The Globe

Charter Oak International Academy

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Letter from the Principal

Dear Charter Oak Families:

As you know, we take student safety at Charter Oak very seriously. West Hartford Public Schools is starting a computerized visitor management system in all of our schools to strengthen our program of campus safety for students and faculty. Part of keeping students and faculty safe is knowing who is in our buildings at all times, and this system will allow us to do that. The Raptor Visitor Management System is the industry leader and allows us to screen visitors, contractors, and volunteers in our schools and provide a safer environment for our students and staff. We will be starting this new procedure at Charter Oak in the next few days.

Our visitor management system is designed to identify visitors and alert school personnel of sex offenders, custody alerts and any pre programmed customized alerts. All first time visitors will be scanned through the visitor management system. Upon entering a district building, visitors will be asked to present an ID such as a Driver’s License, which can either be scanned or manually entered into the system. If a parent or guardian for any reason does not have a US government-issued ID, the school staff member can use any form of identification and manually enter the person’s name and date of birth into the visitor system. The system instantly scans the name, photo, and the birth date of the visitor. Once entry is approved, the system prints a badge that identifies the visitor, the date, and the purpose of his/her visit. A visitor’s badge will not be necessary for those who visit our schools simply to drop off an item in the office or pick up paperwork.

The software compares the identity of the visitor with the national database of registered sex offenders. The registered sex offender database is the only database checked by the system. No other data from the ID is gathered or recorded and the information is not shared with any outside agency. If a positive match occurs, building personnel will be immediately and discreetly alerted. To prevent false positives, the system has the ability to compare a photograph of the actual registered sex offender to the visitor.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and your support in helping us keep Charter Oak safe and please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.


Juan Melián


Queridas Familias de Charter Oak:

Como todos ustedes saben, en Charter Oak nos tomamos los asuntos de seguridad muy seriamente. Las escuelas públicas de West Hartford están incorporando un sistema computarizado para visitas en todas nuestras escuelas para así reforzar nuestro programa de seguridad para estudiantes y personal. Parte de ese objetivo es saber en todo momento quién está en nuestros edificios, y es eso precisamente lo que este sistema nos permitirá. El Sistema Raptor de Visitantes es el líder en su campo que nos ofrecerá la posibilidad de chequear a visitantes, proveedores de servicios y voluntarios y así tener un grado de seguridad aún mayor para todos. Este sistema comenzará en Charter Oak en los próximos días.

Este sistema está diseñado para identificar a los visitantes y alertar al personal escolar de agresores sexuales, alertas en temas de custodia y otras alertas pre-programadas. Todos aquellos que visitan la escuela por primera vez serán escaneados a través del sistema. Al entrar en cualquier edificio del distrito pediremos a nuestros visitantes que presenten una forma de identificación, por ejemplo, la licencia de manejar, la cual puede ser escaneada o manualmente registrada en el sistema. Si un padre o guardián por cualquier motivo no tiene un documento de identificación emitido por el gobierno de Estados Unidos, el personal de la escuela podrá recibir cualquier otra forma de identificación y proceder a registrar manualmente el nombre de la persona en el sistema de visitas. El sistema instantáneamente escanea el nombre, la foto, y la fecha de nacimiento del visitante. Una vez que la entrada es aprobada, el sistema imprime una pegatina que identifica al visitante, la fecha de la visita y el propósito de ella. Ello no será necesario para aquellos que visitan nuestra escuela simplemente para dejar o recoger algo en la oficina.

El software del sistema compara la identidad del visitante con la base de datos nacional del registro de agresores sexuales. Esta es la única base de datos que es usada por el sistema. Ninguna otra información del documento de identidad es recogida o registrada y la información que sí lo es no es compartida con ninguna agencia. Si hay una identificación que coincide con el registro de agresores sexuales, el personal escolar lo sabrá de forma inmediata y será discretamente alertado. Para evitar errores, el sistema tiene la posibilidad de comparar la fotografía de la persona registrada como agresor con la del visitante.

Les agradezco por adelantado su colaboración y comprensión, así como su ayuda para mantener Charter Oak seguro. Por favor, no dude en contactar conmigo si tiene alguna pregunta o preocupación.


Juan Melián

Save the Date:

January 13th: PEACE Assembly- Grades 2-5 at 2:00 pm, and PK - Grade 1 at 2:45 pm

January 16th: Welcoming Schools Session at 6:00 pm

January 20th: Martin Luther King Jr. Day- NO SCHOOL/OFFICE CLOSED!

January 23rd: Magnet Open House at 6:30 pm

January 24th: PTO Presents- Bingo Night at 6:30 pm

January 27th: FRC Play Rehearsals from 3:30 pm- 4:30 pm

January 27th: Transition to Kindergarten Information Meeting at 6:30 pm at Town Hall Auditorium (Please see flyer below for more information)

January 28th: FRC Play Rehearsals from 3:30 pm- 4:30 pm

January 29th: FRC Play Rehearsals 2:00 pm- 4:00 pm

January 30th: FRC Play Rehearsals from 3:30 pm- 4:30 pm

January 30th: Welcoming Schools 6:00 pm-7:30 pm

January 31st: FRC Play Performance 7:00 pm

Upcoming Student Activities:


Orchestra 7:45 am Auditorium (Starting up Jan. 13th)

Lexia Lab 8:00 am Library


Homework Center 3:20-4:20 pm


Lexia Lab 8:00 am Library


Suzuki Tour Group 8:00 am Room 160 (Starting up Jan. 16th)

Chorus 8:00 am Music Room (Starting up Jan. 16th)

Homework Center 3:20-4:20 pm


Gr.5 Band 7:45 am Auditorium

Kindergarten 2020!

If you have a child who will enter kindergarten in the Fall of 2020, or have friends or neighbors with an incoming kindergartener please see the Off to Kindergarten flyer at the end of this newsletter. The town wide transition to kindergarten meeting will be on January 27, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. held at the town hall auditorium.

Questions? Please contact


If your child will be absent or tardy from school, please call our office at (860) 233-8506.

If you are put into our voicemail system, press 1 to leave a recorded message. Please include the reason for the absence. This procedure will eliminate incorrect absence reporting as well as unnecessary phone calls to your home.

What's Cooking at the FRC

Happy New Year Everyone!

There's lots happening at the FRC during this first month of 2020. We still have a few spaces left in the Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI). If you would like to develop your leadership skills or learn more about our community and how to advocate for positive change please consider participating in PLTI. PLTI will meet on Wednesday evenings beginning Jan. 15 at Charter Oak with family dinner and childcare provided. There is no charge to attend. PLTI grads have gone on to lead PTOs, run for public office or complete other projects they are passionate about. Give us a call at 860-929-5575 and we can share the details.

The FRC will once again be offering the 8 week Circle of Security parenting program. Circle of Security is a researched based program that strengthens our ability to respond to our children's emotional needs. Circle of Security will meet at the FRC on Friday mornings from 9:15-10:45 AM beginning January 24 with childcare provided. Kim Townsend, FRC Parent Educator and Amy Yarbrough, FRC Family Liaison will facilitate Circle of Security. There is a $40 fee for this program with partial scholarships available. To register call the FRC at 860-929-5575 or stop in room 150.

Coming up during the last week of January is the annual COIA/FRC Musical. Children in grades three through five are welcome to audition after school on Monday, Jan. 27. After a very intense week of rehearsals the children will perform the one hour show with songs and dances on Friday, January 31. Please save the date for a very special performance! Permission slips will come home soon.

Deborah Zipkin

FRC Director

Express Yourself with Kindergarten

Kindergarten is looking for adults who will come in to show us a

specific art form for their Express Ourselves IB unit. Please email if you are willing to come show off

your talent! (ANY art form! Dance, music, sculpting, weaving, theatre,

crocheting, painting, fashion, home interior design, anything!)

Snow Fun!

Happy New Year! Our Kindergarten friends are so excited to be playing in the snow on the playground at Charter Oak. In order to partake in the fun, please remember that your child will need some essentials: snow pants, snow boots, waterproof gloves/mittens and a jacket. Please make sure everything is labeled with his/her name so loose items find their way home. For smooth transitions and less stress for your child, please practice changing in and out of winter gear independently at home. Below is a little “How To” book that shows the steps to get ready. Feel free to use it as a guide at home.

Supporting Early Literacy at Home

As the parent, you are your child’s first teacher. Here are some tips for how you can support your child’s early literacy at home so they are ready to learn at school:

· It is important for young children to develop oral language in order to have success reading. You should talk to your child and use new words frequently. Remember, children need many repetitions of words before they become a natural part of their vocabulary.

· It is important for students to have background knowledge to bring to a text as they read. You can help your child build background knowledge by exposing them to as many experiences as you can. Take trips to museums, parks, the grocery store, the post office, etc. Talk to your child about what he/she sees.

· Read to your child every day and let him/her see you reading and writing in everyday life. Let your child know how newspapers, magazines, using recipes, making shopping lists, writing birthday cards, reading signs, and reading menus are ways that people read and write every day.

· Read books with your child. Read aloud together or take turns reading pages. Talk to your child about what is happening.

Happy reading!

Leigh Eppinger

Happy New Year from the music room!

We had a wonderful concert in December and are eager to get rehearsals started for our next performance in the spring on May 13th. The chorus provides an opportunity for students in grades 4 and 5 to work as a community while developing listening, singing, evaluating, creating, and partwork skills. The Charter Oak International Academy chorus rehearses on Thursdays at 8:00am in the auditorium. Rehearsals for the spring concert begin on January 16th. If your child is interested in becoming a member of this great singing group (and is not already in chorus), please fill out this form.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the Charter Oak Chorus or our classroom music activities.


Dr. Zych

ELC Lottery Applications:

The Early Learning Center at Whiting Lane School and Aiken Elementary School is now accepting applications for the 2020-2021 school year. The program is family centered and has half day sessions that meet four days a week. A lottery will be conducted in March.

To be considered for the program, children must be three years old by October 31, 2020, toilet-trained by the start of the school year and exhibit age-appropriate language, social and play skills. All applicants must participate in a play-based screening prior to being considered for the lottery selection.

If you are interested, please sign-up on the on-line application at:

The application process will close on February 7, 2021.

Emergency Closing Times

As you know, it is very infrequent that we have an emergency closing due to weather, but when this occurs, our goal is to get everyone home and off the roads as safely and quickly as possible. To improve our safety and help meet this goal, we have moved forward the times for emergency closing to the following schedule

  • Elementary: 11:45 am
  • Middle: 11:00 am
  • High: 10:30 am

Here are some resources of where to look for any changes to the school schedule based on weather:

FM Radio

AM Radio



Before School Safety Procedures:

Your child’s safety is important to us. There is no supervision on the grounds until this time. Thank you for your cooperation!!

  • Students arriving early for before school activities such as band, orchestra or chorus should be dropped off between 7:45-8:00 a.m.
  • Students arriving for breakfast should be dropped off at 8:05 a.m.
  • Students arriving for the normal school day should be dropped off at 8:20 a.m.

Lost and Found:

Our lost and found will be located in the metal trunk to the right of the Main Office Entry doors.

Every two weeks, any unclaimed items will be donated to charity.

Important Flyers: