Florence Sawyer School Happenings

Monday, December 10, 2018

Principal's Message

Dear Parents,

As the winter break looms closer, I regret that Massachusetts General Law compels me to don the mantle of Principal Scrooge "the Grinch" McHumbug. I want to call your attention to the following advisory from the Massachusetts Ethics Commision regarding gifts to public officials and, in our case, teachers. Allow me to preface the following legalese by writing, with the utmost sincerity, the opportunity to work with your children, and by extension, their families are gift enough. The link above will give you the full details and several examples. The salient points of the law are:

  • No public employee (teachers included) may accept a gift valued at $50 or more because of the position he or she holds.
  • Public employees may accept gifts that are worth less than $50, but they have to disclose in writing that they have done so if, based on the specific circumstances, a reasonable person would think that the public employee might unduly show favor to the giver or the giver's child, or be influenced by the giver.
  • The law prohibits gifts to public employees, not gifts to public agencies. You may give gifts to a public school, or a particular classroom, and the $50 limit does not apply.
  • The Ethics Commission created an exemption to permit class gifts to teachers. A teacher may accept a gift, or several gifts during the school year, from public school students and/or their parents and guardians, with an aggregated value of up to $150, if the gift is identified only as being from the class, and the identity of the givers and the individual amounts given are not identified to the recipient. Gifts received pursuant to this exemption are not required to be disclosed. The donor is unknown, so a reasonable person would not conclude that the gift would influence the teacher's conduct with regard to any individual or would cause the teacher to favor any individual.

With that out of the way, I am excited to announce our newest Golden Eagles recognized on Friday morning.

Golden Eagles

Grade 1: John Jusseaume, Kyla Napoli, Samantha Alexander, Chiara Ackroyd

Grade 2: Abigail Stakhanov, Vivien Gregory, Connor Neyland, Jack Bourgeois

Grade 3: Brooklyn Thoin, Andrew Sullivan, Kaled Zaouk, Arya Nagale

Grade 4: Ceara Montgomery, Eliza Rancourt, Ryely Webb

Grade 5: Ella Weadock

Grade 6: Riley Dinjian

Grade 7: Holly Bechara

Grade 8: Charlotte Romeo

In addition to the list of Golden Eagles listed above, dozens of students were recognized with Sawyer Stars for their contributions. Also, Cormac Nagle's correct response was chosen from the nearly 100 correct responses in the FSS Math Problem of the Week. Cormac identified 35, 37 and 39 as the three consecutive odd numbers that add up to 111. A new Problem of the Week was posted this morning in the Sawyer and Emerson Wing lobbies.

One of the best parts of my job are the opportunities that I get to talk to all of our students about our shared expectations and our shared culture. In our K-4 Golden Eagle celebration, I shared the story of the starfish which makes the point that each of us can always do something, no matter how small, to make a difference.

In both of our Golden Eagle celebrations, I announced that we would once again revisit our Schoolwide Social Contract and the agreements previously developed by our Student Council and Elementary Student Senate. I feel that it is essential for us to regularly take stock of these agreements and gauge their relevance in our day to day actions. Those agreements are currently,

  • Be Safe

  • Be Honest

  • Be Respectful

  • Be A Role Model

  • Do What is Right

I invite any interested student in Kindergarten through grade five to join our Elementary Student Senate, as well as representatives of our Student Council and members of our Random Acts of Kindness Club to join me on Wednesday morning at 7:45 in the Sawyer Wing cafeteria to begin the process of redeveloping our Social Contract. Students in the Emerson Wing will be escorted to Emerson in time for school. This meeting will be the first of several and the only one before school. Interested students should know attendance Wednesday is not mandatory to participate. Subsequent meetings will take place during the day. Please feel free to email me at jbates@nrsd.net with any questions.

The FSS basketball teams open their season tomorrow afternoon against Charlton middle school in the Sawyer Wing gym. The full schedules are below.

Also, please note that the Bolton Tree Lighting and Bonfire has been rescheduled for Saturday, December 15 at 5:00

In closing, please join me in wishing our Robotics Teams well in their state tournament this weekend at WPI.

Yours in partnership,

Joel Bates,



THIS WEEK and Next:

12/10 A Day 12/11 B Day 12/12 C Day 12/13 D Day 12/14 E Day

12/17 F Day 12/ 18 A Day 12/19 B Day 12/20 C Day 12/21 D Day

LOOKING AHEAD: December / January

  • 12/11 Chorus Concert (6,7,8) 7:00 PM

  • 12/11 FSS Basketball v Charlton, Boys 3:30, Girls 4:45

  • 12/12 FSS School Council, 3:30 PM, Library

  • 12/12 Social Contract Organization Meeting 7:45 AM, Sawyer Wing Cafeteria

  • 12/13 FSS Basketball v Melican MS, Boys 3:30, Girls 4:45

  • 12/14 Trimester 1 Report Cards go home

  • 12/18 FSS Basketball at Trottier MS, Boys 3:30, Girls 4:45

  • 12/18 Band Concert (Gr 5 - 8) 7:00 PM

  • 12/20 FSS Basketball vat Oak MS, Boys 3:30, Girls 4:45

  • 12/21 FSS Winter Break Sing-A-Long

  • 12/25 - 1/1 No School, Winter Break

  • 1/2 School resumes

  • 1/2 FSS Basketball at Gibbons MS, Boys 3:30, Girls 4:45

  • 1/3 FSS Basketball v Whitcomb MS, Boys 3:30, Girls 4:45

  • 1/7 FSS Basketball at Hale MS, Boys 3:30, Girls 4:45

  • 1/8 PAC Meeting 9 AM

  • 1/8 Geography Bee, 6:30, Auditorium

  • 1/9 School Council 3:30 PM

  • 1/10 FSS Basketball at Charlton, Girls 3:30, Boys 4:45

  • 1/11 Early dismissal

  • 1/14 FSS Basketball v Luther Burbank MS, Girls 3:30, Boys 4:45

  • 1/15 FSS Basketball at Melican MS, Girls 3:30, Boys 4:45

  • 1/17 FSS Basketball v Trottier MS, Girls 3:30, Boys 4:45

  • 1/21 Martin Luther King Day No School

  • 1/22 FSS Basketball v Fowler MS, Girls 3:30, Boys 4:45

  • 1/24 FSS Basketball v Oak MS, Girls 3:30, Boys 4:45

  • 1/29 FSS Basketball v Gibbons MS, Girls 3:30, Boys 4:45

  • 1/31 FSS Basketball at Whitcomb MS, Girls 3:30, Boys 4:45

  • 2/7 FSS Basketball v Clinton MS, Girls 3:30, Boys 4:45

  • 2/12 FSS Basketball at Luther Burbank MS, Girls 3:30, Boys 4:45

  • 2/14 FSS Basketball v Hale MS, Girls 3:30, Boys 4:45

Further Ahead:

2018-2019 Year at a Glance Calendar

Helpful Links

Florence Sawyer School Website

FSS Virtual Backpack

Community-Based Enrichment and Opportunities Site

FSS School Improvement Plan

Running Club 2018 calendar

November Lunch Menu

2018 - 2019 Parent Student Handbook

NRSD Free/Reduced Lunch Application Online Application

My School Bucks Online Lunch Payment

Powerschool Parent Portal

2018 - 2019 FSS Bus Routes

Helpful Emails and Extensions

Dee Bus Company

Dispatcher Donna Hunter (978) 733-1047

Extended Learning: Director Raina Rago

Extended Learning 2018-2019

rrago@nrsd.net (978) 779-0539, Ext. 3356

Tweetable Eagles


Parents Advisory Council

Parents Advisory Council

The Bookfair is coming from February 7 to February 15! We need your help. If you can spare any time to volunteer or want to learn more about the Bookfair, please reach out at FSSPAC@nrsd.net

Want to be a PAC Buddy or are you in need of a buddy? PAC is happy to announce its new buddy system. Are you new to FSS or just maybe you just have questions about how things run at FSS. PAC will pair you up with a buddy that can mentor you and answer all your questions. Please feel free to email us at FSSPAC@nrsd.net

The following PAC Enrichment dates are coming up.

Discovery Museum (Dec 11) Grade 2

Author Portrayal - Clara Barton (May 30) Grade 3, Anne Frank (May 30) Grade 7

Special Education Parents Advisory Council


The Nashoba Regional School District’s Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is a parent-led group providing support to parents & guardians of children who have an IEP or 504 Accommodation Plan.

SEPAC membership is open to everyone in the Nashoba Regional School District Community. Meeting dates and locations are included in the Nashoba Regional School District Calendar.

To join the SEPAC mailing list, send a request to nashobasepac@nrsd.net

We send out a monthly newsletter via email.

Check out our SEPAC flyer, click here

Bolton School Donations Committee

Follow us on Facebook

The Bolton School Donations Committee has just had our Fall Teacher Wish List meeting and approved almost $12,000 of requests from our fabulous teachers! Soon the classrooms will be filled with document cameras, fun storage items, and so many books it will be a sight to see, and all to enrich the educational experience of our children!

We work hard as a committee to fulfill these requests and are so grateful for the support we get from the parents in the school. We raise the money through various fundraisers, with which most of you are likely familiar. Your children recently completed their Square 1 Art projects, and we are able to take online orders until next week! Make your selections for grandparents, baby sitters, and all those who need some fine art in their lives, and submit them by November 26 at the latest. Holiday shopping done!! The other program that is perfect for holiday gift giving for teachers, athletic instructors, administrative assistants, and of course for you is the Scrips Gift Cards program. In the Virtual Backpack you will find order forms to purchase gift cards from a variety of stores. Purchase the gift cards through our Scrips program and you receive the card in the denomination you ordered. The BSDC receives a percentage of that amount, at no additional cost to you! Everyone wins! Do your holiday grocery shopping with cards to Stop and Shop, Shaw's, or Whole Foods. Purchase holiday gifts with cards from L.L. Bean and Land’s End. If there are people for whom you never know what to buy, get them an Amazon gift card. Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Subway, Panera, and so many more. Orders for the Scrips program are due by December 10 and cards will be delivered December 17 in time for shopping and gift giving. We thank you in advance for your support and wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

NRSD Extended Learning

The popular Extended Learning February Vacation Camp is back and better than ever, now open to students from K - 8! Spots are limited and tend to fill up fast so please check out the link above. Please find the following Vacation Camp brochure for more information on the camp activities offered.

2019 Extended Learning February Vacation Camp Brochure

Extended Learning 2018-2019

Community Events

*Community Events, Opportunities, and Announcements -

*Not necessarily school sponsored but of note and interest.

Christmas Tree and Bonfire Join the Bolton Conservation Trust for Bolton Town Common Tree and Bonfire! We'll gather for a special evening to kick off the holiday season with a lighting ceremony, huge bonfire, music provided by a DJ. Santa has been invited to attend...fingers crossed he comes!

WHEN: Saturday, December 15 from 5-6pm

WHERE: Bolton Town Common on Main Street

COST: FREE (although donations are welcome!)

PARKING: Available on the Common for Bolton Conservation Trust Members (you must request in advance. If you aren't a member yet, you can sign up online to become one!). Additional parking at Trinity Church, Memorial Field, Bolton Public Library, and the schools. Carpooling is encouraged!

QUESTIONS: info@boltontowncommon.org

Nashoba Junior Chess Club - The Nashoba Junior Chess Club held its first meeting of the 2018-2019 season on Friday, November 9th, from 5:30-7: 30 pm in the Nashoba Regional High School Cafeteria. The club is open to any child in grades K+ who has a love for learning chess. Instruction with Chess Master, Dr. Toth starts at 5:30 pm and peer games start at 6 pm. Admission is $2 to cover the cost of snacks. We kindly request the presence of a parent or caregiver at all times if your child is under 11 years old. Additional information can be found at http://www.nashobachess.org/. Dates for the 2018-2019 season are 11/30, 12/7, 12/14, 1/4, 1/18, 2/1, 2/8, 3/1, 3/29. - We hope to see you there!

Welcome to the 2019 Afterschool Ski Club! Ski Club is designed to be a fun opportunity for students to take lessons, practice and ski/board with their friends at Wachusett Mountain. Who: Students 3rd-8th grade and Parent Chaperones. Students must be able to ride the chairlift themselves and will be partnered to ski with a buddy who skis at their level. Any student not comfortable with the lift will be partnered with a parent. When: 6 Fridays starting on Jan. 4th. Weather cancellations will be attempted to be rescheduled. Where: Students will ride a bus to Wachusett, departing from and returning to Florence Sawyer School. Gear can be dropped off at the school Friday morning, kids will have time to change before leaving school. We are required to pay the bus fees even if parents choose to transport students themselves. How: Register! At www.wachusett.com/schoolgroups Use the code: SYER The bus fee is an automatic add-on, but you may also add lessons, a pass, a rental package, a park terrain passes and pre-loaded $ cards for use in the lodge. Lessons for all levels will be offered each Friday, they are a great deal and strongly recommended. Prices go up after 12/5/18, so try to register early! Chaperones! We need around 10 chaperones for the season, ideally 5 on the bus and 5 more on the mountain. Chaperones receive a free ski pass for the night and a free ski weekend during the season. Chaperone forms are needed by 12/15. We will have an informational meeting in mid-December, watch your email for details. There is an FAQ page on the Wachusett website under School Groups., Email Annie at bear2th@gmail.com with any other questions and to volunteer.