Parent Coffee Reminder: Tomorrow (Monday, 3/27) I will host a parent coffee to talk about two topics: First, I will discuss our annual class placement process, which details the steps we take to create classes each year. Second, I will share details about the district’s budget deficit and how the proposed budget will impact Horace Mann. The session will start at 8:30 in the library and end at 9:15.
Cultural Proficiency Curriculum: At last week’s faculty meeting, staff met in three groups (K-1, 2-3, and 4-5) to review a series of developmentally appropriate lessons aimed at enhancing our curriculum relative to issues of identity, culture, race, etc. Teachers were given the task of selecting at least three lessons per grade level to form the core of this curriculum. In April, teachers will compile and publish these lesson and have agreed to teach at least one before the end of the year. I will share the curriculum materials once they are ready to go. On a related note, I’ve included an interesting article in the NY times on this topic:https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/03/24/us/north-carolina-school-jacobs-new-dress-book.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0&referer=https://t.co/fo4bMhYZBG
Budget/Staffing for next year: There are several items to mention with regard to next year. Some of it is budget related, while some of it has to do with circumstances specific to our school.
This year, we have four classroom sections in grade 5, and all of these students will soon be moving on to middle school. As this group leaves, we will have just three classroom sections in each grade (K-5), reducing our total number of classrooms from 19 to 18. In addition, Carol Oldmixon, who has been out on leave this year, will return to Horace Mann in the fall. As a result, we are faced with reductions for next year, including one of our co-taught classrooms. Ms. Mikus has shared that she will extend her leave of absence for another school year.
With regard to the budget, changes for next year will include reductions in library, music (chorus), and special education. For library, we will not lose any library classroom time for students, but we will only have a librarian on location for three days (instead of five). We are doing our best to make sure that Ms. Karam stays with us at HM for those days. In Music, we will not be offering 4th grade chorus next year. There will also be changes to our special ed staffing allocations, but the details have not yet been ironed out.
For anyone interested, there is a public hearing on the Budget on Monday, April 4th at 6:00 pm. Here’s a link to the budget information:http://www.newton.k12.ma.us/Page/2959
Playground Update: Last week, I met with the director of Parks and Rec for the city of Newton. We are aware of a few missing components on the new structure that need to be replaced. Safety of the structure is not a concern right now, and repairs will be made soon. Also, with regard to the recall on the older equipment, new slides have been ordered and will be installed once the weather improves.
Responsive Home Workshop: Are you struggling with your child(ren)’s behavior at home? Do you want to work towards creating a supportive, encouraging home environment? If so, attend one of Newton’s workshop. The next session is scheduled for Wednesday, April 12th from 6:30-8:30 pm. This will take place at the Ed Center (room 210)
Grade 3 - April 25th, April 26th, and April 28th
Grade 4 - April 3rd, April 5th, and April 6th
Grade 5 - April 7th, April 10th, and April 13th
Grade 3 - May 4th and May 5th
Grade 4 - May 15th and May 16th
Grade 5 - May 1st and May 3rd
The PTO would like to thank Jess Schiefer, who ran this year's AMAZING spring auction. The Horace Mann Hoedown was both fun and successful, raising more than $18,000. Jess had the help of a dedicated committee, friends, and neighbors, including many Horace Mann families and businesses that donated items to the live, silent and online auction. Please thank them and the following when you see them!
Other Thank Yous:
Montecarlo at Boston
Advance Auto Center, Inc.
The Village Bank
Busy Bee Florist
Manow Thai Kitchen
The Deceptive Lemons
There is nothing common between April Fool's Day and the Horace Mann Talent Show—other than the fact that this year both happen to be on April 1st!
Come join us to see the budding talents in Horace Mann. From Indian and Irish dances to Chinese Yo Yo, comedy to piano/violin/vocal performances, the Horace Mann Talent Show is sure to melt the snow.
Special performances from Day After Day and a rock band comprised of both current and former Horace Mann students will be the highlight of the show this year.
So mark your calendars and join us at F.A. Day Auditorium on the 1st. The show starts at 1 PM, but come early to get a good spot!