October 11, 2021
Good Evening Harrington Families
I hope everyone has had a wonderful long weekend and are ready to tackle a short week that looks to be beautiful weather wise.
I appreciate that you recognize your child’s academic progress and enthusiasm for learning at this exciting time and know you will encourage it to continue throughout the academic year. In addition to engaging in an enriching curriculum, I expect your children will experience inner growth, with more self-direction, and greater understanding. Nothing could be more precious or more worthy than our collective attention to your children.
I am a firm believer in the power of the growth mindset, and approach each year with the belief that all my students are capable of learning and growth. What is growth mindset? Simply put, it is the belief that intelligence and ability are not fixed traits or that we are born with only so much of them. Rather, with effort and perseverance all students are capable of academic achievement.
Every day, we want to immerse our students in a growth mindset in my classroom. Harrington students will be asked to take education risks. They will be praised for approaching the process of learning with grit and determination. And they will grow in ways they never thought possible.
These messages cannot only come from the school; and so, I am writing this to ask for your help. How can you help? You can value growth and improvement in your home. I am asking families to be mindful of where your students start and how they progress over time. In our estimation, continual progress, however incremental, is to be valued.
Here are some things you can do to extend and promote growth mindset in your home:
- Encourage your child to take risks and tackle new challenges at school.
- Praise your child not for the ease with which he or she learns a concept but for the amount of effort put into learning it.
- Emphasize perseverance and effort in all activities. For example, “I’m proud of how much effort you put into that basketball game” instead of “I’m proud of how many points you scored in that basketball game.”
The home-school relationship is important to maintain. The foundation of this relationship is paramount and keeping those lines of communication open is essential. The use of e-mail, notes, and phone calls are welcomed and encouraged throughout the year. I look forward to a working partnership and a successful year. My door is always open.
The 2021 individual student MCAS results have been mailed home to all families of students who took the test last year in grades 3-4. You should receive your student’s individual result, as well as an enclosed letter from MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). As we all know, the past couple years has been an extensive undertaking on behalf of our teachers as they worked tirelessly to engage, support and provide consistent instruction. Through COVID, our teachers worked hard in developing rigorous and engaging curriculum that is directly aligned with the state standards in the midst of some of the most challenging conditions they have ever worked through. We will be looking at the scores and using the data to inform our instruction moving forward, but will do so with the understanding that this is simply one measure of how we did as a school. Please let us know if you have any questions.
I am looking for (2) parent/guardian representatives for our School Council for this year and next. The School Council serves as the representatives of our larger school community. Through its recommendations, the School Council seeks to enrich and enhance opportunities for teaching and learning that result in optimal achievement for all students. The School Council strives to improve the supports available to teachers, students and their families to better meet the needs of all students. The council typically meets once every other month in the afternoon. If interested, please contact me by Oct. 29th.
Please, as a reminder for the following:
If your student is not feeling well, they will need to remain home as we continue to monitor the health and wellness of all students and staff. Over the past week, we had an abundance of students come to school with various ailments that would end up having Nurse Melissa contacting families to come and pick up their student. During this time of COVID, the nurses office is conducting Pool Testing, handing out medications to students, triaging the various situations that occur during the day, documenting and updating her systems, adding in students that are being sent to school ill is a heavy burden for the nurse. COVID is still very much in play and the time it takes to assess the students, contact families and the safety risk to others is extensive. Please, if your student is not feeling well, keep them home until they are well enough to come to school.
Contact the school if your student has been exposed to any COVID related situations and as always out of the abundance of caution, if your student(s) is experiencing any identified COVID symptoms please keep them home and contact Nurse Melissa.
As always, thank you for your continued support of our Harrington community. Please reach out to me or Karen with any questions or concerns as always.
Once again, remember to…"Push through your day, Smile, Be Happy, Stay Positive!"
Be safe! Stay well!
Rob & Karen
Costume for a Cause
We are excited to announce our 2021 “Costumes for a Cause” event! Students and staff who choose to wear a costume to school on October 29th are encouraged to give a donation (suggestion of $1.00) in order to participate.
All proceeds will be donated to St. Judes. The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family's ability to pay.
Costumes should be comfortable and safe to wear all day.
COVID Masks Only.
Costumes must be appropriate for elementary school (no monsters, zombies, etc.).
Costume provides no safety risk or distraction to the wearer or others in class. Must be easily set aside-nothing to trip over.
Absolutely NO weapons in the costume including, but not limited to: guns, swords/knives, chains, etc.
Students that do not plan on wearing, or do not have a costume are always welcomed to wear Orange and Black that day if they choose.
- Has begun
- The testing will begin at 9:30am, once per week, and if they have signed up for Pooled testing.
- Pooled testing is for symptom free individuals who have signed consent to participate.
- If your child has had COVID in the last 90 days, they are not eligible to participate in Pooled testing, but may join in AFTER the 90-day mark has passed.
Attesting to Wellness
- PLEASE- if your child is not feeling well, keep them home and they can return when they are symptom free and feeling better! We need your help to keep our students and staff so that we can have a safe learning environment for all.
- We have seen too many cases where individuals were not feeling well and have been in school and then subsequently tested positive for the COVID virus.
- This is in turn has impacted many students and staff in the classroom.
- We are requesting families to complete a wellness check on their child each morning prior to coming to school.
- Staff members are asked to assess for wellness prior to coming to school.
- It is also important to note, the district is following protocols from the Department of Secondary and Elementary Education (DESE), with input from the MA. Department of Publlic Health (DPH), as well as from input from the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP).
- Our school-based protocols differ from community-based protocols.
- For example, if a vaccinated student is identified as a close contact to a positive case in school, the vaccinated close contact is exempt from quarantine and testing response protocols.
- In the school setting, a vaccinated close contact would be required to monitor for symptoms for 10 days and if feeling well may attend school, where masks are required.
- The school has many mitigation strategies in place to decrease the spread of the virus and the exposure is not considered as high a risk as an outside of school exposure.
- In the community, because it is a higher risk exposure, if a vaccinated close contact is exposed to a positive individual, the Chelmsford Board of Health would recommend the vaccinated close contact be tested on day 3-5, wear a mask until they receive a negative covid test and may attend activities as long as they are feeling well.
Test and Stay:
- If a student is exposed to a positive case in school, they may participate in Test and Stay, as long as consent has been received prior to the exposure.
- DESE released the Test and Stay protocol for districts for this statewide testing program.
- Students are strongly encouraged to utilize this protocol option to minimize the amount of time they are out of school due to a COVID exposure.
- This initiative is intended for asymptomatic close contacts due to a school exposure with confirmed COVID-19.
- This program will allow for students to stay in school if they receive a rapid antigen test (Binax NOW) each school day (5 -7 days) and test negative and remain symptom free.
- If an individual has an exposure in the community setting, they are not eligible for Test and Stay and must follow the traditional quarantine protocol. For example, an exposure at Dance class, Chelmsford Youth Hockey, Pop Warner Cheerleading, Book Club, Pottery Class..etc-must follow the guidelines for an outside exposure which includes the at home quarantine protocol.
- Consent for Test and Stay must be received by the school a minimum of three days prior to an exposure to be eligible for participation.
- A vaccinated close contact is exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols and therefore would not participate in Test and Stay
Close Contact Notification Letters:
- We understand there has been some confusion surrounding notification of close contacts.
- As a district, we are notifying parents/guardians when there is a positive case in the classroom.
- Teachers are keeping seating assignments so that we can identify close contacts and determine if any students were within 6 feet of the positive case while indoors for 15 minutes or more.
- Lastly, in addition to not sending your child to school if they are not feeling well, we need your help in reinforcing with your child, the importance of wearing their mask properly in school.
- The mask mandate from DESE requires all students in K-12 wear a mask, unless there is a medical exemption that has been documented by a health care provider.
- Masking is a critical measure to contain the spread of COVID-19! Masks must completely cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides of the face without gaps.
Thank you for working together to ensure a healthy school environment for all!
Let's Stay Connected!
The Battle of the Boos is coming Friday, Oct. 22nd! Join the trunk decorating competition for a chance to win amazing prizes. The boo crew is working hard to make sure we have incredible treat bags to hand out to the kids. We want as many trunks decorated as possible 🎃👻
Sign up here:
Please join us for the Umass hockey game on Saturday 10/23 at 6pm at the Tsongas Arena! Tickets are only $6 plus fees so get the whole family together for a fun and affordable night out! Please contact Larisa Ducharme with any questions- email@example.com
Our next PTO meeting will be on November 3 at 6:30pm online and in the Harrington library. Keep an eye out for the link to join on our Facebook page, “Harrington PTO”.