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October 9, 2015

posted Oct 9, 2015, 10:19 AM by jmela@maynard.k12.ma.us
Dear Families,

This weekend is the first Family Appreciation Weekend of the school year.  No homework will be assigned during the long weekend.  Fowler is working to strike a balance between challenging our students with rigorous classes and helping them to be well adjusted and involved in activities outside of school.  Our focus is on the development of the whole-child.

Last night, Jennifer Gaudet, Curriculum Director, and the three building Principals led a collaborative presentation on the district and school goals.  As part of the presentation, I shared some of the exciting work that will be happening this year at Fowler.  As you can read, the highlights include our focus on improving school culture, our belief that all students can learn and grow, our improvement with curriculum, staff development, and assessment, and our commitment to physical activity and play. 

Highlights: 

Cultural Proficiency

  • Cultural Proficiency is an examination of our beliefs about race, gender, religion, class, ethnicity, sexuality, cultural heritage and birthplace.  Culturally Proficient Schools operate with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and beliefs that teachers and administrators need to support and work effectively with all of our students and families. 
  • “Everything you say and do and everything you don’t say and do impacts the climate for cultural proficiency and equity.”
  • Goal:  Begin to examine how we can strengthen the Cultural Proficiency at Fowler.
  • Create a Cultural Proficiency Committee to explore the meaning of cultural proficiency and the work we want to do this year.

Growth Mindset Model

  • Led by Terri Morrison, Fowler math teachers participated in a day of Professional Development (August) that set the stage for learning math this year.
  • The Growth Mindset Model in math supports the belief that all students can learn math to the highest ability.
  • Teachers introduced “The Week of Inspirational Math” where students learned that everyone can learn math, that faster is not smarter, that pictures help us to see math and that mistakes are good for your brain.  Students and teachers reported that this was a great way to start the year.
  • Ultimately, we want to utilize the Growth Mindset Model in all areas that students learn.

Keys to Literacy Training in Content Writing

  • During the summer, Denise Hatch, Literacy Coach, and Meg Sullivan, 7th grade ELA teacher completed a week long "train-the-trainer" workshop sponsored by a MEF Grant to become trainers for the course, Keys to Content Writing.
  • Keys to Content Writing is designed to support a consistent approach to teaching writing as students move from grade to grade and subject to subject.  Informational and persuasive writing is a major emphasis of the program.

Computer Science and Latin Course Offering

  • We are excited to offer two new courses, which we think will be really valuable to our students and strengthen our overall program.  In 6th grade, Latin will teach the students the foundation for language learning and help make connections between Latin and the Romance languages, which will prepare them for future study of Spanish or French.  In grades 4-7, Computer Science will introduce students to programming, coding, robotics, and other 21st century technological skills.  We are excited about the work that Mr. Sinopoli will be doing with the students.

Reading and Math Goals

  • We have created measurable goals for reading and math, which will be utilized and monitored consistently to inform instruction during the year.
  • 80% to 100% of Fowler students will be proficient readers of grade-level material, as evidenced by student reading performance in their Star Assessments and reported on the STAR Growth Report and Student Growth Proficiency Chart
  • 80 % to 100% of Fowler students will be proficient mathematicians, as evidenced by student math performance in their Star Assessments and reported on the STAR Growth Report and Student Growth Proficiency Chart

Fowler Playground

  • We are thrilled to have a beautiful new playground, which the students and the school community are enjoying.  We thank the Community Preservation Committee and many other school and town officials for helping to make the playground possible.  At Fowler, we believe that physical activity very much supports learning and helps students to acquire important social and emotional skills.

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On October 22 and 23, 12:30-2:30 pm, Fowler will be having Parent Conferences for all grades.

On October 22, 6:00-8:00 pm, Fowler will be having Parent Conferences for grades 6-7. 

Parents of students in grades 6-7 can call the school starting October 13 (after 9 am please) to schedule conferences with individual teachers.

If you would like to schedule a ten (10) minute per teacher conference, please call 978 897 6700 during school hours.  The deadline for scheduling 

conferences is October 21.

Parents of students in grades 4-5 have already scheduled conferences for October 22 and 23.  Parent/Teacher conferences are a great opportunity to meet and connect, gather information about your child, and share questions or concerns.  I hope that many parents can join us.  Please know that you can schedule a conference with teachers at any point during the year.

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PTO Fundraiser:
This week the PTO kicked off its Fall Fundraiser.  The Jeannine Collection brochure went home this week.  Please take a moment to check out the wide variety of wrapping paper, housewares, gifts and gourmet goodies- truly something for everyone!  This is one of only 2 fundraisers the PTO will hold this year, so please consider buying even just one item.  All proceeds go directly to Fowler teachers to support technology, educational programs, field trips and more.
 
The sale runs through October 20th Return them early to be entered to win a $10 gift card to either Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt or Sugar Snap.  Daily drawings begin October 13th through October 19th

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Fowler School Council:

We are looking for parents who would like to serve on the Fowler School Council.

School Council is an advisory group that plans, collaborates, and reflects on the school improvement plan.  The group is made-up of the principal, teachers, parents, and community members.  Meetings are held approximately every six weeks during the school year.

Please send an email to Mr. Mela if you are interested.

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Have a good weekend.

Mr. Mela

 

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