Summer 2017 Newsletter

Summer 2017 Newsletter
Posted on 06/29/2017
This is the image for the news article titled Summer 2017 Newsletter

Last thoughts from Mrs. Hamilton…

Once again we find ourselves at the end of another school year. In my nearly 30 years of teaching this is only the second time that the calendar has taken us to nearly the end of June! We have had a wonderful year! Scrolling through the many pictures that have been taken this year I see how much our students have grown. I see the great projects classes have worked on. I see children enjoying our beautiful setting here in Russell – the gorgeous fall colors, the snow covered fields with children sliding and building. I see picnics under the trees. Most recently I see of our green fields filled with children and parents enjoying Field Day. I see the family events sponsored by our terrific PTC group as well as the enrichment programs the group has brought to our students.

Mr. Houle has compiled a slideshow of many of these things that you will be able to view on our website. I hope you take time to watch it and share in the memories we’ve made this year at Russell Elementary School.


We’ve all heard the saying that it takes a village to raise a child, well; it also takes a village to sustain a school. We are grateful to have another year here at Russell – Thanks to all of you who stood up in support of our students as decisions were being made about our schools. This additional year will help the district make thoughtful plans for bringing our students back into Westfield.

Thanks to the parents who have volunteered in our classrooms and cafeteria this year. Thanks also to the small but mighty group of parents who come to our monthly PTC meetings and to all of the families who support their fund raising events making the enrichment programs possible.

Staff Recognition and Changes…

The end of the school year often brings reassignments and changes made at the District level. I want to thank and acknowledge the following people who have helped make Russell Elementary School the wonderful place that it is today.

Joanne  Miller – Our school nurse is retiring after many dedicated years…we wish her all the best as she begins the next chapter of her life.

Susan Ayr – Grade two teacher extraordinaire…due to declining enrollment Sue will be leaving and joining the Munger Hill first grade team. They are so fortunate to be gaining such a talented and dedicated teacher, our loss is their gain!

Kristen Coughlan – Again, due to declining enrollment, Kristen will be moving on to share her talents with other lucky children in Westfield. We will miss her creativity and expertise as a premiere early childhood educator.

Natalie Proulx – Our wonderful fourth grade teacher is moving on to Papermill School. We will all miss her talents and positive attitude. We wish her the best at her new school.

Lucinda Newcomb – Cindy will be joining Mrs. Haramut as our second grade 5 teacher. We are so glad to welcome her back! Many of you might remember her from Juniper Park where she was our Reading Coach.

Class Placements for Next Year …

Over the summer, we assign students to their new classes. Most summers there are often unexpected shifts in student enrollment and staffing. Please know that the teachers and I work together to develop class lists that are balanced and the best fit for individual students. Keeping in mind that things may change at the last minute, at this point it appears as though our class configurations will be as follows:

Kindergarten:   1 classroom

Grade 1:               1 classroom

Grade 2:               1 classroom

Grade 3:               2 classrooms

Grade 4:               2 classrooms

Grade 5:               2 classrooms

Across the district, students receive class assignments sometime around the second week of August.

First day of School, Kindergarten Play Dates and Orientation…

The first day of school for students in grades 1 – 12 is August 31, 2017. Kindergarten will begin on September 7, 2017

The kindergarten playdate is scheduled for Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 1:00. The kindergarten small group orientation will be on Friday, September 1st. More detailed information will be mailed in the summer.

Avoiding the Summer Slide…

Research shows that children lose skills over the summer break if they do not read and use their other skills throughout the summer. Please make time to read for fun, take advantage of the great library in town. While riding in the car play word games and practice math facts. Limit screen time and maximize time playing outside!

Summer Hours…

The office will open again on August 14th


Wishing all of you a safe and happy summer