Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"Youer my hero"

Students were thrilled to be greeted with high fives from Maynard Police Officers as they arrived to school on Friday morning. Afterwards, one of the officers showed me this rock. It was given to him by a student with the words "Youer my hero" painted on it.

Young Teachers

I snapped this photo after mentioning to a student his sneakers were untied. Immediately, two friends bent down to help.

The scene reminded me of the day my oldest daughter learned to tie her shoes. She was in second grade, and I had tried multiple ways to teach her the skill- including a book with laces to practice. Exasperated, I stated, "The day you learn to tie your shoes, I will take you out for ice cream." That afternoon, she arrived home from school beaming. She proudly announced, "I can tie my shoes!" I was skeptical until she bent down and re-tied each lace into a perfect bow. She then explained that she had spent her entire recess having friends teach her to tie. My response, "Grab your coat- we are going for ice cream!"  She learned to tie- I learned to never underestimate the positive influence of peers. Some children need more time, and the proper motivation, to learn skills that come easily to others.

Children find joy in helping each other.


One of the ways students practice literacy skills is using erasable white boards. These students were gathered on the rug, following along as their teacher led a Wilson Fundations phonic lesson. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

"Its Awesome!"

We are truly grateful to the Playground Planning Committee and the citizens of Maynard who donated their time and funds to renovate our playgrounds. The landscape was leveled to improve irrigation and new structures were added. Wood chips and a durable rubberized path were also added to create a softer landing.

These are some of the comments children made on their first visit to the newly renovated play structure: "It's awesome!" "It feels like gold." "That was so much fun!" "We should write a thank you note to the construction guys."

These photos were taken on opening day. Each class signed up for a 'guided discovery time', enabling them to explore the new equipment with classmates. Teachers then facilitated a discussion, inviting students to brainstorm ideas for 'expected' and 'unexpected' behavior on the playground. Their input will be used to craft school-wide expectations to promote safe play. Their suggestions included: "be patient and take turns", "feet first down the slide", "if someone says STOP, do it," and "be safe and have fun!"

Families are welcome to use the playground when school is not in session. To create consistency, it will be helpful if parents encourage children to follow the same expectations listed below after school hours. To help the newly planted grass mature, please do not walk on it until next spring.
Up to 6 riders only on inside. Load and unload when not in motion.
Keep feet on ground when pushing.
To protect the spinner, don't sit or stand on ropes.
Use two hands on the bars. Give each other space.
Hold on tight to the swing. Tell pusher when ready to go.

Stay on the path, protect the grass.

Use both hands, stay upright, and climb to get down.
Up to 4 riders with 1 pusher. Make line off to the side.

Our Core Values & PBIS

Copies of this sign can be found throughout the school building. It displays our three core values in child friendly terms. If you ask students, they will show you the hand motions that go with the phrase, "At Green Meadow School we are kind, we are safe, we are learners." 

A team of faculty members from Green Meadow and Fowler schools recently attended a training on PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports). PBIS serves as a framework for developing systems, and strategies, to enhance social emotional learning and a positive school climate. A grant will enable our faculty to participate in ongoing coaching and training to implement PBIS over a three year period. The program takes awhile to implement because it involves developing a continuum of classroom and school-wide procedures which are crafted to the needs of the individual school. The first year focuses primarily on training a core group of faculty members and collecting data to identify areas of need.  At Green Meadow, our three core values will serve as the springboard for developing the data based action plan. Family engagement is an important component of PBIS, so we plan to share more information with you as it unfolds.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

High Five to Police & Firefighters

These cards were made by students in Mr. Mehigan's third grade class to show appreciation for first responders in Maynard. We are fortunate to have representatives from both the Fire Department and Police Departments on our school safety team.

We are pleased to announce officers from the Maynard Police Department will be visiting out school during arrival time several Fridays throughout the school year.  'High Five Fridays' are a chance for youngsters to foster positive interactions with police.

On October 10th & 12th, Maynard firefighters will be visiting Green Meadow School to offer fire prevention education for students in grades PreK-3. Tuesday's presentation included warnings about holiday candles and reminders to "stop, drop, and roll" to extinguish flames. Firefighters encouraged students to ask their families to develop an emergency 'escape plan' with two exit routes and a designated meeting place. To enhance safety, they also recommended closing bedroom doors at night and wearing bike helmets. Students were invited to drop by the station and see their new fire truck. Ask your student what they learned from fire fighters Mike and Derek.

All Hands On Deck

I love visiting classrooms and observing how teachers decorate and develop classroom routines. This year, Ms. McPhail's room has a nautical theme, complete with a life preserver ring on the door, an 'oasis' window seat, and a captain's chair in the corner. These charming third graders were more than willing to show me around the room and explain the 'All Hands on Deck' station. Each week students are assigned to helper jobs such as: door holder, paper collector, messenger, and 'patrol' for various areas (floor, sink, shelves, coats etc...). A system is in place for students to rotate jobs weekly, and if a mate is not fulfilling their duty they risk being swapped out. As students explained the system, I could see the sense of pride and responsibility this routine has instilled. A captain's salute to Ms. McPhail! With so many passengers sharing close quarters, establishing clear routines allows for smooth sailing.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Parent Coffee Chat

All parents/caregivers are invited to join Ms. Shea at the school for a "Coffee Chat" on Tuesday, October 17th at 8:45am. The topic for the upcoming chat will be discussing ways to build strong home-school connections. As a new principal, Ms. Shea is looking forward to getting to know parents in this informal setting. Other chats will be held periodically throughout the year.

Special Education Parent Advisory Council

SEPAC - Special Education Parent Advisory Council
Massachusetts Special Education Regulations state that each school committee shall establish a Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPPAC).  A SEPAC is a formally organized group of individuals committed to the best possible services for children with special needs.  A SEPAC:

  • Promotes a network of parents and forum to share information;
  • Advises the school district on special education programs, training needs, and policy;
  • Promotes communication between PAC members; local, state and national organizations, councils and groups;
  • Promotes understanding, acceptance and inclusion within the community
  • Provides informational forums for parents, students, educators, and professionals.

The Maynard SEPAC is open to parents, educators, and members of the community.  The first event of the year will be a pizza party for parents, at the Fowler School library, on October 12th at 7:00 pm.
For more information, visit the Parent Advisory Council Section of the Maynard Public Schools website .

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Family Resources

Ann Rutherford, our school counselor, is available to help families connect with a variety of resources in the community. This includes connecting with mental health providers and programs that provide financial assistance.  Ms. Rutherford has already started to coordinate holiday help for those experiencing hardships. For more information please contact her at 978-897-8246 or

The Maynard Food Pantry provides small backpacks of food to help feed children over the weekend. Any family experiencing financial hardship can request to be part of this program, the packs are sent home with children via the school. To sign up for the program, contact the school office to obtain a form.

If you meet income eligibility guidelines, school breakfast and lunch are available for free or at a reduced price.  If you think you might qualify, please do not hesitate to apply as it actually benefits the school. Federal funding for some programs, such as Title One, are based on the number of students who receive free/reduced lunch. Applications are available in the school office, on online via the district website, or via this link: Free or Reduced Lunch Application. Applications are handled confidentially, and since all students utilize the same card system they are unaware of who receives the free/reduced price.