Principal's Weekly

Principal Beth N. Choquette, Bridge Street School

Bridge Street School

2 Parsons Street

Northampton, Massachusetts 01060

413-587-1460 (phone) 413-587-1484 (fax)

Beth N. Choquette, Principal

Elizabeth Peterson, Administrative Assistant

Nicole Soutra, Senior Clerk

Nora DeJasu, Head Teacher

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Translation of the Principal's Weekly

I'm happy to announce that, the website I use to create my weekly newsletters, now has translation in many different languages. Here are the steps to have it translated:

At the top of the weekly email, there's a link that reads "View it in your browser," click that and it takes you to the post on a webpage.

Scroll to the bottom where there's a black menu bar and pick the option that says "Translate."

Select the language you would like it translated in and it will then translate it on the webpage.

A Message From Principal Choquette 12/14/18

Good afternoon, I hope you all had a nice week. The kids were very excited yesterday to have those big snowflakes falling during their recess. Lately, driving in everyday from the Berkshires, it's felt like driving from winter to spring. We have a few inches on the ground at home and Northampton has been all green! The snow yesterday made it feel a bit more like December.

Every year Florence Savings Bank gives out $100,000 to local non-profit organizations. Their Customers' Choice Community Grants program has been a wonderful opportunity for many places, including Bridge Street School, to receive money to help our school. In order to receive money, Florence Savings Bank customers can either go to the bank or go online and vote for Bridge Street School. The more votes, the more money. Everyone who has an account can vote, including kids who have accounts. So, if you are a Florence Savings Bank customer, please vote for Bridge Street School! Here is the link: . Please spread the word to your family and friends who are customers of Florence Savings Bank. Thank you for voting for BSS and thank you for supporting our school!

Tonight is Craft Night at BSS! We hope you all can join other friends and families for an evening of making crafts together. The fun begins at 6:00 p.m. and it is also a nice way to support our fifth graders who will be selling pizza and treats to help pay for their recent trip to Nature's Classroom.

We had an amazing performance by the Northampton High School Choir yesterday morning for all of our students. This is a treat we look forward to every year and we are thankful for the opportunity to hear former BSS students sing to us. Our students loved the concert. Thank you NHS for bringing your music and talent to BSS.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Library Update

I know we are all getting anxious for the library to be complete. We are just waiting for the remainder of the furniture to be delivered. Once the bookcases are here we will be reaching out for volunteers to help Mrs. Richards unpack and place all 10,000 books on the new bookcases! We will keep you posted.

Tate Behavioral/New Hires/Congratulations

Tate Behavioral started this week in place of our BCBA, Nina Shrayer, who is on maternity leave. They spent the week observing students, taking data, and getting to know the students they will be working with. We are grateful to Tate Behavioral for stepping in while Ms. Nina is away. Tate will be with us until she returns towards the end of January.

We are in the process of hiring another part-time esp for the preschool as well as for a long-term sub for Mrs. Hurd. We are hoping both of these positions will be in place after the holiday break.

Congratulations to Kate Cousins and her husband. They are expecting their first baby and we are all so excited for them! When you see Mrs. Cousins with Ms. Mangones class, please congratulate her.

Santa's Trains at Look Park

Look Park has agreed to open their doors for Santa's Trains and to meet Santa for sensory and special needs kids! The date is Saturday Dec 15th 1:30 - 3-ish (doors open to the public at 4) so kids can get some quiet time with the trains, decorations, and meet Santa with less crowds. It's free for all.

Please see Spanish flyer attached below.


All kindergarten aged students must be picked up by a parent/guardian or someone on the student’s pick up list. No kindergarten aged student will be let off the bus without an approved adult/guardian. This is a district policy and for the children’s safety.

K-5 Celebration

The next celebration will be for all K-2 students and families on December 17th at 9:00 a.m. Ms. Monopoli's class will be presenting.

Inclusive Schools Week

I would like to remind everyone that even though there is a week set aside for National Inclusive Schools Week, it doesn't mean that the work we do in being inclusive stops when the week ends. We continuously work on improving ourselves to help make BSS a place where everyone belongs. On Monday, I showed a short film at celebration based on a true story of a little boy with cerebral palsy. The short film had no words and took place in a park/playground. It was an abstract, animated film that the kids described as having "lego figures or kids made of small pieces of paper." One thing that we noticed in the film is that there were no adults around except for the mother of the main character. Our students know, and we continuously remind them, that at BSS there are always adults around in school and on the playground to help all of them whenever they need it. The film was followed up by classroom discussions with teachers. The feedback from teachers and the feedback from our students was positive. Students shared that the film started out sad and they showed empathy for the main character and then the film ended happy and everyone worked together to help the main character. I have to say that after receiving the summaries from teachers of their discussions with the kids and the takeaways our students had from the short film, I am inspired by your children. They validated for me and for our staff, that what we are teaching them means something to them. I am so very proud of what they said. Below are just a few samples from each grade level:

Kindergarten: we need to work together, importance of including everyone, the use of self-talk when we feel bad, how to recognize when someone feels bad.

1st Grade: a good reminder to be nice to everyone, sometimes we are not always kind and the film reminded us that we need to treat everyone with kindness.

2nd Grade: conversation about the difference between saying "his legs didn't work" to "his legs work differently," students made a connection to the book 'Wonder' and brought up a quote from the book: "I can't change the way I look, but maybe other people can change the way that they see."

3rd Grade: how art can be a visual way to show emotions and the amazing power of art, talked about the fence being a metaphor for feeling left out, shared that when the other kids were pulled through the fence to the other side, that they could see what it felt like from the perspective of the boy and in the end that was what brought the fence down.

4th Grade: discussed the difference between literal and figurative, that the fence was figurative because it made the playground not accessible, discussion about accessible park/playground features they've seen.

5th Grade: what it's like to be in someone else's shoes and "imagine you had to sit in and watch everyone else play." That the fence was a barrier that separated the disabled. The wind represented hatred and reminded us to be kinder to people, acknowledge our differences, and that we can be friends with people who are different than us.

Finally, our students were able to see barriers being removed in action yesterday. When we notified the high school choir director that our stage was inaccessible because of the old library furniture having to be stored there, she asked if there was any way to make a little room for the risers so the choir could at least be up on the stage. In doing so, it made the ramp unaccessible. When the choir arrived, there was a student in a wheelchair and in order for him to be able to be on stage with the entire choir, our custodian quickly created a ramp for him to have access to the stage. Afterwards, the high school choir director found me to let me know how wonderful our custodian was in removing a barrier and making the stage accessible for their student. What a beautiful example for our students to have witnessed. Thank you Brian!

Important Dates

12/14/18 Family Craft Night

12/24/18-1/1/19 No School, Holiday break

1/2/19-First day of school of the New Year.