Back to School Update

The countdown to back to school continues! Please read on to find information about next weeks schedule of events, including the addition of a time to meet new principal, Mrs. Angel Charles, information about on-going volunteer opportunities at Thoreau School, and a message from the principal. We look forward to seeing everyone soon.

~Trish Siefer and Betsy Martel, PTG Co-Presidents

Don’t forget these upcoming important dates:
Monday, 8/31:
8-8:15am, Meet Mrs. Angel Charles, Principal, auditorium *This is a new addition to the Monday schedule
8:15-9am, Open House, Visit classroom teachers in their classrooms
9-10:30am, Kindergarten/First Grade Playdate, upper playground
Tuesday, 9/1:  9:30am, New Family Meeting, cafeteria
Friday, 9/4:  9am, First PTG Meeting, cafeteria

Volunteer Opportunities:
Please take a look at some of the on going volunteer opportunities available to you. More information on any of our volunteer openings can be found under the Volunteer section of our website, You must have current CORI approval to volunteer. If you are not CORI certified or if it has been over three years since you were last certified, please contact the school office.

Volunteers are needed in every period, every week for kindergarten and 1st grade art classes to help in the Art Room. The job includes maintaining supplies, setting up art projects, keeping students focused on their artwork, and cleaning up. You don’t need to be artistic or an art expert to help out. Volunteers are scheduled in a rotating basis. The number of opportunities available will depend on the number of volunteers per class. If you are interested please email, Art Room Volunteer coordinator, Lauren Dillon at The Art Room Volunteer information available on the PTG website, under Volunteer, will be updated shortly!

Grounds for Learning:
The Grounds for Learning was created in 1997 as a restored natural area, including butterfly garden, water garden, meadow, woodland with meeting space and trails on Thoreau School property along the Assabet River. This classroom by the river allows children to explore a native New England meadow and woodland right in their own schoolyard. Parent volunteers provide supervision for children to enjoy the garden during lunch recess. Volunteers may lead an organized activity such as sketching, mapping the garden, writing poetry, or specific gardening chores, or just supervise and let the children explore and enjoy! The garden is locked when there is no adult supervision. Click here for more information and to sign-up.

Would you like to help out in the library this coming year? Volunteers are needed to help the library run smoothly and efficiently. There are two types of volunteer positions available. “Classroom” volunteers (up to 4 per class) are scheduled to come in about once a month to check books in and out and shelve materials during class time. “Shelf-reading” volunteers are needed to help keep books on the shelves in order, and may come in at their convenience, including during your child’s class time. Click here to sign-up and for more information.

Parents At Lunch (PALs):
The Parents At Lunch (PAL) program provides support and assistance to students and cafeteria staff during the lunch period. Being a PAL volunteer is a great way to see your child and help out during this important part of the day. It also gives you a chance to see firsthand the food offerings and cafeteria social dynamics at Thoreau School.
To our returning PALs volunteers, thank you very much for your past service! As you know, the first week of school is a big adjustment for the kids, especially for those first graders who are having lunch without their kindergarten assistant teachers for the first time. If you can manage to sign up for a slot in September to give them a little extra support in those early weeks, that would help a lot! The September sign-up page is ready to go.
Thursday, September 17th, 10:45–11:15am – PALs Information Meeting: This meeting is for parents/guardians who are considering volunteering for the Parents at Lunch program. Even if you don’t end up volunteering, this is also your opportunity to meet Thoreau’s team of noon aides. These are the staff members who supervise your children during lunch in the cafeteria and at lunch recess on the playground. Held in the cafeteria.

A Message from the Principal:
We are resending this message from Mrs. Charles in case you did not receive it directly from her office.
Hello Thoreau Families,
It’s almost here! I am writing to remind you and your child to attend our Open House on Monday, August 31, 2015 from 8:15-9:00 a.m. The teachers have been hard at work preparing to welcome you to your new classrooms and we can’t wait to see each and every one of you next week.

In addition to a new principal, I am thrilled to announce the addition of several new staff members to the Thoreau community. Please join me in welcoming the following new members to our team:
Mary Beth Stevenson, Grade 1
Christine Locke, 4-5 Special Education
Jennifer Nye, K-3 Special Education
Rachel Wolf, Speech/Language Pathologist
Jenna Davidson-Catalano, SPED Tutor
Lisa Colagiovanni, Kindergarten Assistant
The staff and I are looking forward to a terrific first day of school on Tuesday, September 1, 2015. Please note that this is a full day for students in grades 1-5 and that school begins at promptly at 8:55 a.m. with dismissal at 12:25 p.m. for kindergarteners and 3:15 p.m. for all other students.
I want to alert you to a change to our dismissal procedure that differs from what is stated in the Thoreau School information packet you will be receiving on Monday. Please note, this change only applies to parents who are picking their children up and does not impact students who ride a bus.
Parents who are picking up their children should meet them on the basketball court behind the school. We ask parents/ guardians who are picking up their children to wait on the basketball court and students will be released from their classrooms and will meet you there. (In inclement weather, the alternate pickup site will be the cafeteria.)
We must ensure the safety of all students and I hope this change will create less congestation in front of the school where the buses are being loaded and departing.

See you soon!

Mrs. Charles