Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Happy Summer!

Thank you for another wonderful year! We are most fortunate to work with your children each day, and we value your support and trust.  Our partnership makes all the difference for our students. Your children have been sharing their summer plans, and they are most eager for their vacation to begin. I wish you all a summer filled with family, friends, and wonderful memory makers!

Report cards will be posted to the portal today at 2:00.

Below please find the teams for next year.  We are delighted to be welcoming back Dina Smith and Leah Ferullo who were on leave last year.  

It is with a heavy heart that I announce that Jenna Morin, school psychologist, will not be returning to Muraco next year. She has accepted a job in another district, closer to her home.  Jenna will be greatly missed, but we wish her all the best in her new position!

Teacher assignment letters will be mailed out on August 18th.

  • Maria Haines
  • Cathy Haley
  • Melissa Testa

First Grade:
  • Matthew Comenitz
  • Irene Diamond
  • Becky Reyelt
  • Dina Smith

Second Grade:
  • Chrissy Fagner
  • Vicki Gerry
  • Gillian Hignett

Third Grade:
  • Jen Lassins
  • Patricia Kelly
  • Christina Ulacco

Fourth Grade:
  • Chrissy Capodanno
  • Eileen Dunleavy
  • Caitlin Fay
  • Virginia McDonough

Fifth Grade:
  • Stephanie Andella
  • Betty Beauchamp
  • Jen Dumas
  • Leah Ferullo

Let Field Day Begin!
Time for Slush!

Crash Course Collaboration!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Another busy week!

The weather hasn't put a damper on our energy, and all things considered, the rain helped us to focus!

It was wonderful to welcome you to our Literacy Day.  I don't know who enjoyed themselves more. the students or family members.  June 27th, is approaching quickly, and we have so much to celebrate. Be sure to check out our Muraco Events calendar for the many end of year activities that we have scheduled.

Friendly Reminders
  • We are still collecting NEW books for our Pages from Patrick community service project.  You can find the boxes in the front lobby.
  • Got Jam?  Donations are being accepted for the community Got Lunch? program.  We appreciate your support.
High School Band and Orchestra

Fifth Grade Students Accompanying  Lamene!

Third Grade Students Touring North America!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

You're Invited

Literacy Morning:  We look forward to welcoming you on Friday morning.  It will be quite the literary celebration!  Please consider donating a NEW book to Pages from Patrick. Boxes are in the lobby.

  • Grades 3-5:  Parents will begin in the classroom
  • Grades K-2: Parents will begin in the library where the Reading, Library Media, and Integrated Tech specialists will be making a presentation.  

  • Grades 3-5:  Parents will be in the library where the Reading, Library Media, and Integrated Tech specialists will be making a presentation.  
  • Grades K-2: Parents will be in the classroom

Message from WFEE

Literacy Morning at Muraco is extra special this year as educators highlight how they are integrating technology into their classrooms. It is a great opportunity for all of us to say “thank you!!!” to you for your support of the WFEE powerED UP! initiative. Thanks to powerED UP!:
·         Technology is no longer an afterthought, it is integrated into what we do everyday
·         Students now have classrooms access to nearly 400 Chromebooks
·         Educators are tailoring lessons to individual student needs; the world's knowledge is now easily accessible for optimal learning
At Literacy Morning, you can see our 2nd graders blogging about their reading, take a science quiz the 3rd graders have created with Google forms or check in with your child’s teacher about how he or she is using technology. We are very grateful for all of the gifts to WFEE that have changed teaching and learning in our classrooms.

Today we celebrated Muraco kids, class of 2017!  The seniors paraded through the hallways while our students applauded and cheered.  It was a definite memory maker! 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Upcoming Events

Memorial Day Program:  We are encouraging all members of our community to wear red, white, and blue on Friday.  We look forward to honoring Francis J. Muraco and all the other brave women and men who sacrificed their lives so that we can enjoy the many freedoms we have.

Family Literacy Morning:  The Muraco students are excited to celebrate literacy with you on Friday, June 2.  This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to share their love of literacy and for you to get another glimpse into our literacy program.  All of you are invited to visit your children’s classrooms. Also, the reading, library media, and technology specialists will be offering a workshop in the library with tips on fostering a love of reading, Internet safety and helpful resources. Below please find the schedule for the morning.

Please consider donating a NEW book to Pages From Patrick.  The donation boxes are in the front hallway.

  • Grades 3-5:  Parents will begin in the classroom
  • Grades K-2: Parents will begin in the library where the Reading, Library Media, and Integrated Tech specialists will be making a presentation.  

  • Grades 3-5:  Parents will be in the library where the Reading, Library Media, and Integrated Tech specialists will be making a presentation.  
  • Grades K-2: Parents will be in the classroom

Homework Survey Results:  I want to thank you for participating in our homework survey.  Your feedback is helpful as we continue to improve upon our practices.  Below please find the results.

Common Themes (Listed in the order of frequency):
  • More time for family moments
  • Less stress
  • More time for reading
    • On average 86% of our students are reading every night
    • Parents of students in grades 1 and 2 are more likely to read aloud to their children
  • More time for independent exploration
  • Feel less connected with what child is learning
  • Concern over transition to McCall

Natural Next Steps:
  • Improve communication to parents
    • Better utilize the scheduled calendar events and classroom updates to clarify homework expectations (Welcome Back Coffees, Curriculum Night, PTO meetings, blogs, newsletters…)
    • Staff will consider how to better communicate student progress throughout the year
    • More opportunities for parents to visit classrooms
    • Workshops for parents
      • Curriculum
      • Social/Emotional
      • Technology
  • Ongoing conversations with staff, at Muraco and across the district, to reflect, share and improve practices
  • District-wide conversations to better align homework practices with research
  • Investigate project based learning

Fourth Grade Mathematicians at Work!

Second Grade Students are getting a Spanish Lesson!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Muraco Happenings!

As always, we were treated like “stars” last week, Teacher Appreciation Week.  Many thanks for your thoughtful acts of kindness and most importantly, for your ongoing support, respect, and trust! We feel privileged to work with your children each day, and we value your partnership.  It is our strong home/school connection that allows your children to reach for the stars!

Homework Survey:  This year we made the deliberate decision to look at our traditional homework practices to better align with research and best practices.  The research is clear at our level; reading has the greatest impact on student learning.  Students also need time to explore their interests, spend time with family and friends, and get a good night’s rest.  Throughout the year teachers have collaborated with their colleagues across the grade levels to discuss how to continually improve our practices.  By now you have received a brief survey asking for your insight, and we hope that you will take a few moments to respond. Your feedback will be helpful as we continue to refine our homework practices.

Student Council:  Be sure to check out the Muraco's Student Council's Blog at:  http://muracowizardswisdom.blogspot.com/

Got Lunch: During the month of May the GOT LUNCH program is requesting that the Muraco community donate jelly.  This program started four years ago, and because of the generous donations from the Winchester community, they were able to provide lunch for over 130 children last summer.  There will be a box for the jelly in the front lobby.  Thank you in advance for your support!

Arrival/Dismissal Reminders:
  • Creating good habits takes great skill and management!  Many students continue to arrive after the 8:30 bell, which makes it a challenge for your child, their classmates, and it wreaks havoc with our lunch count. Please create morning routines that allow for the unexpected so that your child arrives to school on time.  It makes a difference, and we want to encourage good habits.
  • Numerous families continue to use Irving and Tufts Roads as drop off and pick up locations.  This is a safety hazard for our students.  Please use Bates Road when dropping off or picking up your children.  Your children’s safety is paramount.
  • When there is no flag out front students, should line up behind the school.
  • In the rare event that you need to change plans for dismissal for your child, please contact the office by 2:00.  It is very difficult to get messages to students as we get closer to dismissal time.
  • Please notify the office when your child will be absent.
Geometry in Action!

Fifth Graders Collaborating
Second Graders Literally Climbing the Wall!

Budding Musicians!

Monday, April 3, 2017

This is the Time of Year...

This is the time of year that we are beginning to plan for the upcoming school year.  We are excited to launch a full day kindergarten program.  Due to enrollment increases we will go from 20-21 classroom sections. Below please find the number of sections projected at each grade level.  We are carefully monitoring the kindergarten numbers to ensure that we have the appropriate number of sections at that level.  Like any other year there are a few staffing changes, and once teachers are assigned to a grade level, I will notify you.
Kindergarten: 3 sections
First Grade: 4 sections
Second Grade: 3 sections
Third Grade: 3 sections
Fourth Grade:  4 sections
Fifth Grade: 4 sections

In the next couple of months we will be starting the process of placing students for next year. Please know that a tremendous amount of time and thought goes into student placement.  The Muraco staff works tirelessly to meet the needs of all students.
Our goal is that each child's placement is thoughtfully considered.  To best meet the needs of each child, we will be doing placement in the following manner: we will consider teachers' suggestions, past school experiences, academic and social/emotional achievement, and input from support staff, as well as input from you, should you choose to offer it.

What would you like us to know about your child (his/her learning style, multiple intelligence, and social/emotional characteristics, that you feel should be factored into the placement process? Please know that we cannot accommodate friend requests. Muraco is an inclusive community, and the teachers work hard to develop the social skills of each child, which helps to foster a positive learning environment.   Specific teacher requests will not be honored.  

If you would like to express your thoughts about your child's style of learning, please send a letter or an email to me by Friday, April 14.  

Thank you for being committed to your child's education! We look forward to a great finish this year and to a wonderful 2017-2018 school year.

Friendly Reminders

  • The Lost and Found is filled with treasures.  Please check the cubbies in the front hallway to see if any of the items belong to your child.
  • Please have your children to school by 8:30.  Many students continue to arrive 5-10 after the bell.  

To assist us with our planning for next year please:
  • Complete and return Kindergarten registration packets as soon as possible.   
  • Contact Lori McKinney if you will be moving at the end of this school year.

Light It Up Blue:  

April is Autism Awareness Month.  In recognition we are encouraging all members of the Muraco community to wear blue this THURSDAY, April 6th. It’s another opportunity for us to celebrate the many types of learners we have in our community.
Enjoying D.E.A.R.

Thank you!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Save the Dates...

String and Band Fling:  
  • March 23 at McCall Middle School
  • 6pm String Concert
  • 7:30 Band (woodwinds, brass and percussion)

Pj’s & Literacy Day: Friday, March 31
The Student Council would like everyone to participate!

On Friday, March 31, we are having a Drop Everything and Read/Pj’s Day.  All members of the community are encouraged to wear Pj's to school and bring a Just Right Book. In the afternoon we will snuggle up with our good books!  Also, feel free to donate to Pages from Patrick. We are collecting new books from preschool through young adult.  We are looking forward to this celebration of literacy!

Authorfest:  Tuesday April 4
Thanks to WFEE our students will have an opportunity to meet with authors to hear their stories and to learn more about the writing process.  Below please find the list of authors who will be visiting each of the classes.

K:  11:15-12:15 – ½ Sullivan/Green, ½ Heather Lang
1st:  1-2 – ½ Ralph Masiello, ½ Lita Judge
2nd:  10:45-11:45 – ½ David A Kelly, ½ Fred Bowen
3rd:  9:45-10:45 – Heather Lang
4th:  1-2 – David A Kelly
5th:  9:15-10:15 - Fred Bowen
It was a Lucky Day!