Guest Blogger: Vice Principal, Dominique Ferdinand
As soon as Diwali, the Japanese Fun Fair, and the Halloween parade occur, we know November is around the corner! November welcomes many opportunities for the community to acknowledge and celebrate holidays that gather families and friends together. It is in such spirit that we at Lawrence announce that the week of Thanksgiving to be a tech-free (almost tech free) week. Can your family engage in a screen-free week with board games and greater face-to-face interactions? We are working on it at school. It is quite a challenge, and if you stick to it, you’ll notice how much creativity and enjoyment may come out of it, and how priceless the time spent together truly is.
We are also gearing up for the season of giving by showing our gratitude for all that we have, especially acknowledging and appreciating the Indigenous land that we are living on.
At Lawrence, we donate our time and skills to others by preparing delicious apple pies to sell to our community and to give to those who cannot afford them.
Also, November is also the month when families are invited to check in with teachers on the progress that students have made thus far. Interim progress Reports (IPR) come out early in November for students in grades 6-8, while teachers in grade K-5 offer times for parents and guardians to meet with them. It is a great time to set school goals for the year and to plan how to achieve them.
October Update (Guest Blogger: Vice Principal, Dave Lindner)
Posted by Monica Crowley on 10/3/2022 7:00:00 AM
Welcome to October!
We always look forward to this month because school starts to really feel like school. We have afterschool activities and extramural sports kicking off, first field trips, picture day, and classrooms and peers that feel more familiar. There’s so much coming to look forward to.
All of what October brings would not be possible without the work that the Lawrence community has done throughout September. Our classes have been team-building, creating routines, and introducing skills and habits for a great year.
We’ve been fortunate to see Lawrence families at our first Principal/PTO gathering, as well as at our PTO’s fall picnic, and this month, we’re excited to welcome families into Lawrence for our Open House (October 12 for grades K-5, October 13 for grades 6-8).
We can’t wait to open our doors and show you all our students have been working on. Keep an eye out for details on the evening from your child’s teachers.
In the meantime, here’s a quick photo tour of our year so far.
“Todo sobre me” (All About Me) in Spanish
7th grade getting hands on with worm compost bins
Ms. Sanders visiting 3rd grade for a reading
3K repurposing leaves for art
5th grade: observing and drawing birds
Putting Lawrence values front and center in the main lobby
I hope your child/ren is/are enjoying the start of school and feels excited to be back in the building. The energy has been so joyful and uplifting. Their smiles and desire to learn have made each day a delight and so rewarding. Every classroom has been focused on learning about each child and valuing what they bring to their learning environment.
In addition to the many community building activities that have taken place and will continue to take place in every space, students in kindergarten were learning how to draw people with “Mr Mat Man”. In grade 1, they were designing and writing their own name tags and in second grade they were creating “All About Me” posters to showcase how special every student’s name is and that they are important members of their learning community.
In third grade, students selected “Just Right” books and wrote about their school and out of school goals for the year. Fourth and fifth graders were engaged in robust math lessons about writing equations and problem solving.
The middle school students were getting used to their new team of teachers while navigating from one classroom to the next over the course of each day. They have been engaged in lessons about geography, understanding the difference between quantitative and qualitative observations, using accurate math vocabulary like translation, rotation and reflection, executing science labs on surface tension, engaging in reading and writing reflections and more.
You can learn more by attending the upcoming open houses. Grades K-5 will be on Wednesday, October 12th from 6-7pm and grades 6-8 on Thursday, October 13th, 6-8pm. Open houses this year will be in person, so you will be able to see your child’s classroom and more. More information will be shared with families as we get closer to the open house dates.
Also, the PTO presidents and I will host the first PTO/Principal Forum on Wednesday, September 28th at 8:15am via Zoom. The link will be shared closer to the forum.
Important Dates to Know for the 2022-2023 School Year
School hours will be Monday-Thursday from 8:00-2:30 pm and Fridays from 8:00-1:40pm.
-All students in grades 1-8 will start school on Tuesday, September 6th, and it is a full day. (This is the day after the Labor Day Holiday.)
Staggered Start for Kindergarten Students
As we have done in years prior across the district, only half of each kindergarten class will attend on each of the first two days of school, allowing children to become familiar with their classroom, the teachers, the schedule and the routines in a smaller group setting. They will not have lunch here at school and parents/caregivers should return to school at 12:00pm to pick up their child on one of these first two days shared in an earlier email.
Students (with family support) should plan their morning to arrive in the classroom with materials and be ready to learn by 7:55am. Starting each day in class on time helps set the tone for learning all day.
The new Lawrence “Spotlight on Learning “ board in the lobby features Project Based Learning questions to be researched in 5M!
The Lawrence PTO has funded the purchase of decodable books for grades K-3. Literacy coach, Jill Demsey, will support the acquisition and organizing of the books, and provide professional development for all K-3 staff on how to use the decodable books in April.
Lawrence K-5 staff continue the important climate and culture work using the book by Zaretta Hammond, Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain. We are currently focusing on how to strengthen our “Warm Demander” profiles.
Teachers in grades 6-8 continue fine-tuning the Grading for Equity structure.
Grade 8 was able to go on their annual community building skating trip to Larz Anderson after a two-year break due to the pandemic and they are going to Farm School during the week of March 20th!
Lawrence students are showing their activist spirit and caring for others by taking actions to support climate change, the people of Ukraine, and local students in need with bake sales and a toy drive.
The students are excited about reaching an exciting milestone, DAY 100. This year, the one hundredth day is also Valentine's Day, Monday, February 14, 2022!
We have a great full week of learning ahead of us and then we have February vacation, which is during the week of February 20th.
Upon our return, classes will be finishing their door decorations, which are beautifully created displays of their learning and understanding of black history, and to honor and celebrate Black History Month. A video of the door displays will be shared in early March.
Parent Event: Social Media's Impact on Mental Health
Posted by Monica Crowley on 1/20/2022 7:00:00 AM
Dressing for Cold Temperatures
With colder temperatures, a reminder for students to dress in layers as the building is a bit colder than usual as we have windows open, particularly during unmasked snack/lunch times. With the continued Omicron surge, we are making sure that we continue to follow effective mitigation behaviors and strategies.
Lunar New Year
A reminder that all PSB schools will be closed on Tuesday, February 1 in observance of Lunar New Year! This holiday is traditionally celebrated by Asian cultures symbolizing the transition from winter, and typically involves families reuniting and gathering for a get-together meal.
PSB officially began honoring Lunar New Year last year, thanks to the efforts of then-BHS student Ashley Eng (Class of 2019). A change.org petition garnered over 750 supporters, culminating in the Brookline School Committee unanimously approving it as a school holiday in January 2020.
Please read the message below from Maria Letasz, Ed.D-Director of Guidance and Clinical Services.
Hello PSB Parents and Guardians,
The Public Schools of Brookline is offering a virtual event for parents and guardians of PreK-12 youth on Monday, February 7, 2022 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
SOCIAL MEDIA’S IMPACT ON MENTAL HEALTH: OPTIMIZING THE CONNECTION
Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook foster a culture of peer comparison and entice users to stay online longer than they intend, which can foster discouraging or negative feelings. Snapchat locations and Instagram stories cause FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), contributing to anxiety, depression, and loneliness. From this event parents/guardians and educators will learn individual and group strategies to optimize students' use of social media.
Speaker: Susan Reynolds, M.Ed. has over 20 years of experience in academic technology and digital wellbeing. In 2007 Susan founded ABC Legacy: Atoms to Bits Children's Legacy which generated the Look Up Foundation, committed to empowering teens and college students to join together to change their relationship to technology. As a teacher whose passion has always been to inspire her students to become change agents, she hopes to empower the next generation to find and implement these solutions.
The event is being brought to the PSB community through our membership to the Massachusetts Youth Partnership (MPY). The MPY membership has been generously sponsored this school year by the Brookline Education Foundation.
Maria Letasz, Ed.D.
Director of Guidance and Clinical Services, PreK-12
Brookline Thrives is back, starting Friday, September 16! Thrives is a FREE weekend food program for any and all school families who may benefit from additional food options for their children over the weekend. No qualification is necessary, but students must be registered to receive Thrives bags at school. Register Here.