The Vartan Gregorian School Tribune

From the desk of Mr. Russo

August 2020

These past five months have been incredibly difficult. I have struggled at times as the school leader to try and make sense of everything. I've often failed. As we stand today, there is still so much uncertainty regarding the fall. For someone who usually prepares months in advance, that is an unsettling feeling.

Why am I starting off with this? I heard something the other day on a podcast that I frequently listen to (Principal Matters) and the host, who is a seasoned, accomplished school leader, was stating that this is difficult and uncharted work for all of us. For students, families, siblings, grandparents, teachers, support staff, and administrators. The only way through this is together. This year will not be perfect. I pledge to you that our staff at VG will adapt and work tirelessly to navigate the changing landscape. I ask for your patience, input, honesty, and team work.

We have challenges ahead, but at VG we are well equipped to adapt to some of the changes. We will have some empty spaces in the building this year that will allow for better social distancing. Our outdoor spaces will also allow for plenty of recess, dining al fresco, and unique learning opportunities. As August rolls on, we will set up the building to ensure the safety and health of everyone that enters the building.

Throughout the summer, our team has been busy sanitizing and cleaning every area in the school. While I don't have the answers about returning to school yet, I can attest to the fact that our building will be ready.

We will have some new staff members when we return next month:

Music Teacher: Donald Mills

Art Teacher: Sam Mrozowski

ELL Teacher: Eileen Finkelstein

Welcome all!

We still do not have a replacement for Ms. Roberta! Hopefully, the position gets filled soon.

Please enjoy the rest of your summer. As always, feel free to reach out to me anytime with questions or concerns.

Vartan School Pledge (Revised by Room 3 students for Distance Learning)

Today is a new day

I am ready to learn and be the best me I can be

I will make mistakes and learn from them

We will support our friends

I promise to be helpful and encourage others

I am proud to be a Vartan Fox

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Mr. Coelho

As many of you know, our band teacher, Anthony Coelho, passed away in July. Mr. Coelho will be greatly missed, as he has been a fixture of the PPSD community for many years. Please see how the district has decided to honor this man who dedicated his career to inspiring so many students. We will miss him terribly.

Resolution Requesting the Providence Public Schools All-City Elementary Band be Named in

Memory of Anthony Coelho

WHEREAS, Anthony Coelho was a dedicated music teacher in the Providence Public Schools for 30 years before his retirement in June 2020;

WHEREAS, Mr. Coelho shared a contagious love of music with hundreds of Providence students, for whom he made learning and playing instruments accessible and fun; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Coelho's enthusiasm and passion for music inspired many students—including those with no previous experience in playing an instrument—to join the band programs which he led; and

WHEREAS, during the last ten years of his teaching career in Providence, despite fewer resources, he rebuilt and advanced the band program in our schools, which enabled even more students to develop an interest in and love for music, and hone their musical abilities; and

WHEREAS, as an instrumental band teacher, Mr. Coelho taught students in many of our elementary schools, including most recently at Robert F. Kennedy, Asa Messer, Broad Street, Vartan Gregorian, Pleasant View and Spaziano; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Coelho served as the All City Band Director for many years, building and expanding the program throughout his distinguished and exemplary career; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Coelho sadly passed away on July 10, 2020. NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Providence School Board requests that the Providence Public School District name the All-City Band, that now includes 10 elementary schools, the “Anthony Coelho Memorial All-City Band” in tribute to Mr. Coelho’s unparalleled dedication to bringing the love of music to Providence students, and his success in strengthening and expanding the district’s band program.

Classroom Assignments

Students have their classroom assignments for 2020/2021. Parents should be able to access this information by August 17. If you have any questions before that date, please reach out.