Principal’s Corner: Council LOI, HOM Risks

Dear Lawrence Families,

Important Dates:

May 2 – 8:05am – School Council Meeting – Library
May 2 – 12:40 – Dismissal for K-6 for conferences – Thank you for arranging pick up at 12:40.
May 5 – School Council Statement of Interest due to Mr. Blair –
May 5 – PTO – Staff Appreciation Lunch
May 8-12 – Google Survey window to vote on School Council Members

International Night

A BIG thank you to the Lawrence Latino Cultural Group (LLCG) and all of our volunteers for their hard work for International Night. The International Night had been on hiatus for a few years and the LLCG  was amazing with their organization, hard work, and effort in creating this great event at Lawrence!

Staffing Updates:

Ms. Lorri Ventura is retiring at the end of this school year. We appreciate her great work on behalf of our students and families in her role as the ETF.

Ms Erica Paull, Special Education Teacher, is taking over as the ETF for Ms Ventura next school your. We also appreciate her great work with our students and families and are excited to have her continued support in her new role. We are currently starting the hiring process to fill her position for next year.

Seeking School Council Members

You are invited to submit a Statement of Interest to serve as a parent representative on the Lawrence School Council.  School Council parent positions are held for two year terms.  Two parent terms will be ending this spring, and can be filled by returning or new parent representatives.

Any parent is welcome to run for School Council.  Applications will be accepted through May 5th. A school wide election will be held per the Massachusetts Department of Education guidelines (via a google survey from May 8-May 12).  Parents elected for next year are encouraged to attend the School Council meeting on Tues, June 6th at 8am.

School Council meets once a month on Tuesday mornings from 8-9am with limited work in between.  School councils were established in all Massachusetts schools as part of the 1993 Education Reform Act.  They must include an equal number of parents and educators. Parent representatives are elected by the parents.  At Lawrence, one of the five parent representatives is always a PTO Co-President. According to law, the School Council acts in an advisory capacity to the principal on matters related to school improvement and helps to identify school goals and develop the annual school improvement plan.  Meetings are open to the whole Lawrence community.

The  School Council is a place where parents and teachers can talk together about the big picture vision for the school.  Parent representatives are asked to think about the needs of the school as a whole and to represent the needs of all children in the school.  Meetings are used to develop and review the school improvement plan.

If you would like to serve on School Council, please email a Statement of Interest to Warren Blair at . For questions, please contact Grace Fehrenbach ( or Keith Carson (

Habits of Mind (HOM)


What is it? – Drawing on past knowledge, being thoughtful about consequences, accepting uncertainty and risk of failure as a normal part of the process.

Sounds like – “I wonder what will happen if…” “What would I learn from stretching myself on this?” “I think I will attempt to….”

Looks like – Reaching for the next bar on the jungle gym. Watching to see what to do in a new situation, then trying it if safe.  Accepting challenge because of what could be learned.

Feels like – I knew I could make it to the top. Wow!, I did it! I can ride my bike without training wheels!

When people hold back from taking risk they miss opportunities. Some students seem reluctant to take risks. They hold back from games, new learning, and new friendships because their fear of failure is far greater than their desire for venture or adventure. Some students are more interested in if their answer is correct or not rather than being challenged by the process of finding the answer. They are unable to sustain a process of problem solving and finding the answer over time, and therefore avoid ambiguous situations. They have a need for certainty rather than an inclination for doubt.

We hope that students will learn how to take intellectual as well as physical risks. Students who are capable of being different, going against the grain of common thinking and thinking of new ideas (testing them with peers and teachers) are more likely to be successful in an age of innovation and uncertainty.

“There has been a calculated risk in every stage of American development – the pioneers who were not afraid of the wilderness, businessmen who were not afraid of failure, dreamers who were not afraid of action.” Brooks Atkinson

Information on Habits of Mind are taken from the book Habits of Mind by Costa and Kallick.

Sincerely, Warren Blair            

“Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but rising everytime we fall.” Oliver Goldsmith

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