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Elementary School Grades K-3

Principal: Melodie Goodwin, M.Ed.
Administrative Assistant: Tami Silk

2015-2016 Registration
Enroll for Grades 1-3; Enroll for Kindergarten

2014 Massachusetts State Report Cards for Newton School

Kindergarten Registration Flyer

Newton Author's Night, 03/02/15

Calendar February 2015

Newton School Fall 2014

January Newsletter

Happy New Year! As an educator I have always had two new years in my life, one in January and the other the first day of school. Both are times where I am looking at what children know and what they need to learn. In January, like September, we give the MAP test in English Language Arts and Mathematics. MAP results will be attached to student report cards which are coming home on January 28h. We expect our students’ scores to go up by at least five points from September. If a child’s score does not improve we immediately bring together a team of teachers to discuss what factors may be keeping the student from growing. After we determine what needs to be put in place for the students we start doing things differently. The one important thing we can’t change for our students is their attendance. We need your help. Our students can’t learn if they aren’t in school. As we monitor student progress we are looking at attendance and poor attendance may result in the need to repeat the grade. We want our students at Newton School to have the knowledge and skills they need to make their dreams a reality.

January 16th is an early release day. Students are dismissed at 11:55. Schools are closed on the 19th and 20th. January 19th is Martin Luther King Day and January 20th is a professional development day. Please make the necessary childcare arrangements. Please remember to read to your child every day.
Happy 2015!

Upcoming Events

January 8th
Freedom Credit Union Banking

January 16th
Early Dismissal 11:55

January 19th
No School/ Martin Luther King Day

January 20th
No School / Teacher In-service

January 30th
All School Meeting 8:30


Kindergarten Team News
Kindergartners have been busy working and learning together in all our classrooms.  At this time of the year the children are enjoying many games to increase their phonological awareness.  This includes recognizing sounds within words, syllables and rhyming words.  We practice “Turtle Talk” every day where we sound out words v e r y
s l o w l y

And, of course, kindergartners never tire of listening to and discussing their favorite stories! These early learning activities are the foundation on which we build strong reading, writing and math skills. Please encourage your child to share their favorite stories with you at home.

As we continue exploring the Five Senses, the children will enjoy a taste-testing activity with all three Kindergarten classes together!  This is always a fun and engaging way to become familiar with our sense of taste. Smiley

Please remember to LABEL all of your child’s winter gear.  If something is lost, it is much easier to find if it has a name inside.
Wishlist: Large glue sticks, Clorox wipes, tissues

Happy Holidays from the First Grade Team!
We know this time of year is hectic for all families… Managing our classroom expectations is essential- please make sure your child continues to complete their homework assignments, brings all necessary winter clothing gear, and gets plenty of rest!

The month of December has been busy with lots of work in reading, writing, addition and subtraction. We are working on reading fluency and addition fact fluency to twelve. Our plans for the New Year include building upon our current literacy and math skills. Please practice reading with your child every night- read to them and listen to them read to you. Talk about the story to check-in on comprehension. Have fun practicing addition math facts orally- in the car, at the dinner table, and before bed!

Enjoy your break with your terrific First Graders. See you in 2015!

Ms. Warren, Ms. Hayes, Mrs. Brown & Mrs. Purinton
Wishlist: tissues, clorox wipes

Second Grade News
December has been an action-packed month for second grade!  We took an amazing field trip to Northampton to see parts of the Pioneer Valley Ballet’s performance of, “The Nutcracker.”  The second grade classes all worked together to make gingerbread houses.  A big “thank you” to those parents who helped out!

In Math we completed Topic 5, Place Value to 100 and have moved on to Topic 6, Mental Addition.  We are discovering strategies for adding double-digit numbers, using our hundreds chart, ten frames, and mental math.  We are focusing on multiples of ten and solving problems by looking for a pattern. These new skills require that we are really strong with our addition and subtraction math facts, so any help you can give your students at home is appreciated.

In Language Arts, some of our students are working on fairy tales, and some are being introduced to the concept of “scarcity.” Students who participate in the SPIRE program are progressing nicely through a new concept each week, and we are all recognizing how words sound when they contain an r-controlled vowel.

In Writing, we have completed an opinion essay, a thank you letter for our field trip, and most recently, detailed instructions on how to complete a task.  Our winter bulletin boards are filled with our creative writing and artwork.

The second grade team is looking forward to celebrating the holidays with family and friends before beginning a new year!  We wish you the very best and will see you next year!

Ms. Sherry, Ms. McIver, and Mrs. Pecoy

Third Grade News
Congratulations to the following students for their achievements in READING and MATH!!!



Have a wonderful holiday!! Students be sure to read everyday!!!

Identifying and naming feelings are an important part of childhood development, especially at the elementary school level. Children need to learn to be able to name their emotions so they can express their feelings in a way that can be understood by peers and adults alike. In turn, this enables them to identify how others are feeling by reading body language, including facial expressions, which allows them to empathize with others. These skills are something I have been teaching and practicing with students at Newton since October. There are many ways to make this fun, including playing games such as “Feelings Charades” where someone acts out a feeling while others try to guess the emotion based on body language and facial expressions (this was a favorite among students). There are many websites to help parents reinforce these skills at home by offering a variety of activities and games to play with your children.  Two of my favorites are:  and (Breathe! Think! Do!). Sesame Street also has a free app for Apple and Androids called Breathe! Think! Do!  This is an interactive app that can be played in English and Spanish. It focuses on identifying when you feel angry or upset, then offers problem solving and calming down techniques for young children.  There is also a parent section with free resources, tips and strategies to help your child. Printables, exercises and challenges to go along with this app can be found at Please take the time to check out these sites and feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
-Katie Irizarry, LICSW

Happy Winter, Families!
Thanks so much to everyone that was able to help with our fundraisers! With your help we raised over $3500! This goes to help fund our field trips and towards our new playground. The plan is to build our new playground this coming summer with help from community volunteers like you. We don't know the dates yet, but we will need volunteers to help build it, so keep that on your radar for this summer.

Due to the snow day earlier this month, we were not able to reschedule our December PTO meeting. Our next meeting is scheduled for Jan 6th at 5:30 pm in the library. Our  following meetings are held on the 1st Tuesday of every month.

Have you been to our website lately? There are several new additions:

Fundraising Section - A quick list and info about year-round fundraisers and upcoming fundraisers!

Wishlists Section - Compiled from the info provided in the Newsletter about what classroom/specific grades need for supplies.

Please take a look, and let us know your thoughts. Visit

Have a great break, and see you next year!

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



Best BOXTOPS participation ever!

BoxtopsNEWTON SCHOOL has collected 5816 box tops which means together we raised $581.60 so far!
We met our goal of $500 for the entire 2014-2015 school year in 4 months! Thank you for all your hard work! Let’s keep clipping! For more collection sheets & info visit the PTO website Box Tops For Education section!

Box tops
Box tops
Box tops

Winter Weather Reminders

  • Students go outside everyday unless the temperature is below 10 degrees with the wind chill factor included.
  • Coats, hats, gloves/mittens and snow pants must be worn to play in the snow.


  • School cancellations are posted on  local news programs and local radio stations (i.e. WWLP or WHAI 98.3 FM
  • 2 hour delay school starts at 9:30 with no breakfast being served


To celebrate, current Newton students and students past created a float for the Franklin County Fair parade!
Cake Float Ready to Start
Parade by Red Door arade by Red Door 2

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


Music1 Arts Showcase
“A Year with Frog and Toad,” and an All-School Sing-a-long

A year with Frog and Toad
Watch the movie

Newton Volunteers
Thank you for helping us grow at Newton School!

Thank You Tara

Amanda Lynch

Amber Doyle

Angela MorrisseyNewton

Angelica Brewer

Ann Pease


Barry McColgan

Bob Williford

Brian Hayes

Carrie Brown

Cassie Arsenault

Council on Aging

Cultural Arts Council

Dan Smith Hands

Danielle Jenczyk

Deedee Heck

Deerfield Academy

Ellice Johnson

Francia Wisnewski

Fred Bruce

Freedom Credit Union

George Forcier

Jennifer Caples

Jennifer Vernon

Jimmy Tomasi

Joan McKelvey

Kay Lyons

Kevin and Dina LaMagdelaine

Kristen Halla

Laurie and Sue Newsome

Lindsey and Alex Siano

Liz and Steve Ortiz

Marcus and Jen Paulin

Marcus Bevan

Marianne Harcourt

Marianne McCaffrey

Curious George

Mark Iacuessa

Michael and Jennifer Perrault

Mr. and Mrs. Burns

Natasha Lowe

Susanne Gale

The Greenfield Elks Lodge

Tara Cloutier

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

Tony Thurston

Tiffany and Cameron Ward


University of Massachusetts


We Love our fabulous volunteers!

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!

MLK 2015
Martin Luther King, Jr. PDF
January 2015

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: February 23, 2015




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