Dear Cabot Families,
Cabot is off to a great start! Although some of us are quite tuckered out by the end of the long days, we have experienced a very smooth opening these first weeks of school. Teachers are thoroughly immersed in becoming acquainted with their new students. The best part of my day is visiting classrooms, watching students as they settle in with their new classmates and teachers.
Kindergarten Long Days Start This Week
This week, our kindergartners begin their long days: Monday, September 26 for Group A and Friday, September 30 for Group B.
A New Classroom for Grade 2
We recently received some wonderful news – we have been allocated the only reserve teacher position in the city to support our large class sizes in second grade. As second grade families know, we are hoping to have our newest Cabot teacher hired within a few days – we interviewed a strong candidate pool that we have narrowed down. Demonstration lessons and reference checks should be complete by mid-week. Our ambitious goal is to have our new classrooms in place sometime next week.
Second grade teachers are enthusiastically planning some meaningful team-building activities to help ease the transition from three to four classrooms. Fortunately, last year’s placement team considered the possibility of having either three or four classrooms and created those classroom groupings in the spring. Those placements are being tweaked to account for new students joining us while a few students departed over the summer. As we embark on the process, I look forward to working closely with teachers and families in the weeks to come.
Transitioning to Cabot at Carr School
Planning for the transition to Carr School will be a year-long process that began for me this summer. In July, I met with Zervas principal Diana Beck to learn from the Zervas experience. I also joined with Julie Kirrane, Long-Range Planning Manager from the Newton Public Schools (NPS) Office of Business, Finance & Planning, who has been an integral behind-the-scenes member of the transition teams for Angier and Zervas. She has been the coordinator for dealing with furniture, packing, moving and so much more. Well-versed in Cabot’s needs, she has been a member of the planning team in drafting the building proposal along with former principal Lou DiBella, architect Donna DeNisco, and so many others.
I mention Julie’s name because she is my go-to person for questions about the move. Brian Turner, former Day Middle School principal, is now part of the planning team – he is assisting me with necessary details (procuring floor plans, ensuring we’ll have packing boxes on time, etc.) so that my time with teachers and, later with parents, focuses on the needs of teachers, students and parents. Once we have a solid timeline in place for the transition, including when parents can visit Carr, how and when parents can learn about the bus routes and routines, and other important information, it will be shared with you.
For now, the teachers and I are about to start thinking about the planning process so we can then include the School Council, PTO, CASP (Cabot After School Program) and others in considering the needs of the Cabot community as we say good-bye to the existing Cabot and embrace the transition for the new Cabot. I will share our progress once we have some concrete information for you.
Fostering Student Responsibility for Prompt Arrival
Please ensure that your child(ren) arrive as close to 8:25 as possible so students can be in the classroom and ready for learning at 8:30. Students arriving after 8:30 should go to the office to get a tardy slip. This slip will indicate to teachers that student attendance will be reflected in our Skyward system. Teachers submit attendance online so the Office enters attendance for later arrivals. Prompt arrival allows children time to transition from home to school and to complete early morning classroom tasks or join in on Morning Meetings, essential parts of the school day.
Thank you, parents!
We have truly appreciated your efforts to abide by the Blue Zone guidelines at drop-off and dismissal times. Most families stay in their cars waiting for children and move their car forward as other cars depart. Please share these Blue Zone guidelines with others who may pick up your child(ren) such as grandparents, sitters, other family members and friends. We have also noticed that most of you are signing in at the office to obtain a Visitor’s sticker when you enter during the school day. This is a tremendous help as we continue our efforts to keep the building safe, knowing who is in the building at all times. We are appreciative of your cooperation with these practices – thank you!
Have a wonderful week! I look forward to seeing you at Back to School Night on Thursday, September 29, 6:00-8:05.