Friday, January 15, 2010

Notes from the Principal

Marshall Simonds Middle School

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit Marshall Simonds Middle School. During the visit, I had the good fortune to observe lessons and sit in on a team meeting. I would like to thank the many teachers, Team Leader Noreen Abati, and Principal Richard Connors for allowing me this opportunity. It has been many years since I have visited a middle school (1999). I was taken back upon arrival at the amazing application of technology in the classrooms. All the classrooms I visited had Smartboards. You might have seen these at Pine Glen as each grade level currently shares one Smartboard. Also, like Pine Glen, I was thoroughly impressed at the upkeep and cleanliness of the physical plant given the age of both of our buildings. When our current fifth graders leave our Pine Glen School, they will continue to be part of a school community that holds to the same values as our Pine Glen Community. For example, thorough my visit I saw incredible levels of student engagement and teacher collaboration. It was clear to any observer that Marshall Simonds is a student centered building. Emphasis is on the learners. Likewise, there is great care and compassion from all staff toward students. It makes me sad to think we will say good-bye to our fifth graders at the end of this academic year. However, that sadness is greatly minimized by the excitement I have for these students to continue to learn under from the talented middle school teachers and inspiring leadership of Mrs. Abati and Mr. Connors. I was rest assured yesterday seeing our similar value set that Pine Glen and Marshall Simonds are not two separate schools but, two like cultures in one school system.

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