A Message from Mr. Canata – Leeds Newsletter October 2018

A Message from Mr. Canata – Leeds Newsletter October 2018



 Office 587-1540 Volume 6 No. 2      October 2018


A Message From Mr. Canata,

The second month of the school year got here awfully quick!   I think I first realized fall had actually arrived not because of the drop in temperature or leaves turning colors but rather all of a sudden the opportunity to buy pumpkin coffee, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin bread…

This year getting back to school felt as if things got going right away as routines, schedules and expectations were ready and set to go.

There is much to report about the  last few weeks and there are several items of interest coming up.

It has been a very busy time.  We have held the first PTO meeting and our first School Council meeting is this week.  There have been safety drills including fire alarms and bus evacuations. We have a lockdown drill in the works sometime in the next month and all will be kept abreast.  We held an incredibly well attended Back To School Picnic, began Gardening Education Program right away which is going to entail some field trips to the local Crimson and Clover Farm as well as cooking demonstrations in classroom by Grow Food Northampton. Our Before and After School Programs are up and running rather strong under new leadership. Mrs. Cox is running Early and Late Bird and Mrs. Daniels is running LEAP. Our beautiful pavilion has been dedicated to long time Administrative Assistant Julie CLark and it has been used as an outdoor classroom space or as a place to enjoy the shade while reading.  Our new Preschoolers and Kindergarteners are getting into the swing of things as students and as members of a community.

Academically, MCAS results have been released and they show we are solid in some areas and that there is work to do in others.  Individual student reports have been sent home and the full school report can be viewed on the Department of Secondary and Elementary Education website.  Our own response has been to increase the level of academic rigor at the younger grade levels utilizing an RTI (Response To Intervention) approach which entails five teachers and an Education Support Professional  working among 44 First Graders and another among 42 Second Graders. This is a new venture for us as we continue to evolve in our practice while providing teachers an opportunity to support students with up to date and relevant strategies on how to best meet student need.  Differentiation is a common theme as we try to meet the needs of those in need of something extra whether that be on the supportive end or the higher level thinking end. Inclusionary practices continue to evolve as several professionals are working together in various classrooms together and across grade levels.   We continue to focus on Readers and Writers Workshop for literacy, implement Math Investigations 3,  utilize Mystery Science, teach Second Step as part of our Social and Emotional Learning approach and continue to be a Responsive Classroom school.  Proudly we continue to expand our use of technology and educational software to provide both a challenge and remediation in reading and math with Lexia, Symphony Math and Raz-Kids. We also expanded the activities and the amount of books available in our library.  

We are looking ahead to our annual Open House and Conference week which always provide families with positive and useful information .

October is exciting with our popular Halloween Happenings!   For the sixth year in a row, we are planning to team up once again with Patterson Farms, and the wonderful Northampton Buildings and Ground Crew to provide every student with a pumpkin to celebrate Halloween.!  The pumpkins will be delivered directly to school where students will eventually be allowed to bring them home to enjoy.

We will also be hosting a Halloween Parade.  This very simple but popular event brings out many families and the students all get incredibly excited to dress up.  This year’s parade will take place on Friday October 26th at 11:40 (note: families who do not celebrate Halloween or students who do not wish to participate will be provided with an alternative).  Student costumes are expected to be school appropriate. Costumes with weapons and other accessories are discouraged. Masks that are brought to school can be worn once the parade begins. There will not be time allowed for excessive makeup or hair care.

For the third  year, TRUNK OR TREAT and Fall Festival , a family and community event is taking place Sunday, October 28th from 2:00 to 3:30 in our school parking lot.  A flyer will be going home describing the event and we are hopeful many Leeds families will take part in both decorating trunks and enjoying the festivite.  Let’s fully display our Leeds community spirit! .

We also celebrate the Fall Harvest in our own school garden behind the school the week of October 16th through the 20th.  The details are in this newsletter

We are in New England so enjoy the crisp air, the beautiful foliage that is soon to be completely surrounding us and of course all those pumpkin products!

The School Council News

The School Council  serves as an advisory group to the principal and has a few main focus areas as determined by state law.   The law outlines four major areas of responsibility for councils.

  1. Adopting educational goals for the school that are consistent with local educational policies and statewide student performance standards
  2. Identifying the educational needs of students attending the school
  3. Reviewing the annual school building budget
  4. Formulating a school improvement plan

The past few years the council has focused their efforts on engaging families in a variety of ways.  This year, be looking for a Math night, a Literacy night, a World Cafe, and expansion of the classroom (parent) representative program.  The group has created and completed climate surveys, the results of which are used to guide our work. There have also been efforts made to expand our commitment to social justice, and work alongside the PTO to provide our students and families with a wonderful elementary school experience.

The Council is made up of the principal, school personnel and elected members who are parents, guardians, caregivers of our students.  An election should be happening soon so be looking for details.


Election day is coming to Leeds and back by popular demand, our amazing  volunteer, Mr. Jim Mias will be manning the voting booths so students will be able to vote …for…their favorite T-Shirt design and color of  t-shirt! The PTO generously purchases school shirts yearly for the community and once again this year there was another contest for its design. The candidates will all be visible and campaigning before the  big vote so students can make an informed choice!


Parent and teacher conferences are coming up which entails half days for the week of October 22nd through the 26th.  As advertised there is an extended Late Bird option for families that choose to take advantage of the program. However, due to the difficulty in providing staffing, childcare will not be available as we had hoped.   Please make arrangements for your children during conferences as they cannot be supervised at school.


The 5th grade is preparing for their annual rite of passage, The four day/three night trip to Becket, MA from November 6-9.  The trip is always an amazing experience for the children and it happens as a result of the complete dedication and organization by our 5th grade teachers and many years of collective fundraising by the PTO in support of this program.   All grade levels begin and have the opportunity to fundraise for this trip beginning in Kindergarten to alleviate its substantial cost.


Accruing debt is always a concern in the cafeteria.  The use of the scan cards is convenient but also allows children to purchase food or milk at will as we won’t deny any child food or milk .  While the majority of parents and guardians are aware, it is strongly encouraged that you check your myschoolbucks account or contact Northampton Food Services for up to date account information if there might be a concern.


  • School Council 10/9 at 5:30
  • Open House 10/10 at 6:30
  • School Committee 10/11 at 7:15
  • PTO 10/16 at 6:00
  • Harvest Week 10/16-10/19
  • Movie Night 10/19 at 6:00
  • Conference Week 10/22 – 10/26 half days dismissal at 12:20
  • Picture retake day 10/25
  • Community Meeting 10/25 hosted by 5th grade
  • Halloween Parade 10/26 at 11:40
  • Trunk or Treat 10/28 at 2:00

Leeds Harvest Week

October 16th-19th

Bring Healthy snacks for a Healthy Week!

Start thinking about a fall dish you can prepare for our Harvest Feast on Thursday!


Tuesday Oct. 16th– “Bee Leeds” Day– Dress in yellow and black to show school spirit and honor our primary pollinators (the bees) that help our food grow! Study bees today!     



Wednesday Oct. 17th Flower Power Day-Wear your flower prints today or just dress in bright colors. Buy a carnation for $2.00 to support our School garden. Carnations will be purchased in the morning and delivered in the afternoon before dismissal.




Thursday Oct. 18th Dress like a Farmer today! Dress in your gardening clothes and  come join us for our Harvest Feast and Garden Work Day from 3:15-6:30 Rain or shine! in  the Leeds´ School Garden. We will be 

putting some of the gardens to bed for the winter by composting, repairing beds, weeding, and cutting back the butterfly   garden. While we work we will all feast together!

We will be serving garden fresh foods from our own Leeds’ Garden and hot local apple cider. Families please bring your favorite fall dishes made with fresh produce to share.  

       (Salads, potatoes, squash, cornbread, pumpkin pie, apple crisp etc.)

Win a giant pumpkin by guessing its weight! $.50 an estimation.

All proceeds will go to the garden project.


Green is Keen Day Oct. 19th Wear Green, Think Green and Eat Green. Save power by turning off lights during the day.  Reduce, reuse, recycle! Sing the 3 Rs song by Jack Johnson. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USo_vH1Jz7E

 Thanks to the NEF and the LEEDS PTO for funding our Garden!





“Bee” Positive             “Bee” Respectful

“Bee” Nice                   “Bee” Responsible

“Bee” Polite                     “ Bee”  Yourself“

Bee” Helpful                  “Bee” an Upstander

 ”Bee” Happy                     “Bee” reasonable

“Bee Leeds”