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Petersham Center School Newsletter Welcome back August 2021

Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. Albert Einstein

Welcome PCS Families!!

As we prepare to open our doors for another school year, I'd like to welcome everyone back and say how excited we are to meet all of our new students and families at PCS. I would like to introduce myself, my name is Aaron O'Connor and I am the Interim Principal for the 2021/2022 school year at PCS. I was formerly the grade 5 and 6 math and science teacher at PCS before leaving to pursue the necessary experience needed to return to a position such as this. It is my belief that open communication supports positive school experiences for all and can prevent many potential issues. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns that may come up (aaron.oconnor@petershamcenterschool.org or 978-724-3363). The teachers have been working hard to get their rooms set up and looking great for student's arrival next week (8/30 for grades 1-6 and 9/2 for K). As a way to introduce myself, I would like to invite all students and families to "Popsicle on the Playground" this coming Sunday, August 29th from 4:00-5:00 p.m. This will be held at the main entrance to the school near the playground. I plan on having traditional Freezepops but if anyone has a health or allergy concern please let me know so that I can provide an alternative.

In this newsletter, I want to take some time to go over the necessary information you will all need to have a successful start to the school year including masking protocols, drop-off and pick-up times, lunch and breakfast, bussing, staffing changes, etc. We have a lot going on so I'm sure there will be new information coming in as we get closer and I will try my best to get it to you as quickly as I can.

Pick-up and Drop-off

This year we will only be using the main front entrance and no longer using the side entrance for our K-2 students. Drop-off time in the morning will begin at 8:15 for those not eating breakfast and 8:05 ONLY for those students eating breakfast, any student arriving after 8:25 will be marked as tardy. The pick-up time will begin at 2:50.

As was the case at the beginning of last year, I have to regretfully inform you that Petersham Center School will not be offering any school choice bussing due to Covid 19 protocols. The bus routes for Petersham residents can be found here:

Safety on the bus will be of the utmost importance this year as we continue to see cases rise in the state. Masks must remain on at all times while on the bus and windows will remain open to ensure proper ventilation.

Breakfast and Lunches

Breakfast and lunch will continue to be free throughout this school year for all families. We will continue to post lunch and breakfast menus using our school Facebook page as well as posting here in school newsletters.

Children must be taught how to think, not what to think. Margaret Mead

Staffing

This year we have a few shifts in our staffing as well as some new faces joining us.

  • First, we have a significant shift in our grade 3 and 4 cohort. Our beloved Mrs. Smith has decided that, after more than 20 years in the classroom, she wants to take a step back from full-time duty in order to spend more of her time and energy dedicated to smaller group work and interventions. Therefore she will be taking a role here as an ELA interventionist. I am happy to announce that Mrs. Elizabeth Parsons, formally our school's English Language Learners tutor, is going to be taking over as the full-time grade 3 teacher. I understand this will be a big shift to many but we are all here to support this change and to make for a fantastic year.
  • We will be hiring a new part-time ELL tutor, part-time interventionist, part-time special education teacher, and a part-time person for the cafeteria.
  • Connie Solone will be our new social worker that will be serving our school one day per week

Mask and Covid Protocols

Created By
Aaron O’Connor
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Created with an image by Winternet - "school bus bus parking area"