R. H. Conwell Community News – October 21, 2022

Worthington School District
147 Huntington Road
Worthington, MA 01098
413-238-5856
gmorsedobosz@hr-k12.org

Dear Community:

Happy Friday!  This morning the COA joined us for breakfast followed by a sing along with Roger Ticknell.  It was a wonderful intergenerational sing along, and all ages had a blast!

Picture Retake Day is Tuesday, October 25.  Please send in your package if you want your child to have their picture retaken.  

PTO Update:  The PTO will host the annual harvest festival on Monday October 31st beginning at 1:15 p.m.  Students will begin with the annual parade of costumes.  This will begin at the front door and walk around the building twice.  The Harvest Festivities will take place in the field after the costume parade at 1:45ish through the end of the school day.  Cider doughnuts, hot apple cider, treat bags, and a harvest fire – with pumpkin painting for little kids, bobbing for doughnuts and more.  Free to all kids and families – preschool families encouraged to attend! See you there!   

Equity Advisory Update:  Hello Conwell Families!  We in the Equity Advisory Committee have been working hard this summer and fall and are excited to share our book list for the 2022/2023 school year!  Something we’ve talked about a lot in our meetings these past months is the concept of “mirrors and windows”- how can we support the school in ensuring that all of our students have opportunities to see themselves and their families reflected in stories (mirrors), and also providing glimpses into experiences and backgrounds that might be different (windows).  That’s exactly what we’re aiming for with this book list.  The books are divided into two columns, one for younger students (age 3-8) and the other for older students (age 8-12). Please note that this list is intended as an additional resource for teachers to add to their classroom libraries, and is not a curriculum.  To view the list, click here Equity Advisory Committee Book List 2022 Anyone interested in making a financial contribution to help with the purchase of these (and future!) books, please reach out to gmorsedobosz@hr-k12.org.

And stay tuned for updates about our future projects, including a food and clothing drive this winter. 

After School Program Update and Summer Highlights

Nature Exploration Summer Camp

  • Summer Camp ran for 4 weeks. 
  • We served 37 students PK/K to 5. We also had a 6th grade helper.
  • Students participated in 3 classes: watershed, schoolyard habitats and woods exploration.
  • Classes were enhanced on field trips every Monday and Thursday. 
  • Our 2 community partners were the Worthington Library and MassWildlife.
  • Other field trips included: Amelia Park Children’s Museum, The Berkshire Museum, Look Park, The Westfield Splash Pad Park, the Chesterfield Gorge, and Stanley Park
  • Funded through a DESE state grant -Afterschool and Out of School Time grant for Quality Enhancements (ASOST) and the federal DESE 21st Century Community Learning Center grant. 

2022-2023 School Year Program 

  • Session one started September 12 .
  • We are currently serving 33 students grades K to 6.  
  • Classes for grades K to 2 are: Cooks and Books, Future Scientists and Nature Explorers.  
  • Classes for grades 3 to 6 are Travel the World, Art Expression, Innovation Hub, Woods Exploration and Musical Theater. 
  • Our goals for both the summer and school year program are ELA and Social Emotional Learning focusing on self regulation, peer to peer relationships, student and adult relationships and engagement in learning. We will also expand on family engagement within our program.  We are currently using ClassDOJO, a phone app/computer program, to share photos and videos of students and their work in the program.  We also will be using ClassDOJO to send families messages and program updates. We are working on ways to have families volunteer and share in our activities after-school. 
  • Funded through the federal DESE 21st Century Learning Center grant.  This is year 2 of a 3 to 5 year grant. For the first 3 years we will receive 150,000 per year to support the school year and summer program.  Year 4 and 5 are contingent on meeting all the grant requirements and will decrease in funding amount.  The program recently applied for a state DESE ASOST grant in the amount of 20,000 to further enhance social emotional learning. 
  • Program is free to students.

School Committee News:  ​​On October 13,  the Worthington School Committee passed the following resolution supporting the Fair Share Amendment, which will appear as a ballot question in November:

Worthington School District’s Resolution in Support of the Fair Share Amendment 
Public schools and colleges have been chronically underfunded for decades. 
The Fair Share Amendment, a proposed change to the state Constitution allowing a four percent surtax on income above $1 million, would generate approximately $2 billion annually for public education and transportation in Massachusetts. 
The Worthington School Committee supports the Fair Share Amendment and endorses its passage by the voters. 

Family Breakfast and Lunch:  We would like to invite family members to Lunch on Monday, October 24 beginning at 12:30 p.m.  Please look for a sign-up sheet from Ms. Ashley in the green folders.

Cost for adults to purchase breakfast or lunch.  

  • Breakfast is $3.00.
  • Lunch  is $5.00.  

Reminders from Nurse’s Office: 

  • Please watch for an OPT-IN form for COVID testing that will go home in your child’s folder..  
  • If your child is going to be absent or tardy,  please email mbreymann@hr-k12.org and louellet@hr-k12.org
  • This past week we began to see Covid-19 in the school, as well as a variety of colds and stomach bugs.  If any family needs rapid Covid tests, please call. 
  • If you have a health concern and feel that a call to Nurse Meg is warranted to help make a decision about sending your child to school, please text Nurse Meg at 413-320-8172 or email her at mbreymann@hr-K12.org before 7:00 a.m. and until 7p.m.
  •  During school hours, Nurse Meg can be reached at 413-238-5856 extension 1.  

Upcoming Events:

October 27:  Virtual Parent Meeting at 7:00PM

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87279222055?pwd=UktrQVhydkZySmZkaW14K3RITmFydz09
Meeting ID: 872 7922 2055
Passcode: 881780
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,87279222055#,,,,*881780# US (Washington DC)

October 28:  ALL School Morning Meeting begins at 9:00 a.m.  Families are invited to join us.  Please email louellet@hr-k12.org if you are planning to join the morning meeting.  

October 31:  Harvest Festival – Begins at 1:15PM with the annual school parade twice around the building.  Please feel free to gather near the sidewalk to watch.  The parade will start around 1:15 from the front door.

November 3 – 4:  Noon Dismissal:  Parent/Teacher Conferences

November 10:  School Committee Meeting beginning at 6:30. 

November 11:  NO SCHOOL  – Veterans Day

November 17: PTO Meeting beginning at 6:00 p.m.

November 18:  All School Meeting with featured guest,  John Porcino a local Storyteller and Singer will perform.  

November 18:  PTO Thanksgiving Feast from 5:30 – 7:00 in the cafeteria.  More information to come.  

November 23:  Noon Dismissal for Thanksgiving Break

Have a wonderful weekend!  

Warmly,

Gretchen Morse-Dobosz
Principal/Superintendent, Worthington School District
gmorsedobosz@hr-k12.org

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