Welcome Back to School!

“Children are the reward of life.”
 -African Proverb

Dear Fox Hill Parents,

Welcome back!   I hope you had a wonderful and restful summer vacation!  Last year, I read a wonderful book called, “Helping Children Succeed”  by Paul Tough.  It was a quick and easy read that stated essential conditions for anyone’s success.  Paul Tough wrote “in order for anyone to feel or be successful, three conditions must exist, a sense of belonging, a sense of competence and a sense of autonomy.”  Throughout the 2016-2017 school year, the importance and the impact of those 3 conditions significantly influenced the success of Fox Hill students and staff.   I observed numerous examples where these conditions were evident every time I was in any classroom.  It is very important to me that every child felt they belonged, felt competent and felt they had a voice in their learning, this continues to be important to me, even more so this school year.  Our teachers work hard creating learning environments so children can  soar and be successful at school.  I believe we get better at it with each passing school year.  Each school year, we have the opportunity to define or redefine our purpose as educators, to commit to the sole and primary reason we are educators, children.   Children are the heart of our work and our work in education becomes apparent when we put the interests of all children first, every day, all the time.   All children are important to us, all children matter and it is our responsibility to educate, to love and to instill a feeling of belonging, competence and autonomy in all children.  All children must feel valued for who they are as human beings, this includes high moments and low moments.  The Fox Hill staff are dedicated and caring educators working hard for all children, every day.  I am very proud of our educators, our students and our school.  There is no better school than Fox Hill School!  

This school year, our overall theme is One School, Many Cultures, Many Learners.  This theme communicates that every child belongs at Fox Hill School where cultural and learning differences are acknowledged, accepted, embraced and celebrated.  As educators we love to learn and we will continue our learning as we listen and acknowledge different perspectives, different strengths, different interests, different approaches and different challenges in each other.  This makes us better and stronger as people and as educators.  Throughout the school year, my hope and dream is you will see and acknowledge Fox Hill School celebrating differences through art, music, writing, learning projects, friendships, community and you will stand beside us in that celebration.

We continue to actively implement Responsive Classroom school-wide.  Many more staff members participated in extensive training this summer and our leadership team works to actively define and consistently put into practice Responsive Classrooms principles into the school day. Responsive Classroom has similar beliefs about success and states “students need to feel a sense of belonging, significance (competence) and fun (choice) at school and in the classroom.”    Morning Meeting, Interactive Modeling, Academic Choice and Teacher Language are some of the ways to strengthen the basic human needs of belonging, competence and autonomy.  

Fox Hill School cannot function well without the support of the parent community and we continue to be very appreciative and grateful for the strong community support we experience at Fox Hill School every day.  Our PTO, made up of all Fox Hill parents, continue to plan and attend Fox Hill events, volunteer and give us feedback for improving Fox Hill School.   Our PTO board members will meet at the end of August to set new goals for the 2017-2018 school year.  Please reach out to PTO board members to share your vision for how to strengthen community at Fox Hill School.  Kathleen Matta is our new PTO President.  Thank you Mrs. Matta!  Our PTO has an active website www.foxhillpto.org that allows parents to communicate with board members, so take a minute to share your thoughts or lend your support to this community group.  

Thank you to all parents, teachers and community members who cared for the Fox Hill garden this summer!   You did an outstanding job!

This summer four new offices were constructed for our special education teachers.  This provides teachers and students with a quiet dedicated space for learning.   Thank you to central office administration and our wonderful custodians for supporting and building these offices in record time!   

We welcomed several new staff members and said good-bye to other staff members who went off to pursue new interests and new opportunities.  Mr. Zavisza left us after only one year because of a wonderful opportunity that opened in South Carolina.  As a result, Ms. Maggie Harrigan joined the Fox Hill team.  Ms. Harrigan has a passion for music instilled in her by her father’s love of music.  I am excited as to what Ms. Harrigan will create at Fox Hill School.  Fox Hill School also welcomes a new special education teacher, Ms. Erin O’Donnell bringing the total amount of special education teachers to four.  This added special education teacher will provide excellent service to all Fox Hill students.  Mrs. Settelen is taking a second year long maternity leave.  As a result, we welcome Ms. Norah Flynn who will serve in the role of school psychologist.  Mrs. Lewis and Mrs. Doyle retired after a long and successful 40 year career in education and Mrs. Hevey left education to nurture her own young children.  As a result Ms. Morgan Festa and Ms. Nicole Reilly will teach grade 2.   Ms. Stone and Ms. Christie were assigned to grade 1 bringing the total classrooms to five and Mrs. Snyder returns to grade 3.   Fox Hill School is in great hands with such a talented and dedicated teaching staff.

Our first day of school is Tuesday, September 5, 2017.  Our first day of kindergarten is Monday September 11, 2017.  School begins at 8:35 am and ends at 2:40pm for students in grades 1-5 and at 1:10pm for kindergarteners.  Please look for bus schedules in the local newspaper and look for the tab marked bus routes located on the principal’s blog.  School doors open at 8:15am and students should not arrive to school prior to 8:15am for their own safety.   Parents are not required to purchase school supplies this year as we have purchased all necessary materials for all children.  However, it is fine to purchase school supplies if it is important to you and to your child.  Teachers will integrate any supplies purchased by parents into their classroom organizational systems.

Parent Pick Up will continue as it did in grades 1-5 last year and kindergarten parents can pick up their child in the main lobby.  Parent Pick Up requires parents to drive along the access route and stop at the playground doors.  Parent Pick Up students will be dismissed through the playground door and to the first two cars by a teacher on duty.  Mrs. Moules is our primary staff member on parent pick up duty.

Our parent handbook is available on the principal’s blog and updates to that handbook are forthcoming.  Please take some time to review Fox Hill procedures and expectations before you come to school.   I look forward seeing everyone on the first day of school and if there is anything you need, please do not hesitate to email me at EJohnson@bpsk12.org or call 781-270-1791.  Please visit our website and the principal and teachers’ blogs for additional information about the opening of school.

As the African proverb states, “Children are the reward of life” and as educators we cherish and value that reward every day.

With Warmest Regards,

Ellen Johnson
Fox Hill School

Fox Hill Happenings ~ 6/23/17

Friday was the last day of the 2016-2017 school year, and it was a very happy and quiet day at Fox Hill School.  Though kids were looking forward to their summer vacation, many of them shared they did not want school to end.  They shared they will miss their teachers, their friends and the excitement that comes with learning.  This brings a smile to my face and is evidence that says we are being successful in creating a love of learning at Fox Hill School.  Learning is fun, it is about being curious and about self-discovery.  Learning opens doors to opportunity and is the bridge to discovering your interests and your passions.  Though the time for structured learning has ended for this year, the time for unstructured learning has only just begun.  Summer is a time when some of the most meaningful learning occurs.  I wish you a safe and relaxing summer, I look forward to seeing everyone in the fall, and I wish our rising fifth graders continued success in middle school.

I leave you with our first Fox Hill Music Video, produced by Ms. Scheffer that truly captures the fun and the value our students place on relationships, learning, and their school.  This video says a lot about us.  Please enjoy it as much as I did!

Fox Hill Happenings ~ 6/19/17

Another school year is coming to an end.  There is a bit of sadness and excitement that comes with the end of school as we experience one door closing and anticipate another door opening.  This past week was a flurry of activity and our students had lots of fun throughout the week.  On Thursday morning we held our Grade 5 Reception.  The weather was perfect and the day’s events unfolded beautifully.  Our fifth grade students exceeded expectations on Thursday morning both during and after the 5th Grade Reception.  Our parents and teachers worked tremendously hard putting together a memorable event and there was nothing but smiles and happiness coming from our 5th graders, all day.  I am certain they felt valued and cared about from their teachers and their parents, thank you to all that made this day very special for them.  

Last week was Spirit Week!  This year’s theme was Kindness in Action. Our students took extra care to go out of their way to be kind to each other and to acknowledge each other in a positive way!  All week our students added a link to our kindness chain displayed in our cafeteria. The kids showed their pride for Fox Hill on Monday, ran in the Fox Trot on Tuesday and joined in the Celebration Walk to honor our grade 5 students on Thursday!  It was quite a wonderful week at Fox Hill School.  The best part of the week for kids was being able to sit where they wanted in the cafeteria with music playing, it was quite a week and lots of fun!

On Friday, June 23rd, students will receive their progress report with the name of their new teacher!  Students anticipate this day with great excitement.  We have worked hard to carefully place each student with a teacher we believe is the best match for them.  We took into account each parent’s perspective and read every parent placement form to help select the right teacher/student match.   Fox Hill School is very fortunate to have outstanding educators making student placement very easy.  At times, a few students may be disappointed because they were not placed in a classroom with specific friends or a specific teacher.  We are confident every child will flourish in their new classroom, make new friends and learn something new about themselves.  Please remember that teachers in grades 1-5 implement a Response to Intervention model that flexibly groups students in reading.  This model provides your child with the opportunity to be with several different teachers during a school day and has proven to be a highly successful academic and social instructional model.   I am confident every student will experience an excellent 2017-2018 school year.  Our last day of school is a half day and students will be dismissed at 11:40 am. Bus schedules may run early or late on that day.

Our garden is growing and we need your help with watering and with daily care over the summer months.  Thank you to the Sargood, Negron, Parsons, Fraczek & Crowley families for signing up, we really appreciate your support and interest in our garden!  It is a great summer activity that aligns with many standards in our science curriculum.   If any family is interested please sign up using this link, there are a few more weeks available in August when our garden is in full bloom!

Finally, thank you all for a great school year.  Your children are wonderful and it is a delight and an honor to educate them.  I love coming to school every day to see their smiles, hear their ideas and watch them work, being an educator is the most rewarding profession in the world.  See you next school year and enjoy every bit of summer!

Reminder from the Nurse
All medication must be picked up by the last day of school.  Medication is not stored over the summer.  Inhalers, Epipens, Diastat or any other medication must be picked up by a parent by Friday, June 23rd at 10:00 am.  They will be discarded after that date.  Thanks and have a great and safe summer.

Fox Hill Lost & Found Will Be Donated

If your child is missing any clothing items, please have them stop by to the Lost & Found outside POD 1 to see if they have been turned in.  If items are not picked up by Friday, June 23, we donate the items to Cradles to Crayons.

Thank you for your help!

Camp Bournedale 2017
Next year’s fifth grade will be going to the annual Camp Bournedale overnight field trip on NOVEMBER 7-8.  All information and meetings for the trip will be given in September.  Please be on the lookout in the fall for Bournedale information permission slips, chaperone sign-ups, etc.  If you have any questions, please email Mr. Lisano or visit the Bournedale Blog.

Lunch for week of 6/19/2017
BBQ Chicken Dinner or Pizza
Taco Tuesday!  or Hot Dog
Hamburger / Cheeseburger or Grilled Cheese
Pancakes with Sausage Links/ Patties or Ham & Cheese Croissant
Last Day of School – Bagged Lunch Available Upon Request

Please be sure your child’s lunch account with PayPams is up to date.
You can check the balance at paypams.com