The Big Cat Courier

Your Source for Big Cat News, Right Meow

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June 24, 2022

Happy Summer Big Cats,

I've said it at several points across this school year and to tell you the truth, I'm still in awe of how quickly the year flew by! Even with the year having passed so quickly, it's important for us to pause and celebrate all of the hard work the students and staff put in, not only this year, but across the last 27 months. Kids and the people who work with them never cease to amaze me with their resilience and determination.

With that said, I know that I can speak for the whole staff at HBS when I share just how much we'll miss our future third graders. Our time with them was anything but traditional and we'll always remember the "adventures" we shared during the last three very unusual school years. We are also excited to meet to meet our incoming Kindergarten students and their families!

With new beginnings this August, we are all hoping for a more traditional upcoming school year.

Enjoy a safe, fun summer with the kids!

Today's Extra Early Dismissal is at 11:50

Today's dismissal schedule is EXTRA early today with buses loading at 11:50. We don't expect any delays because there are no bus runs before us today. Please plan to be at your child's bus stop a good two hours and twenty minutes earlier than yesterday to make sure that you don't miss the bus.

No ERfC Program Today

The ERfC before and after school program ended yesterday. There is no before and after care program in session at Henry Barnard today. If your child usually attends the after ERfC after care program on Fridays, please make sure to let your child's teacher know how they will be headed home today (parent pick up at 11:50 or by bus at dismissal).

iPads are Headed Home for the Summer

We are excited to share that students will be taking their iPads home for the summer! As a result, all students in Grades K-8 will have access to continue using i-Ready to support their personalized learning of mathematics and reading skills.

i-Ready will continue to be available for students to utilize as an optional enrichment activity until Sunday, August 14th. At that point, we will begin the process of getting ready for the new school year. Students will resume having access after they take the first diagnostic, usually by the end of September. As optional enrichment and to support grade level skills, it is recommended that students complete 30-45 minutes in both reading and mathematics per week. See the iReady Flyer as well as the optional iReady tracking sheet provided in the next few pages. Use of the tracking sheet is completely optional for families; it will not be collected in the fall.

On our Website you will find information on the following:

• Directions for how to access iReady from an iPad.

• An optional weekly tracking sheet to help keep track of student usage and progress (30-45 minutes in each subject per week is encouraged).

• A flyer with tips for keeping the iPad running smoothly over the summer. Enfield Public Schools has protections in place to support the use of the iPad for instructional purposes.

Some additional tips for Summer Use of the iPad include:

o Check the iPad for weekly Software Updates.

o Keep the iPad in the case!

o Keep the iPad away from extreme heat and cold; keep it away from liquids.

o Charge the iPad overnight.

o Along with the flyer, additional options are available the iPad Tips and Tricks page located under EPS – Tech Support.


Our EdTechHelp Team will be available by email over the summer for any support needs that arise. To contact the team, email:

10 Tips to Prevent Summer Learning Loss

All parents worry about the impact summer learning loss can have on their child's overall progress, self-esteem, and relationship with learning. Here is an article that looks at a balanced approach to helping students maintain their hard won skills through the summer months. The article acknowledges the need for students to enjoy some down time and suggests some fun, low stress ways to keep kids' skills fresh and ready to go for the fall. I hope you find the article useful and that its suggestions help alleviate any stress you may be feeling about incorporating summer learning into your child's routine.

Upcoming Dates to Keep An Eye On

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Report Cards will go out electronically on Friday, 6/24

Construction on the new parking lot begins the end of June/beginning of July

Class Placements for next year will be mailed out the second week of August

Kindergarten Orientation will be held on August 22. Times and information will arrive with class placement information

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Important Items from Previous Newsletters -

Enfield Community Resources for Young Families from Our Partners at KITE

Please follow the link below to KITE's Resources for Young Families flyer. Our partners at KITE and the Enfield Family Resource Center work tirelessly to help connect families to service providers and resources in times of need.

The Difficulty in Honoring a Request for Next Year's Classroom Teacher

Every year families make inquiries on how to request a specific teacher for their child's upcoming school year. While on the surface a single request may seem simple to accommodate however, the way classes are constructed makes it extremely difficult to honor a request for a specific classroom teacher. The process of creating class lists is a long and intensive one for the staff. We begin this work as early as April and focus on constructing lists that reflect balanced, positive working groups. The lists go through several revisions throughout the spring. It is also important to note that class lists are not constructed with specific teachers in mind and in fact, teachers are assigned to each group as the last step in the process. Luckily, we have a very strong teaching staff at all three grade levels with several past Teacher of the Year candidates and nominees.

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Our Community Partners -

The Barnard-Crandall PTO

The joint Barnard/Crandall PTO meets monthly to plan events, share ideas, vote on new business, and connect with students' families. Attending meetings is a great way to connect with other families, stay informed about school business, and to have a seat at the table with decisions are made. If you have an hour a month, we'd love to see you at the next meeting!

For PTO updates, resources, schedules, and news, click on the link to their official website:

The Family Resource Center (FRC)

Henry Barnard School is proud to be one of the two Family Resource Center locations in Enfield. The FRC is available to help families who find themselves in need connect with services across town. From finding winter clothing for students to helping families through parenting and support groups, the FRC has been a wonderful support for families here in Enfield.

For more information, please follow this link:

Enfield Resources for Children (ERfC)

The ERfC, or Enfield Resources for Children, not to be confused with the FRC above, offers quality before and after care for students at Henry Barnard School. If you have any questions about before and after care for your child, reach out to this longstanding partner organization.

Follow this link for more information:

The KITE Collaborative

KITE, or Key Initiatives to Early Education, is a collaborative of community partners dedicated to enhancing health, family engagement & support, and early care & education to Enfield's youngest residents.

Please check out their website for more information about this amazing group.