From the Principal's Pen

January 5, 2020

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Another New Year Begins - Welcome 2020!

I hope everyone has had a chance to relax and enjoy some quality time with family and friends over the Holiday Season. I am looking forward to the new year! My hope for our school and community is that we all continue to find ways to bring a passion for reading, a love for writing, and enthusiasm for numeracy into the lives of our young learners.


The start of school after a significant break always provides a good opportunity to re-establish a focus on learning and good habits that support that learning. In my visits to classrooms this week, it was apparent that our students and staff came back to school rested and ready for the challenges ahead! Parents can help students maintain this feeling by making sure their children get a good night’s sleep and arrive to school on time!



WHY PUNCTUALITY IS IMPORTANT

Being on time:


  • Gets the student’s day off to a good start and puts them in a positive frame of mind. Children settle well and have a better sense of belonging when they begin the day with their classroom community.
  • Is respectful to the teacher and to the classmates.
  • Leads to an understanding that school is important and education is valuable.
  • Helps develop a sense of responsibility and is an indicator of good character.
  • Leads to a good attendance record and sets positive patterns for the future.
  • Leads to better achievement.



WHY LATENESS HAS A NEGATIVE IMPACT ON CHILDREN’S LEARNING

Being late:


  • Gets the student’s day off to a bad start.
  • May lead the student to feel disorganized all day! The student may have missed out on vital instructions, information and bits of news at the start of the day.
  • Can cause students to fall behind.
  • Disrupts the lesson for everyone.
  • Creates a bad habit that can be hard to break in the workplace and lead to poor employment.



Research shows that children with poor attendance are at a disadvantage later in life. They often:


  • Find it harder to make and maintain friendships.
  • Are less likely to gain good qualifications.
  • Earn lower wages.
  • Have a higher chance of being unemployed.
  • Have low self-esteem.



Poor attendance and punctuality, even at the earliest age, can affect achievement in later life. Establishing good habits from the start helps children to settle more quickly into new settings and routines.


TIPS FOR GETTING TO SCHOOL ON TIME


  • Establish a good bedtime routine.
  • Ensure that your child always get a good night’s sleep and therefore awakes rested the next morning.
  • Provide a schedule and have children organize their materials the night before (e.g. books, instrument, sneakers, clothes).
  • Make sure children do their homework the night before, there may not be time to complete it in the morning.
  • Aim to always be at school 15 minutes before the start of the school day (aim for 7:45 am). If the unexpected happens you can still get to school on time.



In the elementary years, it is the parent’s responsibility to get their child to school on time. Thank you to all of our families that support their child’s education by encouraging good attendance and punctuality!

REQUESTS FOR INDEPENDENT SCHOOL APPLICATIONS

Dear Parents,


Please note the policy below that refers to sending student information to independent schools. Teachers and staff members may only complete recommendations for schools outside of the tri-state area. In addition, we are not permitted to electronically send student information to any institution. The office is permitted to give parents copies of their child’s records and the family can upload the records electronically if needed. Thank you.



Policy – E-080 FAMILY AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IN SCHOOLS

Procedure E– 080.15 – Relations and Communications with Independent Schools, Colleges

and Universities


The Superintendent directs staff members to cooperate with private schools, colleges and universities concerning student records and references in accordance with the law. Except as authorized by law, the written consent of the parent or the eligible student is required before confidential student information may be disclosed. The written consent must specify permission for disclosure and the person to whom the records are to be disclosed.


The Superintendent recognizes that providing reference information for students who may seek to attend independent schools is a time-consuming activity. Given that the primary responsibility of staff is to those students who attend Greenwich Public Schools, staff members will complete only those independent school applications and references which are for schools outside of the Greenwich area.

MAGNET SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE

The Greenwich Public Schools (GPS) are proud to offer choice to the families of Greenwich that may wish to apply to any of the District’s four elementary magnet schools and one middle school magnet program. School choice provides opportunities to attend a school with programs that may be of particular interest to a family and/or an individual student. School choice also provides the District with a means of balancing enrollment among its schools on a voluntary basis rather than by mandating school attendance area changes. The Magnet School Application Guidelines Packet and applications (in English and Spanish) are available on the GPS website at: www.greenwichschools.org/magnetschools


Julian Curtiss is a successful magnet school with an enrollment of 73 magnet students in a school of 280 students. That is 26% of our student body that attends our school by choice.


The deadline for Magnet Applications for the 2020-2021 school year is February 8, 2020. Please communicate to any families you may know that have an interest.


The Magnet Open House Schedule at Julian Curtiss as follows:


January 8th - 7:00 pm (snow date: January 15th at 7:00 pm)

January 14th - 9:15 am (snow date: January 21st at 9:15 am)

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