~Welcome Back to School~
Dear Heath Brook Families,
Although the weather’s still warm and the sun is shining, another school year is just around the corner! I’d like to take this opportunity to officially welcome you back to the Heath Brook for the 2017-2018 school year. We would also like to send along a special welcome to our new Kindergarten students and families as they get ready to begin their educational career at the Heath Brook! Starting a new year brings about change and anticipation for everyone. As the faculty and I prepare for our students to join us, I’d like to share with you some important and exciting updates, all of which will positively impact teaching and learning at the Heath Brook School.
Who’s New at the Heath Brook:
We are thrilled to announce that our faculty and staff has grown in recent months. This year, we would like to welcome Ms. Sara Walsh as our new 2nd grade special education teacher. Our first grade team added an additional classroom, which allowed us to bring aboard Mrs. Melissa Engelken as the new first grade teacher. In addition, Ms. Jessica Gilliand will join both the Heath Brook and Trahan Schools as a shared Behavior Specialist. Finally, Mrs. Mariellen Nastasi, school psychologist, was recently named as Head Teacher after Mrs. Gallo’s retirement last June.
What’s New at the Heath Brook:
This year brings with it tremendous new opportunities for learning in the form of technology! I’m happy to share that both the Heath Brook and Dewing Schools have each acquired 150 new ipads that will be distributed among all our grade level classrooms. The ipads will be utilized during small group instruction to support the implementation of our new reading program Journeys, as well as our newly updated GoMath curriculum resource. In addition, we have added a new drop down screen and projection system in our cafeteria that will enhance our bi-weekly Pride and Joy School Assemblies, along with school based events over the course of the year.
In order to strengthen our home-school communication, the Heath Brook is always looking for better ways to stay connected to our students and their families. Below are some of the new tools the Tewksbury School District implemented to make communication easier and more efficient:
- New and Improved Tewksbury Public Schools Website: Please visit our new website at www.tewksbury.k12.ma.us to stay up to date on the latest information sent out by both the school district and the Heath Brook School.
- Critical forms now accessible online: To reduce the amount of paper we send home to you, we have made electronic versions of the forms for you to read and sign using Community Pass. The link to access the forms is https://register.communitypass.net. The tab for the forms is at the bottom of the list. Click on the forms tab to access all forms. Since we primarily use email to communicate with parents, we ask that you make sure that your email in Aspen is up to date when you are updating your other information. Please make sure your contact information, including emergency information, is accurate.
- Student Handbook: Please make sure that both you and your student take the time to review the student handbook. We make changes to the handbook each year and it is helpful for families to be familiar with the handbook and its contents. This year our Student Handbook will be available electronically to returning students. Students new to Heath Brook will receive a paper copy the first week of school. The handbook can be viewed on our website www.tewksbury.k12.ma.us under the Heath Brook Elementary “About” top tab. All parents must verify they have reviewed the Student Handbook by clicking yes on the box in the forms area of Community Pass by September 8th. The link to access the forms is https://register.communitypass.net. The tab for the forms is at the bottom of the list.
- Aspen Accounts: Please click here to learn more about Aspen, which is our secure, web-based school information management system that manages all facets of student data – from attendance to conduct, grades to schedules, transcripts to activities. Tewksbury has been using Aspen for many years with great success. The Student Portal has been implemented and is available to all K-12th grade students.
Morning Drop Off Procedures:
Each year, we reflect on our drop-off and pick-up procedures to make sure that we have systems in place that allow students to get to school safely and efficiently. We certainly appreciated your patience last year as we made adjustments to address issues around our morning drop off routines. In order to allow our Extended Day Preschool families additional time to remove younger children from car seats, we have moved their drop off location to the front bus loop between 8:00-8:25 am. Please click here for a helpful visual map that outlines this year’s drop off procedures. We gently remind families of the following routine:
- Elementary School Families –
- Drop off begins at 8:25 am. Staff members are not on duty to monitor students prior to that time
- Enter into the parking lot (far left) and remain in the single file vehicle drop-off line
- Wait for staff members on duty to signal that it is time for your student to exit the vehicle
- Safely exit the parking lot in a single line
- Please do not park in the lot during morning drop off
- Extended Day Preschool Families –
- Drop off begins at 8:00 and continues until 8:25 am
- Enter into the front “bus” loop in a single file vehicle line
- Wait for Extended Day Preschool staff members to signal that it is time for you to assist your child in exiting the vehicle
- Safely exit the parking lot in a single line
Opportunities to Get Involved:
We actively encourage our families to get involved in their child’s school experience! Keep an eye out for upcoming information on ways to participate as a volunteer or as a member of a council. Consider joining the Heath Brook Community by:
~Serving on the Heath Brook School Council~
~Volunteering in our school library~
~Becoming a member of our PAC (Parent Advisory Council)~
~Lending a hand at a PAC organized event~
~Volunteering in your child’s classroom~
There’s lots of exciting events in the coming weeks! Add these important dates to your calendar!
- Kindergarten Orientation/Open House – August 28th @ 4-6pm
- Opening Day of School – August 30th @ 8:45am
- No School – Friday, September 1st / Monday, September 4th
- Student Picture Day – September 18th
- Open House for Grades 1 & 2 – September 18th @ 6-8pm
- Extended Day PreK & Kindergarten Free Lunch – September 22nd
On behalf of the Heath Brook faculty and staff, I would like to welcome you back to another great year of exploring, learning and growing. We look forward to making 2017-2018 our best school year yet!
Felicia Wettstone, Principal