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Welcome Letter to Families

posted Sep 4, 2018, 7:29 AM by Hillary Stasonis
Dear Sargent Families, 

I write to welcome you to a new school year filled with endless possibilities for your children in every aspect of their learning! The summer has offered many opportunities for growth, both academically/professionally and in the physical growth of our building with four new classrooms (formerly the K-classrooms) that offer creative space for learning.

Last year in my welcome letter I shared my cornerstones for leading this amazing school. They remain truer today than when I began. Namely, “all that I do must be student-focussed and I cannot do this job alone.” I begin my fifth year at Sargent and second year as Principal, wholeheartedly believing in our school community. This past year has reconfirmed my resolve about the importance of relationships. It is inspiring to see all forms of important relationships being nurtured here. Be it student to student, teacher to student, teacher to parent, and a staff who care deeply for one another ~ it is the secret sauce of a safe and kind community of learners. And I like to throw myself in the mix of all of the above! Relationships form community, and when there is a vibrant, caring community, the cornerstones I mention are easily met. Students are at the center of our work and the conviction we share in working together for the good of our children is the winning formula to cultivate the unlimited potential in every child. It’s about relationships. I want you to know, I am grateful for the gift of the many valuable relationships I have with your children, our extraordinary teachers/staff, and with each of you.

Our teachers have added a bright shine to their classrooms through their thoughtful hard work. Their focus is in creating a welcoming, vibrant classroom. Students’ names are brightly attached to desks and other places in the room to make students feel they are important and that they belong. Our PTO Co-Presidents, Maria Nardella and Amanda Robinson have be amazing in providing tours to welcome our new students/families and assisting me with a wide array of supports to open school; each member of our PTO are incredibly valuable to our vibrant school community. As I drove to school this morning, I was so proud to see the hard work of the wonderful volunteers who have made the outside of our school look well cared for and welcoming. It takes a village and we have the best! Thank you for all for your time and talents!

Additionally, we have worked hard to create four new valuable rooms for learning. The first is our new “Shark Tank” which a sensory/motor development room for all students. Sensory integration plays an important role in the social, emotional, and cognitive development of a child. This colorful, engaging room (marked by a newly painted shark mouth doorway!) has been created by our outstanding physical therapist and occupational therapists to integrate sensory development to assist in achieving student success. It is large enough for an entire class to use or for individual instruction.

We have a new “ Data Room” for teachers to collaborate in and track student progress, complete with research driven data points which are derived from an array of formalized assessments to monitor interventions for student success. We christened this space during our PD last week with resounding enthusiasm from faculty for this valued, professional space. 

Our third space is our “Curriculum Headquarters” I am thrilled to welcome the curriculum coordinators for the North Andover District. We will have the STEM and Humanities Directors as well as our district Math and Reading coaches at Sargent. Collectively they are a powerful resource for our district in servicing all schools. We are grateful to have them headquartered at Sargent as a wealth of information and resources right under our roof!

Our fourth new room is a work in progress, but will be our “Computer/Math Lab.” I am in the process of creatively trying to fund 25 new Chromebooks to be used by students in this space. I am so grateful to collaborate with our PTO in looking to have this spaced supported with volunteers (similar to our library) once we are up and running. This will also compliment the three year ST Math Grant we secured which you will read about in an adjacent informational email.

As you can see, we have been busy this summer! Our top-notch custodial staff worked hard all summer to ensure that classrooms were cleaned to look new for a fun learning environment. I am so grateful to Pat Queenan, Sam Clough and Joe Messina! They have been tremendous in helping to move out the 4 Kindergarten classrooms of furniture and supplies and get these rooms ready for our new initiatives. They have done this during some very hot/humid days, while also  supporting a large summer school/tutoring program and tirelessly working to support a successful inaugural season of Youth Service’s Summer Fun program with its 500 K-2nd graders this summer at Sargent. Way to go gentlemen, you are simply, the best ~ on behalf of our school community, “Thank you!” 

Our school community is fueled on positive energy! Our staff is energized and alive with the anticipation of a wondrously fun, engaging year of learning! Every member of our school team of educators will have laser focus in seeing that your child will feel safe, accepted, and will be a valued friend. We recognize that we must respect and appreciate our similarities and differences in order to grow and flourish as a community. Here’s to a remarkable year of working together in continuing to build positive relationships. I know this caring community will unleash our students’ curiosity for learning in fun and creative ways and will let them know they belong and are valued for who they are.

Gratefully yours,