September 30, 2016 

September 30, 2016
Monday, October 3
            Picture Day
Tuesday, October 4
            Grade 4 field trip to Morse Hill
Wednesday, October 5
            Curious Giraffe performance- 9:15am
            Open House  5:30-7:00pm
Thursday, October 6
            Grade 6 field trip to Morse Hill
Monday, October 10
            Columbus Day- NO SCHOOL
Saturday, October 15
            Harvest Festival 9:30-1:30



The Officialdom of Level Three 

We are now at that time of year when assessment results from the spring are announced, and schools are categorized by success or progress based on that data. A number of LES students and parents made the choice not to participate in the 2016 PARCC testing, given that it was the final year of a test which had been deemed to be a rather unsuccessful assessment tool by many educators and parents. We knew that there would be ramifications from this choice, notably that the school would probably drop from a Level 2 to a Level 3 designation according to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and this has come to pass.

What does it mean to be a Level 3 school?

All Massachusetts districts and schools with sufficient data are classified into of five accountability and assistance levels, with the highest performing in Level 1 and the lowest performing in Level 5. Level 3 schools rank in the lowest 20% of schools relative to other schools with similar grade ranges. Since it is clear that our drop from Level 2 to Level 3 is due to non-participation (participation below 90% being the criteria), it is not completely clear where we stand in the eyes of DESE. When schools drop to this designation due to poor assessment results based purely on academics, there is State and Federal funding that is often used to ‘prop up’ the educational practices. At LES, we may be required to complete a school self-assessment, using the DESE Conditions for School Effectiveness tool, and to revise our School Improvement Plan based on that assessment.

The REAL Scoop on Leverett’s School Effectiveness:

Nothing, and a whole lot, has changed at LES. That is simply the way that educational practice happens here. We are constantly changing as the needs of our children, and the world around us, changes. The conversations among staff about effective practices are never-ending. We are not dependent on a new ‘title’ from the bureaucracy to reflect on how we can improve. We do it every single day. It stems from some of the fundamental underpinnings of the LES community: courage, caring, and commitment to each other and to our work.

Where Do We Go From Here?

In March, we will see the ‘new’ MCAS. Because it is still being formulated, it is difficult to know how it will correlate to what we know of the ‘old’ MCAS or the much-maligned PARCC assessments. None of us love these assessments. But in the previous iteration of MCAS, teachers were able to derive useful feedback from the results. I, for one, am trying to approach it with an open mind, recognizing that sometimes we have to try things on before we get them to fit right, or make a decision to discard them. As I learn more information about the new version of the assessment, I will do my best to share that with all of you.


                                                - Margot Lacey

PICTURE DAY- Monday, October 3

You may have noticed that we are using a different company for school photos this year.  A few things to note:

  • Every child will have an individual photo taken, even if a package is not ordered.
  • You will receive an online code be able to place orders for up to a year.
  • Every child will receive a class photo.
  • LES earns 20% commission on all sales!



HEY PARENTS!  Don’t forget to stop by the Parent Room at the Open House on Wednesday, October 5th to learn more about the PTO.  If you are interested in getting to know other parents and learning more about what goes on in your kid’s school then sign up for the PTO!  The PTO has a great time organizing events, fundraising and serving as liaison to parents, teachers and school administrators.  You do not have to attend every meeting to be a part of the PTO.  We welcome all to do what they can. Come chat with us on Wednesday!



Lessons will begin next week!  If you would like to participate, but haven’t sent in registration materials yet, please contact Brian Bender ([email protected]) to schedule a lesson.




Coming soon! The Curious Giraffe Show!


Many families in Leverett know Dorothy Creswell, who was a teacher at LES for twenty-six years. While she retired a few years ago, Dorothy has hardly slowed down. One of her current enthusiasms is “The Curious Giraffe Show,” an original program that Dorothy created.


In this program, Dorothy holds a musical conversation with the children using quality songs about taking care of ourselves, each other, and the wider world.  She has a wide repertoire of music, some by well-known artists and some original songs written about true events.  Through questions and attentive listening, she shows that children’s ideas are valued. With questions generated by the songs (sometimes the giraffe offers questions) Dorothy brings up important topics about relationships, taking care of ourselves and our world, and kids working together through real situations. She creates an ARC (Awareness, respect, and compassion.) 

Dorothy is bringing “the Curious Giraffe Show” to LES on Wednesday, October 2.  Student sin preschool, kindergarten grades 1 and 2 will attend. This performance is supported in part by a grant from the Leverett Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. We are very grateful for their ongoing commitment to helping LES to present quality cultural programs. 

News from the Health Office

State mandated hearing, vision, height, weight, and BMI screenings will begin October 11th. I will contact parents/guardians with abnormal results and referrals/recommendations. Please feel free to call with questions. Have a healthy weekend!

Karyn Briand RN MSN 413-548-9144 x3


Please see the order form attached to this week’s Post and available on the school website.
First order due by 10/11/16.
Coffee delivery date is 10/14/15.
Plan your orders in advance, or for the full year!
Have a standing order?  We can accommodate!
Want to buy in bulk?  We can do that too!
Support your KIDS, our TEACHERS, and your LOCAL ECONOMY!  This year, delivery will be the 2nd Friday of each month.


Leverett Harvest Festival

October 15, 2016

Around the Leverett Elementary School Playground

Fire Dept. Pancake Breakfast 8:00-10:30

to benefit the Leverett Fire Dept. Assoc.

Leverett Elementary School cafeteria

Adults $8; Children $5

Fire Department Open House  10-30-1:00

There will be a fire extinguisher demonstration

and a chance to see vehicles and equipment.

Festival grounds open    9:30-1:30

LES Book Fair in the Library

Crafts and food for sale

Birds of Prey program in the gym

6th Grade Spaghetti Supper   5:30-7:00

Come for an evening of food and fun

to support the Leverett 6th Grade.

Adults- $8/ Children- $6 in advance ($10/$8 at the door)

Tickets are available from any 6th grader, or in the school office.

Vegetarian and Gluten-Free options will be served.



(Items listed here are not school sponsored)

After School Art Class!

Wicked Art class offers afterschool art classes three times a week. We experiment with clay, painting, drawing, and more! Students take the bust from Leverett School to the Leverett Crafts and Arts Center where their instructor awaits. Please contact Kaitlin Scutari for more information! [email protected] or 413-824-2766.  October classes start soon!! Thursday and Friday spaces available.

The Center Dance Studio invites community members of all ages to audition for A 21st Century Nutcracker -- an exciting spin on a timeless classic. Auditions will be held October 1st at The Center Dance in Amherst (321 Main Street, right next to Hope and Feathers Framing). Please visit our website for more information.


The Enchanted Forest: A Non-scary Halloween Event

“Creatures That Build

Friday & Saturday, October 14 & 15, 5pm-8pm each night

Come to the Hitchcock Center’s new home at 845 West Street, Amherst for a magical treat! You will be led along our pumpkin lit forest trails where creatures will emerge to share their stories. This year we will learn about animals that build, like us! Fun for all ages!

      Adult: Members $10/ Non-members $12

       Children: Members $5/ Non-members $6

       Under 3 years free

       Registration required, please go to our website: to register



With Jai Fuller at The Yoga Center Amherst

Kids yoga is a playground that bridges the gulf between inner self and outer self. These classes draw on practices from Kundalini yoga, Hatha yoga and Awareness thought the body to support kids in developing self awareness, (mind and body), self regulation, perseverance, and compassion. And they are super fun! Kids will learn that yoga is play, and play is yoga.

8 Fridays, Sept. 23rd - Nov. 18thst

(no class Nov. 11th)

4:15 - 5:15 pm for more info.






Diapers are a Basic Need; Not a Luxury

The Diaper Bank run by the Franklin County Resource Network Diaper Task Force serves all of Franklin County and the North Quabbin area and provides free diapers to families in times of financial struggles.  We are running low on funds to purchase diapers to replenish our supply.  The number of families using the our distribution sites is on the increase.  We distribute over 3,600 diapers per month through Family Centers and Food Pantries.   

We encourage people to donate funds in any amount since this allows us to buy diapers in the sizes most needed.  However, packs of diapers are greatly appreciated in sizes 4 – 6.  

We need your help!!  Here is what you can do……

  • Go to our Community Action website for handouts, information, flyers, ideas, facts about diapers, donor information form, etc. 
  • WWW.COMMUNITYACTION.US  and link to “Ways to Give”
  • Online donations are easy!!  or you can write a check:

                    “Community Action Diaper Task Force”

                    Mail to  393 Main Street, Greenfield  01301

  • Drop off some diapers; sites are on the website or drop them in Leverett on Judith Weinthaler’s front porch!  (address below)  Opened packs accepted. 
  • Contact your co-workers, friends, neighbors, organizations you belong to, local businesses, neighborhood stores, etc. and encourage them to donate. 
  • Tell them about the Diaper Bank and the importance of diapers and how they too can help with their donations.  Ask them to go to the website.
  • Consider putting out a diaper collection box or a donation jar where you work or in your church/place of worship, or other locations. 

We want to make the entire Franklin Community aware of the need for diapers and their importance for child health and development, reducing family stress and improving mental health.  “Changing Diapers Changes Lives” .  Please help in one of these ways to raise funds and collect diapers.  Every diaper and dollar helps. Our young children and their families send their thanks! 

For more information about diapes contact: 
Judith Weinthaler, Coordinator of Task Force
[email protected];  413-548-5469
24 Old Long Plain Road, Leverett    Drop off diapers on our front porch!!!
WWW.COMMUNITYACTION.US  link to “Ways to Give”


Posted by kate.rice On 30 September, 2016 at 10:28 AM  305 Comments

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