Monday, January 27, 2014

Principal Notes
January 26, 2014

We are closing out the second quarter, starting the third quarter/second semester, we have had our first snow days of the year, and the Arctic temperatures have certainly tested our school’s heating system.  With all the cold weather and the changes in the schedule, the students have been exceptional.  They have worked hard participating in their classes, service projects, winter concerts and many are participating in this year’s school musical. 

Parker’s Annual Production – High School Musical

This year Parker students will be performing Disney’s High School Musical Jr., February 27th to March 1st.  We are adding a show this year performing a total of four shows.  Our productions have taken on a quality and level of participation that seems very professional.  Mrs. DiMuzio and Stephen MacDonald are an exceptional team.  The number of students participating this year may reach 140 students, between the cast, set and technical crews.  There is such a buzz around the preparation for this show, students are humming the very familiar songs and talking constantly about the production.  You and your families are welcome to come and join us for this year’s production.     

Parent Visitation Day 2014
This year we had three hundred ten parents attend Parent Visitation Day on January 9th.  It is one of my very favorite days of the year.  It gives parents an opportunity to come into the world of the middle school that their children experience every day.  It is an opportunity for us (teachers and administrators) to reconnect with returning parents and also meet and share with new parents what the ins and outs of middle school life is like.  Several parents stopped off to share that they are most pleased with the learning experiences that their children are having, with a few parents talking very candidly about how they wished this was what their middle school or junior high experience was like.  I would like to thank the teachers and parents for taking time out of their day to attend.  Special thanks to student leaders who helped direct parents around the building and watched smaller children so parents could attend classes.                                               

The School Reform Initiative (SRI) Winter Meeting
The week before last, seven teachers from Parker and Coolidge Middle Schools attended the SRI Winter Meeting in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The SRI Winter Meeting is unique because it is a working conference where teachers, administrators, curriculum coordinators, and university professors get together to share their work.  This involves using protocols to candidly discuss challenges of practice whether it be challenges in the classroom, challenges of leadership, research or even curriculum initiatives.  University professors from local colleges and from around the country presented their work and research on what they believe really makes a difference for children in schools.  Their research is connected to adult learning, facilitative leadership, and the need for learning groups to lead and collaborate at the school and district level to affect change.  Special thanks to Assistant Superintendent, Craig Martin and the PTO’s for supporting this learning opportunity. 

Transition Calendar for Grade 5 and 8

It seems we are starting earlier and earlier each year, planning and thinking about students transitioning from grades 5 and 8.  In grade 5 we have started compiling names of students coming to Parker and Coolidge.  We are talking to elementary principals about the spring calendar, meetings with fifth grade teams as well as potential dates for parent meetings.  As soon as we get dates and times worked out we will get a separate e-mail and notice out letting you all know about upcoming events.  In grade 8, the transition meetings start this week with Future Freshman Night happening this Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at the RMHS Fine and Performing Arts Center.  

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