Starting the day the right way: Newton students participate in Safe Routes to School program
Getting ready to walk to the Newton School along Elm St in Greenfield Thursday morning.
The Mayor accompanied the group of students walking instead of riding the bus.
Photo by: Recorder/Paul Franz
By TOM RELIHAN
Thursday, April 30, 2015
(Published in print: Friday, May 1, 2015)
GREENFIELD — Today, students at the Newton School on Shelburne Road “started the day the right way.”
That’s what Superintendent Jordana Harper told a group of about 40 students during the state Department of Transportation’s Massachusetts Safe Routes to School recognition event, held outside the school’s front doors Thursday afternoon.
This week marked the first time the school participated in the program, which seeks to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution near schools, while increasing the health, safety and physical activity of elementary and middle school students. With Newton’s involvement, all of Greenfield’s elementary schools are now participating.
Harper told the students that she holds fond memories from when she walked to school as a child, times during which she and friends chatted and searched for interesting new leaves.
Harper said the program wasn’t just a matter of walking to school. It was an example of collaboration between numerous town committees, groups, families and officials to find a smart way to start each day.
Jana Linhart, MassDOT’s school outreach coordinator, said about 660 schools across the state participate in the program.
“Walking helps students reduce traffic and it’s a healthy physical activity,” said Linhart. “It helps make sure there’s fewer cars and more sustainable options to get to school.”
“Imagine the number of cars we could get off the road by walking or riding bikes,” Linhart said. “Imagine if you did it every single day, how many less cars there would be.”
At her invitation, one student enthusiastically shouted “Probably zero!”
Greenfield Mayor William Martin said he thinks one of the best aspects of walking to school is getting out early in the morning and late in the afternoon to walk with friends and discovering new things about nature.
“It can be so exciting in the spring and summer, there’s so many things changing in the land. How many of you saw some new sticks today, or a new flower?” Martin said to the gathered students.
Martin vowed to find ways to make it safe for students to walk to school every day, not just twice a month, if that’s what they wanted to do.
Greetings from Newton School,
It has been a very long winter and Newton School is looking forward to the warmth of spring. We are very excited to welcome the Class of 2028! Kindergarten registration is open to all families and we look forward to meeting the newest members of our family. It was recently decided that grade four would remain at elementary schools. Third grade families still have the option of applying to The Math and Science Academy for fourth grade. At Newton School our two modular classrooms have to be removed and this may impact our grade four. We are hopeful that the town will approve funding to replace our classrooms. Please let your local town councilor know how important it is to keep fourth grade at Newton School.
We finish our third grade PARCC testing on April 6th and to celebrate we have the Tanglewood Marionettes coming on April 7th to present Cinderella. This is something special we look forward to every year. Children get to see a story brought to life in an amazing way. On April 9th the third grade will be attending the Pioneer Valley Symphony at GMS. Our children are excited about music and enjoy experiencing different types of music. Thank you to the Pioneer Valley Symphony for performing for the third and fourth grade students of Greenfield. Bravo! The Greenfield Public Schools Film Festival will take place on April 10. Please join us for a fun night of watching films and paying tribute to our film stars! Our students have made amazing films that will be shared at the festival. On April 10th and 17th, students will be dismissed early at 11:55 for parent conferences. April vacation is from April 20th-24th. On April 30th Newton School will join the other elementary schools on a Walk to School Event. This is a fun and healthy event to promote pedestrian safety and walking in our community.
On April 8th at 5:30 in the Town Hall Conference Room there will be a public hearing requesting funding for the Newton Playground. Please join us in telling the town how important a new playground is to Newton School. Your voice counts!
April 9th Third Grade, Pioneer Valley Symphony
April 10th Early Dismissal 11:55
Parent Teacher Conferences
Come to the Fifth Annual GPS Student Film Festival event! Celebrate our student filmmakers!
Friday, April 10, 2015, at 6:30pm
At Greenfield MIDDLE School
Winning films made by students
in Kindergarten through High School
Prizes will be awarded
Come cast your ballot for audience award!
Free Admission and Popcorn - Donations Welcome
Sponsored by Lundgren Honda, and Popcorn donated by 99Restaurant
See you at the Movies!
April 17th Early Dismissal 11:55
Parent Teacher Conferences
April 20th – 24th
Kindergarten Team News-April 2015 Kindergartners continue to be very busy. They are excited to be improving their reading and writing. They love learning new games and sight words that help them with this skill, so please continue to do LEXIA at home to keep their skills sharp!
In April, 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 –finally!
Parent Conferences will be on Friday, April 10th and Friday, April 17th. We look forward to meeting with you once again.
First Grade News Dear First Grade Families,
Is Spring really here? Please continue to remember your winter warm clothes. The snow and cold temperatures require that the kids are bundled up to play outside. At this time of year, we would also like to remind you that morning snack is provided by YOU while afternoon snack is provided by Newton. Your children are hungry in the morning and need something healthy and satisfying before lunch.
First Grade enjoyed a terrific field trip to The Academy of Music in Northampton. We watched a musical presentation of Jungle Book. What a treat! Thank you PTO!
We are continuing to practice our reading fluency and comprehension skills. Please continue to read with/to your child EVERY DAY at home for at least 30 minutes. This daily practice at home really does make a difference to your child's academic success. In math, we are practicing related facts and fact families. We are also mastering fast facts with both addition and subtraction to twenty. Use flash cards, play math facts orally, encourage your child's automaticity with addition. Thank you for your help this year!
Ms. Warren, Ms. Hayes, and Ms. Purinton
Second Grade News Second graders have had a very busy schedule in March. We have mixed some fun in with our learning with a brass band assembly, a visit to the Northampton Academy of Music for a presentation of, “The Jungle Book,” and a very special Author’s Night held earlier in the month. We were especially excited to meet and listen to some of our favorite authors, as well as meet new ones and sample their books.
In Writing, we are working on “Don’t Tell, Show!” We are trying to spice up our writing so the reader can sense what we are saying through descriptive types of language. In Reading, we are learning about biographies and inventors. We are really working hard in Math, with addition and subtraction of three digit numbers and place value to 1,000. We appreciate your help with learning those math facts!
We can’t wait for it to FEEL like Spring!
The Second Grade Team,
Ms. McIver, Mrs. Pecoy, and Ms. Sherry
THIRD GRADE CLASS ACHIEVEMENTS!!!
Once again we have many third graders to congratulate on their reading and math achievements for the month of March!!!
TOPIC 9 MATH TESTS-Scores of 90% and higher Julia, Aleda, Dylan, Sunelis, Andrew, Kevyn, Gabe, Haylee, Samantha, Lydia, Shaun, Brayden, Aaron, Preston, Josh, Neldy, and Shayley.
Mrs. Iacuessa’s Class…Third grade students have been practicing their keyboarding skills on the computer. Students edit their open response writing and use the tools on the computer to type a “finished piece of work”!
Mr. Stone’s Class…Third grade students finished their animal reports. There were reports on owls, bears, honey badgers and more!!! Mr. Stone said “GREAT JOB!!!”
School Adjustment Counselor One of the most important communication skills a child can learn is to accept responsibility for their feelings and express these feelings using an “I” statement. According to Thomas Gordon, the founder of Gordon Training International, “I-Language won’t work in families where the parents tend to not listen when their children have problems. If you want your kids to listen to you when you have a problem, they must feel that you listen to them when they have a problem. I-Language must be seen as a direct appeal for help. Ask if the child would be willing to help you.”
I statements have four parts:
1) “I feel…….…” (state how you feel)
2) “When…...…” (state the behavior that makes you feel this way)
3) “Because…..” (explain why you feel this way)
4) “I want ……..” (state what you want or need to improve the situation)
An example of an “I” statement is: I feel angry when you call me names because it hurts my feelings. I want you to stop calling me names and apologize. When using an “I” statement it is best to state facts not opinions. “I” statements are constructive methods to express how we feel in a way that avoids blaming others for our emotions, accurately expresses our feelings in a less hostile manner, informs someone that their behavior is causing a problem and lessens the chance that we make the other person feel guilty, put-down, or resentful.
We are practicing using “I” statements at Newton School and I encourage you to try using them at home too!
Katie Irizarry, LICSW
PTO News Hi Families!
The school and PTO have been super busy in March: We had Author's Night, Dining for a Cause, PARCC testing, Bingo for Books, Butter Braid fundraiser pick-ups, and the Original Works fundraiser for Art went home. Thanks to EVERYONE for participating and/or helping in all the ways you have been able too, it's truly appreciated!
In April, we are dialing it down and breathing and resting ourselves for April vacation. We have our meeting scheduled for Tues April 7th @ 5:30 in the library. On Weds April 8th there is the district PTO networking meeting at 4pm that our school is hosting, and then at 5:30 is the town meeting that parents can attend to support the town in voting in favor of spending funds for our school's new Playground!
UPCOMING: our spring BOGO Book fair coming the first week in June! If you are wanting to help Set up/ break down, work the register, and/or help plan the book fair please contact us via email, voicemail or on Facebook. You can also see all that has been going on and announcements on our website!
Newton Volunteers Thank you for helping us grow at Newton School!
Council on Aging
Cultural Arts Council
Freedom Credit Union
Kevin and Dina LaMagdelaine
Laurie and Sue Newsome
Lindsey and Alex Siano
Liz and Steve Ortiz
Marcus and Jen Paulin
Michael and Jennifer Perrault
Mr. and Mrs. Burns
The Greenfield Elks Lodge
The Greenfield Police and Fire Departments,
Sheriff’s Department and The State Police
The Greenfield Moose Lodge
The Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church
The Greenfield Recorder
Tiffany and Cameron Ward
University of Massachusetts
We Love our fabulous volunteers!
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.
Curious George Visits Newton, February 2014
Curious George was so excited to be at Newton School for kindergarten registration!
He met Mrs. Brown…
And Mrs. Swist!
He read a book about his adventures!
George loves to read!
He also loves to play in the Gym!
George was excited to see the Cat in the Hat for Dr. Suess’ birthday!
He met lots of kids excited about school and excited about reading!
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
Students are awarded at our hundred day ceremony
for their hard work with Lexia and perfcect attendance!
Celebrating hard work with Lexia and perfcect attendance!
100 day celebratory hats
100 day celebratory hats
Students in 2nd Grade celebrate 100 days in school
by finding 100 objects, including 100 Uno cards,
pennies and cereal!
Counting those objects
More items to count
Mrs. Waren's and Mrs. Swist's classes sing about Santa
Mrs. Witherell's class sang about walking in the snow.
Mrs. Cloutier's class sang about the sun.
The 2nd and 3rd grade chorus was all smiles
We also had some special guess from the high school
come and sing for us.
Newton students had fun playing in the snow.
Luckily, they all were dressed warm in lots of layers.
January 29th UMASS Women’s Basketball VS George Washington
Newton students show their support for UMass!
Newton students exhibit school pride!
Newton students enjoyed meeting Sam the Minuteman at the UMass basketball game!
Matt Caron from 22 News comes to visit Newton School
Mrs. Iacuessa’s class poses with their guest reader
Matt told Mrs. Iacuessa’s class all about being a news anchor
Matt shares his favorite book with Mr. Stone’s class
Mr. Stone’s class poses with their famous reader
Mrs. Cloutier’s class poses with their famous guest!
Mrs. Goodwin and her former middle school student turned celebrity, Matt Caron!
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
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 www.stopandshop.com/aplus to register online OR Dial 1-877-275-2758 to register your card over the phone.
Dismissal 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 Expanded Learning Time Movie
Windows Media wmv or QuickTime mov
Newton Students Summer Art with Tina Clark
NEWTON ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IS ONE OF 187 COMMENDATION SCHOOLS IN THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS.
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 (http://www.doe.mass.edu/news/news.aspx?id=5729)
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
"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."