September 3, 2021
Dr. Kirk, Principal~Hunking School
Welcome to Labor Day weekend! It is almost inconceivable that Open House was held 4 days ago and we have now attended school for four days. When parents could not enter my school last year- as was the case here as well- I walked around the school with an IPAD and visited classrooms while talking to parents on Zoom and showing them classrooms in action. For many, it was their first glance at the school since we picked up so many new families. I thought about that today, as I walked around and saw such action in every corner of the building. We had Kindergarten screening, PE classes, Technology, teachers holding morning meeting, scavenger hunt to get kids familiar with their surroundings, and on and on. It is a busy and happy place. Next week I am holding two google meets with students; one for the lower school and one for the upper school- a 2021 version of an assembly!
As I said to all of you in my introductory letter last summer and to the staff at our first staff meeting, my goal is for students to feel welcomed and accepted as they walk through the door each day. This week our attention was focused on admitting new students and placing them correctly; making sure students had bus passes or knew what door to exit as they waited to be called for pick-up; socially distancing students who were waiting for buses and showing students how to navigate this very large school for the first time or now that they were returning in person after being home last year. So many emotions! Fortunately we have many support staff to guide and assist all day long. I hear staff called to a classroom or another part of the building and instantly people appear and work with children to get them back on track. This does not happen so seamlessly in every school so we should all be proud and patient as every adult is working very hard to manage over 1,100 students. It will get easier but it takes time.
Kindergarten Screening is complete and students and their teacher names can be found in School Brains. Teachers also sent out their Welcome Letter today. Check your spam file if you didn’t see the letter- some did bounce. Kindergarten starts 9/8
Many students are interested in Student Council. Teachers are working on that and will reach out when it is organized.
Advanced Band members had a brief meeting this week. Advance Band will begin next Friday, September 10. 5th and 6th graders will have an instrument demonstration on Thursday, September 9 during their specials period. Registration for Beginning Band will begin after the demonstration and conclude 9/20. Beginning Band begins the week of 9/27.
Haverhill Public Schools is rolling out a communication tool called Remind. Teachers will be using it and it is an excellent tool for them to stay in touch with you. Remind.com will be an important tool for you to learn. Some teachers already set it up for their classes so watch for directions.
There are some sports programs starting up in the area you may be interested in: Haverhillrec.activityreg.com is a good resource.
PTO is holding their first meeting next Tuesday, September 7 @ 6:00 pm in our cafeteria. I will be there and I look forward to meeting many of you. All must wear a mask upon entering the school. The Store developed by the PTO is going live on-line and we will put the link on our website. Great buys!
Finally, I am sure you all read my letter sent to you a few hours ago regarding a positive COVID case at school. Thankfully the individual is fine and our mitigation strategies have proven to hold and keep us safe. But I cannot underscore this enough- this virus has not left us. We are indeed in a highly vaccinated state and the positive rates and hospital admissions have dropped off but do not be fooled. We spend a great deal of energy to keep this school open and ensure the population remains healthy. The three W’s- wear a mask, watch your distance and wash your hands are practiced and preached every day!!!!!! Thank you for helping us maintain this vigilance.
Have a joyous weekend. Week one was smooth and I thank all for helping me navigate this wonderful school.
Dr. Kirk, Principal