Estabrook Buzz

December 17, 2018

Calendar Notes

  • Friday, December 21 – Last Day before December break (full day of school)
  • Wednesday, January 2 – School Reopens

Coming In January/February

  • Friday, January 4 - 1:15 Geography Bee Preliminary Round (Gr. 4-5 only)
  • Monday, January 7 - 4:00 pm Geography Bee Finals(Gr. 4-5 only)
  • Tuesday, January 15: Math Night (Grades K/1). (Snow Date: Jan. 22)
  • Thursday, January 17 - 6:00-8:00 pm Passport Night
  • Friday, January 25: Movie Night
  • Tuesday, January 29: Math Night (Grade 2/3) (Snow Date: Feb. 5)
  • Friday, February 8: Science Fair
  • Tuesday, February 12: Math Night (Grades 4/5) (Snow Date: Feb. 26)

Grades 5 Parents – Save the Date! Parent Presentations on Human Growth and Development Lessons

The fifth grade Human Growth and Development classes will start after the new year. Prior to the elementary health lessons for students, parent information sessions will be offered to learn about the updated curriculum as well as strategies for initiating conversations with children.

  • Thursday, January 10 – 8:45- 9:45 am – Estabrook only
  • Thursday, January 10 – 7:00-8:30 pm – Estabrook, Fiske & Hastings @ Estabrook

More detailed information will be sent out in January.

Principal Search Process Underway

Last week, Superintendent Julie Hackett emailed families to announce the search for the new Estabrook School principal. Interviews will begin in January. If you are interested in serving on the Search Committee, please email Monica Visco at by December 21, 2018. You may also express your interest to Rick Rogers, and he can submit your name to the Human Resources Director for consideration.

Principal’s Corner: End of Year Thoughts

For me, December break has always been the psychological midpoint of the school year. And last week’s announcement from Superintendent Julie Hackett about the upcoming principal search process reminded me that I am, in fact, at the midpoint of my time at Estabrook School. July 1st seems like a long time ago!

When I retired from public education 2 ½ years ago, I found that I missed the work tremendously. While I enjoyed my work consulting and supporting other principals, I missed the “buzz” (pun intended) of daily life in schools. What a gift it has been to get a second chance to return to the work I love. And to do so in a thriving school community like this one.

Having worked in three different schools as a teacher and four (now five) different schools as a principal, I want to shine a light on some things that should be appreciated about this school:

A High-Performing, Caring, Reflective Faculty: I have been struck with the overall high caliber of teaching I see happening in classrooms and teaching spaces throughout the school. Teachers work with a rich and well-resourced curriculum. They plan and utilize best instructional practices. They also demonstrate compassion and caring as they strive to meet a wide range of social-emotional and learning needs on a daily basis. Having conducted countless entry interviews, goal-setting meetings and post-observation conferences with teachers, I find them to be reflective, open to feedback, and hungry for professional learning. And passionate about their students!

Resources and Support: Obviously, we enjoy a beautiful still-new school building. I already mentioned a well-resourced curriculum. But we are also well-supported by human resources, including:

  • A skilled Mental Health Team that is able to do proactive work in classrooms and groups, not just respond to crises.

  • An appropriately staffed special education department and programs that allow for successful inclusion.
  • A sufficient number of English Language Learner teachers for our 100 ELL students that enables us to provide newcomers the intensive initial support they need AND support students in classrooms.
  • Specialists in Literacy and Math who can provide coaching and professional learning for teachers AND do intervention work with students.

Family Involvement: The first level of parent involvement is supporting your child’s learning. From my conversations with parents and teachers and from the passionate emails I read, it is clear that parents are deeply invested in their children’s education. On another level, a myriad of volunteers support the library, the art room, cafeteria recycling and Big Backyard. And still more volunteers work through the PTO to provide events and activities from math and chess clubs to science fairs to math nights, not to mention fun social events like Holiday Marketplace, Movie Night and Estafest. An impressive level of support all around.

Shared Leadership: As I wrote last week, teachers are more than willing to step up and take the lead in providing professional learning for their colleagues, as well as in their grade level team meetings. We have 15 teachers on a Leadership Team and countless teachers serving on other voluntary committees. Assistant Principal Christina Gavin, in her first year at Estabrook, draws on nearly 20 years of varied experience in schools. She is quietly putting her own touch on things like adding student leadership to the established “Esta-bee” program or reorganizing and leading our Child Study Team. She is a strong advocate for individual students, as she builds relationships through her daily interactions. Special Education ETS Jenn Beaulac not only oversees everything special education at Estabrook, but serves as a member of the administrative team and evaluates staff. Her work to support the implementation of co-teaching with ongoing planning and professional development is a model for other schools. So while the school will face another principal transition next year, this shared leadership makes me confident the transition will be a smooth one.

Someone will be very fortunate to become the leader of this school next year. Meanwhile, I intend to make the most of my time here. I will continue to do the job the way I believe in my heart it should be done (interim or not). But I will also be mindful about planning for the upcoming transition.

Wishing you and your family peace and happiness in the New Year.

Rick Rogers

Interim Principal

Notes from Our Crossing Guard Tricia Jenness

Drivers: People have been slowing down. Let’s keep that going! Please remember to use your turn signals and stay in your lane.

Walkers – Stop and Wait Behind the Green Sign: If you are walking down the sidewalk, please stop and stand behind or near the green school sign. You should wait until the crossing guard gives the okay to cross. Don’t forget that buses have a blind spot and may not see you standing in the walkway when turning. And in icy conditions, vehicles may fish tail. So stay near or behind the sign.

Safe Routes to School - This Month's Healthy Habit: Kindness

Science Fair Kick-off Event