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Message from Ms. Ford: January 2017

Dear Peabody Families:

Happy New Year! The first part of the 2016 - 2017 school year has been very successful.

Allow me to share a few of our successes:

Our classrooms are thriving! Students are moving forward towards greater academic and personal growth. Our skilled teachers are working with to instill confidence and pride in every student, everyday.

Our teachers are learning. A group of teachers and all of our paraprofessionals are reading and discussing the book: Fostering Resilient Learners: Strategies for Creating a Trauma-Sensitive Classroom. This text and our rich dialogue are helping our educators understand what trauma is and how it impacts the learning and the success of all students in the classroom. Further, we continue to explore how building strong relationships creates safe spaces that allow for students to learn at high levels. Additionally, our teaching staff are all committed to refining their craft and are all participating in school or department based professional development.

Our families are engaged. This year has been an excellent time of family engagement to our school. Our parent groups are growing more and more active. All meetings have been increasingly well attended. There are great things happening both to the casual observer, as well as, behind the scenes.

Exciting news:

As of this month, our Art Teacher, Mrs. Yuliya Paylor will be assigned to Peabody full time. We are currently working on an updated schedule that will allow for more art education time during the week.

As you might know, we have started our “What Makes Peabody Special To You” Project. Our entries, so far, have been terrific. Each day, more and more students, families and staff members are asking to include their thoughts. We are very excited to share this project in the upcoming months.

Looking ahead:

As you know, our School Improvement Plan is a working, living document that we are continuously updating. We have met many of the goals we had previously set forth and continue to do so.

At our next School Council Meeting, we will be working on a protocol requested by us of Superintendent Salim regarding School Based Visioning for the upcoming District Plan. During this protocol, we will discuss what it means to be a successful graduate of Cambridge Public Schools and what knowledge and skills the students will need to gain. Further, to accomplish this task, what does CPS need to look like, sound like and feel like?

Grades three through five will be taking the MCAS 2.0 test this year. Fourth and fifth grades will be taking the tests electronically, while the third grade will take the tests with pencil and paper. The tests will start in April and run through May. There will be make up dates and plenty of notice for home schedules.

In March, the Early Bird Singers will be traveling to Philadelphia for one day to perform at a Kodaly conference. This is a fantastic opportunity for our students as well as our excellent music program. I will continue to update you, as we get closer to the date.

Our fifth grade will be traveling to W. Alton Jones in early March. This overnight field trip has been an excellent opportunity to learn new things and build deeper relationships among our fifth grade cohort. I always look forward to this trip.

As you can see, we have a lot of exciting opportunities ahead of us. As always, I welcome your input in all aspects of our school. You should always feel free to call me at school (617-349-6530) or on my cell phone (617-201-7844). Email me anytime at jford@cpsd.us. You can also schedule an appointment with me by contacting Renee Daniliuk.

Thank you for your continued partnership in your child's education. I look forward to the upcoming year.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Ford