Principal’s Corner: International Night, Metco Staff Breakfast, and MCAS Tips for Parents

Dear Lawrence Families,

International Night April 28!

The following information is from the Lawrence Latino Cultural Group (LLCG). The LLCG has graciously volunteered and is working hard to organize our International Night. Please consider helping in same manner and we hope to see you all there!

INTERNATIONAL NIGHT is April 28th, 2017 from 6-8pm

If you haven’t already done so, please consider making a food donation or signing up to volunteer.
What is international night?
The entire Lawrence community will get together to celebrate the richness and beauty of our many cultures. There will be many cultural activities to participate in and lots of different foods to sample.
Please help to make this night a success by making a food donation (follow the link for info and to sign up).
If you would like to set up a cultural activity please contact Patricia Santos at patricia@dialogocoaching.com.br.
We are also in need of volunteers!!   Sign up here to volunteer (each slot is just 45 minutes!)
Thank you in advance for your help!  We look forward to seeing you at i-night!

METCO Staff Appreciation Breakfast
Once again the Metco Teacher Appreciation breakfast was a great success. We demonstrated our gratitude for our teachers and staff with a full breakfast and a gift basket donation filled with books on immigration for the library.
Thank you Metco families for donating your hard earned money, food, and time. Thank you Weddee Henry for coming the day before and setting up tables and buying flowers, they looked wonderful and thank you to Debra Morales for waking up at 4am to scramble 48 eggs and sausages! Thank you to all the moms and dads who took time off of work to help at the breakfast, I know it’s not easy. And for those who could not take time off, thank you for all your contributions.

MCAS Parent Information and How Parents Can Help
We are starting the MCAS Assessments. This information can help you support your child with these assessments. Thank you for making attendance and being on time a priority during these dates and thank you for encouraging them to do their best. Each testing session is approximately one hour in length.

MCAS: One important tool to measure student progress
These assessments are one milestone along your child’s journey toward mastering content standards and achieving success in school. MCAS measures what your student has been learning all year, and provides an opportunity for your child to show progress.

What is MCAS?
MCAS are tests required by Massachusetts law to measure how well students have mastered the Massachusetts Model Content Standards. These standards describe what students should know and be able to do at specific grade levels. Students take MCAS tests in reading, writing, math and science, depending on the grade level. The tests include multiple-choice and open-ended questions. Students performing at proficient or advanced are on track for the next grade level learning. Students in grade 4 and 8 take these assessments on a computer and have a technological component.

How are MCAS results used?
MCAS has several purposes:

  • To tell students, parents and teachers how students are doing in mastering content standards, measure growth and make comparisons among students across the state. This also lets parents know if they are on track for for the next grade level.
  • To give teachers and schools feedback about where changes might need to be made in curriculum and instruction.
  • To provide accountability to the community and State.

How can I help my child do well on MCAS?
How you help your child with learning all year is most important. Prepare daily for a successful learning experience by having your child arrive at school on time and appropriately dressed; and providing good nutrition and rest so your child has the mental energy and stamina needed for critical thinking.

You can help your child succeed in school by:

  • Encouraging good study habits and ensuring that your child completes homework and assignments.
  • Asking your child about how he/she is doing in school.
  • Communicating with the teacher.
  • Encouraging your child to take pride in his/her work and celebrating success.
  • Making sure your child gets a good night’s rest on school nights, and especially before tests, such as the MCAS.
  • Setting learning goals with your child. I.e. I will read 30 minutes a day, I will practice my math doubles, or I will ask about content vocabulary to help me better understand science.

You can help your child do well on tests by:

  • Making attendance at school a priority. Be sure you don’t schedule any appointments for your child on testing days.
  • Treating MCAS day like any other important school day. If your child usually eats a big breakfast, do the same on test day. If a smaller breakfast works better, then stay with that routine.
  • Encouraging your child to do a good job and boosting confidence about what your child has learned.
  • Telling your child what to expect from the test and how the results will be used.
  • Easing any fears or anxiety about tests by reinforcing good test-taking skills, such as carefully reading directions; skipping questions if you don’t know the answer; and pacing yourself.

Sincerely,

Warren L. Blair, Principal

“If you are going to mix different ingredients in a mixer, don’t turn it on high.” Victoria, Age 12

Upcoming dates include:

April 3 – May 26 – MCAS Window

April 5 – 12:40 pm – DIsmissal for K-12 conferences

April 5 – 12:40 pm – Movie Day – Sign up online using the PTO website!

April 5 – 5:00 – 7:00 pm – Lawrence K-8 Art Show

April 14 – Good Friday – No School

April 17-21 – April Break – No School

April 25 – 7:00-8:00 PM – PTO Meeting – Library

April 27 – 8:05 – 9:00 AM – Principal Forum – Deb Caruso will be presenting on the Zones of Regulation Work she is doing with our staff and students. Please plan on attending!

April 28 – 6:00-8:00 PM – International Night!

Sincerely, Warren Blair
warren_blair@psbma.org

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