From the Principal's Pen

May 10, 2020

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Principal's Message

Dear Parents and Families,

This week we all received the news that all Connecticut schools will stay closed for the remainder of the school year. This news, while expected, was still crushing for the entire JC community. The teachers and staff are overwhelmed by a sense of loss and sadness. They were hoping to spend more time with their students as a class community, participate in some of the much-loved end-of-year traditions, and celebrate all of the hard work and successes of their young learners. We will continue with Distance Learning and end the school year as best we can to provide our students with some sense of closure while feeling prepared for whatever next year may bring. We are so proud of all of our students and appreciate the continued support from our parents and caregivers during this time.

We understand that your child(ren) may have belongings that are still at school. There will be a very specific and safe plan created and implemented for each building to allow students and staff to gather their belongings and close down for the summer. At this time, no one may enter the building. We are in a holding pattern for just a short time longer and until we are given our instructions from the Superintendent and the Facilities Department.

Celebrations for our 5th grade graduates will take place during the last week of Distance Learning, June 8th - June 12th . We will be providing more information in the coming weeks as I plan with the PTA.

I wish all the moms out there a wonderful day for Mother’s Day! I hope you find some time for rest, relaxation, and hugs!

Be safe and well,

Trish McGuire


I continue to receive feedback from parents and I continue to work with our very dedicated staff to come to an understanding of how to best serve our young learners in this new environment. The feedback from families has been both positive and negative and I am always grateful for both. I truly appreciate that the feedback is delivered constructively and respectfully, so thank you for helping us to understand the successes and challenges on your end at home!

Below is a positive note from a parent that explains that the present method of delivery works for her family. We all recognize how important it is for our students to see their teachers, and for teachers to deliver live instruction. We are adding that method a little bit at a time, but we need to continue to deliver instruction through video and other independent means of learning. As we move forward and offer more live meetings we recognize that not every student can arrive at a meeting at the same time and we need to ensure that we are not excluding students. Students may have to wait for their working parents to help them, the wifi may be weak that day or they may be helping with household chores and babysitting. Each family's circumstance is different and needs to be respected. Teachers continue to follow the expectations set forth by Dr. Jones and we will continue to monitor our successes and challenges. As always, thank you for your partnership.

"Hello Ms. McGuire,

I also wanted to extend a big thanks to you and the administration (and perhaps the district?). I am discovering a newfound appreciation for the way Julian Curtiss does distance learning this week. I am taking care of my very energetic 3-year-old nephew this week and his preschool requires him to be on a 2-hour Zoom call every morning. Yes, they do incorporate songs and movement time but it is very difficult to get him to enjoy his time in this manner.

While there are a lot of Seesaw posts that need to be done, my daughter completes them in her time and at the time when she is most productive. Our distance learning methods accommodate teachers trying to teach their own kids, parents squeezing in work schedules, and children who may not operate on the same clock when home. And the incorporation of FLEX Fridays was the perfect "release valve" for the pressure of completing all the work during the week. There are days when we just want to do a bit more family time or outside time or when kids are just resisting work time.

So thank you for thinking of all the different parties involved as you determined the best way during this odd time of education. Thank you for creative solutions and for an amazing staff of teachers willing to go for the ride."


As we venture into "live" video interactions via Google Meet and Zoom, it is important to keep in mind that we are still in school. In observing some virtual classrooms, it has come to our attention that students are not adhering to our school norms in the virtual setting. Please take some time to review these expectations with your child so that our distance learning experience is a positive one for all!

Be Here

  • Arrive at your video call on time appropriately dressed with all necessary materials.
  • Make sure you are seated in an appropriate learning space. We encourage students to work at a desk or table in a well-lit area.

Be Safe/Be Honest

  • Do not share Google Meet or Zoom links with others. They should only be sent directly from the teacher.
  • Use expected language at all times.
  • An adult should be nearby.
  • Enter and leave Google Meet and Zoom meetings when directed by your teacher. Do not use links for personal use outside of class time.

Care for Self and Others

  • When your teacher mutes your microphone, stay muted until you are asked to unmute or your teacher unmutes you.
  • Raise your hand when you have something to say.
  • Use the whiteboard, annotation, and sharing/presenting tools only when directed by your teacher.



Thank you for the Gift Card! -- Chiara Muratore (Building Substitute)

Thank you for the Gift Card! It made my day :) -- Kimberly Tartaglia (Special Education)

Thank you so much!!! -- Jenna Mazzilli (3rd Grade)

Oh, WOW! This is more than generous! Please pass my thanks on to the best PTA in Greenwich....You guys are wonderful. -- Mary O'Connor (5th Grade)

Thank you so much for your generosity during Teacher Appreciation Week! I am so lucky to be a part of the JC community! -- Gaby Duncan (ALP)

Thank you so much for your kindness. Stay safe. -- Valerie Leger (French)

Thank you for the Amazon gift card and kind words of appreciation. It is so nice to be part of the JC family and I miss everyone a ton! Thanks for all that you are doing at home with the students and can't wait to be back at school! -- Melanie Champion (Music)

Thank you so much for the Amazon Gift Card. JC has been my "home" for many years and the JC PTA is a big part of why this school is "the place to be!" -- Virginia Miltner (ESL Professional Assistant)

Wow! Thank you so much for the Amazon gift card. This is so generous of the PTA! Thank you so much for thinking of me and my colleagues. I truly appreciate your kindness. -- Michelle Salomon (Kindergarten)

Thank you for the Gift Card! -- Holly Brown (Band)

Please thank everyone for me for the gift card. It was unnecessary but I do appreciate it and have been using Amazon a lot as I'm sure everyone is! -- Lisa Maniscalco (Front Office)

I just wanted to express my gratitude to the PTA for the Amazon gift card. It is most appreciated and thoughtful of you all. Please pass along my thanks to those involved. -- Chris Oca (Front Office)

Thank you for the Gift Card! -- Ceil Pelazza (Professional Assistant)

Thank you for the Gift Card! So thoughtful of all of you. Stay safe and healthy! -- Kerry Brown (2nd Grade)

I just wanted to reach out to the both of you to thank you and the rest of the PTA for the generous Amazon gift card you sent. I truly appreciate it! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Have a great rest of your day! -- Heather Stewart (5th Grade)

Hi! Thank you very much for the Amazon gift card. I always feel very appreciated by the JC parents. -- Ariel Wilshaw (ALP)

Thank you very much for the Amazon gift card. I feel very blessed to work in this community. -- Caren Iannazzo (Literacy)

Thank you to the entire PTA for the generous Amazon gift card. I can't wait to be back in school so I can add to my classroom library. I appreciate your thoughtfulness during this crazy time. -- Sandra Grandinetti (4th Grade)

Thank you for the Gift Card Julian Curtiss PTA! You've welcomed me so warmly to the community that I feel like I've been part of the school for a very long time. Thank you for your support, your listening ears, your energy, and enthusiasm in all you do! -- Esra Murray (Library Media Specialist)

Thank you so very much for the Gift Card! What a nice surprise! -- Stacey Fabion (5th Grade)

Thank you very much for the Amazon gift card! It is much appreciated! Missing you all!
Best to you and your families. -- Christine Kovac (ESL)

Office Hours

During the typical school year, students frequently stop in the office to touch base with me and/or Mrs. Brush. They come to talk, ask for help, suggest new ideas, or show off their great work. We miss those interactions. We are holding open office hours for our students to stop in and meet with us for any reason at all. We will begin with one day a week and expand it if need be!

Office hours for students will be every Tuesday from 9:00 - 10:00 am.

Sign up using this link. Students can sign up individually or with a sibling.

Office Hours Sign-Up

When it's your time, simply click this link to be connected to us in a Google Meet!

Artists for the Earth Virtual Art Show 2020

Please click the link below to view a beautiful video showcasing the creations of our students from Earth Week's Artists for the Earth day! Special thanks to Ms. Heather Bryant, our building substitute, for putting the video together. Enjoy!

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) for Distance Learning

Norm of the Week: Care for Self and Others

At Julian Curtiss, and as a district, we focus a great deal on social-emotional learning with the understanding that it is a crucial part of student success. Children need social-emotional skills to thrive both in the classroom and in life. Social-emotional learning (SEL) curricula teach children techniques to:

  • Gain confidence

  • Set goals

  • Make better decisions

  • Collaborate with others in work and play

  • Navigate the world more effectively

In GPS, we address SEL through the use of our district norms and related activities, as well as through the Second Step program. In order to continue this focus while we are in Distance Learning, the following resources have been developed to help support our norms with activities that can easily be done at home. This week's norm is Be Here.

Please note that these are optional activities that can be done on Flex Friday or when your child has completed other work.

If you do complete any of these activities, please send photos to either Mrs. Brush or myself - we would love to see them!

The links to activities for each grade level are below:


1st Grade

2nd Grade

3rd Grade

4th Grade

5th Grade

Linked below is a presentation for parents about SEL and Distance Learning.

Musical Fun for Flex Friday

If you're in the mood for a show, you can catch several Broadway musicals streaming online! Click the link below to see what shows are available!

15 Broadway Plays and Musicals You Can Watch On Stage From Home

Please follow Mrs. McGuire and Mrs. Brush on Twitter

@JCSPrincipal and @JCSEaglesAP

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