Monday, September 20, 2010

Welcome to New Families

Each August, new families are invited to visit Francis Wyman School to tour the building and learn about the school. Mr. Giurlando, Assistant Principal, led the tour and shared information about the school. The PTO Vice President, Jessica Inglis, shared a welcome goodie bag with families and offered her support by being the contact for new families.In this blog post, I would like to share some background information that may be of interest to new families as well as other members of our school community.

Francis Wyman School was originally built as a Junior High School. Years ago it was closed and rented to the State Police Department and Middlesex Community College. It was renovated and opened as the Francis Wyman Elementary School 14 years ago. It serves over 600 students K-5. There are several additional programs incorporated into the school: three district special education programs, three LABBB Collaborative special education programs, two afterschool programs and the new Sprouts Daycare. There are over 100 teachers and staff members involved in the school and programs.

Francis Wyman Elementary School is committed to its motto of Francis Wyman School CARES! This motto represents C for Compassion, A for Accomplishments, R for Respect, E for Enthusiasm, and S for Self-reliance. Students, staff, and parents embrace the diversity within the school population and work to be a fully inclusive school. This was most notably represented in the playground project which resulted in a totally accessible playground supported by not only the school community but the greater Burlington and business community. As a result of this unique playground, hundreds of students enjoy a quality play experience each day, including students with physical challenges.

The focus this year is to continue our implementation of Response to Intervention (RtI) and our Tiered Instruction Model. Grade level teams  meet regularly to collaborate on the consistent implementation of the district’s core curriculum and various interventions. Student progress is closely monitored and adjustments made to programs as needed. Our newly created District Curriculum Councils in ELA and mathematics will meet monthly to work on curriculum issues. Members of the councils include classroom teachers, Reading Specialists, the Literacy Coach and Math Coach, along with elementary principals. School based and district level data teams will monitor student progress to determine the effectiveness of instruction.

Our new staff this year includes Mrs. Kim Lynch who teaches grade 5. Mrs. Lynch has worked for the past 4 years at FWS in the capacity of permanent substitute, Math Tutor, and Instructional Assistant in the Language Based class grades 3-5. She volunteered to supervise the Student Council and has worked in the afterschool Math Club. She is most excited to join the fifth grade team. Mrs. Deborah Wall joins us as an additional ELL teacher. She will work part time at Francis Wyman and comes with a great deal of experience in the field of ELL and ELA instruction. Our school nurse, Mrs. Anne Azarian, will now work at FWS full time. She will also share her expertise beyond FWS, working in the capacity of the district’s Supervisor of Nurses.

We are dedicated to maximizing “time on learning” with our master schedule consisting of daily learning blocks : 90 minutes of English /Language Arts , 60 minutes of mathematics, 45 minutes of either science or social studies, and one specialist period a day in either PE, Music or Art . There is a 30 minute block for students to participate in either intervention instruction or extension/enrichment experiences. Students have 25 minutes of recess before lunch and then 25 minutes of lunch.
Replacing the auditorium seating  was the big summer project. The project is scheduled to be completed some time in late September. The flooring installation is complete so folding chairs will be available on Open House night for the faculty presentations.

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