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Dear Parents,


As you and your children know, we are coming to the end of a lovely summer!  I hope you had the opportunity to spend time with your family pursuing activities that bring you pleasure and relaxation.  I have had a chance to visit with my family and friends and I know how precious it is to have this time.


It has been a busy summer at Cabot with some renovation projects, staff hiring and faculty workshops.  The Facility Department upgraded a small office for CASP and we completely renovated Room 207 to accommodate our academic center and special education services.  ELL has moved to the first floor and our team specialist, Diane Dunham has shifted to former CASP space to accommodate meetings.  Heidi Lucas is in the new second grade on the third floor.  The custodians have been doing their magic and are giving all the spaces a deep cleaning and waxing for the start of the year. 


We will be submitting the class lists electronically tomorrow and you can access the lists through Parent Connect.  We have had several new enrollments and are making final adjustments to our lists.


Erin Edwards and Vanessa Allen worked hard to plan the PTO calendar for the year and we feel very organized this year.  There are a couple of early dates I want to highlight for you:  On Aug. 28th we will be having an Open House for Kindergarten at 2:00.  Sept. 2nd is the first day of school for students grade 1-5 and kindergarten group A.  There will be a Welcome Picnic on that day from 5:30-7:00 with tours provided by 5th grade students.  Kindergarten Group B will begin on Sept. 3rd.  The Back to School Night is scheduled for Sept. 9th; more information will follow.  The Community Supper will run from 5:00-7:00 on September 16th.  Please join the PTO coffee with me on Sept. 18th at 8:30.


There have been several faculty changes over the summer.  Amanda Dodson is replacing Julie Furer in kindergarten.  Amanda has worked in Wellesley in a combined K/1 classroom and we are thrilled to have her join our team.  We have added a fifth grade class which will be taught by Judi Fitts.  Judi will be pairing with Russell Springer in the fifth grade and Peter Wong and Matt Tirrell will be the second pair.  We have hired Joseph Guarino as the new fourth grade teacher.  Many of you know Joe who has served in CASP and as an aide, behavior therapist and Lesley intern at Cabot.


Our inclusion facilitator, Leah Carboneau, has moved to a part time position and we have appointed Tia Marola to replace her.  Dana Bennett has been appointed to the district position in charge of health and wellness and Jay Coughlin has taken the district position for APE; Emily Manion and Susan Marble will be replacing them.  Both physical education teachers have a number of years of experience in the field and in Newton.  Jennifer Nye and Lisa Contre will be interning all year from Simmons College and Shilpa Taneja will serve as our Northeastern intern.  We are in the process of hiring a couple new special education aides and we wish a fond farewell to Sara Henry and Jennifer Dowe who have moved and Sophie Prevost who has taken a job as a teacher.


Just a reminder about our array of classes and faculty:

Kindergarten               3 classes          Julie Kelly, Lynda Cain, Amanda Dodson

First grade                   3 classes          Olivia Bernow, Jenn Lewis, Molly Williams

Second grade               4 classes          Lindsay Olsen, Debra Morris, Nicole Coughlin, Heidi Lucas

Third grade                  3 classes          Nate Velluto, Katie Kesten, Melissa Nash

Fourth grade                4 classes          Joe Guarino, Katie Bowler, Brenna Hagen, Matt Miller

Fifth grade                   4 classes          Russell Springer, Peter Wong, Matt Tirrell/Lindsey Malbouef, Judi Fitts


We had some successes with lunch last year and we are hoping to improve on it this year.  The fifth grades and kindergarten will be eating in their classrooms because of their proximity to the lunch room; the other grades will be eating in the lunch room. 


We have seen an increase in children on the playground and I know that means school is starting soon!  I am very excited about the upcoming year.  Many faculty have been involved in professional development this summer addressing a range of topics including Responsive Teaching, Instruction for English Language Learners and Writing.  As you know, the district purchased the updated writing program by Lucy Calkins/Teachers College and we had three faculty attend the training of the program in Newton (taught by our literacy specialist, Jane).  In addition, several faculty members have been attending trainings in mathematics and social emotional skill development.  In addition to coursework, we have been reading a book by Carol Dweck this summer, Mindset.  We are finding this book very interesting in light of our upcoming work on social emotional stability with elementary students. 


I hope you are ready for this exciting upcoming year!  If you have any questions, feel free to call me at 617-559-9400.


All the best for the remaining summer days,