Principal Madden’s Weekly Message—Week of March 21, 2022
Vernal Equinox Celebration— We will enjoy an all school walk this morning!
We will 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.
I love the way our school community always celebrates the beginning of a new season together!
This week’s photos show lots of fun in some of our YEP classes, our 5th grade breakfast helping team, a yummy mud cake made at recess, and some fabulous first grade non-fiction writing.
COVID and Masking
I am not sure if you heard that the School Committee voted to continue with an indoor masking mandate for the Northampton Public Schools. I realize that this is a topic that brings about strong feelings, and I am sorry if the vote did not go the way you were hoping. Masks are not required outdoors. Please contact School Committee Members if you have concerns.
Pool Testing continues every Thursday. If there is a positive case in a pool, we are usually able to round up those students to test on quickly on Friday morning to determine a positive case. Last week we had a positive pool, but when we tested with the rapid tests, all were negative. I guess you can get a false positive in a pool, so I am glad we can also test at school. We do have individual PCR tests done when we do the Pool Testing, but those results do not come back until the weekend. Call Nurse Karen if you have any questions or if you want to have your child tested or you want to receive weekly at-home test kits (I love getting those for free!).
After School Updates
This session of YEP classes will end on Friday, March 25 (for Friday classes) and Monday, March 28 (for Monday classes).
Liftoff Learning will end for grade 3 on Thursday, March 31 and for grades 4 and 5 on Thursday, April 14. Our Liftoff learners (and teachers) have been working hard all year and the students have made excellent academic gains.
The next YEP session will begin after April vacation and will run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays through the end of the year. More information about these classes will be sent home soon.
Girls on the Run starts this Tuesday, March 22, and meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 10 weeks.
Call the school office if you have any questions.
Our students raised $3,152.30 as part of the Read Across Ryan Road Read-a-thon! Thank you so much to all of you for supporting our readers and the fundraising for our library!
Tree Planting at Ryan Road School!
The Rotary Club is working with the City of Northampton to sponsor a spring tree planting day on Saturday, April 16. We need volunteers to help. I have included a flyer with information and a map of where the trees will be planted. I am so excited to have new trees on our school grounds.Tree-Planting.docx-Google-Docs
And, more good news
I’ll send more information about the details, but we will be getting solar panels on our roof soon!
School Council News
The Ryan Road School Council is seeking members for an exciting new committee to work with the Northampton Education Foundation on a new process for Elementary School Endowment Grant funded projects.
The Northampton Education Foundation is restructuring NEF Endowment Fund Grants to put decisions about how grant funds are used more squarely within the school communities. Under the new structure, $120,000 will be allocated to the four elementary schools every three years, starting in Fall 2025. With this method, each elementary school council will create a committee and the four committees together will develop proposals for elementary grade level projects to be funded, with assistance from NEF representatives. Projects may be school or grade specific, or may apply to all four schools. The NEF board will have final approval over how the funds are spent.
Until the new structure is implemented in Fall 2025, competitive Endowment Grants will continue to be available to the elementary schools. All elementary school councils have agreed that the committees from each school should meet this spring to discuss and prepare for the new structure. The committees may decide to develop one or more proposals to submit under the existing competitive Endowment Grant project as a practice for the new structure process.
If you are interested, please contact any of our School Council members: Sarah Madden, Rebecca Minton, Katie Pefaur (school staff), Jackie Newman, Katie Lepore, or Alissa Marotto (caregivers).
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 to 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 21 at 8:30: Vernal Equinox Celebration
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
March 31: Last Liftoff Learning for Grade 3
April 14: Last Liftoff Learning for Grades 4 and 5
April 18-22: Spring Vacation
June 10: Field Day! Yea! Contact Ms. Minton if you want to help.
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