Marathon Memo

September 2023

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Important Dates

Friday, September 15

K -1 Early Release, lunch served

Dismissal 1:00 pm

Monday, September 25

Yom Kippur

No School

Tuesday, September 26

Preschool Open House

6:15 - 7:30 pm

Wednesday, September 27

Kindergarten Open House

6:00 - 7:15 pm

Wednesday, September 27

Scholastic Book Fair

Marathon Gymnasium

5:30 - 8:00 pm

Thursday, September 28

First Grade Open House

6:00 - 7:15 pm

Thursday, September 28

Scholastic Book Fair

Marathon Gymnasium

5:30 - 8:00 pm

Note: Picture Day is October 10th!

Details to follow

Notes From the Principal

Welcome to Marathon!

Welcome to the new school year! We are thrilled to welcome you and your child to Marathon. Our staff are dedicated early childhood professionals. The theme of our school is It All Starts Here.

As the early childhood school in the district, the learning foundation in the Hopkinton Public Schools starts at Marathon. Our instruction promotes the development of the whole child which includes academics as well as social-emotional learning. Students bring much richness to our school community and see themselves and their families in our lessons and in our books. This creates a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.

We are partners in your child’s learning. Communication is key to that success. Do not hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns.

Each month, our school newsletter, the Marathon Memo, will share highlights of various aspects of Marathon. This edition has a variety of information to help promote a positive start to the new school year.

Open House

Preschool: Tuesday, September 26, 6:15 - 7:30 pm

Kindergarten: Wednesday, September 27, 6:00 - 7:15 pm

First Grade: Thursday, September 28, 6:00 - 7:15 pm

It’s time to mark your calendars for Open House. Our students are quickly learning how to navigate Marathon Elementary. We have had a great start to the new school year and look forward to sharing our school with our families. We’ve already experienced quite a bit with great success including specials, both outdoor and indoor recess, and a fire drill.

Preschool Open House Details: This event is not for children

Preschool Open House will occur on Tuesday, September 26th from 6:15 - 7:30. Parents are invited to come experience hands-on activities that simulate a preschool session. This event is for first-time preschool parents of currently enrolled students at the Hopkinton Integrated Preschool at Marathon Elementary only. Come listen to an interactive story, take part in a handwriting group, sit and attend during circle time, participate in an art project, engage in pretend play, and wake up your muscles during a gross motor group. Again, this event is not for children.

Kindergarten and First Grade Open House Details: This event is for students

We invite you to accompany your kindergarten and first grade child to visit their classroom, meet their teacher, and learn about their days at school.

The time to visit classrooms with your child is as follows:

Kindergarten Open House, Wednesday, September 27th, 6:00 - 7:15 pm

First Grade Open House, Thursday, September 28th, 6:00 - 7:15 pm

You are also encouraged to visit the HPTO-sponsored book fair in the school gymnasium on K & 1 Open House evenings from 5:30 - 7:30 pm. You may begin and/or end your evening at the Book Fair.

Attendance Matters

We begin each day at Marathon with a greeting and a welcoming smile. We’re happy to start our day and look forward to the learning adventures ahead. For our students, learning encompasses many domains that include academics, as well as, social emotional learning. In order for these foundational skills to develop and grow, we need students at school. The work we are doing now at Marathon is not work that can be made up: learning expectations, procedures, and routines. This is important work that contributes to student learning.

Research has shown that attendance in the early grades contributes to school success. Habits established at the early levels regarding consistent attendance promote positive growth.

Throughout the year, we will review student attendance and reach out to families. As a school community, we are vested in our students and your children attending school. We work with families to overcome obstacles that impede attendance. Please contact us if getting your child to school is a challenge so that we can work together to promote a positive early learning foundation. The benefits will be far-reaching well beyond your child’s time at Marathon Elementary.

How many absences are considered to be chronic absences? Massachusetts defines Chronically Absent as missing at least 10% of the days enrolled. For our school year that is 18 of our 180 school days. To learn more: Help Your Child Succeed in School: Build the Habit of Good Attendance Early.

Will your child be absent? Let us know!

Your child is expected at school. Knowing that they will be absent is important information.

Ways to report your child's absence:

  1. Call the absentee call in line at 508-497-9876

  2. Email the school nurse Candace Burnell:

  3. Complete the online “Absentee Form” which is found under “Contact Us.” This information will go directly to the school nurse. On the bottom right side of the Marathon School webpage, click on “Contact Us.” A new window will pop up. On the left side of this window, click on “Absentee Form” and fill out the requested information.

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Health Office Reminders

For more information on illness policies etc., please visit the newly updated website, Marathon Nurses Office

Building Addition Update

  • Owner's Project Manager (OPM): Colliers Project Leaders
  • Architect: Drummey Rosane Anderson, Inc. (DRA)
  • Construction Company: Mill City

Current Status:

  • Hallway cubbies installed
  • Air Handling Unit mounted, next step: connecting to the current system
  • Flooring installation near completion
  • Painting in the final stages

Goal: Move into the addition by the next edition of the Marathon Memo!

Pledge of Allegiance

In public schools in Massachusetts, Massachusetts General Law requires the display of the American flag and the daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in the schoolhouse. Students may choose not to recite the Pledge, or during the recitation, they may choose to remain silent for the words “under God,” or they may choose to substitute in their own words for “under God.”

In the Hopkinton Public Schools, we will continue to carry out our daily practices as we currently do--recite the Pledge of Allegiance prior to the start of the school day in the schoolhouse. Students and families may make decisions that fall within their purview regarding the recitation of the Pledge. Please note that this is a family decision and accordingly, conversations regarding the Pledge should take place at home if you are inclined to do so. Whatever decisions are made by individual students and their families will be respected, honored, and dignified in our schools.

Marathon School Council

We are seeking a volunteer to be part of the Marathon School Council. We are currently in need of a kindergarten parent representative.

School Council is a “representative, school-based committee composed of the principal, parents, teachers, community members” (Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 71, Section 59C). The principal works with the council to identify the educational needs of the students attending the school, review the annual school budget, and prepare a school improvement plan. The plan addresses issues such as professional development, student learning time, parent involvement, safety and discipline, and ways to meet the diverse learning needs of the students in the school.

While we work on many things, see our School Improvement Plan for current goals: Marathon/Elmwood/Hopkins SIP 2023-2024.

Our council will meet five times this school year via Google Meet. Our meetings are on Fridays at 8:00 a.m.

If you are interested in serving on the Marathon School Council, please send an email to Rosemary Tabakin by Thursday, September 21. If we receive more than one volunteer, an election will be held.

School Council meetings are public, all are welcome to join!

Thank you for following Arrival and Dismissal Procedures. Following the group plan helps everyone!

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Kindergarten & First Grade

  • K/1 live drop-off drives straight (past the parking lot and PreK playground.)

  • Continue to drive around the building (past the staff parking lot) around to the side of the building.

  • Cars pull up along the sidewalk at the side of the building.

  • Beginning at 8:45 am, students need to open the door and get out once along the marked area; do not wait for staff to open the vehicle door.

  • Adults remain in the vehicle

  • Do not queue up before 8:30 am. Families accessing the Y Program need this entrance as well as staff arriving to work.

  • At 8:55 (the official start time for K/1 students), if your vehicle is not in the queue, you will need to park in the front lot and walk your child to the office.

To promote a safe, efficient, arrival for all:

  • Say your goodbyes as you enter school grounds.

  • Have backpack ready at the student's feet.

  • Do not pass other vehicles.


  • PreSchool families turn left and park in the front lot. You may be waiting to turn along with buses.

  • Parking spots do open up as others leave. Thank you for your patience as we move traffic along as best we can.

  • Walk with your preschooler(s) using the crosswalk to the PreK arrival location at the PreK playground entrance

  • Buses turn left and unload at the front of the school.

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  • PreSchool Dismissal is 3:00 pm at the PreSchool Playground.

    • Park in the front parking lot. Shut your vehicle off.

    • Walk to the PreK dismissal location.

    • Use the crosswalk to and from the dismissal area.

    • Have an ID ready.

    • Do not remain after dismissal to play at the playground. PreK dismisses at 3:00 pm to allow the parking lot to clear for the K/1 dismissal at 3:15 pm.

  • Kindergarten and First Grade Dismissal is 3:20 pm.

    • Park in the front parking lot. Shut your vehicle off.

    • Walk to the dismissal location.

    • Do not park early to wait as PreK dismisses at 3:00 pm and needs access to the parking spaces.

    • Pick-up is by student’s last name

    • Have an ID ready.

    • Please note that parking at 3:20 pm is a challenge. Many parking spaces are available at 3:25 pm on. A few minutes makes a difference!

Mystery Readers

A volunteer opportunity that many take part in over the course of the school year is being a Mystery Reader. As with all volunteers, Mystery Readers must have a CORI on file with the Hopkinton Public Schools. We kindly remind readers that volunteer roles at Marathon are for adults. When younger siblings joined, we experienced some challenges that impacted this special visit, thus the reaffirmation of no younger siblings. This sets the stage for an optimal experience for your child and their classmates. Also, the volunteer experience is for the person who has signed up, you are not able to swap out for another adult, if unable to attend. In that situation, you will need to reschedule with the teacher.

The treat is the reading of a story, please no gifts for the students. We thank you in advance for promoting a wonderful Mystery Reader visit for all!

Volunteers need a CORI on file with the Hopkinton Public Schools. If you plan to volunteer, check to see if your CORI is up-to-date at or stop by the Marathon Office with your driver’s license between 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. to complete your CORI application.


Just like our students, Toby has had a great start to the school year at his new school. And just like our students, he is tired these first few days of school! Toby is a therapy dog which is defined as a dog trained to provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, people with learning difficulties, and stressful situations, such as disaster areas. When Toby is “working” he wears a therapy dog vest so everyone understands that he has a role within our school.

Toby is part of a certified therapy dog team with Mr. Lohwater, our school adjustment counselor.

Many have wondered and asked how to interact when they see Toby. Below are guidelines to help everyone understand how to interact with Toby:

  • Please ask before petting Toby.

  • If there are already five (5) students around Toby, please wait your turn to pet Toby.

  • If you are petting Toby, please let others have a turn if they are waiting.

  • If Toby is “working” with a student or students, please do not stop to pet him.

  • Please do not feed Toby “people” food.

  • Please wash your hands after petting/spending time with Toby. This helps us take care of ourselves and others.

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PBIS at Marathon Elementary

PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions And Supports) is a framework that provides a system for teaching and reinforcing positive behavior expectations. The goal of PBIS is to set up clear, consistent behavior expectations so that each student knows exactly what is expected of them in every situation in school.

At Marathon School, our school-wide behavior expectations are:

Take Care Of Yourself

Take Care of Each Other

Take Care Of Our School.

Hopkinton’s youngest students are building their knowledge of expected behaviors. After learning, modeling, and practicing behaviors, students will be acknowledged for demonstrating these behaviors with a Cubby Paw Print. Not all students will receive a Paw Print each day, but all students will receive some during the year. When your child brings one home, be sure to ask them about it!

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Hopkinton Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC)

Dear Marathon Families,

My name is Erica Seekell and I am the Marathon Elementary School Parent Liaison for SEPAC. SEPAC stands for Special Education Parent Advisory Council. Our mission is to create a strong, collaborative relationship between parents, care partners, and schools for the benefit of students with special needs and disabilities, thereby improving education for all students. Membership is open to all parents, care partners, and allies.

I am a mom of 2 children. My daughter attends Marathon Integrated Preschool on an individualized education program (IEP) because she is a medically complex child. I joined SEPAC because I remember feeling isolated and overwhelmed when my daughter’s special needs journey began and I want to help other families know that they are not alone.

My daughter was born with a laundry list of unexpected complications. Her medical team couldn’t tell us if she’d ever be able to walk, eat, speak, or do any of the things some might take for granted. I struggled to accept these diagnoses. Those early days were probably the most difficult I’ve ever faced, but I was able to get through them because of the relationships I made with other special needs parents who understood what I was going through. Having a support network and belonging to a community that understands your story is a powerful thing. I hope to build a strong community for special needs parents.

You are invited to attend our monthly events! We would love to meet you!

Please contact me for more information about SEPAC at or


Erica Seekell

September / October SEPAC Events

Hopkinton SEPAC Parents and Care Partners Coffee Hours

Welcome back to school! Hopkinton SEPAC is hosting two September coffee hours for parents and care partners of special needs students. Come to meet other special needs parents and learn more about Hopkinton SEPAC. We will be serving coffee and donuts.

When: Friday, September 8th, 2023 10am - 11:30 am AND

Tuesday, September 26th, 2023 10 am - 11:30 am

Where: Hopkinton Public Library, Betty Strong Room (Large Event Room)

Fall Family Fun Day with Hopkinton SEPAC

Come join SEPAC for a fun day of pumpkin decorating, crafts, and cider donuts at Marathon Elementary School playground (behind the school). We will be serving cider, cider donuts, and other snacks. Come meet other special needs families at our free event. RSVP is preferred, but not required. RSVP here.

When: Saturday, October 14th, 2023 10am - 12pm

Where: Marathon Elementary School playground (behind the school)

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Dear Parents and Families:

Get Ready! The Scholastic Book Fair is coming our way (YAY!). Choosing their own books empowers kids and inspires them to become Bolder, Prouder, and Stronger Readers. AND—as always—every book they buy earns rewards for our school.

Here’s what you need to know about the book fair, which will take place on Wednesday, September 27, and Thursday, September 28, from 5:30 pm-8:00 p.m. at the Marathon Elementary Gym and will coincide with Kindergarten Open House (Sept 27) and 1st Grade Open House (Sept 28). More details on Open House nights will come out separately from Marathon.

What is the Book Fair? Our Book Fair is an opportunity to buy age-appropriate, quality books, and products at affordable prices. It gets our students excited about reading, builds classroom libraries, and provides funds to our school and the HPTO programs that support and enrich our school's curriculum. With every sale made during the book fair, the school gets to keep a portion of the profit. With that profit, our school chooses items such as books and other educational materials that are used by the teachers and children enrolled at Marathon School.

If you can’t make it to the fair, then shop at our school’s Online Book Fair. All orders ship directly to your home, and shipping is free for book orders over $25. The online book fair will be open and available for purchases from September 26-October 9, 2023, only.

Check out some of the books that will be available during our Book Fair now!

Volunteer: Must be CORI cleared. Please call the Marathon office to check if you have a current CORI on file. Sign up to volunteer and learn how to get CORI cleared by visiting . Volunteer opportunities include helping with book fair set up, assisting parents and children with selecting books during the fair, and helping with book fair clean up.

Support your child’s classroom: Help to increase classroom libraries by donating books to your child’s classroom in your family or child’s name. The titles are handpicked by each teacher as desired library selections for their rooms – look for the buckets at the fair! Your child can sign and hand-deliver it to their class.

Additional All for Books donations can be made during the fair to help children in the district purchase books who may not otherwise be able to.

The countdown to more Bookjoy is on! Catch you at the Fair!

Happy reading,

HPTO Book Fair Committee & Marathon Staff

Please contact a Book Fair Chairperson with any questions:

Laura Kelliher

Caillin Moyen

Fridays are Spirit Days

Let’s show our school pride! On Fridays wear your Marathon gear, Hopkinton gear, or school colors (green, orange, white). Throughout the year, we show our home team pride as our local teams have big games. The goal is to build community spirit and support of our favorite teams even if it’s not a New England team!

At various times during the year, the HPTO will sponsor Marathon gear sales.

Marathon Elementary School It All Starts Here

Contact us at:

Lauren Dubeau, Principal

Eric Mitchell, Assistant Principal

Mark Campbell, Administrative Assistant

Rosemary Tabakin, Administrative Assistant