Dear Parents and Guardians,
It is hard to believe that June has come and with it the end of the 2018-2019 school year. I am sure the collective efforts of students and staff have left them in need of some well earned rest. However, in the background, please know we have been very busy preparing for an exciting 2019-2020 school year which will be full of excitement and also some nervousness. In order to alleviate some worries about the coming school year and the transition to the 4th & 5th Grade Center, I have prepared this letter for parents and students to address some questions many may have.
There are so many topics to cover! I am sure I will miss something. Renovations are all set and ready to start immediately on Monday, June 17th. Many updates and changes will occur to the building including the following:
- Newly painted classrooms
- Newly painted/designed hallways with white boards
- Removal of hallway lockers and addition of classroom cubbies/storage
- New secure main entrance and adjusted office configuration
- Renovated rooms for special education classes and FLITE classes
- Renovated library with open floor plan and new resources
- New playground and play area at rear of building
- Renovated auditorium with new carpet and paint
The renovations are scheduled to take place throughout the summer right up to the start of the 2019-2020 school year. Although the renovations will limit our access into the building over the summer, we will be excited to welcome parents at our Meet the Staff Night on Tuesday, Sept. 17th. Further information regarding Meet the Staff Night will be communicated as the date draws near.
Regarding staff, there will be a few new faces in the building. However, parents and students will recognize about 35 current staff members from Hereford and Marlborough Elementary Schools as we come together to form the 4th & 5th Grade Center. During this school year, several professional development sessions have allowed us to begin building systems and processes, along with a sense of teamwork and collaboration. The staff has already developed a vision and belief statements for the building, which I am proud to share below.
The Upper Perkiomen 4th & 5th Grade Center Vision Statement
The Upper Perkiomen 4th & 5th Grade Center will be a caring and safe community that strives to educate and empower the whole child.
The Upper Perkiomen 4th & 5th Grade Center Belief Statements
- We can encourage students to realize that effort creates success.
- We can create communities where all learners are mutually respected and accepted.
- We can empower students to reach their potential by embracing their individuality and learning styles.
- We can challenge our students to be critical thinkers, be productive members of a team, and to respect the input/views of all people.
Each student's specific teacher assignments will be made visible via Skyward in August once rosters have been set. Where possible, teachers have been teamed together to share content responsibilities. In each team, one teacher will be responsible for Math, Science and Social Studies while the other teacher will teach English/ Language Arts, including Reading and Writing. This structure will allow staff to build expertise in specific areas and promote exposure to different teaching styles and personalities during the course of a school day.
The first day of school is scheduled for after Labor Day, Tuesday, September 3rd. On the first day of school, the only information students need to know is their homeroom teacher's last name. Staff will be stationed throughout the building to direct students into the gymnasium. From the gymnasium, students will be called down by homeroom teacher and led to their classrooms by their homeroom teacher. Again, please make sure your child knows their homeroom teacher. Following homeroom, teachers will orient the children to the building by providing tours and sharing important information. Acquainting students with the new building and procedures will be the focus of the first few days of school. This will be especially pertinent as students will not be able to participate in an orientation prior to the start of the year due to renovations.
The 4th & 5th Grade Center will mirror both Marlborough and Hereford Elementary Schools regarding the time structure of the school day. The school doors will open at 8:25 AM with students needing to be in their homeroom for attendance prior to the official start of school at 8:35 AM. Breakfast will be available in the cafeteria from 8:25 - 8:45 AM daily. Students will be allowed to enter the building, obtain their breakfast, and then proceed to their homeroom where they can eat their breakfast. All buses will drop students off in the rear of the building and walkers will enter the front of the building. All parents are asked to drop off their children in the front of the building along Jefferson Street.
The dismissal process will mirror the arrival process. At 3:30 PM, all students will be dismissed with buses being loaded in the rear of the building while parent pick up and walkers will be dismissed in the front of the building along Jefferson Street. If your child normally rides a bus and you would like to pick them up after school, please send in a note and notify your child's homeroom teacher in advance. Three-hour early dismissal days would adjust the dismissal time to 12:30 PM. Please note that lunch is not served on three-hour early dismissal days.
During the school day, the 4th grade lunch/recess block will occur between 11: 10 AM - 12: 10 PM with 30 minutes of lunch and recess time. The 5th grade lunch/recess block will occur between 12:10 PM - 1:10 PM. In addition to their core classes, each student will receive one special area class per day: Library, Physical Education, FLITE, Art, and Music. These will rotate on a 5 day schedule. Please check with your child's teacher and their schedule for the 5 day rotation.
In the coming weeks, a list of student supplies that teachers are recommending will be sent out via a Skylert announcement with a posting on our school website. The supply lists will include a standard 4th and 5th grade list in addition to specific teacher's recommendations to the standard list. These are recommended items to start the school year and accommodations will be made as needed for individual children.
As many are aware, numerous special events occur throughout the year that could not happen without volunteers from our PTFS. Recently, representatives from both the Marlborough and Hereford PTFS organizations met with me to begin planning out a calendar of events for next school year. These events include many fun opportunities such as a Trunk or Treat, Holiday Bazaar, Book Fair, Fall Fundraiser, Field trips, Field Days, etc. Please reach out to your respective elementary school PTFS organization and consider volunteering a little bit of time to support the PTFS. With your support, such events can continue next year and into the future. A special thank you to all PTFS volunteers as they continue to go above and beyond to enhance every child's school experience.
Further information regarding next school year will be periodically sent throughout the summer via Skylert. Please make sure your child's Skyward contact information is accurate and up-to-date. We look forward to opening our doors to the children of 4th and 5th grade on September 3rd! I wish everyone a safe and relaxing summer!
Arthur Vigilante, Principal