Tri-Town Council’s Community Presentation: Supporting Kids Social Success & On-Line Safety

Presented by: Meghan McCoy,

Program Coordinator Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center & Visiting Lecturer, Bridgewater State University

When: Wednesday, October 8th @ 7pm @ Masconomet Regional School Auditorium

Meghan will provide powerful insights and practical strategies including:  Information about social networking, cell phone abuse, cyberbullying & on-line safety.  What causes cyberbullying behavior and how easily well-adjusted kids can fall into this behavior.  How children use cell phones and the internet for instant messaging, social networking and on-line gaming.  How to establish & enforce safe guidelines that empower kids to protect themselves.  Facts about the Massachusetts Bullying Law and the critical role that parents play.

Think Central Math Information for Parents

 

 Students in Grades 3-5

Think Central an online accessory piece to our Math In Focus program here at Spofford for students in grades 3-5.   Your children will be provided with a username and password that they can share with you at home to access this website. By using Think Central, students will be able to access their Math in Focus materials from any computer.   Students have access to the online version of their textbook, workbook, virtual manipulatives and Student Interactivities. The Student Interactivities are short video tutorials followed up with a game and a short quiz. These game-like activities are a fun way for children to review and follow up on topics they have worked on in class. Also available are Background Videos, which are a great resource for parents who are looking for some more detailed information about Math in Focus. You can see what Math in Focus looks like in action and tips to help you work more on math at home

Your child’s teacher will be sending home usernames. For the most part they are first initial last name with no space. Some are first name last name with no space. All student passwords are: mathisfun

Below are directions to help you login to the website.

Think Central

Think Central is the online tool to use with our Math in Focus program.

  1. Go to http://www-k6.thinkcentral.com
  2. State: select Massachusetts
  3. District: select Supervisory Union 58, Boxford 01921
  4. School: select Spofford Pond School
  1. Username :_______________________
  2. Password: mathisfun

then

Click on: My Library

This shows all of your available materials.

Grade 6 Math Online Textbook Access

Grade 6 Students also have access to their textbooks online by going to:

http://my.hrw.com

Grade 6 usernames are first initial last name with a number at the end. All student passwords are mathisfun. Grade 6 Teachers will be giving students their exact passwords.

If you need further assistance, please see your teacher or contact Jennifer Sirmaian (Math Curriculum Support Specialist) at jsirmaian@boxfordschools.org

Tri-Town Council News

HORIZONS!

Don’t miss out, classes are filling fast! Tri-Town Council Horizons After School Enrichment registration is open! Fun fall activities to engage and learn. Classes include fencing, drama, sewing, Lego engineering, art workshops, fitness, nature exploration, and more! Go to http://www.tritowncouncil.org

Drop In Fridays are back!
Join us for challenging and rich conversation on topics of depth and relevance.

Stop by for Let’s Get Real with Dr. Kate, on Friday October 3, 2014 9:00am-11am at the Tri-Town Council office, 49 Main Street, Topsfield.

With the school year upon us, it’s time to rethink expectations, schedules, and priorities. (Hint: it’s all about pacing, timing and being realistic). How parents approach the school year may influence not only how successful their children are but also our potential for burn out.

Please drop in to Tri-Town Council for this informal chat with Dr. Kate Roberts. Dr. Kate will discuss keeping it real: setting expectations, handling disappointments and the nitty gritty of life’s everyday challenges. (Challenges like how keep the peace during homework or establishing tech free times/zones in your home.)

Join us for our first Let’s Get Real with Dr. Kate to listen, laugh and learn! Discuss with others what works and what doesn’t when it comes to getting the most out of the school year. Dr. Kate will troubleshoot, offer tips and provide insights to guide us! For more info: LTeichner@tritowncouncil.org

SAVE THE DATE: “Supporting Kids Social Success & On-Line Safety”
Wednesday evening, October 8th, 7:00pm

This program will be presented by Meghan McCoy of the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center (MARC); 7:00PM in the Masconomet Auditorium. It is intended for parents, guardians and educators of Tri-Town youth of all ages who have or will have access to social media. Learn how youth are using social networking sites and technology, and how to support your child’s on-line and off-line social interactions, while keeping them safe in person and on-line.
Bethany Blake
Communications Director
(978) 887-6512

Celebrating 45 Years of Service to Tri-Town Youth & Families!

Global Child

Dear Parents,

Global Child has added more sessions of  French (Friday morning class) and Chinese (Tuesday morning class).   There are still a few openings in each of these language classes. If you would like to sign your child up for  one of these classes, please contact Diana Hibner by email at dianagc@comcast.net

Site Council and School Improvement Plan

Site Council meeting minutes 9/5/2014

Site Council meeting, Monday- October 6, 3:30-4:45 in the Spofford conference room.

All Meeting minutes from the Spofford Pond Site Council

Attendance

Members, present:

  • Kathryn Castonguay (Principal)
  • Leslie Gibson (Grade 3)
  • Mary Medugno (Grade 5)
  • Kathy Magee (Grade 6)
  • Hagan Rivers (parent)
  • Donna Sibbach (parent)

Members, not present:

  • Pam Messenger (Community member)
  • Grade 4 representative

Other (non-member) attendees:

  • none

Membership and next meetings

Site Council needs two additional parent members and a 5th grade representative. The 2014-2015 site council meeting schedule also has some conflicts with staff meetings.

  • TO DO: Send out a call for 2 additional site council members (Kathryn Castonguay)
  • TO DO: Find a Grade 4 representative for Site Council (Kathryn Castonguay)
  • TO DO: Update the meeting schedule to avoid conflicts with staff meetings (Kathryn Castonguay)

Recap of Last Year’s efforts and also New for this year

  • BOKS program up and running and will run again this year. Courtney Eckoff is the coordinator for the program at Spofford. It will be run 2 days a week before school, with enrollment capped. Enrollment forms go out soon. Teachers would like to know which kids in their own classes are enrolled.
  • Chorus will be expanding to 3rd grade. There will be two chorus sections: grades 3 and 4 will sing together and grades 5 and 6 will sign together. Chorus will also be before school.
  • Foreign language has seen very high enrollment. Enrollment is not finished, but there are 15 students in Chinese, 15 in French and 6 in Spanish so far. No students have enrolled in the after school language classes: all have elected to take the before school classes. There have been enough kids enrolling that additional sections will be added for Spofford.
  • Mornings are starting to get very busy: between band, chorus, BOKS, and foreign language we’ll do our best to try and avoid conflicts, but some families may end up having to choose between programs.
  • STEM program is off to a great start: the kids love it. Dr. Rains has her own blog now at spoffordstem.wordpress.com where she will be updating photos and information about the class. Parents have been sending in materials and have approached the principal about making cash donations to the program. This is something that will be discussed at School Committee.
  • Homework is going to be an item that the School Committee will be looking at this year. They will be forming a subcommittee, directed by Heather Vaz. Spofford will be sending representatives from every grade, and parents will also be invited to be involved the committee, once it’s formed.
  • The budget process begins for the staff soon: the principal will prepare a budget overview, which is sent to all the grade level teams. The teachers will review and make requests for new materials for the next school year. This year’s budget will probably include materials for the science program.
  • We’ve made some big improvements in communications. The Principal’s blog is now going out to more parents and to the staff. Blog updates are emailed daily, and more regular communications are coming from the school. We also want to make sure that parents are receiving the blog mailing and will do outreach during the open houses.
  • TO DO: Make a sign up sheet for open house that invites parents to sign up for the blog by leaving their email if they are not yet receiving it (Hagan Rivers)
  • We’ve had some trouble getting the blog postings delivered to the staff: many of them are being filed as spam.
  • TO DO: Find a way to prevent blog mailings from going to spam for staff members (Hagan Rivers)
  • We had a poll for parent coffees, but very few people responded. We’re going to develop a schedule for the parent coffees for the school year and send it out.
  • TO DO: Schedule parent coffees and topics for the school year (Kathryn Castonguay)

Reviewing the Draft of the School Improvement Plan

  • We are updating the 2014-2015 School Improvement Plan. We discussed the document during the meeting. An updated version of the school improvement plan will be shared with the public when it is complete.
  • As part of Goal 1 (re: Assessments), Staff will be working to bring the school’s science curriculum in line with the Massachusetts State Standards. This may mean a shift in grade levels and the sequence we teach the science program. We may also be looking at new materials, or possibly even textbooks. The grade level teams will be working to decide what they’d like to use.
  • As part of Goal 1 (re: Assessments), Spofford Pond School will not be taking MCAS this year. All assessments will be PARCC and will be conducted online. The fourth grade long composition writing prompt is no longer being used – that is an MCAS assessment. Teachers would like to make sure that a tech person is available to help them during assessments. The PARCC assessments happen in both March and May, and the administration will be developing a schedule and communicating it to teachers and parents as those dates approach.
  • As part of Goal 2 (re: Technology), We have a great technology team this year. Jennifer Joyce is a full time technology assistant for Spofford Pond School. Sam Kosakowski is the Digital Learning specialist: she is supporting staff as they integrate technology into their classrooms. Barbara Boulay teaches the Library/Media class.
  • As part of Goal 2 (re: Technology), We are working to get Google Apps for Education set up for the 6th graders. Moving to Google Apps will mean that children can save their files on the Google Drive, instead of the server in the school building (which is very slow and is a big bottleneck for classes). It also means they can access their work at school and at home. The folks at Masco have agreed to work with us to get the Masco student IDs assigned early to the 6th grade students, so the IDs that are set up will stay with them when they go to Masco. More information will be coming out on this as it moves forward, including communications and information for parents and staff.
  • As part of Goal 3 (re: RtI), we will be including questions about the Response to Intervention (RtI) program in the next parent survey
  • As part of Goal 4 (re: Olweus), Olweus first assembly is on September 26. The Guidance office has a web site where they have shared a schedule of those assemblies at teacherweb.com/MA/SpoffordPondSchool/counseling. We will be including Olweus as a topic for a parent coffee during the school year.
  • As part of Goal 5 (re: Safety), all staff members will soon have card access to the building which will enable them to swipe in and out of doors: the front door, the side door, and the playground. Parent groups that meet in the building will have card access, but the cards will only be valid for particular dates/times to restrict access. All access to the buildings will be logged. We also have a new security camera at the front door. The Spofford safety team meets on Fridays to continue to improve school safety.
  • As part of Goal 6 (re: Foreign language), We’d like to improve the integration between the Spofford foreign language program and Masco. We’ll talk to the folks at Masco to see if they might be willing to send a language representative from each of the language offerings (Spanish, French, Chinese) to meet with the 6th grade children near the end of the school year.
  • TO DO: Talk to Masco about bringing a language program representative to talk to the children about their language choices at Masco. (Kathryn Castonguay)
  • Goal 7 (re: Health and Wellness): The green house has been moved into the STEM classroom. The BOKS program will be continuing this year.
  • Goal 7 (re: Health and Wellness): This year we may begin work on a new playground for the Spofford Pond school. We’re waiting on guidance from the superintendent before proceeding. When that work begins, we’ll form a subcommittee to manage the process.
  • TO DO: Complete any updates to the school improvement plan and bring to the next site council meeting for final approval (Kathryn Castonguay)

Summary

The site council will be focusing on a few areas this year:

  • Continuing to improve communications
  • Continuing to improve integration of technology into curriculum
  • Parent Survey
  • Staff Survey
  • Budget talks
  • Possible new playground
  • Homework policy
  • TO DO: Set agenda for next Site Council meeting (Kathryn Castonguay)