Frenchtown September News

September 2015

What's in your backpack?

Dear Parents,

Welcome Back to Frenchtown! In preparing for this school year, I began to reflect on those important messages and forms that families usually receive in endless packets at the beginning of the school year through “backpack express”. Our district has asked us to consider more consistent use of electronic communication. If you have not yet signed up for our listserv, please email me at Messages are sent on a regular basis through the school listserv.

Back to the “backpack express” concept…One of these first of the year reminders is that children should bring only those items which help them to do their best learning. We discourage stuffed animals, electronic toys, cell phones, Ipods, etc…which often interrupt the educational environment. Naturally, in a Zero Tolerance climate, we also must caution

that any toy weapons, camping/sporting knives, plastic or real utensils should not be brought to school. Please check your child’s backpack regularly and discuss this rule with them.

What about parents? What are you bringing to school this year? What’s in your “backpack”? This summer, I had the opportunity to watch Up in the Air, starring George Clooney. In this film, the character Ryan Bingham is a motivational speaker who uses a backpack analogy with participants to discuss priorities in life. The analogy contains some valid points about managing what can sometimes be a heavy load, juggling homework, medical appointments, after school activities, family obligations, career, and financial responsibilities and on and on. At times, it can feel overwhelming!

As I watched the movie, what kept going through my mind was, “Burden or blessing? It’s a choice.” You see, there are opportunities presented through every experience, which can either enrich your life or create a burden. My advice? Look for the enrichment! I suggest packing your backpack this fall with a spirit of collaboration and cooperation with your

child’s teacher. You both have his best interest at heart; why not create a strong partnership from the very first day?

Next, place in a bit of trust for the professionals interacting with your child on a daily basis. If you have a question or concern, please contact your child’s teacher or me right away and try to understand the situation fully by hearing all perspectives.

Add some volunteerism to that backpack. Frenchtown has a very active PTG, which supports the school’s needs for volunteers for daily activities as well as special events.

Lastly, add a generous amount of joy. These days in the life of your child are priceless and so quickly fleeting. Enjoy every moment of the experience! I know we will!

Sincerely, Mrs. Vaughn

Highly Qualified Teachers at Frenchtown

A message from Mrs. Cheryl B. Vaughn


Did you know that Frenchtown is a Targeted Assistance Title I school? The overarching purpose of Title I is to support improvements in teaching and learning in eligible schools (based on poverty levels present), to ensure that academically and economically needy children in meeting challenging academic standards. Title I assistance is available to students in Grades 1&2 at Frenchtown.

One of the requirements of compliance with this grant is to maintain a current parental involvement policy, called a Home-School Compact. This compact is to be reviewed and revised each year through the Title I program. Review and revision will take place early this school year.

If you would like to provide feedback, please email Mary Anderson at

Frenchtown School is proud to announce that each of our teachers is considered highly qualified by the state of Rhode Island.

Frenchtown School

Mission Statement

The mission of Frenchtown School is to ensure the development of each student’s intellectual, physical, social and emotional growth. We are a collaborative learning community nurturing excellence by engaging in problem solving, critical thinking and reflective learning.

Vision Statement

Frenchtown School will be known as a school where

Students develop independence and cooperation through active participation in inquiry-based, hands-on activities. Students are confident, successful learners who engage in diverse learning experiences.

The faculty uses varied, research based instructional strategies. Through collaboration and shared responsibility, faculty and staff ensure that instruction is focused on the needs of each child and that equitable opportunities exist for all academic and enrichment programs.

Administration facilitates a collaborative, supportive environment that prioritizes learning through trust, mutual respect and open communication. Administration provides for professional development and resources necessary for teaching and learning.

Families and the community are partners who support and expand learning within and beyond the classroom.

Collective Commitments:

Administrators will:

Address potential challenges to physical and/or safety concerns in a timely manner.

Support the creation and implementation of measurable goals for student achievement.

Support the creation and implementation of measurable goals for educator proficiency.

Encourage family participation and decision making.

Recognize and celebrate the efforts and achievements of the school community.

Create clear and effective systems for examining student growth.

Create and sustain systems for ongoing collaboration and professional development.

Facilitate allocation of resources based on school wide needs.

Teachers will:

Respectfully collaborate and share responsibility with the school community to meet the individual needs of each child.

Differentiate instruction to meet individual needs.

Continue to reflect on assessments in order to improve academic and behavioral outcomes.

Reflect, problem solve, share new ideas and experiences, seek and provide feedback to improve performance and teaching practice.

Clearly communicate high expectations for all students according to individual needs and abilities.

Support Staff will:

Share responsibility for the social, emotional, academic and safety needs of all children.

Support individual and small group instruction based on student need.

Collaborate through ongoing communication to ensure student needs are met.

Families will:

Respectfully collaborate and share responsibility with the school community to meet the individual needs of each child.

Support children’s learning at home and in the classroom.

Share responsibility for open communication that facilitates student learning.

Remain informed to support school initiatives and expectations.

Support curricular and extra curricular activities.