Sunday, April 30, 2017

April 30, 2017

Dear Quashnet School Community,

It is so wonderful to see the sun shine!  Spring is definitely here!

Congratulations to the Quashnet School 2017 Spelling Bee
champion, Daisy O'Reilly the second place finisher, Piper Milde. Congratulations to all the students who took on the challenge of studying the word lists and giving it their very best. Each participant needs to be commended for their efforts! 

Thank you to our panel of judges, Miss Skyla Rimple, last year's champion, Superintendent DeBoer, and our own Mrs. Avtges. I appreciate the staff for their help and being part of the spelling bee team, and to Mr. O'Connor our emcee. The spelling bee provides another opportunity for students to shine!

Last week, we had both a fire drill and lock down drill at Quashnet School. Fire drills are conducted at least three times per year and we conduct a lock down type drill at least once a year. Safety is our top priority and the purpose of these drills is to assess our preparedness in the event of an emergency. The information we gather from each drill allows us to adjust protocols as needed.  If you come to school during a drill, the door may not be answered immediately.  If you call the school and there is no answer, please always leave a message and we will promptly get back to you.  It is important to know that we always try to complete all drills as quickly as possible so we can get back to the task at hand, learning! 

May brings another batch of MCAS testing.  Math MCAS is scheduled for May 10th and 11th. Science, Tech and Engineering is on May 16th and 17th for fifth grade only.  

After testing season is over, field trip season begins!  If you are planning on attending any field trips, you must have an up to date CORI check and be on the list of school volunteers.  I have attached a copy of the CORI form for your convenience CORI Form.  After completing the form, it must be submitted to Jodi Gallagher in the superintendent's office. Please allow a minimum of one week for approval.  This is a requirement for all school chaperones. 

Reminder - 
Monday, May 1 is an early release day for students - 11:30 AM dismissal.
Wednesday, May 3 is the 5th and 6th grade social - permission slip required! 
Picture day is this Thursday, May 4th! 
Progress Reports will be online on May 8th.  Please contact the office if you do not have access to PowerSchool. 

Do you have your prom attire yet?  Save the date for a FABULOUS night on May 20th for the PTO sponsored Murder Mystery Prom Night at Quashnet Valley Country Club.  Don't miss this!

Looking forward to seeing you all at Town Meeting tomorrow night at MMHS starting at 7:00 PM.  As Mrs. DeBoer shared in her email Friday, there are three important articles that will have an impact on the schools. They are as follows: 

ARTICLE 2—Funding the FY18 operating budget for the town departments and school department:
  In January the School Committee submitted a level-service budget of $21.3 million for FY18.  At the request of the Town Manager and Finance Committee we cut $400,000—resulting in a revised FY18 budget of $20.9 million.  In order to meet our level-service needs and to offset the reduction in the appropriation requested for next year, the School Committee plans to use funds collected under the School Choice program.    
ARTICLE 15—Funding for updating/repairing the Quashnet School building: Approval of Article 15 is required to fund the Town’s portion of the Quashnet School Windows/Doors/Roof/Soffits Project and to enable the Town to be eligible to receive a grant from the state that offsets approximately 38% of the cost.  An informational brochure related to the project is attached here.   Informational Brochure--Quashnet School Project   Also linked here is an informational video:
ARTICLE 33—Consolidation of Municipal Finance Functions:  This article would reorganize the Town’s finance functions to form a consolidated Department of Municipal Finance.  The following language is included in Paragraph A of this article:  Any consolidation of School Department administrative functions with the consolidated Department of Municipal Finance shall be conducted under the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 71, Section 37M.”  Although a separate School Committee vote would also be necessary for this change to occur, we have concerns if Article 33 is approved with this sentence included.  We strongly believe that it is in the best interest of our students and our programming that all district administrative functions (including personnel and financial) remain a responsibility of the Superintendent and the elected members of the School Committee.  The annual Town Meeting Warrant was printed before the School Committee was made aware of this language, otherwise we would have requested the removal of the above italicized sentence to ensure that Town Meeting voters were only voting on the consolidation of Town functions as listed in the Article. 

Lastly, congratulations to our Quashnet School Veterans for Peace Poetry Contest winners Sam Bartlett, Lauren Rogers, and First Place recipient Amari Robson.  Their poems and pictures can be found on the photo tab above. Well done! 
Wishing you all a productive week ahead~  
Mrs. O'Brien

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