November 21st, 2021

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All previous Notes From the Office are available by using this LINK.

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Wednesday is a half day

  • Students are dismissed at 12:30pm.
  • Lunch IS NOT served.
  • If your child rides the bus, you can expect them to arrive at their stop approximately three hours earlier than normal.

Dates to Remember


Wednesday 24th
  • Half Day -12:30pm Dismissal, Lunch IS NOT served

Thursday 25th & Friday, 26th

  • No School, Thanksgiving Recess


Thursday, 2nd

  • Early Release - 1:05 Dismissal - Staff PD, Lunch IS served
  • No Homework Day
Monday, 6th
  • PTO Meeting, 5:30 - 6:30
Wednesday, 8th
  • Dine In w/Dunning, La Cantina, 3:30 - Closing

Friday, 24th - Friday, 31st

  • No School: Winter Recess
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What's New This Week:

  • Thanksgiving is an Enduring Multicultural Tradition
  • COVID Safety Tips for Thanksgiving
  • The Scholastic Book Fair is here!
  • Timothy's Toy Box
  • Dine In With Dunning

Old News, But Still Important:
  • Arrival & Dismissal Procedures
  • Breakfast & Lunch Information
  • Kindergarten Pre-Registration is Open!
  • The Gift Of Attendance
  • Vaccination Letter for Children Ages 5-11 (DPH and DESE)
  • Amazon Smile
  • Dunning Spirit Wear
  • Test & Stay
  • PTO News
  • Dunning Directory
  • P-EBT and SNAP (Food Support)
  • Community Resources

Important Links:

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at any time to share any questions, concerns, thoughts, or ideas.

Michele & Kathie



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What's New?

Thanksgiving is an Enduring Multicultural Tradition

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we are reminded that we are part of a global tradition.

The American Thanksgiving holiday began as a feast of thanks in the early days of the American colonies. It originated from a mix of European and Native American traditions that celebrated communal harmony and a bountiful harvest. Both the Separatists and the Puritans brought with them a tradition of providential holidays: days of fasting during difficult or pivotal moments and days of indulgence and celebration to thank God in times of plenty. Native Americans had a rich tradition of commemorating the fall harvest with feasting and games centuries before their arrival.

George Washington formally recognized the holiday in 1789. At the height of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November. It was celebrated on that day every year until 1939, when Franklin Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s plan was unsuccessful. In 1941 he signed a bill declaring it the fourth Thursday in November.

Thanksgiving is a festival that spans cultures, continents and millennia. Its roots can be traced to the ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian civilizations. The Greeks honored Demeter, the goddess of grains during Thesmophria. The Roman festival of Cerelia honored Ceres, the goddess of Corn. Egyptians honored the god of vegetation and fertility, Min. The ancient Chinese celebrated “Chung Ch’ui”, a three-day harvest festival.

Continuing today, cultures celebrate thanks for a plentiful harvest. Although these are observed with different names, customs, and traditions they all have the common theme of gratitude.

India is a multi-lingual, multi-cultural country united in its diversity. Most Hindu festivals are directly or indirectly linked to agriculture and related activities. Pongal is an ancient festival celebrated in South India. It can be considered the Tamil equivalent of Thanksgiving. It is celebrated during the same time as other harvest festivals including ‘Bhogali Bihu’ in the North Eastern State of Assam, Lohri in Punjab, ‘Bhogi’ in Andhra Pradesh and ‘Makar Sankranti’ in the rest of the country. Thanksgiving is observed by Christians in the state of Goa.

In Vietnam, Tet Trung Thu is a combination of Halloween and Thanksgiving. In Vietnamese folklore, parents worked so hard during the harvest that they sometimes neglected their children. To remedy this, activities stressing family solidarity and unity were celebrated. This tradition continues today.

The Japanese celebrate Kinro Kansha No Hi, a modern name for an ancient ritual called Niinamesai (Harvest Festival). It is the National Labor and Thanksgiving Day. Many people visit their local shrine or temple to give thanks for production, harvests, and each other.

In German speaking countries, Thanksgiving is an autumn harvest festival called Erntedank. The typical German, Austrian or Swiss thanksgiving celebration is usually a rural harvest time observance with church services, a parade, music, and a country fair atmosphere. In larger cities, churches sponsor Erntedankfest.

Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated in October to coincide with the end of the harvest season. The first Thanksgiving celebration in North America took place in Newfoundland 43 years before the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth. Martin Frobrisher, an explorer from England held a feast in commemorating his safe arrival to the New World.

The universal message of Thanksgiving may be summed up by this quote from John F Kennedy “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”


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COVID Safety Tips for Thanksgiving

We are writing to let you know, as directed by Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) guidance, there will be no pooled testing at Framingham Public Schools during the week of Thanksgiving (November 22-24).

We know that many in our community will be gathering with friends and family during the holiday. If you are celebrating the holiday with family and friends, we encourage you to:

  • be tested for COVID prior to traveling and/or gathering with your family and friends,
  • practice frequent hand washing,
  • wear masks when not eating,
  • keep windows open at your gathering place if possible, and
  • maintain physical distancing as much as possible.

If you or your children experience any Covid-like symptoms, you should consider not getting together with family and friends for the holiday and get tested.

The Scholastic Book Fair is here!

Hello Dunning Families!

We’re excited to invite you to our upcoming Scholastic Book Fair. Hosted by our PTO and parents, this event is an opportunity for students of all ages to build their home libraries and further their love of reading. As always, all purchases benefit our school.

After missing out on many beloved traditions, our fall Book Fair will be a familiar, welcome, and safe event for our students. Here’s what you need to know about the Fair, which will take place from November 22nd to December 3rd at Dunning Elementary School.

  1. Our Book Fair offers a cash-free payment option called eWallet. It’s a convenient digital account that your child can use for shopping at our Fair. Grandparents, friends, and others can contribute, too!
  2. Creating an eWallet:https://bookfairs.scholastic.com/bookfairs/parent-how-it-works.html?fairID=4949246
  3. Shop in person at the school November 22nd - December 3rd from 9:30 - 3:15. You will have to wear a mask and sign in for contact tracing purposes. We will have two afternoons available for shopping - Wednesday December 1st and Friday December 3rd from 4pm - 6pm. If you cannot make it during school hours, you can email an order to be filled with your online eWallet and the order can be delivered to your student.
  4. If you can’t make it to the Fair, then shop online at our school’s Virtual Book Fair. All orders ship directly to your home, and shipping is free for book orders over $25. Your online orders will also benefit our school.

Online Book Fair link:


Scholastic Book Fair online catalog:


Questions? Please contact Beth Last if you have any specific Book Fair questions! bethlast@ymail.com

Thank you very much and happy shopping!

Timothy's Toy Box

Holiday Toy Donations

Our Storyin 2007 my son Timothy and I set up a non-profit corporation to help local children in need during the holiday season. We give the children toys for Christmas that may not have received any gifts if we did not help. We want to help as many children as we can to have a merry little Christmas!

Since 2007 we have delivered over 21,000 new toys and gifts to local homeless shelters, churches, schools, hospitals as well as many other local families in need. We also purchase wrapping paper, tape, scissors, tags, batteries and blankets for the parents so that they have everything they need.

We receive a copy of all the children’s Christmas wish list items and we have been able to make all their Christmas wishes come true thanks to the help of many of our family, friends, neighbors and company sponsors. Timothy and I really enjoy doing this together and we will continue to do this every year. It is a great way for kids to be involved in helping others while having fun at the same time!

This year we will be helping over 400 local children in need!!!

We REALLY need your help in any of the following ways to make our 15th season a success:

1. Donate checks made payable to Timothy’s Toy Box Inc. OR donate online at www.timothystoybox.com

2. Donate NEW, unused, unwrapped toys/gifts appropriate for ages Infant – 15 years.

• Any type of NEW toys, games, books, crafts, and gifts are great! Here is a list of some of the most requested items if you need some ideas: Legos sets, footballs, soccer balls, Red Sox or Patriots gear, learning toys, hair accessories, nail polish or makeup kits, superhero figures, Mickey/Minnie Mouse, musical activity toys, Nerf toys, Barbie, slime kits, Shopkins, remote control cars/trucks, wrestling figures and of course whatever the new hot toys of the year are. Donations can be shipped directly to our address at 4 Anderson Road, Framingham, MA 01701 or can be dropped off to the donation box at Dunning by Friday 12/10/21.

3. Donate Gift Cards to places like Walmart, Target, Christmas Tree Shop, Five Below, Visa, Amazon, iTunes, etc.

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail or call us!

Thank you in advance for your support!

Sharon & Tim Gilbert

Timothy’s Toy Box Inc.


4 Anderson Road

Framingham, MA 01701

E-mail: timothystoybox@rcn.com Phone: 508-877-0784 Website: www.timothystoybox.com

Daniel's Table

The PTO received this from Daniel's Table thanking the Dunning community for the 11 boxes of canned goods that were collected.

On behalf of Daniel's Table, let me thank you all for the bounty of donations! We are truly grateful.

Sandra Montesino

Daniel's Table

Daniel's Table

We All Volunteer

Dine In With Dunning

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2021 AT 3:30 PM – 11 PM

Enjoy a meal at LaCantina, present the flyer and 20% of your bill will be donated to Dunning!

Make plans with other Dunning families and make it a night out!

  • Eat anytime from open at 3:30pm to close!
  • Seating available inside the dining room or outside in the tent.
  • Dine-In Only, No Take Out.
  • Alcohol is included.

La Cantina Flyer Link

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Old News

Kindergarten Pre-Registration is Open!


Dear Framingham Families,

If you have or know a child that will be five years old by August 31, 2022, online pre-registration for incoming Kindergarteners for the 2022-2023 school year is now open at https://www.framingham.k12.ma.us/kindergarten. Please disregard if this message does not apply to you.

All new incoming Kindergarteners must be registered - even if you already have children in Framingham Public Schools.

New and Noteworthy:

  • The Parent Information Center is now called the Department of Student Registration. Located at the Farley Building in the growing Welcome Center, the department has been renamed to align with their primary function. If people refer you to the Parent Information Center, please note that this is the same as Student Registration.
  • Framingham Public Schools in collaboration with our community partners, the MetroWest YMCA and Framingham State University Centers for Early Childhood Education, are offering a brand new Preschool Expansion Program. This partnership will be enrolling 4 year-old children who’ve not yet had access to early learning opportunities and provides access to high quality pre-k education before they start Kindergarten next year. The program begins in early 2022 and offers financial assistance based on family need. For more information please contact Christina Shea, Early Education Manager at 508-782-6898. More to come on this exciting partnership and opportunity!

Thank you and have a great evening.


Department of Student Registration

The Gift Of Attendance

We know this is a hard time, and some absences may be due to illness or other challenges such as Covid-19 quarantine.

Attendance matters because missing 10%+ of school days (just two days per month) can drastically impact your child's education

Are you planning a family trip for the holidays? As you think about your arrangements, we want to stress the importance of sending your child to school every day possible. Every year, absences spike in the weeks before and after the winter holiday as families squeeze in a few more vacation days. We know that just a few missed days here and there, even if they’re excused absences, can add up to too much lost learning time and put your child behind in school. This is as true in kindergarten as it is in high school. Put simply, too many absences at any age can affect a student’s chances for academic success and eventually for graduation.

  • Starting in preschool and kindergarten, too many absences can cause children to fall behind in school.

  • Kindergartners and 1st graders who miss 10%+ school days are much less likely to learn to read by the end of 3rd grade

  • Students can still fall behind if they miss just 1 or 2 days every few weeks.

  • Missing 10%, or about 2 days each month over the course of a school year, can make it harder to learn to read.

  • Being late to school may lead to poor attendance.

  • Absences and tardiness can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help children catch up.

We recognize that holidays are an important time for reconnecting with families far away. The costs of plane tickets often influence when you want to travel. But keep in mind the costs to your children’s education if they miss too much school— and the message you will be sending about the importance of attendance. Even if you’ve got a homework packet from the teacher, it doesn’t make up for the interaction and learning that happens in the classroom. Our teachers will be teaching, and our students will be learning, right up until vacation starts and the first day back. You can help us convey that message.

This holiday season, give your children the gift of an education and the habit of attendance.

Vaccination Letter for Children Ages 5-11 (DPH and DESE)

Dear Parents and Guardians,

This week the FDA and CDC recommended COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 5 to 11 years old. We’d like to provide you with current information and resources on vaccination and, now that the vaccine has been approved for this younger age group, we encourage you to have your child vaccinated to protect themselves, your family, and the school community.

While COVID-19 is generally less serious for school-age children than for older adults, children can become infected, and some may get very sick or suffer serious complications. Children can spread COVID-19 to others. Fortunately, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has now been approved for individuals ages 5 and up. The COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective against infection, serious illness, hospitalization, and death. Over 70 percent of Massachusetts youth ages 12-17 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Getting your child vaccinated will help limit COVID-19 spread in our school and community, and it can help keep your child and their schoolmates in school.

Please speak to your child’s doctor about their plans to administer the vaccine and raise any questions or concerns you have about the vaccine and your child.

More information about local COVID-19 vaccine clinics for our 5-11 year old students will be provided in the coming days.

There are also hundreds of vaccination sites across the state that have indicated their willingness to vaccinate children 5 and up. Many accept walk-in appointments, including CVS and Walgreens pharmacies, Market Basket and other grocery chains, and community health centers. More information on these sites, as well as safety information and helpful questions and answers, are all available at www.mass.gov/covidvaccine.

As a reminder:

  • The COVID vaccine is free for all, and no ID or insurance is needed to be vaccinated;

  • You can get vaccinated even if you are undocumented. Getting a vaccine will not impact your or your family’s immigration status. The Public Charge rule does NOT apply to getting the vaccine.

Getting your family vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones. We appreciate your help to keep all of our students, faculty, staff, and volunteers, as well as our community, safe and healthy this fall and all year long.

Margaret R. Cooke

Acting Commissioner

Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Jeffrey C. Riley


Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

amazon smile

Make a difference this holiday. Shop for gifts at smile.amazon.com to generate donations for Charlotte A. Dunning PTO.

Simply search “Charlotte A. Dunning PTO” and make Dunning your charity of choice.

When shopping at make sure to shop at smile.amazon.com and

you will automatically donate every time you shop!!

Need help setting up in the Amazon app?

Follow the instructions below to select "Charlotte A. Dunning PTO" as your charity and activate AmazonSmile in the app. Amazon will donate a portion of your eligible mobile app purchases to Dunning.

How it works:
1. Open the Amazon app on your phone
2. Select the main menu (=) & tap on "AmazonSmile" within Programs & Features
3. Select "Charlotte A. Dunning PTO" as your charity
4. Follow the on-screen instructions to activate AmazonSmile in the mobile app

Dunning Spirit Wear

The PTO is happy to announce we have a new Dunning Spirit Gear website up and running and waiting for your orders!!

Adult's and children's sizes!! Sweatshirts, t-shirts, pajama pants and more!! We even have umbrellas and winter hats for those rainy/snowy drop offs and pick ups!

Because of the amazing job our community did during the FunRun Fundraiser we are able to offer the gear this year at cost with no mark up! We may not be able to do this in future years so take advantage now and stock up on your Dunning gear. Makes great holiday gifts as well!

The site will be open all year long for ordering, no end date!!

Click HERE for online ordering

Test and Stay

We continue to encourage all families to provide consent for in-school COVID testing.

This can be done through a Google Form or a printed paper (Student consent form for COVID-19 testing) you can give your school nurse. This must be completed even if you participated in weekly testing last year.

You will need your students’ LASID number to complete the Consent Form:

Student Name: [FirstName] [LastName]


The Consent Form covers three different COVID testing options:

  • Pooled Testing (Currently happening each week across schools: regular, group testing to narrow down any asymptomatic cases.)

  • Test and Stay Testing (Starting the Week of October 4, 2021: daily individual tests for students who have been identified as a close contact of a positive case in the classroom to allow them to remain in school as long as they are symptom free).

  • Diagnostic Testing (We are not currently offering individual testing in school for students who have symptoms, but the City of Framingham's website provides places for families to pursue their own COVID Testing.)

The Test and Stay option helps us accomplish our primary goal that students remain in school as much as possible. Students who are identified as close contacts in school will take rapid antigen tests in school over the course of a 7-day period to confirm they are negative for COVID-19. Test and Stay will be utilized in cases where students are identified as close contacts of an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 and the exposure occurred during the school day.

In addition to launching the Test and Stay testing, schools will also continue with additional risk mitigation efforts like proper mask-wearing, physical distancing when possible, keeping classmates together, monitoring for symptoms daily, and more. It is important to note that certain situations may not warrant participation in Test and Stay and in some cases full quarantine at home may be necessary.

We appreciate everyone's patience, understanding, and flexibility as we continue to adjust our practices with the health and safety of our students and staff as the most important driver in our decision-making.

PTO News

Future PTO Meetings:


  • All meetings will be 5:30pm- 6:30pm


  • Monday, December 6th
  • Wednesday, March 9th
  • Thursday, April 28th
  • Friday, June 10th

Dunning Directory

Click HERE to register.

P-EBT and SNAP (Food Support)

Since P-EBT was created to replace school meals, students who return to in-person learning will not get P-EBT funds for the months that they are in school in-person.


  • ALL kids can get free meals at school (P-EBT was created to replace school meals)
  • P-EBT will be available this summer - keep your cards!
  • You can still use your P-EBT money from previous months if you have it - previous funds don't go away!
  • Apply for SNAP and get the MAXIMUM dollar amount during COVID-19

Food Funds for Kids 0-5 Years Old on SNAP

Fundos para alimentação para crianças de 0-5 anos de idade no SNAP

Asistencia de alimentos para niños de 0 a 5 años con SNAP

For more information or to apply, visit: www.map-ebt.org/snap.

Community Resources

For emergency food assistance call the Framingham Emergency Food Line (508-532-5479). For food or housing referrals, please contact the Family Resource Center (508-270-4313). If you or your child is having a mental health emergency, please call Advocates Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES) at 508-872-3333 or call 911 for assistance.
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Community Meeting Video Links

October Community Meeting: Staff/Respect

December Community Meeting: 1st Grade/Responsibility

February Community Meeting: 3rd Grade/Compassion

March Community Meeting: Kindergarten/Confidence

April Community Meeting: 2nd Grade/Determination

May Community Meeting: 4th Grade/Cooperation

June Community Meeting: 5th Grade/Pride