Principal Message

September 11, 2022

Big picture

Dear Runkle Community,

I apologize for my late message. I experienced some technology challenges yesterday. I try to communicate with families and staff weekly, but there will be weeks when a message is not required. I understand how overwhelming the emails can be.

Dr. Guillory, Brookline's Superintendent, sends weekly updates on Friday afternoon. Runkle's PTO sends their Newsletter on Sunday evening. If I have a message to send, it will go out via Blackboard (email) on Friday evening. I will also have the PTO post it in their Newsletter.

We welcomed over 500 students to the John D. Runkle School last week. We faced voting and heavy rain on Day 1, but managed to stay positive and productive. This will be our first FULL week of school and we are more than prepared to make it a great one!

Middle School News

  • Our 6-8 students met with their administrators and teachers on the first day of school in the Multipurpose Room.
  • All the adults welcomed students and reminded them of the importance of this "fresh start" to the new school year. We want all students to know that the past is the past, and that this year is an opportunity to be their best selves. It is critically important that every student feel seen and heard by the adults in their Runkle lives. This is our goal and we will work hard to make it happen.
  • We shared our Runkle Way...Respect, Unity, Nuture Ideas, Kindness, Learn from our Mistakes and Effort. Respect and Kindness will move us forward this year. I emphasized how important this is at Runkle.
  • We shared some Runkle Family Handbook (attached below) information regarding protocols, especially around electronics and cell phones. Students understand that they will receive a verbal warning if their phone is out during the school day. A second offensive in the day will result in an adult taking the phone away. A third siting will result in the phone being placed in a secure office location to be collected at the end of the day. Our students have done a remarkable job following these rules this week. I am very hopeful.
  • Ms. Jenny Murphy introduced the procedures for our new chromebooks. Almost every student brought back signed forms and received their new device. I did remind students on Friday to keep the chromebooks in their backpacks while waiting to enter the building. There is too much activity and possibility for accidents during the morning hustle and bustle to get inside.


Our cafeteria manager, Merima, has been working very hard to provide healthy breakfast and lunch for all of our students. We have just started to hand out new student lunch cards to classroom teachers. School meals are free this year, but we are required to document how many we provide and to whom. This has resulted in long lines and wait time. The students have been patient and kind. Like many eating establishments, our cafeteria is not fully staffed. They seem to understand this, but we hope to have everything resolved this week.

Manilla Envelopes Sent Home

Everyone should have received a 9x11 manilla envelope in their student's backpack. This packet contains "Back to School" general information. The only 2 items that need to be returned are the Financial Assistant Form and/or the Thrives Form. Please fill out the Financial Assistance Form if you need it. The information is confidential and will allow for field trip coverage and more. The form can be filled out online at If you do require financial assistance or Thrives Food Pantry support, you do not need to return anything.

Other Reminders

  • We will be sending information about the dates and times for Grade Level Open Houses by the end of this week. K-5 typically holds Open Houses in the morning. Our Middle School Open House is held on a weekday evening. Stay tuned for specific information.
  • We are thrilled to be able to invite families back into the building this year for Classroom Shares, Secret Readers, Open Houses and more. We do ask that both students and caregivers remain outside of the building before and after school. This is a safety concern as we cannot account for students/adults in the building who are not a part of a planned program or Runkle's Extended Day Program. Thank you for your understanding.
  • THANK YOU RUNKLE PTO! The PTO hosted a teacher luncheon, a New Family Welcome, a Kindergarten Popsicle Party, and TWO Parent Coffees...all in the first week of school. They also provided New School Year Stipends for all of our teachers. We are grateful for the support our PTO provides and want to encourage ALL families to get involved as best they can:)
  • School starts at 8:00am Monday-Friday. Door open at 7:55am. Students are dismissed at 2:30pm Monday-Thursday. Every Friday is a 1:40pm dismissal.
  • There is NO SCHOOL on Monday, 9/26 for Rosh Hashanah, Wednesday, 10/5 for Yom Kippur and Monday, 10/10 for Indigenous Peoples' Day for future planning.

Warmest Regards,