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Elementary School Grades K-3

Principal: Melodie Goodwin, M.Ed.
Administrative Assistant: Tami Silk
Senior Elementary Principal
: Joan Schell, Ed.D.

2014-2015 Registration
Enroll for Grades 1-3; Enroll for Kindergarten


AprilDownload a copy of the April NewsletterApril

Greetings from Newton,
Flowers1April is a month of transitions.  As the weather changes schools start the process of sharing information about students transitioning to a new grade or school.  Our third grade students will visit Greenfield Middle School on April 11th.  During their visit they will have the opportunity to ask questions of fourth grade students and teachers about life at GMS.  This is an exciting field trip for Third Grade! At the same time we are welcoming our new Kindergarten, The Class of 2027, with special t-shirts, school visits and smiles. 

On April 8th our Kindergarten students will be going to Shea Theater to see The Pirate, the Princess and the Pea.  The Second Grade will be going to the Shea on April 10th to see Wolf!  The Third Grade will attend the Symphony at Greenfield High School on the same day.  The First Grade has a special trip planned for May.  Permission slips will be coming home and must be signed for students to participate in these events.

April Vacation will be from April 21-25 and we are all hoping for a week of sunshine and relaxation.

Happy Spring!
Melodie Goodwin

Please remember to update the school with current phone numbers and contacts for your child.
413-772-1370 ext. 0 or ext. 100

Upcoming Events

April 1st
PTO 6:00 Newton Library

April 8
Kindergarten Shea Theater 10:00

April 10
Second Grade Shea Theater 10:00

April 10
Third Grade Pioneer Valley Symphony

April 11
Third Grade Visits GMS

Music1Wednesday April 30th
 Arts Showcase
All School Meeting 8:30
Performances by: 3rd Grade Recorder Students, Strings for Kids Students, 1st grade Musical “A Year with Frog and Toad,” and an All-School Sing-a-long

May 13 and 15

Newton Calendar April 2014

Kindergarten Team News March 2014
Kindergartners continue to be very busy.  They are excited to be improving their reading and writing, and they love learning new games and sight words that help them with this skill.  Please continue to do LEXIA at home to keep their skills sharp!

We will be going to the Shea Theater on Tuesday, April 8 to see The Pirate, The Princess and The Pea.

As Earth Day approaches, we will explore some ways that we can help take care of our beautiful planet.  We will also be going outside to observe the many changes that have taken place now that Spring is here.

Happy Spring!

First Grade News
Flowers 3Let's talk spring! Our reading is even focused on all things springy... changes in nature like caterpillars and butterflies, blossoms and buds sprouting, birds returning... all things that bring us warmer weather! So, where is it?

First graders have been making awesome reading progress on Lexia! They are all earning certificates to show for their hard work! Congratulations! Way to go!

Math has focused on learning about the similarities/differences between geometric solids and plane shapes, congruency, and lines of symmetry.

Our surprise first grade destination field trip is scheduled for May 21st! Stay tuned...

Happy Spring, Ms. Warren, Mrs. Hayes, Mrs. Brown

Flowers4 Flowers4 Flowers4


Second Grade News
Second graders have been very busy during the month of March.  Students have been working especially hard in reading, using the computer program Lexia.  The competitive spirit is showing through in their quest to win awards at the end of the month for their successful completion of a reading level!

In Social Studies, we have been researching the continents and oceans of the world, finishing off our studies with an essay and poster.  Ask your child which continent they worked on, and they will be able to give you some interesting facts.

In math, we moved into geometry with hands-on study of shapes, slides, flips, turns, and congruence.  There was a lot of new vocabulary in this lesson.  We are now working with fractions, or pieces of a whole shape, and are looking forward to our next lesson on telling time.

We continue to learn about social issues in second grade as well.  We had an interesting and fun assembly on bullying early in the month and spent some time discussing and writing about what bullying looks, feels, and sounds like.

Most of all, we are looking forward to spring and all of the beauty it brings!

Ms. Cloutier      Ms. McIver       Ms. Sherry


Easter Eggs
Easter Eggs
Easter Eggs

Grade 3 News: Happy Spring from the Third Grade!!!!!
Awards for moving up at least one level during the month of March!!!!  Jayson, Lexy, Aneesa, Joe B., Cassie, Kenneth, Natalie, Phoebe, Kameryn, Hunter, Kaine, Ivan, Emma, Riley, Anna, Rikku, Angelina, Dragos, Tyler, Joey W., Abby, Ayden, Leah, Destiny, Cameron, Josie, Ryan, Natalia, Kiana, Diana, Ava, Matt, Izaiah, Joslynn, Karisma, Latayvion, Maverick, Noah, Heaven, Khalil, Jacey, Thomas, Zaday, Soriya, Marcellus, Julian

Music… Ivan and Phoebe                                  
Theater… Anna, Angelina, Emma, Natalie
Art… Kameryn, Phoebe, Dragos                                            
Gym… Joe B.

In Mrs. Iacuessa’s Class a volunteer is coming in twice a week to meet with Phoebe, Anna, Cassie, Abby, and Aneesa for a book club. They are reading The Red Pyramid.

In Mr. Stone’s Class Ayden, Leah, Riana and Ava are meeting for a novel group on the book Bunnicula.

Miss Witherell's 3rd Graders, including Heaven, Julian, Soriya, and Zaday, have started a reading club with Jacqueline Davis' The Lemonade Wars.

Chapter 7 Math test 90% - 100%
Congratulations to …Ayden, Destiny, Cameron, Josie, Ryan, Allie, Natalia, Riana, Diana, Ava, Matt, Izaiah, Joslynn, Karisma, Latayvian, Maverick, Noah

Science Study

Miss Witherell's 3rd Grade also launched into Space for a unit of study around the Moon, Planets, and the Stars.

PTO News
Flowers6It’s finally Spring! Soon it'll be nice and warm and all the snow that covers my front yard will be gone. I can't wait as the winter has been way too long and cold for us this year.

With the coming of Spring we will be working on gardens and a bit of a clean-up at Newton School. An official date hasn't been set yet, but if there is a day or afternoon that you can go and rake for an hour or so please send us an email ( and I will spread the word.

Lots of fun was had at Newton's annual Bingo for Books event- it was packed and lots of books went to new homes. We also had a great turn-out for or Dining for a Cause night at the 99 Restaurant and raised $350!

With these fundraisers we are able to help our students go on field trips at no cost. We are also able to help pay for programs that come to the school such as Jay Banks to spoke to the kids about being U.N.A.F.R.A.ID when they are put in a bullying situation. It was a great presentation.

Save the dates: May 20th-23rd Scholastic book fair! Buy 1 get 1 free!

At our April 1st meeting we will be voting on officers for next year as well as talking about our upcoming events and garden plans. The meeting is held in the school library from 6-7.

Did you know you can keep up with us on the web? We post our meeting minutes as well as new and announcements at or find us on Facebook:

Flowers 1
Flowers 1
Flowers 1

Health News
When most adults think about exercise they imagine working out in the gym on a treadmill or lifting weights.

But for kids, exercise means playing and being physically active.  Kids exercise when they have gym classes at school, during recess, at dance class or soccer, while riding bikes, or when playing tag.

Besides enjoying the health benefits of regular exercise, kids who are physically fit sleep better and are better able to handle physical and emotional challenges – from running to catch the bus to studying for a test.

If you have ever watched kids on a playground, you’ve seen the 3 elements of fitness in action when they:

  1. Run away from the kid who is “it”  (endurance)
  2. Cross the monkey bars (strength)
  3. Bend down to pick up a ball (flexibility)

Parents should encourage their kids to do a variety of activities so that they can work on all three elements.
Healthy, physically active kids are more likely to be academically motivated, alert, and successful.

Melissa Bednarski, RN
flowers 3
flowers 3
flowers 3

Reader’s Oath
I promise to read
Each day and each night.
I know it's the key
To growing up right.
I'll read to myself,
I'll read to a crowd.
It makes no difference
If silent or loud.
I'll read at my desk,
At home and at school,
On my bean bag or bed,
By the fire or pool.
Each book that I read
Puts smarts in my head,
'Cause brains grow more thoughts
The more they are fed.
So I take this oath
To make reading my way
Of feeding my brain
What it needs every day.

Cat in the Hat

Curious George Visits Newton, February 2014

Curious George 1
Curious George was so excited to be at Newton School for kindergarten registration!
Curious George 2
He met Mrs. Brown…
Curious George 3
Mrs. Encarnacao…
Curious George 4
And Mrs. Swist!
Curious George 5
He read a book about his adventures!
Curious George 6
George loves to read!
Curious George 7
He also loves to play in the Gym!
Curious George 8
George was excited to see the Cat in the Hat for Dr. Suess’ birthday!
Curious George 9
He met lots of kids excited about school and excited about reading!
Curious George 10
The kids showed George around the school!
Curious George 11
George had a lot of fun at Newton!
Curious George 12
What an exciting day!

I have a Dream Slideshow
Martin Luther King, Jr. Slideshow
January 2014

100 Days Celebration

100 Days Photo 1
Ms. Witherell’s third grade explains how they will be
taking data from the Olympics and reporting it to each
class. Every class has chosen a country to keep track
of during the winter games. This third grade is
representing Norway.
100 Days Photo 2
Team Norway!
100 Days Photo 3
Students are awarded at our hundred day ceremony
for their hard work with Lexia and perfcect attendance!
100 Days Photo 4
Celebrating hard work with Lexia and perfcect attendance!
100 Days Photo 5
100 day celebratory hats
100 Days Photo 6
100 day celebratory hats
100 Days Photo 7
Students in 2nd Grade celebrate 100 days in school
by finding 100 objects, including 100 Uno cards,
pennies and cereal!
100 Days Photo 8
Counting those objects
100 Days Photo 9
More items to count

Winter Pictures

Newton Winter Pic
Mrs. Waren's and Mrs. Swist's classes sing about Santa
Newton Winter Pic
Newton Winter Pic
Mrs. Witherell's class sang about walking in the snow.
Newton Winter Pic
Mrs. Cloutier's class sang about the sun.
Newton Winter Pic
The 2nd and 3rd grade chorus was all smiles
Newton Winter Pic

Newton Winter Pic
We also had some special guess from the high school
come and sing for us.

Newton Winter Pic
Newton Winter Pic Newton Winter Picture
Newton Winter Picture
Newton students had fun playing in the snow.
Luckily, they all were dressed warm in lots of layers.
Newton Winter Picture
Newton Winter Picture

January 29th UMASS Women’s Basketball  VS George Washington

Student Support for UMass
Newton students show their support for UMass!
School Pride
Newton students exhibit school pride!
Sam the Minuteman
Newton students enjoyed meeting Sam the Minuteman at the UMass basketball game!

Matt Caron from 22 News comes to visit Newton School

Math with Students
Mrs. Iacuessa’s class poses with their guest reader

Matt Caron
Matt told Mrs. Iacuessa’s class all about being a news anchor
Matt with Students
Matt shares his favorite book with Mr. Stone’s class
Matt with Students
Mr. Stone’s class poses with their famous reader
Matt with Students
Mrs. Cloutier’s class poses with their famous guest!
Principal Melodie Goodwin with Matt Caron
Mrs. Goodwin and her former middle school student turned celebrity, Matt Caron!
Student with Microphone
A student examines Mr. Caron's microphone

If your child is going to be late for school, please call 772-1370 ext. 0 or ext. 104 before 8:30 to order a lunch.

MA Expanded Learning Time Initiative: Farther Reaching than You Think
By Shaunda Lewis on March 26, 2013 - 1:47pm
Shaunda Lewis is a coordinator for Massachusetts 2020. Massachusetts 2020 is a state affiliate of NCTL.

The Massachusetts Expanded Learning Time (ELT) Initiative serves 10 districts throughout the Commonwealth, but none as small or remote than the city of Greenfield. Greenfield, which is situated in the northwestern section of the state, is defined by its scenic views. With a majority of the population residing in the “Boston Bubble” it is sometimes difficult to have that small-state sense of community come to life. But, even in the shadow of its resource-rich neighbors to the east, there seems to be no lack of positive energy emanating from the people that live and work in Greenfield; a positive energy that is especially felt amongst its smallest inhabitants and their teachers.


Greenfield, which serves about 2,000 students, has been implementing an expanded school day at its middle school and one of its four elementary schools for the past six years. Both schools were a part of the MA ELT Initiative’s third cohort and have been receiving technical assistance from Massachusetts 2020 since joining the ELT network. Greenfield’s ELT elementary school, Newton School, has responded extremely well to the support they have been receiving, and have made a number of considerable improvements. Newton established a strong instructional focus on comprehension across their expanded school day, and as a result, has increased the percentage of their students proficient or above on the MCAS by nineteen points in ELA and 16 points in Math since 2008. Greenfield being a city where the median household income is about $39,000 doesn’t make it much different from the other districts the MA ELT initiative supports, but what does set it apart is the limited amount of resources its schools are able to utilize. The combination of these two characteristics, plus the fact that about seventy-two percent of Newton’s students qualify for free or reduced lunch, makes it amazing to see the level of improvement the school has made over this short amount of time. While improvements in data and instructional practices at the schools our organization supports is great to see on paper, and hear of from others, nothing is as priceless as being able to see that improvement in action. 

In between the full-day technical assistance workshops Massachusetts 2020 holds for its MA ELT schools, clusters of school teams gather together for cross-school sharing in their improvement efforts. I recently had a chance to visit Newton Elementary School, with the four other elementary schools that the ELT initiative supports, when they hosted the Elementary Cluster Meeting. We were there to witness first-hand why Newton has had such success in implementing their expanded school day. The first thing I noticed when walking through the front doors is that there are no shortage of warm greetings and smiling faces from both faculty and students. Even with a high level of structure in place, students’ spirits are high. Walking through the classrooms, from kindergarten through third grade, common comprehension strategies tied to their school-wide focus are implemented by the faculty and visually displayed. Students know routines, are respectful of each other and their teachers, and are able to explain their work. 

For example, one common strategy I saw in a number of classrooms used to help students explain their work is “TTQA”. In all classrooms, a teacher says “TTQA” and the students “Turn the Question Around”, responding to questions in complete sentences. Another common comprehension strategy used in all classrooms is Question and Answer Relationships (QAR). In Ms. Warren's first grade class, a beautiful visual display of QAR is what helps guide students through the reading comprehension portion of the day. The Problem of the Day is the number one common practice used during math time and its rubric is always displayed and consistent throughout all classrooms. When I visited Mr. Stone's third grade class, students checked their work to the problem of the day by using the rubric and taking turns writing down their answer to each piece of the question.


At Newton Elementary, seamless systems are consistent throughout each classroom, which in turn creates an environment where time is hardly wasted and learning is constantly occurring. Common practices are implemented consistently, school-wide, in large part due to the expanded time that teachers have to collaborate. Yes, these systems have led the school to great achievements, but even with all these systems in place, it is evident that a large part of the success at Newton Elementary in due to the fact that the faculty, and in turn the students, remain positive and are willing to learn. The high morale and warm and intimate setting of the school is reflective of the community of Greenfield. Even amidst a secluded location, and challenging economic conditions, there is never a lack of again, warm greetings and smiling faces. Visiting Newton reminded me that while our urban schools need support, schools in rural communities need it as well. Newton Elementary School in Greenfield, Massachusetts is an example of how commitment to instructional coherence, and a positive attitude, can go a long way.

Stop & Shop A+ School Rewards
Dear Parents:
Newton School has enrolled in Stop & Shop A+ School Rewards program. Starting November 1, 2013 through March 29, 2014, Newton School will have the opportunity to earn cash through Stop & Shop A+ School Rewards Program.

All you have to do is:
Log on to to register online
Dial 1-877-275-2758 to register your card over the phone.

Note:  Please notify the office by note ahead of time or before 3:00 p.m. if there is a change of dismissal plans for your child.

Newton ELT
Newton Expanded Learning Time Movie
Windows Media wmv or QuickTime mov

Newton Art 2011
Newton Students Summer Art with Tina Clark


Patrick-Murray Administration Releases 2010 School and District MCAS Results; Names 187 Commendation Schools (Newton School is one of them! See below.)

School Leaders Hail Improved Performance and Success at Closing Achievement Gaps

BOSTON - Governor Deval Patrick and state education officials today released the 2010 school and district MCAS results and hailed the achievement of 187 newly-named "Commendation Schools" across the state for their academic growth and continued success in closing achievement gaps. The Commendation Schools, announced at Boston's Eliot Elementary School, were recognized for their steady progress in raising student achievement while at the same time demonstrating a consistent narrowing of achievement gaps among students. "There are so many great success stories in schools across this Commonwealth because of the efforts of administrators, teachers, students and parents who are united and committed to making every effort to ensure that every child that walks through the door receives a high quality education," said Governor Patrick. "I congratulate all of these schools on their outstanding achievement."

"We know the recent good news in our public education system is the result of a focused effort to provide every child with effective teaching and learning that inspires students for opportunities to advance in the classroom today and in the future," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "Our unwavering focus on raising expectations will ensure the next generation of leaders in the Commonwealth are well prepared to succeed."

Annual Yearly Progress (AY) measures district and school progress toward annual performance targets in English Language Arts (ELA) and Math. Those that fail to meet their targets in the aggregate or for any of their subgroups for two or more consecutive years receive an accountability status and are required to take steps to focus efforts on improving student performance. Alternately, schools and districts are removed from the list when they make their targets for two consecutive years.

Among the 62 schools exiting status are: Joseph Lee Elementary and Michael J. Perkins Elementary in Boston, East Middle School in Braintree, Newton School in Greenfield, the George H Dunbar, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas R. Rodman elementary schools in New Bedford, Park Avenue Elementary in Webster, Nelson Place in Worcester, Benjamin Banneker Charter School, and Sheffield Elementary School in Gill-Montague ( Congratulations to everyone at Newton School for our great accomplishments!
Newton’s Instructional Focus:

A coordinated school-wide effort to have all Newton School students demonstrate growth in their ability to read, comprehend, and respond to open response questions in all academic areas using relevant information and supporting details from the text for support.

Newton School…
Where Readers Lead
Mathletes Count!

Newton Movie Highlights:

grade 2 signing

Holiday Signing, Grade 2

Fractions, Part 2
Grade 1
Fractions, Part 2

Happy children

Teacher Sites:

Ms. Rachel Cronen-Townsend's Web site:

Elizabeth Markofski, Music Teacher (Discovery School @ Four Corners, Federal Street Elementary, Newton School)

Ms. Jacqueline Swist-Kindergarten

Newton School Art Show

To view the art slideshow, click here!

"Art is essential to learning--not just an educational frill. Learning about the visual arts gives students a window onto the rich and interesting world around them, teaching them about their own history and culture, as well as those of other people. It cultivates self-expression, imagination and creativity as well as critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Students who learn about art develop their capacities to weigh meanings and make evaluations and judgments. Understanding and making art can teach students how to work cooperatively in groups and how to work hard to achieve a goal."

The Value of Art Education:
Education in the Arts and Through the Arts,
National PTA & Getty Center for the Arts (

Page last updated: April 1, 2014




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