August 14, 2020

Welcome to Dawson!

Dear Dawson Families,

I hope that by now, everyone is aware that the Wachusett Regional School Committee, at the recommendation of Dr. McCall, voted to begin the school year remotely. The detailed plan presented to and approved by the school committee incorporates a phased approach to bringing students back to school. While no plan is perfect, and there truly is not a right answer to the problems we face, this plan was developed with the goal of keeping our kids, staff, and communities safe. As Dr. McCall wrote in an earlier message, “...our primary objective is to educate our students; we must remember that the health and safety of our students and staff comprise the foundation of our decision-making processes.”

There are still several questions that need to be answered. Over the coming weeks, we will be working out details to ensure we are as effective as possible educating and caring for our kids in the coming months. The online education program (OEP) will look very different than last year's remote learning. Students will be expected to follow a schedule, teachers will be teaching new content, and students’ progress will be assessed regularly through a variety of measures. Additionally, we know that meeting our kids’ emotional and social needs out of the classroom will be challenging. We will work to find ways to incorporate check-ins and social opportunities throughout OEP and eventually the hybrid learning environments.

The only thing we know for sure about the 2020-2021 school year is that it will be unlike any school year we have experienced. I firmly believe that this is not the last chapter of this book and that we will be better for having lived through this, but we need to take this journey together. Now more than ever, the home-school connection is critical. Please feel free to share your questions with me ( please use the Dawson Parent Question Google Form below). Teaching and engaging students are difficult - and it’s even more difficult while not in person. Your child will pick up on the emotions being expressed at home. Our kids need encouragement, and they need to see and hear the adults persevering and staying positive. Please refrain from expressing concerns, frustrations, or negative comments about what our kids’ school experience will be in front of them.

My second request is that you are understanding of the situation. All of our lives have been turned upside down for the past six months. We went into education because we love kids and want to make lasting connections and ultimately, a difference in their lives. One thing I have learned over the past two years is that the staff here at Dawson will do everything they can to support our kids. Having your continued support helps a great deal. Please let us know when things are not going well, but also understand that we are doing our very best, too.

You can expect more details in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please email me or Mrs. Bischoff anytime.


Mrs. Wallace

Dawson Elementary School Principal

Dawson Parent Question Form

Click to get form: Dawson Question Form

Grade Level Parent Meetings with Mrs. Wallace and Mrs. Bischoff

Mrs. Bischoff and I would like to have virtual meetings with parents to address any questions or concerns over the next few weeks. If you have multiple children you can choose just one to attend. The goal of these meetings is to answer questions and listen! I will send out a Zoom Link to the grade the night before for security measures. I ask that you put your Family Name and Grade in your Zoom name so I can accept you into the meeting quickly and efficiently - for example, Grade1-Wallace.

Dates and Times for Meeting:

August 18 at 10 am. - Grades K and 1

August 19 at 1:00 - Grade 2

August 26 at 10:00 - Grade 3

August 26 at 1:00 - Grade 4

August 27 at 10:00 - Grade 1-5 New Student Orientation

August 27 at 1:00 - Grade 5

Note: Once Teachers are back in session we will have an official virtual Kindergarten Orientation for parents to meet the teachers!

School Supplies

I will have a list of school supplies to you in my next newsletter - August 21, 2020. The teachers are now finalizing them

Important Dates:

  • August 18 at 10 am. - Grades K and 1 Virtual Parent Meeting
  • August 19 at 1:00 - Grade 2 Virtual Parent Meeting
  • August 26 at 10:00 - Grade 3 Virtual Parent Meeting
  • August 26 at 1:00 - Grade 4 Virtual Parent Meeting
  • August 27 at 10:00 - Grade 1-5 New Student Orientation -Virtual Parent Meeting
  • August 27 at 1:00 - Grade 5 - Virtual Parent Meeting
  • September 3 from 3:00- 4:00 - Special Kindergarten Welcoming Bag Pick Up

- All kindergarten students will get a special welcoming bag from Dawson! You can come anytime during the hour. We will be outside giving the bags out to families in a safe manner. You do not even need to leave your car!!!

  • September 16 - Wachusett Regional School District Starts School

Back To School Video Books:

Read Aloud: All Are Welcome By: Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman
"The Name Jar" by Yangsook Choi
The Day You Begin