Principal's Weekly

Dr. Beth N. Choquette

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

Nora DeJasu, Head Teacher

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Translation of the Principal's Weekly

Would you like this news letter translated? Here are the steps to have it translated:

At the top of the weekly email, there's a link that reads "View it in your browser," click that and it takes you to the post on a webpage.

Scroll to the bottom where there's a black menu bar and pick the option that says "Translate."

Select the language you would like it translated in and it will then translate it on the webpage.

Traducción del semanario del director

Le gustaría traducir esta carta de noticias? Aquí están los pasos para traducirlo:

En la parte superior del correo electrónico semanal, hay un enlace que dice "Verlo en su navegador", haga clic en eso y lo llevará a la publicación en una página web.

Desplázate hacia la parte inferior donde hay una barra de menú negra y elige la opción que dice "Traducir".

Seleccione el idioma en el que desea traducirlo y luego lo traducirá en la página web.

A Message From Principal Choquette

Happy Sunday! I hope you all are enjoying your weekend. Typically I send these out on Fridays, but given how busy the days are, it is becoming more challenging to get these done by the end of the day on Friday. Therefore, I will now be sending them out on Sundays. I usually reserve Sundays as a work day, so it will be easier for me to get it done without feeling like I'm rushing through it to get it.

Last week was our first week with students in the building. I can't express how wonderful it felt to hear their voices through the halls of the school. For the students in the building, there is a small piece of normalcy, but it's still not the same. I can't imagine how hard it must be for our students not to be able to have full access to their peers. Our faculty and staff in the building are doing everything they possibly can to support and provide authentic opportunities for learning and playing. They are such dedicated people to work with.

With that said, I can't go on without saying how impressed I am with our teachers who are working remotely. Of course there are still glitches with the technology, and struggles with connectivity, but we are working through those challenges together. Teachers are focused right now on building relationships with your children. As we settle in with virtual routines and getting to know each other in this new virtual environment, please don't hesitate to reach out to your child's teacher with any concerns or challenges you may be having. We all understand the enormous toll remote learning has on our families and on our teachers. We want to help and support you in any way that we can. All I ask is that teachers understand how hard this may be for families and in turn, families understand how hard this is for teachers. Doing remote teaching is like being a first year teacher all over again. It is new for all of us and with patience, flexibility, and understanding, we will get through it together. Many of you have sent me and your child's teacher emails thanking them and appreciating the tremendous amount of planning and work that is going into remote learning and although we want to make sure you are reaching out to us with any concerns or challenges you or your child may be having, it is equally important for teachers to hear the positives as well.

Thank you for your ongoing support and collaboration!

Benchmark Assessments

Earlier this week I sent out information regarding our benchmark assessments. The testing window has been extended to October 16th and some teachers will be starting the assessments this week and some next week. Please see the attached RTI letters explaining more about our benchmarking system.

From the Director of Curriculum and Assessment

Improv is Back!

Fall Session of Zoom Improv

Classes for students in grades 1 – 8. The classes will start the week of October 5 and run for 10 weeks, ending the week of December 14 (no classes the week of Thanksgiving - week of November 23). Each class will meet once a week during the week from 3:30pm - 4:30pm via Zoom and will be taught by Heidi Haas, Nora Kaye or Rosie Tabachnick.

Improv promotes tolerance, strengthens speaking, listening and social skills and boosts confidence. There is no wrong answer in improv and you don’t need to be funny. And NO experience is necessary!

Classes will be assigned by grade based on the schedule below (preferred day can be selected on the registration form). Your student’s assigned class day will be provided after you register – see registration information/instructions below.

1st grade & 2nd grade – Wednesday

1st grade & 2nd grade – Thursday

3rd grade & 4th grade – Monday

3rd grade & 4th grade – Friday

5th grade & 6th grade – Monday

5th grade & 6th grade – Tuesday

7th grade & 8th grade – Tuesday

7th grade & 8th grade – Wednesday

There will be a sliding scale for payment, from $0 to $150. We don’t want anyone to be excluded from this experience. We know these are hard times and we want to help by offering this opportunity at the level you can afford, including a 100% scholarship. No questions will be asked about your payment amount.

Space is limited and registrations will be confirmed on a first come, first served basis. The registration deadline is September 28.

Contact Kate Cardoso with any questions - / 781-640-5916.

Social Justice Corner

I can't help but wonder where I'd be without the work, advocacy, and determination of RBG. As a woman, especially a woman leader, I am grateful to the path that she created for me. When I first became a principal some 14 years ago I was in the minority in my district as far as woman leaders went. When I showed up to my very first leadership team meeting I walked into a room with a long table and looked around for a seat. At one end of the table was the male superintendent surrounded male principals. At the other end of the table was an empty chair. The high school principal at the time spoke up, pointing his finger to the empty chair, and said, "that's where you sit, that's where Leo sat." Leo was the principal I took over for. He was the principal of my first school for 30+ years. During my six years as principal in that district, I saw slow change in the leadership and at the time when I left, the table was surrounded by all female and one male principal. Now in Northampton, I am surrounded by woman leaders. I tell this story, because, it was the work of RBG that provided the opportunity for woman like me to sit at the table.

RBG did a lot more than fight for the rights of woman and my hope is that for all of our young woman, LGBTQ youth, and for our children who are BIPOC, that the adults in their lives never stop teaching the work of RBG and that our youth never stop fighting for equal rights for ALL. She was my hero. Thank you RBG.

This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewel

In my first weekly I shared that I would be sharing the work of Tiffany Jewel's book, 'This Book is Anti-Racist'. I would encourage all of you to get her book to use with your children. It is a wonderful book to help support our children in being anti-racist. In her first chapter, Tiffany talks about the importance of our own identity, knowing who we are as individuals. She shares how others will try to get you to fit into an "imaginary box" which includes the "dominant culture." She describes this culture as "white, upper middle class, cisgender male, educated, athletic, neurotypical, and/or able-bodied and if you don't fit into this box, you are considered the "subordinate culture." We don't all fit into the "dominant culture", I don't, and that is okay.

In the fall issue of Teaching Tolerance, Tiffany talks about what students and educators can do right now to engage in ant-racist work given the current state of our country and the world. That the first step is "knowing the history of what came before you, the side of history, and the anti-racist side of history." She states that "we can't do this work if we don't know ourselves and where history has led us to." (Teaching Tolerance, Fall 2020).

Tiffany offers an activity in her book called "I am..." She asks students (and adults) to take a notebook and write down everything that makes you who you are. This is where we begin.


Hello, Bridge Street School family! (¡Mensaje en español abajo!)

Here’s hoping the first few days of school have been filled with more joy than frustration and that you and yours have been successfully navigating all things remote learning.

Thanks to all of you who submitted info for the student directory. You can find contact info for students and their caregivers on the PTO website here. Enter the super-secret password “bridgestreet2021” and you’ll be taken straight to the directory. If you didn’t have a chance to submit your info and would like it included, you can fill out the form here. We’ll be updating the directory weekly for the next few weeks with the goal of capturing as many folks as possible. And if you’d like to make changes to your information, email and we’ll get that taken care of.

We’re on a quest to find five pop-up tents to lend the school by this Monday, 9/28. If you have one that you’re able to lend please let Dr. Choquette know and arrange to drop it off at the school.

If you’re needing tech support, there’s a great student-run hotline that our very own high school students have set up. This is the first place to turn to if you have a technical need, and they’ll be able to help with things like chromebooks, zoom, passwords, and google classrooms.

This is where you can find help:

Stay tuned for updates about our three new Work Groups in the coming weeks and if you’re inspired to get involved we’d love to hear from you. Email to get involved or learn more.
  • Mutual aid/equity: In partnership with Racial Equity and Learning (REAL) and the Social Emotional Behavioral Learning team at BSS, this group’s focus will be to support families and students who need supplies, rent help, childcare, groceries, and other needs that come up throughout the year.
  • Virtual community building: This group’s focus will be to create meaningful virtual events such as a back-to-school gathering. We can’t have pizza in the school’s cafetorium this fall, but with our creative powers combined, we're sure there's a way to bring the magic of community and connection online.
  • BSS general support: This group’s focus will be to support the teachers, staff, and administration with the developing virtual classroom needs this fall and the year ahead will present.
Many, many thanks!
Your PTO


Important Information

What to do if?

Please review the the Chromebook Guide below before calling the school. There is a chart in the guide with various links for different questions you may have. If you can't find it there, please reach out to your child's teacher or the main office.


Many people have been called inquiring about the hotspots. They will be delivered to you as the district receives them. The schools do not have them. Kelley Knight, our district outreach social worker is delivering them based off of the people filling out the google form from the Chromebook Guide below. That is the only way we will know if you need one. If you can't access the guide, please ask your child's teacher to enter it in for you.

Computers in Need of Repair

If our child's school issued device is in need of repair, please call the school's office and they will take you through the steps in getting it repaired. If you filled out the insurance form, but have not paid yet, please send a check payable to the Northampton Public Schools to the school or drop it in the drop box outside of the main office. The cost of the insurance is $20, if students receive reduced lunch rates, then the insurance cost is $10, if students receive free lunch, then there is no charge for the insurance.

To all students, teachers and guardians in the Northampton school district:

There will be a student run technical hotline for any inquiries regarding things such as chromebooks, zoom, passwords, google classrooms. This is the first place to turn to if you have a technical need.

This is where you can find help:

ZOOM: (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 12pm-1pm)


Important Information from Nurse Jessica

Please take a moment to read this important information from our school nurse regarding the return to school.

Joint Statement from Dr. Provost and NASE

Second Step

Stay Tuned-This Section is Under Construction! Coming in October.