Welcome Back from Principal Gerber

Welcome Back from Principal Gerber
Posted on 08/23/2016

Dear Parents and Guardians:

I hope that everyone had a chance to enjoy all the wonderful things that summer brings – sunshine, barbeques, beaches, bike rides, swimming, camp, ice cream, and much, much more. It is amazing how quickly the summer goes by, but here we are approaching the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year. Here at the KLO we are in full preparation mode getting ready to welcome in our new Special Start, JK/K and 1-5 students and to welcome back all of our returning Special Start and K-5 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 are focusing on a few main areas that we believe will build upon the already solid academic and social foundation here at the KLO: 

  • We are focusing on developing a Growth Mindset in which educators prove to students that they can grow their academic and social skills, show them specific ways they can do so, motivate them so they want to, and reinforce and track their progress.

  • Strengthen our Multi-Tiered System of Support so that we intervene early when students exhibit academic and/or social/emotional or behavioral challenges. 

    • The academic tiered system of instruction is called Response to Intervention (RtI), which 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. 

    • The social/emotional/behavioral system of tiered support is called Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS), which consists of explicitly teaching and reinforcing five core values (Respect, Responsibility, Citizenship, Safety and Active Learning) throughout the school year. We have also added in the Second Step curriculum, which helps to teach students the skills necessary to navigate challenging situations both in and outside of school. 

    • We also believe that parent engagement and participation is crucial to student success and we are focusing on adding more events that meet and support your needs as parents and caregivers.

    • Monthly parent coffees and/or parent workshop on timely and important curricular issues that help support learning at home.

    • Continuing the KLO Market, Take-Home Tuesdays, and the Weekend Backpack program. For more information on the dates of the KLO Markets and the parent coffee’s please see our school website and click on “Upcoming Events.” 

      • The first KLO Market will be on Wednesday, September 28 from 3-5PM in the school’s Activity Room.

    • Creating more family events that support a home/school connection such as our International Potluck Dinner and the addition of a Dr. Seuss Family Night on Read Across America Day (March 2). 

You will hear more about all of these from your child’s teacher, our family liaison, and myself at our Back to School Night on September 22 and throughout the course of the school year. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

I am pleased to report that we have had very few staffing changes this summer, however, we have had a few changes and/or additions this year:

    1. We have hired Ms. Caitlin Doering to be our new 4th grade teacher. Ms. Doering comes to us from Somerville where she taught 3rd and 4th grade for five years. Last year she worked part-time with Ms. Vaz to provide small group instruction in Math and Writing. We are thrilled to welcome her as a full-time classroom teacher. 

    2. Ms. Burke and Ms. English will be co-teaching the 5th grade and providing Reading and Math small group instruction to the 4th grade students.

    3. We have a new Kindergarten Paraprofessional, Ms. Christina Terrio, who will be working with Ms. Hayward in K104.

    4. We also have a new special educator, Ms. Sarah Moore. Ms. Moore comes to us from Putnam Ave. where she was the 6th grade special educator. 

    5. Ms. Magoon, one of our 2nd grade teachers, will be going out on maternity leave at the end of September and I am thrilled to announce that Ms. Rachel Burkholz will be the teacher covering in her absence.

    6. I am sad to say that Ms. Rose McCabe’s Special Start classroom was relocated. We will miss her and her team greatly. However, we have a new Special Start classroom coming in. This class will be taught by Ms. Caitlyn Bowdidge and will be in room 109. We look forward to welcoming this new class into our school.

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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