Principal's Corner

Principal’s Corner

END OF YEAR NOTES

Last Day of School
Friday, June 26 – 12:00 Dismissal (no lunch served)

First Day of School Next Year
Thursday, September 3

Note:  Before Labor Day

Kindergarten Phased Start
Thursday, September 3– A-J
Friday, September 4 – K-Z
Tuesday, September 8 – All students

Next Year’s Class Assignments

Class assignmentswill be mailed out during the week of July 6.  Please note that class lists will not be included this year due to a new district policy. Should you have questions or concerns, I am the primary contact during the summer.

End of Year Thank You’s

Each year, I express appreciation to the Lawrence School PTO – the organization that sponsors the many family events that strengthen the sense of community in our school, provides financial and program support, and convenes meetings on topics of interest to parents.  This year in particular, when volunteering seemed to be on decline, I would like to highlight the hands-on leadership of  PTO Co-Presidents Pamela Iguchi, Florrie Ives, and Nagmeh Ansari Varasteh.   In addition to the myriad responsibilities their role entails, each took up the slack by continuing to take the lead in several key areas.  Pam coordinated communication through the weekly PTO Monday Update and oversaw the Book Fair. Florrie continued to play an active role in Family Fun Night, Nagmeh oversaw the yearbook, and both served as Room Parent Coordinators. The PTO has taken steps to redistribute responsibilities and share the load next year.  I would like to acknowledge the extra work Pam, Florrie and Nagmeh did to carry us through this transition year.   We look forward to renewed and expanded involvement from more parents next year.

Thank you to the team who puts together the weekly Monday Update email and keeps our website current: Pam Iguchi, Chris Ternan & Mike Wiecek.  Thank you to the Performing Arts Council chair Lisa Viola for her leadership in previewing, scheduling and coordinating a rich array of school assemblies and classroom-based programs.   Thank you to Phonathon Chair Katherine Ingraham, who continues to do an amazing job overseeing our school’s major fundraising event.

Thank you to the many parents who coordinated an event and or a special activity  These events have become much anticipated traditions in the life of the school and help build and strengthen a strong sense of community.   They include the Fall and Spring Picnics, the Japanese Fairs, Family Fun Night, the PTO Play, and the Art Show.  For a complete list of  all these contributions, go to: http://lawrenceschoolbrookline.org/pto/volunteer/.

Thank you to the Lawrence Special Activities Board led by Joanne Liautaud.  LSA continues to provide a rich array of popular after school enrichment activities and makes a significant financial contribution to the PTO each year.

Thank you to School Council parent members Keith Carson, Grace Fehrenbach, Florrie Ives (PTO), and Charu Puri-Sharma, and Jin Suk, who have met monthly all year to offer advice and feedback on school improvement work.  Watch for information on our updated School Improvement Plan in September. Charu and Jin have agreed to serve a second two-year term so all parent representatives will be returning next year.

Thank you to our Brookline Education Foundation Board Members Ilene Bunis, Grady Clouse, and Shibani Sain Rao for their work on behalf of the BEF and its mission to support and promote professional learning for teachers.  Lawrence teachers continue to benefit from and appreciate this support each year.

Thank You to Departing Lawrence Staff

In addition to the previously highlighted retirement of third grade teacher Alicia Hsu, I would like to acknowledge and thank the following staff members who are moving on from Lawrence School:

  • Laura Balogh – Gr. 1 Teacher, who will be a special educator in Concord next year.
  • Rebecca Jones – French, who will be teaching full-time at Littleton Middle School.
  • Abbey Mast – KE Paraprofessional, who is returning to her home state of Montana.
  • Ellen Mills – ELL, who so effectively covered Akiko Kawai’s schedule on Fridays, while Akiko completed graduate studies. Akiko returns full-time next year.
  • Antonio Quintero – Spanish, who will be full-time at Pierce School next year.
  • Malia Scott – Math Specialist, who, thanks to to increases across the district, will be full-time at Lincoln School next year instead of traveling between 2 schools.  Lawrence will see a .3 FTE increase next year and, with Anu Advani on leave, we will hire a new full-time math specialist to join Katy McGraw.
  • Vale Southard – K-1 Music, who will be full-time at Driscoll next  year instead of traveling to three schools each week.
  • Marina Webber – Spanish, who covered K, 1 & 6 for one year. Julianne Madrid Kolb returns from leave next year.
  • Long-term Substitutes:  Amber Haskett (2GR), Amy Kane (English), and Lauren LaFountain (1L), who each provided a seamless transition while maintaining a high standard of teaching and learning.
  • Full Year Graduate InternsJackie Kelly (1L) &  Kayla Sharpe (1F) from Wheelock and Meagan Moran (Learning Center) from Lesley.

 And Thank You…

Leading a K-8 school of 675 students takes a team.  I want to express my appreciation to the following staff members who play a key role in supporting our growing school, beginning with three people in key positions who were new to Lawrence year:

  • Vice Principal Laura Horst, who in her first year at Lawrence has quickly established strong relationships with students, families and staff, while demonstrating her strong leadership and organizational skills – always with an upbeat disposition and a smile.
  • Secretary Christine Kohlsaat, who in her first year at Lawrence was unflappable as she learned the ins and outs of a busy school office.  Her  organizational skills and follow through help keep our school running smoothly.
  • Special Education Team Facilitator Lorri Ventura who in her first year at Lawrece demonstrated her years of experience as she coordinated the special education process for approximately 100 students – including guiding parents through the initial evaluation process, running team meetings, and responding to issues.
  • Office Aide Maria Kalaitzidis who continues to assist in the office and provided watchful coverage in classrooms and at lunch.
  • School Nurse Karen Miller,  who continues to support children every day – whether  attending to minor injuries and illnesses or overseeing the more complex medical needs of some of our students.
  • Guidance Counselors Holly Zito and Shaina Martinez and Psychologist Robin Toback for maintaining their unflagging care and support of students, families and staff, while addressing the wide range of social-emotional and mental health needs of our students.  We will welcome an increase in guidance support (.4 FTE next year).

Best wishes for a summer  filled with  your desired mix of adventure, rest, and relaxation.  I look forward to seeing you in September!                                                                       

Rick Rogers
rick_rogers@brookline.k12.ma.us