Florence Sawyer School Happenings

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Principal's Message

Dear Families,

This will not be my final happenings of the school year but with our school year "officially" ending on June 17, it is a time when I find myself reflecting on the year that "was" and "wasn't."

Our first trimester presented us with the typical tests ensuring that the school year got off to a smooth start and that above all else our students were happy and confident and able to make the physical and emotional adjustments back to life in the routine of school. Then followed the challenge of EEE and mosquitoes and the adjustments to our schedules, sports, and our time outside.

The second trimester saw a rise in flu cases and the rapid response of our amazing custodial team and the changes they made and the resources that the district committed in the cleaning and sterilization of our classrooms and public areas.

Quothe the bard, "What's Past is Prologue." I needn't go into detail on the events of our third trimester of which you are intimately familiar.

Throughout this school year, I have been and remain overwhelmingly grateful for the way our extended school community pulls together for our students and each other, modeling the lessons of resilience and flexibility with a seemingly unbreakable spirit. In 2020, we are all teachers. In 2020, all of our teachers, from our homerooms to your homes, have met these challenges and risen to this unprecedented occasion and I just want to say how incredibly proud I am of all of you and how proud I am to be the principal of the Florence Sawyer School.

I don't know yet what our school will look like, or feel like, in the fall but we will work hard this summer to prepare to meet the moment. We will take stock of what we are doing well and remain open to where we can be better. I am confident that as our collective history continues to demonstrate, we will get through it together and be the better for it as a result.

Yours in partnership,

Joel Bates,


Grade 8 Recognition Night - June 16

On Tuesday, June 16, we will recognize our very special class of eighth-graders. I am grateful for the support and partnership working with our students, parents, and teachers to develop plans for our Grade 8 Recognition Night. The evening has gone through several iterations as we have tried to strike a balance between that which we'd ideally love to do for our students and that which we are able to do given the limitations of social distancing.

Recognition Night will take place in two phases. We will start the first part of the celebration at 6:30 pm. Parents and students are invited to drive to school through a reverse parade of faculty waving and wishing them well. Parents will then park in designated areas around the Sawyer Wing facing the gym area. Students and parents will remain in their cars. Mr. Bates will greet everyone with a brief congratulatory address, followed by the recognition of each eighth-grader. When each name is called, the student may leave his or her car with parents and walk to a personalized chair to receive a bag with their certificate of recognition, class t-shirt, and other recognition keepsakes. The student may then pose for a photo with his or her parents and return to their car when the next name will be called. When the final photo has been taken, Mr. Bates will wish everyone well and dismiss the cars.

The second part of the celebration is a recognition movie featuring well-wishes from the students and staff, awards, and photos through the years. The movie will premiere at 8:00 pm that evening in the grade 8 Advisory Google Classroom, to all parents through School Messenger and for the community on our Youtube channel and on our website.

We regret having to ask that our celebration be limited to families of 8th graders and that families limit themselves to one car only to ensure enough space. Further, we thank you in advance for understanding that the playgrounds and fields will be off-limits during this celebration and that additional photos with staff and friends cannot be permitted to ensure everyone's safety.

Our eighth graders are a wonderful group of children and they will be dearly missed. We wish them every success in high school and the years beyond.

Report Cards & Virtual Moveup Day.

On Wednesday, June 17, at 12:00 pm, parents will receive an email with your child's report card. The report card will indicate your child's teacher for the 2020-2021 school year for grades K-5 and homeroom teachers for grades 6-8. Grades will not be issued for the third trimester but personalized narrative comments for each class and content area will be provided. The comments are intended to highlight and celebrate academic accomplishments and engagements as well as possible areas of growth across the year. Additionally, the report cards will be accompanied by a list of standards that were addressed in trimester 3.

Also, at noon on Wednesday, students will be able to virtually meet their new teachers. Our teachers at each grade level have been working on virtual "move up day" videos for the students to watch and learn a little bit about the teacher with a sneak preview of the learning to come next year. The videos will be available in our Remote Learning site and I will provide a link in our next edition of Happenings.

Closure Parades

As your children's teachers may have shared with you we have been planning closure activities to the best of our ability with rapidly changing guidelines while trying to remain consistent with appropriate social distancing. As a result, I am happy to announce that we have scheduled closure parades for kindergarten through grade 5 according to the schedule below.

With the recent reopening of playgrounds, we have adjusted our closure parade route today and have included the map to the right for your reference.

We will have cones to guide traffic onto campus, through the staff parking lot, in front of the Sawyer Wing, and back out onto Main Street.

We ask that students and parents remain in cars during the parades. I would further ask that to ensure the safety of all that during this parade window, please refrain from using the playground areas.

Closure Parade Schedule

Tuesday, June 16

Pre-K - 9 - 9:30

Kindergarten 10-10:30

Wednesday, June 17

Grade 1 - 11:30 - 12:00

Grade 2 - 9:00 - 9:30

Grade 3 - 10:00 - 10:30

Grade 4 11:00 - 11:30

Grade 5 10:30 - 11:00

Teacher Gifts

Allow me to say, as always, that working with your children is gift enough. That said, I have been asked if there will be an opportunity for students to present gifts to teachers? Under our current guidelines, this cannot be done directly. We will, however, have a table/ bin set up for this purpose before each of the closure parades listed above. Please make sure they are labeled to the recipient and from the giver.

Return of textbooks/ school materials

If students still have textbooks or other school materials, they need to return, we will have a bin available in front of the Sawyer Wing throughout our final week of school and in the coming weeks.

Chromebook Return for Non-Returning Students

All returning FSS students in grades 6 and 7 AND entering NRHS 9th graders should keep their Chromebooks through the summer for continued use in the fall. Please be mindful of the proper care of Chromebooks through the summer weeks.

Any student not returning to FSS in the fall AND any 8th grader not attending NRHS in the fall, should return his/her/their Chromebook, charger, and case, to the FSS at a time during this final week of school. It is important that we receive Chromebooks of non-returning students prior to the last day of school, June 17th. Thank you for your cooperation.

Picking up student materials

We still have a number of bags of student belongings and materials stored and ready for pickup. If you have not yet had the chance to pick up your family's belongings you still have time. If you are away and unable to pick them up, please don't worry. We will keep them safe. Please reach out to me at jbates@nrsd.net and we can work out a time for us to get them to you.

Safe Routes to School Awards

I'm happy to report that, this past Tuesday, the Florence Sawyer School was awarded a Gold Partner Award from the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School program. The Florence Sawyer School Council, in partnership with Safe Routes to School, is developing a number of safety and health initiatives that will hopefully come to reality in our new school year. I'd like to thank School Council members Amy Cohen and Stacey Auger and Assistant Principal Kaitlyn Angulo for their hard work leading up to this recognition.

Final Math Problem of the Week

I have one big box and a few smaller boxes. The weight of the big box is nine pounds. The weight of the big box and five smaller boxes is the same weight as eight small boxes. How much does each small box weigh?

When you figure it out, send your answer to Dr. Levine at mlevine@nrsd.net to be eligible to win an "I solved the FSS Math Problem of the Week" mug.

Daily Video Announcements

Monday (4/27) Tuesday (4/28) Wednesday (4/29) Thursday (4/30) Friday (5/1)
Monday (5/4) Tuesday (5/5) Wednesday (5/6) Thursday (5/7) Friday (5/8)
Monday(5/11) Tuesday (5/12) Wednesday (5/13) Thursday (5/14) Friday (5/15)
Monday (5/18) Tuesday (5/19) Wednesday (5/20) Thursday (5/21) Friday (5/22)
Tuesday (5/26) Wednesday (5/27) Thursday (5/28) Friday (5/29)
Monday (6/1) Tuesday (6/2) Wednesday (6/3) Thursday (6/4) Friday (6/5)
Monday (6/8) Tuesday (6/9) Wednesday (6/10) Thursday (6/11) Friday (6/12)

Also, if you subscribe to our Youtube Channel, you can get updates to Daily Video Announcements as soon as they are posted.

Nashoba Breakfast and Lunch Services

Nashoba Regional School District is serving up Breakfast and Lunches to all youth up to age 21. Come to one of our three locations to get breakfast and lunch for anyone in your household aged 21 and younger, free of charge with no personal information required. Free meals can be found at the following locations:  Luther Burbank Middle School, 1 Hollywood Drive, Lancaster, MA (Front Entrance)  NRSD High School, 12 Green Road. Bolton, MA (Auditorium Entrance)  Hale Middle School, 55 Hartley Road, Stow MA (Rear-Left Entrance) **Meals are available Monday, Wednesday & Friday 11 am-12 pm** Contact thoule@nrsd.net or 978-779-0539-x3045 with any questions

2020 Census - Your Response Matters! It's Not Too Late!

This is a reminder to all of our families to complete the 2020 Census if you have not already done so. Among other important aspects, responding to the census affects the amount of funding our community receives and ensures public services and funding for schools. in 2020, for the first time ever, the U.S. Census Bureau is accepting responses online. Responding should only take a few minutes. Click here to complete the Census.