From the Principal's Pen

May 14, 2021

Planning for the 2021-2022 School Year

Dear Parents,


Our teachers will soon begin the class placement process for the 2021-2022 school year. We make class placement decisions based on the best interest of all children in the class and ask you to continue to trust our professional judgment in determining class placements. Our teachers see the full picture of learning styles, needs, and personalities when they are developing class make-up. Having said this, we do value input from parents as you are aware of the various teaching styles in your child’s academic career. As always, we will be following the Board of Education procedure regarding class placement:


In accordance with Board of Education procedure E040.17, The building principal will have the responsibility and the authority for the assignment of each student to his or her class and, therefore, his or her teacher with the best interests of the child in mind. The principals will not take requests to place children with particular teachers. The parent(s) will have the opportunity to inform the principal or designee in the spring prior to classroom assignments concerning the child's learning style, specialties and difficulties, and particular needs, personal or educational. The parent(s) is/are also encouraged to discuss with the principal the child's progress in the fall once classes are underway. However, the principal will make the final determination in placing all children.


To assist us in making this process easier during this time we have created an electronic survey with some questions for you to answer. If there is something imperative you feel would benefit our staff in the placement process, please provide us with this information in the comments. We ask for surveys to be completed by May 21st. Please remember your response should not contain a request for a specific teacher.


As it stands now, Julian Curtiss is slated to have 13 sections for the 20-21 school year.

We are planning on 3 first grade sections and 2 sections at every other grade level. This is subject to change as our enrollment numbers may continue to change. Teacher assignments are not official and are subject to change so it is important that you speak to your child’s learning needs rather than your preference for a specific teacher.


Additionally, placement with a teacher that an older sibling had will not be automatic. All children have different needs and it is not a foregone conclusion that having a student placed with the same teacher as a sibling will be the best possible placement. We take each child’s academic and social-emotional needs into account when determining placement, therefore having a teacher you are familiar with may or may not be in the child’s best interest. It is important to note, teachers will reference these letters during the placement process, and I ask you to refrain from writing any negative comments about a particular teacher. Similarly, while there are occasions when it is necessary to ensure particular students not be placed together, we ask you to keep your peer requests to a minimum. It is vital for children to continue to develop new friendships at the elementary level.


Should you hear of new families moving into your neighborhood, please encourage them to contact Lisa Maniscalco (lisa_maniscalco@greenwich.k12.ct.us) or Chris Oca (chris_oca@greenwich.k12.ct.us) to register their children as soon as possible to ensure we have accurate enrollment projections.


Thank you for your continued cooperation and support. All surveys must be received by Friday, May 21st, 2021. Please fill out survey by clicking the class placement button below. Formulating class lists is a lengthy process, therefore any requests received after this date will not be considered.


Sincerely,



Trish McGuire

Principal

A Reminder About Punctuality

We have arrived in the heart of spring and are in the home stretch of the year, but we are still working hard here at school! Attendance and punctuality are essential to ensuring that your child gets the most out of their time at school. They are important life skills that your child will need as they become young adults and enter the world of work. Research shows that attendance and punctuality are extremely important factors in building school success.


Please ensure that your child arrives in time for the start of school at 8:15 am. Children are admitted to the building beginning at 8.00 am.


Late arrivals are disruptive for both the child that is late and the other students who have begun lessons. There is no good reason for any student to be habitually late.


Prompt pick-ups after school are also really important. Children can become distressed when waiting for parents and looking after them requires supervision, which deflects staff from other important work that serves our students. Please phone us if you are going to be late! Dismissal is at 2:45 pm.


If your child is ill, please contact the main office by phone at 869-1896.


WHY PUNCTUALITY IS IMPORTANT

Being on time:

  • Gets the student’s day off to a good start and puts them in a positive frame of mind. Children settle well and have a better sense of belonging when they begin the day with their classroom community.
  • Is respectful to the teacher and to the classmates.
  • Leads to understanding that school is important and education is valuable.
  • Helps develop a sense of responsibility and is an indicator of good character.
  • Leads to a good attendance record and sets positive patterns for the future.
  • Leads to better achievement.


WHY LATENESS HAS A NEGATIVE IMPACT ON CHILDREN’S LEARNING

Being late:

  • Gets the student’s day off to a bad start.
  • May lead the student to feel disorganized all day! The student may have missed out on vital instructions, information and bits of news at the start of the day.
  • Can cause students to fall behind.
  • Disrupts the lesson for everyone.
  • Creates a bad habit that can be hard to break in the workplace and lead to poor employment.


Research shows that children with poor attendance are at a disadvantage later in life. They often:

  • Find it harder to make and maintain friendships.
  • Are less likely to gain good qualifications.
  • Earn lower wages.
  • Have a higher chance of being unemployed.
  • Have low self-esteem.


Poor attendance and punctuality, even at the earliest age, can affect achievement in later life. Establishing good habits from the start helps children to settle more quickly into new settings and routines.


TIPS FOR GETTING TO SCHOOL ON TIME

  • Establish a good bedtime routine.
  • Ensure that your child always get a good night’s sleep and therefore awakes rested the next morning.
  • Provide a schedule and have children organize their materials the night before (e.g. books, instrument, sneakers, clothes).
  • Make sure children do their homework the night before, there may not be time to complete it in the morning.
  • Aim to always be at school 15 minutes before the start of the school day (aim for 7:45am). If the unexpected happens you can still get to school on time.


In the elementary years, it is the parent’s responsibility to get their child to school on time. Thank you to all of our families that support their child’s education by encouraging good attendance and punctuality!


Mrs. McGuire & Mrs.Brush

Morning Drop-off Reminders - Be Safe!

We have observed some unsafe occurrences at morning drop-off recently. In order to keep all students, parents, and staff safe, please follow the procedures below:


1. Drive up to the white sign along the gymnasium side of the school or the stop sign in front of the school. Do not stop in front of the door. Pulling up to the top of the driveway will help keep the traffic moving. For safety, if you drop off in the front circle, make a right turn and continue around the loop to exit. Please do not attempt to make a left-hand turn out of the front circle into the driveway.


2. Please mind all crosswalks.


3. Remain in the vehicle while students exit the car independently on the sidewalk side only. If your child needs assistance to exit the car, please park your car either in the front circle or back parking lot and walk your child to the building.


4. Do not pass the car in front of you at any time. This is an extreme hazard and is strictly prohibited. Please wait in line, proceed around the loop, and exit onto East Elm Street or use the Milbank driveway.


5. Please refrain from using cell phones during drop-off.


6. Please drive slowly as you enter the driveway or the circle. Cars have been entering at a high rate of speed which is extremely unsafe. We understand that time can be a challenge in the morning, but please remember - safety first!

Arrival Zones

  • ALL Kindergarten Students - Will enter and exit on the kindergarten back patio located behind the blacktop as you walk around the building on the playground side.

  • All Bus Students (grades 1-5) - Will enter through the MAIN Front DOOR.

  • Car Drop Off (grades 1-5) - Will enter through Doors 4 and 5. These are the doors closest to the field (gym and side door).

  • Walkers (grades 1-5) - Will enter through Door 22 (on blacktop side of the building)

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Thanks to our PTA for Another Amazing Author Visit!

A heartfelt thank you to our PTA for bringing the joy of reading into the hearts of our learners. On Wednesday, May 12th, Julian Curtiss readers and writers from Grades 2-5 welcomed award-winning author and illustrator Dave Roman of Astronaut Academy virtually! Dave Roman was simply out of this world- and no pun intended!! He walked the students through his life of becoming an author/illustrator, gave insight into the writing process, provided an overview of his books, and then had an interactive Q&A session that was purely student-driven.


All the way from Grade 2 to Grade 5, students responded very enthusiastically to his sessions. Following Dave’s visit, students eagerly grabbed their pencils, erasers and papers to create their own stories. Oh, the power of engagement!


To honor all student creations as a result of Dave Roman’s visit, we have put together a bulletin board outside of our Media Center where we will make students’ work visible to our learning community. After all, one of the things that Dave Roman told the kids was to share their creations with each other! How simple, yet effective. We will share with you the bulletin board as it fills up with student creativity!


Author Bio: Dave Roman, the winner of Maryland’s Black-Eyed Susan Book Award, is the author and illustrator of Astronaut Academy books. Dave is also the writer of the graphic novels Teen Boat! (with John Patrick Green) and Agnes Quill: An Anthology of Mystery. He has contributed stories to Comics Squad: Recess!, Explorer: The Mystery Boxes, Nursery Rhyme Comics, and Goosebumps Graphix: Slappy’s Tales of Horror. Roman is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts, a former editor at Nickelodeon Magazine, and is currently series editor for First Second’s Science Comics series of nonfiction graphic novels. He lives in New York City and draws a weekly webcomic called Starbunny, Inc. Dave’s website is yaytime.com, and he can be found on Twitter at @yaytime.

Thank You For Your Support!

Thank you for supporting the Horizons Coins for Kids fundraiser last week! Here is a special message from some of the program participants...you might recognize a couple of faces!


Thank You from Horizons!

Live Parent Support Chats

During these challenging times, please join us for a virtual “Parent Video Chat” facilitated by one of our GPS psychologists. Connect virtually with other parents in our community and learn effective strategies to manage personal stress and discuss relevant topics (how to establish routines at home, manage challenging behaviors, build your kids' resilience). You can join whenever and stay for as long as you can. We are here to answer questions and provide support.


April and May – Performance anxiety and stress

Google Meet Link for all meetings meet.google.com/arm-hbjd-yvy


ELEMENTARY

Tuesday, May 18th at 7 pm – Click here to JOIN

Friday, May 28th at 10am - Click here to JOIN


SECONDARY

Wednesday, May 12th at 7pm – Click here to JOIN

Wednesday, May 26th at 7pm - Click here to JOIN

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Please follow Mrs. McGuire and Mrs. Brush on Twitter

@JCSPrincipal and @JCSEaglesAP