Florence Sawyer School Happenings

Monday, February 10, 2020

Principal's Message

Dear Parents,

Tomorrow, Tuesday, February 11 is the 100th Day of School. This week, we are hosting basketball games today against Shrewsbury, and Tuesday on the road against Whitcomb Middle School.

The PAC Bookfair is in full swing. Stop by and check out the latest titles.

Our School Council, in partnership with Massachusetts Safe Routes to School program, has been reviewing our arrival and dismissal procedures on campus. Tonight I want to remind you about several laws that impact parents driving on campus. Specifically, I want to call your attention to the idling law and the hands-free law which will take effect on February 23. I have included information about each below. Thanks in advance for your attention to these laws.

I hope that you all enjoy a wonderful, relaxing vacation week with your family and friends.

Yours in partnership,

Joel Bates,


Idling on Campus

The following advisory comes from blog.mass.com regarding "Idling."

During the cold winter months, many drivers turn on their cars to let them warm up. However, be aware of a Massachusetts law that limits the amount of time a car engine can legally be idling. (Mass. General Laws, chapter 90 sec. 16A)

The law states that a car cannot be idling more than 5 minutes unless it is being serviced or it is being used to deliver or accept goods where engine assisted power is necessary. If someone is caught, they can be levied with a $100 fine for the first offense and up to $500 for subsequent offenses. A regulation from the Department of Environmental Protection at 310 CMR 7.11(1)(b) mirrors the language in the statute.

Section 16B of Chapter 90 of the Mass. General Laws prohibits extended idling on school grounds with the same penalties. The Registry of Motor Vehicles has issued regulations (540 CMR 27) that provide more information on limitations to idling on school grounds. These regulations provide that “No motor vehicle operator shall cause or allow the engine of any motor vehicle operated by him or her on school grounds to idle unnecessarily.” Idling that is permissible is outlined in the same regulation, which includes very detailed provisions for idling in specific circumstances, such as: “If the exterior temperature is less than 35° F, then idling is allowed to heat the interior of any motor vehicle other than a school bus for a period or periods aggregating not more than one minute in any 15 minute period during which the motor vehicle is waiting to accept or discharge passengers.”

Massachusetts Hands-Free Driving Law

The following comes from an article published by mass.gov on the Hands-Free Driving law which goes into effect on February 23. https://www.mass.gov/service-details/hands-free-law

Massachusetts law prohibits operators of motor vehicles from using any electronic device, including mobile telephones, unless the device is used in hands-free mode.

The “hands-free” law is effective as of February 23, 2020.

Penalty for violating the hands-free law:

  • 1st offense – $100 fine.
  • 2nd offense – $250 fine, plus mandatory completion of a distracted driving educational program.
  • 3rd and subsequent offenses – $500 fine, plus insurance surcharge and mandatory completion of distracted driving educational program.

What does this mean for me?

Drivers who are 18 and over

  • Can only use electronic devices and mobile phones in hands-free mode and are only permitted to touch devices to activate hands-free mode.
  • Not permitted to hold or support any electronic device/phone.
  • Cannot touch phone except to activate the hands-free mode and can only enable when the device is installed or properly mounted to the windshield, dashboard, or center console in a manner that does not impede the operation of the motor vehicle.
  • Not allowed to touch device for texting, emailing, apps, video, or internet use.
  • Activation of GPS navigation is permitted when the device is installed or properly mounted.
  • Handheld use is allowed only if the vehicle is both stationary and not located in a public travel lane or a bicycle lane, but is not allowed at red lights or stop signs.
  • Voice to text and communication to electronic devices is legal only when device is properly mounted; use of headphone (one ear) is permitted.

Drivers who are under 18

  • Are not allowed to use any electronic devices. All phone use while driving is illegal, including use in hands-free mode.

Operators may use a cell phone to call 911 to report an emergency. If possible, safely pull over and stop before calling 911.

Florence Sawyer School Lip Sync - February 28, 2020

2020 Florence Sawyer Lip Sync/Talent Show

All proceeds will go directly to the 8th Grade Class

When: Friday, February 28th (Snow Date: Friday, March 13th)

Where: Florence Sawyer School Auditorium

Time: 7:00-9:00pm

All students in fourth through eighth grade are encouraged to participate in the show by performing a lip sync act or showcasing other talents (in recent years the show has expanded to include dance numbers, singing, magic tricks and any other talents our students are willing to share.) 2020 FSS Lip Sync

Grade 8 Trip Meeting - March 12

To all 8th grade parents: there will be an informational parent meeting for the Washington D.C. trip on March 12th at 6:30 P.M. The meeting will be in the Florence Sawyer school auditorium. Washington D.C. medical forms are due no later than March 13th.

American Sign Language Club - Grades K-2

Spring ASL Club session, open to students in grades K-1-2, will be starting on Thursday, February 27, 2020. Permission slip forms with club details and meeting dates are available in the office and on Miss Richards’ website and will be accepted until we reach 20 participants. Previous participation is not required to join the Spring session.

The Club will meet on Thursday afternoons from right after school until 4:15 in Miss Richards’ room (#243) (we will ask that students bring a snack – we will eat in the cafeteria then wash our hands before we start).

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact either of us (escudiere@nrsd.net; jrichards@nrsd.net).

Shared link to full document.

American Sign Language Club K-2 (ASL Club)-Spring 2020

American Sign Language Club - Grades 3-4

Spring ASL Club session, open to students in grades 3 & 4, will also be starting on Thursday, February 27, 2020. Permission slip forms with club details and meeting dates are available in the Emerson office and will be accepted until we reach 20 participants. Previous participation is not required to join the Spring session.

The Club will meet on Thursday afternoons from right after school until 4:15 in the Emerson Wing, Room 1 (we ask that students bring a snack – we will eat in the cafeteria). If you have any questions, please feel free to contact either of us Melissa Clericuzio or Julie Hendley (mclericuzio@nrsd.net; jhendley@nrsd.net).

Shared link to full document.

American Sign Language Club 3&4 (ASL Club)-Spring 2020

Introductory Woodworking Program - Grades 6-8

The NRSD Extended Learning Program in partnership with Master Craftsman Bob Roemer is proud to offer the 2020 Introductory Course to Basic Woodworking For Students in Grades 6–8


In this 10-week afterschool woodworking course, students will learn the fundamentals of safety, design, and hand tool and machine processes. Students will focus on artisanship and complete a project with pride! By the end of the course, students will complete at least three different projects. The parent cost of this program is $225.00 for 20 hours of instruction.

Twelve middle school students will be accepted into this special program. Acceptance requires a completed application by Wed., Feb. 12. Completed applications will be entered into a lottery on Thursday, Feb 13. Selected students will be notified on Friday, Feb. 14.

Participants will be transported by NRSD in a van to the high school where the course will be taught.

This ten-week course will run for two-hours, from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays from March 3 – May 12. Parents/Guardians will be responsible for picking up their students at the end of each class.

Please find the application here, 2020 NRSD Woodworking Program

Best regards,

Reina R. Rago

Coordinator of Extended Learning & Enrichment

Random Acts of Kindness Club

The Random Acts of Kindness Club is offering the opportunity to purchase a beautiful T-shirt just in time for Kindness Week (March 23-27). The form can be found in the office or with this link on the Virtual Backpack. Please note: All order forms and monies must be returned to either office by January 31, 2020.

GSA Club Shirts

The members of the GSA have made a shirt and would like for everyone who may be interested in buying one to have the chance to.

GSA shirt link

Best regards

Emma Crotty,

Grade 7

Reminders from the FSS Office

Returning Student Registration:

If you haven’t already done so, please complete your Returning Student Registration which was due on September 9. Your child’s individual snapcode was emailed to you on August 8 and August 30. Please reach out to Melissa Clericuzio (mclericuzio@nrsd.net) if you need your code resent. Please do not complete a New Student Registration

Fssattendance protocol:

Please email the fssattendance@nrsd.net email address and cc: your child(ren)’s homeroom teacher with all dismissals, absences, tardies, or changes to pickup. Because this email address goes to both secretaries and both nurses, it ensures that, even when the classroom teacher is absent, we get the information to get your student where he/she needs to be. If you have more than one student, please send one email per family.

All FSSattendance emails must copy the homeroom teacher and include the following information:

1) Student’s First and LAST name,

2) Grade and Home Room Teacher,

3) Bus # if a change from regular bus.

All emails having to do with a change in bus or bus stop for child care reasons as well as a change in person meeting student at the drop off must copy the bus company at donnadeebus@gmail.com as well. Once received, the school will provide the student with a bus pass.

Health Office Reminder

When delivering your child’s medication to the health offices, it must be accompanied by a current physician’s order for the school year and a parent medication consent form, which can be printed from the virtual backpack on the homepage of the FSS website. Allergy action plan/ individualized health care plan forms can also be found in the virtual backpack.

Your child’s medication cannot be administered at school without a current physician’s order and a parent consent form, which need to be submitted at the beginning of every school year. These forms may be faxed directly to the health office secure fax lines:

Florence Sawyer Wing health office: (978)-965-3969 Mrs. Frosthom

Emerson Wing health office: (978)-965-3972 Mrs. Hendley

Please reach out to Ms. Frostholm or Mrs. Hendley with any questions.

NRSD Special Education Parents Advisory Council

The Special Education Parents Advisory Council (SEPAC) isn’t just for

Parents of children with special needs, IEPs or 504 plans. Our meetings and events are open to everyone. Often times, our events and presentations are of interest to all parents as topics may include anxiety, mental health, executive functioning and other topics that help all students. ALL ARE WELCOME!

Currently, we have upcoming events that may be of interest to you:



Tuesday Feb 25, 2020 - Center School - 7:00-9:00pm


Presented by Merri Minnich of Beyond Booksmart

Why do capable children sometimes struggle in school? Oftentimes, the answer lies in developing the essential self-management skills or Executive Function that help students achieve goals and be productive. Parents will learn the 8 skills that students need for success as well as tips and strategies to help their children study more effectively, stay organized, manage time, plan projects and maintain their focus.



Wednesday, March 25, 2020

NRHS - auditorium 6:30-9:00



The inspirational story of Owen Suskind, a young autistic man who was unable to speak as a child until he and his family discovered a unique way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of classic Disney animated films.

An expert panel including our own Jacki Malia Reinert - details to follow!

Parents Advisory Council (PAC)

Next PAC meeting: Tuesday, February 11th, 7:00 PM @Florence Sawyer Cafeteria

The book fair is here this week!! We will be open Thursday, February 6 – Saturday, February 15. During school, the fair will be open at 8:30-3:15 weekdays. Special evening hours will be on Thursday, February 13th 5-7:30pm. The final day will be on Saturday, February 15th, 9 am-noon during the Pinewood Derby.

We are still looking for some help! The sign-up genius still has some slots to fill. Thank you for your help making this fair a success!


In addition to the in school book fair, books may be purchased through the on-line fair now through February 15th.


Fun(d) in the Sun Auction - March 21, 2020

Fund in the Sun Auction

Come support our FSS teachers and students by attending the BSDC auction on March 21st at the International! Orange flyers with details will be going home in your child’s backpack this week.

To purchase tickets go to: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScSB2sjAcCyaZ8fm4SqWDJvCGE0-p00Lh2iwY3BxNwZJ72Xng/viewform

To volunteer go to sign-up genius:


To donate an item/service to the auction go to: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeonJZIhXIERpVKYO44FU17cpT4ih9cMpMBWSgWvOb4bZ9nIw/viewform

To order an ad in our program booklet go to:


Questions? Contact sjaberube@gmail.com or ersharp97@yahoo.com

Important dates:

SAVE THE DATE: BSDC Auction at the International March 21st, 2020

Next BSDC Meeting: Tuesday, February 4th @ 6pm in the FSS office conference room

Nashoba Chess Club

The Nashoba Junior Chess Club will hold its first meeting of the 2019-2020 season on Friday, November 1st, from 5:30-7:30 pm in the Nashoba Regional High School Cafeteria. The club is open to any child in grades K-12 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/

Remaining dates for the 2019-2020 season are:

February 28, 2020

March 13, 2020

March 27, 2020

We hope to see you there!

Days, Dates and Links

Letter Days:

2/10 F Day

2/11 A Day

2/12 B Day

2/13 C Day

2/14 D Day

2/17 to 2/21 School Closed - February Break

2/24 E Day

2/25 F Day

2/26 A Day

2/27 B Day

2/28 C Day

3/2 D Day

3/3 No School - Voting Day

3/4 E Day

3/5 F Day

3/6 No School

3/9 A Day

3/10 B Day

3/11 C Day

3/12 D Day

3/13 E Day

3/16 F Day

3/17 A Day

3/18 X/A Day

3/19 B Day

3/20 C Day

3/23 D Day

3/24 E Day

3/25 X/B Day

3/26 F Day

3/27 A Day

3/30 B Day


2/4 Basketball at FSS - Oak MS

2/5 Winter Walk to School Day, (weather permitting)

2/6 Basketball at FSS - Gibbons MS

2/6 FSS Family Math Game Night

2/7 Basketball at FSS - Hale MS

2/11 Basketball at Whitcomb MS

2/12 FSS School Council - 3:30 - 5, FSS Library

2/13 Basketball at FSS - Dudley MS

2/28 Grade 5 Field Trip

2/28 Lip Sync

3/21 BSDC Auction

Further Ahead:

2019-2020 NRSD Calendar

Individual Google Calendars - Add these links to your own calendars

Use the Google Calendar Link to access the calendar from a web browser

Use the ICal Link to access the calendar from other applications.

* A-F Letter day calendar Google Calendar Link ICal Link

* FSS Year At A Glance Calendar Google Calendar Link ICal Link

* FSS Clubs and Activities Calendar Google Calendar Link ICal Link

FSS Website

FSSPAC - Click the preceding link for information about our Parents' Advisory Council.

Bolton School Donations Committee

Virtual Backpack Current Flyers & Form

Health Services/Lunches/ Buses/ Extended Learning

Community Events and Activities Information Site

Helpful Emails and Extensions

Dee Bus Company - FSS Bus Routes Dispatcher Donna Hunter (978) 733-1047

Extended Learning: Director Raina Rago rrago@nrsd.net (978) 779-0539, Ext. 3356

NRSD Nutrition Services Tom Houle, Director thoule@nrsd.net Ext. 3045