Sunday News for the Community from Superintendent/Principal Dobosz, May 17, 2020

Dear Community:

Hope this message finds you well.  The weather was perfect yesterday, and I hope you were able to spend time outside enjoying the sunshine.  This week for my community news I want to shine the spotlight on some of our Conwell teachers.  They are doing an incredible job navigating remote learning.  Since the beginning of our stay-at-home order, I meet virtually with all the classroom teachers in order to discuss best practices for remote learning and engaging with our students.  Our teachers have worked hard to meet the needs of all of our families and students during this stay-at-home time.  The continue to refine and reflect their practice and all appreciate the feedback from the parents.

Below are some teacher highlights about remote learning.

News from Ms. Sarah the adjustment counselor:

Check out Lynn Lyons new podcast.  According to her website, Lynn Lyons is a psychotherapist, author and speaker in Concord, New Hampshire.  She has been in private practice for 28 years, and specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders in adults and children. She has travel globally as a speaker and trainer on the subject of anxiety, its role in families, and the need for a preventative approach at home and in schools.
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/a-moms-retreat-with-lynn-lyons-licsw/id1506503059

News from the Preschool Team:
The preschool team has grappled with different ideas asking ourselves ~what is best going to provide our youngest learners with opportunities to play, be hands on, curious and social.  The reality of online learning does not make these objectives easy to meet, however we were determined to maintain connections with our students and provide activities that weren’t going to create more work for their families who were already taking on so much during this time.  The preschool team has been reaching out to families through emails and phone calls, connecting with students by writing them letters every few weeks, providing recorded read alouds of picture and chapter books and having zoom morning meetings twice a week.  Over the last couple of weeks, we have found the most success in creating “activity bags” for families to pick up every two weeks at the school that carries a theme.  Materials in these bags are prepared for families already and allow children to be hands on with similar projects that we do in the classroom. Over the last few weeks preschool has been studying “farm” and plans to introduce an “ocean/summer” theme this coming week.  The feedback we have received from families has been incredibly positive in that it creates more choice and structure, they are more engaged than when projects are presented online, and families don’t feel the pressure of having to get them done by a certain time, but rather introduce them in a way that works best for their family.  With only a few weeks left in the preschool year, we are happy to have found an approach that is meeting our family’s needs, and at the same time allowing the preschool team to feel more successful and meaningful with their approach.   

News from Mrs. Rose 1/2  classroom teacher:

Mrs. Rose wanted to share how she truly feels more connected to the families now through remote learning than she did from the classroom.  Although communication was present, we were always able to get by if we didn’t chat for a week or so. And a simple note home would suffice to touch base about something happening in the classroom. But now, communication is essential for the success of our students.  We are now co-teaching with our parents! The parents and teachers are working as a team to help the children succeed and it feels good!  When we do get back into the classroom, we will bring this team feeling with us and be even more of community-based school! 

News from Mrs. Orzechowski 3/4  classroom teacher:

Students have been reading and practicing poetry.  Mrs. O’ has been sending at least 3 poems a week for kids to work on and they started sending her videos of themselves reading them! It was a surprise and a pleasure to not only see them read but that they spontaneously did this.  Additionally, Mrs. O’ wants to share how much she appreciate the positive comments from parents! These are hard times and those comments keep me motivated to keep going. 

Hello Conwell Community!

News from Mrs. T a paraprofessional in the 3/4 classroom:

Sometimes what can begin as a frustrating event, proves to be just what we all needed in the end.  The other day the Third and Fourth Grade students and I were enjoying our weekly Read Aloud via ZOOM.  A bit into our session my internet decided that it needed a siesta, leaving the kids to manage the Zoom on their own.  Ten minutes later, I was able to reconnect.  Well, as you can imagine, my absence did not deter the kids from having a good time and while I was not able to hear them I was impressed with their dancing and could tell by the smiles on their faces that they were having a very good time.  So, sometimes we do not get exactly what we expect, but just what we need and I think the Third and Fourth Grade did in fact get just what they needed…a good time with one another.

News from Mrs. Madden the After-School Enrichment Teacher:

After-School Program staff are putting together enrichment goody bags for all students enrolled in the program. The bags will consist of a board game, art supplies and fun activities that align with the enrichment programs offered during the school year. Goody bags will be distributed in early June. 

During this closure, the After-School Program staff have also been developing curriculum and lesson plans for future enrichment activities. They have participated in professional development workshops and webinars with the Collaborative for Educational Services and DESE. 

The program coordinator has been attending weekly classroom zoom meetings and has a section of the google classrooms to share enrichment news and activities to stay connected with students. 

News from Mrs. Hawthorn the Art Teacher:

Mrs. Hawthorne wanted to share that we are having an all-school marble run final art project and to pick up a supply envelope and a few pieces of cardboard in the cafeteria. They are on a small table with a display of a couple of actual marble runs. The directions and resources will be on everyone’s google classroom tomorrow afternoon.

Just a friendly reminder that Monday, May 25, 2020 is a holiday.  Enjoy the Memorial Day weekend.  Also, please add June 1st to your calendar.  This will be our third Parent Zoom Meeting.  I will send the invite as we get closer to the date.

Have a wonderful afternoon.

Gretchen

Worthington School District
147 Huntington Road
Worthington, MA 01098
gmorsedobosz@hr-k12.org

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