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December 2019 Newsletter

Greetings from the Principal

While each person’s experience with education in our country will have a great amount of unique qualities, there are some things that we all seem to have in common. One of these experiences is, undoubtedly, homework. At some point in our school careers, we began to receive homework from our teachers. For me, it started with wanting to get homework in kindergarten so that I could be like the big kids next door, to eventually dreading the amount of assignments I had to tackle from 5 or 6 teachers each night in high school.


This year at North Falmouth Elementary and across the district, we are investigating our homework policies and working to create the best plan for our students. Our school council has dug into the issue of homework at our monthly meetings, producing very rich discussions along the way. One topic that we recently explored was the attitude we, as adults, bring with us about homework. The most common attitude we identified from our lives seemed to be that the greater amount of homework that a school gives equates to a great level of learning and rigor. We have also started to read more deeply into the research around homework at the elementary level and how it could help us evolve the practice into something new for students.


In general, research on the impact homework has on student learning at the elementary level is fairly clear.  From the work of authors such as Harris Cooper, John Hattie, and Alfie Kohn, we see a consistent message that homework at the elementary level does not have any visible impact on student learning.  The potential for a positive impact begins to increase in the secondary grade levels, but even then a prescription for how many assignments and hours for study is unclear. What is key here is that we are looking for a positive impact on student learning.  Even if a practice has a deep tradition, that does not mean it is worthwhile to use.


I am looking for your feedback about homework practices at North Falmouth.  Overall, we try to limit homework to recommendations for reading and reviewing math facts, with an occasional practice assignment and project added into the mix. Given that, how do you feel we are doing with the practice of homework? How could we change homework assignments and reimagine them to better benefit student learning?


Let me know your thoughts! I can be reached by email at:tadams@falmouth.k12.ma.usor by telephone at:508-563-2334 ext. 303.I look forward to hearing from you.

 

 PLEASE JOIN US!

ALL KIDS CRAFT FAIR-The annual 3rd and 4th grade Kids Craft Fair will be held on Wednesday, December 11 from 1:30-3:00 & 6:00-7:00.  All items for sale were handmade by our 3rd and 4th grade crafters.  This is a wonderful North Falmouth tradition!  Please come and do some Holiday shopping.

TOYS FOR TOTS: drive began December 2 and will run through December 18.  Mrs. LeBoeuf’s class will be collecting new, unwrapped toys and books for this U.S. Marine Corps Reserve sponsored program.   THANK YOU in advance!

CANNED FOOD DRIVE - Thank you very much to everyone who helped us collect and donate 341 non-perishable food items to the Falmouth Service Center.

LOST AND FOUND - All lost and found articles will be taken to charitable organizations on December 20.  Please, if you have missing items come in and look through our collection.   You will find the lost & found in the cafetorium. You are welcome to come anytime to search for your lost items.

Happy Holidays!!!!

REMINDERS!

  • December 4 - Grade 4 Music Performance 6:30
  • December 10 - Half Day of School 12:40 pm dismissal
  • December 11 - Gr.3 & 4 Craft Fair 1:30-3:00 & 6:00-7:00
  • December 18 - Elementary Choral Concert @ FHS 6:30-7:30
  • December 23-January 3 – (NO School) Christmas/New Year’s vacation

 *BRINGING ITEMS TO SCHOOL- If you need to bring an instrument, lunch, or dismissal note to school for your child, please buzz in letting the office know why you are at school.  Please stop at the office and leave it there, with the item labeled with who it belongs to and who their teacher is.  The staff will make sure it gets to your child.  Instruments are to be left on the office counter and students should check the counter at the end of the day to retrieve their instrument.  If your child has forgotten his or her instrument, calls home are not made.  Students who forget their instruments are expected to attend their lesson without their instrument.

*DRESSING FOR THE WEATHER - We head outside for recess every day possible! With the cold weather upon us, please be sure to dress your children for the outdoors. Please have your children bring a coat, hat, gloves and boots when it is necessary.   It is also important to label everything, so that items may be retrieved and/or returned to you if they are lost.

*Gr. 1-4 REPORT CARDS will be sent home on Friday, December 13.

 *HALF DAY OF SCHOOL - December 10 - All students will be dismissed at 12:40 p.m.  It is VERY important to write a note to your child’s teacher if their dismissal plan for a half day is different from what you originally put on their dismissal plan at the beginning of the year for half days of school.

 

*The 2019-2020 winter season is fast approaching.  School and town officials monitor weather and road conditions.  If conditions are severe enough to place students’ safety at risk while traveling to and from school, a decision will be made by the Superintendent at 5:30 a.m. to close or delay the opening of schools and she will make a ConnectEd message to parents/guardians.  You may also listen to the local TV or radio stations for that announcement.  The administration building number, (508) 548-0151 will have a recorded announcement providing information by 6:00 a.m.  Please do not call the Police or Fire departments for information on school closings.  To clarify the policy on delayed openings: all school and bus times will be two hours later than the regular starting time which would be 11:05 a.m. at North Falmouth School.  School will end at normal times.  All other school activities will take place at their regularly scheduled times unless otherwise noted.  Students are not to be on the school grounds until 10:50 AM.  YMCA will NOT be open in the morning. In the event of severe weather conditions once school is in session, early dismissal of students may be made.  Radio stations will broadcast this news at least one hour in advance of dismissal.  Parents must have a back-up plan for their children in case no one would be at home.  YMCA will NOT be open on early dismissal days.