August 22, 2014
Dear Parents and Guardians:
I hope that everyone had a chance to enjoy all the wonderful things that
summer brings – sunshine, barbeques, beaches, ice-cream, and much, much
more. It is amazing how quickly the summer goes by, but here we are
approaching the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year. Here at the KLO
we are in full preparation mode getting ready to welcome in our new
students and to welcome back our returning students.
At the Kennedy-Longfellow school we are committed to providing a strong
educational foundation built on 21st Century skills in a supportive,
positive and safe learning environment. This year we will continue to
focus on two main areas that we believe will build upon the already
solid academic and social foundation here at the KLO: school climate and
We will continue with our School-Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS or PBIS),
including explicitly teaching, reinforcing, and celebrating our five
core values of Active Learning, Respect, Responsibility, Safety, and
Citizenship throughout the whole school community and throughout the
entire school year. We will also introduce a school-wide Social and
Emotional Learning curriculum called Second Step. We believe the
explicit instruction in developing social/emotion skills will build upon
the strong foundation we started last year and support our students
We are also going to provide specific, targeted academic
interventions, in addition to our strong core curriculum, to meet the
needs of individual students based on their specific classroom data and
district and state assessments. This is a tiered system of instruction
called Response to Intervention (RtI) that focuses on
the core instruction that every student receives as well as providing
targeted interventions to those students who, based on assessment data,
need more support to reach the learning targets.
You will be hearing much more about Second Step in our PBIS framework
and RtI at our first Parent Coffee in September (date TBD) and Back to
School Night on Thursday, October 2, but don’t be surprised if your
child comes home talking about the 5 values and PBIS first!
I am please to report that we have had fewer staffing changes this
summer than last and that the majority of the staff that many of you
came to know last year is returning for the 2013-2014 school year.
However, we have had a few staffing changes and/or additions this year:
We have hired Ms. Meredith Peiffer as our new third grade teacher.
Many of you know her as a former JK paraprofessional as well as our
building substitute. Meredith has been working all summer to prepare for
the students entering her class this September.
Over the summer, we hired Ms. Julie Kelley to be our new Math Coach
JK-5. Ms Kelley comes to us from Tynsborough when she has been a
Math/Science teacher for the past 10 years and a Math Coach for two
I am pleased to announce that Ms. Rose McCabe will be the new
Special Start teacher in room 103. She has previously worked in that
room as a paraprofessional and filled in for a maternity leave. I am
excited to have her on board as the classroom teacher.
I am please to announce that Mr. Joe Commendatore has been hired to
replace Meredith as our building substitute. Joe has been at the KLO for
the past two years as a first, third and fourth grade paraprofessional.
I am excited that he will be with us full-time in this new role.
We have five new full-time Interns from Lesley University who will
be working in our first, second, and third grades to support the
students, the teacher, and the academic programming. Ms. Lauren Frail
will be working with Ms. Hanna, Ms. Rachel Zelinsky will be working with
Ms. Cocuzzo, and Ms. Sarah Kay will be working with Ms. Dillon, Ms.
Theresa-Marie Brown will be working with Ms. O’Brien, and Ms. Cailyn
Chovanes will be working with Ms. Phillips and Ms. Peiffer.
It is going to be a wonderful year at the KLO and we couldn’t be more
excited about it, but for now we hope you soak up the remaining August
days and enjoy the rest of your summer. We look forward to seeing all of
our familiar faces along with those who are new to our school in early