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Welcome Letter 2018-2019

Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year!



August 24, 2018

Dear Moretown Elementary School Families,

We are excited for another great year beginning Monday, August 27th!  With the new beginning come some new things; me, for instance.  Some of the changes include faces and spaces. Aside from myself we have 4 new staff starting at MES.  David Green-Liebovitz is our new Librarian/Tech Integrationist. David moved his family to Vermont to join the Moretown Community.   Heather von Trapp joins us as a morning pre-K teacher. She may look familiar as she is a community member who also teaches Art in Warren.   Kathy Haskell is also joining us from Warren as the new Interventionist. She will work with students K-6 who are in need of intervention. And finally, we welcome Stefanie Clymer who joins us from Crossett Brook Middle school as a 3/4 teacher.  Join me in welcoming these folks to the Moretown Community.

 

Along with new folks, we had to do some shifting of spaces to make room for all the awesomeness.  Our school counselor, Jason Stevenson moved down the hall near the library. You can find Kathy Haskell in his old room.  Our paraprofessional staff moved their office down to the original building, so the new preschool would have a spot. And you can find our French teacher Madame Lindberg sharing a space with Art and Music these days.  I almost forgot, Mr. Pierson moved his office down the road to HUMS to make room for me. We are all settled in and cozy, ready for a wonderful year.

 

Many things are wonderful and just as they have been.  A couple of the things that will remain the same for this year are a continuation of our successful and community supported Educating Children Outdoors program (A North Branch Nature Center partnered curriculum) for grades Pre K – 2,  and a continuation of our 1:1 device program for grades 3 – 6 (combining netbook, ipads, and chromebooks for students to utilize). You will also see a continuation of our successful and self- supporting MECA program. MECA boasted over 84 students in attendance for our summer program,  The program, led by Moie Moulton-LaRock and her excellent staff, continues to expand and improve its offerings. They will also have more space in the afternoons thanks to the new Pre-K space, conveniently located next door to the MECA space. Additionally, you will see a continuation of our new progress report system guided by ACT 77 (personalized learning plans and proficiency based learning http://education.vermont.gov/flexible-pathways) which includes:

  • Family conferences are built into the school calendar two times within the school year; once in late October/early November and once in March (see the school calendar for specific dates). These conferences focus on goal-setting. School staff work with students and their families to establish focus goals, based upon strengths, challenges and interests students have demonstrated. Academic, as well as social-emotional, proficiencies play an important role when establishing focus goals.

  • Progress on these goals, as well as general growth monitoring, is shared in report cards sent home in January and June.  Teachers may share information regarding student strengths and challenges outside of these established communication cycles and families are encouraged to reach out to teachers if they have questions regarding their child’s progress.  


 

 

As you and your family prepare for the new school year consider these  steps that can be taken to insure a smooth transition at the beginning of the year:


  • Talk with  your child about the school year to come. What is he/she looking forward to?  Is there anything he/she is nervous about? What does he/she hope for in the coming year?  The way you talk about school does much to shape your child’s perceptions. If you share excitement and positive thinking, it is likely that he/she will feel that as well.  When we joke about “dreading” returning to school, we are passing along a belief to our children!

  • Build your child’s confidence by revisiting all that he/she accomplished last year, as well as growth and accomplishments from the summer.  From learning to ride a bike, to reading, to public speaking, to understanding division, our children accomplish such growth that we sometimes take it for granted. It’s good to celebrate the accomplishments while we simultaneously offer even more challenges.

  • Help your child prepare by organizing a backpack for school,  looking over the lunch menu for the first week, going through before and after school plans and identifying a spot and time where he/she might do reading or homework.  Also help he/she acclimate to the school schedule with earlier bedtimes and wake up times. And practice going to the bus stop to make sure you leave yourself enough time.


  • Label all of your child’s belongings.  Many kids will have the same backpacks, lunch boxes, etc.  Print your child’s name, use stickers, or even use a luggage tag to help them identify their stuff.  Help your child to learn emergency information. This will help both you and your child feel secure.


The main office at MES is open beginning at 7:15 on school days.  Our main contact number is 496-3742 if you need to reach us in the morning.  The school will be open beginning at 7:15 for early morning drop off of students, students will meet in the multi-purpose room.  School begins everyday at 7:45 a.m. and dismissal is at 2:30 p.m.  If your child arrives after 7:45 a.m. they are considered tardy and are required to check in at the office upon arrival to obtain a slip that will notify their teacher that they have checked in.  School starts promptly at 7:45 with most classes holding morning meetings to promote and reinforce the social curriculum. It is extremely important that each child be here on time so that he/she can participate in these activities. If your child will be absent or arriving after 8:15 a.m, we ask that you call us to let us know.

We have updated some safety and security in the building, one of these updates is the front entrance.  You will notice a new device on the front door. Our main entrance doors will be locked everyday between 8:00-2:15 for the safety and security of our students and  staff. Parents, volunteers and visitors will need to be buzzed into the building if they are arriving during the school day. One of our office staff will be able to see via camera and communicate with visitors via intercom. Please proceed directly to the office to sign in and receive a VISITOR sticker.  All visitors will be required to wear their sticker while they are in the building. Parents and approved persons here to pick up a student during the school day will be asked to wait for the student in the main office.


Our overall school schedule has shifted a bit to accommodate the extra Pre-school students we have this year.   The lunch schedule will be as follows:

  • Pre-school and MECA Lunches will occur at 11:00

  • Lunch for grades K - 2 begins at 11:30 and ends at 12:00

  • Lunch for grades 3 -4 begins at 12:00 and ends at 12:30

  • Lunch for grades 5 - 6 begins at 12:30 and ends at 1:00


Meal  prices for students are $3.50 for lunch and $2.00 for breakfast.  Checks should be made out to the Harwood Food Service. There is a way to pay online new this year.  If you go to myschoolbucks.com and enter your student’s information, you are able to prepay for school lunches with a minimal fee.



I will continue to send out information to parents via Blackboard Connect every Friday night, just like you are used to. This information will also be posted online in the weekly Moretown School blog (linked here). These emails contain important news and or other community information relevant to Moretown families. For families without internet access we are happy to send out these communications in an alternate format upon request. You will need to subscribe to the blog using your email address. In addition to the blog, you can now follow Moretown School on  Twitter @MoretownSchool.

 

A small first day packet will go home the first day of school.  This packet will include Health forms as well as the Free and Reduced Lunch Application .  Please take the time to review the information contained in the packet and send back the required forms to school as soon as possible.  You will notice that the packet is smaller than in prior years. This is due in great part to the PowerSchool registration. You were sent your child’s information via mail so that you can log on to their account.  When the links are live and ready, you will receive an email form HUUSD with directions to update your child’s registration information. All other information will be sent via Blackboard connect and found on the Moretown School website and/or blog.

Our handbook provides additional information regarding our school procedures and expectations.  It is accessible via our school’s website www.moretownschool.com or by clicking here.  I am excited to have the kids walk in that first day.  I am also excited to meet all of you, as I welcome feedback and encourage parent involvement in all aspects of your child’s education.  I look forward to working with all families to ensure success for every MES student.

Sincerely,

 

Mandy Couturier

Principal

Moretown Elementary School





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