Principal Madden’s Weekly Update—Week of June 8, 2020

Principal Madden’s Weekly Update—Week of June 8, 2020

Dear Families/Caregivers,

It was really wonderful to see so many students and families for the Family Pick-Up of school items with teachers last week. It was bittersweet, but everyone loved actually seeing one another. Thank you, families! We are a strong community, and we are so grateful for our partnership with all of you. I attached a photo of our kindergarten team ready to greet families! 

Report cards and placement notes will be mailed to families/caregivers during the week of June 15.

Community Needs Survey

District Leaders have put together a Community Needs Survey. We would appreciate your feedback and input. Thank you. Here is where you can access this survey.


This spring has been so difficult with the coronavirus and school closure, and last week brought more pain. I know that many families are feeling additional strain, frustration, anger, sadness, and confusion with regard to our nation’s struggle with racial equity and violence. It is always difficult to know how to explain what is going on to our children. I hope you and your loved ones are doing O.K. I am hopeful that things will shift toward more respect and equity. During this time of struggle, it is important for us to do all we can to become a better, more empathetic, and stronger community. Below are resources compiled by REAL (defined below) that you might find helpful and meaningful.

From REAL (Racial Equity and Learning) is a Northampton Education Foundation–funded project that brings together Northampton public school teachers, staff, students, and caregivers to fulfill the project’s mission: support and strengthen our school community by developing an intentionally anti-racist culture


EmbraceRace (local)

Colorlines / Race Forward

Truth School (local)

Western Mass SURJ (local)

Arise for Social Justice (local)

Black Youth Project 100

Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley (local)

Undoing Racism (local)

Pioneer Valley Workers Center (local)

National Association for Multicultural Education


High Five Books (local; site includes age-specific links to books about race)

Having the Race Talk with My 4- and 21-Year-Old Sons

How to Talk to Your Mixed Race Kids About Race

100 Race-Conscious Things You Can Say to Your Child to Advance Racial Justice

This Book Is Anti-Racist (local author)

Me and White Supremacy

Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America

White Kids: Growing Up with Privilege in a Racially Divided America


The Wellness of We series of videos

White Like Me documentary 

Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in School documentary

Raising Free People podcast series 

All My Relations podcast series

Seeing White podcast series

How to Not (Accidentally) Raise a Racist podcast episode


Resources for Parents and Caregivers About Race and Racism

Anti-Racism Resources for All Ages

KidLit Rally 4 Black Lives: Anti-Racist Resources for Children, Families, and Educators

There Is No Apolitical Classroom: Resources for Teaching in These Times

Garden Update

• Here is a GARDEN UPDATE. The Garden Committee is planning some family work days in July and August, and we hope to get some interest, involvement and workers. We are lucky to have our little garden, and it takes a community to keep it going. Our first Work Bee last week had some hardworking volunteers! I attached a couple of photos. Thank you so much.


From Food Service Director, Mistelle Hannah: 

Attached are the links to the free/reduced application for the 2019-2020 school year. This application is good for the first 30 days of the upcoming school year. A new application will be required after that time.  The new applications are typically released in early July and made available to families at the beginning of the school year. Since we anticipate some families have had a change of circumstances since this has begun it benefits them to get the application in for this school year. One less thing to worry about.

Read Aloud

• I am continuing to share a read aloud in my Weekly Update that you can share with your children if you think they would like it. This week I am sharing some poetry from Douglas Florian’s Summersaults.

Friday Fun Challenge Videos!

We post the photos from the Friday Fun Challenge on the following Friday when we announce the birthdays and the next Fun Friday Challenge. Any photos for this week’s project should be sent to your child’s teacher any time before the next Wednesday at 9:00. 

I loved all the photos of your dance moves last week! Keep the fun coming! Here’s that great video in case you missed it on Friday! You can find all of the Friday Fun on our website. This week will be the final Fun Friday Challenge of this year. 

• Remote Learning will continue until the “last day of school” on June 15. However, all of the online resources that teachers have created during this closure will be available to students over the summer. I hope your children will take advantage of these resources over the summer. And, of course, I’ll continue to communicate with you regarding any re-opening school plans.

I hope that all families feel welcome, comfortable, and valued at our school. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need anything. I am often in the building, and can talk through the window or over the phone.


Sarah Madden, Principal