Monday, May 13, 2019

NewsNotes 5/12/2019

NEWSNOTES
May 12, 2019

SAFETY

RESPONSIBILITY

RESPECT

ACCEPTANCE AND OPEN MINDEDNESS

LIFELONG LEARNING



In this issue:
  • From Principal Nardelli
  • Survey from the PTO
  • Save the date: End of year picnic!
  • School Kits-order now!
  • Volunteer next year!

From Principal Nardelli
Teacher Appreciation Week: Thank you to our wonderful PTO for your efforts to provide teachers with several special days last week.  The salads, treats, and snacks, were welcome and much needed throughout the week; the love and appreciation came through loud and clear.  The superhero theme was fun and inspiring and helped to promote a positive atmosphere.  Thank you from all of the staff at HM!

Ruby Bridges Visit: The following message is from the PTO:
"This past Friday, we were very fortunate to have a remarkable historical figure visit Horace Mann and speak for two hours with the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. Ruby Bridges, the first African American student to integrate an elementary school in the South, led a memorable two-hour Q&A with the students about her experience.  A condition of her visit was that it not be publicized in advance. We were also asked to not record the event. In addition to Creative Arts & Sciences funding through your PTO donation, parents applied for and were awarded a grant through the Harmony Foundation in Newton in order to help bring Ms. Bridges to the school. Be sure to ask your child to share the message of Ruby Bridges' presentation!"
One added note from me...classrooms in grade 3, 4, and 5 all did a fair amount of preparation leading up to Ms. Bridges' visit. Classrooms had some hard conversations about segregation, the Civil Rights Movement, and about how we treat one another.  Because of this preparation, the students did an amazing job engaging with Ms. Bridges and thinking through the tremendous efforts that people engaged in to racially integrate the nation’s schools. I want to thank all of our teachers for taking the time to preview and prepare our students to talk about these important historical events.
     

Nevada St. Update -  Since I last wrote, we have made several changes to our crossing guard and busing plan.  Below is a very brief update.  I am working on a much more detailed update that I will send to all families prior to our meeting on May 30th.  I encourage as many of you to attend as possible.
Updated Crossing Guard Locations (please disregard any previous postings):
  • Crossing Guard Location 1: Nevada St./Linwood Ave
  • Crossing Guard Location 2: Nevada St./California St.
  • Crossing Guard Location 3: Watertown St./Walnut St.
  • Crossing Guard Location 4: Walnut St./Linwood Ave
  • Crossing Guard Location 5: Albemarle Rd./North St.
This plan will allow those people closes to Nevada St. to walk along a safe route. It will also provide busing for students in two areas that we feel are either the furthert away or the most at risk with regard to safety.
Please look for a more comprehensive explanation by next week.  You can review these materials in preparation for the meeting on May 30th.
     

Calendar

Fitness for Life
Auburndale Cove
Friday, May 24

MCAS Schedule
3rd Grade Math - May 13th
5th Grade Science/Tech - May 15th and May 16th

Transportation Update Meeting
May 30, 6:30 p.m.

5th Grade Graduation
Tuesday, June 11, 1 p.m.

End of Year Picnic
Horace Mann Playground and fields
Monday, June 17
5:30-7:30 p.m.

Last Day of School
Tuesday, June 18
NOON dismissal

Visit the entire Horace Mann Calendar at www.horacemannpto.com

From the PTO
SAVE THE DATE!


The End of Year Picnic will be on Monday, June 17.
(Weather Permitting)

5:30-7:30 p.m.
Enjoy games and music with DJ Mike Pride
Dessert from Cabot's Ice Cream

Bring your dinner and enjoy one last night with
friends before school ends.

 

Order your
School Supplies
for next year

 

Horace Mann is again working with SchoolKidz.Inc. to bring great school supplies into our school. Skip the back-to-school lines and have your child's school supplies delivered to his or her classroom on the first day of school— it couldn't be easier!

Teachers have put together lists of required school supplies. To order, either fill out the form that was sent home with your student or: 


1. Go to WWW.shopttkits.com
2. Enter Account 32991
3. Fill in your child's name and grade
4. Add to cart and checkout


Kits will be delivered to your child's classroom on the first day of school. As always, ordering an extra kit for the classroom is much appreciated. Please note that teachers often choose to pool school supplies and your kit will be left in the classroom for distribution throughout the year as needed. 
If you choose not to use this great service, (why wouldn't you?)  remember to print out the list of required school supplies (click below)
The list can also be found on the Horace Mann Website.
Please bring your supplies to school on the first day. They will also be used by the class throughout the year.
DEADLINE: JUNE 7, 2019


The PTO is looking for some help next year!
There are several committees that need people to shadow the committee chairs and take over the role the following year. Please let us know if you can help!

*Understanding Our Differences
Both 4thand 5thgrade need someone to help run this awesome program about physical and intellectual disabilities. Training is included so you are totally prepared. You would help gather volunteers and book the guest speakers as well as facilitate the program which runs twice a year for two hours each time. This is a really valuable part of our curriculum and a great way to spend a few hours in the classroom.


*Fitness for Life
One of the best days of the year! This chair helps coordinate the parent volunteers, is in charge of ordering the food for the PTO BBQ and helps Mr. Tynes set up the Fitness Trail. Help be a part of this special day!
    

We want to know how we are doing!
Let us know what you think.
Please fill out this brief survey.  

PTO BOARD ELECTIONS
The seven-member Executive Board of the PTO will be holding elections this June. (Board members will then elect officer positions in the fall.)  The board strives to promote the core values of Horace Mann, support the teachers and staff and encourage parent involvement in the Horace Mann Community. The board oversees the PTO budget, fundraising and educational events. We meet twice a month. If you are interested in bringing your energy, ideas and enthusiasm to this hard-working group, please submit your name for nomination to hmannpto@gmail.com by Friday, May 17. If elections are needed we will post a list of candidates by May 20 and run elections the week of June 3, 2019. If you have any questions, please feel free to email our co-presidents, Adam Brown, adambrown717@gmail.com or Jacqueline Freeman, freeman.jac@gmail.com.



Horace Mann is moving to the Carr Building 
Horace Mann is scheduled to move to the Carr Building in September 2019.
We know there are many questions about what to expect with regards to the move, facility enhancement, technology and many other areas. In order to help us communicate accurate information, Mark Nardelli will answer your questions through regular updates via email and news notes. Please list any questions you have about the move below. Thank you!

Quick Links
Don't forget to use our rewards programs when you shop! Money raised goes towards the PTO. Thanks!
You can also pay your dues online if you haven't already. 
[Store_Button]

Monday, April 29, 2019

NewsNotes 4/29/2019

It's been a while since I've published NewsNotes, and there's a fair amount of material to catch up on...I hope everyone had a safe April break, and warm regards to those of you who celebrated Easter and/or Passover the past week or two. 

During the break, the Nardelli familiy ventured up to Bar Harbor, ME and spent a couple of days hiking in Acadia.  It was off season and some of the park was closed, but the weather was gorgeous and there was NO ONE there (for those of you who know I hate crowds...this was the best part).  Vincent was a trooper, hiking over 3 miles over rockey terrain on one day...mostly without any help. Not bad for a 3 year old.   This weekend, in addition to the talent show,  we also had Alora's communion celebration. We spent most of Saturday cleaning, cooking, and doing yard work, and all of Sunday entertaining family.   Needless to say, I was looking forward to coming back to work.

Sadly, amidst the joy and time with family, the news continues to remind us that not everyone is as fortunate as we have been.  The recent horrific events that have taken place in Sri Lanka and California, again force us to reflect on and wonder what's going on in the world.  I find it increasingly challenging to make sense of the hatred and bigotry that continues to threaten our daily existence.

Despite the prominence of terrible news, we continue to keep our minds busy with responsibilities and activities that will take us through the end of the school year, which is only a few weeks away.  You should know that we will be focusing on placement, spring data collection, purging and packing, field trips, end-of-year work displays and celebrations, and more.  Here are a few additional details that specific that are worth mentioning:

Staffing Update -  Speech pathologist Courtney Ravalese has joined the Horace Mann team to cover for Kristyn Stem, who is out on maternity leave.  Kristyn gave birth to Cameron Richard Evjy weighed in at 7lbs. 9ozs.  Both mom and baby are doing well! 

Nevada St. -

Construction Update - The 2nd floor wall relocation project was completed over the April break. This created a larger classroom space (Jason Harris’s room), and also our 2nd floor special ed working space.  The work really looks great.

Traffic/Busing Update - In April we held an information session for families about a possible busing and crossing guard plan for getting to Nevada St. in the fall.  Since that time we have come up with a second plan to consider as well.   As part of that process, we are conducting a survey to gather more information from families.  The survey went out to a selection of families based on address.  

We will use the information to make a final determination on bus routes and placement of crossing guards.  We will then have a second evening meeting for families on May 30th to share.  Here are some details I can share so far:

1) Regardless of the plan we choose, CROSSING GUARDS WILL BE PRESENT at Craft/Watertown St., Nevada/Linwood, and Nevada/California.

2) There will NOT BE CROSSING GUARDS at Albemarle/Watertown or Watertown/Walnut.

3) We are considering crossing guards in one of two other locations.  The decision about the placement of these crossing guards will determine final bus routes for families around these areas.
  • Location 1:  Linwood/Walnut  and Linwood/Craft
  • Location 2: Albemarle/North and Albemarle/Craft
At the May 30th meeting, we will also share arrival and dismissal plans, as well as blue zone and parking procedures.


Anxiety Article- I thought the following article offered an interesting perspective on helping families manage anxiety in children. 
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/04/15/711213752/for-kids-with-anxiety-parents-learn-to-let-them-face-their-fears


Talent Show - The talent show was a big success on Friday night.  We had magic tricks, kindergartners telling jokes, karate, a unicycle act, Chinese yo-yo experts, and a wide array of singing, dancing, and instrumental performances...over 40 acts in all!  It was truly a celebration of talent, hard work, perseverance, and inclusion.  Thanks to Melissa Meyerowitz and Adam Brown for organizing this effort, as well as to all of the parents who came to help out back stage.  Congratulations to all of our performers for sharing their special moment with the school community.


Newton Serves -  On Sunday, a large number of families came out to clean, pick up trash, spread mulch, and improve the grounds surrounding the school.  The effort was much needed…thanks to everyone who came out to help!  Thanks also to Ashley Sullivan and Kristy Moore for coordinating the cleanup.
Calendar

Bingo! 
Friday, May 3, 6-7:30 p.m.

Early Release Day
Thursday, May 9th 12:30 p.m.

MCAS Schedule
4th Grade Math - May 3rd and May 8th
5th Grade Math - May 6th and May 7th
3rd Grade Math - May 9th and May 13th

Visit the entire Horace Mann Calendar at www.horacemannpto.com

From the PTO
This Friday! Family Appreciation Night Bingo!
Hosted by the PTO. Board members will be available for questions and suggestions.
Snacks and Prizes!
Friday, May 3, 6-7:30 p.m., Horace Mann Gym
Free, but register here:
[Signups_Button]


Help teachers prepare for move

We are looking for some parents to help teachers prepare for our September move. Some teachers are looking to begin purging on Tuesday, April 30, from 1-3 p.m. We need parents to help them in any way they need, including packing boxes and carrying them to a donation trailer. Please note that this is an ADULT only event. Please sign up to help here:

As the school year winds down, we have two ways planned to say "Thank You" to our wonderful teachers and staff. First, we will be celebrating National Teacher Appreciation Week next week, May 6th-May 10th.     
                                                                                                                           
Please join the HM PTO by making this a remarkable week for our great teachers and staff.  
Everyday, the teachers and staff will be treated to a delicious surprise.
Any small, thoughtful gesture from your child, whether a homemade card or their teacher's favorite treat, would be a pleasant surprise.
We are also planning an end of the year staff lunch for the last day of school. We will send more information out about helping with this event in June. 
We are happy to accept donations for these events. Just click this link.
[Store_Button]

Missing something?
Items from the Lost and Found are on display in the hallway all week. Please stroll by and grab your lost items by Friday! Unclaimed items will be donated next week.

Horace Mann is moving to the Carr Building 
Horace Mann is scheduled to move to the Carr Building in September 2019.
We know there are many questions about what to expect with regards to the move, facility enhancement, technology and many other areas. In order to help us communicate accurate information, Mark Nardelli will answer your questions through regular updates via email and news notes. Please list any questions you have about the move below. Thank you!

Monday, April 1, 2019

Meeting Reminder

TRANSPORTATION AND TRAFFIC MEETING for 225 NEVADA ST.


THURSDAY, APRIL 4th
6:30 pm


Horace Mann School (DAD Space)


This Thursday, April 4th at 6:30 pm, we will host a meeting to talk about the proposed traffic and transportation options for families getting to the Nevada St. location next year.  We will have maps of the area, placement of crossing guards, bus routes and bus stops, information about the Boys and Girls Club, etc.  Regina Moody, transportation director for the schools, will be in attendance, as will Dawn Fleming, Newton police officer and member of the traffic division. 

We will have a brief presentation and time for questions....

Hope to see you there.

Mark Nardelli



Reflections on New Zealand

Dear HM Families,

I wanted to reach out briefly in a somewhat belated response to the events that transpired on March 15th in Christchurch, New Zealand. In the days and weeks since we learned more about the motivations of the perpetrator in the attack, I've had a number of families and staff reach out to me to express their sorrow for the loss of life in New Zealand, their concern about the experience of Muslims both locally and abroad, and their hopes for a more accepting society.  My goal in writing this message is to convey and renew a vision of a school community that values acceptance, kindness and grace. 

Over the past few years, whenever I hear accounts of discrimination or mistreatment in the news, in our community, or in our school, I am reminded of the responsibility I have as a leader to be clear about our values and priorities as we look to educate this group of children as future citizens and leaders in the world.  The work we are trying to do at Horace Mann has, first and foremost, always been an effort to create an inclusive environment where all students are welcome, regardless of some perceived difference.  I look at every child who walks through our doors and desire for them to be embraced by the world for who they are, regardless of appearance, ability, religious belief, political affiliation, immigration status, family makeup, or other identity.  Each day, we talk to our students about the importance of stepping into someone else's shoes, about listening to more than one perspective before making a judgment, about solving problems in a constructive way, and most importantly about being kind.  This isn't easy work, but it is the right work, and our hope is that over time, the students will internalize these ideas and espouse and practice them in their adult lives.

Given events like the ones that have transpired in recent times: the mosques in New Zealand, the synagogue in Pittsburgh last year, the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina in 2015, or the acts of hate and intolerance that flood the news on a daily basis, the only hope we have of building a better future is to teach each other that underneath all of the divisions, we really aren't that different.  To me, this isn't about politics...it is about human decency.    Right now, fear and ignorance propel the hate that we experience in the world, and our collective obligation as educators at Horace Mann must be to dispel this fear and counteract ignorance. To that end, we will continue to share and listen to our personal stories, to voice our hopes and struggles, and hopefully learn from one another. Perhaps the fear and ignorance we hold will be replaced with mutual understanding, respect and love for one another. 

Attached is an article I recently shared with our staff on this topic: 

http://www.startribune.com/your-little-muslim-neighbor-needs-love-after-christchurch/507377722/


I look forward to your continued support in this work.


Mark Nardelli

Principal



Thursday, February 28, 2019

2018-2019 DESE Report Card for Horace Mann


February 28th, 2019
Dear Horace Mann Families:
Every year, each public school and school district in Massachusetts receives a report card. Just as your child’s report card shows how s/he is doing in different subjects, the school’s report card is designed to show families how our school performs in different areas. A link to our school’s report card is available at http://reportcards.doe.mass.edu/2018/02070075.
The report card includes multiple measures of a school’s performance – more than just MCAS scores. It represents a new way of looking at school performance, by providing information on student achievement, teacher qualifications, student learning opportunities, and more. 
Report cards are designed to be useful tools for everyone connected to our school. Families can use the information to have meaningful conversations with us about what the school is doing well and where there is room for improvement. Community and education leaders can use the information to better understand how to support students and our school.
You will notice on our report card that we had strong growth in our MCAS scores from the previous year.  Notably, we were one of 52 schools in the state recognized for our growth scores.  Despite this, we are continuously striving to improve outcomes for all students, both on standardized test scores, and in our daily work with children.   We are continuing to employ a variety of systems and practices that we believe will help all of our students achieve at a high level.  These include:
  • A commitment to differentiated instruction in all academic areas.
  • A tiered system of academic interventions in our early literacy programming, including Title 1 services.
  • Establishment of a positive school-wide culture that embraces diversity, inclusion, kindness, compassion, and a growth mindset.
  • A commitment to becoming a more culturally responsive school that ensures equitable access to pedagogy, curriculum, and school-wide practices that are reflective of the diverse cultures that we welcome into our community.

Finally, if your child attends a school that receives federal Title I funds, you also have the right to request the following information about the qualifications of your child’s classroom teachers:
·      Whether your child’s teacher is licensed in the grade levels and subject areas they teach,
·      Whether your child’s teacher is teaching under an emergency license or waiver,
·      The college degree and major of your child’s teacher, and
·      Whether your child is provided services by paraprofessionals and, if so, their qualifications.

If you have questions about our school’s report card, would like to become involved in school improvement activities, or would like to request information about the qualifications of your child’s classroom teacher, please contact mark_nardelli@newton.k12.ma.us.  To see our district’s report card or to search for other schools’ report cards, visit http://reportcards.doe.mass.edu.

Sincerely,
Mark Nardelli
Principal

Sunday, February 24, 2019

NewsNotes 2/24/19

NEWSNOTES
February 24, 2019

In this issue:

From Principal Nardelli

Dear HM Families, 

I hope you all had a good week off.  The Nardelli’s had a busy but resftul week.  Prior to the break, my wife Christine took Alora to a gymnastics competition in Orlando, Florida, where she competed against gymnasts from around the country.  The rest of us (me, Eliana (16), Julia (14), and Vincent (3)), stayed home.  We tried to keep busy locally…ice skating, attending the Lunar New Year in Chinatown,  LegoLand, board games, indoor play-spaces, and lots of playtime in the snow.  I attached a few photos... I know that for me I am trying to stave off the stress that I feel coming around a number of things...the big school move, a tough flu season, a busy March schedule at home and at work, etc. I hope everyone at your home is healthy and perhaps not quite so busy...


       


Nevada St. Update

Getting to and From the Nevada St. Location - I’ve met with city reps several times during the month of February to discuss upcoming plans for getting to and from the Nevada St. Building.  At this point, we have a draft plan for two items:

  • Busing, crosswalks, and crossing guards - There will be a combination of busing and walking options for next year.  The draft will be shared at an HM community meeting on the evening of Thursday, April 2nd at 6:30 pm.  This is a tentative date, but will be confirmed soon.

  • Blue zone, staff parking, traffic patterns - This will be shared later this spring, along with new procedures for arrival and dismissal.

Nevada St. Open House - We are offering families a chance to see our new home on Saturday, March 30th from 9:00am-12:00 pm.  We will have a reception area set up in the cafeteria, and self guided tours of the building.  All are welcome.


Parent/Teacher Conferences - The second round of conferences will be coming up in a couple of weeks. The window will run from mid-March through early April.  Please be on the lookout soon for an opportunity to schedule a conversation with your child’s teacher.

Horace Mann Annual Report Card - Every year, each public school and school district in Massachusetts receives a report card. Just as your child’s report card shows how they are doing in different subjects, the school’s report card is designed to show families how our school is doing in different areas. A link to our school’s report card is available at http://reportcards.doe.mass.edu/2018/02070075.

FORJ Discussion Group - Parents and caregivers are invited to come to Horace Mann on Tuesday, March 5th at 7pm to learn more about Haiti, past and present; our local Haitian community; and ways to support children and families with Haitian heritage.  

Through our focus on this country and culture, we expect to cultivate deeper understanding and appreciation of many other countries and cultures that are currently marginalized.  As always, our goal is that by increasing our own knowledge, we can be better navigate conversations with our children about racial justice.

Though it is not required, if you have time, please listen to the TED Talk The Danger of the Single Story in advance - https//www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story
Our school discussion group builds on the mission of FORJ (Families Organizing for Racial Justice) and is for adults only. Childcare is not available.

This discussion will be led by parents Renande Loayza and Kate Carpenter Bernier.
Please reach out to parent organizer Cedar Pruitt at cpruitt@gmail.com with any questions. Hope to see you there!

Spring 2019 ELA and Math MCAS Dates – The district has developed a tentative MCAS schedule for each school to ensure that the technology department can provide technical support during testing days. MCAS for all three grades will be computer based this year. Please find below the testing dates assigned to specific grades for each subject: 
  • 3rd Grade English Language Arts 4/24 & 4/26
  • 3rd Grade Math 5/10 & 5/13
  • 4th Grade English Language Arts 4/11& 4/12
  • 4th Grade Math 5/3 & 5/9
  • 5th Grade English Language Arts 4/22 & 4/25
  • 5th Grade Math 5/6 & 5/7
  • 5th Grade Science 5/15 and 5/16

Calendar

FORJ Meeting

Tuesday, March 5, 7 p.m.


Spring Auction

Saturday, March 23


225 Nevada St. Open House

Saturday, March 30th

9:00 am - 12:00 pm


Nevada St. Transportation and Traffic Meeting with HM Community

Thursday, April 4th

6:30 pm



Visit the entire Horace Mann Calendar at www.horacemannpto.com

From the PTO
 

Thanks so much to 4th & 5th Grade Social Action Committee for participating in the Horace Mann volunteer event at Cradles to Crayons Giving Factory on February 6th.
In addition to bringing the coats collected during the December coat drive, we sorted clothes that will help 189 children and put together 47 outfit sets!

Looking forward to future volunteer events!






Horace Mann is moving to the Carr Building 
Horace Mann is scheduled to move to the Carr Building in September 2019.
We know there are many questions about what to expect with regards to the move, facility enhancement, technology and many other areas. In order to help us communicate accurate information, Mark Nardelli will answer your questions through regular updates via email and news notes. Please list any questions you have about the move below. Thank you!

Quick Links
Don't forget to use our rewards programs when you shop! Money raised goes towards the PTO. Thanks!
You can also pay your dues online if you haven't already. 
[Store_Button]

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

School Committee/Superintendent visit with the Horace Mann Community and PTO

 

A reminder that on Wednesday, February 6th at 6:30pm, Horace Mann will host a meeting for all families to hear about the latest citywide news and to talk about issues relevant to Horace Mann. This will include conversation about our move to 225 Nevada St.

All are welcome and we encourage parents and caregivers to attend. This is an adult only event.