Please check this post occasionally for updates and information about our school!

9/21/18  Principal Coffee FAQs

Below is a synopsis of the questions that were asked at the Principal’s Coffee this month.

 

Q. What are the procedures for arrival and dismissal?

A. When students come to North Street in the morning, (whether by bus or parent drop-off), they walk through the front entrance and head out to the playground.  In inclement weather, they go to the gym or the cafeteria. At 8:45, all buses have arrived and children are walked to their classrooms by their teacher. For dismissal, students are sent to the cafeteria for parent pick-up.  If you are picking up your child, please park and walk to the side door of the cafeteria. Staff will check your picture ID, and then release your child to you. When leaving the property, please pay attention to the staff members who are directing traffic; they are managing the traffic flow to ensure bus riders are boarding safely.  If you have a change to your typical dismissal plan, please send a note with your child to give to the teacher. You may choose to send an email instead; if so, please copy the school secretary, as we can not guarantee that a teacher will see your email before dismissal time.

 

Q. How often do teacher use Aspen in third and fourth grade?

A. Often!  Teachers are constantly updating grades in Aspen.  If you do not have your username or password, please email the school secretary.

 

Q.  How are students assessed?

A.  Teachers administer “benchmark assessments” in reading, writing, and math three times per year.  This helps them understand student performance levels, areas of growth and areas of challenge. In addition, there are some assessments that happen more regularly in reading and math, typically after the end of a unit.  These help teachers adjust their instruction for individual student needs.

 

Q. What are the MCAS tests like at this age?

A.  Third and fourth graders take the math and english language arts MCAS exams.  The tests are administered online. Teachers prepare students not only for the content but the types of responses students may be expected to give.  To become familiar with online testing, students take performance assessments throughout the year using the same Chromebooks they use on the MCAS. As a school, we strive to communicate the message to students to take the tests seriously, but not cause undue anxiety.

 

Q. What about cursive handwriting?!

A. Third graders are taught how to form letters and practice this style of script throughout the year.  The routine of writing in cursive varies from teacher to teacher in subsequent grades, as they are also balancing the demands of fluent keyboarding.

 

 

8/22/18  WELCOME BACK TO SCHOOL!

Dear Families,

I’m not sure if it was an anomaly or Mother Nature’s wisdom, but the (hopefully temporary) cooler temperatures this week was a striking reminder that summer is beginning to wind down.  In just one week, school buses will be on the roads, backpacks will be full, and if your kids are anything like mine, their summer sleep schedules will be completely off-kilter from their school sleep schedule!  I’d like to share some updates so you can feel as ready as possible to send your children to North Street next week.

New Staff

I’m so pleased to introduce our newest North Street staff members to you.  Kelly Mahoney is a Special Education teacher in our 3rd grade Collaborative classroom, pairing with Mrs. Desrochers and Mrs. McGrath.  Krista Rumschlag is our new school psychologist.  Katharine Trahan is a new teacher in our Developmental Learning Center program.  I am thrilled each of these talented professionals are joining our staff, as they bring a wealth of knowledge and great passion for working with children.  We also have an opening for our Academic Instructional aide position, for which we have interviewed and are awaiting final steps.

Building Updates

The maintenance department has been busy over the summer, and a large portion of their time has been devoted to North Street.  There is a new vestibule at our front entrance that will provide an added layer of security. This will give the ability to drop off forms/items without actually entering past the office area.  Please remember that we use the Raptor System; if you will be staying an extended period of time to volunteer or work in classrooms, you will be required to show valid, government-issued photo identification to gain entrance beyond the front vestibule.  We also have had additional safety cameras installed outside to improve security to the building. The two main hallways have been re-tiled, general maintenance work has been completed, and teachers have been working hard during their off-hours to create learning spaces that are inviting and comfortable.

Principal Coffee

I would love the opportunity to get a chance to meet with you – either to re-acquaint ourselves or get to know you for the first time.  Please join me on Friday, September 7th at 9 am in the cafeteria. Bring your questions and curiosity about what life is like at North Street, and I will do my best to answer them all!  If that time doesn’t work for you, but you are interested in meeting with me, please reach out so we can connect.

Arrival & Dismissal Procedures

We are pleased that the district offers such reliable bus transportation to all our students.  In the event that you will be driving your child to school, please know that the parking lot is also receiving buses and vans, and there is a certain traffic path that must be followed.  The traffic flow around the front circle of North Street is a one-way path.  If you are dropping your child off in the morning, please stay to the right and follow the parking lot all the way back to the dumpster, where you can then make a u-turn.  Cars line up along the right side of the building, next the the cafeteria. If you are picking up your child at dismissal, please park in the lot and enter the building at the side entrance of the cafeteria.  Staff will be there to check you in and release your child to you. An integral part of our procedure is to check your photo identification before students are allowed to leave. To keep all of our students safe, please wait for all buses and vans to leave before you do, and do not exit from the entrance in which you came.  Thank you for following the direction of the staff members who help to manage the flow of traffic and indicate when it is safe to drive.  

Forms & Important Links

  • Tewksbury Public Schools website: https://www.tewksbury.k12.ma.us  The district site is full of useful information, and also has a link to the North Street School’s direct page.
  • Student Handbook:  Tewksbury Public Schools has one Student Handbook for all four elementary schools across the district.  However, there are changes made each year, so please make sure you review the handbook with your children.  It can be found on our North Street website. Here is a direct link: North Street Student Handbook
  • Accident/Illness form:  This form is essential for our staff to handle any emergency efficiently for your student.  It must be completed each year. Keep in mind that you will need to submit information regarding insurance, emergency contact, and your child’s physician as you fill out this form, so you will want to gather everything before you begin the process.  We are trying a new online form this year, and are hopeful that it will be easy to use for you: Accident/Illness Form 2018-19  It is also available on our North Street website, under the “resources” tab, and then “for parents” section.
  • Aspen:  Each school in Tewksbury uses Aspen to manage many aspects of student data, including attendance, report cards, and schedules.  Please make sure that your mailing address, phone numbers, and email address are all current. More information can be found on the district website, under the “resources” tab and “for parents” section.

Lunch Monitors

I am looking to hire two more lunch monitors this year.  If you know anyone who might be interested, please ask them to send me an email or call the office.

Important Dates & Times

  • Wednesday, August 29th:  First day of School!
  • Friday, August 31st:  No School
  • Monday, September 3rd:  No School
  • Thursday, September 13th:  Open House
  • School Hours:
    • 8:45 am – 3:10 pm
    • 3rd grade lunch/recess:  12:00 – 12:45
    • 4th grade lunch/recess:  12:45 – 1:30
      • your child’s teachers will provide specifics of each block

If your children are anything like mine, they are desperately trying to hold on to the relaxed pace of summer.  I am trying my best to let them! School and routine will come soon enough. I hope you have had a wonderful summer, and are able to enjoy these last few days of August.  I speak for all teachers and staff at North Street when I tell you we are so excited to welcome you and your children to our school! We are looking forward to a wonderful year together.

In Partnership,

Karen Cronin