Your Weekly Update from Kennedy Middle School
Week 16 of the school year .. See you next year!
Dear Kennedy Families and Caregivers,
In the blink of an eye we are at winter break. I hope everyone takes time to rest, relax, be with friends and family, and celebrate all the great events of 2022. I'm excited to see my son, Charlie, this week who is visiting from NYC, my daughter, Liv, has tons of hockey (go RedHawks), my in-laws are visiting from Fort Lauderdale (hope they have a jacket), and I bought extra wood for my fireplace. I am looking forward to some time with family and a bit slower pace for 10 whole days. Heaven!
During this time of year, I always try to remind everyone that kindness goes a long way. The reason I chose to enroll Kennedy Middle School in the Positivity Project is their messaging and mission to spread positivity. There is no room for hate anywhere in our building or our community. Please consider going over this week's Positivity Project character strength (below) with your child and family. Building on the positive is how we make change. I am starting to see it around school. Please join us in this mission. #weR1Kennedy #hearusROAR #positivityinaction
Positivity Project News
Next week, our school community will be focusing on the Other People Mindset of Being Present and Giving Others My Attention. This means when I’m with other people, I’m present and give them my full attention.
This element of the Other People Mindset is so important today due to the increasing number of distractions vying for our time and attention. Phone calls, text messages, emails, social media notifications all have the dangerous capacity to pull us away from the present moment and, what’s most important -- our relationships with other people.
To practice and encourage the character strength of OPM-being present and giving others my attention with your child, please visit the Positivity Project’s P2 for Families (password: P2) where together you will watch a video, read a quote and talk about the answers to three questions.
Here is the Other People Matter - Being Present parent letter for this week's character strength.
Couple of quick reminders:
- Please send students to school with reusable water bottles. We have water filling stations around the building for them to refill during the day.
- For morning drop off and and afternoon pick up, cars must go around the back of the school. There is no parent waiting area in the teacher's parking lot. Cutting through the lot slows down the overall flow of traffic in and out of our school property.
Vandalism in the bathrooms:
It saddens me to inform families that senseless vandalism has been on the rise in our school bathrooms. Please have a conversation with your student(s) to let them know that, although it may seem like a joke to damage items in the bathroom (cutting wires underneath that make the hands free sinks flow, flooding toilets, writing on the mirrors, plugging soap dispensers), these acts are adding an inordinate amount of work for our already very busy and hardworking custodians and staff who are working round the clock to identify the responsible parties. When we return after winter break we are hopeful that our students can be more respectful of all our spaces here at Kennedy. Any help from home spreading this message would be hugely helpful. If any student has information about who may be responsible, please reach out to an administrator. Thank you!
Kennedy Artist Spotlight - Simone Gagnon
Here is what Simone's art teacher, Mrs. Kassap, has to share about Simone: "Simone has many talents and the arts is just one area where she shines brightly. This trimester I asked Simone if she would be interested in creating a piece of artwork that could be left at Kennedy as a legacy artwork and shared with the entire Kennedy community. I shared an idea with Simone and she quickly went to work to make it her own. It was a pleasure to watch her create it and I am so proud of her consistent effort and skill. I am excited she is willing to share it with the Kennedy community. It will be hung in the main office."
This is what Simone had to say about her artwork:
"Creating this piece resulted with a ton of trial and error with a short deadline. For this piece I tried to best represent the vision of Cougar pride and the schools meaning of ROAR"
Her work can be seen in the picture below. Congratulations to Simone and her amazing artwork. We are excited to have her art hanging in the main office for our entire community to see! Amazing work #cougarpride
Information notification letters about math placement for future grades 7 and 8 were sent home via school messenger (and translated) today at 3:00pm. The letters can be accessed by the links below.
Covid Antigen Tests going home Friday, December 23rd
Your student was given a box of covid antigen tests in homeroom this week. Two tests were sent home. One is for use during the vacation. The other one is to be done the night before returning to school on January 2nd. Thank you all for doing your part in keeping us safe and healthy at Kennedy. And, remember, please stay home if you are sick!
From the Nurses Health Clinic:
If your student tests positive for Covid-19, they must stay home for 5 days. The day they started symptoms is Day 0, the next day is Day 1, then Day 2, etc. They may return to school on Day 6 and must wear a mask for an additional 5 days. A headache, scratchy throat, congestion/runny nose, cough, and/or fever are some of the more common symptoms of Covid-19.
Siblings and close contacts do not need to quarantine and can come to school as long as they are not having symptoms of illness. However, they must wear a mask for 10 days when around others following exposure.
Click for more information from the Massachusetts DPH: Covid-19 Isolation and Exposure Guidance
Congrats to the wrestling team who won the Milford Super Quad, going undefeated (4-0) vs 4 other teams! There were many wrestlers who went undefeated including Jaxon Leach, Frankie Macchiano, PJ Ventrone and Eddie Ventrone. Taten Sheriff went toe to toe with a top wrestlers in the state, and Maxwell MacDonald did great wrestling up two weight classes! See great picture of the team below.
I hope everyone has a restful winter vacation. See you all next year!!
Jodie Cohen, Principal
“Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things; to the everyday things nearest to us rather than to the things that are remote and uncommon.”
~ BOOKER T. WASHINGTON
Twitter - @KennedyMSNatick
Instagram - @KennedyMSNatick
Artwork by Simone Gagnon
Kennedy wrestling team wins BIG!
More puppy pictures from BOKs this week!
Now that's what I call a gingerbread house!!
3D printing in Mr. Stefanini's classroom
Readers Theater in Ms. Fitzgerald's classroom
Ms. Turcot's Grade 5 Road to Revolution projects
Ms. Gately's 5th grade students are excited for winter break!!
EIGHT Things You Need to Know
1 - iDecide Survey Notification - Week of 2/6/2023
iDECIDE (Drug Education Curriculum: Intervention, Diversion, and Empowerment), is a drug education curriculum developed to provide behavioral support and psycho-education for middle and high school students. The program is designed to serve as a secondary prevention effort for youth (grades 6 -12) at risk for escalation to problematic substance use and as an alternative to suspension, expulsion, and other exclusionary practices for school-based substance use infractions. iDecide provides schools and communities the resources to empower students to engage in healthy decision making. iDecide is not a cessation program, and is not meant to be used in lieu of treatment. Natick Public Schools was chosen to work in partnership with iDecide, a program produced by Mass General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
For more information about the iDecide program and its brief survey for students, USE THIS LINK.
2 - Depression Screening Notification letter
Depression screening notifications were sent home to all grade 6 and 7 families via school messenger this week. Here is the link to the letter that was sent. Please read this letter for more information.
3 - 2023 Annual Community MLK Celebration Writing/Art/Performance Piece Contest
On Monday January 16, 2023, in Natick, MA., the Greater Natick Interfaith Clergy Association, Natick Is United, the Natick Board of Health, Natick 180, Town of Natick, Natick Public Schools, METCO, and SPARK Kindness will host the 18th Annual Community MLK Celebration from 10:00-11:00 at Kennedy Middle School (more details to be announced closer to the date). See event page for more details.
Students at Wilson and Kennedy Middle Schools and Natick High School are invited to submit an essay, poem, creative writing (400 words or fewer) OR performance OR presentation of an art piece. Both Middle Schools and Natick High School will select the winning submission(s) to represent the school at the MLK celebration. The creator of each winning entry will win a $100 prize; additionally, other submissions will be featured in the event program and/or in an event recording.
For more details about the event and/or writing contest, follow this link for information.
4 - Grade 8 to 9 Transition to Natick High School Timeline
Letter to families from Mrs. Morin, 8th grade school counselor:
Good Afternoon Grade 8 Parents,
Today your child reviewed the Natick High School Transition Timeline of events with their guidance counselor, Mrs. Morin. Students were given a paper copy to take home. We've attached the timeline here for your review and reference as well. While the first "event" doesn't take place until January, many students have begun thinking about their next steps after middle school and have asked how the process for preparing for high school will unfold. Please don't hesitate to reach out to the admin team or Mrs. Morin with any questions.
Here is the link to the Grade 8 to 9 Transition Timeline.
5 - Middle School Tutoring Program at NHS
We are happy to announce that KMS is continuing our collaboration with the high school and running a tutoring program for middle school students at Kennedy and Wilson. There are members of the National Honor Society at the high school who are volunteering to tutor middle school students. Our hope is to create tutoring partnerships that will primarily meet in person at the high school library between 2:30-5 p.m. as it will be monitored by a staff member. Occasionally, sessions can be held via Google Meet as a virtual option. Families will primarily be responsible for transporting their students to the high school for their tutoring sessions. We are providing training for the tutors on best practices for working with middle school students.
If you are interested in signing your student up for tutoring, please fill out this form. The hope is to get students matched with tutors by the end of November.
6 - Yearbook Orders
The full-color, 64+ page, hard-cover yearbook that chronicles the highlights of the 2022-23 school year is on sale now! We are discounting the book until November 14th. If you reserve your copy before 11/14 the price is only $30. After the 14th, the cost increases to $35. All orders must be placed by January 10, 2023, to be guaranteed a book! Any orders placed after January 10th will cost $40 and are subject to availability. Order your book today! 8th-grade students who qualify for financial aid should speak to their guidance counselor about seeing if they qualify for a free book.
7 - UPCOMING SCHOOL EVENTS for your calendar
- Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday - Monday, January 16th - No school
- Trimester 2 ends - Friday, March 17th
- Trimester 3 begins - Monday, March 20th
- Trimester 3 ends - TBD (depends on last day of school based on snow days)
8 - Natick Board of Health Flu Clinic Information
Click here for more information about the flu clinic.
Paper - On-Demand Tutoring
Natick Public Schools is excited to announce our partnership with Paper for on-demand tutoring for NHS students. Paper is a secure, online tutoring service that provides students with unlimited, 24/7 academic support. Whether they’re stuck on homework, studying for a test, or need someone to read and make suggestions to their essays, there will always be experts available online to assist students in over 200 subjects and more than 4 languages.
Paper tutors have been specially trained to conduct expert, academic support in a secure, chat-based platform. With a commitment to helping students learn, they’ll never give students answers, but rather interact with them in an encouraging tone to lead them forward.
This is a free service that we’re providing, so students are encouraged to use it as much as they need, whenever they need. Our teachers also have accounts and will be able to review all student activity to see what they’re working on and provide more targeted instruction as needed.
If you’d like to learn more about Paper you can sign up for a Paper hosted Parent Info Session, available in both English and Spanish.
To see Paper and the help it offers firsthand, we encourage you to login with your students. To get started, simply visit PAPER’s student login page, type your school’s name, and log in via Google using your school credentials
We’re thrilled to offer our students the unlimited, 24/7 support that Paper provides and we can’t wait to see what we’re able to accomplish together.
Our Kennedy Middle School PTO works hard behind the scenes to support our school in a variety of ways. They are working diligently to bring great activities to our school community. Please check out their website for more information.
- Title I: Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990Title II
- Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990Title VI
- Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964Title IX
- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
- MGL, Ch.76, Section 5: Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 76, Section 5