R. H. Conwell Summer Letter – 8/13/2021

Dear R.H. Conwell Families,

I hope your summer has included fun outdoor adventures with a dose of sunshine!  My family was able to get away at the end of June, and we enjoyed some quality time with Owen and Tatum.  It was really nice for all of us to hit the reset button after such a long year.  And, in just two short weeks, we move Owen into college!  We are so excited for all the adventures that lie ahead for him this fall!  

As we approach the end of summer and get ready for the opening for the 2021-2022 school year,   I want to express my thanks to you, our students, and our faculty for your diligence, patience, and support over the last 18 months as we have navigated this pandemic together as a school community.  There is clearly eager anticipation as we make final preparations for the 2021-2022 school year.  

Families, here are some ways that you can support your child(ren)’s education:

  • Make sure your child attends school daily and arrives on time, ready to learn
  • Ensure your child completes all classwork and homework assignments given by teachers
  • Have your child read daily to develop a love for reading and to improve literacy skills
  • Ask your child about their school experiences so that you are aware of her/his school life

Health and Safety Update:

On August 5th, the Worthington School Committee approved a mask policy.  Please follow the link to review the policy.  COVID-19 Health and Safety Policy Approved 8/5/21.docx

School Handbook:  Please follow the link for the 2021-2022 school handbook. Please review the handbook and school-wide expectations.  Please print and return the signature page to the school office by September 3, 2021.  Handbook 2021

KORR Values:

The district’s KORR values are listed below.  All students are expected to practice these KORR values daily!

  • Kindness
  • Optimism
  • Respect
  • Responsibility

Drop off and Pick-up: STUDENT DROP OFF/PICK UP PROCEDURES

Health Forms: You will be receiving additional communication from our school nurse, Nurse Sam in the next few weeks regarding required health forms. Please submit all forms as soon as possible to ensure we have the most updated information to care for your child(ren). If your child(ren) have an updated physical examination form (required for pre-k, K, and 4th grade) or updated immunizations, please send a copy to Nurse Sam (spease@hr-k12.org) or have the doctor fax it directly to the school at 413-238-5880.

COVID Testing: The Worthington School District is interested in offering this service to our staff and students as a mitigation strategy to help keep our students in school learning as much as possible this upcoming school year. Participation in the testing is voluntary, and requires parent/guardian permission. We are surveying families to determine if this is a service you would be interested in participating in. We will discuss testing further at the school committee meeting in September, but would like to hear from families ahead of time to determine if we should move forward with the application process.  Please follow the link below to complete the short survey.

https://forms.gle/ggdrWq217tEvNq1J7

Communication:  School information can be found on the district web page at rhconwell.org.  

The office uses SwiftK12 (group email) for information that needs to go out immediately.  

  • Friday News Flash:  My weekly Principal/Superintendent newsletter will be sent via email on Friday afternoon.  This is an opportunity for me to highlight classroom learning, news from the state house about educational policies, tools for parenting, and innovative teaching and learning practices.  Please know, too, I have an open-door policy, and welcome any opportunity to meet with you.  
  • Concerns and complaints from students and/or their parents are encouraged to follow the sequence below whenever possible:

1. Talk with the teacher for clarification of the problem.

2. Meet with the teacher and if no satisfactory solution is found then meet with:

a) Superintendent/Principal

         b) Full School Committee

Following the above order will help to expedite the procedure in that the individual(s) closest to the situation can most likely be expected to help with the resolution.

Bus Concerns:  Questions or concerns regarding bus matters should be addressed to Beth at Lecrenski Bus Co. at (413) 862-8080.

Pre-K/Kindergarten Classroom: With many younger students in the preschool program, we have decided to move the older preschoolers who turn five by December 31st to the Kindergarten. This will create a Pre-K/K classroom and allows both programs to best meet each child’s needs and allow students to engage in developmentally appropriate learning activities.  

Faculty Assignments: Below are the teacher room assignments for the 2021-2022 school year!

  • Preschool:  Ms. Felicity and Ms. T (Raven) 
  • Pre-K/Kindergarten:  Ms. Sam and Ms. Maryse 
  • First and Second Grade:  Ms. Rose and Ms. Theresa
  • Third and Fourth Grade:  Mrs. O and Ms. T (Tamara)
  • Fifth and Sixth Grade:  Mr. MacLachlan and Mr. K.
  • Specialists
    • Music: Ms. V
    • P.E.: Ms. Gage
    • Art: Ms. Hawthorne
    • Technology: Ms. T (Raven)
    • Health: Nurse Sam

R.H. Conwell After-School Program Updates:

Starting this fall the After-School Program will run Mondays through Fridays from 3:10 to 5:15 p.m. The program is open to R.H. Conwell students grades preschool to grade 6. The anticipated start date is Monday, August 30 for grades kindergarten through six and Thursday, September 2nd for preschool. The program is primarily funded by the DESE 21st Century Community Learning Center grant and two DESE After-School And Out Of School Time grants.  Due to this grant funding the program is free to all students! The program will have three sessions during the school year. During each session we will be providing enrichment activities for all grades and homework help for grades 3 to 6.  Registration forms will be sent out via e-mail and will be handed out to students by their classroom teachers during the first week of school. 

The program will also be sending out a family survey in the next month to determine if there is any interest in a before school program.   If you have any questions or would like additional information please contact Shannon Madden, After-School Program Coordinator, at smadden@hr-k12.org

School Committee Meetings:

School Committee meetings are held the second Thursday of each month.  The agenda will be sent via SwiftK12 on the Tuesday before the meeting.

School Council:

School Councils are to assist the principal in adopting educational goals for the school, identifying the educational/programmatic needs of the students attending the school, and formulating a school improvement plan.

We are looking for two parent representatives and a community representative to serve on the school council.  Please email me at gmorsedobosz@hr-k12.org if you are interested.

Parent Lunch:

Parents will be invited to Friday Lunch. There will be an electronic sign-up list for parents to add their name to the list.  Only 3 parents per classroom will be allowed to come at a time. 

Virtual Coffee with your Principal: 

Please join me via zoom each month to talk about school related topics, ask questions, and connect with other caregivers.  We will meet every Third Thursday of the month via zoom beginning at 6:30 p.m.   During the month of November we will meet on Wednesday, November 17.  Looking forward to seeing you all during our virtual coffee!

Our first day back-to-school for K – 6th grade is Thursday, August 26.  Both Thursday and Friday we will dismiss at noon to allow classroom teachers to host parent in-takes.  Please refer to the teacher’s summer letter or email communication as to how to sign up for those meetings.  

First day back for preschool is Thursday, September 2. 

Enjoy these last weeks of summer, and I look forward to seeing you on the first day of school!

Warmly,

Gretchen Morse-Dobosz
Principal/Superintendent

Worthington School District
147 Huntington Road
Worthington, MA 01098

413-238-5856
gmorsedobosz@hr-k12.org

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