Esten Editorial Volume #6

February 2, 2021

A Note from the Principal

Dear Esten families:



I want more than anything for this whole pandemic to be over and school to return to normal. I do see a light at the end of the tunnel but until then, there are a few precautions we still need to keep in place.

If your child is a close contact to someone who has COVID please notify our school nurse, Mrs. Hannigan, at 781-871-8439 or through the main number, 781-878-8336. She can set up an appointment for your child or a family member to test at the middle school.

As we move past this difficult time please remember that if your child is quarantining and can’t be at school, they shouldn’t be out and about with other children. Quarantining means no playdates, birthday parties, get-togethers or sports. We all know that not having symptoms does not always equal COVID negative so please follow the quarantine guidelines that you’ve been given.

We are doing our best to keep your children socially distant from one another, wearing masks and cleaning hands. Our efforts at school have shown to be successful and am asking that you continue to make safety a priority while your children have to be at home.


Thank you and stay well.

Some of our Hats Off recipients!

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Below is the link to the kindergarten registration packet

Welcome to the class of 2034!

Kindergarten registration for the 2021-2022 school year has started. Below is the link to the paperwork that must be completed and submitted. A child must be 5 years old by August 31st to register. Paperwork must be completed and parents can schedule an appointment (Feb 1st to March 5th) with Mrs. MacNeil at 781-878-8336 to drop it off at school.

Changing of the Sign

Nurse's Notes

Can you believe it has been a little over a year since we first started hearing about Covid 19? Who would've thought it would have turned out this way. Masks, quarantining, hybrid, and/or remote schooling?! Stop the madness! Well, hopefully, an end (or at least an improvement) may be in sight with vaccines being administered. So hang in there, we are almost there!


Having said that, I would like to, once again, applaud the efforts of parents, staff, and students in stopping the spread of the virus. From a school standpoint, it has worked. At Esten, there have been no in-school transmissions of the virus. Yes, we have had students with the virus and lots of quarantining, however, the majority of this has been due to contracting the virus outside of school and students being identified as close contacts through sports, friends gathering, etc. Therefore, on weekends, quarantine times, February vacation, travel, etc, please follow social distancing/quarantine guidelines. Also, please remember, if your student travels for any amount of time to a high risk state, he/she will need a negative Covid 19 test (or quarantine) before returning to school.


Lastly, not everything is about Covid 19. February is American Heart Month, bringing attention to cardiovascular health in both adults and children. Sadly, cardiovascular disease claims more lives than all cancers combined. This Friday, February 5th, is Go Red for Women day. The hope is to dress the country in red to help bring awareness to this disease. So please feel free to dress your student in red. I am also taking donations for the American Heart Association. If you are interested in donating, please reach out to me.


Stay safe!


Bernadette Hannigan RN, BSN, CCM

School Nurse Esten Elementary School

781-871-8439

bhannigan@rocklandschools.org

Phone: 781-871-8439

Fax: 781-871-8451

The Pandemic & Student learning... a note from Mrs. Romeo, Esten's School Psychologist

This past year has brought significant challenges to our staff and students in ways that we have never seen before. One of the major concerns of both teachers and parents is that students are not making the academic progress that would typically be expected during a school year, and to some extent this is accurate. When schools abruptly closed in March 2020, there was no template for on-line learning. Educators did not have the materials or the means to be teaching the skills and concepts they typically would and many students did not have the tools or knowledge to engage in on-line learning. Added into the mix was the fact that many parents suddenly found themselves working from home and trying to juggle their work with monitoring the work that their children were doing as well. All of this made for a chaotic and stressful end to the 2019-2020 school year with many wondering, in addition to all the unknowns and fear surrounding the pandemic, what this would mean in regard to student progress.


Over the summer and into the fall of 2020, the administration and staff worked diligently to craft a plan to get students back into learning once the new school year began. Most of our students began the year in a hybrid model alternating a week of in-person school with a week of at-home learning. To help support students during their at-home learning weeks, they were provided with Chromebooks and our STEM teachers provided them with lessons on how to use various features they would need to navigate Google Classroom. Teachers received training on how to use Google Classroom as well, and they developed many more resources that could be used for teaching students remotely than had been available in March 2020.


As hard as staff, students and parents have worked this year, the hybrid learning model does not compare to full-time in-person learning. Staff has noted that students do have some skill gaps and that the typical benchmarks/expectations set for each grade level will need to be modified. That is not to say that standards have been set lower or removed but more that it will take a longer time for students to meet benchmarks due to hybrid learning. This is an unfortunate but expected outcome given that students have missed so much direct instruction. To address these skill gaps and to provide as much opportunity for learning as possible to all of our students, we are providing supports in a number of ways that include working with paraprofessionals during remote learning weeks, working with interventionists during their in-person weeks and having blocks of time during the day when teachers can provide some individualized support to students. We are closely monitoring progress for all students and are confident that we will see success and academic growth throughout the remainder of the school year.

School Pictures are coming back!

We will have school pictures taken this spring. Weather permitting, we will have them taken outside on Monday, April 5th for Cohort B and Monday, April 12th for Cohort A. Looking forward to seeing those maskless smiles! More information and on-line ordering will be sent home as the date gets closer.

Social Media and Your Child

Dear Esten Families,


As I am sure you are all aware, social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Tik Tok, and Instagram have become a regular part of the everyday lives of many Americans. Unfortunately, this is true for many of our students as well. Did you know, however, that most social media apps actually restrict usage to those over the age of 13? This age limit has been dictated by U.S. law through the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). This is for good reason. Students under the age of 13 may not have the capacity to make good decisions all the time on social media. Every social media post made by a student becomes part of that student’s online digital footprint. This digital footprint is a permanent record that can follow one throughout one’s life. Even material that has been removed or deleted often leaves a permanent record.

Here are more links to help families make informed decisions on their children’s use of social media:

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Update School Calendar

Below is the updated school calendar. Just a reminder that the cohort order changed. This week in-school is Cohort B and next week cohort A is in school.