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From the Principal’s Pen – August 2018

August 3, 2018

Dear Families of Atwood Primary School Students!

Happy final days of summer! I hope this letter finds all of our families well rested, sun-kissed and enjoying all that Maine has to offer in the summertime!

If this is the first time you have had a child in the Atwood school, welcome!  If you are a returning family…we can’t wait to have you back!  Last year we decided we would keep our school vision simple.  Because our “clientele” are the youngest in the district, our vision is simply this: Atwood – Awesome!

Atwood – Awesome seems to cover it all.  When our teachers are teaching, they can ask themselves:  “Was my lesson awesome?  Was the learning in the room awesome?”  Out on the playground when we have to address behavior, we ask the children, “Was that an awesome choice?”  Our children really seem to understand the vision….we want the school year to be AWESOME in every way….for you, for your children, and for our schoolhouse!

We have two goals this year:

  1. Because 29% of our students were tardy last year and because 12% were chronically absent, we have a goal to focus on reducing our tardy students and our absences this school year! We can’t be awesome if we aren’t all together, in the classroom and ready to learn!
  2. We want all of our children to meet their highest potential in the areas of reading, mathematics and problem solving; therefore, we are setting the goal of moving 5% more students into the meets and exceeds categories in their assessments!

Atwood Awesome students play hard…but we also work hard!

Entering this school year, I would like to remind you of one important fact.  Safety is not always convenient!  Actually, it is almost always inconvenient; however, these little superheroes and their safety are our number one priority, so we ask you to please follow all of our safety rules.   There is a safety procedure sheet that will come home in your back-to-school packet, but I want to review some rules that have frequently been broken to make sure we begin the school year on the right track.

  1. We have a person on duty from 7:15 to 8:00 to take your children from your car and bring them safely into the school each morning. If you are here after 8:00 (which would mean your child is tardy), you must park your car in a parking space and escort your child into the school. Do NOT park in the middle of our parking lot and run in leaving your car running. This blocks everyone else and creates early morning chaos.
  2. The handicapped parking spaces in front of the school are for cars that have signage indicating they can legally use these spaces.
  3. Please make sure your child has solid end of day plans. Frequent phone calls during the day changing plans, creates confusion and increases chances of a mistake being made. We have 230 very young children to get to the right location at the end of the school day. Having solid plans is very important.
  4. It is imperative that we have working phone numbers listed for your contact numbers and your emergency contact numbers. You never know when we will need to contact you about your child…so please keep us up to date with phone number changes throughout the school year.
  5. Be a weather watcher! Your children are outside frequently throughout the day.  Having your child dressed appropriately for warm and cold days keeps your child comfortable and healthy!


We want the beginning of your child’s educational journey to be joyful.  There are so many lessons to learn in public school.  Your child will be introduced to many, many new friends.  The beauty of public school is that it is a true melting pot.  Your child will meet children who are like them, and children who are different.  Some of the most important learning that will take place, will take place on the playground and in the lunch room.   Although you may want to jump right in and solve friendship problems for your children, the best problem solving happens when children talk things over with their grown-ups, but then work to solve issues on their own.  If you step back a bit, you will be amazed by your children’s growing skills.

Here we are in the school year 2018-2019!  It is hard to believe in this building, we have the graduating of the classes 2029 – 2032!!!  Yes, the days are long…but the years speed by!   I would be less than truthful if I told you that, in my 33 years of teaching, school has gotten easier.  It hasn’t.  For many reasons, the job of a teacher has become more difficult.  So in sharing that fact, I ask you and your families to consider volunteering in our schools.  Giving children the gift of more adult time, is a gift to all of us…and a gift to the future success of our children.  If you, your parents, grandparents or neighbors have the time, we can use your help in our schools.

Let’s link arms and make this school year an amazing one for your children. We have spent our summers getting ready for the next batch of Atwood Awesome Superheroes! Join us in the journey.

Educationally Yours,

Jennifer McGee, Principal of Atwood Primary School

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