From the Principal's Pen

January 6, 2019

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Another New Year Begins - Welcome 2019!

I hope everyone has had a chance to relax and enjoy some quality time with family and friends over the Holiday Season. As I reflect on what I am looking forward to in the new year, I immediately think about how grateful and honored I am to continue to serve the students, staff, parents and community of Julian Curtiss. My hope for our school and community is that we all look for ways to bring a passion for reading, a love for writing, an emphasis on thinking deeply and a focus on numeracy into our young learners' lives.

The start of school after a significant break always provides a good opportunity to re-establish a focus on learning and good habits that support that learning. In my visits to classrooms this week, it was apparent that our students and staff came back to school rested and ready for the challenges ahead! Parents can help students maintain this feeling by making sure their children get a good night’s sleep and arrive to school on time!


Being on time:

  • Gets the student’s day off to a good start and puts them in a positive frame of mind. Children settle well and have a better sense of belonging when they begin the day with their classroom community.
  • Is respectful to the teacher and to the classmates.
  • Leads to an understanding that school is important and education is valuable.
  • Helps develop a sense of responsibility and is an indicator of good character.
  • Leads to a good attendance record and sets positive patterns for the future.
  • Leads to better achievement.


Being late:

  • Gets the student’s day off to a bad start.
  • May lead the student to feel disorganized all day! The student may have missed out on vital instructions, information and bits of news at the start of the day.
  • Can cause students to fall behind.
  • Disrupts the lesson for everyone.
  • Creates a bad habit that can be hard to break in the workplace and lead to poor employment.

Research shows that children with poor attendance are at a disadvantage later in life. They often:

  • Find it harder to make and maintain friendships.
  • Are less likely to gain good qualifications.
  • Earn lower wages.
  • Have a higher chance of being unemployed.
  • Have low self-esteem.

Poor attendance and punctuality, even at the earliest age, can affect achievement in later life. Establishing good habits from the start helps children to settle more quickly into new settings and routines.


  • Establish a good bedtime routine.
  • Ensure that your child always get a good night’s sleep and therefore awakes rested the next morning.
  • Provide a schedule and have children organize their materials the night before (e.g. books, instrument, sneakers, clothes).
  • Make sure children do their homework the night before, there may not be time to complete it in the morning.
  • Aim to always be at school 15 minutes before the start of the school day (aim for 7:45 am). If the unexpected happens you can still get to school on time.

In the elementary years, it is the parent’s responsibility to get their child to school on time. Thank you to all of our families that support their child’s education by encouraging good attendance and punctuality!

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Cold Weather Procedures

The winter weather has been mild so far this season, but January is a good time to visit our cold weather procedures. Please note that the students go out to recess as long as the “real feel” temperature is at 15 degrees Fahrenheit or above. When the weather is just at or above 15 degrees we often shorten the outdoor recess to 10 minutes or so. When outdoor recess is canceled the students are provided with indoor recess in the classroom that includes but is not limited to social time, board games and computer games.

The children DO go outside to play in the snow during recess when the temperature allows. Please be sure to send your child to school with proper snow gear, including snow pants, snow boots, a winter coat, hat and gloves. Be sure to label all gear with your child’s name. If there is snow on the ground, only those children with proper gear will be allowed to play in the snow. Any child who does not have snow gear will have to play on the blacktop, which is cleared of snow, while snow remains on the field.


As in past years, Julian Curtiss 4th grade students have been selected to participate in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) program. Information about the assessment, as well as its administration, is contained in the documents linked below. Should you have any questions regarding the assessment, please contact our Assistant Principal, Brenda Brush.


The Greenwich Public Schools (GPS) are proud to offer choice to the families of Greenwich that may wish to apply to any of the District’s four elementary magnet schools and one middle school magnet program. School choice provides opportunities to attend a school with programs that may be of particular interest to a family and/or an individual student. School choice also provides the District with a means of balancing enrollment among its schools on a voluntary basis rather than by mandating school attendance area changes. The Magnet School Application Guidelines Packet is available on the GPS website at:

Julian Curtiss is a successful magnet school with an enrollment of 79 magnet students in a school of 314 students. That is 40% of our student body that attends our school by choice.

The deadline for Magnet Applications for the 2019-2020 school year is February 8, 2019. Please communicate to any families you may know that have an interest.

The Magnet Open House Schedule at Julian Curtiss as follows:

January 9th - 7:00 pm

January 15 - 9:15 am

Links to the Magnet School Application in both English and Spanish are below:

2019 - 2020 GPS Magnet Application (English)

2019 - 2020 GPS Magnet Application (Spanish)

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