8/23 - Blake New Student Orientation (10:00 a.m.)
8/28 - Professional Day for Teachers
8/29 - Professional Day for Teachers
8/30 - First Day of School
Delayed Start for 7th/8th Grade
9/1 - Half Day
9/4 - Labor Day (No School)
9/7 - Grade 8 Trip Info Session (6 p.m.)
Grade 8 Parent Night (6:30 p.m.)
9/8 - Blake Picture Day
9/11 - Blake Site Council Mtg (3:30 p.m.)
9/12 - Grade 7 Nature's Classroom Info Session (6 p.m.)
Grade 7 Parent Night (6:30 p.m.)
9/13 - Grade 6 Music Ensemble Info Sessions (6 p.m.)
Grade 6 Parent Night (6:30 p.m.)
9/21 - Rosh Hashanah (No School)
10/2 - Blake Site Council Mtg (3:30 p.m.)
10/6 - Half Day for Students
Professional Afternoon for Staff
10/9 Columbus Day (No School)
10/20 - 7th/8th Grade Dance (7-9 p.m.)
10/31 - Happy Halloween!
You may have already met or been introduced to some of these individuals, but please join me in welcoming the following staff (some returning or in a new capacity) to Blake:
- Karyn Colomey - Special Education Aide
- Kristin Corcoran - School Psychologist
- Kerry Cowell - Content Specialist for Library Media Department
- Karey Curley - Special Education Team Chair, Grades 7-12
- Kezia Dasari - Special Education Inclusion Facilitator
- Juanita Fernandes - Special Education Inclusion Facilitator
- Meg Garvey - Special Education Coordinator, Grades 6-12
- Mary Laughna - Wellness Maternity Leave
- Abby McGrath - 8th Grade Science Maternity Leave (Stripes)
- Diana Mileszko - Special Education Inclusion Facilitator
- Jessica Mulligan - Occupational Therapist
- Mary Salamone - Special Education Team Chair, Grades 2-6
- Deeni Stevens - Blake Secretary
- Kayla Sweeney - Student teacher for Otters English (Kathleen Caprio)
Summer Reading, Supply Lists, Locks, and Swim Test Info
Summer reading is a valued activity and expectation here at Blake, and we ask that all students read a minimum of two books during the summer months. Please refer to the Blake Summer 2017 Reading Lists for copies of the 6th-8th grade reading lists for this summer. If you have any questions, please contact Jon Haycock at email@example.com. All Blake students need to bring in a combination lock with which to lock their hallway lockers. They will give their combination to their advisory teacher for safekeeping in the event that they forget it. In order to give students time to practice using their lock and become comfortable with it, we recommend that families take some time to review the combination procedures with their students before day one of school. A photo of locks that fit on Blake lockers can be found on the school supply list page. The Blake Supply Lists for all students and the Swim Test Form for all incoming 8th graders can be found on the Blake website.
Recognition of September 11
September 11, 2017 will mark the sixteenth anniversary of the tragic events that transpired on September 11, 2001. To help commemorate all those who were affected by the events that took place, we are encouraging everyone, in an appropriate and respectful manner, to wear the colors of red, white, and blue on Monday, September 11. One of the lessons we were all reminded of fifteen years ago was the importance of community and looking out for one another. In that spirit, and to continue a tradition started five years ago, Blake will be helping its own Medfield community by holding a one day collection for the Medfield Food Cupboard. The Cupboard has identified the following current needs: Canned Fruit, Canned Pasta, White Rice, Sweet/Salty Snacks (crackers, cookies, etc), Juice (Large and Boxes), Non-Grape Jelly, Applesauce (6 packs), Kid Friendly Cereal, and Canned Chili or Stew. More details regarding specific needs will be shared as we get closer to the date. Donations will be collected in the guidance office on Monday, September 11.
Theme of Diversity for 2017-2018
Blake’s collective themes for the last six school years have been Community, Perseverance, Creativity, Acceptance, Collaboration, and Empathy. The shared theme for this coming year is one of Diversity and, as has been the practice with our prior themes, our goal is to touch on the theme throughout the year - with advisory, assemblies, student recognition, and in our daily work with students. Many of the attributes, skills, and competencies we want for our students and community are influenced, fostered, and impacted by a healthy understanding, appreciation, and embodiment of and for diversity. To help spark some conversations amongst ourselves and the greater community, I am sharing several articles of interest that I believe will help frame our thinking as we look ahead…
Risks and Rewards: Moving Past the Single Story
by Tricia Ebner in Center for Teaching Quality
Ebner’s post is one that ‘spoke to me’ right away, as I believe it ties directly to our theme of diversity and the importance of shaping and sharing individual and shared ‘stories’ as a Blake community. What is our story? What is your story? What is my story? What story do we want our students to create and tell during middle school? How can we tell our stories? These are all questions I look forward to exploring in the coming year, as we seek to better understand the perspectives, thoughts, and beliefs of others.
...far too often we can take the story we know and draw all kinds of conclusions from it, many of which are inaccurate. Because the single story is incomplete, it can become dangerous in its limitations.
When information isn’t easily accessible or understood, it is far too easy to create a story based on the bits and pieces that are known. In general, people want to know and understand the whole story. Having just bits and pieces can be unsatisfying and even uncomfortable. When something is incomplete, we look for the information we need to give us the whole story.
When we don’t share our perspectives, the story that develops without our knowledge and understanding will always be incomplete; a single story. If we don’t share our stories, we leave information gaps, and those gaps may or may not be filled with accurate details.
Sharing our stories also means we need to listen to others’ narratives. In order to develop a full, complete picture, we need all perspectives...Only by sharing our stories can we avoid the dangers of being silent.
Teaching Toward Consciousness
by Joshua Block (@jhblock)
Block’s post from 2016 is a quick one, encouraging educators to stay current and relevant in the context of our work with students. It is important to recognize each community and to be sure to engage in thoughtful discussions to increase both the individual and collective consciousness.
This information about schools and the disparate daily realities of students are a reminder that educators must develop pedagogy that speaks to and examines a range of understandings and experiences. To ignore the lives of young people and the current state of affairs is to fail students and miss the potential for education to inform, challenge, and inspire change. There is work to be done in classrooms at all settings -- exclusive institutions, high-poverty areas, mixed-population schools, and environments not easily summarized -- but the work differs depending on the community and the individuals.
Usable Knowledge - One and All
This resource from Harvard Graduate School of Education was shared with me by a colleague and looks to be one that will help foster productive dialogue and experiences for students, families, educators, parents, and community members.
In a time of division and uncertainty for our country, many of us — teachers, school leaders, parents — are asking, “What can we do?” How can we reject discrimination and protect children who feel targeted for their religion, ethnicity, gender, or even political beliefs? How can we welcome diverse perspectives and hard conversations? With One and All, we’re facing these challenges in education — by sharing resources and welcoming your ideas, experiences, and perspectives. We'll be updating regularly with new strategies and stories of inspiration.
Technology: The Social Justice Issue of the 4th Industrial Revolution
by Beth Holland (@brholland)
Holland’s post highlights the role of technology as a social justice driver/influencer in the context of the ‘4th Industrial Revolution’ - ‘One marked not by a single technology but by the fusion of digital, physical, and biological systems that could fundamentally change the nature of what it means to be human.’ As we continue our work with in progressive, mobile learning environment it is critical that we maintain our focus on furthering our community’s path towards global citizenry.
Urie Bronfenbrenner, a developmental psychologist, defined “being human” as existing within a nested structure of interconnected systems. His Ecological Systems Theory asserts that every child exists at center of nested, interdependent systems. At the most intimate level, the micro and meso systems comprised of individuals have an immediate impact on a child’s development: parents, siblings, peers, teachers, neighbors, etc.
...failure to bring technology to all students may result in an inability to realize the potential innovations of our future. In other words, technology may be the social justice issue of the 4th Industrial Revolution...individuals also possess not only the literacy skills and technical capacity to use technologies but also the broader capability to engage in empathy – to deeply understand the cultures of others, in analysis – to critically assess the credibility and reliability of information, and in synthesis – to create meaning from disparate sources...An education system that does not help students to recognize the influence that they possess over their personal, social, and technological worlds then prevents them from fully participating in a global and interconnected society.
The 4th Industrial Revolution requires us to be human and humane, knowledgeable and adept at seeking out new knowledge, capable of building connections as well as seeing them within a complex network of digital sources. Education will require more than just the acquisition of basic skills and will need to include the ability to forge connections with others — both in person and online, to promote the shared values of society, and to recognize the role of technology in fostering a global community. In this new era, technology brings the promise of equity in access to information and the possibility for advancement in society. However, for this revolution to occur, we – as educators – need to stop talking about technology as boxes, wires, and tools. Instead, we need to recognize it as an opportunity to prepare all students for success in a global community. Failure to do so would be nothing short of social injustice.
We look forward to helping our students and one another gain a deeper and richer appreciation for diversity throughout the coming year, and we will be looking to engage the community in this worthwhile pursuit with us. As a staff we have been brainstorming ideas and I encourage all families to join us in the brainstorming process as well. As ideas and thoughts come to mind, do not hesitate to e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Kelly C. (email@example.com).
Social Emotional Learning Resource for All Families
I want to remind you about our website that comes from the Office of Social/Emotional Learning (www.medfieldsel.com). Included in the website is information regarding our current list of mental health resources, information about our RISE Transition Program, and a lot of information about Social/Emotional Learning. In addition, in our “In The News” tab, you will find articles that we feel may be of interest, including current trends that may affect our kids. Check back often, as there are new things to read all the time. The “Communication” tab will bring you to letters that this office has sent out during the course of the school year, so if you want to refer back, it is easy to find. Medfield Public Schools is taking the commitment to Social/Emotional Learning very seriously, so check out the site, browse around, and use it as a way to ignite conversation with your kids. - Dr. Dave Worthley (@DrWorthley)
Mobile Learning, iPad Initiative, and GAFE
We are looking forward to continuing our work with iPads in all grades this year, following the successful experiences the last few years. The 'minimum specifications' will still remain as the iPad 4, meaning the following are acceptable devices for students to use: iPad 4, iPad Mini, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 4, iPad Air, or iPad Pro. The device selected by the students/families will suffice for the students' needs in school as long as Apple continues to update the OS (operating system) on that device. If your family intends to purchase a new device this year, then the iPad 4, iPad Mini 4, iPad Air, or iPad Pro are the recommended devices. The iPad Mini has the same specifications as the iPad 4, with the difference in screen sizes (7.9” vs 10”). Our work over the last five years has provided a foundation as our teachers and staff continue to thoughtfully implement and review the effectiveness of this initiative. It is important to keep in mind that teachers and students will be following the same curriculum frameworks and the common core Blake curriculum. For your reference I am sharing links below to documents about our initiative/program...
Blake Mobile Learning General Information (has articles, background information, and philosophy)
Blake Mobile Learning FAQs 17-18
We will also be continuing our work with all students using Google Apps for Education (GAFE) to enhance the way we use technology and share information within and beyond our school community. Essentially, GAFE is a cloud-based learning platform allowing teachers and students to create a range of documents online, e-mail, share calendars and 30 gigabytes of data storage to be accessed at home and school on any device. GAFE allows us to collaborate and learn more effectively through the use of technology, and offer a range of new learning opportunities for teachers and students. Further information about GAFE can be found here: Google Apps Overview and Benefits
Our primary reasons for employing GAFE as a district are:
- To give our students practice using technology applications and tools
- To give students the ability to work on common, no-cost tools on their own documents both at school and outside of school
- To facilitate ‘paperless’ transfer of work between students and teachers (‘work flow’)
- To provide adequate long-term storage space for student work
- To help students work collaboratively, engage in peer-editing of documents, and publish for a wider audience
- GAFE works on any computer or device with Internet connection. This allows our students to continue learning beyond the classroom and the ability to access their content at any time.
- Students and teachers can work in teams, sharing calendars, documents and collaborating ideas to learn more effectively.
- To establish digital portfolios to curate the progression of learning for all of our students
We are excited about the prospects that lie ahead as we work to provide your students with the opportunity to learn with meaningful technology and are hopeful that we can foster and promote a positive and relevant learning experience. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions, concerns, or thoughts that you may have.
In our continued efforts to provide resources and share our thinking with this work, I am highlighting several posts that underline our guiding principles for the integration of technology (I have shared a few of these before, but I believe they are worth reading and rereading to keep us on track)...
Methods: Tradition vs Relevance
post by Tom Whitby (@tomwhitby)
Whitby is an educator worth following - for teachers, parents, and students. He asks good questions and challenges the status quo. In this brief post, he encourages us to really examine the roles that tradition and relevance play in the education of our students...
The sources for learning today are much different from previous centuries when lectures ruled education. For the curious mind the digital journey seeking knowledge can be its own experience. Having control over one’s own learning is a very effective way to learn. It is also relatively new to a very conservative world in education.
If collaboration and discussion within problem-based learning is more relevant to today’s learners, why would educators insist on staying with less effective methods? The technology has changed the way learning happens. That is now a given. Technology by its nature will continue to advance and evolve. It is easier for us to change our methodology and to use the technology than it is to withhold the technology to maintain the outdated methodology. My personal belief is that at least in education relevance is more important than tradition when it comes to methodology.
Dancing with Robots: The Skills Humans Need
by Justin Reich (@bjfr) in Education Week
This post from a couple of years ago references a white paper written by Richard Murnane and Frank Levy - Dancing with Robots: Human Skills for Computerized Work. This important paper helps to provide direction for what we need to focus on for our students - critical thinking and complex communication.
Levy and Murnane argue that computers do a few things very well, and they do those things very cheaply...Computers, however, are still not very good at certain kinds of tasks, and Levy and Murnane put these into three big categories: solving unstructured problems, working with new information, and carrying out non-routine manual tasks.
It's not that unstructured problem solving or working with new information are new skills for the 21st century, it's that they are newly important in the 21st century as computers replace routine-based work. In economic terms, humans have a comparative advantage over computers in these domains.
The Greatest Ed-Tech Generation Ever
by Beth Holland (@brholland) in Education Week
This post is a ‘live blog’ of Justin Reich’s keynote address at the iPad Summit in November, 2015. Reich’s message eloquently articulated a historical perspective on technological advances while outlining a vision, a ‘generational project to become the greatest ed tech generation ever’ for the audience.
For the first time, the concept of time to learn has shifted to a lifelong and lifewide experience. Increasingly, people need to learn throughout their lifespan, so one of the most important things that we can do is to equip people to become these lifelong learners. As educators, one of our most critical challenges is to develop students into these learners who can take advantage of both formal and informal education systems. In order to do this, people need two skill sets: be employable in the near term and be prepared to learn and adapt over time. In many ways, schools need to accomplish the goals of both vocational systems (prepare for specific tasks) and liberal arts systems (prepare to be thinkers).
Justin then tells about the peer-learning strategies employed by Eric Mazur of Harvard. Abundant evidence exists that actively engaging students in learning experiences is more effective than having them passively receive information via lecture. "Given our results, it is reasonable to raise concerns about the continued use of traditional lecturing as a control in future experiments." That statement essentially makes it unethical to use lecture as a control in experiments because it is so ineffective. All learning should be active as it has been proven to be exponentially more effective.
This is a generational challenge. We have to be able to look back on the massive investments in technology and prove that it systematically made a difference.
EdTech is Maturing
by Michael Cohen (@TheTechRabbi)
Michael Cohen is the Director of Educational Technology at Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy in Beverly Hills, and this post is a reflection of his experience at the iPad Summit. I was fortunate to attend one of his sessions and I highly recommend checking out his work. His focus on the 'invisible iPad' and sustainable/meaningful learning for students, from my perspective, is spot on.
EdTech is becoming less about what you can do with an app, and more about what the app can do for you.
On twitter this week I read a tweet that if the technology isn’t used “right” (whatever that means) then it shouldn’t be used at all. “Losing Tech” is no longer just a punishment, it is a prevention of learning. Imagine if we took students pencils for “inappropriate use” and refused to give them back at the end of class. Such a scenario would never happen because everyone agrees that students cannot learn without pencils. If our attitude is that technology used wrong can simply be removed, then what is our objective? Are we integrating technology to support unimaginable, unbelievable, and unstoppable learning, or is it to meet a quota or claim 21st-Century status?
Justin Reich, Director of the Teaching Systems Lab at MIT shared a powerful quote from a scholarly paper on active learning, and STEM, and that is that given our [research] results, it is reasonable to raise concerns about the continued use of traditional lecturing as a control in future experiments. This quote is beyond powerful as it speaks to the disconnect between authentic 20th-Century and 21st-Century learning environments and experiences. To play on words, it requires us as educators to give up “control” over knowledge, and where it can take us.
We can no longer expect that the mere digitization of traditional learning will lead to sustainable and meaningful learning for students...While we might not be able to rewrite our entire educational outlook just yet, it is incumbent on use as educators to begin the process of not just redefining our use of technology, but redefining what learning can occur because of it.
The Invisible iPad: It's Not About the Device
by Michael Cohen (@thetechrabbi) in MindShift
As we continue to make progress with tablets in the classroom, it is critical that we stay true to Blake's mission and the tenets of effective teaching and learning. Cohen succinctly articulates the fundamental view that the device is not the focus -- "For progressive educators, it isn’t enough to change how we use the iPad, but why we use the iPad." We must continually remind ourselves to focus on the skills we want for our students first, and then look to see how the iPad can enhance the experience...
Before we even begin to think about how and where we place the iPad in our learning process, we have to nail down our goals, possible challenges, and the planned path of process. If we reach a point during the project and hit a road block, we can become flustered if we do not have even a rough outline to backtrack to a clear point of success. This all starts with identifying which skills we will need to use. In elementary and middle school, these skills need to be clear and simple so students know that right now they are “collaborating” or “problem solving.” We can expect these skills to be subconscious as adults, but this is not realistic for most students below or even at high school level.
The Reason Why Teachers Are Afraid Of Technology, and 2 Ways We Can Help Them Embrace It
by Michael Cohen (@thetechrabbi)
Cohen’s insight on this topic can be applied to realms outside of edtech - 'asking why before how' and employing an empathic lens to our interactions and work with all constituents.
For me, having the latest and greatest technology was and is less about staying on the cutting edge, and instead about trying to figure out ways in which technology can make people's lives awesome. Plain and simple.
If technology is not improving someone's life and being seen as something of value, then maybe technology is the problem, and not the person.
...in life, and in education we cannot use technology because of what it does, but because of what we can do with it...I believe that when any technology is harnessed properly, it has the ability to engage, enrich, and enliven our learning and our life.
It's with this shift in mindset for both the techno-addicts and technophobics that together we can ensure that students are given the chance to not just redefine their learning, but prepare them for a way of thinking and processing to thrive in the world of tomorrow.
Building the Culture of an Empowered Mindset Towards Technology Innovation
post by George Couros (@gcouros)
I share this post by Couros at the start of each year and I believe it is worth sharing again, as it offers an administrative perspective in visual form of, "...the correlation of the school mindset on technology innovation in learning, and the alignment it has with administrator support, professional development, and the corresponding hardware/infrastructure within the school/classroom." As we look ahead at the initiatives that we are currently working on and ones that lie ahead, I believe this will help our entire learning community (students, staff, parents, and greater community) understand and envision the progression we want to travel from a 'closed or fixed' mindset to one of 'empowerment'. Communication and transparency are key elements in this growth pattern and I look forward to the conversations we have yet to have in this regard.
I encourage you to peruse our mobile learning blog (Mobile Learning in Medfield) for resources and to gain a greater understanding of the work that has taken place - a big thank you to Diane Horvath (@techmonstah), our Technology Integration Specialist, for her work on this blog. We are excited about the prospects that lie ahead as we work to provide your students with the opportunity to learn with the new technology and are hopeful that we can foster and promote a positive learning experience. We anticipate sending out more information throughout the year to families regarding user agreements, tips for family management, and apps. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact me.
Our custodial, technology, and maintenance teams have done a phenomenal job preparing the building for another year of learning. In addition to the annual work (cleaning of rooms, waxing of floors, painting and ‘fix-it-up’ jobs) that occurs each summer, a few special projects have been completed that are worthy of mention - fresh coats of paint have been added to areas throughout the school, landscaping has taken place, the sound system in our auditorium has been significantly updated, and we continue to work to adapt our learning environment to foster an open and flexible space for students and staff. The ongoing support of both the MCPE and PTO has been greatly appreciated in these endeavors! We are excited by these developments as we assure that the learning environment is accommodating for the ever-changing needs of our students.
Site Council Opening for Incoming Grade 6 Parents/Guardians
We have an opening for a parent representative (Grade 6) on the Blake Middle School Site Council. The Site Council meets monthly to review issues and discuss initiatives for the Blake Middle School community. The Council is also responsible for developing the annual School Improvement Plan and monitors progress with the plan throughout the year. Members include the administration, teacher representatives, and members of the community. The meetings are typically held once a month on Monday afternoons at 3:30 p.m. Serving on the Site Council is a wonderful way to get involved in your child's education and have an active and positive role in improving the Blake Middle School experience. Interested parents should send a letter of interest, indicating their desire and rationale for involvement, to me (email@example.com) by Thursday, August 24. If multiple parents express interest, an election will take place at parent night. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.
Parent Information Nights
Our Parent Information Nights (PINs) will take place on Thursday, September 7 for grade 8, Tuesday, September 12 for grade 7, and Wednesday, September 13 for grade 6 - all of these evenings will begin at 6:30 p.m. These nights will provide you with an opportunity to visit your student's classrooms and hear about the curriculum and exciting programs that will take place throughout the year. There will be an optional meeting on Thursday, September 7 at 6:00 p.m. for eighth grade parents interested in learning about the trip to New York City and Washington, D.C. There will be an optional meeting on Tuesday, September 12 at 6:00 p.m. for seventh grade parents interested in hearing final details about the trip to Nature's Classroom. Sixth grade chorus, band, and orchestra parents are invited to informational meetings at 6:00 p.m. on September 13, prior to PIN. We will send out reminders and more details on all of these meetings as we get closer to the actual dates.
Book Discussion Group for Parents for 2017-2018
Over the last two years the Blake Site Council has read several books (How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott Haims, The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World that Values Sameness by Todd Rose, and The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children by Alison Gopnik), and we will continue this practice during the 2017-2018 school year. Our first two books of the year will be Wait, What?: And Life's Other Essential Questions by James Ryan and The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros . We will discuss our plans/schedule for reading these books at our first Site Council meeting in September - stay tuned for more details!
Blake Theater Update
Tracy Allen sent an email to all families earlier this week regarding Blake Theater. This season is starting with a meeting on September 7th and auditions the following week. To help the theater team get a sense of those interested in participating, they are asking those interested to fill out this google form by September 5th - Blake Theater Google Form 2017-2018. Any questions, please contact Tracy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Middle School Athletics for Fall, 2017
Anyone interested in participating in Blake Middle School Athletics in the Fall (Grade 6-8 Boys and Girls Cross Country, 8th Grade Girls Field Hockey, 8th Grade Girls Volleyball, or 7th and 8th Grade Football) please do the following ASAP:
- Register your son/daughter on FamilyID.com (direct link off Blake Athletics Page)
- Pay online (Direct Link for UniBank on FamilyID) or send check for $225 (made out to the "Town of Medfield") to Medfield High School, C/O Eric Scott, AD, 88R South St, Medfield, MA 02052. You can also drop it at the main office.
- All parents/guardians need to be sure to follow the parking regulations in the parking lots and around the 'flagpole circle'. When dropping off or picking up students, vehicles should not be parked ('stationary' or 'live') in the fire zone. We need to make sure that we are providing a safe environment at all times for our students and community. Thank you for your cooperation.
- Forgotten items can be left in the office with the understanding that the students know to check in the office if they have forgotten an item. Please clearly label items with the student’s name and grade.
- Students are not permitted to bring in baked goods (cookies, cakes, etc.) to celebrate birthdays or personal events. There are many students who have food allergies and other dietary needs, and it is important that we continue to provide all of our students with a safe and healthy environment. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
- When shopping for 'back to school' clothing, please bear in mind the Blake Middle School guidelines for appropriate attire. We are confident that good judgment on the part of students and parents will result in the wearing of clothing that will contribute to a respectful academic environment and educational atmosphere. At Blake we endeavor to remove as many distractions from the day as possible so that students are able to focus on the most important aspect of their day - learning.
Medication and Health Information from Mrs. Williams
To do his/her best in school, it is important for your child to get an adequate amount of sleep every night, start each day with a healthy breakfast as well as drink plenty of water throughout the day. Please send your child to school with a refillable water bottle daily. 6th grade students should also bring in a healthy snack to eat in the morning such as yogurt, fruit or vegetables. During adolescence, eight to ten hours of sleep is recommended every night. A set time to turn off your child's phone, iPad and other electronics for the night and charge in an area away from your child's room is also recommended to remove distractions and encourage good sleeping habits.
All medication to be taken at school must be kept in the nurse's office and administered by the school nurse. Students are not allowed to carry and self-administer medications at school including non-prescription medications such as Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, allergy and cold relieving medication, etc. Parents/guardians are asked to complete the blue Emergency Health Information form that will be sent home the first day of school. On this form, parents/guardians may give written permission for the school nurse to administer specified non-prescription medication, if needed. Any other prescription and/or non-prescription medication to be administered at school requires a written order from the student's healthcare provider and written parental consent preferably on the Medication Authorization Plan 2017-18 available on the school's website.
Back-to-School Packet from MA DESE
Jeff Wulfson, Acting Commissioner of Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, shared with school administrators across the Commonwealth this back-to-school packet as a resource for all families to be and stay informed and engaged - we hope you will find this information helpful…
- The New ESE Website: The new site has been designed to allow families and educators to more easily find information and resources, including a page to subscribe to ESE newsletters;
- The Year Ahead: Major developments from ESE that will impact your 2017-2018 school year;
- Back-to-School Basics: A brief overview for parents on how the state and districts work together to support teaching and learning [Accessible version];
- MCAS Parent Guide*: An interactive guide for parents on understanding the next-generation MCAS
Communication and Updates
I will resume updating my blog on a consistent basis once again after the official start of the school year, and I encourage you to check this site weekly (Blake Principal's Blog) for updates and important information. In addition you can 'follow me' on Twitter (@nat_vaughn), as I am using this account as a communication and resource tool - tweeting up-to-date information, Blake happenings, links to sites, and articles on a daily or more consistent basis. We have also established a Blake School account (@blakeoffice) and hashtag (#bmsed) for education-related tweets of interest and Blake events, so be sure to check it out! Instagram is another form of social media that I am exploring and you are welcome to follow me (nat.vaughn).