Grateful For the Lawrence PTO and Brookline Education Foundation
Posted by Monica Crowley on 10/22/2018 7:00:00 AM
Dear Lawrence Families,
The staff and I could not be more grateful for the incredible support of the Lawrence PTO and the Brookline Education Foundation (BEF). The PTO raises a great deal of money every year and then uses those donations to support staff by providing stipends to every teacher to use for their classroom, award grants for staff to engage in professional development to strengthen their craft, and purchase resources that allow for greater student engagement.
Additionally, the BEF awards multiple grants every year to educators across the district. Below is a list of Lawrence recipients this past year.
Please join me for the second PTO Meeting/Principal's Coffee on Tuesday, October 30th, to hear from Lawrence teachers who have received grants in the past few years and how it is strengthening the teaching and learning in the Lawrence learning community. Your donations, both money and time, have such a positive impact on our school.
THANK YOU PTO and BEF!
2018 - 2019 LAWRENCE SCHOOL GRANTS
The following Lawrence School educators have received BEF grants:
Meredith Ritter, 3rd- 8th Grade Visual Arts
Art New England: Color Studio
Ms. Ritter will attend the “Color Studio Course with Nancy McCarthy” at an Art New
England workshop run through the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. The
workshop assists artists to take the basic concepts of value, hue, and saturation to
the next level. While working on her own practice, she also hopes to translate
knowledge and experiences from this course into her work with her middle school
students in two Brookline schools.
Kaitlin Robinson, K-3 Spanish
Attending the Northeast Conference of the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Ms. Robinson will attend the 2019 Northeast Conference of the Teaching of Foreign
Languages. The conference will address subjects including: integration of culture,
content, and language; authentic classroom discourse; and performance-based
assessment. She hopes to acquire concrete techniques and activities to apply to her
Spanish classes, as well as learn new things that will inspire her work.
Kathleen Moriarty, Librarian
Diverse Learners, Diverse Libraries: American Library Association Annual Conference
Librarians from three Brookline schools will attend the 2018 Annual Conference of
the American Library Association. This conference brings together leaders in the
field and will expose participants to new materials, enhance their knowledge on
diverse books and authors, and inform them about programming occurring in
schools and public libraries nationwide. Our librarians will focus particularly on
enhancing their knowledge of current and diverse materials and methods for the K-
12 student body, and bring new ideas and energy toward the ongoing goal of
building collections that reflect the diversity of students in the Brookline district.
They will share this knowledge with all school librarians in the Brookline schools.
Kaitlin Robinson, K-3 Spanish
Fostering Spanish Language Comprehension and Literacy with Puppets
This collaborative grant will allow six elementary Spanish teachers to receive
puppetry training through workshops with Brookline Puppet Showplace Theater.
These teachers will then work together to design engaging lessons and materials
that will apply to their curriculum. They will implement the work in their classes,
which they expect will bring the language to life and increase student
Susan Flegenheimer, Russell Morin, Nicole Poirier, Speech and Language
Speech and Language ASHA National Conference 2018
Speech and language pathologists from every Brookline school will join other field
professionals to attend the 2018 American Speech Language and Hearing
Association (ASHA) national conference taking place in Boston. This premier
conference of speech and language offers opportunities to learn about the latest
research, clinical practice, skills, and resources needed to improve school based
SLPs’ work, and the chance to network with national and international leaders in the
Jill Demsey, Literacy Coach
Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Coaching Institute, Year 2
This grant will allow the remaining seven Brookline Literacy Coaches to attend the
Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project Coaching Institute. Last year, four
coache, including Lawrence's Dianne Muendel, attended the Institute through a BEF grant. The coaches will strengthen
their knowledge of the writing curriculum that the District adopted three years ago,
and will be able to support teachers through classroom coaching and professional
Lawrence educators will also participate in the following Systemwide
Leadership Team Retreats
In the 2018 - 2019 school year, the District Leadership Team includes a high
number of administrators in their first or second year in Brookline, or in interim
positions. This BEF grant will extend District Leadership team building and
leadership development work by funding three off-site retreats to be held
throughout the academic year.
New and Interim Principal/Administrator Mentoring Program
Recognizing the importance of the first few years in a new leadership role, as well as
the ongoing transition in the Principal positions, this grant, now in its third year, will
continue to support new and interim Brookline School leaders with a mentoring
Grades 6-8 Interim Progress Reports and Report Cards
Posted by Monica Crowley on 10/11/2018 7:00:00 PM
Dear Lawrence 6-8 Families,
First quarter Interim Progress Reports were published for students and parents/guardians on the Parent Portal on October 11, 2018. (If you have not logged on to the portal-it is necessary to do so in order to view IPR grades and future report cards. Dates of future IPRs and report cards are below. Please scroll all the way down)
If you have any questions about log in process, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Please know that there are no IPR grades for the first quarter for art, PE, conservatory and health as they only meet either once or twice a week, and the staff is still getting to know your children. Grades for these classes will be included on the first quarter report card to be issued on the portal on November 15th.
Positive Communication: One Tool for Success
All students want to be successful. We all want our children to develop a love of learning that enables them to discover their strengths and passions as they bolster areas of development.
In an article called “The Paradox of Pushing our Kids to Succeed,“ Dr. Lynn Margolies suggests: “Our teens are embedded in a culture driven by competition and perfectionism, where by success is defined by status, performance and appearance. These values are transmitted to our children through our emotional state and through what we notice, are impressed with, and praise or discourage them in…
Pushing teens to be the best is well-intentioned…Ironically, parents’ hyper vigilance about teen’s grades and future success backfires psychologically and academically. When parents are overly invested in performance, kids are less likely to develop their own, more sustainable, motivation.
Further making the stakes too high engenders fear, leading teens to avert possible failure at all costs. This level of stress propels homework avoidance, compromises executive functions, inhibits curiosity and new challenges and increases lying.”
Both home and school supports are instrumental in the academic, social and emotional growth of every child. Throughout the year students receive reports that indicate how they are achieving at a given time. These updates are provided to communicate how students are doing in their classes and provide information to help guide discussions that focus on continued success and/or improvements in the future.
Grades 6-8 Interim Progress Reports/Report Cards:
Interim progress reports are given half way through each quarter. This is a great time to talk to your child about how he/she feels he/she is doing in each class. If he/she has concerns or questions, contacting the teacher at this point is helpful to discuss the issue and create a plan for improvement.
In addition to Interim Progress Reports, report cards are given at the end of each quarter to share with parents/guardians how their child performed during the term. It should be used as a tool to self reflect on the past term and make goals for the upcoming term.
Reviewing IPRs and report cards should be a positive and productive learning experience:
Discussion, not lecture-Ask your child to share his/her reaction to the report. Ask him/her to reflect on his/her effort in class and on homework to see if he/she can draw a connection between his/her daily input and grades.
Praise your child for behaviors you have seen over the term. Try to highlight a positive behavior even if a particular class has a low grade.
Discuss areas of development by focusing on behaviors and skills needed to make them better. Focus on short-term goals connected to these behaviors and skills. It is important to share that we all have strengths and areas of challenge. Look for positive patterns in one class that can be applied to a more challenging course.
Make it clear that any consequences given directly relate to the goal for improvement. For example, limiting time on computer to increase time spent on homework.
Communicate with your child’s teacher. Ask him/her for suggestions/strategies that will help your child improve. (first name_last email@example.com)
Modeling how to work with the teacher is a strong lesson for every student. The hope is that each child will learn over time how to self advocate and get the help the need.
2017-2018 Interim Progress Reports and Report Card Dates for Grades 6-8
10/11/18-Term 1 IPRs-available to view on Parent Portal
11/15/18-Term 1 Report Cards- available to view on Parent Portal
12/21/18- Term 2 IPRs- available to view on Parent Portal
2/7/19- Term 2 Report Cards- available to view on Parent Portal
3/14/19- Term 3 IPRs- available to view on Parent Portal
4/25/19- Term 3 Report Cards- available to view on Parent Portal
5/23/18- Term 4 IPRs- available to view on Parent Portal
Term 4 Report Cards-Approximately 3 days after the last day of school- available to view on Parent Portal
I write to share a friendly reminder that the doors to school open at 7:50am. All students and families are asked to wait outside until 7:50am. However, if you child eats breakfast at school, s/he can enter the side doors that go to the cafeteria at 7:30am. The doors will not open before 7:30am, as we do not have adults to supervise students before 7:30am. Thanks for your support with this procedure!
Principal/Vice Principals’ Blog
October 1, 2018
The love is apparent. Lawrence has come alive with a flurry of activity, awe, and wonderment as students and teachers eagerly explore new topics from government to goal setting and everything in between. Venturing into sixth grade science class, students could be found weighing carrots during an experiment, calculating the amount of water lost and creating diagrams to convey this information within groups. During a second grade writing lesson, students readily shared their Stories of Self as they explored their individual identities. An eighth grade Social Studies lesson delved into rights, responsibilities, laws, and their derivation. Third graders treated passers-by to an impromptu performance of “Hot Cross Buns” on recorders as sweet symphonic sounds from Conservatory classes in grades 4-8 wafted through the air, from strings and brass to a beautiful chorus of melodic voices. World Language presentations kicked off in high gear as middle schoolers partnered with teachers to build linguistic proficiency through reading, writing, listening, and speaking while K-5 students moved fluidly through target vocabulary with fun games and activities.
Our students’ successes are our own. Through collective teacher efficacy, family engagement, and administrative support, we can move the needle toward ensuring students’ success today and tomorrow and in the years to come. The love, drive, passion, and commitment of our staff, students, and families are evident strengths of our school community. Building upon these partnerships through shared ownership, we believe we can catalyze our students’ growth and success collaboratively.
As we walk through the halls and visit classrooms, the energy is contagious and the excitement spills over into bright smiles and bubbly greetings. We are humbled to be a part of something so much greater than ourselves. The Lawrence community is a tightly knit family dedicated to expert teaching, expert learning, and educational equity. Be on the lookout for even greater things to come. Most of all, thank you so much for sharing your wonderful children with us!
It was such a joy to greet your children as they walked through the front doors and into the school on September 6th. As they marched bravely into a new school year, with new teachers, new peers, and new routines, our hearts went out to them for we too have experienced the same anticipation around starting the school year. We feel so grateful to be here at Lawrence, where staff and families have been so welcoming to the three of us.
It’s been a wonderful beginning to the school year. Over the course of the first couple of weeks, we’ve seen your students participate in creating their classroom communities. They’ve written their names and drawn self-portraits, created bar graphs of their birthdays, and developed systems for organizing their work in each subject. We have particularly enjoyed sitting in on opening and closing meetings, where students greet each other and review the days plans, then reflect on the day at the end. During an all-fourth-grade assembly, one student gave another a shout-out for “being kind to everyone.” Another mentioned that one of their peers accepted the rules for a game without complaining even a bit. These are just snippets of the type of community building that we’ve seen across the school.
At the same time, academic work is well underway. In science, we’ve seen students create to-scale models of the solar system and draw detailed scientific diagrams. A middle school French class filled in the words of a popular French song while elementary school students singing in Spanish can be heard throughout the school building. Students have reinvigorated their reading lives by choosing just right books and recommending books to their classmates. In math, we observed students sharing multiple strategies for finding the area of a parallelogram. Finally, classrooms discussed the news of the week, including the science and possible effects of Hurricane Florence. We can already see that students will be engaged in both academic learning and the wider world around them through their experiences at Lawrence this year.
Thank you again for your support at the beginning of this school year, and we look forward to sharing more happenings at our school as the year goes along.
Welcome and welcome back to the Lawrence School! For those of you new to the Lawrence community, I extend a special welcome. I am excited for the 2018-2019 school year and hope that you and your children are rested, recharged and ready to learn!
I rejoined the Lawrence community this past July after having been away for four years as principal of the Upper Coolidge Corner School. I return with fresh eyes and great energy, as well as a particular appreciation of the strength of the Lawrence community. This past June and over the summer, I held one-on-one conversations with nearly 70 staff members and met several families. Across the board, I was impressed by people’s commitment to support the needs of each child at the Lawrence School. I have learned that people are eager to strengthen relationships and recommit to the school’s vision. I really loved hearing this feedback and am including a few excerpts of the school’s vision below, which I believe represent the collective hopes of how we can move forward.
Amos A. Lawrence School is a safe, just and caring learning community of students, staff and families. We are a vibrant learning community with high expectations for academic excellence.
At Lawrence School, students learn to respect themselves and others and to value and honor the diversity of cultures, backgrounds, and learning differences
Lawrence School values and encourages families to be active, involved, and well-informed partners in the learning process.
Communication is key to maintaining a strong home/school partnership.
I truly believe that the Lawrence School community is eager to come together and support each other on behalf of all of our students. We have 180 opportunities (not just days) to make sure that every child is happy and engaged in learning. It is not an easy goal, but the Lawrence staff and community is up to the task. I believe we will come together and support each other on behalf of all our students, and I am excited to begin working with all of you. Here’s to a great school year!