Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November News

November 15, 2012

Dear Members of the J. Turner Hood School Community,

As the weather is now getting colder and there is less sunlight, I am pleased to look around and see all of our programs in full swing.  Students are enjoying their academic programs and our enrichment programs. It is great to be part of such an active school community.   

Candy Witch- The candy Witch was a huge hit again this year. Thank you to all of the students and staff that participated. Our troops will receive some wonderful treats.

Recess- The winter season is upon us.  I would like to remind you to send your children to school dressed appropriately for outside recess. Coats, hats and gloves are very important. We will always go outside for recess unless it is dangerously cold. If recess is canceled, please understand that it was canceled due to rain, snow or health recommendations only. It is our belief that students need physical activity and fresh air and therefore we send the children outside for recess in the winter. Previously, J. Turner Hood School students were allowed to bring in snow pants and boots to play in the snow. This is a practice that we are discontinuing at this time. All children will play on the hot top during recess if snow is covering our playground and fields.        

Vacations- We have had an inordinate number of families requesting work for students that are taking vacations during times when school is in session. I want to take this opportunity to remind the members of our school community that it is not the school’s responsibility to provide instruction to your child/children during the time you are away from school and that Massachusetts State Law requires your child be in school when school is in session.

Web Site-Our school website is a great resource. We hope that you will find the information that is posted on our website to be valuable to you and your children. Please check our site often as there are always things going on.
Blogging at the Hood School- Blogging (or Web logging) is most often thought of as an activity for high school students. Did you know, however, that students as young as kindergarten age now blog on a daily basis in a variety of exciting ways? At its core, blogging is a method of online journaling. Take a look at any blog and you'll immediately see the connection between it and a traditional diary. Often arranged in calendar format with the most recent post first, blogs contain rantings, wishes, commentary and anything else a writer thinks about, often with graphics and perhaps even with audio and video elements
The Hood School Blogs are as follows;

Principal’s Blog- Along with my traditional newsletters, I have established my blog at the following address;

Learn 365 Blog-This year I have joined the #Learn365 Project. Every day during the school year, one person within our learning organization is chosen to post a blog on something they learned during the day.  Sometimes it is about something they learned in school; sometimes it is something learned outside.  It is my goal to have everyone from our superintendent, teachers, parents and students posting on the blog.  Each day a member of our school community will reveal what he/she learned today. This will be the Hood School’s contribution to the #Learn365 Project. It is modeled on past iterations such as the Parkland School Divisions 184 Days of Learning and the #edu180atl initiative, based out of Atlanta. The goal is to paint a virtual mural of school learning every day at the Hood School. Every day of the school year, one student, teacher, or administrator will share a post of 200 words or less answering the question, "What did you learn today?"
The blog is located at;

Announcing our newest blog- The Student Council blog! Many of our families have requested a mechanism for the school to communicate our student council activities. Here it is;

All Student Council events will be posted to their blog. This will include all fundraising activities. I will be working to add a link to our school website in the next few days.

Twitter- Social media and Twitter in particular, is fast becoming an important tool in the world of education. Teachers are using it to connect with other professionals around the world to enhance their learning and break down the walls of their classrooms. Administrators are using it to enhance their leadership skills and connect with parents and other members of the school community. Stay up-to-date on the latest happenings at the Hood School! Follow the Hood School on Twitter @jthoodelemen.

Teacher Websites- Please note that many of our teachers have created classroom websites. Please see the links to those sites in our staff directory.

4th Annual North Reading Turkey Trot, November 22, 2012- The 4th Annual North Reading Turkey Trot is scheduled to go off at 8:00 A.M. sharp on Thanksgiving Day.  The elementary school challenge is on again this year and the Batchelder School is looking to retain the title! We have recruited 18 staff members to join our families! I am encouraging all of our families to be part of this community event. It is our goal to unseat the defending elementary school challenge champions and bring the coveted trophy to our lobby! The elementary school in North Reading that has the highest percentage of participation will earn the trophy to display in their school for the year and the $200.00 prize to be used toward the purchase of fitness equipment in their school. This event is sponsored by the NRHS Hornets Hall of Fame; proceeds benefit the student athletes of North Reading. Come out to work up an appetite. Please contact Joe Davis at if you have any questions. See you Thanksgiving morning!

Live Line Dismissal- Please be reminded to display your placard and to pull up as far as possible at all times.

Successful Hood School Students- There are a few things you can do at home to help your child be a successful student here at school. It is beneficial to set up routines for your morning prior to leaving the house. Setting up routines can help you and your child be more relaxed. Eating a good breakfast helps your child to be energized and ready for the day ahead. After school ask your child about his/her school day. It lets your child know you care. Talking about school with your child helps keep you connected. If your child isn’t sharing what he/she does at school try asking a specific question or two. Be sure to read all papers that come home or sent via e-mail. Help your child be prepared by studying a little each day. It is the best way to learn and own new material. Having set homework time and place makes homework a little less stressful. Read everyday. Try reading both to and with your child each day. Lastly, having a set bedtime and nightly routine helps your child get the rest he/she needs. Providing your child with relaxation, energy, communication, preparation and rest create the potion for success! Communication between home and school is so important for our children. Please share anything important that is going on at home with your child’s classroom teacher. We can’t be successful without one another.

Responsible Students- We encourage children to be responsible and follow our guidelines. Students may not return to school for homework or forgotten items after 3:35 pm.  

It is recommended that children and families rely upon other strategies such as calling a friend for information or the parent writing a note to the teacher explaining that the child came home unprepared for the assignment.  The office and custodial staff are unable to be released from their duties to open classrooms for safety reasons.

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