June 22, 2018

Dear Parents,

I am writing to you with gratitude for another wonderful year spent with your children! The teachers and I truly enjoyed watching the students grow throughout the days and weeks of this school year.  It is such an honor and privilege to be a part of their journey in life!  As today marks the end of this school year, I wanted to give you a preview of a few new staff members joining us in September as well as some changes to our classrooms.

New Staff

We are excited to welcome two new special education teachers and a new ELA/Social Studies Instructional Support Specialist. I have included a short paragraph about each new staff member below:

Lindsay Kasmarcik

Mrs. Kasmarcik will be joining Boxford as the ELA/SS Instructional Support Specialist. She will come on board at the start of the school year and will transition with the support of Donna Morton who will be retiring in October.

Lindsay received her B.S. in Elementary and Special Education from Boston University, and her M. Ed. in Literacy Education from Binghamton University in New York. Lindsay is certified in Elementary Education, Special Education, and as a Reading Specialist. She has experience teaching various grade levels and has most recently worked at Essex Elementary School in Essex. Prior to that she worked at the Elmer S. Bagnall School in the Pentucket school district. Lindsay has experience with co-teaching and project-based learning and is excited to work in a district that shares these passions.

Madison Stanton:

Ms. Stanton holds a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of New Hampshire and a M.Ed. in Special Education.  She previously worked in the Newburyport Public School system. In Newburyport, Madison was as teaching assistant in a Social/Emotional/Behavioral classroom for the past three years.

Molly Simms

Mrs. Simms has a B.A. in Education and M.Ed. from Boston College. She comes to us from a charter school in Roslindale where she has worked as a special education teacher for the past five years.

We are currently in the screening/interview process for a part-time Assistant Principal.  I will share that information when we have hired this staff member.  We are excited to welcome our new staff in August!

Classroom Changes

For classrooms next year, there are a few new faces and teaching combinations.  We have Mrs. Medugno who will be a third grade teacher again!  Mrs. Valzania is moving to grade five.  Mrs. Soloman is moving over to a third grade class after teaching Kindergarten for several years at the Harry Lee Cole School.

I am also excited to tell you how, across the Tri-Town, we are working to support our district vision with co-taught classes for next school year.  Here at Spofford Pond, we will have one classroom at each grade level that will have two full-time certified teachers. This means that both teachers will provide instruction and inclusionary support to all students.  We are very fortunate to be able to add this educational model to the many ways we work with students in our school.  I have included for you some interesting, relevant, and important take-aways about this new model:

  • When working effectively together, these two teachers are able to modify, accommodate and instruct all students in their classroom in relation to their learning style and learning needs.
  • As part of the Co-Teaching team, the teachers will be responsible for instructing, challenging, and maintaining high academic and SEL expectations for all students in the class.
  • Co-teachers share instructional responsibility and accountability for a single group of students for whom they both have ownership primarily in a shared classroom or workspace (Friend, 2014).

If your child has two teachers at the top of his or her class list for the upcoming school year, this means he/she is placed in this new instructional model.  Our goal is always to provide all students with the greatest amount of opportunities to dive deep into the rigor of our curriculum, become curious learners and engage in meaningful ways with both the content and the teacher.

I wish you all a safe and happy summer with your children!  I am around throughout the summer if you need anything! The best way to get in touch with me is through email.

Kathryn Castonguay,  Ed.D.