The Big Cat Courier

Your Source for Big Cat News, Right Meow

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June 2, 2023

Good Afternoon Barnard Families,

What an active week at HBS! In addition to our ongoing end of year assessments, a handful of our second graders attended the Character Strong Summit at JFK on Wednesday, our Field Day was Thursday (Thank you to the staff who made the event possible and to the volunteers who helped everyone have so much fun!), and our first graders attended their end of the year fieldtrip this morning. Next week we're looking forward to several more student activities on campus, too! In order to keep students learning and engaged during the last few weeks of the year, everyone on staff works hard to create fun learning opportunities that make the end of the school year a truly fun, productive time.

Have another great weekend with the kids!

Only 9 School Days Left!

Message from the Nurse’s office:

· A letter was sent home earlier this week with all students who have any medications in the health office. If these medications are not picked up by the end of the last day of school (by an adult), the medications will be destroyed per CT state law. Medications are not allowed to be sent home with the child.

· The nurse’s office will be open for the following three days the week prior to the start of the next school year. Please feel free to use this time as an opportunity to stop by and drop off and any medications (with a signed doctor’s order) your student may need for the upcoming school year.

o August 21st (Mon) 10am-2pm

o August 22nd (Tues) 10am-2pm

o August 23rd (Wed) 10am-2pm

Assistance Information for Families Who Find Themselves Unhomed -

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Important Dates to Keep an Eye On -

First Readers Ceremony on Monday, 6/5

Second Grade visit to Crandall on Tuesday, 6/6

*Note: The last two days of school, Wednesday, 6/14 and Thursday, 6/15 will be early release days with student dismissal at 1:50PM.

Last student day on Thursday, 6/15

Important Items from Our Last Edition

Class Placement Requests

With the end of the year rapidly approaching, our team is starting to create drafts of next year's class lists. While we cannot honor requests for specific teachers, families are welcome to write their child's current teacher a short note describing the traits you think would be a good fit for your child next year.

While on the surface a single request may seem simple to accommodate, the way classes are constructed makes it extremely difficult to honor a request for a specific teacher. The process of creating class lists is a long and intensive one for the staff. We begin this work by the end of April and focus on constructing lists that reflect positive working groups based on children’s needs (social, emotional and academic). The lists go through several revisions. Class lists are not constructed with specific teachers in mind and in fact, teachers are assigned to a group as the last step in the process. Luckily, we have a very strong teaching staff at all three grade levels. Families can expect a class placement letter to arrive by the middle of August.

Attendance Letters and the Attendance Policy

Another round of attendance letters is being prepared to go out to families. As a reminder, the Attendance Policy followed by Enfield Public Schools is in direct alignment with the requirements set forth by the State of Connecticut. The policy can be found in the Elementary School Handbook (link below), starting at the bottom of page 6. It is important to note that the State of CT collects data on the total number of absences, regardless of whether they are excused or unexcused. Attendance letters are sent to families based on the attendance policy. As with the State, the letters indicate the total number of absences rather than just unexcused absences.

As stated in previous editions of the newsletter, student attendance is a major factor in scholastic success and achievement. It is understood that illness is a part of childhood and that families are at the mercy of doctor and dentist appointment availability. When these thing arise, please follow up with the main office at HBS with a note from your healthcare provider if your child had an office visit. That way we can code the absence in our system correctly. If your child was not seen by a healthcare provider, which is often the case with childhood illness, you should submit a note written by you to the main office regarding the absence. As stated in the policy, the first 9 absences may be excused with a parent note as long as the note is submitted.

Thank you for taking the time to read through the attendance policy in the handbook and for your understanding regarding the required attendance notification letters.

The EPS Elementary School Handbook has been revised. Please follow the link to the updated document: Elementary Handbook 2022-2023

Who wants to be a Big Cat? Enfield Public Schools is still Hiring!

If you are interested in working for Enfield Public Schools, I would encourage you to look at the job postings on our main website. With a school district this size, there are always open positions and if you don't see something that you're interested in, check back often as postings are always changing. Whether you're looking for a position as a Teachers, Paraprofessional, Academic Tutor, Behavior Technician, Nurse, Aide, Lunch Room Staff, Building Substitute, etc... you'll find positions that fall within the school day, which is perfect if you have children in school.

Follow the link to see the current postings:

EPS is piloting a new Home-School Communication App

The Remind Home-School Communication Application is being piloted by many teachers across the district this spring. If your child's teacher is participating in the pilot, you will receive information about the app from them in the next week or two. Teachers who were already using the application with their students' families will share additional information regarding some updates to the app now that we are shifting from individual licenses to a district license. Next year, Remind will be used district wide, with other communication applications phasing out at the end of the 2022-2023 school year.

Up to Date Contact Information is VITAL

It is VITAL that we have your updated contact information in our system. If you haven't already, please follow the link below to update your information. The information is needed for emergencies, teacher contact, school updates, etc.

I have to say, from experience, that there's nothing sadder than having a sick student in the nursing office all day because we weren't able to reach their family. Never mind the fright caused when the student isn't on the bus home.

Please, please check that your information is up to date. You can check it out and update it in the PowerSchool Parent Portal and through School Messenger. Both can be found halfway down the District's homepage:

The Elementary School Handbook

The EPS Elementary School Handbook has been revised. Please follow the link to the updated document: Elementary Handbook 2022-2023

Our Community Partners -

Consider Joining the PTO

The PTO at HBS and our sister school, Prudence Crandall, have a unique partnership. Last year, the two groups started the process of joining together to help facilitate more continuity for students and families between the two buildings. By meeting together, planning together, and even holding many events/fundraisers together, we have the opportunity to not only get to know our new families but keep in touch with the families who have moved on to Crandall.

Having said that, all the good work that the PTO puts into our schools translates directly to a richer educational experience for our students. They help fund fieldtrips and educational experiences that we would otherwise not have available to our students.

The PTO meets once each month. Meetings usually run for less than an hour and are dedicated to school updates and planning for upcoming events. Please consider being a part of the PTO. Many hands make light work!

For more information, please follow the link:

The Family Resource Center (FRC)

Henry Barnard School is proud to be one of the two Family Resource Center locations in Enfield. The FRC is available to help families who find themselves in need connect with services across town. From finding winter clothing for students to helping families through parenting and support groups, the FRC has been a wonderful support for families here in Enfield.

For more information, please follow this link:

Enfield Resources for Children (ERfC)

The ERfC, or Enfield Resources for Children, not to be confused with the FRC above, offers quality before and after care for students at Henry Barnard School. If you have any questions about before and after care for your child, reach out to this longstanding partner organization.

Follow this link for more information: