- Lawrence School
Newsletter November 2021
Dear Lawrence School Families,
Thank you for taking the time to read our Quarterly Community Newsletter. This is a great way to stay updated on Lawrence news items over the course of the year. Team and Department reports will give you detailed insights on how the year is going for students and staff. The first quarter of the year has been great here at the Lawrence School. It’s been wonderful to see the students settle back into more traditional school routines, moving around the building, doing group work, completing assignments without their chromebooks and being face to face with their teachers!
Though the students are working hard on academics and appropriate behavior, we are cognizant of the fact that the past 20+ months have been a challenge for many of our students, and getting back into the routines that worked for our school over the years is taking longer than we had hoped. The components of our school motto: Pride, Respect, Responsibility & Compassion. We began the year with a focus on Compassion - showing each other grace as we kicked off the school year, knowing that it would be easier for some than others. Recently, we began to focus more on Respect. Respect for peers, staff members and the school building. Please communicate with your child about the importance of treating members of the school community with dignity and respect. Little things like picking up trash that accidentally falls to the ground, stopping to speak with a teacher in the hallway and arriving at class on time and being prepared to learn go a long way for building culture and morale.
Parent and community communication is an area where we continually try to improve as a school. I encourage all parents/guardians reading this to make sure that their contact information in PowerSchool is up to date. When we make ConnectEd calls, we always send an email, which we understand is a preferred way to receive our weekly communications. If you have not been receiving these, there likely is a problem with how your address is keyed into PowerSchool, or perhaps we don’t have it. Please call the school to verify if you think we may have missed you. Please keep in touch and help us keep you posted about the great things that your kids are doing here at Lawrence. Thank you for reading!
Tom Bushy, Principal
A Message from Assistant Principal Vieira,
Greetings! As you may know, a significant portion of my job is dedicated to dealing with student discipline issues and overall students have been well behaved but we are realistic about the fact that this is a tricky age and peer issues will come up as the school year rolls along. We continue to use a common language of behavior expectations of our PAWS-itive behavior model. Here is an example of our classroom expectations and how they are tied to our school motto. Another resource we use is our level chart that guides our responses and interventions to student behavior. Further details and information can be found in the student handbook. The resources have been useful when addressing behaviors and identifying appropriate consequences.
This year, the district has begun the work on using restorative practices as an intervention to inappropriate student behavior. The concept of repairing harm caused to the school community is less punitive and will, over time, improve the climate of the school building. That said, traditional disciplinary consequences are still necessary in many situations - and when restorative practices have not been effective. Pairing the two will be a focus this year. For example, a student may receive a detention for a classroom disruption and during their time in the detention room, the teacher will stop by to talk about the behavior that caused the consequence and how their actions impeded their peers’ ability to access the curriculum, thus causing harm to the classroom community.
Mr. Bushy and I recently held team-wide assemblies to talk about behavior concerns and to review our practices and expectations. Our goal is to address issues in an effort to support students and staff. We will continue to promote these messages with Advisory announcements and making visits over the course of the school year. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions, or feedback.
Rebecca Vieira - Vice Principal