Principal Madden’s Weekly Message—Week of March 28, 2022

Principal Madden’s Weekly Message—Week of March 28, 2022

I hope you are doing fine! It seems like a chilly start to the week – we have to be tough and patient for spring here in Western Massachusetts! 

Masking Updates

I hope you received the District communication from Dr. Provost regarding COVID cases and masking updates. I have attached again here, in case you missed it. Let Nurse Karen or me know if you have any questions.  



Report Cards

I also hope you received your child’s report card on Friday, March 25. If not, please contact your child’s teacher or the school office. Also, our art teacher, Leslie Macutkiewicz (who has been out on medical leave), has been coming to school some days and spending time with the art long-term sub (Lisa Bastoni). It has been great to see Ms. Macutkiewicz again. The specialist comments for art came in this report card instead of the fall because of her leave. 


This week’s photos show our wonderful first-day-of-spring walk and treat of “sugar on snow”. It was such a wonderful way to start our week! Thank you to those of you who were able to join us on our trek! Also, Liam Hurly performed a fabulous concert for our kindergarten students—a good time was had by all! 

Another Caregiver Survey! 

Thank you to all of you who completed the recent survey regarding Family Engagement. It is here in case you missed it!  English Spanish  French Swahili  Kinyarwanda Chinese Burmese 

We have a new survey, and we would love to get caregiver feedback. This one is about equity. Thank you for taking the time to fill out these surveys! I am always hopeful to get as many Ryan Road voices as we can!

Caregiver Survey:








After School Updates

This session of YEP classes ended on Friday, March 25 (for Friday classes) and the last Monday class will be Monday, March 28.

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.

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.

Girls on the Run started on March 22 and meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 10 weeks.

Call the school office if you have any questions.

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. 



And, more good news 

I’ll send more information about the details, but we will be getting solar panels on our roof soon!

Snacks at school 

I always have snacks available in the office for students who need one. Our hope is that families who are able are providing snacks for your children. Please check in with your children to see if they are getting snacks in the office that you might be unaware of. My supply has been depleting quickly recently. I am more than happy to provide snacks to anyone who needs them


Gardening with Ms. Hope will begin this week and will continue throughout the spring on Wednesdays. All classes will participate in four gardening sessions before the end of the school year. 

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).

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 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 or we can talk on the phone anytime. 


Sarah Madden, Principal