Thursday, December 20, 2018

Happy New Year....Almost

There is a chill and a great deal of excitement in the air. With one more day to go until break, everyone is excited and ready to enjoy time with family, friends and their pillows! I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a joyous holiday season and prosperous, happy and healthy New Year.

It seems like school just started and we are a third of the way through the year. Students have already shown so much growth and continue to impress us every. We have such a special learning community here at Conant. Everyone (teachers, parents, administrators) works together to ensure the best for our students and it shows. I find our children to be engaging, respectful and eager learners who challenges, friendships and fun. Thank you all for being such an important part of our community.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Thanksgiving is Near!

Personally I cannot believe that we have Thanksgiving break this week. It seems like yesterday we were opening up for the new school year. This has been a very busy month and a little family time will do us all some good. So far, it seems like the weather will be keeping us all on our toes. Make sure you update those powerschool emergency cards with your most current information so you can be notified of school closings and delays. Hopefully we won't have many of them this year. Updating that cards is just the first step in being prepared for winter.

 Just to remind you, we have outdoor recess unless it is raining or dangerously cold. Students need fresh air so please ensure your child is prepared for the weather. Coats, boots, hats, mittens or gloves and lots of layers help children stay warm outside and regulate their temperature inside. The temperature in the school can be variable at times so it is important for children to have a sweater or sweatshirt they can put on or take off to make themselves more comfortable throughout the day. As students get older they may argue that they don’t need a coat, don’t believe them...they get cold outside so go ahead and force the issue. Tell them they won’t look cool if they look freezing cold. 

This is also the time of year when the dredded cold virus starts to hit everyone. Parents are often confused about when they should or should not send their children to school. We all realize you know your children best but there are times when you should never send a sick child to school. If a child has a fever that has not been gone for more than 12 hours without medication and when a child has been vomiting and it has been less than 24 hours since he/she last was sick. When fevers are masked with medication and when a child has been vomiting and 24 hours has not passed, you endanger the entire school population when you send your child to school. Please help us all stay safe.

Of course, we here at the Conant School are all aware of how much we have to be thankful for. We have wonderful children, supportive families and amazing colleagues. We thank you all for your continued support and for allowing us to part of your lives every day! Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

A Chill in The Air

Hello Conant Families!

Mid October is already here even though it feels a bit more like December today. As you know we are holding our amazing annual craft fair on Sunday. Thank you in advance for all who have volunteered to help and if you haven't, we can still use you. Sign up, the day is a lot of fun. Our PTO has their own website. Book mark it and sign up for the weekly news flash to stay up to date on all of our fun activities.

As the weather changes, so does the temperature in the school. Heating an older building is sometimes difficult with some rooms being warmer than others. It is always a good idea for children to dress in layers so that they can add one if they are chilly or remove one if they are too warm. It is very important that you stay tuned into the weather as some students feel shorts and t shirts are appropriate year round. They do need your guidance and even when they fight you about what to wear, they are happy when they are not freezing at recess.

MCAS scores should have been emailed home by the district, if you have not received scores, let us know and we will help get them to you. Always remember that MCAS scores are a data point for a child's performance over a short period of time. If you are ever concerned over test results, consult with your child's teacher as she/he always has a better view of a child's overall development. MCAS is one data point, the teachers have many!

As always, we are thankful that you share your wonderful children with us every day. We see endless potential on our students and want them to enjoy learning, learn from mistakes and realize that their effort is the ket to success. Remind them of the power of yet; if you can;t do something, you can't do it yet. With effort, you'll achieve your goals. there is no stronger message children can receive that that. Reward hard work over perfect scores and they will develop strong work habits and a love of learning. Enjoy the fall, snow will be here before we know it! Go Sox, Go Pats, Go Celtics and Go Bruins!!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

What Makes Conant Special?

Conant is a very special place. Here is a piece of my K-Night presentation that, I think, shows our strengths as a learning community.

The motto here at Conant for many years has been “the whole child is the whole idea”. We truly believe that each person (student, parent, and staff member) should feel valued and respected as an individual. We believe that lifelong learning is essential and that a stimulating and nurturing environment should be provided so that students experience success and feel the challenges and joy associated with learning. Students must be emotionally ready to learn, if they are in crisis or attention is required to support a student’s mental health, we make that our focus and make academics secondary. Once the student is back on track, then we can shift the focus back to learning.

We all know that within a classroom, there are many types of students with many different strengths. Instruction here at Conant is designed to allow all students, no matter what their learning style, strengths or challenges may be, the opportunity to experience success. The teachers here at Conant are masters at matching instructional methods with the needs of the children in front of them. Students at Conant experience project based learning, cooperative learning, independent challenges, long term projects, varied assessments and differentiated opportunities to share their knowledge. Because of our rich curriculum and more importantly the ability of our teachers to vary instructional methodologies, all students here at Conant experience the joys of success through strong effort and become internally motivated to learn rather than motivated by external factors like grades.

So what does this look like? In any given week,one can enter a classroom several times and see students performing a scene to show an understanding of the book they are currently reading, a group project, students working independently with a Math app with iPads or chromebooks, students working in a small group with the teacher and a whole class discussion about a topic from history. I also see, no matter what the assignment or project may be, students being praised for effort, students supporting each other and comfortable, yet respectful conversations between students and adults.

Conant is a community. Parents are vital to our success and are welcomed. Our PTO and staff work together to bring us all together throughout the year for a variety of events like our upcoming ice cream social, our annual craft fair, movie nights, pumpkin fest, breakfast with families and many more. Parents can chair events, hold officer positions on the board or simply volunteer an hour or two at an event. Parents often volunteer in our classrooms and our Library as well.