Join Us! Virtual Parent Coffee-May 7th


Please note: We are not able to meet for virtual coffee this week, but we look forward to meeting next week! 

 Virtual Coffee with the Principals on Thursday, May 7 at 3pm 

Sign up ahead of time:

When you sign up, you can submit a question and will receive the link to join us

Here are the notes from our 4/23 meeting:

In our third virtual meeting, co-hosted by Spofford Pond and Cole Principals with the PTO, parents were invited to submit questions which were relayed for Dr. Castonguay and Mrs. Boulanger to respond. We were delighted to see and hear from some teachers and staff there, too! Time and attendance in the zoom meeting allowed for those in attendance to ask additional questions and express their gratitude for all that is being done by the schools. 

Here are some key take-aways:

  • Teachers are strongly encouraging students to be engaged in remote classes, and are seeing good results. 
    • A feedback loop is most important right now for students and teachers 
      • Rather than grades or evaluations, they are focused on a loop of feedback and improvement in student work and remote class delivery
  • Priority is Relationships
    • Maintain level of calm and reassurance for students 
    • Concern for social justice and equity for different students’ situation
  • It is important that we – teachers and parents – support students by continuing to “instill the desire to learn.” It is valuable for them (all of us!) to continue to want to learn. 
  • Remote Learning- feedback so far has been both positive and constructive
    • Teachers are working very hard, researching and learning as they go, on how best to present the curriculum
    • Teachers are being as flexible as possible to meet students’ needs
    • They continue to learn from feedback on the user experience
  • School buildings remain closed and a date to pick-up items remains undetermined, based on guidance from the state
  • Leadership team (principals, superintendent, central office staff) meets regularly both for Boxford, and also with Topsfield and Middleton, to work on aligning and coordinating curriculum across Tri-Town
    • Operating in a “rapid manner” to keep everyone informed and connected
    • Universal screening is always done in the fall, so this will help going forward
  • DESE (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) is expected to communicate Friday 4/24 (now delayed to early the week of 4/27) about “power standards” – the essential / core understandings that students should master for each grade and subject
  • Placement letters (feedback from parents about their child’s class placement for next year) have been received and placement is in progress at Spofford Pond
  • Cole letters regarding placement will go out to parents soon
  • Parent feedback on Specialist classes was great
    • Padlet of dragonfly art is wonderful (a virtual replication of hallway bulletin boards)
  •  Continuing to brainstorm with teachers and leadership about capstone experiences for 6th (and 2nd) graders
    • A lot of enthusiasm and creative ideas being explored
  • Yearbooks for both Cole and Spofford Pond school will be for sale soon, with a ship-to-home option for grades PK-5
  • For all 6th graders, your hard-cover yearbooks are being purchased for you because of the PTO 6th-Grade-Activities super-successful Wizards game fundraiser 
    • Those books will be ordered in bulk and distributed safely with your 6th Grade t-shirts by members of the 6th-Grade-Activities Committee team 
  • Whenever we are back at school physically, will there be an opportunity for kids to go back and visit this year’s teachers and class, for closure?
    • Response: All of us – teachers, staff, principals desperately hope to re-connect with this year’s students in person. “We all need it.”
  • Please join us for the next Virtual Coffee with the Principals on Thursday, May 7 at 3pm