October 3, 2021
Note from Ms. Moulton
Greetings Hosmer Families,
I hope that everyone is enjoying this lovely weekend. Autumn is certainly in the air! Students have really been getting into the swing of things and are truly engaging in the learning. As I visit classrooms, I see thoughtful, interactive lessons designed by teachers and students truly engaged in the work. I've particularly been impressed with seeing students so focused during periods of sustained reading and writing. Math Workshop has been full of important activities to build fluency and thinking and our WIN (What I Need) blocks in grades 1-5 are beginning to take off. Truly, there are wonderful things happening at the Hosmer School.
This Tuesday is the Grand Opening celebration for the new Cunniff School. While the Hosmer and Cunniff were designed by the same firm and have a similar aesthetic, the two buildings are quite different. We support and congratulate our Cunniff neighbors in their exciting move and look forward to our own grand opening in February!
Mondays are our day for pooled testing, so we will be testing students tomorrow. Here's hoping for a fourth week of negative pools! This week also marks the beginning of our district "Test and Stay" program. Information about this policy is included below and was sent to families by the Superintendent. You can revisit the full newsletter here.
No School this Friday and next Monday
Teachers will be engaging in a day pf professional development on Friday and our neighbors at the Cunniff School will be moving into their new building! Please plan accordingly. There is also no school on Monday, October 11th in observance of Indigenous Peoples'/Columbus Day.
Thank you for your continued support of our wonderful school!
With a grateful heart,
Mark Your Calendar!
Friday, October 8th and Monday, October 11th - No School
Thursday, October 14th - 6:30 - 7:30 - Hosmer Diversity Council Meeting- Zoom Link
Monday, October 18th - SCHOOL PICTURE DAY!
CONSENT for the Test & Stay Protocols for Close Contacts
We are excited to begin our 'Test & Stay' protocols on Monday, October 4 for students in preschool through grade 12. This will allow unvaccinated students who are identified as close contacts to a COVID positive individual at school to remain in attendance instead of quarantining.
If you are planning to have your child participate in the Test & Stay program, please complete the consent form prior to the start of the program. This will make the process much easier if your child is a close contact and needs to be part of the Test & Stay program.
The process is:
- Unvaccinated close contacts will need to test negative for COVID using the BinaxNOW rapid antigen test every morning before school for one week following the in-school exposure. The BinaxNOW will be provided at school prior to the start of the school day. Please note that Test & Stay only applies to COVID exposures in school.
- Unvaccinated individuals who are close contacts of a positive case outside of the school setting need to quarantine.
- *In order to have your child participate in the 'Test & Stay' Program, please sign this consent form at your earliest convenience. Consenting in advance will help to expedite the process if your child needs to participate in Test and Stay.
Reach out to your school nurse or to the Director of Students Services, Kathleen Desmarais, firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions regarding this program. Please see this document for more information.
Digital Learning Update: TikTok & Social Media
Dear Hosmer Families,
Tiktok challenges are making headlines again. A great deal of content on TikTok is not suitable for elementary school children and therefore, it is probably best avoided. Those who still wish to visit Tiktok should only do so under adult supervision.
As educators, we teach Hosmer students that the Internet is a wonderful resource. We also provide students with good practices to use it safely. Helping students identify age appropriate sites that are safe is built into our Digital Citizenship curriculum.
Students are shown which personal information should remain private, and how to best identify reliable sources of information. After the school day is over, parents and caregivers can continue encouraging best practices whenever children are online. Help them by avoiding “open accounts” where anyone can make posts, sharing their name, age, and/or address online, or interacting with strangers.
For more information about Tiktok, Childnet & Net Aware have both produced excellent guides for parents/carers. The following links cover how to ensure TikTok accounts are set up a safely as possible:
Feel free to reach out to me if you have any further questions or concerns.
Digital Media and Library Specialist
Hello Hosmer Families, thanks to everyone who was able to attend our first PTO meeting of the school year last night! It was a great conversation, and we appreciate your participation. We will share October, November, and December meeting dates soon.
We have classroom representatives for more than half our classes--thank you! We are hoping to have 1-2 representatives for every class. If you are interested, please email Theresa Flaherty at email@example.com with your name, your child’s name, grade, and classroom teacher’s name.
Please save the date for an Adults Night Out Thursday, October 28 starting at 7 pm outside on the patio at Donohue's. We hope to see you there!
--Christina Murphy and Theresa Flaherty
WPS EQUITY AUDIT FOCUS GROUPS FOR FAMILIES
Watertown Public Schools has hired Public Consulting Group (PCG) to conduct a districtwide Equity Audit. The goal of this audit is to identify strengths and areas for improvement in WPS and to make recommendations on how we can move towards achieving the best outcomes for each student in our community. An essential component of this work is hearing from a wide range of voices from across our district.
As a part of the Equity Audit, PCG is conducting a series of family focus groups and we invite you to participate. These focus group will be held virtually on:
Tuesday, October 12th at 7:00 PM
Wednesday, October 13th at 7:00 PM
Thursday, October 14th at 8:30 AM
Please sign up for a focus group using the following link as soon as possible: WPS Equity Audit Family Focus Groups Registration
Once you sign up you will receive a calendar invite that will include additional information regarding the details of the focus groups and a summary of what to expect. Please contact Sydney Menzin with PCG at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
We appreciate your participation as we work towards identifying and addressing practices, policies, and communications that may contribute to inequities across our district. We are committed to building a WPS in which each learner reaches their full academic and personal potential in safe, welcoming, equitable, inclusive learning environments.
Learning at Hosmer
District Teaching & Learning Updates
MCAS 2021 Results ~ A Unique Year of Data
MCAS 2021 Results ~ A Unique Year of Data
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) recently released statewide MCAS test results from the spring 2021 exam. Results at the State level (and at WPS), show that many more students had gaps in their knowledge of math and, to a lesser extent, English language arts, compared to students in the same grades in 2019 (before the COVID-19 pandemic, as MCAS was waived last year), and fewer students met or exceeded grade level expectations.
In this unique year, DESE removed all percentiles in public reports suggesting they are not interested in district comparisons as there are so many varying circumstances that you need to take into account, which would invalidate those comparisons. They urged caution in making ‘across schools within district’ comparisons as well as across districts. In grades 3 - 8, individual students only took ½ the test, which resulted in less precision of results at the individual student level.
In Watertown, MCAS is one of multiple measures of ‘Unfinished Learning’ that we are comparing with other assessments (i-Ready, literacy, pre-assessments, etc.) at the student- and grade-levels to better target individual student instruction and monitor growth. As we work to help students make grade-level progress, we are using DESE’s resource --the Acceleration Roadmap, which emphasizes the importance of understanding students’ strengths and needs and the use of just-in-time supports to help students learn grade-appropriate material.
MCAS Parent/Guardian Reports will be mailed home on October 15th and we will present our 2021 MCAS Results at the November 8th School Committee Meeting.
- Dr. McGuinness, Assistant Superintendent
Rubicon Atlas Curriculum Management System (Atlas, henceforth)
It’s October and as promised, our WPS Atlas Curriculum Management System is open to our parents, guardians, and students on our public site. Our Principals have shared our K-8 curriculum brochures (K| G1 | G2 | G3 | G4 | G5 | G6 | G7 | G8) and our grades 9 - 12 WHS Program of Studies, which house a general overview K - 8, and specific course descriptions at the high school level. If you desire more detailed information around your child’s curriculum, you may find it on our Atlas Curriculum Management System’s Public Site link. Directions for use are on the homepage.
The curriculum maps in Atlas identify the following sections for public view on most courses. (The course development is ongoing.)
Standards & Benchmarks
At the elementary level, Curriculum Maps and Course Descriptions are available for all core elementary subjects: Math, Science, Literacy - Reading & Writing, Social Studies. Some elementary units that take place later in the year are under construction and will be updated in Altas prior to implementation. Elementary English as a Second Language units are under construction.
At the secondary level (WMS, WHS), ~90 percent of the courses display curriculum information. Secondary ESL units for English Language Development (ELD) classes are still under construction.
Try following the simplified instructions on the Atlas homepage link. In addition, our Digital Learning & Libraries Department will schedule Parent/Family Orientation Sessions both during the school day and again in the evening in October. These sessions will be recorded and then shared on our curriculum webpage for viewing anytime. The October date and Zoom links will be shared via upcoming Principal Newsletters.
Jobs Available in WPS
The Watertown Police Department is also actively seeking crossing guards for our schools. Please see the posting for these positions here.
This Week's Lunch Menu
There are many more photos of our awesome community there!