May 4, 2023 

Good afternoon,

I hope you are all well. If you’ve planted grass seed, plants, or fertilized recently, you hit the jackpot with this cool and rainy weather! I am eagerly looking forward to this weekend when this dreary pattern is supposed to let up a little. 

In last week’s message, I referenced meeting many of our current 6th grade families last Wednesday night. One of the topics I shared with them was the importance of school attendance. I said, “daily attendance is important.” Many of you might be thinking I spend most of my day making obvious statements! I do…but sometimes I say more profound things, too. My point in sharing this with incoming families, and today, sharing with you, is to remind all of us that when students are absent, learning continues to happen at school, and those experiences are hard to replicate. Entering 7th grade is a good time to assess whether your child can tolerate the missed in person learning while on a trip to Disney or a cruise to the Bahamas during the school year. Entering the junior high years means that learning continues to happen while families are away, and it is then necessary for the student to work harder to make up that lost learning.

Since Covid, we’ve all placed much more importance on checking in with our own bodies. We are much more cautious with a stuffy nose, a cough, or a mild fever. I want all of us to continue with those precautions as they keep us all healthy. The thing our team has noticed over the past few years is that the frequency of long weekends away, or entire weeks of vacation, during non-school vacation times, has increased. We have only 180 days per year with our students. We do our best to fill each one of those with engaging lessons, interesting topics, hands-on science labs, and some joy and friendship. Students will be sick, will need to attend a funeral, and will need to travel out of state for a weekend. Those things are all necessary and important. My point in talking to the families last week was to say, if you travel to Disney, the Caribbean, or another continent, your child will be missing out on what’s happening in the day-to-day. No amount of extra help after school or checking Google Classroom will make up for the missed experience of being in school. Our teachers will do their best to make sure your child knows what they missed and how to access ways to make up some learning. But, nothing can replace being in the room when the learning took place.


This message is not to shame anyone, nor to make anyone alter plans for these next 6 weeks. I am just starting to socialize that daily attendance is important, especially starting in the 7th and 8th grades. If you ever write to us and ask, “can we take a trip to Minnesota for an extended weekend?,” I will answer, “Sounds fun, and you should make decisions for your family.” I would likely let you know that your child will have some work to make up when they return and they can check in with their teachers about when to make up any assessments or other learning. But if you are planning an important experience for your family - do it! Just be ready to support your child with their learning when they return.

This is a more weighty topic than I tend to write about. But with this particular column, I think it’s important to share school-wide topics that are on our minds. However this lands for you, thanks for considering the message. Please reach out if you have any questions.

Here are some dates to be aware of:

  • Fri, May 5: 7th grade Math MCAS Session 2

  • Fri, May 5: Student Council applications due

  • Mon, May 8: School Council Meeting at 7 pm on Zoom

  • May 8 - 12: Teacher Appreciation Week

  • Tues, May 16: iReady ELA Assessment

  • Fri, May 19: 7th grade Dance, 7 - 9 pm

Take care and have a great weekend,

Posted by jmarcotte On 04 May, 2023 at 5:38 PM  

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2024 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.