Friday, May 27, 2016

Blog Update May 27th, 2016

From Mark's Desk

Lots going on this past Friday!  Fitness for Life and the arrival of our playground equipment!
Fitness for Life - I’m happy to say we’ve had another wonderfully positive and successful Fitness for Life celebration.  I continue to be inspired by the power of this time honored tradition…it brings families together and puts a smile on a great many faces, all while encouraging teamwork and fitness. Thank you to all of the parents and staff who helped out in a variety of ways..organizing snacks, setting up and taking down equipment, cleaning up, helping to chaperone, etc. As always, a tremendous thank you to Mr. Tynes for the inspiration and the huge effort he puts into to organizing this event.

PTO Positions - In the next school year, we are looking to add to our terrific group of volunteers who help organize and run the various events throughout the year.  These include the talent show, the auction, the picnic, and many others.  We will have some specific needs in the near future and our hope is begin having new parents shadow existing event leaders. In a separate email, I will send a list of potential openings; please review the list and reach out to me and/or the PTO if you are interested or if you have questions. 

Understanding our Differences - Each year 3rd, 4th and 5th graders take part in a series of lessons aimed at helping children to understand a variety of disabilities and challenges.  I wanted to acknowledge that this program would not be possible without the dedication of a group of parents who oversee the programming, line up guest speakers, and teach the daily lessons.  This year, the group that organized all of this included Nicole Randall, Betty Sierra, Matthew Freeman, and Liz Mansfield.  Thanks to this group as well as all of the other  parents who offered their time to this important program.

Visit to BPS - A small group of principals has been working with consultants from Boston Public Schools this year to learn more about a process called DataWise, which is a systematic method for looking at student work and using formative data to make better instructional decisions.  Last week, a group of us went to talk with teachers from the Warren-Prescott (K-8 School) in Charlestown, Ma where we discussed the importance of cultivating teacher leadership and expanding training for NPS staff.  While we learned some new things, it was also encouraging to know that many of the practices we already have in place around collaboration and the use of data are in line with the DataWise process and are working for students.

Writing Curriculum - We are currently in the 3rd year of implementation of the Lucy Calkins writing curriculum. Throughout the spring, we’ve been getting input from teachers and literacy specialists to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the program as it was designed, as well as to share modifications and alternatives that teachers have created to make the program better.  This summer, representatives from each grade level will continue to compile this data and work on making broad recommendations to teachers for the upcoming school year.