News From the Eagle's Nest

March/April 2023

School Hours

School Day: 8:55 am - 3:15 pm

Student Drop off starts: 8:40 am

Student Pick up starts: 3:15 pm

Elmwood Office and Phones: 8am - 4pm

A Note From the Principal

Last month at Elmwood we celebrated our Fifth annual “March Madness” Non-Fiction Book Challenge run by our district ELA Director, Mrs. Deb Moriarty. At the start of the March Madness reading challenge, every Elmwood classroom received a set of eight hard-cover, non-fiction books purchased within the year to represent new titles that students may not have read yet.

Each week students listened to read-alouds of pre-paired book battles matched “March Madness Style” in 1:1 "book battles." The battle-winners were decided by student/classroom votes and after each round of voting our brackets were updated and the next round of "challenges" began. Books were selected to represent age/grade level interests, diversity, and a publication year of 2022. Books were purchased in the fall of this school year.

Student enthusiasm for the challenge was high and conversations around the books and the pairings could be heard school-wide. On Fridays, the week's "winner" was announced at the end of the day to school-wide cheers, clapping, and incredible energy!

We are grateful for the ability to continue this reading tradition for a fifth year and take seriously the opportunity to foster a lifelong love of reading in our second and third-graders. See below for a full listing of the book titles.

The winner of this year’s March Madness challenge was announced before the April break. By a landslide:

Yoshi and the Ocean: A Sea Turtle's Incredible Journey Home, by Lindsay Moore

Check it out!!

Very warmly, Mrs. Anne Carver

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Building Safety

  • All Elmwood doors are locked at all times.
  • Visitors must sign in at the Main Office.
  • An ID is needed to enter the building and/or to dismiss a student. We will ask EVERY visitor for their ID, even if we recognize them. EVERY TIME.
  • Visitors check in and receive a visitor pass to be worn for the duration of the visit.
  • Volunteers and classroom participants must have a valid CORI on file. (PLEASE indicate your legal name when signing up for classroom events. This allows office staff to accurately check your CORI status.)

Large Class Events:

  • When visiting Elmwood for a large/whole class event your intention to attend will be shared with office staff ahead of time. (Please RSVP.)
  • Your CORI status will be verified in advance of the event. CORIs cannot be submitted for review on the day of an event.
  • Adults will be asked to sign in and find their pre-printed "name tag" to be worn visibly for the duration of the visit.
  • You will be escorted to the classroom and from the classroom as a whole group and you are asked not to visit other areas of our school.
  • Please sign OUT when you leave.

Thank you for your cooperation! Enjoy your time at Elmwood!!

Elmwood's Spring Bookfair

Click here for more information about this year's bookfair to be held at Elmwood, during classroom Library times.

Upcoming Dates

  • April 24th-26th- Potato Hill Poetry Enrichment (Thank you, HPTO) All gr. 2 students
  • April 26th-28th- Michael LaFosse Enrichment (Thank you, HPTO) All gr. 3 students
  • May 1st-5th - Elmwood Bookfair All students
  • May 1-4th- Hopkinton Town Librarian visits Gr. 2 classrooms
  • May 3rd & 5th, 23rd & 24th, 30th & 31st-Mass Audubon's Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary- Gr. 3 student Field Trip
  • Friday- May 12th- Early Release Day- 1 pm dismissal
  • Monday-Tuesday- May 15th-16th- Gr. 3 Math MCAS test days
  • Friday- May 26th- Early Release Day- 1 pm dismissal
  • Monday- May 29th- NO SCHOOL- Memorial Day
  • Thursday- June 1st- International Night. Link to flyer
  • Tuesday-Thursday- June 6-8th-Hopkins admin. visit Elmwood for Step Up Day.
  • Thursday- June 15th- Elmwood Field Day- raindate: Friday, June 16th
  • Monday- June 19th- NO SCHOOL- Juneteenth
  • Wednesday- June 21st- LAST DAY OF SCHOOL- early dismissal 12:20 pm- No lunches served EACH SNOW DAY PUSHES THE LAST DAY OUT ONE DAY.

The Deadline for Placement requests was April 13th. Grade-level teams and administrators are well on their way to creating thoughtful and appropriate classroom placements for all! Thank you for your input!

A request from Mrs. Leedberg, Music Teacher:

Please consider sending in a box of tissues for the music room.

Thank you!!


Allergy Awareness

It is important to remind all families that Elmwood School has students with life-threatening allergies to nuts (peanuts/tree nuts). Due to the serious risk of anaphylaxis, we ask for your cooperation in helping us create Nut-Aware classrooms to minimize the possibility of exposure.

Please refrain from sending in snacks containing nuts or peanuts. All foods are allowed in the cafeteria, where allergy-aware tables are located.

Additionally, please remind your child not to share food or snacks at school.

If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Mrs. Carver or Nurse Lisa.


Please pack water bottles and snacks for your second/third graders. As the weather warms up students need to stay hydrated and we have filtered water bottle filling stations throughout the building for student access as needed.

Reminder to parents to be aware of seasonal allergies, and to give your child allergy medication prior to coming to school as they predict a difficult allergy season. Please pack extra clothes for the spring muddy days - lots of puddles to be expected :)

Elmwood Community News

Elmwood's Got Spirit!

Fridays are Spirit Days at Elmwood! Your child may wear school, Hopkinton, or favorite sports team gear. More information to come regarding other school spirit days this year.

Click here for a link to Tri-Valley Spirit Wear

New Elmwood Principal named!

David Brauninger has accepted the position of Elmwood Principal for the coming school year. Mr. Brauninger will officially begin on July 1, 2023, and will work closely with our Assistant Principal, Michelle Tynan to ensure a thoughtful and smooth transition for all. David is excited for this next leg of his journey and he is in very good hands with Michelle as his "right-hand person," and with Administrative Assistants Joanne Lipocky, Sue Napolitano, and Nurse Lisa Leighton to support and guide him. Together they will make an incredible team!!

David received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Stonehill College. He holds a Master of Education from Simmons College as well as a Master of Education in Organizational Management from Endicott College. He also completed the MA Secondary School Administrators’ Association (MSSAA) Leadership Licensure Program. For the past nine years, he has served as the Principal of Lt. Peter M. Hansen Elementary School in Canton, and he previously served as the Student Services Coordinator for Canton High School. He began his career as a Special Education Teacher and Alternative Learning Program Coordinator/Team Chair for Franklin High School.

David lives in Uxbridge with his wife, Tara, 12-year-old son Patrick, and 10-year-old son Ben. When not working, he enjoys coaching his sons' baseball teams, crossword puzzles, and visits to Maine. He cannot wait to become a member of the Elmwood School community!

David and I will work together in the months ahead to ensure he has what he needs to be ready for the next school year.

Please join me in welcoming David to Hopkinton. It is a place I've called "home away from home" and I'm sure he will love it as much as I do.

Elmwood Eagles students, staff, and families will forever hold a special place in my heart. If there is ever anything I can do for any of you- reach out to Elmwood. They will know how to reach me!! :)

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Thank you!

Because of the generous donations from Elmwood families, we were able to purchase these brand-new recess carts and equipment. The students have been enjoying all of the new items! Many thanks to HPTO and Katie Shepard for organizing this wonderful effort!

Get Involved

Hopkinton Parent Teacher Organization

Why become a member of the HTPO?

Your membership is extremely valuable to the HPTO and to our schools. The HPTO directly supports our school children by funding enrichment programs and special events within the schools, coordinating volunteers throughout the schools, offering extracurricular classes, and providing parent programs and communications. Additionally, the HPTO funds classroom technology, teacher professional development, student scholarships, and other educational supports. Your membership dues are a major funding source for all of these activities. Since 1993, the HPTO (formerly HPTA) has contributed over $2.75 million to benefit our children in the Hopkinton schools.

When you go a step further and volunteer to help with events—or join our board— you set a fine example for our students to follow, and greatly encourage our teachers and staff.

What are the benefits of being a member?

Your HPTO membership benefits you – with expanded volunteer opportunities, enhanced school-related communications, and early access and discounts to extracurricular programs.

Click here for more information on the HPTO website.

English Learner Parent Advisory Council (ELPAC)

ELPAC is an organization that comprises parents and guardians of current English learners (ELs) and former English learners (FELs). The purpose of the ELPAC is to provide a forum in which parents & guardians can collaborate with school and district representatives to give input on policies and programs that affect ELs. Please click here for more information.

All classrooms at Elmwood School are NUT-FREE!

Nut products can be enjoyed in the cafeteria ONLY where students with allergies are assigned seating areas at a distance from potential allergens. Announcements are made daily to remind students of this safety measure and it is important for the school community to work together to make Elmwood a safer place for our friends with allergies.

Please report your child's absence! On the Monday after vacation, we had 46 students absent and only 4 parent call-ins. This makes for a very challenging start to Nurse Lisa's day. PLEASE call your child in when they are absent from school for any reason.

  1. Call the absentee call in line at 508-497-9861
  2. Email the school nurse Lisa Leighton at
  3. Complete the online Absentee Form. This information will go directly to the school nurse.

Elmwood Student Expectations

Elmwood School Rules

Be Safe. Be Respectful. Be Responsible.

On the bus...

Students are expected to remain seated for the WHOLE ride, keep hands, feet, and items to themselves, keep aisles clear, and voice volumes low. Please remind your Elmwood Bus rider to: follow these simple rules:

  1. Sit on your bottom.
  2. Keep hands/feet/items to yourself.
  3. Remain in your seat for the whole ride.

Students must refrain from standing, switching seats, throwing items, eating/drinking, and/or shouting while on the bus. Instead, please Be Safe. Be Respectful. Be Responsible.

IMPORTANT- Please do NOT punch holes in the Student ID cards as there is an embedded chip in the cards and they will not scan if they are damaged.

The cost of replacing an ID card is $10.00.

All students who ride the bus are expected to have his/her bus passes with them to scan.

Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (PBIS)

What is PBIS in simple terms?

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an evidence-based, tiered framework for supporting students' behavioral, academic, social, emotional, and mental health. When implemented with fidelity, PBIS improves social-emotional competence, academic success, and school climate. Students are recognized for being Safe, Respectful, and Responsible throughout the school day and building. “Tickets” can be earned in the cafeteria for following lunchroom expectations and a Friday Raffle is an exciting way to end the week positively. If your child brings a ticket home or talks about receiving one, ask about how s/he earned it and celebrate!

As part of our school-wide PBIS initiative, we are matching students in need of social emotional or behavioral support with staff mentors to boost success and connection to school. For more information, click here.

Homework Expectations Monday - Thursday

Gr. 2: 20-25 min of reading/math facts

Gr. 3: 25-30 min of reading/math facts

Elmwood Family Procedures

This a reminder to parents who pick up their students each day to place their sign on their dashboards, please, and thank you!

Drop off/Pick up

Drop-off ends promptly at 8:55 am. After that time, please drive to the front of the building and ring the buzzer. The back door has no buzzer/bell and is locked at all times.

No student should be left there unattended.

Please drive slowly on school property.

ALL Schools have strict NO IDLING rules as cars/buses wait for drop-off and pick-up. Thank you for your cooperation.

Reminder to parents regarding Student Transportation:

Students may ride their own bus to a different stop, but they may not ride a different bus. Also, students may have one bus choice for the morning and one for the afternoon. Students who attend Kidsborough may either ride the Kidsborough bus or be picked up. Please use the online dismissal form for changes to students’ daily plans. Specific policies pertaining to student transportation are located on the district website under Transportation of Students.


We are experiencing a higher-than-normal number of student absences daily due to extended vacations. Please note, these days are unexcused, and as such, teachers do not send work to "make up" for the loss of learning that takes place when a child is not present in school.

If you plan a vacation during school time you can expect to receive the following email:

Thank you for sharing information regarding your upcoming travel plans. I've included Mrs.Tynan, our Assistant Principal, in this email as she is responsible for monitoring the school attendance of our students and our office team. Please remember to submit daily, the absence form, to prevent our school nurse from reaching out to you each day.

Please know as a public school, we cannot and do not approve trips for vacation purposes. The missed school days are considered unexcused by the district and state. I am also required to send along the following information from State/Local policy:

Once your student has reached seven or more unexcused absences in a term, you will receive a letter from the Elmwood office. This letter contains information from MA Gen. Law. 76.1A., which schools are required to share with families when absences exceed seven days within a six-month period of time. These attendance letters do become part of a student's cumulative record, as regular school attendance is required by MA law, and missed instructional time is known to greatly impact student performance in a variety of ways.

In addition, I do need to remind you of the following segment from our Student Handbook (which all families sign off on each year in Hopkinton) regarding trips and requesting assignments:

Family Vacations and Non­Medical Absences: Students miss valuable learning experiences when they are not in school. Scheduling vacations, trips, and sporting events during school time makes it difficult for your child when he/she returns. Only a minor segment of the work can be done when not at school because most learning involves discussions, explanations, cooperative group activities, and hands-on science projects, to name a few. Please be aware that introductions to new concepts and instruction will continue while your child is away. For this reason, we strongly discourage non­attendance unless your child is ill. Please do not ask your child’s teacher to prepare assignments prior to your vacation. The pace of instruction is difficult to determine in advance and varies with the composition of the class and the student’s readiness for the concepts taught. There may also be specific tests or assignments that need to be made up once your child returns to school.

As you can read from the HPS School Committee policy and our HPS Elementary Handbook above, we are unable to pass along assignments (especially in advance) during a voluntary absence from school. The nature of elementary school instruction makes this particularly challenging. The responsibility for catching up on missed learning is the responsibility of the family, but there will no doubt be many things that your student may not be able to make up (including assessments) given the extended length of the absence from school. This may also impact report card grades, as teachers are not able to go back and revisit everything a student would miss while out of school.

To avoid loss of learning, the Superintendent recommends that families visit the DESE website to read about the MA frameworks, which will let you know the curricular expectations for students in second and third grades.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please reach out to me.

Mrs. Anne Carver

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