From the Principal's Pen

February 2, 2020

Julian Curtiss Earns Designation of "School of Distinction"

Julian Curtiss was recognized this week as a "School of Distinction" by the Connecticut State Department of Education according to the Next Generation Accountability System used to measure several different indicators including student achievement and growth. Our school was recognized for academic growth, specifically in the area of language arts.

Although this is just one measure of our school, it is an important one and a source of pride for our hard-working students and teachers. Given our incredibly diverse student population, we focus a great deal on growth and ensuring that our students achieve to their highest potential. The designation as "School of Distinction" recognizes that our focus and diligence are paying off.

Thank you to our incredibly supportive parents who also work with our staff and students to make Julian Curtiss the special place that it is!

With gratitude,

Mrs. McGuire and Mrs. Brush

Big picture

Family-School Partnership

Family support of learning at home is important for ALL children. Remember - students spend the majority of their time away from us here at school. Feel free to contact your child’s teacher to let them know if you need more help, or just to check in on your child's progress. Education is a team effort - teacher, student and family!

On that note, the district has created a Family Toolbox to help parents better understand what students are learning in school, as well as to help support your child at home. In particular, there was a recent parent workshop regarding the Fundations program which is currently being used in Grades K-2. Below is a link to the district curriculum website where you can find more information.

GPS District Curriculum

Important Reminders from the Health Office

We have started the season for Influenza and are asking parents for their help as the Public Health School Nurse along with the Department of Health participate in the State of Connecticut Influenza Surveillance program. When calling your child out sick, please indicate the presence of flu-like symptoms:

Fever (over 100 F or 37.7 C)

Cough and/ or sore throat

Headaches and/ or body aches


If your child tests positive for Influenza, we follow the guideline that states to keep your child home a minimum of 5 days after diagnosis and to bring in a doctor’s note.

It is part of the medication policy that elementary students are not given cough drops without an MD order. NO lollipop cough drops are permitted. Gargling with salt water is an acceptable alternative.

We have also had a large number of students with stomach viruses. Students should be kept home for at 24 hours after the last incident of vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Thank you for helping to keep all of our students and staff healthy this winter!

Joann Concepcion, School Nurse

Reminder about Absences and Dismissal Plans

When your child is going to be absent for the day, please make sure to call the Main Office at (203) 869-1896. Dismissal changes need to be made through School Dismissal Manager. Please do not email the classroom teacher regarding absences or dismissal changes. If the teacher is absent we have no way of accessing the emails and will not be aware of the changes. Thank you for your cooperation.

Welcome to Julian Curtiss!

Ms. Gabrielle Duncan will be joining Julian Curtiss as the maternity leave replacement for ALP teacher Mrs. Ariel Wilshaw. Her biography brief is below. We look forward to welcoming her to JC!

My start in GPS began as a leave replacement at EMS, teaching 6th grade LA and Social Studies. I then moved across the street to Riverside School (elementary being my true passion) where I taught for 3 years. During this time I was also the girls' lacrosse and field hockey coach at the high school. I then moved to Parkway School, where I have since been teaching third grade for the last seven years. Here I served as the Learning Facilitator and was a member of our School Data Team. For many years, I taught kindergarten summer school at both the Cos Cob and Hamilton Avenue locations. I am greatly looking forward to returning to the classroom and joining the staff at JC!

There will be a meet and greet for the parents of Mrs. Wilshaw's students on February 21st at 8:00 am in the ALP room.

Big picture

Join us for our JC Gymnastics Open House!

Dear Parents,

We are happy to invite you to our Gymnastics Open House that will take place during your child’s PE class as per the schedule below.

During the Gymnastics Open House your child will demonstrate class routines as well as their gymnastics skills. You will have an opportunity to observe your children performing forward/backward rolls, cartwheels, rope climbing, rock wall climbing, balance beam, and vault. All parents are invited to join your child on the carpet and try some of these skills yourself.

We look forward seeing you!

Mr. O'Brien and Mrs. Loechner

Monday, February 3

10:30-11:30am – 3M

Tuesday, February 4

1:30-2:30pm – 2B

Wednesday, February 5

9:30-10:10am - KS and KG

10:30-11:30am - 3R and 3D

11:30-12:10pm - KC

1:30-2:30pm - 2CS

Thursday, February 6

9:30-10:30am - 1H and 1S

1:30-2:30pm - 2S

Magnet School Deadline Approaching

Greenwich Public Schools Magnet School application process is closing soon. Magnet Applications must be received or postmarked by February 14, 2020 in order to be included in the lottery for the 2020-2021 school year. Information about the Magnet School Programs are available on the Greenwich Schools website.

Hamilton Avenue School (HAS), Preschool-Grade 5, HAS re-opened in 2015 as the District’s first Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) school, while also embracing the arts through its amazing Suzuki Violin program for Preschool to fifth grade students.

The International School at Dundee (ISD), Grades K-5, is an authorized International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme School and the District’s first magnet school, opening in 2000.

Julian Curtiss School (JCS), Grades K-5, is a magnet school of World Languages since 2003; students attending represent 60 Countries, and 30 Languages, in 1 Great School. JCS offers the choice of learning either Spanish or French in grades K-5.

New Lebanon School (NLS), Preschool-Grade 5, is an authorized International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme school and has been a magnet school since 2009.

Western Middle School (WMS), Grades 6-8, re-opened as a magnet school in 2013 and is currently offering an AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) magnet program/theme.

Important Information for 5th Grade Parents

It is time for you to learn about Middle School!

Current 5th grade parents are invited on Feb. 6th at 6:30pm for the first parent meeting taking place at Central Middle School.

This meeting is a general overview of CMS with an opportunity to tour the building and hear about the middle school approach to teaching and learning. There will be a second meeting for parents in May for parents to learn more about the schedule, staffing, support, academics, and extracurricular activities.

Gordon Beinstein, Principal of WMS, will be providing JC Parents with a Magnet Open House presentation on February 4th (rescheduled from January 22nd) at 7 p.m. at Julian Curtiss. All 4th and 5th grade parents are welcome whether or not they are districted for Western Middle School or are interested in applying as a magnet.

5th Grade Health Parent Presentation

In case you missed the parent presentation earlier this week on the 5th grade health curriculum, the presentation is attached below. It will also available on the JC school website.

JC Students Change the World!

As some of you know, Mrs. Brenda Brush, our assistant principal, has been working with underprivileged children in Bogotá, Colombia for the past 11 years. She is on the Board of Directors of a local non-profit called Love of Orphans Foundation, which helps to support Hogares Luz y Vida, an association that provides care for orphaned, disadvantaged, and disabled children. There are nearly 800 children who are cared for through an orphanage, two schools, several daycare facilities, and a working, self-sustainable farm. Ms. Stewart has also visited Luz y Vida.

The JC Service Club is asking for your help in collecting donations for Mrs. Brush's upcoming trip to Bogotá over the February break. They have set a goal to raise $500. Service Club members will be collecting donations at morning drop-off, and in the cafeteria from Monday, January 27th until Thursday, February 6th. A donation jar will also be available in the front hallway. The funds will help purchase things that the children need such as clothing, diapers, toothbrushes, and medical supplies. There is also an Amazon wishlist of items that are most needed. Any orders should be placed (via Amazon Prime) no later than Tuesday of this week in order to arrive in time for packing.

Luz y Vida Wishlist

For more information, or to find out about other ways to help, email Mrs. Brush at

Thank you in advance for your generosity!

Mrs. Brush, Ms. Stewart, Mr. O'Brien, and the JC Service Club

Para traducir este mensaje, haga clic en este mensaje para abrir en su navegador, luego haga clic en el botón de abajo que dice "Translate".