April 5, 2022

Alcott Newsletter
April 2022

Although the chilly weather last week suggests otherwise, spring has finally arrived!  It has been wonderful to enjoy the extra sunlight!  Spring tends to be a busy time of year at Alcott – this year is no different!  In this month’s newsletter, you will find information about placement, composting, community building activities and much more!

Conference Day: This is just a quick reminder that there is no school for students on Thursday, April 7th due to elementary conferences.

Community Building at Alcott: As we continue the steady return to normalcy, I wanted to highlight a few community building routines that are back in place after being put on pause last year.  For families who have recently joined our community, they may not even be aware that some of these things happen here at Alcott!

  • Morning announcements: Each week, a different class is in charge of the morning announcements.  The excitement that students demonstrate when they get to lead the entire school in the announcements is infectious!  It’s a great way to start the day!
  • Give a Hoots: This whole school positive behavior initiative is a wonderful way to celebrate students who model Alcott’s core values of being caring, cooperative and respectful learners.  Throughout the week, staff (and sometimes students!) recognize students for all kinds of positive acts, big or small, by completing a Give a Hoot for them.  On Friday, all of the Give a Hoots are read aloud during the morning announcements and students come to the main office to have their certificate presented to them!
  • Kindergarten Buddies: A favorite tradition here at Alcott, our Grade 5/Kindergarten Buddy partnership is going strong!  Students in kindergarten and 5th grade come together monthly for a variety of activities, including playing outdoors, reading together, crafts and more!  
  • Book Fair and Math Night: What a treat to have families back in the building for Math Night/Family Night at the Book Fair.  A huge thank you to all of the parents who coordinated the event!  We had waited far too long for events that welcome families into school and we look forward to more to come!

Gratitude for Staff Luncheon: I want to extend a huge thank you to all families who helped make the Staff Appreciation Luncheon on March 16th such a success.  Staff felt incredibly appreciated and enjoyed the opportunity to spend time connecting with each other over a delicious meal.  We all feel incredibly grateful to be able to work at a school with such an amazing parent/family community!

Placement for Fall 2022: Placement feedback forms will be sent home to all families in Grades K-4 by the end of the week.  Placement feedback forms provide families with the opportunity to share any information that you think we need to make the best classroom assignments as possible for the upcoming school year.  We value feedback from parents and will take it into consideration as we place students into classes for the fall.  However, we do want to make sure that families know that placement requests are not a guarantee.  First and foremost, our goal is to create balanced class lists that enable teachers to meet the academic and social/emotional needs of all students.  When we can achieve this goal while also incorporating feedback from placement forms, we will absolutely honor requests.  Should requests make it challenging to achieve our goal of balanced classrooms that meet the needs of all learners, we may not be able to fulfill them.  We also want families to know that, while we invite you to complete a placement feedback form, you do not have to do so.  The staff at Alcott work hard to get to know their students as individuals as well as learners and have lots of experience creating balanced classroom assignments!

MCAS Update: We are wrapping up with the ELA MCAS this week.  Because of the pandemic, this was the first time all students in Grades 3-5 completed a full ELA MCAS exam – two years ago we were closed and last year the test was abbreviated.  Students worked very hard!  We will complete math and (for 5th graders) science after the April vacation!

Composting: A little over two years ago, we were poised to start composting in the cafeteria.  However, like so many things, the school closure interrupted our plans!  Fortunately, thanks to a collaboration between the PTG, food services and our building supervisors, we are ready to start composting this month!  Our 5th graders will lead the efforts, providing hands-on support to the younger grade levels in the first weeks of implementation.  We are very excited that we are back on track with this important sustainability endeavor!

COVID Update: COVID rates have remained fairly stable at Alcott since masking became optional.  We hope that people have felt comfortable and supported to make the masking choice that is best for their family.  We would, however, like to ask families to consider having their children wear a mask to school if there is a positive case in the household.  Although this is not a requirement, it would be helpful and appreciated!