Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Dear Norwood Parents,
This week marks the last week of classes for our graduating eighth graders and the second to last week of school for grades PK-7. While it is impossible to replicate the wonderful spirit of this always exciting time on campus, we very much hope your children know how proud we are of them—of their growth and their many accomplishments throughout the school year, especially this year. We look forward to celebrating with virtual class parties on June 1, Virtual Class Week beginning on May 26, and the graduation parade for the Class of 2020 on June 2.
As we wind down the 2019-2020 school year, we are in full gear preparing for the fall. To support families with this transition, we are "holding" rising meetings for parents on May 20 and moving-up meetings for students on June 1. During the week of May 25, I am also going to be holding for parents three "Office Hours with Matthew" via Zoom at which I will be joined by our division heads and Board representatives Jenn Lustbader (Chair) and Josh Spencer (Vice Chair). Below you will find additional information about rising meetings, faculty/staff departures, hiring for 2020-2021, and the upcoming Office Hours.
Rising Meeting Videos
Rising meetings are one of the ways we support families as they prepare for the upcoming school year. Since we are unable to be together for what are normally in-person meetings on campus, we have prepared a series of grade-level rising meeting videos, featuring an overview from homeroom teachers or advisors, along with highlights from a number of subject area specialists. On Wednesday, May 20, parents in grades PK-7 will receive a rising meeting letter, which will include an introduction to your child's teaching team for next year, as well as links to the rising meeting videos for that grade. If after watching the videos you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me, Michele Claeys, or Mike Risen.
Blue/White Chapel & Departing Employees
On Friday, May 22, we will hold our annual Blue/White Chapel, virtually of course, to recognize and thank faculty and staff members who will not be returning to Norwood in the fall. In addition to the "fabulous five" who are retiring in June—Jane Martens, Lulito Newsome, Lynda Saelens, Jorge Somarriba, and Sue Gail Spring—we will also say goodbye and thank the following teachers and staff members who are beginning new adventures in their lives.
Karen Anillo, Human Resources Manager, is taking a break from her career to focus on family.
Gerry Barrs, Summit Director, is moving to Michigan to start a new job as director of Pretty Lake Camp Adventure Centre.
Adam Cooper, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher, is shifting his career focus to museum education.
Dana Gaither, Second Grade Homeroom Teacher, is moving to Florida to be closer to family.
Ken Giles, Suzuki Strings Teacher, is retiring.
Emily Nichols, Middle School Drama Teacher, is moving to Atlanta for her husband's job and to be closer to family.
Bianca Rolon, Third Grade Homeroom Teacher, is expecting her first child in September and is taking a break from teaching to focus on motherhood.
Rachel Siegel, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher, has recently been named the new preschool director at B'nai Israel.
Jeanne Simons, Second Grade Homeroom Teacher, is moving to Florida and will be teaching at Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa.
We are sad to see our friends and colleagues go, but we also share in their excitement for what's ahead in a new location, a new job, a new lifestyle, or a new family situation.
New Positions & New Hires
Norwood has always been a place where teachers and staff members are encouraged to take on new challenges and bring their areas of expertise to different positions within the School. The following eight teachers will be moving to new positions in the 2020-2021 school year and are excited to take on these new roles.
Cathy Caruso will be moving from kindergarten to co-teach pre-kindergarten.
Sara Gallagher will be our new director of academic support, while continuing her current role as lower school learning specialist.
Chris Giles will be our new physical education coordinator.
Cathy McCoy is moving from kindergarten to teach second grade.
Mimi Mulligan is moving from the Admission Office back in to the classroom as a sixth grade advisory, social studies, and math teacher. Mimi started her career as a classroom teacher. Prior to leading the admission team, she served as a second grade homeroom teacher, a math specialist for grades 1-8, and dean of students in the Middle School, where she also taught pre-algebra and algebra.
Tara Reilly, our current reading and language arts teacher for grades 3, 4, and 6, will be a fifth grade advisory, social studies, and reading/language arts teacher.
Esther Stanton, current associate teacher in fourth grade, will teach second grade.
Brittany Young, current fifth grade advisory, social studies, and reading/language arts teacher, will be our new middle school learning specialist.
We are currently interviewing and evaluating candidates for open positions. As you can imagine, the coronavirus pandemic has created challenges for our typical hiring process, but we are making progress. At this time, I am delighted to welcome the following six new teachers to Norwood: Shauna Carado
(P.E. Teacher), Kelly Dickinson
(Media Resource Specialist), Alexia Gunn
(Horizons at Norwood Site Director); Mia Fisher
(Middle School Drama Teacher); Hannah Ingram
(Reading/Language Arts Teacher); and Wendy Wilson
(Kindergarten Teacher). Click here
to learn more about these talented educators.
Office Hours with Matthew
Over the past two months, I have very much appreciated the opportunity to speak on the phone and exchange emails with many of you, as we navigate together these especially challenging times. I also know that, as we think about the future, many of you want to hear more about our planning process, or you may have questions or feedback that you want to share. So next week, on May 26, 27, and 28, I will be holding three "Office Hours with Matthew" for parents via Zoom to talk about the School's planning process for the upcoming school year, hear your feedback, and answer your questions. These sessions will be organized by division: Mike Risen, Head of Lower School, will join me for the first two sessions; Michele Claeys will attend the third session; and trustees Jenn Lustbader and Josh Spencer will be available at all three sessions. I look forward to seeing you on Zoom for what I hope will be three helpful and informative sessions for Norwood's parent community.
Additional information and Zoom links will be provided by the end of the week.
Thank you again for all that you are doing to support your children and our school at this time. I remain deeply grateful for your partnership.
Matthew A. Gould, Ph.D.
Head of School
UPCOMING IMPORTANT DATES
May 20: Rising Meeting Videos (Current Grades PK-6); Virtual Rising Meeting (Current Grade 7) at 8:00 a.m.
May 22: Blue/White Chapel (recognition of departing faculty and staff); Last Day of Classes for the Class of 2020
May 25: Memorial Day (No School; Offices Closed)
May 26-29: Virtual Class Week for the Class of 2020
May 29: Closing Chapel; Last Day of Classes for Grades PK-7
June 1: Moving-Up Day (Grades PK-7); Virtual Class Parties and Farewells (More information to follow!)
June 2: Graduation Drive-Through Parade for the Class of 2020, 5:00 p.m. (Grade 8 Families Only)
June 4: Tablet and Materials Drop-Off Day for Grades 5 & 6
June 5: Tablet and Materials Drop-Off Day for Grades 7 & 8