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About Us

The Lawrence Elementary School

Follow us on Twitter @MpsLawrence! 

The Lawrence School Twitter feed 
https://twitter.com/MpsLawrence?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Please click here to see important information for 2020-2021 Incoming Kindergarten Students including a PowerPoint Presentation


Principal's Corner
     

Principal’s Message for September 2020

Welcome to the start of the 2020-2021 school year!  I hope everyone has been healthy and safe as we navigate opening school under unique circumstances. Our priority at Lawrence School will be to keep your children safe while we build strong and meaningful partnerships with you and your children. Relationships are important to all of us here at Lawrence School, so please communicate with us regularly so we can best support you and your children.     

I know how difficult it has been for families to make a decision on whether to have their child return to school to participate in the hybrid model or to opt-in for full distance learning. The teachers and I will be learning along with you and your children on how to best create engaging and relevant lessons in a remote learning environment. The teachers have been working hard to prepare and adjust to teaching 3 different cohorts at the same time - whether the students are in person or at home distance learning. We will be incorporating a combination of live-streaming, synchronous and asynchronous lessons this year. We will be approaching this with the understanding that this is new learning for both our teachers and students. We plan to start with very manageable expectations and continue to grow and expand the frequency and complexity of these interactive lessons as the year progresses.  

Please take the time to thoroughly read my newsletter, as there are a lot of important details and information regarding our return to school.  Many procedures have changed in order to keep everyone safe.  I thank you in advance for your patience and support with these new protocols. I look forward to seeing the students in person and virtually.

Drive-Through Open House:

Kindergarten: 5:00 – 6:30 pm on Monday, August 31   (appointment needed)

Grade 1: 5:00 – 6:00 pm on Monday, August 31

Grades 2-5: 5:00 – 6:00 pm on Tuesday, September 1

Cohort C Families in grades 2-5: you will receive Chrome books for distance learning if you need one.

Cohort C Families in Kindergarten & Grade 1: you will receive Ipads when they arrive

Jim Gaudreau, Principal
gaudreauj@mpsct.org

                          PROMOTING A GROWTH MINDSET

      “Whether you think that you can or you can’t, you’re usually right.”                   Henry Ford

Another priority at Lawrence School is helping to promote in students a belief that they can and will learn. Some new topics will be difficult for many students (adjusting to Seesaw, Google Classroom, or new technology, learning to multiply, knowing sight words, etc.), but as long as students have a belief in themselves, then they can achieve and meet any goal. We emphasize the word YET – “I may not know how to subtract two numbers YET, but with a good attitude and a belief in myself, I can and will learn!” This mindset shift for some students is critical in their growth, so promoting this at home as well will help your children.

School Schedule: The district will begin the school year using a hybrid model and students will come to school for in-person instruction on specific days and will be participating in distance learning on other days. The hybrid schedule will be as follows:

Cohort A                    Monday and Thursday in-person learning at Lawrence

Cohort B                    Tuesday and Friday in-person learning at Lawrence

                       *Wednesday will be a Distance Learning Day for ALL students

The first day of in-person school will be:

Cohort A        Thursday, September 3rd

Cohort B        Friday, September 4th

 

Students engaging in distance learning: your first day is Thursday, Sept. 3

 

Middletown Elementary Student Dismissal Authorization Form: Very Important

  • Please complete the form called Middletown Elementary Student Dismissal Authorization Form in your parent portal.  This form will let teachers know how to dismiss your child each day. It is important to have this form filled out, as we will only release your child to individuals listed on the Authorization Form. 
  • Any changes to this information throughout the school year must be in writing to the school office. This will help ensure the safe and accurate dismissal of all students. 

 

School Hours:

  • The school day officially begins at 8:50 a.m. and the school day ends at 3:45 p.m.

 

To comply with state and district guidelines for COVID safety procedures, we will be doing a staggered arrival and dismissal to help students maintain social distancing and allow us to take student temperatures as they enter the building. ALL STAFF AND STUDENTS WILL HAVE THEIR TEMPERATURES TAKEN AS THEY ARRIVE. The arrival procedures are:

 

Arrival:

  • Parent drop off will begin at 8:35 a.m.  Parents will pull into the loop and drop their children off so they can walk to the front door. We ask that families do not park in the loop, as that will impact the families behind you and their ability to drop their children off. If you want to walk your child to the door, please park your car in the teachers’ lot and walk along the sidewalk. Only children are allowed inside the school.  
  • Buses will unload at 8:45 a.m. Students on the bus will be unloaded one student at a time to maintain social distancing. Staff on duty will assist students to the main entrance.
  • After 9:00 a.m. your child will be considered tardy.  Parents will not come into the office to sign in their child.  Instead there will be a table placed outside the main entrance doors with a clipboard for you to sign him or her into school.  Parents will not be allowed to come in with their child.  Staff will be available to assist.
  • Please do your best to get your child to school on time as late arrivals are a disruption to the education of all students.

 

Dismissal:

  • Parent pick up will begin at 3:20 p.m.  
  • Parent pick up will no longer be held in the cafeteria.  Instead parents will use the bus loop. Families will stay in their cars and will not need to exit their cars.
  • Place the Parent Pick-up Vehicle Sign on the front dashboard or driver side window.  A blank sign will be given out at Open House. In addition, families that selected parent pick up for dismissal will receive 2 signs. Please write your child’s name and teacher in large legible print.  
  • Parents/guardians will drive in the bus loop and wait to be directed by a staff member. Please stay in your car and stay in line. Please be prepared to show Identification.
  • Your child(ren) will be directed to your vehicle.
  • Once your child is safely in the car we ask that you carefully and slowly pull away to exit. 
  • It will be important for you to be on time for parent pick up.  If you are late there is a high probability that you will get stuck behind the buses.
  • Kids Korner students will be called down to the Cafeteria where they will be checked in by Kids Korner staff.
  • Bus students will be called beginning at 3:40 p.m.- one bus at a time - and will be escorted to their bus and placed in their assigned seats.

 

Transportation:

  • Bus routes for this year have been loaded into PowerSchool under Bus Info.  Additionally, bus routes can be checked via the DATTCO link through the Middletown Public Schools website under Transportation.  Put in the house # in box #1 and street name in box #2.  Then choose the school and click submit.  This will bring you to the next page where you can locate the street address and again click on submit. 
  • Children must be waiting outside at the bus stop ten minutes before the scheduled time to allow for traffic and weather.  The bus will not stop if the child is inside the house.   If your child will not be taking the school bus, please notify your child’s teacher in writing by completing the Student Dismissal Authorization Form.

Parents should contact DATTCO Bus Company at (860) 635-8234 for the following:

·       If a child is not picked up at his/her bus stop

·       If a child does not get off the bus after school

·       If a child leaves something on the bus (school project, lunch box, or a backpack)

·       If a bus is running more than 10 minutes late

 

Thermal Temperature Scanning:

  • Prior to leaving for school or getting on the bus, parents need to take their child’s temperature.  Students are required to stay home if they have a temperature greater than 100.4 degrees or if the child has symptoms consistent with Covid-19: feeling feverish, chills, new cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or loss of taste or smell. 
  • All students will have their temp scanned at the door using the thermal scanner/handheld scanner
  • If his/her temp is 100.4 or greater we will wait 10 minutes and take it again. If it is still high, he/she will need to go home.

 

Masks:

  • Students and teachers are required to wear masks/face coverings that cover the nose and mouth when in the building. Masks are also required to be worn when students are riding on the bus.
  • Masks/face coverings may only be removed within the school building when students are eating or drinking. Students eat only in their classrooms; the cafeteria will not be used.
  • Mask breaks will be provided at least twice a day in addition to meal times when masks will not be worn.   
  • If a student is not properly wearing his or her mask, a staff member will remind them to put his or her mask on or wear it correctly.  If a student refuses to comply, they will be sent to an alternative learning location. In the event that the student still does not comply with the district’s mask-wearing requirement, the student’s parent will be contacted to discuss the necessity for wearing a mask and the student will be sent home and engage in distance learning for the remainder of the day.  In the event that the above interventions are not effective, a student may be transferred to full distance learning 

 

Entering the building and visitors:

  • If your child is being picked up anytime during the school day, please write a note notifying the teacher about the early dismissal.  If you forget to write a note, please call the office. Upon your arrival we will call your child down to the foyer to be dismissed. You will need to wait outside for your child to be brought to you. You will need to sign him or her out on the clipboard provided on the table outside the main entrance.  Please refrain from picking your children up prior to the end of the school day except for the most compelling reasons, as it is an interruption to the learning process for everyone in the classroom.
  • Visitors will not be allowed in the building.

 

 

Communication: Developing a solid partnership with your child’s teacher will help your child tremendously. There are many ways of communicating with our school. Here are a few ideas:

·       Contacting the classroom teachers through e-mail with any questions. All e-mail accounts use the teacher’s last name and first initial. Ex: Jim Gaudreau is gaudreauj@mpsct.org.

·       Each teacher uses a regular communication system (Class Dojo, group emails, etc.). Sign up to receive reminders and updates from the teachers. 

·       Visit the Middletown Public Schools webpage for detailed descriptions of the curriculum and for all of our policies. The district and school handbook are also on our website.  

·       Read all communication between the teacher and home

·       Tuesday and Thursday folders: children in kindergarten – grade 5 receive folders every week. Inside are important notices from the school about upcoming events, the PTA, and family fun activities. If you have an important message to give to the school, you can put the note/message in the folder. Folders are returned to the teacher on your child’s next day of school.  

·       Families doing Distance Learning Only will receive flyers electronically

·       Attending PTA Meetings and School Governance Council Meetings virtually

·       Participate in our family book clubs virtually – more information will be coming soon

 

 

 

            Daily Attendance is important. Our goal is ON TIME, EVERY DAY, ALL DAY!

Please do not forget to call the school when you are keeping your child home or you know your child will be late to school for an appointment. The best number to call is 860-632-2158.

In addition to calling your child absent, a hand-written note from the parent to excuse the absence is also required. The note can be given to your child to bring to school when he/she returns and can be given to the classroom teacher. Thank you for your support in writing these absence notes.

                                          BIRTHDAY AND TREATS POLICY

We are asking all families for your support of the district-wide policy regarding food that can be brought into school by families. The BOE has adopted a policy that students will not be allowed to bring in cupcakes or treats other than fruits and/or vegetables for birthday celebrations.

Only fruits or vegetables can be brought in by families to be shared. We thank you in advance for your understanding and support as we work together to keep all children safe in our school community. 

                                                  RECYCLE YOUR TEXTILES

Lawrence School has a textile recycling bin in the back of our parking lot. We get a $100.00 for every ton of textiles we collect, so please bring your bagged items whenever you are cleaning out the closets.  Items for recycling include clothing, shoes, accessories (hats, scarves, etc.), and linens. These items can be in any condition.  All items must be bagged before putting them in the bin. Thank you.

YMCA Child Care at MPS

We are pleased to announce that the YMCA will be providing full-day child care, Monday – Friday, at Lawrence School.   

The Middlesex YMCA Kids’ Korner is a place for children to extend the school day by exploring new interests, enjoying healthy recreational pursuits, engaging in enrichment activities, and benefiting from academic support. The Kids' Korner Program follows all health & safety guidelines recommended by the CDC and the Office of Early Childhood.

Spaces are limited. Before, after, and full-day options available.

For more information, please contact Amy Cardoza at acardoza@midymca.org or visit our website at www.midymca.org

 

International Baccalaureate Update: The Learner Profile represents the qualities of international-mindedness, which is the goal of our educational mission as we transition to an IB school. These ten attributes are taught and modeled by teachers. However, for children to embrace these traits, it is helpful if the traits are modeled at home, too. Please spend some time to become familiar with the profile attributes and reinforce these qualities by using this language at home. You might choose to post a list in your home as a reminder of these 10 important traits!

 

CARING

THINKERS

KNOWLEDGEABLE

COMMUNICATORS

PRINCIPLED

OPEN-MINDED

INQUIRERS

RISK-TAKERS

BALANCED 

REFLECTIVE

 

SEPTEMBER WORD FOR THE MONTH :                          CARING

 

Students who are CARING show kindness to others and are sensitive to their needs. They think about the world and work to take care of their community and the environment. They remember to treat others how they themselves would like to be treated.

 

How can parents help to develop students who are Caring at home?

• Model the caring behavior you would like to see in your child. Your child has big eyes and ears and notices everything you and your family do. Using kind words, helping people without being asked, and being an active listener all show caring. Even a simple thing, like holding a door for someone, shows caring.  

• Think about how your family can get involved with community organizations. 

• Reduce, Reuse & Recycle. Sometimes this can be challenging, but make the effort to establish these habits in your home. By developing children who care about the environment, you are helping the future of the planet for us all. 

• After reading a book, spend some time considering how the people in the book acted. Was someone in the book caring? How could some characters become more caring? Were all of the characters in the book caring or just some of them? Some books to consider:

 

o Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes 

o The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein 

o Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss 

o The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle


Instruction:

We will be incorporating a combination of live-streaming, synchronous and asynchronous lessons this year.

Please keep the following in mind:

·       Each grade and teacher’s schedule will be different based on when they are scheduled for lunch, specials, additional resources and supports, etc.

·       The teachers will share with families the exact times for the daily live streaming and/or synchronous learning experiences. The times will be the same throughout the year so families can plan their days as needed.  

·       At the beginning of the school year, we will be focusing on getting students back to school, building community, learning new routines, working on our social-emotional learning, making sure each student has the technology they need and are familiar and comfortable with how to use it and can access programs they will need, and setting expectations for both at-school and distance learning. 

·       Please understand that this is a new process and will be further developed and refined as it is put into practice and we better understand students’ capabilities with accessing instruction in the blended learning model. 

 

Technology

  • Students in grades K and 1 will be using Ipads.  If your child does not already have a school issued Ipad, the district will be providing him or her with a device. Students in grades 2-5 will use Chrome books.  If your child does not already have a school issued chrome book the district will be providing him or her with a device.  Children will take their device home at the end of their school day and bring it back and forth to school. The district technology department is planning on purchasing Chrome book covers for students.   
  • It will be very important that families assist their children to create a habit of charging their device as soon he or she comes home.  In addition to reminding their child to place the device in his/her backpack each morning, we are also asking that the devices are charged so children are ready to use the devices in school.
  • The Middletown Public Schools has established a support line for any technology questions and or technological difficulties.  Please email techassist@mpsct.org should you have any questions or concerns.  In addition you can call them at (860) 638-1480.
  • Grade 2 students: If you were a student last year in Middletown, you will bring your school-issued Ipad to Lawrence and in exchange, the child will receive a Chrome book. Some families may have already swapped their devices.
  • Cohort C Families: Grades 2-5 (please come to Open House on Tuesday, Sept. 1, from 5-6 pm to receive your Chrome book if needed).
  • Cohort C Families: Kindergarten & Grade 1(when the Ipads arrive at Lawrence, you will be sent an email/phone call to come pick up an Ipad for your child if you need one).

 

Meals: (Breakfast, Lunch and To Go Meals-eligibility status apply to all meals served to students)

  • The Middletown Public Schools offer an online payment option called MySchoolBucks. This online payment service provides a quick and easy way to add money to your child’s meal account using a credit / debit card or electronic check. In an effort to remain cash free, families are encouraged to pay for all meals on line.  Go to www.MySchoolBucks.com or download the mobile app and register for a free account  Please see the flyer for more information (handed out on the first day of school or given through email).  
  • Breakfast will not be served the first two days of school: 9/3 & 9/4
  • Breakfast, lunch and “meal to-go home: are all ordered in advance; this will be done with students each day for the next day they have school.  For example, Cohort A on Monday orders meals for Thursday which is their next school day.  Cohort B orders their meals on Friday for Tuesday, etc. 
  • To-Go-Meals: a to-go meal is available for students to take home from school for distance learning days. Wednesday meals are available for pick up at the school.  Parents will be able to pick up 1-day meals (breakfast & lunch) from school.  Upon pick-up parents will need to provide the name(s) of the enrolled student(s).  If families have students in multiple buildings, they may claim meals for all students at one location. More information will be provided in hand outs to families.
  • Should you have any questions about food service, please contact Janet Calabro at calabroj@mpsct.org or (860) 638-7519 or (860) 638-7518.  In addition, you can go to the MPS website and search the food service page.

 

Student Supplies:

               To get ready for the start of the school year, here is a list of recommended supplies your children will need for their specific grades. We provide almost all of the supplies the children will need during the school day, but we recommend that all children in all grades have a set of pencils, crayons, colored pencils, scissors, and glue at home to help with homework and projects.                 

Kindergarten:    backpack, lunch box (if needed), labeled bag with extra set of clothes (optional)

Grades 1- 5:       backpack, lunch box (if needed)

 

Safety Drills:

  • As per the State Fire Marshal’s orders, fire drills will continue with social distancing.
  • Under the guidance of the Middletown Police Department, our district has decided to delay the practice of lockdown drills at schools.  (Note: this decision can be reversed at any time.)
  • Verbal reviews of all drill procedures will occur with students weekly

 

Cleaning:

  • Hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, disinfectant spray, paper towels, extra masks and gloves have been purchased. These items will be available in all classrooms and in critical areas of the school.
  • We will discourage the sharing of materials.  When materials are required to be shared they will be cleaned thoroughly.
  • The district has developed additional cleaning protocols that are aligned with new state guidelines.
  • A detailed checklist will be used to ensure all requirements are met.
  • Cleaning will occur continuously throughout the day and after students and staff leave the building.
  • All building systems will operate at maximum filtration levels. Building systems will be inspected and have air filters changed regularly.


The 1st Line of Defense for Stopping the Spread is AT-Home Screening

· Keep your children home from school and call your medical provider for guidance if they are experiencing:

· 1). chills 2). have a temperature of 100.4 or more 3). have a new, uncontrolled cough 4). have difficulty breathing/shortness of breath 5). or cannot taste or smell.


   


Social-Emotional Strategies:

A focus at Lawrence School is in helping students to be able to recognize their feelings and to help them learn strategies to self-regulate and respond appropriately to triggers. Communicating their feelings in a constructive way is emphasized, and the Meta-Moment is shared with students.

We discuss that all of us – every student in the school, every teacher, every parent – we all have triggers, something that may get us angry or upset. Learning to recognize our triggers and the triggers of others helps us with our emotional responses. Taking the time to stop and think about the best way to respond to a peer or adult when one is triggered is emphasized.

Sample Strategies:     Take 3 deep breaths, Get a drink of water, Count to 10, Go to the Calming Corner [take a break], Draw, Write, Read a Book, Think of a Place/Person/Pet that makes you happy, Talk to someone you trust, Squeeze or hold a comfort object, Positive self-talk


VISION:

The Lawrence School is an inclusive community that supports and values the academic, social, physical, and emotional development of every student through an engaging and relevant transdisciplinary curriculum that fosters students as collaborators, communicators, thinkers, and global citizens.

MISSION STATEMENTS:

  1. We foster students’ emotional intelligence because we believe social-emotional learning is key to the development of the whole child.

     

  2. We cultivate a growth mindset among students, families, and staff because we believe in the value and importance of perseverance, varied learning dispositions, risk-taking, goal setting, and reflection.

     

  3. We foster a safe and welcoming environment that promotes a mutually-supportive school community of empathetic and collaborative individuals who are globally responsible, curious, and action-oriented.

     

  4. We engage learners by purposefully planning lessons that encourage inquiry and critical thinking, value student interest, and promote collaboration and discourse among all students.

     

  5. We value a balanced and comprehensive arts and physical education program that enhances the core curriculum and allows students to explore, experience, and appreciate world cultures and language experiences while encouraging creativity, curiosity, and healthy movement.

     

  6. We provide rigorous challenges so students take ownership of their learning as they use reasoning and thinking skills and academic risk-taking in order to develop creativity, perseverance, and recognition of their role in the global environment.

Statement of Non-Discrimination

The Middletown Board of Education is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer, and it does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious creed, age, marital status, civil union, military or veteran status, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or past or present physical or mental disability in any of its education programs, activities, or employment policies.  All educational programs and offerings, including vocational education and extracurricular activities, subscribe to this policy. Marco Gaylord, Director of District Operations, has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the district non-discrimination policies and may be reached at 311 Hunting Hill Avenue, Middletown, CT  06457; phone (860) 638-1485.

Lawrence School
Kaplan Drive
Middletown,CT 06457

Phone: 860-632-2158
Fax:  860-632-0738

Principal:
James Gaudreau
gaudreauj@mpsct.org

Our Adopt-a-School
Board of Ed. member is:
Christopher Sugar
sugarc@mpsct.org

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