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From the Principal – 12/8

From the Principal – 12/8

From the Principal – 12/8

Dear Families,

Our entire school community celebrated Inclusive Schools Week this week by creating a beautiful quilt that will soon be up in our Centre. While visiting classrooms this week I was able to join Ms. Turgeon’s kindergarten class while they were creating their squares for our inclusive quilt. I sat at a table with several students as we each designed our square and shared different ways that we can include others. One kindergarten student shared, “I will be inclusive by sharing a rainbow,” while another shared, “I will be inclusive by inviting a friend to play.” As I looked at our enormous quilt being put together this afternoon by some of our staff I was struck by what a thoughtful, caring school community we have.

It was great to see so many of you at our Principal Coffee this Tuesday, December 5 to hear our Math Coach, Andy Guttell, speak about our new math curriculum (Investigations 3), some of the instructional shifts to the Common Core State Standards for mathematics, and provide an opportunity for families to engage in some math themselves. I really enjoyed sharing information about the Next-Generation MCAS, our school’s results, our recent Lockdown and Shelter-in-Place drills, principal stars, our work to determine a school mascot, and ways to bring families into the building. I look forward to updating you on this work at our next Principal Coffee. Due to running short on time our Literacy Specialist, Mike Costello, will save his presentation on how we grow young writers here at Mason-Rice and how families can support their child’s writing at home for our next coffee. If you were unable to attend you can click on the following links to find both Andy and my presentations.

Principal Coffee

Investigations Math Curriculum

This Thursday, December 7 our staff engaged in a professional development experience led by our Responsive Schools Team where they were able to share experiences and ideas about how they have been integrating Academic Choice experiences (a strategy for structuring lessons and activities that provides students with choices in what and/or how they learn, or practice, a given skill or concept) into their classroom through vertical conversations with colleagues across multiple grade levels and roles, as well as grade level discussions. Staff left this PD with some potential new ways to implement Academic Choice experiences within their classrooms. It was a valuable afternoon!

I wish you all a wonderful weekend.

Kindly,
Jake Bultema
jacob_bultema@newton.k12.ma.us

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