Back to School News 2023-2024
Hawley Elementary School / August 2023
From the Desk of Mr. Moretti
There is a reason it is called The Road Less Traveled (pic to the right ;0) It certainly has been a long road (COVID, packing, unpacking, being displaced, packing, unpacking and setting back up). That being said, WE ARE BACK, BABY!!!!!
I hope that you all have had some time to enjoy summer reconnecting with family and friends, while making some nice new memories.
That is what I have been doing. I have unplugged, gotten away, and enjoyed time with others as well as some Me Time! My Bride of 30 years and I traveled to Greece. It was just what was needed to get ready for The Return to Hawley.
We have been busy moving back home. Major construction is completed. Ceiling tiles are in. Power to the Switch Gear is established. We're unpacking and preparing. There has been cleaning and painting and waxing, Oh My! The Hawley Spirit is back for a new school year.
We are looking forward to welcoming all of our new faces as well as seeing all of the old.... well, let's say... returning faces. This Newsletter shares a lot of IMPORTANT Information that will be helpful for you to have prior to the start of school. Please read carefully and save pertinent information to reference as needed.
As always, if you have any unanswered questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
See you soon-
Excited Hawley Principal
Greetings from Ms. Tischio, our Lead Teacher
Dear Hawley Families,
Welcome to all of our new families and welcome back to those of you who are returning! I hope you enjoyed a relaxing summer with family and friends. Mine started with my oldest being accepted to graduate school and ended with college visits for my youngest. Milestones for both!
It’s good to be back at Hawley School. Our custodians have worked hard to paint and beautify the space. We can’t wait to share it with our students. We are also looking forward to being home for our well-loved traditions like the Ice Cream Social and Kindness Month.
By now, you must also be getting ready for school. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have. You can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply call the Hawley office at 203-426-7666. I look forward to working with our amazing Hawley students this year!
Dates to REMEMBER
- Mon, 8/21- ParentPortal Opens: Find out your student's teacher
- Thurs, 8/24: Popsicles on the Playground (for Kindergarten), 4:00-5:00
- Tues, 8/29: K Bus Run, 8:00-9:30
- Tues, 8/29: Student Walk Through- 9:30-10:30
- Wed, 8/30- 1st DAY OF SCHOOL
- Mon, 9/4- No School: Labor Day
- Tues, 9/12: Open House K-2, 6:00-7:00
- Wed, 9/13: Open House 3-4, 6:00-7:00
- Mon, 9/25- No School: Yom Kippur
- Wed, 9/27- 3 Hr Early Dismissal- 12:37 pm
- Wed, 9/27- Ice Cream Social- 6:00-7:00
A New School Year.....
Contacting the School
Attendance / Going Home Changes
- If your child is going to be absent, you can still call however, we would prefer if you would EMAIL (email@example.com).
- If your child is going home early or a different way, please send in a note. You can also use the above email address as well, if it is 24 hrs notice. Otherwise, a call to the office is still best. Late day changes are problematic so the earlier we know, the better.
- With the end of the day being chaotic, we ask that, barring an emergency, there be no student pick ups between 3:00 PM and dismissal.
GRADE LEVEL / DEPARTMENT TEAMS
Here is our Amazing Starting Lineup for 2023-2024
- Ms. Tischio
- Ms. Albano, Ms. Lubin, Mrs. Mattera* & Mrs. Whitmore
- Mrs. Leja & Mrs. Massett
- Mrs. Fries, Mrs. Fusco, Mrs. Libanio (Filiault)* & Mr. Poeltl
- Ms. Contento*, Ms. Crystal* & Mrs. Griffiths (formerly Annesley)
- Mrs. Dora , Ms. Markelon & Mrs. Rosa*
- Ms. Giddings & Ms. Griffin
- Mrs. Carlson
- Mrs. Marak
- Mr. Sortino
- Senor Pereira & Senorita Basso
- Ms. Howgego, Mrs. Lilly & Mrs. Sheppard* (Long Term Sub)
- Mrs. McLarnon - Psychologist
- Ms. Sollazzo- Counselor
- Ms. Staffieri*- Speech and Language
- Mrs. Carty- OT
- Mrs. Espitee- PT
- Mrs. Vitarelli- Language Arts Consultant
- Ms. Douglass- Reading Teacher
- Ms. Tatto*- Reading Intervention Teacher
- Mrs. Hiruo- Math Science Specialist
- Mrs. Cappelli*- Math Intervention Teacher
- Mrs. Magness
NEW TEACHERS / NEW ROLES
- Mrs. Matterra had taught at Sandy Hook before having children. We are glad to have her returning full-time to Hawley in Kindergarten.
- Mrs. Libanio (Filiault) is joining our Grade 2 Team. She is coming off a successful long term teaching assignment in Bethel.
- Ms. Contento was our Enrichment Teacher last year while Mrs. Magness was on maternity leave. We are excited that she can join Hawley permanently in Grade 3.
- Ms. Crystal is relocating to CT after teaching in Philadelphia. We are glad she is making Hawley her next home and joining our Grade 3 Team.
- Mrs. Rosa has been teaching at a magnet school in New Haven. We are thrilled to have her join our Grade 4 Team.
- Mrs. Sheppard is a Special Education Teacher that will be filling in for Mrs. Kim during her maternity leave.
- Ms. Staffieri did join us at the end of last year but may not have crossed paths with everyone with us being separated. She is our Speech & Language Teacher.
- Ms. Tatto is leaving Grade 4 and joining our Language Arts Department as a Reading Intervention Teacher.
Please join me in Welcoming the new staff to the Hawley Family and wishing those in a new role, Good Luck!
If you have any difficulty accessing this information, you can call our main office at 203-426-7666.
Teacher Placement is final. Any questions can be emailed to me at (firstname.lastname@example.org)
K BUS RUN / WALK-THROUGH
Kindergarten Bus Run
This event is Tuesday, 8/29 from 8:00-9:30. Buses will pick students up between 8:05-8:45 (depending on the route). Students arrive at Hawley between 8:45-9:00. Students not riding the bus or that won't board a bus, can be dropped off at Hawley around 9:00. No parent or sibling is to ride the bus. Students will meet their teacher and classmates, see their classroom, do an activity and watch a bus safety video. Parents will then pick students up in their classrooms at 9:30 where you can then see the classroom and also meet the teacher.
Again, a highlight of mine each year is the Walk-Through. I just love the excitement of all the kids back in the building and the energy of seeing everyone again. This happens right after the K Bus Run. It is Tuesday, 8/29, from 9:30-10:30. You are free to go to your child's classroom to look around and meet the teacher.
Remember that Hawley has very limited parking. For big events like these, we ask that you park at Caraluzzis and walk over.
PLEASE NOTE: Teachers do have a scheduled Professional Development workshop at 10:45 so there will be an announcement for a prompt departure.
ARRIVAL & STUDENT DROP OFF
Buses: HAW buses will drop off students in the bus loop and students may enter the building beginning at 8:45 a.m. There are three entrances that students use that lead them to their classrooms. Ample staff are on bus duty and stationed throughout the building to assist students.
Parent Drop Off: Parents are encouraged to have students ride the bus to school. If students are driven in the morning, they are to be dropped off at the designated area in the back of the building between 8:45-9:00 am. Drivers are reminded to not speed and not to be using cell phones while driving in the school parking lot.
Please follow the signs/cones into the playground blacktop area forming 3 lines facing the playscape. As one line fills, please start another as not to block cars from entering. A staff member will wave you on to the drop off turnaround area. For safety, parents do not exit the car, but rather pull up to the designated area and students exit the car on the right side and enter the building immediately. Please pull up a car length past the door to allow more students to be dropped off, moving the line faster. Staff will be present to assist students in getting out of cars and to monitor safe drop off procedures.
Students are not to be dropped off at the main entrance during Drop Off times. Any student dropped off after 9:00 am will need to be escorted into the building by an adult and signed-in.
Dismissal & Student Pick-Up
Buses: Hawley students are dismissed to either a Bus Line or a Bus Room. Staff then escort students onto buses at dismissal time. Reed students taking Shuttle Buses, either switch to their home bus or go to the gym pick-up area. Staff will be on duty to ensure students safely board their appropriate buses.
Parent Pick-Up: Parents are encouraged to have students ride the bus home. If you are picking up your child, please note that dismissal begins at 3:37 p.m. No car should begin lining up before 3:30 p.m. as the playground is gated and cars can not back up into the driveway as it interferes with buses and traffic on Church Hill Rd. Drivers are reminded to not speed and not to be using cell phones while driving in the parking lot.
Vehicles pull into the Blacktop Playground Area, forming 3 lines (facing the playscape). If at the end of a line, please begin a new line to not block cars from entering. The first day of school, your child will be given a sign with their last name on it. Please display the provided sign (preferably on the passenger’s visor or dashboard). You will be waved around to the dismissal loop and students will be brought to your car. For safety, there is no need for parents to exit vehicles. Staff will be present to assist students in getting into cars and to monitor safe pick-up procedures.
If a sign is lost or another person is picking up, any piece of paper works with the names written large/dark enough to read at a distance. Please make sure that if another person is picking up, the school office is notified and that person knows the procedures.
If a Reed sibling is also being picked-up, we ask that you do not arrive until 3:45 p.m. (as that is when the Shuttle Buses arrive from Reed) and park in the 3rd line nearest the playground/grass/basketball poles. Students get off the shuttle and will join their sibling in the gym to be picked-up together.
Drop Off & Pick-Up Procedures
They have been clearly outlined above. They will also come home in the PTA Back To School Folders. You can also Click HERE for a printed copy.
~ THANK YOU ~
~ Walkers ~
A walker is defined as a student that walks off the school campus with no adult supervision. If a parent meets a student at school, even if they walk home together, they are considered a pick-up and must follow pick up procedures.
Walkers gather in our lobby, check in with our security guard and then leave. Reed students can meet a sibling in the lobby, check in with our security guard, and walk together. If a Reed student is walking and has no sibling, they will check in with an adult on the bus loop before exiting campus.
It is the responsibility of the parent to determine a safe route home and make sure the student is aware of that route.
There is a waiver that needs to be signed giving permission to walk and taking responsibility for safe routes. This waiver needs to be filled out yearly The waiver is available on the school website. You may also click HERE for the form.
Bus Information / Reminders
In mid-August, Bus Numbers and Routes will be available online at the Newtown Public Schools website, under Parents Tab, then Transportation, or by Clicking HERE. They will also appear in The Newtown Bee’s Back To School Edition.
Here are some helpful reminders and information regarding bussing.
- Each year, buses are delayed the first few days of school as routes and stops are ironed out and tweaked. The speed of routes depend on the number of students on the bus and, of course, weather and traffic. A routine and dependable time does emerge.
- Bus Passes to other houses, per District Protocol, is usually restricted and/or limited. Parents needing a student to ride a different bus for Day Care purposes need to call AllStar Bus Company (203-304-9779) to determine if there is room, the school is then notified by AllStar, with the parent following up for confirmation.
- If your child goes to different locations during the week (ex. daycare Tuesday and Thursday) in which bus transportation is available, you can fill out an Alternative Bus Stop Form. The form is available on our school website under Parents then Transportation or by Clicking HERE.
- If you are allowing your student to be dropped off at a bus stop with NO adult present, a Bus Drop Off Waiver form must be filled out YEARLY. The form is available on our school website under Parents then Transportation or by Clicking HERE.
- It is important to be at the bus stop to greet your child. Without a waiver, or for younger students, they will NOT be dropped off if no adult is present. Students are then driven back to school where parents will then need to pick up the student. Although school staff is there to greet them, most students get nervous by this experience.
Your patience the first few weeks is greatly appreciated. At first, please arrive at bus stops a little early and remain at bus stops a little afterward until predictable routines are established. Let the bus company know directly if there are any issues.
You can also feel free to contact the school with any questions that you may have.
~ Personal Technology ~
Every student at Hawley has access to a Chromebook for instructional purposes. There is no need for students to have any personal devices in school that sync to the internet. If a cell phone is needed for afterschool safety purposes, the Principal needs to be informed and grant permission. The device is to then remain in the student's backpack during the day and on the bus. They are not to be used for videotaping, recording, accessing the internet or texting.
SmartWatches may be worn if used only as a watch. They are not to be used for videotaping, recording, accessing the internet or texting. These watches will also be asked to be put away during testing.
It is the responsibility of the parent to explain these rules to the student. If a device is used in a manner outlined above, the device will be taken and the parent will be asked to come pick it up and it will no longer be allowed in school.
~ Volunteering ~
We love volunteers at Hawley. There are many opportunities for family members to be involved in our school community as a volunteer. Whether it is as part of the PTA, chaperoning field trips, as a guest reader, helping in the library, or coming in to help with a class activity. All of our volunteers are very much appreciated and valued.
Each school year, volunteers must complete a Background Check Authorization Form and a Volunteer Information Form/Waiver of Liability Form. The form is sent home with each child at the beginning of the school year, a printable copy can be downloaded from our website, or you can Click HERE. Please Do NOT wait until the last minute or you may not be able to help or go on a trip.
Authorization forms are returned to the School Office. Please contact the school with any questions you may have.
The following is asked of all our volunteers:
Please be on time
Adhere to the parking guidelines (park at Caraluzzis if here longer than an hour)
Please go directly to the area in which you are helping and leave when finished. Visiting other areas of the building is not permitted.
It is the expectation that volunteers will work with and assist all children and not just their own child.
Volunteers are needed to assist the students in the classroom and therefore we ask that younger siblings are not present. Toddlers and babies can divide attention or create a distraction. Their presence at classroom celebrations is at the discretion of the teacher.
Confidentiality is very important to us as a school community. It is our expectation that anything observed or heard while at school is not discussed outside of school.
- District School Calendar 2023/2024: click here
- 2023-2024 Supply Lists: Located on our school website under the Hawley Parent Resources tab or Quick Links, or you can click here
- District Days Off, Early Release and Delayed Opening Days: click here for a complete list. PLEASE Save and Reference throughout the year.
- Current/Updated Contact Information: It is imperative that our database contains updated and accurate information. This includes, but is not limited to, addresses and all phone numbers, local emergency contacts, and the email addresses that you would like to use to receive school communications. New families have had information mailed to them on setting up accounts.
- Student Picture Use: There are many wonderful events that occur throughout the year at Hawley School. We love to share pictures of them with you through our website, newsletters, Twitter and the Newtown Bee. We can only use your child's likeness with your yearly permission. You can grant this by updating your student's information in PowerSchool using the ParentPortal. Again, we need permission granted each year.
- For us to use your child's likeness, we need your permission. Permission must be given yearly. You can grant it via the ParentPortal.
According to Webster's Dictionary, NORMAL means: the usual, typical, what's expected. I can not remember a recent School Year that was "Normal."
THIS is the Year!!!! We are BACK at HAWLEY with no Global Health Crisis!!! No floods, famine, monsoons, or locusts. Just School ;0)
Enjoy the rest of your Summer. Do fun activities and make memories with Family and Friends. I am so looking forward to this school year. We continue to get ready to Welcome Everyone Back.
Back to School Activities and Festivities will be here before you know it. The Incredible Staff is preparing and our Terrific PTA is planning for the year ahead. It is going to be Amazing!!!
Please reach out with any questions that you may have. I am looking forward to seeing you soon!