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News from the Principal

Dear Families, 

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year!   I hope this letter finds you relaxing and enjoying the warm weather.   My husband and I took some time over the summer months to reconnect with several dear friends; friends that we have had for about forty years.   What a treat to celebrate our friendship and our history that has spanned decades. 

As a lifelong learner, I engaged in the course Proficiency Based Learning (PBL): Elementary Classroom Practices in a Prek-12 System, facilitated by Gabe Hamilton, a PBL coach at Mt. Abe.   I am learning to use our Common Core State Standards and our Next Generation Science Standards to construct learning targets, formative assessments, and summative assessments.    This is exciting work that supports goals within our MAUSD Strategic Plan. To engage in this work with colleagues from around MAUSD was valuable.  I also gained an understanding and appreciation for the Proficiency Based Learning work that has occurred at Mt. Abraham for our grade 7- 12 students. 

My other new knowledge was more physical as I learned to play golf.   My family plays golf and so it was time for “mom” to learn too!  I did take several lessons which were helpful, but probably more rewarding were the opportunities for our son Carter to give me encouragement and feedback while playing nine holes together.   I am still not of the caliber of keeping an accurate score, but each time I play I have noted that I have a few more shots that are on the fairway and closer to the pin.   I see that as progress towards my learning target!

Our MAUSD Strategic Plan 2019-2024 is a road map for the work we do as a school community.   Details of this plan can be found linked on our Monkton webpage or by going to the MAUSD site. This year we are focusing on two of the goals in our plan:

Expertise in Learning:  All MAUSD students experience an aligned, proficiency-based curriculum with varied assessments that measure and monitor their individual growth and outcomes. 

Social/Emotional Learning and Physical Development:    All MAUSD students apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to manage emotions, show empathy, maintain positive relationships, make responsible decisions and achieve their goals.

Staff training and work time to address these two priorities has begun over the summer and will continue during Wednesday staff meetings, early release days, and through other professional development activities during the school year.

 As part of work on our social/emotional goal, teams of teachers across MAUSD are meeting to work on Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) systems, a component of our Multi-Tiered System of Support.  Here at Monkton, our PAWS expectations continue!  These expectations help students learn the skills needed to interact with others productively.  Our PBIS team identifies way to keep these expectations fresh and memorable for all students.

 

I will be working with staff and students to showcase the learning that occurs within and outside the walls of MCS.   Students will be broadcasting, in the form of a video, to families, some highlights of this learning. Throughout the school year, students may have their picture (or video) taken and/or their names published in various ways including on our website, the MAUSD Facebook page, or the local newspaper, etc.  Information of names, grade level, and your child’s teacher may be given in these situations.  If you choose not to have your child’s picture or name published in this way, please contact the office, in writing by September 13, 2019.

 

Our Family Handbook will be available shortly. Three highlights that I wanted to bring to your immediate attention:

·         If your child will be absent, please contact the main office #453-2314 ext. 3010, the night before or early in the morning, and leave a voice mail.  If your child is absent, and you have not contacted us to let us know, we will call you to verify your child is home with you as we want to ensure your child’s safety.    

·         Our PAWS expectations also apply to riding the school bus to and from school.  Student safety is our priority and we appreciate your efforts in reminding your children to be safe on the bus!  Riding the bus is a privilege. If families have questions about bus transportation and bus routes prior to the first day of school, please contact Bet-cha Transit by calling 388-7800.  

·         Please label your child’s belongings with his/her name.   Our Lost and Found collection grows exponentially.  We would like to return belongings to their owners.

August is a time of new beginnings. We have several new staff this year at Monkton Central School.  Please join me in welcoming the following people to our building:

·         Elizabeth Grunberg            Math Coach (shared with Beeman)

·         Nicole Grzywna                 Physical Education Teacher  (shared with Beeman)

·         Erika Norris                       Art Teacher (shared with Beeman)

·         Lynda Pendriss                    School Nutrition Assistant

·         Holly Tempini                      NYU School Counseling Graduate Student (intern with Ms. Tatlock)

·         Becky Trombley                Literacy Interventionist  (shared with Beeman)

·         Helen Thomas                      School Nurse 

 

Information about our MCS ELP After-School Program and the MAUSD Food Service Cooperative is included in this letter.   Our MCS ELP After-School Program runs five days per week from 3:00-5:30.  Our ELP Workshop Sessions will occur again on Tuesdays and Thursdays to provide a variety of activities of students.

Please mark your calendars with these important dates:

Monday August 19th             First PTO meeting of the year @ 7:00 pm

All parents are members of the PTO and are welcome to attend!   Our PTO provides amazing opportunities for our students.  Please consider getting involved in this organization.  Meetings will take place on the third Monday of every month at 7:00 in our staff room.

 

Monday, August 26th              Ice Cream Social (Monkton Central School 4:30-5:30pm)  

Our Ice Cream Social is a family event. We value the time to reconnect with students and their families and meet new families.   We are partners with you in educating your child.

Wednesday, August 28th         First Day of School!

We will begin the day together in the gym @ 8:00AM.  Families are welcome to join us until students are dismissed from the gym to their classrooms.

 

Open House                              More details coming soon!

 

Monday September 16th          PTO meeting @ 7:00pm

 

Friday October 4th                    Walk Around the Pond

         This is a favorite Monkton tradition!   Families are welcome to join us as we walk part of the way around Monkton pond and back to MCS.   Anticipated start time for this event:  1:00pm. 

 

Our MAUSD staff has worked diligently to prepare the building for students.   A clean, fresh, and safe learning environment is important for learning and we thank them for their hard work.

As you may have noticed in this letter, I purposefully highlighted the words learning and learn.   I encourage the conversation at home to shift from “What did you do in school today?” to “What did you learn in school today?”    The difference is powerful and emphasizes growth. 

 

I look forward to seeing all of the students at our Ice Cream Social and hearing about their adventures and new learning over the summer.     

I am excited for a fabulous year of learning and growing together.


Sincerely, 

 

Betsy Knox

Principal 


 
 
        
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