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Atwood Summer Family Letter

Dear Families of the Atwood Primary Superheroes!


I hope this letter finds you enjoying a wonderful Maine summer filled with rest, relaxation and plenty of play!  If you are new to Atwood, welcome. If you are returning, we are happy to have you back with us!


Last year, one of the best quotes I heard from a parent came from a second-grade student. She was new to our school, and her mother asked how things were going in her school, and she answered, “Mom, it’s not a school. It’s my community.”


I love hearing things like this.  It is important to all, who work at Atwood, to know children feel they are part of a greater community.  It’s never too early for children to realize the overarching purpose of their educational journey. I believe this quote from Marian Wright Edelman captures our collective thinking:  “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.”


I want to present our school vision to each of you, so you have a deeper understanding of our mission with your children:


The Atwood Primary School Community creates a safe, happy, healthy beginning to each child’s successful educational journey by:

  • Focusing on the individual’s needs
  • Engaging our learners in a meaningful and relevant curriculum
  • Modeling, valuing, and explicitly teaching habits of mind social skills, and accountability
  • Welcoming our families and community to come along each and every day….

“Insist your schools are happy places.”  -Ralph Atwood


There are so many learning opportunities taking place each day in your child’s primary school journey.   We construct the academic “learning” lesson; however, outside of those teacher-made lessons, your child is learning all of the time!  They are learning to share, to play, to problem solve, to become independent in our halls, on our playground, in our lunchroom, and on school buses.  Additionally, your children are learning about what is the same about people in their school, and what is different about people in our school, and in public school…ALL people are our people.


School attendance matters.  We strongly encourage you to begin your child’s school day on time and strive to have your children here every day.  Research says that beginning in kindergarten, too many absences can cause your children to fall behind in school.  Missing 10% (or 18 days of school) can make it hard for your child to learn.  Also being late to school often leads to poor attendance.  Naturally, even one child’s poor attendance affects the entire classroom, as the teacher has to slow down learning to help catch up the children who miss.  As I stated earlier:  school attendance matters.

As we prepare for our school year to begin, here are some great ways to prepare your children for a successful school year:

  • begin to get them into a routine so they will be well-rested and well adjusted to work within a structured day
  • have your child practice independence: a few simple chores, getting dressed independently, cleaning up their dishes after mealtimes, etc
  • read, read, read together
  • have your children practice school readiness skills: quiet play, turn-taking, writing their names, drawing, coloring
  • encourage your child to use kind words and follow directions
  • give your child consequences for not following rules and be sure to follow through

Remember, by helping your child learn to be a good, kind and safe friend, a good listener, a rule follower, and to be more independent…you are helping your child have a successful entry into our school world!


Here are some important dates for you to note as you begin to make your back-to-school schedules:


Wednesday, August 21 from 6:00 to 7:00: Kindergarten Social (only for children entering kindergarten)

Monday, August 26 from 5:30 to 6:30:  First and Second Grade Open House

Wednesday, August 28:  8:00 a.m. FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!

Monday, September 2:  Labor Day/ No School


Enjoy your remaining days of summer vacation!  Know, we are so looking forward to inviting you and your child(ren) into a wonderful and exciting school year!


Educationally Yours,


Jennifer McGee, Principal of Atwood Primary School


Coming Events at Atwood Primary