenest school in town!:
Green Tips for the Week
The hope that the students, faculty, and you remember the tips from this week and keep on being green! Remember, no one can do everything, but everyone can do something.
- Pick up one piece of trash outside while you are at recess and throw it away or recycle it. - Use only one paper towel when drying your hands in the bathroom. - Reuse desk supplies such as paper clips, folders, and binders. Try using pencils with reusable lead to help reduce waste. - Pack a waste-free snack and lunch for tomorrow. Don't use paper bags, plastic baggies. Instead, use reusable containers. Also, don't forget to wear green tomorrow for St. Patrick's Day!
Kindergarten Parents SURVEY
We are collecting information from parents on the new kindergarten
schedule. Your perspective is very important to us. If you have a child in
kindergarten this year please click on the link below and take a few
minutes to complete the short survey. Please contact Allan Cameron at
email@example.com if you have questions or would like a paper copy of the survey. Thanks!
Next PTO Meeting
Please mark your calendars for Tuesday, March 16th at 9:15 a.m. for our next PTO Meeting. Christine Cote, Instructional Technology Specialist for Martha Jones will give an informative presentation that explains technology throughout the grades and how we use technology to enhance teaching and learning in our school. The meeting will take place in the Library at Martha Jones. Mrs. Scott will host an open discussion for 30 minutes prior to the meeting.
WESC Annual Auction
Please mark your calendars for WESC's Annual Spring Auction. The on-line auction will take place from March 17th through March 28th. This auction has always been very successful with many great items to bid on. Please make sure to go to
www.wesconline.org to see these items. Many of our special programs at Martha Jones are funded by the money we receive from WESC. Thank you.
Music In Our Schools Month
1st & 2nd Grade MUSIC!
MJ Families of students in first grade and Mrs. Mann's second grade are invited to attend their child's music class. Come see your student showcase the learning that takes place each week during General Music. The open classroom schedule is:
Tuesday, March 16th
Wednesday, March 17th
Looking forward to seeing you and sharing our music growth with you.
International Family Night 2010
Please come to International Family Night on Friday March 26th from 6:30pm-8:00pm. The evening will be filled with a variety of cultural performances, games, crafts, face painting, a moonwalk, and refreshments. This is a wonderful event and we hope your family can attend. A volunteer form has been sent home with your child. This event wouldn't be possible without your help, so please consider volunteering.
From the Art Room
A visit to the Art Museum
There are lots of computer programs that make the study of art history fun and for children. Elementary school is a great time to study the many artistic styles and artists in our own culture and in other cultures around the globe.
Many parents and grandparents are interested in taking their children to an art museum. What would make this experience even more enriching would be to focus on one artist, one culture, or one form of art during each visit. Keeping it simple is best. Turn your visit into a scavenger hunt, looking for flowers, children, and animals in different galleries and compare them. Drawing in pencil is allowed in most museums and most children would enjoy sketching what they see.
Many of the art museums offer on-line suggestions for what to do when visiting their museum with children. Check it out on-line and become familiar with the floor plan and exhibitions at the museum before you go.
If you visit the Visual Arts page on the Martha Joes website, you will find a Museums & Connections with links to many local art museums. There is also another great website called the Museum of Online Museums which will provide links to many very unique museums for you to explore.
, our Art Teacher at Martha Jones, was just selected to serve on the Boston Museum of Fine Art's Educator Advisory Board for the 2009-2010 and 2101-2011 School Years.http://www.coudal.com/moom/ Parents may want to peruse art sites in advance to screen them for age appropriate images. Best of luck!
This is an exciting time at the MFA with new galleries scheduled to open next November. Stay tuned for more information from the MFA and Mrs. Thurston in months to come!
From the Health Room......
GRADE 5 POSTURAL SCREENING
The annual postural screening of fifth grade students will be done next week, on March 17. The purpose of this screening is to find early signs of possible spinal curvature. It is not a diagnostic service, but a program to help identify and refer students who may need further medical evaluation. It is done yearly in the Westwood schools in grades 5-9.
If your child has any unusual findings, you will be notified and asked to take the child to your physician for follow-up. The majority of students exhibit no findings. If nothing unusual is found, I will not be contacting you.
If your child is being treated for spinal problems or if you prefer not to have your child screened in school, please send a note to me requesting exemption.
Female students are asked to bring a two-piece bathing suit top or halter top to school the day of the screening. This type of clothing allows more accurate observation of the back.
LYME DISEASE & TICKS
A mom in our school, Donna Terzian, called me to report that she had pulled a deer tick off of her cat on two occasions this week. Although it seems early in the season, they are out there. Please take care and refer to the following Lyme Disease protection tips.
Personal protection from tick bites
Avoid tick-infested areas, especially in May, June, and July (many local health departments and park or extension services have information on the local distribution of ticks).
Wear light-colored clothing so that ticks can be spotted more easily.
Wear long pants and tuck the pant legs into your socks or boots; wear a long-sleeved shirt and tuck it into your pants; and use a hat for added protection.
Tape the area where pants and socks meet so that ticks cannot crawl under clothing.
Spray insect repellent containing DEET (products shouldn't contain any more than 30% DEET) on clothes, or treat clothes (especially pants, socks, and shoes) with permethrin, which kills ticks on contact. Remember that these products should be used with caution.
Walk in the center of trails to avoid overhanging grass and brush.
After being outdoors, remove your clothing and wash and dry it at a high temperature.
Ticks climb to the tips of grasses and brush, wait for the victim to touch these plants, then hop along for the ride. In tick populated areas wear light colored clothing, tuck long pants into socks or shoes, wear long sleeved shirts, apply a tick repellent to clothing and exposed skin, and, if possible, avoid dense brush.
Inspect your child carefully and remove any attached ticks. For tick removal: grasp the tick with fine tweezers as close to the skin surface as possible, pull straight up with a slow, steady force and avoid crushing the tick or slipping off the body. Ultimately you do not want to force any material from the tick into your skin. Clean the area of tick attachment with disinfectant. Ticks (saved in a sealed container) can be submitted to some laboratories or certain local health departments for identification.
Lyme Disease is serious. It is treatable if diagnosed early in the disease. However, since many of the initial symptoms resemble common flu or viral infections, the history of a preceding tick bite, or even the history of having been in a forested area during tick season, could be important in making the correct diagnosis. Therefore, if your child becomes ill in the weeks after a tick bite, make sure you tell this crucial information to your physician.
If you have any questions on either topic, please call me at 781-278-0275. Thanks!
Celeste Mahoney RN
SCRIP Shopping Cards
Baseball Is Back
Celebrate by going to a
Game time: Saturday, April 10, 2010, 1:05 p.m.
Where: McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket, RI
General admission tickets $7 each.
Contact Diana Jud at 781-269-5775 or email:
to order tickets.
Thank you for supporting our troop!!!
Pawtucket Red Sox game vs. the Rochester Red Wings! Girl Scout Troop 77517 is holding a fundraiser by selling PawSox firstname.lastname@example.org! shopping card order forms will be sent home in backpacks the last week of March. Order forms are due April 14th. The shopping cards are great gift ideas and useful for everyday purchases. This program has raised over $1,200 this year for our school. Thank you for your participation! :
Please click here to download the volunteer form.
9:30-10:10 10:40-11:25 8:50-9:30 9:50-10:35 - Use both sides of your paper. And for teachers, double-side sheets when photocopying.