Principal Madden’s Weekly Message—Week of March 14, 2022

Principal Madden’s Weekly Message—Week of March 14, 2022

Hello Caregivers, 

From Dr. John Provost:



The Northampton School Committee has scheduled a special meeting for March 17, 2022 to consider changing the indoor mask requirement for the schools. In preparation for that vote, the Committee is seeking to understand perspectives on the mask requirement. We encourage you to share your thoughts by participating in the survey found at THIS LINK.  

Thank you for continuing to work together to keep our school community safe. This will not last forever. 

And, here’s the rest of the Principal’s Update from Mrs. Madden

I hope caregivers received the email from me last week, but if not, I wanted to let you know about my announcement of retirement (effective June 30). It comes with mixed feelings, as I love this school and this community very much and feel torn about the decision. I have had a wonderful nine years leading Ryan Road school. However, I am finishing my 35th year in public schools (teaching or being a principal), and my husband is older than I am. He is retired, and we really want to enjoy more time together. I work long hours and six days a week, and I am really just tired of pouring so much of myself into the work. It is not a healthy balance, but I do not know how to do the job any other way. 

It has been an incredible honor and privilege caring for your children, nurturing their education, and collaborating with all of you. I think you know how much I love your children. It will be hard to not be their principal, but we have an incredible learning community here at Ryan Road School, and I have no doubt that excellence will continue. Whenever anyone visits the school, I always tell them that we have the best kids in the world here, and I truly believe that. 

I have been getting around to classes (not quite done yet) to speak with our students—they are sad, but they have such good and thoughtful questions. 

I will communicate with you and keep you updated as the hiring process gets moving.


This week’s photos show our 5th grade protest of the war in Ukraine (I hope you were able to see the coverage in the Hampshire Gazette), fun on the snow (that might be the end of that for this year), and our wonderful new bulletin board in the library, which we have displayed some first grade 100th Day Projects. 


 Here is an excellent resource from PBS regarding children and talking about Ukraine:

Check out our 2021 School Report Card recently posted on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website.

MCAS Testing this Spring

Our students in grades 3, 4, and 5 will be taking MCAS tests this spring. The English Language Arts MCAS will take place in April, and the Math MCAS will take place in May. All of the MCAS assessments are now online.  It is very important that students be present for testing and arrive at school on time.  We encourage families to avoid making appointments for students on testing days.

It is important to remember that any test is only one measure of a child’s performance at school. Teacher evaluations through the years, day-to-day work, and other types of performance assessments and projects are additional ways to evaluate learning. However, these tests are important, and we will be doing all we can to prepare our students to take these tests with calm confidence.  

Some parents have asked for more information about MCAS tests. Here is a resource link to practice tests that we will be using at school, but you can also take a look at them at home if you wish.

(CBT references Computer Based Tests and PBT references Paper Based Tests.)

MCAS Testing 2022 Dates for Ryan Road School

Grade 3 (ELA) – April 6 & April 13

Grade 4 (ELA) – April 5 & April 12 

Grade 5 (ELA) – April 7 & April 14 

Grade 3 (Math) – May 4 & May 13

Grade 4 (Math) – May 3 & May 10 

Grade 5 (Math) – May 5 & May 12 

Grade 5 (Science) – May 17 and May 19 

Important Upcoming Dates

March 14: 4:00 All Schools Council Meeting

March 16: PTO Meeting at 6:30

March 21 at 8:30: Vernal Equinox Celebration—

We are planning an all-school walk up to the Rocky Hill Trail (via Overlook Drive). When we return we will enjoy “sugar on snow”, which will be syrup on shaved ice. We could use a few parent volunteers to help. Please call the office if you think you could assist us. Thank you!

March 25: Report Cards (Grades 1-5) sent home

March 25: Last Friday YEP for this session

March 28: Last Monday YEP for this session

April 18-22: Spring Vacation

Stay up to date with all of our school calendar on our School Website’s Calendar!

I hope that all families and caregivers feel welcome, comfortable, and valued at our school. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. I am happy to meet with any of you after school hours (when I can allow you inside!) or can talk on the phone anytime. 


Sarah Madden, Principal