The Center Mile

October 11, 2022

School News & Happenings

Principal's Update

The changing of the seasons always reminds me of the importance of traditions in the lives of children. So many cultures mark the end of one season and the beginning of another. The Jewish High Holidays have just concluded, Diwali will soon be upon us, and before we know it many more November and December holidays will be here. For children, the memories around family and community traditions last a lifetime.

Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to learn firsthand about one of the most important traditions in Stow - picking apples! Ms. Moran's kindergartners, after learning that I had never been apple picking, wrote me a letter and invited me in to learn about this great Stow ritual. The kindergartners were stunned that I had never done this before (no apple orchards in the mountains in Colorado)! They recommended the best places to go and told me, in great detail, how to be sure to only pick the ripe apples. The importance of sharing and passing on traditions to ensure the continuity of community is already a part of our youngest students.

New traditions are being created at Center this year. One of our first, is the naming of our fox mascot. Students have been submitting nominations for names for our new mascot and we'll be announcing the results very soon. Our fox is quickly becoming an important part of The Center School culture and will be incorporated in many new activities this year. And of course, as we work to build new traditions, we will be preserving existing traditions.

Welcome to Fall!

Shelley Dulsky



Meet the REAL Mr. Fox!

Meet Umar Fox! Mr. Fox drives Bus 13 for NRSD. As each student boards his bus he greets them by name, and they in turn, greet him! If you don't already know Mr. Fox here's a bit about this great member of our community:

How long have you worked for NRSD?

  • This is my fourth year.

What did you do before coming to work for NRSD?

  • I was a Recovery Coach, Group Facilitator and I taught Anger Management at Perceptions Psychotherapy. The Sentinel & Enterprise Fitchburg wrote an article about me. Read More about Mr. Fox

What's the best part of your job?

  • Laughing with the kids! They make me laugh just about every day!

What is your favorite thing to do on the weekends or during the summer?

  • Hang out with my kids and find new places to visit.

Who inspires you?

  • My mother who is a therapist and clinician.

Can you share an unusual fact about you that most people don't know?

  • I am an avid gamer. At one time years ago, my teammates and I were #1 in the world! This lasted until some of us didn't have the time anymore.
Big picture

News from Center's Fabulous First Grade Team

From left to right: Jennifer Carrara, Elizabeth Messina, Maura Sheehan, Lisandra Flynn, Linda Haas

Our first graders have been having a blast getting to know one another these past few weeks. Students have enjoyed our new math program and the fun, hands on, mathematical work places they get to explore each day. In Fundations, we've been practicing our letter formation, and during Reader's Workshop we've started talking about good reading habits. We celebrated Johnny Appleseed's birthday with a day filled with apple activities, and have been gearing up to write small moment stories. Every day, we love getting outside and reconnecting with old friends during Daily Mile. Most importantly, we've been having fun learning and working with our peers. It's going to be a great year in first grade!

Good Morning!

Our students speak many languages! Recently our students who speak multiple languages have been starting the day at The Center School by saying "good morning" in one of their multiple languages during our Daily Announcements. We are excited to have all students learn about one another and share the languages of our community. Here are just some of the multiple languages spoken by our students:

  • Urdu
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese
  • Mandarin
  • Arabic
  • Tamil
  • French
  • Russian
  • Mandarin
  • Telugu
  • Chinese

We are excited to have all students share their languages with our community at The Center School! If your student would like to share another language from your family, please let your classroom teacher know.

Student Project: 5th Grade Animal SWITCH-A-ROO!

Our 5th Graders recently completed an Animal Switch-A-Roo Project. This interdisciplinary project incorporated literacy, science, writing, and individual creativity. Students created a new animal by combining their choice of existing animals. For example, students could combine a giraffe and a flamingo and call it a Giringo or a Flaraffe. Research was required as students had to report on the appearance, habitat, food chain (what does it eat and who eats it?), and daily activities all based on the real lives of the animals chosen. These projects turned out incredibly well and students shared their work with one another on Friday, September 30th.

Enjoy reading and viewing some of these newly-created animals in our gallery below:

Ms. Fitzgerald's Fall Book Recommendation / Upcoming Book Fair Volunteer Opportunities

Crenshaw - Katherine Applegate

Fans of The One and Only Bob and Ivan will like this book. Our main character is visited by Crenshaw the (invisible, human sized) cat, who loves bubble baths. Follow along as Jackson faces some difficult times and familiar mixed emotions with his family, relying on friends (both feline and two-legged), growing to trust and looking to the future with hope.

Fall Book Fair at The Center School

Mark your calendar, the Book Fair is coming! The Center School Library Program will host a Scholastic Book Fair from 11/7-11/10, and we need your help! Mrs. Fitzgerald is looking for a few parent volunteers to help students browse during the school day and run the cash register during conference hours. Please contact Mrs. Fitzgerald for more information - Thanks for supporting our library in this way!

Today's Tech Tip from Ms. Backiel

Tip for Third, Fourth and Fifth Graders: If your student is working on school work at home, it's important that they are signed into Google Chrome with their school Google account. When this is done, the Nashoba security settings (example: adblocker extension) will be in effect. Please follow these instructions:

How to Sign into Google Chrome at home

Center Health Office Updates from Center Nurse Carla Dumas

National Child Health Day is celebrated on the first Monday in October. The day was created in 1928, and recognizes the care and guidance children need to grow strong and healthy.

Here are just a few ways you and your students' families can participate in the day:

  • Schedule your child’s next well-child visit.
  • Check to make sure all your child's vaccinations are up to date.
  • Schedule a routine dental checkup.
  • Schedule first or routine eye exam with an ophthalmologist.
  • Add new healthy activities to your family's routine.

Current & Upcoming Community Service Opportunities

  • Rotary International - Donate a Dollar - Save a Life

    Rotary International is working to eliminate polio, and we are getting down to two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan. World Polio Day is October 24th. The Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley is holding a Purple Pinkie Day fundraiser where families give $1, the cost to inoculate a child in a developing country. Those children have their pinkies marked purple to show they have received the medicine.

    The Center School will send an envelope home with each child on Monday, October 24th. Please return it with a donation of $1 or more on Wednesday, October 26. Best of all, your donations are matched 2 for 1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation so your money will go even farther. The families in the Nashoba School District have helped inoculate tens of thousands of children around the world. Thank you!

Important Upcoming Dates

  • October 13, 2022 // Flu Clinic at NRHS (see flyer below)

  • October 15, 2022 // Flu Clinic in Stow (see flyer below)

  • October 19, 2022 // SPTO Meeting @ Center School ( 7:00 p.m.)

  • October 21, 2022 // Early Release

  • October 21, 2022 // PTO Halloween Dance (5-7 p.m.)

  • October 24, 2022 // Diwali Observed

  • October 24, 2022 // World Polio Day (See Community Service Announcement below)

For the entire Center School Calendar click here:

The Center School Calendar

Connect with the SPTO!

Thank you to all who participated and shared so many great ideas during our September meeting! Our next meeting will be Wednesday October 19th, 7pm at The Center School and virtually. Please submit any agenda items you'd like to discuss by emailing by October 11th.

Save the Date! Halloween Dance Friday October 21st 5pm to 7pm in the fields behind The Center School (inside the gym if it rains). Volunteers are needed! Email Kate Forrestall ( if you'd like to volunteer in any way. Next planning meetings will be virtual on 10/4 and 10/18 at 8:30pm. Tickets are $5 per student bought in advance or $10 per student at the door. Adults are free. This is not a drop off event, students must be with an adult and students must be Center School students. Tickets can be bought in advance using this link, please select Halloween Party from the drop down menu and put student(s) names in the comment field when purchasing tickets in advance.

We will be offering the Charleston Wrap fundraiser again this year for all who would like to participate. Please be on the lookout for those catalogs coming home with your student(s) soon and details on how to participate.

You must register on the website to access the PTO Student Directory (essentially a phone book for students). Registration is necessary to keep the directory secure and to be included in the directory. First time users need a password to register, password is pickapples. Important: You must log in annually to confirm your student information is accurate.

How to access the Center School student directory?

Once registered you can access and download the directory at any time. Go to the website, click on “My Account,” once you are logged in “Center Hale PTO Student Directory” will appear as a drop down item under “My Account,” select the directory menu item and you can save or print the directory from there. The Directory gets updated throughout the year as new families register.

How to stay connected with the SPTO?



Facebook @stowpto

Instagram @stow_pto

Our 2022/2023 fundraising goal is $50,000. How to donate to the SPTO?



Seeking Substitutes!

We are renewing our connections with Substitute Teachers. If you or someone you know is interested in substitute teaching at The Center School please contact our Assistant Principal Lenore Zavalick:
Center School Virtual Backpack

Flyers, Forms & General Information