Hope Happenings

January 2020

From the Principal's Desk...

The middle of the school year is a great time for families to check in with students on goals. Setting academic and personal goals helps motivate, energize, and focus students, and it is a valuable skill that will benefit learners throughout their lives. Parents can help students set and achieve these goals.

Goal Setting

Goal-setting can be tedious, even intimidating, for some students. Parents can support students in this process by following these steps: pick it, map it, do it, own it, and celebrate it.

Pick it. Encourage your child to consider his or her dreams and passions and pick goals that are important and meaningful. Guide your child to think about, “What motivates me? What would inspire me to give my best effort? What would make me feel good while I’m doing it? What achievement would make me feel proud?”

Map it. After your child picks a goal, help map the path from where he or she is now to where the child wants to be. Offer the following analogy: If we want to drive across the country from New York to California, we don’t just get in our car and start driving—we get a map, pick a route, and follow it until we get to California. With your child, analyze different approaches and define clear steps to reach their goal. For instance, if the goal is to get a higher test grade in a tough subject, each quiz or project is a step on the path to the higher goal: earning an A.

Do it. Once you and your child have mapped a path to their goal, encourage him or her to take action, focus on the first step and give it his or her best effort. Remind your child that no goal is ever reached without focused action.

Own it. As your child makes progress toward their goal, help him or her to take responsibility for making it happen. Teach the mantra, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me!” Reflect with your child. Ask, “How are you doing? What’s working? What’s not working? What can you or your family change to get to this goal?” From there, analyze the map, and make changes to the plan if necessary. Help your child keep a positive attitude and own mistakes as well as successes. Remind your child that if something comes along that holds him or her back temporarily, to look at the experience as feedback. Failures, or bumps in the road, can provide us with information we need to succeed. Reinforce the message that we can learn from our mistakes and move on with new, valuable knowledge.

Celebrate it. Acknowledgment and celebration are huge parts of achieving goals. Acknowledge every effort and celebrate your child’s mini-successes along the way to achieving a goal. This builds his or her confidence and motivation. Your child will feel good and understand that perseverance will result in another mini-success and finally goal achievement. Try going through the goal-setting process as a family. Pick a family goal (perhaps a charitable activity) and work together to achieve it. After the family experience, have each family member pick a personal goal. Support and acknowledge one another as you move through the above steps. Success is assured when students believe in themselves and in their ability to achieve. Parents are key to helping them believe and succeed.

Report to Parents, written to serve elementary and middle-level principals, may be reproduced by National Association of Elementary School Principals members without permission.

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District Wide Spelling Bee

Scituate elementary schools and middle school are once again participating in the Scripps Spelling Bee sponsored by the Valley Breeze! Hope School will hold classroom spelling bees for 4th and 5th grade students.

  • 1 fourth grader and 1 fifth grader from each school will go on to the district bee. There will be an alternate for each grade, as well.
  • The District Bee will be held on February 5th at 6:30 p.m. in the Scituate High School Auditorium (snow date: February 10th)
  • The State Spelling Bee will be held on March 14th at 10:00 a.m. at Lincoln Middle School

Positive Office Referrals

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Coming Soon ~ SurveyWorks!

  • SurveyWorks is a statewide survey sent out annually to students, families, and teachers to hear from Rhode Islanders directly about their experiences in our state's public schools.
  • SurveyWorks will be given to all students in grades 3-12, parents, teachers, support professionals and building administrators.
  • The Rhode Island Family Survey is for all parents to complete. For the third year in a row, parents of students receiving special education services will receive a single survey that combines the Rhode Island Family Survey and the Special Education Survey.
  • More information will be sent home in the coming weeks.

School Accountability & Classification

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In 2018, Rhode Island updated its system of school accountability under the federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The most significant change is that Rhode Island now assigns a Star Rating to every public school. Ranging from 1 to 5 stars, the Star Rating simplifies and summarized overall school performance, providing an easy-to-understand snapshot for parents and communities. The factors used to calculate Star Ratings include student achievement and student growth measured by state testing results, and a more expansive view of school climate, culture, and achievement, including such measures as student and teacher chronic absence, and suspension rates. Click here to view our Report Card.

Congratulations to our Trimester 1 Perfect Attendance Award Recipients

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Parents Are Reminded That School Doors Are Locked Promptly at 8:45 a.m.

Our school day begins at 8:45 a.m. Parents are reminded that students can arrive after 8:15 a.m. when our supervisory staff arrives. If you’re dropping off your child and he/she needs breakfast, please arrive by 8:30 a.m. Students arriving after this 8:45 will need to be escorted by an adult to the recess door and walked upstairs after being buzzed in by the office. For the safety of your child, please do not have your them walk in alone. Students will be marked tardy if they arrive after 8:45 a.m.
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Parent-Teacher Conference Tips

Parent-teacher conferences are an excellent opportunity for families to meet with teachers one-to-one and learn how their children are doing academically and socially. To make these meetings as smooth and stress-free as possible, follow these tips.

Before the Conference

Listen. If you hear your child talking about something he or she is doing well in or is struggling with, make a note of it. When it’s time for the conference, you’ll have a list of topics to discuss.

Ask. Sit down with your child and ask him or her about school. Ask what’s happening in class, at lunchtime, or in special classes such as art or physical education. Does your child enjoy classroom activities? Does your child feel like he or she is falling behind academically? Is he or she bored? Are there any troubling issues with classmates? Try asking your child what he or she thinks their teacher is going to tell you about them.

Assemble notes and papers. Write down questions you want to address with the teacher. Bring copies of any assignments you have questions about. Think ahead of time how to bring up concerns.

During the Conference

Be on time. Schools tightly schedule parent-teacher conferences because there’s only so much time available and dozens of families to see. Show up at least a few minutes early.

Take notes. Make note of what the teacher tells you about your child. Bring up your concerns, making sure to explore strengths, weaknesses, and social skills.

Keep emotions out of it. It is always difficult to hear that your child may not be the person you thought he or she was in the classroom. Keep your cool and bear in mind that the teacher is offering constructive criticism.

After the Conference

Talk to your child. Tell your child what you and the teacher discussed. Emphasize the positive things the teacher said. Remember that it’s important for your child to feel positive about learning, the teacher, and the school.

Follow up. If there were important issues that need to be dealt with, make sure to follow up in writing with the teacher soon after the conference. Specify what steps will be taken, what your responsibilities and the school’s responsibilities will be, and what the timetable is for action.

Meet with your principal. If, after conferring with your child’s teacher, you still feel that serious issues weren’t adequately addressed, set up a time to talk to the principal.

Follow through. Once you know what you can do at home to help your child succeed in school, make sure you follow the necessary steps.

Source: Report to Parents, written to serve elementary and middle-level principals, may be reproduced by National Association of Elementary School Principals members without permission.

News About Outdoor Recess

According to a recent article in the Washington Post, recess is much more than running around. It’s a social and emotional break from being told what to do. Sitting still and holding a pencil is hard work, and frustrating, for many kids. Dealing with peers and teachers can be challenging . Recess offers exuberant, emotional release. Recess also brings academic benefits, both in actual learning and improved behavior.

Research shows that when children have recess, they gain the following benefits:

  • Are less fidgety and more on task
  • Have improved memory and more focused attention
  • Develop more brain connections
  • Learn negotiation skills
  • Exercise leadership, teach games, take turns, and learn to resolve conflicts
  • Are more physically active before and after school

All students are reminded to dress appropriately for recess. Students need to come to school prepared to be outside for as long as 30 minutes. We strive to hold outdoor recess throughout the winter when the wind chill allows. Appropriate dress is encouraged including hats and gloves. Children who bring snow pants and boots to school are allowed to play in the snow when Mother Nature cooperates. We ask families to write their child’s name inside all coats to prevent confusion and loss. Please contact me if your child is in need of winter coat, hat, gloves, snow pants, or boots. All such requests are kept confidential.

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Scituate School Committee News

The next Scituate School Committee meeting will be held at Scituate High School on Tuesday, January 7th. All members of the school community are encouraged to attend. The meetings begin at 7 p.m. Please visit http://scituateschoolsri.net/ for more information.

News from our School Psychologist

A new year is a nice opportunity to reflect on the past year. Take time to think about what you tried, learned and accomplished last year. It is also a great time to set goals for the coming year. There are many reasons why setting goals are important. Setting goals helps us to focus on a specific target. Without goals, we tend to become scattered in our thoughts and actions. Goals direct our minds toward achievement and success. Goal setting improves our everyday actions and decision making. Goals also provide us with a sense of purpose towards a particular skill or talent.

When setting goals, think of SMART Goals


Specific: Who, What, Where, When, Which, Why

Measurable: How much, How many, How will I know when it is accomplished

Attainable: List personal traits that are needed in order to meet this goal

Realistic: What conditions would have to exist in order for me to meet my goal

Timely: Identify a time you plan to work on your goal in order to complete it

Once you have decided on a goal, think about each area and develop a plan to obtain that goal. A personal goal for each person is good but also consider having a family goal. For example, sitting down for dinner all together, having a family game night, trying new foods, or family reading night. After developing your goals post them in a place where you will see them daily.

Happy Goal Setting and Happy New Year!

Mrs. Schiappa

School Psychologist

Upcoming Events

Jan 2 Classes Resume

Jan 7 School Committee Meeting at SHS 7:00 p.m.

Jan 8 Parent Conferences (afternoon)

Jan 9 Parent Conferences (evening)

Jan 15 PTA Meeting 7:00 p.m.

Jan 20 MLK Day - No School

Feb 4 School Committee Meeting at SHS 7:00 p.m.

Feb 12 PTA Meeting 7:00 p.m.

Feb 14 Professional Development Day - No School

Feb 17 Winter Break - No School

Feb 18 Winter Break - No School