Welcome Back from Principal Christine Gerber

Welcome Back from Principal Christine Gerber
Posted on 08/22/2014

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 academic interventions.

  • 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 continued growth.
  • 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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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 years.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 September.

Best Regards,

Christine Gerber


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