Principal's Weekly

Principal Beth N. Choquette, Bridge Street School

Bridge Street School

2 Parsons Street

Northampton, Massachusetts 01060

413-587-1460 (phone) 413-587-1484 (fax)

Beth N. Choquette, Principal

Elizabeth Peterson, Administrative Assistant

Nicole Soutra, Senior Clerk

Nora DeJasu, Head Teacher

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Translation of the Principal's Weekly

Would you like this news letter translated? Here are the steps to have it translated:

At the top of the weekly email, there's a link that reads "View it in your browser," click that and it takes you to the post on a webpage.

Scroll to the bottom where there's a black menu bar and pick the option that says "Translate."

Select the language you would like it translated in and it will then translate it on the webpage.

Traducción del semanario del director

Le gustaría traducir esta carta de noticias? Aquí están los pasos para traducirlo:

En la parte superior del correo electrónico semanal, hay un enlace que dice "Verlo en su navegador", haga clic en eso y lo llevará a la publicación en una página web.

Desplázate hacia la parte inferior donde hay una barra de menú negra y elige la opción que dice "Traducir".

Seleccione el idioma en el que desea traducirlo y luego lo traducirá en la página web.

A Message from Principal Choquette

Good morning. I would like to start by saying to our black students and families that I am so sorry for the grief, anxiety, and anger you must be feeling. As a white person, I can't begin to understand how you must be feeling. What I can do is tell you that we, as a school community, stand with you and will continue the fight against racism. At Bridge Street School we love and welcome ALL of our students and families, we stand with you in the fight against injustice.

As we approach the end of the school year. We say good-bye to several people. First, Patty Dubiel will be retiring. Patty has given so much to our students over the years, and she will be greatly missed. It's hard to imagine the number of students Patty has impacted. We are grateful to her dedication to Bridge Street School. Three of our ESP's, Melissa Black, Alyssa Taft, and Daisy Sears are all moving on. Melissa has been hired as a kindergarten teacher in another district, Alyssa will be moving, and Daisy will be pursuing a research role to prepare for doctoral studies in clinical psychology. It is always so exciting to see our paraprofessionals move towards jobs and degrees in education. Melissa, Alyssa, and Daisy, you've touched so many at BSS, we will miss you and wish you all of the best in your future endeavors.

We have hired a new third grade teacher. We are excited to welcome Emma Thacker to our Bridge Street School community. Emma attended the Donovan Urban Teaching Scholars Program at Boston College, a program dedicated to preparing teachers to be culturally responsive educators in diverse schools. She has worked as a paraprofessional in the Cambridge Public Schools, completed her student teaching in the Boston Public Schools and most recently, she worked as an ELA teacher in the Springfield Public Schools. Welcome to Bridge Street School Emma!

We have one grade level left for pick-up days, fifth grade. Prek-4th grade had their pick-up days this past week. If you were not able to pick up your student's belongings, please feel free to stop by the school this coming week between 9-3. Also, if you have library books or materials that belong to your child's classroom/teacher, please bring those to the school. Our last day of school is June 15th. Report cards, progress notes, and class placement letters will be mailed out a few days after the last day of school.

Enjoy the weekend, take some times for yourselves. These are difficult times and we all deserve some time to ourselves.

Take care,

Principal Choquette

Fifth Grade News

On June 4th at 10 AM we invite your 5th grader to join a district-wide Zoom session. The goal is to give 5th graders a chance to meet their peers across the district before going to JFK next year. When the whole session is done we hope each 5th grader knows two or three additional friendly faces for when they head to JFK next year.

This is absolutely voluntary. Any student who joins is agreeing to be an upstanding digital citizen by showing respect and kindness.

There will be a short introduction to the activity and behavior expectations. Then students will be given three prompts and sent into 1:1 breakout rooms with a random 5th grader from another Northampton elementary school. The two will have three minutes to give their answers to the prompts and get to know each other. Then we'll do the 1:1 breakout activity for two or three more rounds depending on time.

The 1:1 student sessions cannot be supervised by adults - so we expect strict adherence to the Code of Conduct. We are trusting students to be kind and courteous to each other, which we have faith they can do or we wouldn't offer this opportunity.

This will be a short, somewhat awkward, and hopefully fun way for the kids to get to know someone who might end up on their team at JFK next year. We hope you will consider encouraging your 5th grader to join!

On June 8 from 12:30 - 3:00 student belongings will be available for pick up outside of the school. Please stop by and pick up anything left behind.

Fifth Grade Pick-Up Belongings Day

June 8th between 12:30-3:00 p.m. Please come to the school parking lot and please wear a mask and practice social distancing. If you have materials such as library books or things that belong to the classroom, please bring those with you. If you have a school Chromebook, you do not need to turn that in at this point. More information about that will come later in the summer.

Transition to JFK:

I received an email from JFK today stating that only 90 out of 200 kids have filled out the course selection form. Please do so asap! It is below, titled: 6th grade scheduling letter for JFK.

Students on IEP's should expect transition meetings to begin towards the end of May.

Please see the letter and form below from JFK. This is for course selection for next year and they are asking that it be filled out asap. Here is the letter with the link to the course selection form.

6th grade scheduling letter for JFK

The fifth grade promotion ceremony will be held on Thursday, June 11, 2020 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. Here is the zoom link for the ceremony.

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 952 8879 2744 Password: 8Jm1Bi

Reminder to all fifth grade families to start gathering 10 photos of your fifth grader from baby pictures up to now. The photos will be used for the slide show during our promotion ceremony. Please send your photos to Maria McKinney at by June 5th.

We will have our final fifth grade planning meeting on June 3rd at 6:00 p.m. Here is the zoom link for that meeting:

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 977 5287 2687 Password: n0R35c

If your student wants to present something in the "student showcase" please fill in this form. Art, a song, words of wisdom, etc. should be no longer than 30 seconds.

Here is the link information regarding the Bridge Street School sign being put up by the Ward 3 community:

Reading Time with the Principal (New)

Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio

Math Problem of the Week-Just for fun (meant to do with an adult...they can be a challenge for sure!)

New Quote from 365 Days of Wonder Mr. Browne's PRECEPTS by R.J. Palacio

May 30, 2020

Is it so small a thing to have enjoyed the sun, to have lived light in the spring, to have loved, to have thought, to have done; to have advanced true friends, and beat down baffling foes?

-Matthew Arnold

New Idea of the Week from Principal Choquette

13. Using one type of paper (constant), build three different paper airplanes (independent variable) and test to see how far they fly (dependent variable).

How To Make 5 EASY Paper Airplanes that FLY FAR

Previous Weekly Postings

Grow Foods Northampton

I hope that you are doing well and taking time to enjoy the signs of spring. At Grow Food Northampton we've been continuing to compile resources of activities for families, caregivers, and elementary school students at home.

I am writing to share with you the latest installment of Grow Food Kids activities at home. Here is Grow Food Kids volume 3! Many Northampton and Easthampton students will recognize these themes, songs, and recipes from our field trips and workshops. Please share with your students and families, and let us know what else we can do to help enhance your home curriculums for the remainder of the school year, and continuing into the summer. We want your feedback!

As we mention in the blog post, we have been doing brief Facebook Live tours at the Giving Garden every Wednesday at 12:30pm, for community members of all ages to take a peek at what's going on at the farm.

You can follow us for updates on Facebook, Instagram, and our district-wide Farm to School instagram account @freshhampton.

All the best,

Ellena and the Grow Food Kids team

Parenting Support Programs

Please take a look at the brochures below on some parenting support programs being offered through the NPS CPPI grant. The programs are ideal for parents/caregivers of children ages 3 through 9.

Latest Communication from Special Education

Current Remote Learning Expectations

There has been some confusion around what the remote learning expectations are for our teachers.

I would like to offer clarification:

-Remote learning should occur for 3 hours a day. That time includes both teacher-directed and student-directed learning. Those three hours should not only be focused on academics, but also art, music, PE, and play.

-Teachers are not required to provide synchronous (**see definition of synchronous learning below) learning. Some teachers may be doing it, but that is an individual decision.

-Grade-level teachers across the district created the remote learning plans together. The plan provides you with a menu of options to choose from around various academic areas. However, teachers may decide to do additional things that may be part of their own classroom culture and community such as podcasts, class dojo, google meets, etc.

We all understand the challenges of remote learning and we want to be as helpful and supportive as we can. So please, if you have particular concerns about your child, we ask that you reach out to your child's teacher. They are all willing to help and support you, but please understand, they are all trying to make the best out of a really challenging situation. They miss your children and are also struggling with not being in school.

**Synchronous learning is a general term used to describe forms of education, instruction, and learning that occur at the same time, but not in the same place. The term is most commonly applied to various forms of televisual, digital, and online learning in which students learn from instructors, colleagues, or peers in real time, but not in person.


The teachers and I have received emails regarding struggles with log-ins, accessing specific programs, etc. If you are having problems, please start with the "How-To Resource for Families" below from Mr. Cantler. If you continue to have problems after trying his suggestions, please reach out to the classroom teacher and they will put you in touch with Mr. Cantler. He is available to help and happy to do so.

Resource of how-to's from Mr. Cantler

Here a resource to help families with how-tos.

It has English and Spanish PDFs & videos for things like:

-how to log into a chromebook at home

-how to get to Lexia

-how to to get to Google Classroom

To Our Students...We Love and Miss You All.

Quote from 365 Days of Wonder Mr. Browne's PRECEPTS by R.J. Palacio

May 22, 2020

Making a million friends is not a miracle...the miracle is to make such a friend who can stand with you when millions are against you.


May 15, 2020

Find things that shine and move toward them.

-Mia Farrow

May 8, 2020

It's not the load that breaks you down. It's the way you carry it.

-C.S. Lewis

May 1, 2020

Play the tiles you get.

-Grandma Nelly

April 24, 2020

I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in human beings.

-Pearl. S. Buck

April 17, 2020

Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.

-Henry van Dyke

April 10, 2020

He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.

-Jonathan Swift

April 1, 2020

What is beautiful is good, and who is good will soon be beautiful.


March 27, 2020

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.

-Johann Wolfgang van Goethe

March 24, 2020

The man who moves a mountain must start by moving small stones.

-Chinese proverb

March 20, 2020

Where there is love, there is joy.

-Mother Teresa

March 18, 2020

Be the person who can smile on the worst day.


District-Wide Adjustment Counselors Website

Idea of the Week from Principal Choquette

12. Find, pick, and dissect a flower.

Think and act like a scientist when you choose a flower and carefully take apart its parts. Not sure what every part is? Check out this site to learn more about dissecting a flower.

11. Classify twenty everyday objects by shape, size, color, height, mass, and material.

Learning how to classify and organize things is a skill that’s helpful for reading, math, science, and history. In other words–everything.

10. Write a poem on your sidewalk using chalk.

Writing poetry is freeing because there aren’t a lot of rules. Or you can establish a rule and see how different people think about it. For example, write a poem about snow without using the words white or cold.

9. Use household materials to make and play stringed, percussion, and wind instruments.

Making instruments can be as easy as banging on a pot with a spoon, or you can try out these other ways to make instruments out of household goods.

8. Find ten rocks smaller than a dime.

Kids have the best eyes for this kind of thing. Give them each a dime so they can compare and an old yogurt container to hold the rocks.

7. Draw a map of your home and neighborhood.

In addition to be an important part of understanding how maps work, this activity helps kids define their world.

6. Imagine, create, and fly a full size flag that tells the world about you.

Everyone deserves to fly their own flag. Talk to kids about symbols and give them the creative stuff they need create their own flag: markers, crayons, paper, fabric, glitter, glue.

5. Imagine, create, and fly a full size flag that tells the world about you.

Everyone deserves to fly their own flag. Talk to kids about symbols and give them the creative stuff they need create their own flag: markers, crayons, paper, fabric, glitter, glue.

4. If you have stairs, walk up and count them. Walk down and count by twos. Walk up and count by threes. Continue through tens.

This simple math practice trick gets kids thinking about numbers and exercising!

3. Put your favorite book, toy, and keepsake on a small table in sunlight. Draw or paint a full color still life.

This is a great way to express your love for something. For a variation on this, try out different ways to paint the still life “like” a famous artist.

2. Be completely silent for 60 minutes, then write about the experience

In a world where there are so many distractions, it's amazing what we notice when we're silent.

1. Interview a family member

Taking the time out to learn more about the people in your family might surprise your children. Get them to dig deep and think about their questions and their responses. Save these interviews so you can read them again.


Suggested Physical Education Activities will be posted weekly on our new website posted below.

Here is the link:

OPEN!-------------KEEP ACTIVE! ---------------HAVE FUN!

Ms. Dorrie's English Learner Website-Check it Out!

Special Education Resources

Art Ideas from Ms. Lilly

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Important Information from Dr. Koerner, Mrs. Sperry, Ms. Nora, and Ms. Brittany

Reading With The Principal (Previous Readings)

Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima
Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain Part 6

Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain Part 6 by Jayneen Sanders

Discussion Questions:

Pages 30-31: What does 'worked together as one' mean? Why do you think two such different crews were able to work together? What qualities do people need to be able to work together successfully?

Pages 32-33: What do you think became of Captain Sandy McCross/. Do you think he was happy? Why? Why not? Do you think he ever learned to change his ways? Why? Why not?

Page 34: What does it mean when the author says, 'Pearl and her crew continue to live their lives as they have always wanted? Can we always live out lives as we want to? Do we have choices?

Why was Captain Pearl Fairweather a good and fail leader? What qualities did she have? What qualities do you have? Could you be a good and fair leader? I am sure you are a strong and fair leader and could do anything!

On the back cover, Captain Pearl Fairweather is described as 'brave' (see below). Do you think, after reading this story, she is brave? Why do you say that? Do you think Captain McCross was a bully? Why do you say that? What do you think a bully is? How should we stand up to people who try to bully us?

Back Cover Description:

Captain Pearl Fairweather is a brave and fair pirate captain. She and her crew, on the good ship Harmony, sail the seven seas in search of adventure. All is well...until the day Captain Sandy McCross sails into their lives and demands to take over Pearl's ship!

Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain Part 5

Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain Part 5 by Jayneen Sanders

Discussion Questions

Pages 22-23: What does 'conditions' mean? Do you think Pearl's conditions were fair? Why do you say that? Should people try to work together in harmony and show respect for one another? Why? Why not? do you think we should respect one another in their classroom/house? why do you say that? How might we do better? Was Pearl right to tell Captain McCross she did not want him to take over her ship? Why do you say that? Can people take things away from other people just because they want to? Why? Why not? Why do you think Captain McCross would not agree to these conditions (rules)? Would you agree to these conditions? Why? Why not?

Pages 24-25: Was Pearl right to ask the crew of the Scurvy Dog what they wished to do? Why do you say that? Why do you think the crew was happy to agree to Pearl's conditions? Do you think they will be happy working with all the other pirates on Harmony? Why do you say that? Would you be happy working on Pearl's ship? Why? Why not?

Pages 26-27: Why did Captain Pearl say to Captain McCross, 'Then that is your choice'? Sometimes we have choices. We can choose to work together or not. Do you think Captain McCross made the right decision? Why do you think that? Do you have choices in your life? What choices do you have? What is an 'angry pout?' Can you show me an angry pout?

Pages 28-29: Why did Pearl get the crew from the Scurvy Dog to sign a document with all the conditions listed? Do you think the crew will keep to these conditions? Why? Why not? Can people from many different countries work together in harmony? Why? Why not? Do you think the crew would need some rules that they would have to keep to? What rules do we have in the classroom/house? Why do we have these rules? Why did Captain McCross end up all alone in a small boat? Do you think we will ever change his ways? Why? Why not? Do we all need to change our ways from time to time? How might we have to change our ways?

Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain Part 4

Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain Part 4 by Jayneen Sanders

Discussion Questions:

Pages 16-17 What do you think 'tucked away' means? Do you think Harmony is safe tucked away in the Bay of Tranquility? Why? Why not? What do you think might be happening to the Scurvy Dog and her crew in the open sea?

Pages 18-19 Oh dear! What has happened here? Do you think Captain McCross wishes now he had listened to Captain Pearl Fairweather's advice? Why do you say that? Is it a good idea to always listen to people's advice? Why? Why not? Do you always have to do what other people say? Whose advice do you listen to? Why do you listen to that person? What things do you like about that person?

Pages 20-21 What do you think Pearl was really thinking when she saw the crew from the Scurvy Dog drifting towards her ship? When Pearl said, 'I suppose you want my ship?' was she being serious? Why do you say that? Even though Captain McCross was in a small boat far below Pearl's big ship, he was still being rude. Why do you think he acted like that? Why didn't Captain McCross just simply ask for help in a nice manner? If he had asked for help in a kind manner, do you think Pearl would have helped Captain McCross and his crew? Why do you say that? Do you think Pearl should let him come aboard? Why? Why not? What would you have done if you were Captain Pearl Fairweather?

Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain Part 3 by Jayneen Sanders

Discussion questions part 3:

Pages 14-15: What does 'not on your nelly mean?' (Definition: Cockney rhyming slang for 'not on your life.' Nelly rhymes with smelly, which moves on to smelly breath, breath moves on to breathing to keep alive, which then leads to 'not on your life.' Do you think Pearl was right to stand up to Captain McCross? Why do you say that? Why did Captain McCross decide to 'weather the storm' in the seas around the Islands of Plenty? Why has the author described him as 'rather silly?' What does 'tranquility' mean? Why do you think Pearl and her crew sailed Harmony to the Bay of Tranquility? What do you think is going to happen to Captain McCross and the crew on the Scurvy Dog? Do you think it was kind of Pearl to warn Captain McCross about the storm? Why? Why not? Why does Captain McCross think that he knows better than Captain Pearl Fairweather? Does Captain McCross think he is more powerful than Pearl? Why might he think that?

Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain part 2 by Jayneen Sanders

Discussion questions for part 2:

Pages 10-11: Do you think Captain McCross was rude when he said, 'Give me your ship?' Did he have the right to take over Pearl's ship? Why? Why not? Why does he think he has the right to take over her ship? Why do you think he wanted to take over Pearl's ship in the first place? What did he mean when he said, 'I want none of your useless crew?' Why didn't he what the crew? What would you have done if you had been Captain pearl Fairweather? Should Captain McCross be speaking to Pearl in the this manner? Why? Why not? Do you think Captain McCross is a bully? Why do you say that? Should Captain McCross call Pearl a 'silly goose?' Why not? Why is it rude to call people names? How does it make people feel when they are called names? Should we call people names when we don't get what we want? Can you explain what you mean? Captain McCross was being 'disrespectful.' What does this mean? What should you do if someone is being disrespectful?

Pages 12-13: Why do you think Captain Pearl Fairweather did not answer Captain McCross? Why did she simply turn away? What would you do if someone was shouting at you? What does 'calmly and with grace' mean? Why was Pearl so calm? Did Pearl do the right thing by turning her ship away or should she have stayed to fight? Do you think Pearl showed she was a good leader? Why do you say that?

Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain part 1 by Jayneen Sanders

'Pearl Fairweather, Pirate Captain' can be used as a teaching springboard for discussions around gender equality, respect, respectful relationships, empowerment, diversity, leadership, recognizing bullying behaviors, and the prevention of violence. All of these discussions only increase your child's sense of self-worth their confidence and empowerment,

Discussion questions for part 1:

Pages 4-5: Do you think Pearl's mother and grandmother were pirates? What kind of pirates do you think they were? Why do you think Pearl was different from other pirates?

Pages 6-7: What kind of adventures might Pearl have had? Where might she sail to? Why do you think Pearl stood tall and proud at the bow of her ship? What do you think the author meant when she wrote, 'the sea had gifted calm'?

Pages 8-9: Why do you think sailors came from all over the world to join Captain Pearl Fairweather on the good ship Harmony? Do you think Pearl was a good leader? Why do you say that? What qualities might a good leader have? Do you think people from different countries can live and work together peacefully? Why do you say that? Why do you think 'never a cross word was spoken' on Captain Pearl's ship? Why do you think Pearl's ship was called Harmony? What do you do if someone speaks to you in a cross or angry manner? Do you work well with: others in your classroom/your brother/sister at home? Why do you say that? How might you/the students in your classroom work together in a more respectful way? Why do you think the author has written, 'one cloudy afternoon' when Captain McCross is introduced into the story? Can you guess what type of character Captain McCross will be?
We're All Wonders
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She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton

She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton
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The Last Stop on Market Street-Click on link to hear the story

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Previous Math Problems of the Week