The District Dispatch

November 2019

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Dear Middleborough Educators,

According to Psychology Today, “gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has.” In order to practice gratitude one must stop and reflect upon all that surrounds them in life. We all know the saying stop and smell the roses, but what does that saying mean? To us it means we need to take a moment to relax and take in the world around us. By doing so we are providing ourselves with the chance to express gratitude for what we have in life and to be more present in the moment.

In a 2010 article in the Greater Good Magazine Robert Emmons, a leading expert in gratitude from UC Davis, shared that those who practice gratitude regularly experience a wide variety of physical, psychological, and social benefits. His studies show some of the physical benefits to be lower blood pressure, better sleep, and a stronger immune system. Some of the psychological benefits are experiencing more joy, optimism, and feeling more alert. When folks practice gratitude it impacts us socially because you may feel better connected to those around you, you are perceived as being more outgoing, and you are more likely to demonstrate forgiveness.

This same article goes on to indicate 4 particular reasons why gratitude is good.

  1. Gratitude allows one to be in the moment and celebrate the present.

  2. Practicing gratitude blocks negative emotions.

  3. Grateful people are less susceptible to being stressed.

  4. Being a grateful person helps one have a higher sense of self-worth.

We at Central Office are working on practicing gratitude as well. Please allow us to share some of our thoughts of gratitude. We are...

  • Thankful for our families who put their trust in us and the students who give us all purpose.

  • Thankful for the tremendously devoted faculty and staff who selflessly commit to our students every day.

  • Thankful for our school community who invest in its students because they know they are our tomorrow.

  • Thankful for our educators who make meaningful connections with their students because they know without connections it harder bring content to life in the classroom.

  • Thankful for the support that the Middleborough Public Schools receives from the citizens of Middleborough, as the town’s total school spending is consistently above the state required amount.

  • Thankful to our administrative team for their dedication and leadership.

  • Thankful for our bus drivers and crossing guards who bring our students to and from school each day with such safety and care.

  • Thankful for our administrative assistants who help our schools run smoothly and for being that welcoming person to greet our students and families each day.

  • Thankful for our cafeteria workers who ensure our students receive a healthy meal from a smiling face.

  • Thankful to our buildings and grounds crews who keep our facilities clean and welcoming for all.

  • Thankful to our nursing staff who address the health needs of all of our school communities.

  • Thankful to serve in a school community that fosters a culture of excellence within every student, in every classroom, every day.

We would like to wish everyone associated with the Middleborough Public Schools a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is always a great time to "count your blessings" and we wanted to let everyone know that we personally and professionally count you folks among our blessings! We are truly grateful for all that you do every day, in every way for the children of Middleborough.

Please enjoy the holiday break with family and friends and enjoy the fun and meaningful Thanksgiving poem which we've included below!

With Gratitude,

Brian, Carolyn, Melanie, and Sarah

P.S. We wanted to send along a reminder that the Middleborough Christmas Parade is this coming Saturday! It's a great community event and our school system will be well-represented with both our Nichols Middle and MHS bands marching. The Nichols Middle School will also have a float in the parade and the word on the street is that Santa himself, who apparently has a special place in his heart for the Middleborough Public Schools, will be riding high atop Middleborough Fire Dept. Ladder #1 (along with Mrs. Claus of course).

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Staff Dares

We are Character Strong!

Building a culture of character through our implementation of our Character Strong advisory and PurposeFULL People programs helps us focus on teaching the whole child. As noted by the leaders of Character Strong, when we "teach the whole child, the whole school benefits." (Character Strong, The Workbook) This month we would like to congratulate and thank members of our school community for embracing Character Strong and, more importantly, making connections with our students! Relationships matter!

Erin Doak, School Adjustment Counselor, and Lisa McDonald, School Psychologist, at HBB

Lisa McDonald and Erin Doak have worked so diligently on bringing the Purposeful People Program to the masses. They have really led the charge in exploring the program and figuring out how to integrate it into what we do here. They have been visiting grade level PLCs to work with teachers and designing lessons for our grade level Community Meetings. They have led the way here in our SEL efforts across the board and I appreciate their flexibility and open mindedness in looking at a new program. They have made a positive impact on the school overall with their efforts and Erin and Lisa are truly Burkland's BEST!

Kathi Dyer - Special Education Teacher at MHS

Kathi has embraced the Character Strong program. She has taken the lead with the opportunity to recognize the staff for their outstanding work through the Character Dares. Her Advisory has become a place where her students are engaging and getting to know each other. She has gone above and beyond with the preparation of each lesson.

Tricia Ferretti - Preschool Teacher at MECC

Tricia has been intrinsically motivated to find age appropriate ways to embed Character Strong and Word of the Month skills and concepts into her preschool classroom. She has made several visuals to support her learners and has scaffolded the content so her students understand the meaning of each word. Students also use the "How are you feeling" charts with their classmates. Her students keep learning and implementing expected social behaviors throughout their day.

Colleen Gleavy - Chemistry Teacher at MHS

Colleen has embraced the Character Strong Program. Her level of preparation and engagement with her advisees has been tremendous. Watching her engage her students during Advisory is a really special experience. She wants to ensure that Room 304 is truly a place of comfort and a home for the students within her Advisory.

Mike Luppino - 6th Grade Math Teacher at NMS

Mike has created a new normal for his students upon entering the classroom. High fives, handshakes, and fist bumps allow all to start the class intentionally with a feeling of belonging and being cared for. See below for his viral video!

Small Kindness Project - An Anonymous Group in Middleborough

The "Small Kindness Project" is an anonymous group in Middleborough that meets regularly with the goal of doing something nice for a group or individual in town.

They each contribute their own money in order to do good. In October, they chose the NMS 6th grade class as their focus. Their goal was to spread kindness and to promote anti-bullying.

One afternoon, after school, hey visited each 6th grade classroom. When the 6th graders entered school the next day, they walked upstairs and were greeted by a beautiful sign, in addition to ant-bullying wristbands that were left on each of their desks..

We are so grateful to this wonderful group for thinking of NMS and truly showing what it means to be CharacterStrong and show Tiger Pride!

Susan Peters and Leslie Sorrento - 2nd Grade Teachers at MKG

Both Mrs. Sorrento & Mrs. Silva has made Character Strong a focus not only during her morning meeting time but also throughout the day when appropriate. I have observed her on several occasions using the word of the month during her lessons. I have also observed her students using the different words of the month during their discussions with their peers. I have also observed a co-taught morning meeting in Mrs. Sorrrento's classroom where she and Mrs. Peters both engaged the students in the discussion with a focus on Character Strong.

Joanne Silva - 3rd Grade Teacher at MKG

During morning meeting Joanne engages relationally with her students by thanking them and acknowledging how they have been respectful in the classroom and throughout the school. Joanne embeds the word of the month from Character Strong's PurposeFULL People program in organic and tangible ways in the classroom.

Luanne Stevenson - PE and Literacy Teacher at MECC

Luanne has the unique role of providing literacy instruction and physical education to our students. In this role, she has created various PowerPoint presentations to engage students in learning about being respectful to oneself and others. Ms. Stevenson has implemented various components of Responsive Classroom and Character Strong to support her student's understanding of citizenship. She also greets each student at the door with a greeting of their choice.

Crystal White - 6th Grade Special Education Teacher at NMS

Each week or so Crystal creates a Character Strong bulletin board to highlight and celebrate how our students are engaging with activities through our Character Strong advisory.
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" foster a culture of excellence within every student, in every classroom, every day."