August 22, 2018
Dear Spofford Pond Students and Families,
Welcome back to the new school year! The teachers and I are very excited to see your children on the first day of school! It is always a very special time of many new beginnings! This year, our building has continued with ‘phase two’ of its renovation. The projects this summer have included new windows and a playground update. Both of these projects are still underway with an expected completion date of the end of September. The window work will be completed after school hours and the playground construction area is secured so that work may continue during the day. Again, it will be completed over the coming weeks and will not have an impact on student safety, teaching or learning. Thank you all for your understanding while we await the final touches to our beautiful school!
This year, the Tri-Town School Union and Spofford Pond School remain committed to implementing best practices for both academic instruction and social-emotional learning. Educators will be exploring project-based learning opportunities that are motivating, inspire students with a sense of creativity and curiosity, and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Additionally, there will be co-taught classrooms in the building that will create environments that are engaging and expose students to the best practices in teaching and learning. As the year progresses, Spofford Pond School staff will be embedding four competencies into all areas of instruction to promote character education and social-emotional growth. The four identified competencies will be a growth mindset, social awareness, self-management, and self-efficacy.
This coming October, we will be offering a “Parent University” for parents/guardians. It will be held on October 20th, so mark your calendars! The TTU Parent University is an opportunity for parents and guardians in Boxford, Topsfield, and Middleton to come together and learn ways to support their children in their educational journey. Parent University is designed to support parents and families across a variety of relevant topics including understanding the methods and practices of school curricula, exploring best supports for social-emotional learning, navigating digital citizenship, and prioritizing parent wellness as a critical component. The conference is designed into a series of engaging presentations and discussions that will provide insight and perspective on topics ranging from academics, character education, and preparing students for the journey ahead, including middle school, high school, and the world beyond. This year’s event will be highlighted by keynote speaker, Dr. Bill Daggett, who will expose parents to the fourth industrial revolution and the role of relationships, rigor and relevance in the school setting. We see this as a unique way to partner with parents to enrich themselves and to help their children thrive.
All of the above will be connected back to the newly developed vision for the Tri-Town School Union, which is as follows:
Tri-Town School Union Vision Statement: The Tri-Town School Union believes in nurturing a dynamic learning environment where creative thinkers and innovative problem-solvers develop the empathy, resilience, perseverance, self-management, and kindness needed to positively impact the world.
We are proud to share that this vision was collaboratively written and developed by Dr. Morrison, all three School Committees, staff, and parents. In fact, you may recall Dr. Morrison asking for your feedback and thoughts as he engaged in the visioning process for the district. Our work will be anchored by this vision as we move into the new school year and beyond.
With regard to staffing, I am pleased to warmly welcome our new staff members who will be terrific additions to the Spofford Pond staff. They are:
Ms. Ada Greenberg
Ms. Lindsay Kasmarcik
ELA/SS Instructional Support Specialist
Ms. Molly Stanton
Special Education Teacher
Ms. Madison Stanton
Special Education Teacher
School Calendar: We will continue to have our online school calendar (using Google) to list upcoming events. There will continue to be a link on my blog– under the tab “Calendars” at the top of the blog. There will also continue be a link on the school website under the “Quick Links”.
Blog: I will continue to have a Principal Blog. Please sign up for my blog by going to this link and entering your email on the left side of the blog at: https://spoffordpondprincipalblog.com/
Please note that by doing this you will receive emails from blog updates.
Facebook Page: I plan to continue to update parents about school events through this page as well as through my blog.
Dates & Reminders
8/29 First Day of School for Students with a 1:15 dismissal. Lunch will be served.
9/10 Open House for Parents Grades 3 & 4 Spofford
9/11 Open House for Parents Grades 5 & 6 Spofford
9/11 School Picture day for students-more information to follow
Arrival & Dismissal
Our morning arrival and afternoon dismissal procedures have remained the same. However, for dismissal, it is important that parents stay in the car line. Parents should not be parking and getting out of cars during dismissal to pick up their child. Walking through the line of cars is a safety-risk and can cause confusion with the car lines. I will be outside during dismissal to monitor student and car safety. We will work diligently to allow for a quick, efficient and safe dismissal.
Important Parent Links
I have some homework for parents before the first day of school:
- Please mark your personal calendars with the early release dates, delayed openings, and non-school dates: Boxford Public Schools 2018-2019 School Year Calendar
- Please also check the bus routes on the school website: Bus Routes
- Please also update (if needed) your My School Bucks/Nutri-Kids account online to ensure that is set up for your child’s lunch (if they will be purchasing lunch):
- Our handbook is attached to this email, you may elect to sign the signature pages electronically this year through the link below or opt to send back the hard copies of the signature pages you will receive during the first week of school. 18-19 Student Handbook
- Finally, use this link for Free and Reduced Lunch Forms
I thank you and our School Committee for the continued support of our school. We are very excited about the new staff and programs that are provided to us. I look forward to a successful and rigorous learning year with your children.
Kathryn Castonguay, Ed.D.
Spofford Pond School