Principal's Weekly

Principal Beth N. Choquette, Bridge Street School

Bridge Street School

2 Parsons Street

Northampton, Massachusetts 01060

413-587-1460 (phone) 413-587-1484 (fax)

Beth N. Choquette, Principal

Elizabeth Peterson, Administrative Assistant

Nicole Sawula, Senior Clerk

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A Message from Principal Choquette 1/26/18

Good Afternoon. Thank you so much to the families that were able to attend last night's school council parent meeting. I felt like it was a productive meeting and look forward to collaborating together as we move forward. We as a school team value your input and ideas in helping us move forward.

We hope that families can join the PTO tonight for the movie night. It sounds like it is going to be a lot of fun! Please see the information below for details regarding tonight.

We have a lot of students and teachers who have been ill. It is very important that your children are fever free for 24 hours before returning to school. Illnesses such as the stomach bug traveling quickly. Also, please help us to teach the importance of washing hands, especially before eating.

Thank you and have a wonderful weekend.


VINS (Volunteers in Northampton Schools, Inc.) is an organization that places valuable volunteers in our classrooms to enhance the offerings of the teaching staff. If you would like to volunteer your time, please contact the coordinator at 587-1332.


Monday, Jan. 29th, 9am

Bridge Street School Cafeteria

There will be no class presenting at the celebration on the 29th.

Nurse Jessica has a new website!

Thank you Nurse Jessica. Check it out!

Inclusion Update

Our past couple of faculty meetings have been very productive. The faculty and I are working to implement short term solutions as well as beginning to discuss long term solutions. In no way does anyone feel like we have solved the problem but we are working together to come up with ways to better support our kids and our teachers. As stated at last night's meeting, we have hired two new positions. A third grade long-term teacher sub to replace Carol Ruyffelaert and an extra set of hands to help support kindergarten and other student in the building. The decision to move Mrs. Ruyffelaert was a response to concerns regarding student's IEP services not being met. The extra set of hands was a direct response to have more help in the kindergarten and other areas of the building. These are additional positions in our building.

An immediate concern from teachers was having staff in the "flex space" as well as a better way to communicate why students are accessing the "flex space." We are able to have someone in the "flex space" all day now. We have an esp who has been in there all year for the first half of the day. For the second half of the day Miss Nora is in there, rather than in an office. As far as communication around accessing the space, I created a google spreadsheet for teachers to mark in the times of days that students have scheduled breaks and we are in the process of creating laminated lanyards with colored cards indicating what kind of break a student needs. The colors will match our Zones of Regulation colors. The teachers and I will be discussing whether or not we want to move the "flex space" and any other room shifts over the coming weeks.

For the long term, through a big part of my discussion with teachers will be whether or not we want to change the inclusion model. In other words, instead of co-teaching, going back to our inclusion model of special education teachers floating between classrooms, and/or shifting from co-taught classrooms to smaller classrooms with a floating special education teacher. I am also willing to look at this now, if teachers feel like this is something they want to do. We talked about it in the fall with the first grade, but the teachers felt strongly about keeping their classrooms the way they were because of the relationships and communities they had built together.

We have also applied through a special education grant, for trauma sensitive classrooms training for all staff. In the long-term, we all feel like we need more support around students with social/emotional challenges as well as trauma. These positions are ones that I will be seeking as we begin next year's budget process.

Budget Update

As stated above, Dr. Provost has approved the hiring of two additional staff members for the remainder of the school-year.

The school council has developed a draft budget of expenditures and supplemental payroll accounts for next year which was presented last night and is on the school council link on our website. We have shifted money to address the teachers requests for more time to plan, professional development, and supplies. For next year's budget, I am requesting more tiered support and behavioral support by having trained people in the area of social/emotional disorders. I am also requesting more support at recess. As I stated in the meeting last night, we have just begun the budget process. These are all requests and nothing will be finalized until the process is complete.

4th Grade Update

I have posted the position for a fourth grade long-term substitute teacher. I will keep you posted once the posting is complete.

Mr. Merritt and Mr. Zyskowski have worked out a plan to do some more flexible groupings for students who receive IEP services from both classrooms. They will keep you updated.

Miss Nora and Mrs. Sperry continue to support students from Ms. Paixao's class during this transition period.

BASE Registration

The next session of Base runs from February 5th to April 6th, and registration ends Friday, February 2nd. We are offering some new classes like "Dungeons & Dragons," "Gym Games," and "Harry Potter Fan Club" to the listings, and are always looking for new teachers and classes to offer!

Movie Night

Break out the pajamas and blankets and head to Bridge Street for a FREE Family Movie Night on Friday, January 26th in the BSS cafeteria! Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and The Emoji Movie will be shown at 6:30 p.m. Popcorn and drinks will be available for purchase. This is not a drop off event--students must be accompanied by an adult.

The PTO is is need of volunteers to help set up and clean up Movie Night. We also need volunteers willing to sell popcorn and drinks. Please contact Stephanie Pouliot at if you are able to help with this event.

Science Fair

The annual Bridge Street School Science Fair will be held on Wednesday, March 14 from 6-7:30 p.m. (snow date March 15)! This is a great community event and a wonderful opportunity for our students in Grades 1-5 to explore science and showcase their work to family, peers and Science Fair visitors! Registration forms are being sent home in student folders and are due back to the Bridge Street School office by Friday, January 26th. If you would like to help with the Science Fair, please contact Stephanie Pouliot at for more information.

Important Dates

Jan. 26-Movie Night. Doors open at 6:00. School Cafeteria

February 5th-April 6th New Base Session

Upcoming Principal's Chats

Feb. 7th 3:30-4:30 p.m. Library

Mar. 6th 6:00-7:00 p.m. Library

Apr. 11th 8:35-9:30 a.m. Library

May 8th 3:30-4:30 p.m. Library

June 5th- 6:00-7:00 p.m. Library

Principal Choquette's Spring Semester Doctoral Dates:

Jan. 19

Feb. 9

Mar. 16

Apr. 6

Apr. 27

Snow Date: May 4