Message from Heidi Cook: August 1, 2022

Message from Heidi Cook: August 1, 2022
Posted on 08/01/2022
Hello, families!

I hope this letter finds you well and I hope you are having a wonderful summer! I look forward to seeing everyone back at school and I can’t wait to meet our new families and students. It’s going to be a great year at the Maria L. Baldwin School!

We are excited to see students and staff back in school, and we are very aware that health and safety is still very much on everyone’s mind. You can expect us to carefully maintain safety protocols that are being updated regularly by Cambridge Public Schools in cooperation with the Cambridge Public Health Department. You can check out the latest version of the CPSD safety manual here. You will receive many more specifics as we move into the school year, but many details are also below.

Here’s the link to the district calendar for this school year (we will send a link to a printable copy when an updated version is available). The first day of school for 1st-5th graders is September 6th. The first day for JK/K students is September 8th. Special Start families should watch for communication specific to their classrooms and programs for start dates and times.

In the next couple of days, your class placement information will be emailed to you. If you do not receive that by the end of the day on the 3rd of August, email me or our school clerk, Elaine Coleman and we’ll get that info to you.

We have scheduled some informal playground meetups starting at 6PM at the Baldwin Playground on August 16th and August 31st. Everyone is invited, with special encouragement for our new community members. This is a great summer opportunity to meet others and build community. These events are informal, so bring your own snacks and water and just show up when you can. Strike up a conversation with other parents while you watch the kids play and make new friends. Warmly welcome those who are new to Baldwin school! Belonging and connection start here!

Can’t make these dates? Don’t worry! We have a playground meetup in the fall that is also fun and well attended by families (and popsicles are provided)! The date for that gathering is Sunday, September 11th and times are designated by grade level between 2 and 5PM. The JK/K and 1st grade meetup starts at 2PM, 2nd and 3rd graders should arrive at 3PM and 4th and 5th graders should come at 4PM. Special Start students are welcome to join us at 2PM! We hope to see you there!

Working closely with all of our families is a core value at Baldwin, and we know all of our students benefit from strong school/home connections. I invite you to get involved at school by being part of our Baldwin School Council, becoming a room parent, or getting involved with our dedicated parent group, The Friends of Baldwin. I will send more information about School Council in the fall. Please talk with Susan Tiersch or your child’s teacher if you’d like to be a room parent. Learn more about Friends of Baldwin and the wonderful work they do to support Baldwin School at friendsofbaldwin.org.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about family engagement or anything else, always feel free to contact your child’s teacher. You can also contact John Roderick, Assistant Principal, Susan Tiersch, Family Liaison, or me! See you soon!

Warmly,

Heidi Cook,
Principal, Maria L. Baldwin School


Calendar of Playground Meetups
All meetups are at the Alden Playground on Sacramento Street across from Baldwin School

August 16th, 6PM
Everyone’s invited for an informal playground meetup! Bring your own water and snacks!

August 31st, 6PM
Everyone’s invited for an informal playground meetup! Bring your own water and snacks!

September 11th, 2-5PM
Schoolwide Playground Meetup
Sp. Start/JK/K/1st Graders--2PM
2nd/3rd Graders--3 PM
4th/5th Graders--4 PM

(Come the whole time or come for the designated hour by grade level!)


Helpful Information to Start the School Year at Baldwin School

Special Start
If your child is in Special Start, you will get more information about the first days of school, your child’s class as well as entry and exit procedures. I wanted to include you on this email as part of our community! A lot of this information won’t apply to you exactly, but please take a look so you know what is happening with the rest of the school. Welcome to the Baldwin Community!

Arrival
Students line up outside before entering the building as a class. We meet each bus in the morning and ensure that students join their class line. Classes will walk in as a group when they have most students, between 8:45 and 8:55. If your child arrives after the class has entered, they can enter through the front door. Students are marked late if they arrive after 8:55 AM. Lineup spots will be shared with families before school starts. On the first day, please come to the front door if you can’t find your lineup spot.

Breakfast
Breakfast is free for students and is offered to all. Students eat with their class after arrival. If you have questions about breakfast, please speak with your child’s teacher. For concerns about allergies or dietary restrictions, please see the school nurse or the kitchen manager.

Lunch
Students can eat school lunch or home lunch and can alternate on a day-to-day basis. Lunch counts and preferences are taken each morning. We will follow all COVID protocols as they are established and updated by the Cambridge Public Schools. All of our classrooms are “allergy-aware” and we ask parents to send in nut-free snacks for the classroom. Depending on the medical needs of students, snack items might be limited for some classrooms. If students are in the cafeteria, plans will be made to help ensure the safety of students with allergies. The CPSD Food and Nutrition Services website is a great resource for families, too.

Dismissal
Students are dismissed at 2:55. We often load the buses first before pick-up and walking students exit.

Bus students are assisted to ensure they load the correct buses safely. Particular care is paid to new students and to JK-2 students who need more assistance. After the first morning of school, all JK-2nd grade students must have a yellow bus tag on their backpack in order to ride the bus. The tag includes their initials, bus routes and key safety contacts. Teachers fill out and put these on student backpacks on the first day of school.

Agassiz Baldwin After School students in grades K-2 are assisted to their after school program by program staff and older students walk on their own to the after school room.

Parents who are picking up students will have a designated spot to meet their child’s class after school. With a few exceptions, the meet-up spot will typically be the same spot where students line up in the morning.

JK/K Students Opening Days
Students in JK and K will be assigned an appointment time to visit their teacher and classroom in small groups on either September 6th or 7th. School officially starts for JK/K on September 8th. You should receive information about your assigned time from your child’s teacher at the end of August. You can also call the main office after August 29th to get that information.

School Visitors
Current protocols require parents to make appointments or set times for volunteering before they can come into the building beyond the main office. We were excited to welcome back plenty of parent volunteers and hold in-person parent meetings last year. All visitors should sign in at the main office. If you need to drop off an item, you can bring it to the main office and we will be sure that the child gets it.
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