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Principal's Message

Suzanne Kenny

September, 2017   


Please click here for the September Monthly Value from the Mill Pond Administrative Team.


Dear Mill Pond students and families:

Welcome to the 2017 - 2018 school year at the Mill Pond School. This is the sixteenth year that our school has been educating all of the 4th, 5th, and 6th graders of Westborough. Our motto is “Learning and Caring- It’s What We Do Here!” and we take this pledge very seriously. Every decision that we make is determined by whether or not our actions will enable each and every student to grow academically, socially, and emotionally.


The Mill Pond School provides exceptional educational programs that support and encourage our students to become capable and concerned citizens, ready for the challenges of the 21st century. During their time with us, our students will grow in their understanding of the academic disciplines of Reading/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies, as well as in Health and Wellness, Technology and Literacy, Fine Arts, and the Performing Arts. Equally important, students will demonstrate enhanced abilities to approach tasks and new information in a creative manner, use critical-thinking to problem-solve as they are presented with novel situations, collaborate with peers to enrich and demonstrate learning, and communicate clearly in a variety of formats. These skills are essential in order to be productive citizens of the 21st century and at Mill Pond we make sure that students are well on their way to this accomplishment.


Capable and concerned citizens not only have the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the challenges they face, they are also cognizant of how their words and actions affect other people and the world around them. We are deeply committed to making sure that Mill Pond is a safe and supportive learning environment for each and every student. As members of the Mill Pond community, we ask students, parents, and staff to always represent our school values, the “Keys to Success,” that allow us to collaborate as a community in bringing out the best in each other. Essential to this endeavor is the mutual respect we must demonstrate for one another. The Mill Pond “Touchstone” included below was created by Mill Pond students and staff to clearly express our expectations for each and every member of our school community.

Mill Pond School “Touchstone”

At Mill Pond, we share mutual trust and an expectation of honesty.

Here, respect and truthfulness are essential.

In our caring community, we are responsible for being kind to others and

being actively involved within our society.

Together, we harbor self-esteem, practice generosity, and express gratitude.

We assist one another. We are responsible stewards of our natural world.

We celebrate our special qualities, persevere through challenges, and embrace our differences.

LEARNING AND CARING ...IT’S WHAT WE DO HERE.



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  Keys to Success

Our Keys to Success program is the framework we use for addressing essential concepts in character development. It spotlights monthly values fundamental in building strong, positive character.


September

Respect

Treating yourself, others, materials and the environment in a considerate, valued manner. This is the application of the Golden Rule: “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

October

Responsibility

Being accountable for your words and actions, exercising self-control, and having a sense of duty to complete tasks.

November

Empathy

Trying to understand and be sensitive to another’s feelings or ideas; trying to see things from another’s perspective.

December

Generosity

Giving or sharing in abundance without expecting anything in return.

January

Resilience

Not giving up with whatever one has set out to do; persisting; bouncing back when you experience challenges.

February

Integrity

Being honest with oneself and others at all times. Doing the right thing even when no one is watching.

March

Acceptance

Recognizing the uniqueness and value of each individual and embracing differences in our diverse society.

April

Courage

Being brave in trying tasks that are new or difficult, and choosing to do what is right, fair or just.

May

Kindness

Observing and recognizing the needs of others and acting in a way to meet those needs; treating others the way you want to be treated.

June

Gratitude

Being thankful and showing appreciation; being ready to return kindness.



How is character education infused in the Mill Pond day?


Character development entails the positive attitude we reflect to students from the moment they arrive at school. It is the large-scale, noted school activities that have won “Promising Practices” recognitions, as well as the briefest responses to a student to assert that his thinking matters or that her attempts to learn difficult material are worthy of personal pride. Character education means infusing the consideration of essential values into the language and process of our interactions, the delivery of academic content, and our outlook in encouraging each child to find her or his small, quiet gifts of leadership.



An important message we share with all of the students during our first weeks of school is the idea that being “smart” doesn’t necessarily mean you are always right, or always first in learning something. We explain that “smart” is something you become through effective effort, through not giving up when something is difficult. True learning occurs when we think deeply about topics and are willing to make mistakes and learn from our mistakes to get better at something. It’s what we call a “growth mindset,” the idea that we can grow our capacity to learn through hard work and proper support. You can help reinforce this with your students when they say to you, “I don’t get it” and you respond, “yet.” Because if we truly believe, and we do, that each and every student can learn what we teach them, then it is just a matter of when they will learn it, not if. That requires proper support and coaching from parents/guardians and the Mill Pond staff, and the tenacity that the students will demonstrate through their determination to master a skill or concept. 2017-2018 promises to be a year filled with learning and growth and we look forward to sharing it with you and your student.


Please check our website regularly for important notices and dates to remember. Beginning in September, the “Weekly News and Notes” on our website (found under “What’s Happening”) will be updated on a weekly basis with notices from school, our Mill Pond Parent Group, and community groups, that will keep you informed about what is happening at Mill Pond and in the community. The calendar section of the website is also updated regularly, whenever a new event is added to the school calendar, so check it frequently to stay up-to-date.


A few important reminders:


  • Supervision of students begins at 7:45 a.m. Please do not drop off students prior to that time.

  • Homeroom begins at 8:08 a.m. In order for students to be best prepared for their school day, they should arrive to school no later than 8:00 a.m. This will give them time to get to their classrooms and organize their materials for the day and thus be ready to learn as soon as school begins. Even better, make sure they arrive by 7:50 and they will have a few minutes to socialize with friends and reconnect with classmates before the school day begins, always a nice way to start the day!

  • Please return all of your completed “First Day Packet” materials as soon as possible, including online sign-offs.

  • An updated version of our Student Family Handbook is posted on our website each year. Please make sure to review the Handbook with your student.


Our students’ success does not happen all by itself. It is the result of the collaboration between students, families, staff, and the Westborough community. At Mill Pond we have high expectations for our students and are confident that we can provide them with the tools and support necessary to meet these expectations. We trust that with students, staff, and families collaborating as a team, we can ensure that all of our students’ hopes and dreams are realized. On behalf of the Mill Pond staff, welcome to the new school year. Together we will make it a year filled with learning, laughter, and memorable experiences!


As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, concerns, or compliments! We look forward to a great school year with your students.


Sincerely,

Ms. Suzanne Kenny, M.S.Ed.

Principal

kennys@westboroughk12.org