R. H. Conwell Back-to-School 2022-23

Worthington School District
147 Huntington Road
Worthington, MA 01098

August 15, 2022

Dear School Community:

Hope you are enjoying a wonderful summer. I also hope you are relaxed, recharged and ready to start a new school year. I am so delighted that you are part of our amazing learning community.

The R.H. Conwell faculty is excited about working with you and your child(ren) this year. All signs point to an incredible school year! Our skilled and devoted faculty is already planning and preparing for your child(ren). At Conwell, we believe that families play an essential role in our efforts to educate children to be lifelong learners and productive citizens. We welcome and value your positive energy and dedication to excellence in education, and we look forward to working with you and your children.

We have some new faculty members that are joining us this school year. We welcome Jonas Cain who will teach music on Friday. Jonas is thrilled to work with the Conwell students and to share his love of music with them.                                                                                  I’m also excited to share that Meg Breymann will be our full time school nurse! Students and families are familiar with Nurse Meg as she has subbed in the nurse’s office these last few years.

Back-to-School Potluck: Our Annual Back to School Potluck will be on Monday, August 29, from 5:00PM – 7:00PM on the blacktop. This is a nice time for returning families to reconnect and a time to welcome new families joining the R.H. Conwell community.

Everyone is asked to bring a dish to share (side, salad, main or dessert). There will not be a grill this year. Please bring your own non-alcoholic drinks, chairs or blankets to sit on.

Plates, napkins and cutlery will be provided.

First Day of School: The first day of school is Wednesday, August 31. The first TWO days (August 31 and September 1) will be an EARLY dismissal beginning at 12:00. Students will begin their day on the playground, and can be dropped off beginning at 8:30AM. Classroom teachers plan to host parent-teacher in-takes during the afternoon on those early release days. Your classroom teacher will contact you shortly about available times for meeting.

Handbook: Please visit this link for the updated Handbook. A copy will be sent home on the first day of school for you to read and review with your child(ren).

Enrollment: Our school enrollment continues to grow! This year we welcome eight new families to the district for a total of 75 students enrolled in preschool through 6th grade.

Attendance: Starting a new school year is a good time to make new resolutions. Please help us in meeting our goals for students by arriving to school on time and making school attendance every day a top priority.

Coffee with the Principal:  Throughout the year I look forward to meeting the new members of our community and connecting with returning community members. We have scheduled morning and evening times that will be virtual. This year I will share an agenda with parents and topics for us to discuss. These gatherings are a great opportunity to meet new people and see old friends. Our first Annual Coffee will be in person on September 22 at 8:30AM beginning in the library and then parents will visit classrooms beginning at 8:55 to observe classroom Morning Meetings.

Curriculum Night: We also welcome parents and guardians to Curriculum Night on September 14 from 5:30PM – 6:30PM. This is an opportunity for you to hear from the classroom teacher in order to learn more about the classroom expectations, routines, and learning that will happen this year in your child(s) class! This event is not intended for children to attend.

Open House: Will be on October 6 with a PTO sponsored dinner event beginning at 5:00PM. More information will be forthcoming.

Responsive Classroom: This summer all faculty attended a four day professional development training in Responsive Classroom. What is the Responsive Classroom approach? Simply put, it is a way of teaching that creates a safe, challenging, and joyful classroom and schoolwide climate for all students. Teachers who use the Responsive Classroom approach understand that all of students’ needs—academic, social, emotional, and physical—are important. With this approach and strategies teachers create an environment that responds to all of those needs so that your child can do his or her best learning. During the training teachers’ gained understanding and competencies in four key areas: Engaging Academics, Positive Community, Effective Management, and Developmentally Responsive Teaching.

Bus Information: Our bus drivers Elodi McBride and Robin Sampson are the R.H. Conwell bus drivers. The bus schedule will be forthcoming. If there are any changes or if you have questions about pick up and drop off, please contact Beth Boyle at 413-862-8080. Below are a few friendly reminders for children riding the bus:

  • Kindergarten students will need an adult present for PM drop off at the bus stop. An ID will be required if someone other than the identified adult is at the bus stop.
  • Both bus drivers will communicate daily with the office, and have been invited to join the school for our weekly all school meetings. It is my hope that we have all the adults who work with kids to play a role in celebrating the students and community.

Breakfast and Lunch: The school breakfast and lunch program is free this school year! If you would like to purchase milk with your bagged lunch it will cost .50 cents. Parents may send cash or checks in an envelope. Checks are made out to The Town of Worthington.

Volunteers: We are looking for community members to substitute and/or volunteer at R.H. Conwell. Please see the enclosed volunteer form and kindly fill out and return to the office. If you have questions, please call me at 413-238-5856.

PTO: We are happy to share that we have a PTO Board this year and have started planning many exciting events. Our President is Max Breiteneicher, Vice President is Anna Langone, Secretary is Katie Maunz, Treasurer is Emily Longley, Event Chair is Kate Dahill and Hospitality Chair is Alix Bossenger. Meetings will typically be on the third Thursday of each month with the next one scheduled on September 15 at 6:00PM. This will be a hybrid meeting.

Thank you for sending your children to R.H Conwell. Your commitment to ensuring that

R.H. Conwell remains a celebrated and successful school is awe-inspiring. I eagerly look forward to greeting students and families on the first day of school! It remains an honor and privilege to serve as your principal.

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

Gretchen Morse-Dobosz
Principal/Superintendent, Worthington School District

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