Monday, December 16, 2013

Principal Notes
December 12, 2013
By Douglas Lyons

Time is going quickly; we completed our 69th day of the school year today.  We just passed the mid-quarter for the second marking period and progress reports were uploaded to Edline.  The seventh grade has made their annual field trip to the North Shore Music Theatre to see “A Christmas Carol.”  This is such a nice tradition and the production really contributes to the reading that is happening in class.  If you are interested in getting a glimpse of the production your children have seen, please click on the link 

If you have questions about your child's grades or progress reports, I encourage you to please contact your son or daughters’ teachers or their team leaders.

8th Grade English continues to be a great place to be…

Team Leaders, and 8th Grade English teachers, Mr. Olivo (left) and Mr. James (right) continue to make learning fun and engaging.  They can be seen above getting in a quick game of chess, and maybe having some fun posing for a picture.  Mr. James and Mr. Olivo have different teaching styles and deliveries, but their ability to plan lessons and execute remarkably fun and exciting activities that support learning has made 8th grade English some of our most exciting classes in the eighth grade.  Their commitment to getting to know their students and to really learn how their students learn has really made a significant difference in the level and progress students are making in their writing.  Both teachers plan their lessons together and share ideas about how to help and support students.  If you watch the two teachers together, the respect and regard they have for one another is undeniable.  This has really contributed to the teaching and the work that teachers are doing on the eighth grade teams.  In both classes’ students write and publish their work on class blogs, and will be prepared to present their written work in the spring during student-led conferences.  We are most pleased with the work kids are producing in ELA, and we know full well that the work students are producing and the progress they are making is directly related to the creativity, insight and commitment of Mr. James and Mr. Olivo.

The Reading Education Foundation (REF) and the Festival of Trees

The Festival of Trees, presented annually by the Reading Education (REF) ( continues to be a great family activity and a great fundraiser that supports innovation and excellence in the schools.  It is also a nice opportunity to see and catch up with Parker Alumni and current Parker students working side-by-side setting up trees and volunteering to support the education foundation. 

Jamie Melley, Lilly Manna and Ryan Melley decorate a tree donated by RMHS

Seventh graders (from left to right) Alexindra Wheeler, Portia Restuccia, Lucie D’Entremont, Tricia Snell, Alex Casarano, Rebecca Cory and Lindsay Yatsuhashi from decorate a donated tree from their Girl Scout Troop.   

School Safety and ALICE Training

We have been busy at the school and district level learning about the new lock down process called ALICE.  The acronym stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.  In the new system, teachers and school personnel are learning how to create options and make decisions to help keep students safe in the event there is an intruder in the school.  The district leadership has been instrumental in staying current with national trends in school safety and collaborating with the Reading Police Department to make the best practices in school safety a standard in Reading.  I will be writing more about what we are learning in the coming months.  If you have questions about this process or about what we are learning, please drop a note.